News Round Up, August 20 2017

There’s been a number of high profile Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board failures over the last two days.

David Roberts, a man of 70 from Amlwch, is in severe pain and waiting for a knee replacement. Mr Roberts has been on the waiting list since August 2016 and has been told by the Betsi that the waiting time for the relevant operation is now 98+ weeks… Mr Roberts is remarkably understanding and has commented that ‘I understand that it’s all down to funding, low staff and cut backs’. No Mr Roberts, sadly that is not true – it is down to incompetence and corruption. The Betsi has plenty of money and Vaughan Gething and the Welsh Gov’t keep giving it more as well, it is being wasted. They are short of staff but that’s because no-one will work in north Wales because the NHS there has such an atrocious reputation. People do know that abusive staff are catered for and protected whilst whistleblowers are sacked. That is not the way to attract good staff but it’s what Martin Jones and Peter Higson have done for years, which is why the Betsi is in this state.

Another Betsi story in the news at the moment concerns Brooke Cheatle. Brooke is eight years old and had her leg amputated when she was younger. She wears a prosthetic leg but the Betsi is involved so things are not going smoothly. Brooke is now using a wheelchair whilst her mum battles with ‘Betsi chiefs’ in a desperate attempt to secure decent treatment for Brooke. Brooke has had a number of prosthetic legs which have been faulty. The foot of the last one actually fell off, so Brooke’s mother returned it to the Betsi. It was sent back through the post with the foot crudely glued on at the wrong angle. Furthermore it was returned to Brooke without a fitting, so it didn’t fit properly, cut into Brooke’s skin and caused pressure sores and blisters. Medical professionals have now deemed the prosthetic leg ‘unsafe to use’. Who has been providing this splendid service? The Artificial Limb and Appliance Centre at Wrexham. Brooke’s mother made a written complaint to the Betsi and attempted to transfer Brooke’s care to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. This necessitated writing to their GP for funding – the Betsi refused the funding without any explanation, so the transfer has not happened. Brooke’s mum has been told that Brooke’s care must remain with the Wrexham centre. She has now stated that she ‘has lost all faith’ in the Betsi and wants Brooke treated in England. Well good luck with that Brooke’s mum – I know of a number of mental health patients, including me, who after the most dreadful negligence and sometimes all out abuse tried to transfer elsewhere. The dear old Hergest Unit refused to let us go. They made it quite clear that they loathed us and were waiting for us to drop dead, but no, every time we tried to get care from elsewhere the Hergest threw a hissy fit and stated that we were ‘their’ patients. I realised that the Hergest was going to end up either killing me or imprisoning me for something that I hadn’t done after yet more attempts to frame me, so in the end I walked away. I know a number of other people who sought private care in other parts of the UK and one man who went abroad.

The Daily Post Online is reporting yet another bizarre mental health services story. Judge Niclas Parry has given James Harland an 18 month suspended prison sentence and a restraining order after Harland  told a number of people that he was planning to kill himself and his wife. Harland made it quite clear why he was making these threats – it was because he wanted help for mental health problems and couldn’t get it. He told the local mental health team who failed to respond, so he put two knives in his vehicle and showed them to the mental health team, telling them that this was how desperate he felt. No response. So he then rang the office of the Labour MP for Alyn and Deeside Mark Tami to complain about the mental health services. Mr Harland repeated his threat – and a member of Mr Tami’s staff called the police and Mr Harland was arrested. Niclas Parry has described it as a ‘seriously worrying case’ – because ‘a professional person’ (ie. the mental health social worker) saw the knives and ‘did not call the police’. They didn’t offer him any help with psychiatric care either. Neither did Mr Tami’s lot – they did call the police but did that rather than respond to Mr Harland’s complaints about the mental health services. Niclas Parry told Mr Harland in Court that ‘you are now going to be offered help’. What a pity that didn’t happen before – when Mr Harland asked for it. Parry also stated that a ‘robust risk management plan…to protect the public’ would be put in place. Which there is no need for – Mr Harland isn’t a risk to anyone. He was showing social workers’ knives because nothing he did resulted in an offer of mental health care, so he tried to demonstrate to people how desperate he was. Niclas Parry also sentenced Mr Harland to 40 days rehabilitation. What a bizarre, traumatic and very expensive way of getting Mr Harland the help that he needed. Except that he’s got a criminal record now as well, for carrying a blade and threatening behaviour. So when he’s recovered he’s not going to be able to get a job is he. Ooh it’s the stigma you see…there’s so much stigma against people with mental health problems, that’s why they don’t get jobs.

Niclas Parry said that he was ‘alarmed’ at this case. So am I, but for rather different reasons than Niclas Parry. But then I’m alarmed at Niclas Parry’s presence as a Crown Court judge. Back in 1996 when he was just a whippersnapper, Niclas Parry appeared at the Waterhouse Inquiry as Solicitor-Advocate to a particularly nasty paedophile (see post ‘This Is What Happened To Nicola, Niclas, Merfyn, Joan and Kathryn’). Niclas’s biography also demonstrates that he has close personal and professional links to many others who concealed the paedophile ring in north Wales. Niclas’s career has gone from strength to strength and now he’s on the Circuit in Wales regularly making the most bizarre decisions and comments.

 

BBC News Wales online today ran a report about how ‘job sharing’ might be a possibility for future AMs. The Assembly Commission said that a change of electoral rules might be possible under the forthcoming Wales Act 2017 which will give new powers to the Assembly and that it might be possible to introduce a system of job sharing which at the moment isn’t permissible. It was stated that this might increase the proportion of women and disabled people willing to stand for election to the Assembly. Sarah Rees of the Women’s Equality Party spoke in favour of the idea and said that Wales should lead on this. Sarah has two young children and stood as a candidate in the last election. I know Sarah, she’s very committed and a very hard worker – she’d be an excellent candidate whether she chose to job share or not. Sarah was speaking for women’s interests. Who spoke for ‘the disabled?’ A former candidate with a disability perhaps? Of course not. It was Rhian Davies, Chief Exec of Disability Wales, who stated that ‘more creative solutions are needed to encourage disabled people into politics’. I think she said something about stigma as well.

The most creative solution would be to get rid of Disability Wales and to stop Rhian Davies mouthing off lame clichés on behalf of disabled people. Rhian Davies has been Chief Exec of Disability Wales since 2001 and has achieved bugger all for disabled people. A look at the Disability Wales website shows the hundreds of thousands of pounds pouring into the coffers of Disability Wales from the Welsh Government but this blog alone – indeed this post – shows how grim things are for people with health problems or disabilities in Wales (and indeed in the wider UK). It is nothing to do with ‘stigma’ or the need for ‘creative solutions’ – a functioning health and care system would work wonders. Or for Theresa May to stop butchering disability benefits to such an extent that disabled people are being made destitute. I’ve never heard Rhian Davies utter a word on these topics. Guess who’s building up a nice little career for herself on the back of ‘disability issues’ though? Rhian Davies!

Rhian is Chair of the Coalition on Changing Cymru; a member of the Welsh Gov’ts Tackling Poverty External Advisory Group; between 2007-12 she was a member of EHRC’s Statutory Wales Committee; and she played an active role in the Inquiry Into Disability Harassment. In 2010 she completed an MSc in Equality and Diversity from Cardiff University!

I don’t think that there’s going to be many creative solutions coming from Rhian. However I know what will happen if the Welsh Government introduces any sort of initiative at all in order to help people with disabilities stand for election. A sharp elbowed person – who will probably have followed a career of the sort that Rhian Davies has – will flag up an inconvenience as a ‘disability’ and use that to demand special consideration. In the way that Theresa May suddenly announced that she had a ‘disability’ – she’s a diabetic – after she was accused of shafting disabled people with the welfare reforms. Diane Abbott developed a disability – again diabetes, but Diane Abbott has type 2 diabetes which means she doesn’t have to inject herself with insulin, she just has to watch her diet. Diane declared her own disability after a dismal media performance during which she couldn’t answer questions. But that is a regular occurrence with Diane Abbott and she’s never mentioned diabetes before. She usually just accuses whoever has put her on the spot of sexism and racism. That is the danger of ‘initiatives’ – if they are not very carefully thought out they are just used by the same old culprits to ruthlessly elbow everybody else out of the way.

My post ‘It’s The Sun Wot Won It’ reported on the inexplicable twitter storm that followed a recent innocuous tweet sent out by Leanne Wood. The appalling Katie Hopkins has now joined the fray and tweeted ‘What is Welsh for ‘get back down the mines’?’ If you want to know that Katie, enrol in a Welsh class and bloody well learn instead of spitting poison at the rest of the world via Mail Online or LBC. And in case you hadn’t noticed, there aren’t any mines left in Wales – the Tory Party that you so robustly support closed every one of them down. That’s why Leanne’s dad became unemployed you total ignoramus. By the way, despite coming from a region of Wales wrecked by Thatcher and Heseltine and despite having a dad who was shoved onto a dole queue whilst she was growing up, Leanne has become the leader of a political party. Which is more than you’ve achieved – all you managed to do was to lie to get into Sandhurst and then get caught out.

The Poisonous Tentacles Of The Home Office

The Observer Online is reporting that ‘outreach workers’ for homelessness charities in London have unwittingly gathered information which has been used to deport some of the people whom they aspired to help. Charity workers were told to collect sensitive data on rough sleepers – including their nationality, gender and factors concerning their mental health – which was then stored on a database by the GLA (Greater London Authority). An FoI request has now confirmed that the GLA passed the data to senior immigration officials in the Home Office who used it to track down rough sleepers from the EU and central eastern Europe and then deported them under guidelines introduced by the Home Office in May 2016. The charity St Mungos has said that they were told that the database was established to ‘identify emerging needs’.

This whole saga reminds me of the conversations that I used to have with a friend of mine at Bangor University who is a Jewish scholar. As the University HR Dept sent around increasingly intrusive ‘monitoring forms’ for no good reason requesting info about people’s gender, age, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion and disabilities, I expressed concern to my friend that such information was being collected, particularly as the then Director of HR, Lyn Meadows, was a poisonous cow who was known to be accessing personal data relating to staff to use against them. (Meadows was also breaking confidentiality and sharing information with third parties.) My friend observed that people of Jewish heritage are always very sensitive about providing data relating to their religion/ethnicity because of course this sort of data had been used by the Nazis to target Jewish people. I tried to refuse to provide such data at one point and a senior colleague told me that if I did refuse to provide it, Meadows would undoubtedly then try to target me for refusing to adhere to University policies. So that is how Lyn Meadows was able to ask staff if they were gay or transgender or had sensitive health problems and they were forced to co-operate with this gross invasion of privacy!

So now The Observer has told a cautionary tale with regard to ‘monitoring’. The Director of Liberty, Martha Spurrier, has commented that the Home Office’s conduct is reflective of a ‘crisis of compassion’ within the UK political system and a consequence of the hostile environment for illegal immigrants created by Theresa May when she was Home Secretary. Martha asks ‘who knows where else the Home Office’s poisonous tentacles have reached’?

This is all very timely because I’ve been reading about the workings of the Home Office recently. I’ve been working my way through Ken Clarke’s autobiography – it’s a real treasure trove and I’ll be blogging about it in detail soon – and he details his time as Minister of Justice in the Coalition Gov’t. Ken describes his battles with what he felt was a very illiberal culture in the Home Office, a culture which was obsessed with being seen to be tough on immigration and on crime, even if the policies didn’t work or backfired. He of course had previously been Home Secretary under John Major and had been replaced by Michael Howard, who was rather more on message where law n order was concerned. However it was when Ken was Justice Minister that he described a battle with the machinery of the Home Office which seemed to try to obstruct him on matters if he was too liberal. The Permanent Secretary whilst Ken Clarke was Minister for Justice was a Sir Suma Chakrabarti and he was responsible for running the Crown Office under the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice (that’s a dual role). During Suma’s tenure that was Lord Charlie Falconer, then Jack Straw and then Ken Clarke. Sir Suma left the Home Office in 2012 to become President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, but he’d been Permanent Secretary at the Ministry for Justice since Nov 2007. So one presumes that Sir Suma was substantially contributing to that illiberal culture, if not leading it. Theresa May was Home Secretary between May 2010-July 2016. Suma overlapped with Theresa then – and Theresa’s one preoccupation when she entered the Home Office was immigration. In terms of timescales, it may be assumed that the wheeze to collect nationality data on rough sleepers and then use it to deport them after changing the rules in order to allow this must have been dreamt up some time ago – no doubt on Theresa’s watch. Perhaps Suma had something to do with it as well.

Readers will have noticed Suma’s surname – Chakrabarti. There is of course another Chakrabarti who used to work for the Home Office – Shami! Between 2003-2016 Shami was Director of Liberty. During her time there Shami campaigned against ‘excessive’ anti-terrorist legislation. Shami started her career as a lawyer though – and after graduating, in 1996 she secured a position as a barrister in the Home Office. That was the Home Office under the Tories – when Michael ‘prison works’ Howard was Home Secretary! Now he won’t have been at all liberal – so I don’t think that young Shami will have been working on some very fine causes whilst she was a barrister in the Home Office. The Tories were voted out in 1997 and Jack Straw became Home Secretary. Jack was no liberal once he got into office either which is why so many people who had voted Labour were so disappointed. Shami didn’t begin working for Liberty until 2001, when she joined them as in house counsel. Has anyone spotted what I have? What major public inquiry took place between 1996 and 2000 which concerned the Welsh Office – and the Home Office? The Waterhouse Inquiry! The high level cover-up into the abuse of children in north Wales and the associated paedophile ring. Shami will have known all about it. The Home Office were very much involved because of the collusion of the North Wales Police with the abuse – and of course some of the kids in care had ended up in prison or in Risley Remand Centre, institutions which were the responsibility of the Home Office. Bryn Estyn, the home where some of the most serious abuse occurred, was formerly run directly by the Home Office. Of the staff from Bryn Estyn who went to prison for child sexual abuse, a number had been employed there when it was still run by the Home Office. I always wondered why Liberty didn’t take up the cause of patients in the mental health system who had been abused whilst they were kids in care. Although poor old Liberty’s track record on child abuse isn’t too hot – in the days when it called itself NCCL it was affiliated to PIE. When that hit the media a few years ago Shami lost no time in telling everyone what a shameful part of the NCCL’s history that was and that the organisation had been ‘infiltrated’ by paedophiles. They didn’t need to ‘infiltrate’ Shami – Harriet Harman, Jack Dromey, Patricia Hewitt, Henry Hodge et al were so dim that they let them in. They’ve got the excuse that they were fools playing identity politics – what’s your excuse for your stint in the Home Office whilst the Waterhouse whitewash was happening? We keep being told what a fine legal mind you’ve got and how committed to justice you are – you didn’t consider offering your services to the victims of the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal free of charge then? Not that anyone else did either – although loads of radical lawyers provided such a service to the NUM during the Miners’ Strike…

I do keep wondering – Suma and Shami. Are they by any chance related? Suma was born in 1959 in Bengal but he went to school in London. Shami was born in 1969 ‘to Bengali parents’ and grew up and went to school  in London. Could Suma possibly be Big Brother?

Suma joined the Civil Service in 1984. He initially worked for the Dept that was the predecessor to DfID (Dept of International Development). Then he was seconded to the World Bank. He was then Private Secretary to Lynda Chalker (Cons), Minister of State for Overseas Development (Foreign Office). Suma was head of AID Policy and Resources. In 1996 – when Shami joined the Home Office! – Suma worked in the Treasury. It was the Treasury who, in 1995, paid Mary Wynch a pittance and told her to piss off and not bother them again. Mary had been ruined as a result of misconduct by the Home Office, among others. (See post ‘The Mary Wynch Case – Details’). After that, Suma held a Cabinet Office post with responsibility for creating the new Performance and Innovation Unit to support Blair. He then headed the Economic and Domestic Affairs Secretariat and had a foot in the Dept of Transport, Local Gov’t and Regions. In 2001 it was back to DfID again, where Suma was Director-General for the Regional Development Programmes. He oversaw 1200 staff in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America. Readers may be aware that there have been long standing allegations of corruption at DfID. In Dec 2009 Suma gave evidence at the Iraq Inquiry.

What about Shami’s progress after she joined Liberty? She certainly hit the big time and was feted by the liberal media and the BBC who really loved her. She entertained the nation with accounts of her existence as a diligent schoolgirl from an ethnic minority who had a burning ambition to become a lawyer to seek justice on behalf of the oppressed. She does not explain how a few years working in a corrupt Home Office which had spent years concealing a paedophile gang who murdered some of the witnesses to their activities fitted in to that plan.

Shami’s mask has slipped on occasions though. She is an Alumnus of the LSE and they were so proud of her that they gave her a place on their governing body. She was on there when the LSE received a donation of £1.5 million from Colonel Gaddafi’s son Saef. Shami’s excuse was that she didn’t attend the Council meeting in 2009 when the donation was approved. I did not ever hear her make any public comment about the PhD that the LSE awarded to Saef though – it was alleged to have been written by someone else, I think a member of staff at LSE. Shami was a keen supporter of the lawyer Phil Shiner who was struck off in 2016 for misconduct after he made false allegations of abuse against British troops. After the publication of her book ‘On Liberty’, Shami was sued for libel by Martin Hemming, the former legal advisor to the Ministry of Defence. Shami also famously headed the Inquiry that Jeremy Corbyn set up to investigate the allegations of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party. Shami joined the Labour Party herself at about the same time! Her report concluded that anti-Semitism or Islamophobia weren’t issues in her party. Two months after her report was produced, Jeremy Corbyn put her name forward for a peerage! The Vice-President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews described the situation as a ‘whitewash for peerages scandal’. But Lady Chakrabarti knew all about whitewashes by then – she’d learned at the knee of the best, the Home Office. In Oct 2016 Lady C was appointed Shadow Attorney-General.

As someone with principles, Shami has always made it clear that she opposes grammar schools because she believes that they result in social division and segregation. Shami of course didn’t think of sending her own son to a grammar school. He attends Dulwich College, one of the most exclusive public schools in the UK. I understand that he’s slumming it at Dulwich College after he failed to get into Eton.

Shami lives in Lambeth. Of course.

 

Update On ‘Tainted Blood’ Scandal – The Culprit

In my posts ‘News Round Up, May 10 2017’ and ‘Dr Death’, I discussed the ‘tainted blood’ scandal that is currently causing so much distress to so many in the UK. It has been admitted by the Gov’t that the NHS gave thousands of haemophiliacs, as well as a number of other people, blood products derived from blood donated in the U.S. and that many people were infected with HIV or Hepatitis C as a result. Approx 2000 people have died as a result and many more are living restricted lives. The major catastrophe occurred on Margaret Thatcher’s watch when her Gov’t closed down the MRC lab in the UK, which left the UK entirely dependent on imports from the U.S. Thatcher’s Gov’t were told that this would put NHS patients at serious risk because U.S. blood products frequently originated from drug users or other groups with a high rate of blood borne infections. Thatcher’s Gov’t ploughed ahead nonetheless on the grounds that purchasing blood products from the U.S. would be a cheaper option. Scientific advisors have come forward to confirm that they knew about the risk and that they did tell the Dept of Health at the time. The Minister responsible at the time was Ken Clarke. He is denying that he was ever warned about the possibility of catastrophe. Both David Cameron and Theresa May have refused a public inquiry into the matter.

There is a further twist. Some scientists have claimed that they warned the Dept of Health back in the 70s of the dangers of using unscreened blood products – the danger then was perceived to be what is now termed Hepatitis C because no-one knew about HIV. Dr David Owen has been telling anyone who will listen that in 1976 he warned that Britain should be aiming to be self-sufficient in blood products. Yet Dr Death claims that the archived files that he kept concerning this matter have ‘disappeared’ and he suspects a Civil Service cover-up – and poor old Dr Death’s memory is a bit shaky and now he can’t remember the relevant details. Yet Anita Roddick’s daughter Sam has told the press that her mum contracted Hepatitis C (from which she died many years later) during a blood transfusion at the time of Sam’s birth – in 1970. So the NHS has been lethally infecting people for a long time.

Well I’m delighted to say that once more ‘Service Shenanigans’ can shed light where it seems that nobody else can. Although I have to fess up to gaining my information from none other but Ken Clarke, the Minister of State for Health in Thatcher’s Gov’t when the ‘advice’ from the scientists regarding the safety or otherwise of U.S. blood products was given. I have found this out from Ken Clarke’s autobiography ‘Kind of Blue’, which I am currently reading. Ken makes it quite clear. In chapter nine he states that the matter of blood products was ‘regarded as a small specialist area of activity and was handled by Simon Glenarthur, Parliamentary Under-Secretary in the Lords. Simon behaved impeccably throughout the crisis but unfortunately he acted on the medical and scientific advice given to him which was not based on full knowledge of the dangers’. Ken tells us that there has now been a number of investigations and ‘Simon’s reputation has always emerged unscathed as he quite correctly acted conscientiously in the light of the scientific advice available to him’.

So the man responsible is Lord Simon Glenarthur. Now Ken is blaming it all on unidentified medical and scientific advisors to Simon. Which is seriously weird because those scientific advisors themselves maintain that they warned the DoH of the dangers. Glenarthur was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary in 1983. Dr Death in 1976 admitted that NHS patients were being put at risk. The world knew all about blood borne infections in 1983 – I was an undergrad then and I knew about them, so I’m absolutely sure that Simon’s medical and scientific advisors did. So either the medical and scientific advisors are telling porkies and they didn’t warn Simon, or Simon and/or Ken are telling porkies – or Simon ignored the advice and now won’t fess up.

Ken refers to Simon’s ‘unscathed’ reputation. How unscathed is Simon Glenarthur’s reputation? Well he ended up in a bit of bother in 2012, but blamed that on someone else as well. Since 2010 Simon Glenarthur has been a Governor and Trustee of King Edward VII’s Hospital Sister Agnes. Readers might remember that in 2012 when pregnant with Prince George, Princess Middleton suffered from very severe pregnancy-induced sickness and spent some time in King Edward VII Hospital. Whilst she was a patient there, two Australian shock-jocks rang the hospital pretending to be ringing from Buck House, imitated a corgi barking in the background and asked after Princess Middleton’s health. The nurse who took the call, Jacintha Saldanha, didn’t cotton on to what was happening and passed on some fairly benign information. The shock-jocks broadcast the call, a major diplomatic incident followed and Jacintha killed herself. At some point during all this, a pompous man stood outside of the hospital and faced the TV cameras. Next to the pompous man was another even more pompous man who remained silent but who glowered in an intimidating manner at the camera. The pompous man with the speaking part said ‘This is Lord Glenarthur. He is our Chairman’ and then read out a prepared statement. The message was clear – I’ve got a Lord with me and no-one is going to touch us for this.

Lord Glenarthur subsequently wrote a letter to the Australian radio station involved stating that it was ‘truly appalling’ that the call had been approved by the station’s management before broadcast. But there were a number of other truly appalling things as well. It was truly appalling that one of London’s allegedly most elite hospitals didn’t employ anyone to answer telephone calls and that this was left to the nurse on duty who was actually looking after Princess Middleton at the same time. How much did Princess Middleton pay for her care there I wonder? What is Simon Glenarthur’s remuneration as a Trustee and Governor? I note that when the hospital management wanted to intimidate everyone they referred to Simon as their Chairman, although that doesn’t appear on his wiki page. Is he still the Chairman? Indeed was he then, or was that a porkie? Other appalling things were revealed in the press following Jacintha’s suicide – that she was working very long hours for little pay; that she lived in Bristol and was commuting to London and was exhausted; that she was terrified of the hospital’s management. Then a news story appeared claiming that Jacintha had suffered from depression and had attempted suicide previously. Her family denied this. Nothing was ever clarified. One thing is fairly obvious though – that Lord and his mates were too busy covering their own arses to provide sufficient support and reassurance to Jacintha. And when she became so distressed that she killed herself, rather than address her working conditions Lord simply made it public that he’d given the radio station a bollocking.

For a man whose decision regarding blood products resulted in the death of thousands of people, Lord hasn’t done too badly for himself. Since 2002 he has been Director of the MDU (Medical Defence Union). That is the MDU that refused to compensate the victims of Ian Paterson, the rogue breast surgeon who was recently imprisoned for wounding hundreds of patients – after of course it failed to stop his criminal activity in the first place. It is also the MDU who provided Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) with free legal advice from Ann Ball, a solicitor from Hempsons and Sir Robert Francis QC, a barrister, in order to bring a court case against me, although they knew that Francis was perjuring himself and that he and his colleague Dr Dafydd Alun Jones were involved in criminal activity themselves (see post ‘The Sordid Role Of Sir Robert Francis QC’).

But Lord has many strings to his bow. Here’s a resume:

Simon Glenarthur is one of 90 hereditary peers in the Lords. He sits as a Conservative. He went to Eton, then joined The Royal Hussars, then served in the Territorial Army. He was a Captain for British Airways Helicopters 1976-82; a Government Whip in 1982; appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health in 1983. After this he worked in the Home Office, he was then Minister of State for Scotland in 1986 and then Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs 1987-89.

He was a Director of Aberdeen and Texas Corporate Finance Ltd 1977-82; a Director of ABTEX Computer Systems Ltd 1979-82; Senior Executive of Hanson plc 1989-96; Deputy Chair of Hanson Pacific Ltd 1994-98; a Director of Whirly Bird Services Ltd 1995-2004; Consultant for British Aerospace 1989-99; President of the National Council for Civil Protection 1991-03; Chair, British Helicopter Advisory Board 1992-2004 and President since 2004; a Director of the Lewis Group 1993-94; Consultant for Chevron UK Ltd 1994-97; a Director of Millennium Chemicals 1996-2004; Consultant for Imperial Tobacco 1996-98; Chair of the European Helicopter Association 1996-2003; Chair of the International Federation of the Helicopter Association 1997-2004; a Governor of Nuffield Hospitals since 2000; since 2002 Honorary Colonel of 306 Field Hospital; since 2004 Honorary Air Commodore of 612 Squadron, Royal Auxilliary Air Force; in 1992 he was made a Freeman of the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators; in 1996 he became a Liveryman; in 1978 he became a member of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport Service and then became a Fellow in 1999; since 1992 he has been a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society; since 1996 a Freeman of the City of London; Consultant to Audax Trading Ltd 2001-02 and a Director 2003-05; in 2001 he became a Commissioner of the Royal Chelsea Hospital; in 2005 a Director of Audax Global; since 1994 a Council Member of the Air League; a Member of the National Employers Liaison Committee for Her Majesty’s Reserve Forces 1996-02; in 2002 appointed Chair of the National Employer Advisory Board for Britain’s Reserve Forces. Simon is also a Lieutenant of the Royal Company of Archers.

That’s quite a CV for someone whose rash decision led to the deaths of 2000 people at an early point in his career. I’m not at all sure that he should be trusted with all those flying machines.

Corruption Bay Special

Yesterday’s post ‘I Want Serious Money Now’ told the story of the way in which the former Secretary of State for Wales Nicholas Edwardes aka Lord Crickhowell and his mates siphoned off millions of pounds from public funds to fuel their business interests during the development of Cardiff Bay, at a time when Wales was on it’s knees. I speculated that the reason why no opposition politicians either in Wales or London blew the whistle on Edwardes’s scam was that they too had been involved in concealing the paedophile ring in north Wales which Edwardes had concealed for years whilst he was Secretary of State for Wales. That paedophile gang was supplying boys to the Westminster Paedophile Ring, so there was a lot at stake for some very powerful people and the hordes feeding off them.

Since finishing yesterday’s post, I have researched a few of Edwardes’ friends and colleagues involved in the development of Corruption Bay and I think it’s worth publishing what I’ve discovered – so here’s a Corruption Bay Special.

The man who so ably assisted Nicholas Edwardes was his friend Sir Geoffrey Inkin, who was Chairman of the Cardiff Bay Development Corporation (CBDC), 1987-2000. I mentioned yesterday how Geoffrey was also Chairman of the Land Agency for Wales, 1987-88. LAW was an organisation that acquired land for development. As with Edwardes’ role in the development of Corruption Bay, there seems to be many conflicts of interest in evidence. But look what else I’ve discovered – not only was Inkin, like Edwardes, a Board member of the Welsh National Opera (there was a massive attempt to press for the building of an Opera House in Cardiff Bay), but Geoffrey was also a member of Gwent County Council, 1977-83 and a member of Gwent Police Authority. Regular readers will remember my posts and the comments from my reader Richard concerning the corruption that was rife in the South Wales Police in the 70s, 80s and 90s and the miscarriages of justice that resulted. In my post ‘A Future Leader Of The Labour Party?’ I described the collapse in south Wales of the biggest police corruption trial held on mainland Britain after the helpful intervention of the DPP Keir Starmer and Sir Nigel Sweeney, the judge. Geoffrey Inkin was a lay member of the Judicial Appointments Commission for England and Wales.

Inkin died in 2013 and after his death BBC News Online reported on his success in leading the development of Corruption Bay, stating that ‘homes, offices and leisure facilities sprung up along the waterfront’ – as if by magic. ‘I Want Serious Money Now’ explained how there was nothing magical about any of it, the development was very carefully planned and engineered from the outset. Furthermore, Geoffrey certainly seems to have pulled out all the stops, using his extensive network to drum up business – including his connections to Cardiff Chamber of Commerce and Cardiff Business Club. Geoffrey was the former Chair of Cardiff Business Club. Articles about Geoffrey nearly always refer to his ‘physical presence’ and how this ‘helped’ him achieve what he wanted – he was a ‘giant of a man’. What did he do, threaten to thump people if they didn’t agree to locate their businesses in Corruption Bay??

Inkin’s obituaries mention the ‘considerable opposition’ that there was to the Corruption Bay development – environmentalists were horrified because of the destruction of the distinctive habitat that the mudflats provided and a lot of people, including Rhodri Morgan, were very cynical regarding the economic benefits. (Rhodri turned out to right on that one – Cardiff Bay itself is great, but it’s done bugger all for the rest of Wales, even the valleys a few miles down the road.) Yet the adulation of Geoffrey and his alleged achievements continue to be touted. One ‘leading local businessman’ commented that Corruption Bay had helped ‘lift Cardiff up by it’s coat tails’ and Andrew R.T. Davies, leader of the Welsh Conservatives, said that Inkin was ‘rightfully credited with what remains one of the greatest acclaimed redevelopments in Europe’ (it was certainly the most demanding of the taxpayer). South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Alun Michael claimed that Inkin had ‘made a considerable contribution to ensuring the success of the Cardiff Bay barrage and rebuilding the economy of the southern area of Cardiff’. Ah – the ‘southern area of Cardiff’. So the benefits of the £500 million plus that Inkin and his mates extracted from public funds are pretty localised then.

Geoffrey had another pal who must have been very useful when it came to realising his business ambitions – Lord David Rowe-Beddoe, described as a ‘close friend’. Rowe-Beddoe was Chair of the Welsh Development Agency (WDA) at the time of the development of Corruption Bay! The WDA of course – despite being robustly promoted by Thatcher – became a byword for corruption, incompetence and all-round dodgy dealing and was wound up in 2006 after many embarrassments. Rowe-Beddoe hailed Inkin as a ‘visionary’ and stated that ‘what we have today is really a part of what he was able to achieve’. What we have today – a glittering development enjoyed by tourists and day trippers and a few people fortunate enough to afford flats in the Bay, whilst much of Wales still lives in’t cardboard box in middle of t’ road. But not Nicholas Edwardes and his mates obviously.

Was Geoffrey Inkin a Billy Butlin, a man who started off with a handcart and achieved greatness in business entirely as a result of his own efforts? Not really. He was the son of a banker and before he milked the British taxpayer he pursued a career in the British Army. After Sandhurst he joined the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. As with his achievements in business, we are reassured that in the Army too Inkin achieved great things. As their commanding officer in 1973 he led the 1st Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers in a tour of Londonderry, as the height of the Troubles, barely a month after Bloody Sunday. There are indications that something gruesome might have happened during that tour of duty. Vague mentions of ‘difficulties’ were made and  in Dec 1973 Inkin was awarded an OBE ‘in recognition of distinguished services in Northern Ireland between 1 May 1973 and 31 July 1973’. In 1974 ‘to some surprise and disappointment’ Inkin ‘chose to leave with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel to pursue farming and commercial interests’. It is stated that he became a dairy farmer in Monmouth, although I doubt that he actually milked the cows himself. Nowhere is there an explanation of why this man who had been a soldier for many years and was tipped as a future general suddenly bowed out after being decorated a number of times and mentioned in dispatches early in his career.

In 1979 Inkin stood as the Conservative candidate in Ebbw Vale, against Michael Foot.

In April 1983 he was appointed Deputy Lieutenant of Gwent and in 1987 Hugh Sheriff of Gwent. He was knighted in 1993.

Although Wales has really seen very little for the hundreds of millions of public funds that were poured into the hungry mouths of Inkin, Edwardes et al, I’m glad to say that Farmer Inkin and his dairy cows obviously did OK for themselves. In July 2005 Wales Online ran a feature entitled ‘Is This The Most Expensive House In Wales?’ excitedly reporting on a Grade II listed property in Monmouthshire, Court St Lawrence, that was for sale at a price of £2.25 million, believed to be the most expensive house ever sold in Wales. So who lived in a house like that? It was Geoffrey Inkin and his wife Susan of course. Not that Geoffrey was mentioned in the article – although Susan and Geoffrey’s sons Charles and Edmund featured, along with a free plug for their restaurant ‘The Felin Fach Griffin’. Perhaps someone considered it best not to mention that horny handed son of the soil Geoffrey, lest someone else reminded everyone of how much public money was given to Inkin’s business. Despite having done so much for Wales and it’s people, Geoffrey and Susan obviously didn’t expect anyone from Wales to buy Court St Lawrence, because they advertised it with Lane Fox, an estate agent in London. Among the house’s many features there was a ‘walk-in drinks cupboard’ and a ‘flower room’, ie. room with a sink, especially for the preparation of flowers. So whilst Geoffrey got pissed, Lady Susan could busy herself with the flower arranging.

Not that Lady Susan spends all her time flower arranging. She sits on St Brides Community Council, was Chair of the Governors at Haberdashers’ Girls School and is a Board Member of the English Speaking Union of the Commonwealth (which does things like teach young people how to prepare for delivering speeches in the House of Lords – yes, really, have a look at their website). The president of the ESU is Princess Ann and the Patron is HM the Queen. The Chairman is a man who has previously featured on the blog, who knows all about the criminal activities of the mental health services in north Wales and the paedophile ring, Lord Paul Boateng (see post ‘Tower Hamlets, Paul Boateng and Tessa Jowell’).

Like Geoffrey, Susan had a stab at standing for Parliament.  She was the Conservative candidate for the Vale of Glamorgan in 2001. The ‘election prediction project website’ predicted a Labour win but gleefully mentioned that Labour had lost control of the Vale of Glamorgan Council after the furore about the Council Leader’s misuse of the Council Credit Card. I know that he shouldn’t have misused the Council Credit Card but I very much doubt that he managed to extract £500 fucking million out of it a la Geoffrey Inkin and Corruption Bay.

Geoffrey’s obituaries all mentioned his strong support for the armed forces and how he took over as Chair of the Army Benevolent Fund from one Tasker Watkins.

 

Tasker Watkins – described by some toadies as ‘The Greatest Living Welshman’ – is a name from the past. Tasker died in 2007. He was a Welsh lawyer and reached the heights of Lord Justice of Appeal and Deputy Lord Chief Justice.

Tasker Watkins came to prominence in 1966 when he acted as Counsel to the Tribunal of Inquiry into the Aberfan Disaster. He also presided over some of the trials of Welsh activists who took direct action.

I have provided many examples in previous blog posts of corruption among lawyers – there has been a major problem with corruption on the Chester and Wales Circuit stretching back decades. Tasker Watkins was Leader of that Circuit in 1970-71 and Presiding Judge of the Chester and Wales Circuit from 1975 until he was promoted to the Court of Appeal in 1980. He was Chairman of the Mental Health Review Tribunal, Wales Region 1960-71. Between 1977-80 he was Chairman of the Judicial Studies Board and between 1987-98 President of the University of Wales College of Medicine aka Cardiff Medical School. He retired from the bench in 1993 and between 1993-2004 was President of the Welsh Rugby Union. Tasker Watkins was President of the British Legion 1947-68 and a member of the TA Association of Glamorgan and Wales.

Tasker was Deputy Lieutenant of Glamorgan in 1956, Honorary Deputy Lieutenant of Wales in 1979 and of Glamorgan in 1996. He was appointed an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1992.

Just before he was appointed to the High Court in 1971, Tasker Watkins headed the Inquiry for the DHSS into the running of Farleigh Hospital, Somerset, a psychiatric hospital in Bristol. This Inquiry followed the imprisonment of two nurses – I have not been able to find details of the abuses at Farleigh, but to have elicited a Public Inquiry back then, things will have been very bad. I have found references to it being discussed by Keith Joseph in Hansard – of course the discussion was framed in terms of the problems that nurses encounter handling ‘violent, disturbed’ patients. I can imagine the accusations made by the staff as they covered their tracks. Watkins’s Inquiry produced recommendations for the handling of ‘violent patients’ by nurses.

In 1990 Tasker was a member of the divisional court which rejected the claim by Pat Pottle and Michael Randall – who had assisted the escape of the spy George Blake – that the delay in prosecuting them was an abuse of legal process. The legal process as applied to Pottle and Randall was somewhat farcical anyway, as was the conduct of the police with regard to them and their families – in July 1991 after yet another farce that was their trial, Pottle and Randall were cleared.

Whilst addressing the National Assembly for Wales in 2007, Lord Chief Justice Phillips commented ‘Thank God for Tasker’, when remembering how the Beeching Commission suggested that the Chester and Wales Circuit should be split into two and annexed to Bristol and Manchester. This happened whilst Tasker was Leader of that Circuit and he seems to have taken the credit for stopping the implementation of the Commission’s suggestion.

The documented history of Tasker Watkins is that of a Welsh hero, with allegations that he was so fantastic that at one point he was offered a safe seat in Parliament in order to enable him to become Prime Minister, but he turned down this opportunity. What I notice from Tasker Watkins’s biography however is that the Leader of a Circuit known to be riddled with corruption prevented it from being broken up. He was Chairman of the Mental Health Review Tribunal in Wales throughout the 60s, spanning the Lobotomy Years of Gwynne and Dafydd at the North Wales Hospital Denbigh – considering how many people were banged up there unlawfully in the late 70s and 80s, one can only speculate as to how many were incarcerated illegally when Tasker reigned over the Review Tribunal. Of course, Denbigh was known to be rife with violence and the sexual and financial abuse of patients as well. It was mentioned in the discussions of the terrible abuse of patients at Ely Hospital in the late 60s that conditions at the North Wales Hospital Denbigh were worse. Whilst Tasker Chaired that Tribunal, Gwynne and Dafydd abused whoever they wanted in whatever way they chose. I presume that Tasker never raised any objections. Perhaps this was why Tasker was chosen to lead the Farleigh Inquiry – God only knows the horrors that were prevailing there, but was Tasker appointed because he could be relied upon to frame the problem as one of nurses not knowing what to do with ‘violent, disturbed patients’ and thus overstepping the mark?

Whilst I was briefly looking for information relating to the Farleigh Inquiry, I found a list of Public Inquiries that were held in the UK during the 60s, 70s and 80s into the abuse of patients in psychiatric hospitals. I had heard of some of them, such as those concerning Ely Hospital or Brookwood Hospital, but there were a number that I had not known about. Then it hit me. The practices and conditions at the North Wales Hospital Denbigh were known to have been worse than even the conditions and practices of institutions subject to those Inquiries. In the early 1980s legal history was made when Mary Wynch became the first person to obtain leave from the Court of Appeal to sue a psychiatrist for unlawfully detaining them – Mary of course sued Dafydd and Clwyd Health Authority after being unlawfully imprisoned in the North Wales Hospital. Yet there was at no time any Public Inquiry or even a suggestion of one into the North Wales Hospital.  Probably because it was known to be the institution dealing with anyone who dared complain about the paedophile gang that was supplying the Westminster Paedophile Ring.

Something else about Tasker. He was a lawyer through and through. With the exception of his Chairing of the Mental Health Review Tribunal, which is always done by legal professionals, Tasker had no background or professional responsibilities with Top Doctors. Yet between 1987-1998 he was President of the Medical School at Cardiff. There were problems in that institution and they were building up during those years – and finally hit the media in a series of scandals. Tasker was appointed an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1992. There was one very high profile man in north Wales who in the late 80s covered up the barrel of shit that was Dafydd Alun Jones, Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) and their criminal activities (see post ‘Enter Professor Robert Bluglass CBE’). That was Professor Robert Owen, the Medical Ombudsman from the Welsh Office. He was Professor of Surgery at Cardiff Medical School – and a leading light in the Royal College of Surgeons. As for Tasker’s involvement with the Army and it’s veterans – why did he never speak out about a man who was known to be assisting people to fraudulently claim Army pensions, who was claiming funding for treating veterans with PTSD when they were very often simply people with drug and alcohol problems who had got into trouble with the law and who gave evidence to a Parliamentary Committee regarding veterans mental health despite being utterly disgraced by then, a Dr Dafydd Alun Jones?

Tasker was born in another era, but he remained active well into this millennium. By then Dafydd and the scam that was his ‘treatment’ of veterans had become public and there had been a police investigation and a Public Inquiry into a paedophile ring in north Wales that had existed for decades. The Greatest Living Welshman remained silent throughout.

 

Now for further background on Lord David Rowe-Beddoe, the ‘close friend’ of Geoffrey Inkin and Chair of the WDA. Rowe-Beddoe was given a peerage in 2006 and sits as a crossbencher. He was Chairman of Cardiff Airport until Nov 2016.

Rowe-Beddoe was CEO of Thomas De La Rue 1971-76, the President (Latin America, Europe, Middle East and Africa) of Revlon 1976-81 and President, Morgan Stanley-GFTA Ltd 1983-91. Wiki states that Rowe-Beddoe was ‘known as a Monaco-based businessman’ and Tory Party fundraiser when an ‘opportunity arose for him to be appointed to a Welsh quango’ (how many people find that such opportunities just pop up, particularly if they’re living in Monaco at the time?) and ‘that opportunity led to others’ (yes, I guessed that it would). In July 1993 Rowe-Beddoe was appointed Chair of the WDA for a nine year term. In 2001 he became Chairman of the Wales Millennium Centre where he remains today – the Millennium Centre was part of the Corruption Bay development led by his mate Geoffrey. In 2004 Rowe-Beddoe was appointed President of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, having previously been a Governor and then Chairman of the Board there. In 2005 he was awarded the Beacon Prize for Wales for his contribution to the economic and social development of Wales and in 2007 Rowe-Beddoe became Pro-Chancellor of the University of Glamorgan. The University of Glamorgan has awarded an honorary doctorate of Laws to Lord Morris of Aberavon (see post ‘Oh To Be In Receipt of Academic Honours’). Lord Morris of Aberavon was Secretary of State for Wales in 1975 when the WDA was established under him and knew about the wrongdoing in the North Wales Hospital Denbigh and probably knew much about the paedophile ring that was being concealed by the North Wales Hospital as well.

Between 2002- 2012, David Rowe-Beddoe was Chairman of the Representative Body of the Church In Wales, the charitable trust that holds the Church’s assets. The Archbishop of Wales Barry Morgan, whilst praising Rowe-Beddoe’s efforts, stated that Rowe-Beddoe ‘realised that running a Church is not the same as running a business’. No, the Church doesn’t have quite as much money from public funds given to it as the WDA and their associates did. I do seem to remember as well that there was a bit of grief in the Church not so long ago when it was discovered that some of their dosh had been invested in some very unethical ways.

David is also the Chairman of the Advisory Committee of the St David’s Awards. He is at present the Deputy Chair of the UK Statistics Authority, which is responsible for the Government’s Office of National Statistics. In 2008 the former Permanent Secretary at the Welsh Office Sir Nicholas Scholar was appointed Chair of the UK Statistics Authority.

David is the Deputy Lieutenant of Gwent. As a lot of people involved with the development of Corruption Bay seem to have been.

There is much boasting about the WDA and it’s successes. For example, that along with South Glamorgan Council it helped establish Admiral Insurance plc. I’m not sure why, but Third sector organisations in Cardiff trip over themselves to toady to Admiral in the hope that Admiral will give them some dosh. Perhaps Admiral is simply continuing the generosity, having been given so much dosh themselves by the WDA. The WDA also contributed to the building of the Millennium Stadium – of which the former Chair of the WDA Rowe-Beddoe is now Chair. The WDA ‘formed partnerships with 22 local authorities in the mid-90s’ which allegedly lead to urban regeneration via Town Improvement Grants – although none of it made much difference. But that was always the allegation levelled at the WDA – that it gave money to businesses from overseas which arrived in Wales and employed people for a short while in low skilled poorly paid jobs and once the business concerned had hovered up all the dosh from the WDA, it was up and off back home to Japan or wherever.

People resident in Wales in the early 1990s however will never forget the WDA. Even I knew about the shenanigans at the WDA and I was neither in Cardiff or in business. It all started with film footage of Margaret Thatcher dragging a youngish man along by the arm, yelling at the cameras ‘isn’t he wonderful? Isn’t he just splendid?’, robustly maintaining that this man was the future for Wales and that he was where it was at. The man concerned was Dr Gwyn Jones, the then Chairman of the WDA. Peter Walker, Secretary of State for Wales, had met Gwyn, a ‘businessman’, at a Conservative Party fundraising lunch and had rather rashly given him the job of WDA Chair. Things subsequently became difficult and Gwyn resigned in 1992 just ahead of the Commons Public Accounts Committee Report.

The Report revealed that between 1989-92, the WDA had made illegal redundancy payments totalling £1.4 million; that a £228,000 non-disclosure payment had been made to a former executive who had been sacked in 1991; that free private motoring for Board members had been provided between 1984-92; that a £16,895 WDA rural development payment to Gwyn himself had been made – Gwyn had used it for something else without informing the WDA but was never asked to repay it, even after a WDA inspector found out about it; that WDA Director’s had been flying on Concorde; that public money – £308,000 – had been used to investigate the possibility of a buyout which would have privatised the agency; and that ‘many irregularities’ were discovered when the Auditor General examined the WDA’s accounts.

It was also revealed that Gwyn had employed someone who was sacked for poor performance but was allowed to take £53k worth of office equipment with him. Gwyn had appointed another man as a Marketing Director but no-one at the WDA checked his CV and it transpired that the CV was fraudulent and that he was a discharged bankrupt – he was later investigated by the police and was imprisoned after being convicted of theft and deception.

After these ‘governance issues’, Rowe-Beddoe was appointed as Chair in 1993. He ordered an Inquiry, led by Sir John Caines in late 1993, which resulted in the appointment of new executives. These included a new Legal Director and a new Agency Secretary in 1994, who worked with the National Audit Office and Welsh Office under Sir Michael Scholar in 1994-96 (for info on the numerous pies in which Michael Scholar has fingers, see post ‘So Who Was It Exactly Who Appointed The Corrupt Old Bastard?’). The WDA reported to Secretaries of State for Wales John Redwood, David Hunt and William Hague. Hunt and Hague were of course responsible for concealing the wrongdoing in the mental health services in north Wales and Hague organised the mother of all cover-ups concerning the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal, ie. the Waterhouse Inquiry.

On 1 April 2006 the WDA was abolished. At the same time two other ne’er do wells, the Wales Tourist Board and ELWa, were merged into the Welsh Gov’t. Dr Peter Higson, the current Chair of the Betsi Board, was part of the disaster that was ELWa. The Minister for the Economy and Transport whilst all this was going on was Ieuan Wyn Jones, another lawyer who knew all about the abuses and criminal activity at the North Wales Hospital but preferred to remain silent and stand for election for Denbigh instead.

 

In spite of the high profile embarrassment that was the WDA and the supply of scandal that emanated from it, the ‘business community’ in Cardiff never forgot the largesse of the WDA – who can blame them, even the NHS isn’t a trough of that depth – and they constantly bellyached for it’s return. In Feb 2011 the House of Commons Welsh Affairs Committee stated that the abolition of the WDA ‘reduced Wales’s visibility’ in the ‘global marketplace’. They maintained that the WDA ‘remains one of the most recognisable Welsh brands’ – yes, companies based in the Far East never forgot the mugs in the UK who gave them millions of pounds to set up shop in warehouses in Wales and pay the locals appallingly. Conservatives in the Senedd stated that they ‘regretted’ the passing of the WDA – in response, Edwina Hart, the Minister for Business, Enterprise, Technology and Science, accused them of ‘wanting to revisit the past’. No Edwina, it was the open chequebook that they wanted to revisit. If they really revisited the past, they’d find that the effective running of a business does not necessitate making friends with the Secretary of State, going into business with him and his mates who are Chairing state-sponsored organisations and subsequently siphoning off millions of pounds of public funds.

In March 2013 Professor Brian Morgan, Director of Cardiff University’s School of Management’s Creative Leadership and Enterprise Centre, stated that the closure of the WDA would ‘go down in history as the worst policy decision made in Wales in living memory’. ‘Research’ by Cardiff Business Partnership called for a unified Welsh agency to ‘attract inward investment’. Shadow Business Secretary Nick Ramsay quoted Cardiff Business School and accused the Welsh Gov’t of frequently blaming all ills on Westminster. Well Nick, if you look at the roots of the massive con that was Corruption Bay which swallowed millions of quid whilst leaving the rest of Wales on the bread line, you will find that it’s origins were firmly in the Westminster Gov’t. As were the roots of the Great Paedophile Cover-Up. Dafydd and Lucille would never have got away with it all if Westminster hadn’t have been concealing the dung heap whilst at the same time pointing at Wales and saying ‘well what else can we expect from them?’

All that can be said of Gwyn Jones was that unlike that other hero of Thatcher’s, Jimmy Savile, at least he wasn’t a child molester. Perhaps if he had have been, she’d have personally lobbied for him to be given a knighthood and invited him to Chequers for Christmas as well.

So what became of Gwyn, after he brought the WDA into complete disrepute and made a laughing stock of Wales’s ‘business community’? Gwyn is working in the University of Leicester’s School of Management of course, teaching on their MBA course! He is also a visiting Professor at Essex and Aberystwyth. He describes himself as a ‘businessman and experienced Chairman, Director and non-executive Director’. Gwyn’s areas of expertise are ‘Innovation, Entrepreneurial Management, leadership and change’. He states that he has been a BBC Governor and ‘helped bring commercial rigour’ into the boardroom. So that’s why the fur is flying in the wake of revelations that Claudia is only on £500k, whilst poor poverty-stricken Tess is on even less – £300k – but Chris Evans trousers £2 million. Gwyn has also been a member of the S4C authority – the not very successful S4C whom it is alleged distributes commissions on the basis of extreme cronyism.

The saddest thing about Gwyn’s glorious career isn’t it’s utter pointlessness – it is that Gwyn can actually do a Real Thing. According to Gwyn’s biography, he has a degree in computing (unless of course he’s made that up as well). So why the hell is he farting around being a leader in Innovation and Change a la a particularly dreadful NHS manager on the Betsi Board whom we know and love?

 

I have a theory that in the way that Fergus Lowe spawned a whole generation of psychologists in Bangor University to believe that the route to success as an academic was to bully, to lie, to cheat and to plagiarise (see post ‘He’s Not The Messiah, He’s a Very Naughty Boy’), the WDA and it’s mates had a similarly corrosive effect on the notion of what constitutes ‘business’ in Wales.  They propagated the idea that ‘business’ means pompousing like there’s no tomorrow and boasting in a grandiose manner about one’s very limited achievements and status whilst being in receipt of huge quantities of dosh from the Gov’t because your business isn’t actually viable and would soon go tits up without regular bail outs.

Whilst I worked at Bangor University I spent a very entertaining few years watching the activities of a man called Colyn Gardner. Like Gwyn Jones at the WDA, once witnessed Colyn’s ‘business practices’ could never be forgotten. In the early 1990s, Colyn had been an ‘executive’ at the WDA. I presume that he was one of those who was kicked out.

Colyn was the Chief Exec of the Management Centre which was in some way linked to Bangor Business School but I never worked out how. The Management Centre was housed in a lovely old building which had been renovated – I think with EU funding – just for them, so they had a pretty big head start. Attached to the Management Centre was an accommodation block of very nice rooms looking out over the Menai Strait. It was by far the best place to stay in Bangor, but when it first opened the rooms were so highly priced – even by the standard of highly priced rooms – that no-one could afford to stay there, so the rooms remained unbooked. The Management Centre also housed a café, which was where Colyn could be observed. Colyn spent most of his time dressed up in an expensive suit, sporting what one of the PhD students called a ‘posh hairstyle’, sitting in the café drinking coffee with his mate, the Head of the Business School, an utter tosspot, Ted Gardiner. They were routinely referred to as ‘Ted and Colyn’ and even signed themselves as such on a letter, causing someone to observe that they sounded like a couple celebrating their civil partnership. Colyn drove a ridiculous car which could be best described as a batmobile, a black thing with a personalised numberplate ending in ‘666’ no less. Upon taking up his post as CEO, not only did Colyn insist on a reserved parking space – which no-one else in the University did at all, not even the VC – but the specific parking space that he demanded was a disabled space. So Colyn ordered a slave to get out in the car park with a blow torch and burn off the paint demarking it as a disabled space.

Upon his arrival at Bangor Colyn let it be known that he was used to much better things and we were all very lucky to have him. An article appeared in the local paper constructing him as some sort of jet-setting businessman, the like of which Bangor had never seen before. Which was odd because it soon became obvious that not only was Colyn deeply unpleasant and someone who routinely broke all employment legislation – he ended up being successfully sued for disability discrimination – but Colyn had no idea how to manage anything. Because no-one was booking into the rooms and he hadn’t actually launched any management courses, all Colyn had to do was get the café up and running, but that was clearly beyond him. He bullied and hectored the café assistants but wouldn’t actually show them how to do anything or use the equipment, so they were both anxious and at sea. In the end everyone gave up, stopped going over there because it would take at least 25 mins to be served with even just a coffee and went elsewhere. Then Ted started sending e mails around to everyone virtually ordering them to use the café.

After some months, the accommodation actually received some bookings. One of the members of staff there was in my Welsh class and they had previously worked in a busy hotel in Llandudno. This person thought it was hilarious that Colyn was panicking at the idea that five guests would all need breakfast at once and he wasn’t sure how to manage it.

Ted and Colyn then opened the Bangor Business Club, which Colyn had so obviously modelled on the fuckwittery at Cardiff from his WDA days. They placed notices around the Management Centre, but they weren’t welcoming notices. They were rude, pompous notices stressing that the Business Club was by Invitation Only and NO-ONE else would be allowed in. Having no desire to join a Business Club run by Ted and Colyn, I didn’t take much notice of this. However I did a few months later when people were rolling around laughing because no-one had joined the Business Club, so Ted and Colyn had sent out an e mail to half of the University asking them if they’d like to join the Business Club – only demanding payment. Unsurprisingly no-one joined. Further e mails followed, advertising the delights of the Business Club Bar which was open to senior staff from the Business School ONLY. Ted and Colyn really knew how to piss people off and alienate them. The Business Club died a death. The café struggled on and it was painful to witness. Rumours started flying that the Management Centre was losing a great deal of money.

Ted and Colyn tried launching various other initiatives, but they always made the same mistake. Although they were located in a small town like Bangor and in a University, everything they organised was grandiose and pompous with the message that ‘plebs are not welcome’. And as huge swathes of the University staff liked to identify with plebs not a pair of madmen deluding themselves that they were Rupert Murdoch when they couldn’t even run a small café, no-one joined in anything that Ted and Colyn did.

Colyn then launched an MBA. I knew one genuine businessman who completed it. But enrolment numbers were low – by now Colyn had insulted and offended so many people that word had got around the wider community that Colyn was not a man one wanted to have dealings with. So Colyn hit on a wheeze regarding the MBA. He got his wife – who has a different surname to Colyn – to enrol and not let on that she was married to him. Liz – Mrs Gardner – then circulated, telling everyone how good the course was. But Liz had another role as well once people were lured in. Liz was a spy – she reported back to Colyn on any students who raised concerns about the standard of the course. Which of course a number of them did. They were then subjected to a Vicious Attack by Colyn.

Colyn and Ted were constantly dreaming of having merchant bankers knocking at their door and at one point they produced a glossy brochure which was designed to tempt merchant bankers up from London into the Management Centre. The brochure extolled the virtues of the Management Centre and of course of Bangor and also mentioned that nearby there were mountains that one could climb or go mountain biking on. There was a little map inside the brochure of the London underground with arrows pointing off from Euston station, to indicate that one could catch a train to Bangor. People were crying tears of laughter when they saw this brochure, everyone knows that merchant bankers don’t do effort, but Ted n Colyn presumed that they were going to get on the train at Euston and make their way up to the Management Centre. One of the researchers working at Bangor at that time had a dad who ran a company in London who did a lot of toadying to people working in the City – he was hiring helicopters to take them to France for jollies, but such ideas escaped Ted n Colyn. The daftest idea that Colyn had however was not to refer to the Manager Centre by it’s name, but to call it – for some unfathomable reason – ’53 degrees north’. So the brochure had ’53 degrees north’ all over it but the Management Centre hadn’t actually changed it’s name. So if a merchant banker had come up to Bangor in the second class carriage of the Euston-Holyhead train, they’d have got lost after getting off at Bangor, because no-one would ever know where ’53 degrees north’ was. We then discovered that there was an outdoor adventure shop in Ireland called ’53 degrees north’, so a merchant banker would have got even more confused if they’d tried to google Colyn or use an app or whatever.

Colyn and the Management Centre continued in this vein and people started openly expressing concern as to how much money must be going down the drain. The anecdotes concerning Colyn’s bullying and intimidation of staff in 53 degrees north became increasingly worrying and there were allegations that he was using the services of HR – widely believed to be a corrupt old cow called Lyn Meadows who was the Director of HR and who now sits on the Betsi Board – to access sensitive information about staff and basically blackmail them. There was a member of staff who when they were much younger had developed a drug problem and somehow Colyn had found out about it. This person was living in fear as Colyn held it over them constantly.

At one point – no-one knew HOW – Ted and Colyn actually managed to get a competent person to join their ‘team’. She was the sort of person they dreamed of – a lady called Sandra, who had years ago worked at Deutchebank no less. Ted sent an e mail around boasting of their new acquisition and constantly began name-dropping ‘Sandra from Deutchebank’. I couldn’t understand why anyone on the planet would want to work with Colyn, so I wondered if Sandra from Deutchebank was stringing them along with a false CV or had been kicked out of Deutchebank. But one of my friends started working with her in a different capacity and they said no, she’s really nice, she knows what she’s doing and she’s supposedly come to teach on the courses that Colyn is supposed to be running. Sandra lasted three weeks before she told Colyn to take a running jump and walked out of the job. I was told that she was singularly unimpressed when she witnessed Colyn constantly shouting and swearing at staff and that the last straw was when he did it to her. Another capable manager who walked out of a job with Colyn described him as a ‘smiling alligator’. She was right, Colyn was a total predator.

Eventually the Management Centre was losing so much money and acquiring such a bad reputation that the University authorities moved in. I was told that there was a stand-up row between Colyn and the VC and that Colyn lost. He disappeared shortly after.

Earlier today I googled Colyn, wondering if the spiv had set up another business somewhere. God I had a shock. Colyn, the man who could not run a café, who enrolled his own wife as a student in his MBA course to lie and spy on other students, has done rather more than launch another business. Colyn is now featuring on a website describing himself as Professor Colyn Gardner, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Sunway University and Dean of Sunway Business School, Kuala Lumpar. He describes himself as having had a ‘distinguished academic career’, as having a ‘PhD in Corporate Finance’ from Bangor University (he didn’t have one of those when he was sacked) and that his ‘entire career has been spent either as a practicing banker or a specialist banking industry consultant and a professor of banking’. No mention of failing to run a small café in Bangor then.

Who are Sunway University? How on earth were they conned by a man who very clearly knows nothing about corporate finance? And why would a man with a distinguished academic career bother to include on his web profile a photo of himself when he was at Aberdare Grammar School and details of his rather average A level grades from forty years ago? Furthermore, if Sunway University spend five minutes checking Colyn’s record on the Company Directors’ register, they will find that he has been a director of a whole series of businesses that have all been dissolved within a few years of starting up.

Among his many achievements, Colyn mentions that he has been an advisor to the World Bank. One of Colyn’s former colleagues in the Bangor Business School had also worked for the World Bank. That was John Thornton, the Professor of Global Finance. (What one of those was doing in Bangor I do not know.) John Thornton used to give his home address as being in Washington DC – I guess that he drove into Bangor from there every morning – and when he appeared on the panel at an IWA debate he explained that the most sensible thing for the Westminster Gov’t to do would be to turn Wales into a tax haven, a bit like the Isle of Man. Because according to Thornton, Wales will never be economically viable and it’s best hope is to simply provide nice places to live for people who are either so wealthy that they don’t need to work or who commute over the border into England.  It was at this debate that I read Thornton’s own account of his career history. Whilst he was at the World Bank, he stated that his title was ‘Director of the Western Hemisphere’. He was director of the Western Hemisphere for a few years, which obviously explains why the Western Hemisphere is not in a very good state. When he became Head of Bangor Business School, the Director of the Western Hemisphere passed PhD theses that he knew had been plagiarised and told colleagues to write glowing references for people who had graduated and moved abroad even if the lecturers concerned couldn’t remember who the students were. According to the Director of the Western Hemisphere, students enrolling for courses at Bangor Business School were paying tuition fees in return for a good reference as well as for a good degree.

So that’s business for you – the WDA and World Bank way.

I Want Serious Money Now Please

I switched on the radio earlier but immediately switched it off again, because Gyles Brandreth was on there. I didn’t need to hear him tell the world how brilliant he is or bang on about how he established a Teddy Bear museum, which seems to be mostly what he does during his many appearances on light entertainment shows on TV and radio. Although I am not interested in listening to Brandreth, it did remind me that I need to blog about him, because his former career is relevant to this blog.

Most people know that Brandreth is a former Tory MP, but fewer people know that he was the Tory MP for Chester between 1992-97. In fact Gyles took over the seat from the former MP for Chester Sir Peter Morrison. Regular readers will know that Peter Morrison molested children in care in north Wales. Some of Morrison’s Tory colleagues have admitted that they knew that he was abusing boys and at least one of them has maintained that Thatcher was told about this but she appointed Morrison Deputy Chair of the Conservative Party nonetheless. Brandreth himself is very reluctant to talk about Morrison but has indicated that he knew nothing of Morrison’s activities. How likely is this?

The north Wales paedophile ring was known to extend into Cheshire – even Ronnie Waterhouse admitted that in the Waterhouse Report. John Allen, who owned the Bryn Alyn Community and trafficked the boys in his ‘care’ to brothels in London and Brighton and is currently in prison after being convicted of abusing children in north Wales, owned a children’s home in Cheshire as well. A witness at the Waterhouse Inquiry talked about being taken to a big house near Chester where he was molested. By the time that Brandreth had been elected for Chester, allegations of terrible child abuse in north Wales and Cheshire had recently appeared in the London based media. Brandreth was an author, journalist and broadcaster. His wife was a writer and publisher.  They will not have missed the stories about the paedophile ring in north Wales and Cheshire.

Brandreth will have no doubt heard the stories from other sources as well. Although Brandreth didn’t stand for election until 1992, he is on record as having said that he had always wanted a political career. He was President of the Oxford Union in 1970 and his contemporaries there were Ann Widdecombe and Edwina Currie, who by 1992 had both worked closely with the people who had concealed the activities of the paedophile ring. Brandreth has spoken publicly about the good friendship that he enjoyed with Widdecombe at Oxford. He is a gregarious man who remained friendly with many people active in the Conservative Party – I’m sure that something will have been said to him, particularly when it got around that he was standing for Chester.

Of course, whilst Gyles was MP for Chester, John Jillings and his team conducted their inquiry into the north Wales paedophile ring and then in 1996 all hell broke out when it was announced that the Jillings Report would never be made available because the contents were so incendiary that Clwyd County Council’s insurers’ legal advisors had threatened to withdraw insurance cover if the contents of the Report were made available, even to members of the Council (see post ‘It’s A Piece Of Cake…’). There had also been a police investigation into child abuse in the region and in 1996 William Hague announced that Sir Ronald Waterhouse would be holding a public inquiry into the matter. Just as Brandreth got elected, five people with connections to the north Wales child abuse scandal were killed in an arson attack (see post ‘The Silence of the Welsh Lambs’).

Brandreth never heard any of this discussed????

Perhaps after he was elected, Gyles simply never rubbed noses with anyone who might have known Peter Morrison or who knew about the concerns over his activities? Unlikely – one thing that Brandreth did successfully do whilst he was MP for Chester was campaign for University status for Chester College. Chester were most grateful and in Dec 2016 appointed Brandreth Chancellor of the University of Chester. Campaigning for your local college to acquire University status involves a lot of hobnobbing with precisely the sort of people whose hair will have been standing on end in the wake of the rumours swirling regarding the activities of the recently departed MP.

Brandreth served in John Major’s Gov’t as a Whip and as Lord Commissioner in the Treasury. He’ll have been particularly well-briefed as a Whip – they are notorious for digging up dirt on MPs and using it to coerce people. Brandreth was interviewed by Lynn Barber for the ‘Guardian’ in 2005 and he discussed his ‘exciting’ time as a Whip with her. He stated that as a Whip ‘you often have to smooth people, you have to take them aside and say “you know the PM really loves you.” Then with other people you have to say “Do you know what the message from No 10 is? Fuck off. We’ve had enough. Five years ago we advanced you £10,000 – do you remember that? Just remember that, because we need you in the lobby tonight”‘.

So Gyles didn’t spend all his time talking about Teddy Bears and Scrabble and woolly jumpers then. Imagine what this intimidating shit would be saying if he had knowledge of child sexual abuse among colleagues past and present and he wanted them in the lobby. Of course, John Major’s Gov’t was often on very shaky ground which is why they will have often needed a Whip to carry on in the way in which Gyles boasted of.

Elsewhere in the ‘Guardian’ interview Barber states ‘he says…that everything he does…is a performance’. He explains that his work as an after-dinner speaker is lucrative – the money is good ‘though not as good as Cherie’s’. Indeed money seems very important to Brandreth, or more precisely having a great deal of it is. His wife grumbled about him being a backbench MP on £50,000 pa and when he lost his seat she decided that she’d had enough of the penury that comes with a salary of 50k in a household with other sources of income at the same time and told him ‘I want serious money now please’.

Mrs Brandreth got serious money as well. Brandreth boasts that he lost his seat on the Thursday and started work on LBC on the Saturday. Of course since then the bumptious vacuous bastard has never been off the radio and TV, although he never says anything of substance.  Gyles also decided to try his hand at interviewing, his first try being an interview with the Duke of Edinburgh! It brought him into close proximity with the Royals and associated Courtiers, but Gyles wasn’t at all daunted because he had ‘sat on committees with the Prime Minister’. His interview with Phil the Greek was so successful that it led to a five year contract with the ‘Sunday Telegraph’! At this time of course, Amanda Platell was the press manager for Conservative Central Office and was keeping all the crap relating to the paedophile ring and the Waterhouse Inquiry out of the media (see post ‘Did Glenda Occupy A Key Role In Keeping It All Out Of The Media?’).

Brandreth’s media career really took off after he left Parliament, in the way that the careers of so many of the lawyers who defended the paedophile gang at the Waterhouse Inquiry did after the Waterhouse Report was published (see post ‘This Is What Happened To Nicola, Niclas, Merfyn, Joan and Kathryn’). Was somebody grateful to him for something perhaps? For such a tosser his social occasions really draw in the big names as well. Gyles is President of the Oscar Wilde Society and hosts an annual Oscar Wilde Party – guests have included Camilla Duchess of Cornwall, Stephen Fry, Derek Jacobi, Joanna Lumley and Julian Fellowes.

Toadying interviews conducted with Gyles have remarked on how successful his three children are – one is a barrister, one is a journalist and one is a Gov’t economist. Their paths in life probably wouldn’t have been the same if they had been kids in care being molested by Peter Morrison whilst corrupt lawyers on the Chester and Wales Circuit along with powerful figures in the media and Gov’t concealed it all, but if their dad had information about such matters that could have helped them considerably.

These days Brandreth lives in Barnes in south west London and his name appears on a website listing notable people who live in Richmond-Upon-Thames. Barnes was the location of the brothel the Elm Guest House which was staffed by children in care and where high profile people, including Westminster figures, were alleged to have abused them. At least one boy from the children’s homes in north Wales has stated that he was trafficked to the Elm Guest House and in 2015 the ‘Daily Telegraph’ reported allegations that Peter Morrison had raped a 14 year old boy there. There was also a paedophile ring operating in Richmond-Upon-Thames involving children in local authority care. Dr Alice Levinson, one of the Top Doctors from Springfield Hospital who concealed the criminal activities of the Top Doctors in north Wales whilst they facilitated the paedophile ring, now lives in Richmond-Upon-Thames and has a psychotherapy practice there. Although Alice knew that Dr Dafydd Alun Jones was sexually exploiting patients and that I was suicidal because of Dafydd and Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) constantly having me arrested, she recommended that I be referred to forensic services for ‘containment’. Alice consulted Lucille Hughes for evidence of my ‘dangerousness’ – Lucille was named in the Waterhouse Report as knowing that a paedophile ring was operating in the social services whilst Lucille was Director of Gwynedd Social Services but failed to act. Alice might be a neighbour of Gyles’s!

Brandreth has written a book about his time as an MP. I haven’t read it, but I think that I ought to. However I do know that he has prefaced that book with a quote from PM Arthur Balfour: ‘nothing matters very much and very few things matter at all’.

Some things do matter Gyles. Admittedly not Teddy Bears or woolly jumpers or being the world’s best Scrabble player or getting in the Guinness Book of Records for making the longest after-dinner speech or even your wife’s naked greed – but a vicious paedophile ring with a side-line in pornography and drug dealing and connections in Parliament who are framing innocent people who stumble across them matters very much. Particularly when people who have dared give evidence against them keep being found dead.

Gyles – it’s your turn to speak for one minute without hesitation, repetition or deviation on the subject of ‘Organised Crime – How I’ve Become Very Rich By Keeping Quiet About It’.

 

Someone else who was in need of Serious Money and who certainly got it is a Lord Crickhowell, who features on an item on BBC News Wales today. The item is entitled ‘Cardiff Bay: What Has Thirty Years of Development Achieved?’ and follows on with a few pearls from Lord Crickhowell who ‘hailed the regeneration of the former docklands as a success’ but stressed that to ensure even more success, a ‘more co-ordinated approach’ to further development is needed. Lord Crickhowell certainly knows all about co-ordinated approaches and the ‘success’ of the Cardiff Bay development. Cardiff Bay is lovely, but there is much grief about it in Wales because the benefits of the successful regeneration of Cardiff Bay have not spread to the rest of south Wales yet alone to west, mid or north Wales. Many people in those regions are still living in cardboard box in’t middle of road despite the luxury down in Cardiff Bay. One person who has done very well indeed out of the regeneration of Cardiff Bay though since he co-ordinated the redevelopment there is a man called Lord Crickhowell.

The Welsh blogger Jac O The North has written an excellent account of the raw corruption that was involved in the development of Cardiff Bay. Jac has compiled a ‘factsheet’ with the history and details of the dodgy deals, sleights of hand and conflicts of interest involved which can be downloaded from his blog. I know that ‘factsheets’ are usually laughable documents produced by the NHS or MIND which fail to explain that the ‘medication’ that you have just been prescribed could well kill you, but Jac’s factsheet regarding Corruption Bay is in a league of it’s own. I highly recommend it. I will provide a summary of Jac’s research here – and pose a few questions and possibilities that Jac hasn’t raised, almost certainly because Jac’s research into corruption doesn’t usually involve delving into the wrongdoing of the health and welfare services.

Jac’s factsheet describes ‘how political power and influence was blatantly and systematically abused for almost twenty years so that vast sums of public money could be used for corporate and private gain and how the Welsh establishment and the Welsh media either acquiesced, turned a blind eye or was simply too scared of the culprits to defend the public interest’.

Cardiff Bay is built on the site of the former docklands. When the coal industry ended, the owner of Cardiff docks, Associated British Ports (ABP), was left with an eyesore and a financial liability. ABP was privatised by Thatcher’s Gov’t in 1982/3 whilst Nicholas Edwardes aka Lord Crickhowell was Secretary of State for Wales. Edwardes was the MP for Pembrokeshire and was Secretary of State for Wales between 1979-87. He had extensive shipping interests and through these business contacts and personal links with ABP.

Following the privatisation of the docks, Edwardes spent a few years working to set up a publicly funded body to regenerate the privately owned docklands. This led to the creation of a quango, the Cardiff Bay Development Corporation (CBDC) in 1987. The chair of CBDC was Geoffrey Inkin, a failed Tory candidate and friend of Edwardes. Inkin was also Chairman of the Land Authority for Wales (LAW) which acquired land for development. LAW had the power of no-appeal compulsory purchase, could smooth out difficulties with planning regulations and could get priority treatment from utilities. The key to the commercial success of Cardiff Bay was the £200 million+ barrage across the estuary, which created a lagoon across the ‘unsightly’ mud flats therefore making the Bay more attractive to investors and those buying, leasing or renting land and property from ABP.

Thus ABP had it’s own private quango pouring public money into the company from which ABP would reap profits. Although ‘the largest waterfront regeneration scheme in Europe’ was paid for by public money, ABP still owned the existing buildings and land as well as everything built on it. The amount of public money that was admitted to have been spent on Cardiff Bay was £500 million – there are suspicions that it was actually much more.

In 1987 Edwardes stood down as an MP and in order to receive his share of the bonanza that he’d engineered, he joined ABP as a Director in 1988. In May 1988 Edwardes was also appointed Chairman of the National Rivers Authority (NRA) – that was the body that was adjudicating on the barrage.

Edwardes and Inkins’s influence via the Cardiff and County Club, the Welsh media and other agencies ensured that any Welsh institution or body that might add to the Bay’s prestige or boost ABP’s profits was approached to locate there. The Welsh media uncritically plugged the project.

So Edwardes, the father of the whole scheme, was a Director of the company reaping the benefits and head of the environmental agency that theoretically had the power to sink the whole project.

A Gov’t Bill getting the barrage through Parliament was passed in 1993 and ABP and CBDC effectively became one entity. However it transpired that no-one wanted to rent, lease or buy Crickhowell House, a huge office block on the development. In 1993, the Welsh Office, headed by Secretary of State for Wales David Hunt, took out a 20 year lease at a total cost said to be in excess of £20 million. As Crickhowell House only cost £11 million to build, that resulted in a very healthy profit for ABP-CBDC. The building was allocated to the Welsh Health Service’s Authority, although they never occupied more than about 1/3 of the building.

In the mid-1990s Wales experienced the saga of the Opera House which was proposed for Cardiff Bay. The leading light in this plan was none other than Nicholas Edwardes, in his capacity as a Trustee (or equivalent) of the Welsh National Opera Company. A competition was held to design the Opera House which was won by Zaha Hadid, but it was never built. There was a lot of squabbling over Hadid’s design, but many people also wanted a new rugby stadium for Cardiff. The dosh was coming from the Gov’t in London who wouldn’t fund both and in the end a new rugby stadium proved a much more popular choice, so that went ahead. Edwardes and Inkin tried to get the rugby stadium sited in the Bay, but that plan failed.

After the devolution referendum in 1997, Ron Davies, the new Secretary of State for Wales, started negotiations with the leader of Cardiff Council for Cardiff City Hall, the building earmarked for housing the new National Assembly of Wales. The negotiations broke down – there have been allegations of skulduggery – and nominations for other sites for the National Assembly began. It was decided to locate the National Assembly in Cardiff Bay, in a new building. Blair’s friend Richard Rogers was the architect who had the winning design for the new building – I’d love to know how that happened, Rogers’s claim to fame was designing the Millennium Dome which was a national joke.

At about this time, Grosvenor Waterside Developments became visible – this was the property arm of ABP, used to disguise ABP involvement.

Ron Davies announced that until the new Assembly building was completed, the temporary home for the Assembly would be in Crickhowell House. Rhodri Morgan, at that time a Labour MP, described Crickhowell House as ‘the very embodiment of that corruption-ridden, semi-colonial, Tory past…’ Rhodri was opposed to the barrage and preferred City Hall as the location for the Assembly. Jac wonders whether it was this that caused London to prevent Rhodri from leading the Labour Party in Wales – Blair famously did all he could to prevent Rhodri Morgan becoming First Minister although it backfired on Blair and Rhodri did end up eventually becoming First Minister. Jac speculates that perhaps Blair et al feared that Rhodri would have taken the Assembly to City Hall.

Jac describes powerful influences at work to keep the location of the Assembly in the Bay. He notes that although there had been much Tory sleaze behind this – Edwardes et al were desperate to have a big prestigious building located in the Bay – the incoming New Labour Gov’t showed no sign of exposing or even undoing the sleaze. Jac speculates that Blair’s 1997 administration allowed the scam because the greed of the ABP-CBDC and the cliques and cabals in Cardiff resulted in Welsh political life being sucked into Cardiff – which suited the control freakery of the New Labour Gov’t, who viewed Wales as dangerously red and dangerously insubordinate and it would be easier for London Labour to manage the sheepshaggers if they were reduced to one city. Jac wonders whether Edwardes told the holders of the purse strings in London that the Cardiff Bay project was too far gone to call back and that the project would fail without a prestigious centrepiece to attract investors. If Cardiff Bay failed, London Labour would look as bad as the Tories. Who would benefit? Plaid – whom London Labour and the Tories perceived to be beyond the pale.

Jac supplies details of an HTV ‘Wales this Week’ episode from July 1999. The programme exposed a secret deal involving extending the lease of Crickhowell House and Alun Michael AM who was then First Secretary (First Minister) – Blair’s choice of First Secretary who had been forced upon a Wales that did not want him as First Secretary – denying the deal, but then admitting it. The programme also exposed the lies that were told regarding the cost of the land that was allocated for the Assembly building. Jac believes that the programme was designed to embarrass the Labour Party, as many questions relating to the Tories’ part in the corruption and the cock-ups went unasked. The Chairman of the HTV Group was one Nicholas Edwardes – who, along with the Tories, was not mentioned during the programme.

The Civil Service mandarin who was instrumental in the machinations to locate the Assembly in Cardiff Bay was Rachel Lomax. Lomax left a prestigious job with the World Bank in 1996 to take up her appointment as Permanent Secretary in the Welsh Office. Jac questions the machinations engineered by Lomax and suspects that the ‘official’ version of events is untrue. Lomax was moved to the DSS (DWP) in Feb 1999.

Jac sums up by mentioning that Alun Michael was the MP for Cardiff South and Penarth, that his constituency included Cardiff Bay and that prior to becoming an MP Michael was a Councillor in Cardiff. So he wanted the Assembly in the Bay. Cynog Dafis (Plaid) also supported the location of the Assembly in the Bay, although Dafis’s own constituency in west Wales didn’t benefit from the Cardiff Bay development. Jac notes that the Welsh media were also robustly in support of the Assembly being in the Bay. At one point Rhodri Morgan announced that the building of the new Assembly had been put on hold – in response to this announcement, Grosvenor Waterside sent a letter threatening legal action if building was not commenced. Jac wonders why Rhodri didn’t call their bluff, as the grounds for legal action was shaky and the threatened exposure of what that company had actually done would have soon shut them up – Jac believes that although Edwardes and his Tory friends weren’t at all supportive of devolution, they were desperate for the Assembly to be located in the Bay to ensure that the development was a success.

Jac has researched and published all of this because he is outraged that millions of pounds of public money has made Nicholas Edwardes and his mates very rich through bank-rolling a project that has been of very little benefit to the rest of Wales, much of which is still desperately poor.

Jac’s research re the details of Edwardes’s massive scam cannot be faulted. However, with regard to Jac’s speculation as to why politicians who would have benefited greatly from exposing Edwardes kept quiet – Jac has missed something of major importance that tied Edwardes and the Tories, Blair and co, Rhodri and even Plaid all up together, although they hated each other. That was the paedophile ring in north Wales and the associated cover-up.

As explained in previous posts, Nicholas Edwardes was Secretary of State for Wales during the years covering Mary Wynch’s unlawful arrest and incarceration by the paedophiles’ friends, he was in post when the paedophile ring was running riot and when Alison Taylor first started blowing the whistle on what was going on, he was in post when Geoffrey Dickens was running his campaign to expose the Westminster Paedophile Ring and named Sir Peter Hayman in the House, he was in post when child care staff in north Wales were being convicted in court of serious offences against children yet the Welsh Office was failing to inspect the children’s homes and he was in post when Geoffrey Dickens handed his dossier with details and names of Westminster paedophiles to Home Secretary Leon Brittan – who then ‘lost’ the dossier. He was in post when Margaret Thatcher was told that Sir Peter Morrison was molesting boys. And on a minor note, he was in post when I first made representation about the criminal activities of the paedophiles’ friends as well. Under Edwardes, the Welsh Office concealed the whole lot.

As detailed in previous posts, the cover-up at the Welsh Office continued under successive Secretaries of State for Wales – including David Hunt, who was also named in Jac’s account. Jac mentions the arrival of Rachel Lomax at the Welsh Office in 1996, after her removal from a high-flying job with the World Bank after just a few months. Rachel Lomax was mentioned in my post ‘So Who Was It Exactly Who Appointed The Corrupt Old Bastard?’. She was the Permanent Secretary in the Welsh Office once the Waterhouse Report got underway and she remained there until Ronnie Waterhouse had heard the evidence and discredited the witnesses. Lomax then buggered off when that had all been dealt with, whilst Ronnie set about writing the Report and reassuring everyone that no political figures had been involved in the abuse of children. Lomax was a very big hitter – she had been dragged back from the World Bank, obviously for something important.

Lomax began her career with the Civil Service in 1968 in the Treasury. She was Principal Private Secretary to Nigel Lawson when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer 1985-86. She was Deputy Chief Economic Advisor in the early 1990s. In 1994-95 she was Head of the Economic and Domestic Secretariat at the Cabinet Office. Then she was Vice-President and Chief of Staff to the President of the World Bank.

This was a woman who was part of the Tories’ inner circle and who was completely trusted by them. She got them out of one hell of a tight spot – and not just one that resulted from the development of Corruption Bay. Remember, by the time that Lomax had arrived in the Welsh Office, scores of victims of and witnesses to the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal had been found dead. There was no danger of Blair’s lot saying a word either, because as explained previously scores of Blair’s buddies in the New Labour Gov’t had been running the London Councils who had sent children in their care to north Wales where they were abused or whose own children’s homes had been infiltrated by paedophiles (see post ‘The London Connection’). Alun Michael was born and went to school in north Wales and had previously been employed as a ‘youth worker’. He was one of the people who signed the Early Day Motion opposing the proposed closure of Garth Angharad, a hospital for ‘mentally ill criminals’ where a number of those who had been victims of the paedophile gang had ended up. Neither were Plaid going to blow the gaffe – Dr Dafydd Alun Jones had been a Plaid candidate and other Plaid politicians, especially in north Wales, were representing constituencies where the paedophile ring was operating in the local social services, who were loudly proclaiming their defence of all things Welsh eg. in Gwynedd. Cynog Dafis had previously participated in some fancy footwork with the Green Party in order to successfully unseat a Lib Dem who signed an Early Day Motion calling for an investigation into the case of Mary Wynch (see post ‘A Few of the Relevant Politicians Re Mary Wynch’s Case’).

The whole lot of them were over a barrel. They must have all begged Lomax to help them out of that mess, not one of them could have exposed Edwardes’s money-making scheme because they’d all helpfully not asked any awkward questions whilst he and his successors at the Welsh Office had covered up a paedophile ring and the associated serious corruption in medicine and the law. As for Rhodri – well when the Jillings Report was withheld he had made furious comments about Welsh politicians not being allowed to know the details of a paedophile ring operating on their own patch. But I suspect that Rhodri knew what would happen if he exposed Edwardes and Corruption Bay – the whole thing would explode and the presence of a gang of murdering paedophiles on Welsh soil would be blamed on the Welsh sheepshaggers in the Assembly. So he went and appointed Brian fucking Gibbons as Health Minister who did his bit by covering up the criminality of the paedophiles’ friends the Top Doctors.

One further point. Edwardes was MP for Pembrokeshire. Long after reports of the paedophile gang in north Wales became public, there was a huge trial in Swansea – of a long-standing paedophile gang in Pembrokeshire.

So what became of the lovely Rachel Lomax, who allowed Nicholas Edwardes to get away with milking the taxpayer of millions and kept the lid on child rapes, prostitution, trafficking and a few murders, as well as institutional corruption in medicine and the law? Well after leaving Wales completely wrecked in the wake of all that, Rachel became Permanent Secretary at the DWP (formerly the DSS). In 2002 she moved to the post of Permanent Secretary at the Dept of Transport,along with her Secretary of State Alistair Darling. She then joined the Bank of England – and left there in 2008, just before the collapse of Lehman Brothers, to ‘pursue other interests’. So unlike her dozy git of a boss Alistair Darling, Lomax knew that she had assisted in crashing the global economy and got the hell out of there. Regarding her ‘other interests’ – in Dec 2008 Lomax became a non-executive director of HSBC holdings and a member of their audit and risk committees and in Dec 2010 she joined BAA (now Heathrow Airport Holdings) as a non-executive director.

 

So for what should Rachel Lomax stand trial first then? Concealing a massive swindle on the part of a Gov’t Minister, concealing a paedophile gang who killed a number of people or crashing the economy? If you’re reading this Rachel, Inspector Knacker would no doubt like to hear from you.

 

 

The ‘Celtic Iron Lady’ And Yet More Recent History

The press in north Wales is currently publishing tributes to someone who has just died who was described as a farmer from Denbighshire and a ‘leading figure’ in country life in the region. It was mentioned that the man in question purchased a large pig farm he was younger, was keen on racehorses and was a leading light in the NFU as well as in the Conservative Party. Intriguingly the article in the Daily Post Online stated that this farmer was a freemason. Details of his family were supplied and it seems that his family were actually a local wealthy family with multiple business interests. Of course my antennae started twitching when I saw the words ‘Denbighshire’, ‘leading figure’ and ‘freemason’ in close proximity. A mate of Dafydd and Gwynne’s perhaps?  The ‘farmer’ would be about the right age to be a mate of theirs. But then I noticed something even more interesting – at the end of the article, it named the siblings of this farmer who had predeceased him. One was his sister – Beata Brookes, a Conservative politician.

Beata Brookes is a name from the past. When I arrived in Bangor in 1981 most people whom I came across supported Plaid, but every so often Bangor would be covered in blue Vote Conservative posters with the name of Beata Brookes emblazoned across them. I learned that Beata Brookes was the MEP for north Wales. I also soon found out that she was hated by many people, truly loathed, but no-one ever explained why – although to be fair, I never asked. In much the same way that in parts of the UK in the 1980s one would overhear people using the phrase ‘it’s that bloody woman’ and know that they were talking about Margaret Thatcher, in north Wales it was often a phrase used about Beata Brookes. Last night I did a bit of research. As is so often the case these days, I wish that I had done this research years ago – and I also wished that when I was young I had stopped to enquire further when local people had told me how much they hated Beata Brookes.

Beata Brookes was born in 1931, the daughter of a wealthy family in Denbighshire. So she’s about the same age as Dafydd and Lucille, the paedophiles’ friends then. Beata studied at UCNW (now Bangor University) and became a social worker – just like Lucille! Of course, Beata was about the same age as Dafydd and Lucille. Readers familiar with north Wales will already understand that with the region having the networks that it does, Beata will definitely have known Lucille. She therefore probably knew Dafydd as well. For readers in England who  might need more convincing, not knowing how north Wales works – and certainly worked in the mid-twentieth century – here’s the clincher. Beata worked as a social worker for Denbighshire County Council, although it is documented that she also worked as a ‘director for a north Wales company’ and as a ‘farmer’. I can’t find a record of the name of the company, I presume that it was a family business – and presumably, as with her brother, ‘farmer’ meant landowner. So Beata was from an affluent local Tory family (Beata joined the Young Conservatives at fifteen and ended up as the national vice-chairman), the male members of whom were freemasons and she worked as a social worker for the Council which collaborated with and concealed the wrongdoing of Gwynne the lobotomist and Dafydd. Beata will have known what was going on in the North Wales Hospital Denbigh. I bet she’ll have known about something else as well – the physical and sexual abuse of children, which had been going on in the region for decades. Scores of those who were named in the Jillings Report and Waterhouse Report as senior managers of the children’s ‘services’ which by the 1970s were known to be rife with paedophiles had worked for Denbighshire County Council as far back as the 1950s, as detailed in previous blog posts.

Was it possible that Beata was one of those who knew about the beatings, the buggery, the rapes, the lobotomies of awkward customers, the incarceration of anyone who crossed Gwynne or Dafydd’s path, the sexual abuse of psychiatric patients as well as of children, the financial abuse of vulnerable adults, the incarceration of homosexuals, the deaths and disappearances, but felt completely overwhelmed and helpless? Er, no – as Beata progressed in her career, she acquired positions which point to her being one of the key figures who ensured that the lid was kept on all of it. In 1963 the Conservative Government appointed her to the Welsh Hospitals Board, the authority directly responsible for the North Wales Hospital Denbigh. She remained in that post for eleven years. Whereupon she became a member of the new Clwyd Health Authority – which took over the running of the North Wales Hospital! And nothing changed at all – homosexuals were still tortured in the name of ‘aversion therapy’ although homosexuality had been decriminalised, women who had given birth outside of marriage were still incarcerated in there, Gwynne the lobotomist was still employed there (and I bet that he was still carrying out lobotomies as well, they were breaking every other law out there, they won’t have given up on their most effective weapon), young people who had been abused were being banged up in Denbigh in the 70s, Dafydd was shagging his way around the institution – life carried on in that place as it had for the previous decades. Of course by 1974, John Allen had established the Bryn Alyn Community and business was booming – children in care from across the UK were being ‘placed’ there, to be sexually abused and trafficked into prostitution. As were the boys at Bryn Estyn at that time. Jillings and Waterhouse admit that by 1974, children in care right across north Wales were being starved, used as free labour, violently assaulted and sexually abused. Some ended up in London and Brighton being abused by the Westminster Paedophile Ring. Dissenters found themselves in the North Wales Hospital or Risley Remand Centre.

So Beata was up to her eyes in it as a member of Clwyd Health Authority. But Beata was a member of a few other things as well – including Clwyd County Council Social Services Committee! So she definitely knew about the kids who were being abused in the ‘care’ of the social services then. Beata played a blinder though – like Dafydd and Lucille, she ensured that she was involved in so many organisations that she remained in control of all outlets. She sat on the Family Practitioners Committee for Clwyd and she was a member of the Council for Professions Supplementary to Medicine – that will have kept any GPs or others who were unhappy with what was going on silent – and she also held ‘several voluntary sector posts in north Wales relating to the disabled and mentally handicapped’. Beata was even President of the North Wales Association for the Disabled! There was no escape for complaining patients or relatives – or indeed other healthcare professionals – from Beata, Gwynne, Dafydd and Lucille. They had the whole region completely stitched up. Although Beata and Lucille couldn’t join the masons because they were women, Dafydd, Beata’s brother and no doubt Gwynne were able to do that bit to gain dominance there.

Not only was Beata occupying influential positions in the local authority and voluntary sector, but she began her political climb at an early age too. After her stint with the Young Conservatives, she joined the grown-ups clubs. She was elected to the National Union of Conservatives and Unionist Associates. In 1955 she was elected as a Conservative Councillor for Rhyl Urban District Council. In the same year she fought Widnes for the Tories in the General Election. In 1961 Beata was the Tory candidate in the Warrington by-election. In 1964 she stood for the Tories for Manchester Exchange in the General Election. In 1970 she threw her hat in the ring for the West Flintshire nomination for the Tories but was beaten by Sir Anthony Myers. My God Beata was desperate to get into Parliament. I don’t think she wanted to do that to help the poor sods whom Dafydd and Gwynne were abusing and killing or the kids that Lucille – and indeed Beata’s colleagues in Clwyd Social Services – were prostituting either.

In 1979 Beata was elected to the European Parliament as MEP for north Wales! Did she use her power to try and assist those in the clutches of Dafydd, Gwynne and Lucille? Of course not – Beata ended up on a number of committees and is remembered as feistily fighting for agricultural and industrial interests in north Wales, but no, she didn’t give a stuff about the welfare or indeed the lives of those who had fallen into the hands of a bunch of pimps and gangsters. It was of course in 1979 that Mary Wynch was unlawfully arrested and incarcerated in Risley Remand Centre and the North Wales Hospital – for a year (see post ‘The Mary Wynch Case – Details’). That hit the London based media. Of course Beata knew about it.

Beata remained an MEP for ten years. Throughout the Mary Wynch scandal and the aftermath – and during those years in the mid and late 80s when Alison Taylor went public on the paedophile ring that was operating in the social services in north Wales. Beata remained silent throughout. Yet every account of Beata’s political career stresses how effective she was, what a ‘fighter’ she was, how she was ‘formidable’ (which in politics usually translates as ‘vile’) and how she was known as the ‘Celtic Iron Lady’. (Brookes was a hard-right Thatcherite.)

In 1983 Brookes’s desperation to bag a seat in the Commons – although she was a sitting MEP – caused a crisis in the Conservative Party. What is now described as a ‘bitter feud’ broke out which centred around Brookes. Boundary changes resulted in the creation of a new constituency, Clwyd North West, a seat that was centred on Colwyn Bay, the location of the HQ of the North Wales Police which was mired in corruption and concealing the paedophile ring. Gordon Anglesea, an Inspector at Colwyn Bay, was actually a member of the paedophile ring. Colwyn Bay also housed a few other bent professionals, including Professor Robert Owen, the Medical Ombudsman for the Welsh Office, who concealed Dafydd’s criminal activities in the late 1980s. Denbigh was a town virtually entirely populated by staff or the relatives of staff of the North Wales Hospital, but people occupying the more senior positions in Clwyd County Council and it’s services frequently lived in the Colwyn Bay area or in the Conwy Valley. They’re the posh bits of that region.

The natural candidates for the Tory nomination for Clwyd North West were the sitting Conservative MP for West Flintshire, Sir Anthony Meyer and the sitting Conservative MP for Denbigh, Geraint Morgan. Some people were grumbling about Geraint Morgan who was perceived to be rather more committed to his work as a barrister than his duties as an MP and although Anthony Meyer was very popular in some quarters, he was dangerously civilised for Thatcher’s Conservative Party and kept disgracing himself by doing things like making positive noises about the EU, not wanting to hang people and not wanting to kill the Argies. It didn’t go down very well at all with some. A group of local Tory activists urged Brookes to put her name forward for the nomination. Meanwhile, Conservative Central Office produced a list of 65 possible names – Brookes’s was not among them. A huge row followed and complaints were made to the 1922 Committee. The Chairman of that Committee, Edward Du Cann, even discussed postponing the selection meeting with the Conservative Party Chairman Cecil Parkinson, such was the rumpus. In the end the selection meeting went ahead.

Brookes, Meyers and Morgan all attended the meeting, at which Brookes made a speech praising Thatcher. Brookes won the selection vote among the Clwyd North East Conservative Executive. Meyers alleged that the meeting was a fix, that Brookes had set out to oust him by stealth by using EU funds to promote her candidacy and ‘usurp the functions’ of the House and that Conservative Central Office were in on the conspiracy. Morgan observed that speaking at the meeting was like ‘speaking to a nobbled jury’. Meyers maintained that the local members were ‘resigning in droves’ and threatened to run as an Independent. He then discovered that he had not been invited to the adoption meeting. Myers challenged this in the High Court and won – they ruled that he should have been invited. Some 800 members turned up to the meeting where the decision not to invite Myers was reversed. Sir Anthony Myers was subsequently nominated and then won the seat for the Tories by a long way.

Whilst I was reading about all this, I couldn’t help noticing the year in which the Tories in Clwyd tore themselves apart – it was 1983. We know that Beata was ruthlessly ambitious, was a woman who bludgeoned people into submission and was sitting on a paedophile ring supplying under-aged boys to Westminster figures and was keeping a lid on the criminal activities of a mental health service that was concealing the paedophile ring. It has been admitted by member of the Conservative Party that Sir Peter Morrison, the Tory MP for Chester, was abusing boys in care in north Wales. Between 1981 and 1985 the Conservative MP Geoffrey Dickens held his campaign to expose ‘VIPs’ that he maintained were sexually abusing children. Dickens maintained that this abuse was associated with a trade in child pornography worth a great deal of money. This was exactly the business that John Allen ran. Dickens began his campaign in 1981 when he named Sir Peter Hayman in the House using Parliamentary privilege. In 1983 Geoffrey Dickens handed the then Home Secretary Leon Brittan a dossier with the names and details of VIPs, including Westminster figures, that Dickens maintained were paedophiles. Brittan ‘lost’ that dossier. Since then of course, there have been allegations that Brittan was one of those paedophiles himself. Before he died Geoffrey Dickens talked about the serious unpleasantness and threats that he received after he spoke out.

So Beata herself and a group of ‘local activists’ were very keen for Beata to get into Parliament – so keen that some unlawful dirty tricks were employed, which Meyers alleged had involved Conservative Central Office. The constituency involved in the bun-fight was home to numerous police officers, local officials and professionals who were concealing the paedophile ring that Dickens was trying to expose. I wonder if they were among the ‘local activists’ who were doing pretty much anything to get Brookes into that seat? What if they were worried that Dickens’s campaign was going to gain traction and the whole bloody lot of them would be caught? Sir Anthony Myers sounds the sort of person who would not be complicit with such serious criminal activity, but Beata had been already, for years. The ideal candidate!

The cunning plan didn’t work, but Beata continued as an MEP until 1989 when she was ousted by the Labour candidate. Beata continued to mouth off if she felt like it – in 1983 she protested after the BBC held an interview with John Jenkins, a Welsh activist who had been imprisoned for a bombing campaign at the time of the Investiture. Oh the irony – in his younger day, Dafydd made links with Irish Republican activists after declaring his commitment to the nationalist cause (see post ‘A Network Stretching Back Decades…’). He also participated in the Tryweryn campaign. Like Dafydd, Beata had some media connections – she had worked as an ‘occasional television interviewer’ when she was younger.

Even being voted out didn’t stop Brookes. In 1993 she became Chair of the Welsh Conservative Party and supported John Major whilst he was under fire. She was also Chair of the Welsh Consumer Council and was re-appointed in 1994, despite criticism of her potential conflict of interest by the National Consumer Council and by Rhodri Morgan, who told John Major that the appointment ‘undermined an already disreputable system of patronage’.

The evil cow was awarded a CBE in 1996. In her old age there were still indications of the deals that she was doing on a local level. Brookes hit the media in 2003 regarding a dispute over car boot sales that she was holding on her land in Rhuddlan. In 2000 she had managed to gain permission to hold car boot sales on 28 Sundays every year and then in 2003 she gained permission to hold car boot sales on 14 Saturdays every year. She offered the land on which the car boots were held for the use of the National Eisteddfod. Helping out the National Eisteddfod can work wonders, particularly as Dafydd and many of the paedophiles’ friends are involved with it. (A true but horrible story – some years ago there was an awful shock for a lot of people when it was revealed that one of the people who had been appointed to run something for the children at the Eisteddfod, a nursery I think, was someone from the south of England with convictions for paedophilia. Any ideas how he got in there then Dafydd?) Beata won the day, but the dispute cost the local council many thousands of pounds. What Brookes’s passion for car boot sales was all about I don’t know, but it does remind me of a quip from ‘Private Eye’ years ago, when they were still publishing the imaginary letters from Denis Thatcher, ‘Dear Bill’. One of the letters made a reference to a ‘friend of Maurice’s’ who ran car boot sales – Denis commented that ‘I had no idea that he was a member of the Mafia’.

Readers may remember that in my post ‘Doris Karloff – Honest About Her Expenses But Not Much Else’, I described how Anglesey Conservative Association were desperate to snare a then unknown Ann Widdecombe as their candidate despite Doris knowing absolutely nothing about Wales or Anglesey and not showing much interest either. I speculated that back in those days of the St David’s Laundry in Bangor (see post ‘The BMA And It’s Ethics’), it may very well have been Widdecombe’s uncompromising anti-abortion stance that was the attraction. I wonder if Brookes was involved with that selection panel. Welsh Tories are a bit thin on the ground, it is highly likely that they either roped Brookes in or that she insisted on being part of the process.

There is an outstanding conundrum. Brookes’s obituaries mention that she married a fellow Tory activist Anthony Arnold, but that they divorced in 1963 and Brookes then insisted on being addressed by her maiden name and title, Miss Beata Brookes. It was highly unusual to be a divorcee in 1963 – although dispensing with an unwanted husband was very much easier if you were a woman with money as was Brookes – and divorced women routinely still referred to themselves as Mrs whatever their married name was. The only divorced women who persisted in calling themselves Miss were ageing starlets like Miss Diana Dors or Miss Zsa Zsa Gabor who still called themselves Miss no matter how many times they had been married and divorced. (Miss Joan Collins still does.) So Brookes really broke the mould there – if any readers know what that was all about, please do tell, Beata would hardly be the first to be flying the feminist flag.

In 2013 Brookes joined UKIP. She became very angry with Tories like Cameron calling UKIP ‘fruitcakes’ and ‘clowns’ and stated that ‘you don’t behave like that in politics’. No, what you do is take part in a conspiracy to conceal a vicious paedophile ring and remain silent even when the victims who have been brave enough to give evidence against that ring start turning up dead. Lest anyone needs reminding of just what the Celtic Iron Lady was party to, here’s another quick resume – witnesses were found hanging from trees, hanging from stairwells, dead from overdoses although they’d given up drugs years previously, were found inexplicably dead in cars, some were run over and killed on roads and one teenaged boy was found in a local town with unexplained injuries so serious that he died from them a few hours later. This doesn’t include the people who ‘committed suicide’ after being ‘helped’ by Dafydd and his colleagues. Neither does it include the five people with connections to the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal who were killed in an arson attack at a party in Brighton, to which they had all been invited. The partygoers variously died from smoke inhalation or burns and some people escaped by jumping out of windows and were impaled on the railings below. A man who was alleged to have ‘confessed’ to starting the fire was hit by a lorry and killed himself a few days later.

Beata Brookes died in her eighties in the comfort of the Spire Yale Hospital (a private hospital in Wrexham) in 2015. So she didn’t risk her neck with the NHS that she had helped poison or in one of Dafydd’s ‘nursing homes’. Upon hearing of her death, Andrew R.T. Davies, the leader of the Welsh Conservatives, described Beata as an ‘incredibly talented politician who will be sorely missed’ whose ‘career was varied and hugely successful and I pay tribute to everything she did within public life, the voluntary sector and for the Welsh Conservative Party’.

Victorian Values anyone? Or shall we just go Back To Basics?

 

What of Beata’s rivals from the 1983 campaign whom she had so ruthlessly tried to shaft?

 

Geraint Morgan was the Conservative MP for Denbigh between 1959-83. So he spanned the Years of Brutality and Lobotomies then. He cannot possibly been have been as bad as Beata Brookes, but like others who have held political ambitions in the direction of the Denbigh area such as Ieuan Wyn Jones and Paul Flynn, Geraint wasn’t going to even whisper in protest – he was after the votes of all the Denbigh staff, the patients didn’t have votes to cast. Although Geraint was appreciated for being a Welsh speaker and was known to dutifully reply to constituents when they raised issues with him, Geraint had other interests. He was a barrister and busied himself with that. After the 1983 dust-up, Morgan resigned from the Conservative Party and supported Plaid, although he never became a member. That’s the Plaid who embraced Dafydd as an activist and candidate and included so many other people who said nothing about the paedophile gang or the abuses at the North Wales Hospital, although they all knew about it. Geraint Morgan was eventually appointed a Crown Court Recorder. He worked on the Northern Circuit. As did Sir John Kay, who issued a High Court injunction against me on the basis of Jackie Brandt and Keith Fearns perjuring themselves, Keith Fearns never having met me and Brandt having met me two or three times. At the time Fearns and Brandt were employed as social workers by Gwynedd Social Services and I now have copies of the letters exchanged between Lucille Hughes (Director of Gwynedd Social Services), Ron Evans (the lawyer employed by Gwynedd County Council), Jackie and Fearns, in which Evans and Lucille instruct Fearns and Brandt to make statements about me. John Kay issued that injunction just before Geraint Morgan was appointed a judge. Like so many featured on this blog, Geraint was a law graduate from Aberystwyth University and a member of the Gorsedd of the Bards.

 

The one person who does not seem to have been dwelling in the same cesspool as everyone else was Sir Anthony Meyer. He had previously had a career as a diplomat in the Foreign Office and served in the British Embassies in Paris and Moscow. He was elected as the Conservative MP for Eton and Slough in 1964 but lost the seat to the Labour MP Joan Lestor in 1966. His defeat was attributed to his refusal to play the ‘race card’ in what had become a heated debate about immigration. He sought another Tory seat, but had great difficulty, being on the very liberal wing of the Tory party and being a very enthusiastic European. An old Etonian contact, Nigel Birch, who was the MP for West Flintshire, then asked Sir Anthony if he would replace him as the candidate as he was standing down. Sir Anthony was elected for West Flintshire in 1970. He was popular but very critical of Thatcher. After surviving the bunfight in 1983, in 1989 he famously stood as the stalking horse against Thatcher in a leadership challenge. He knew that he didn’t have a hope of winning, but it did the trick – it encouraged a few other people to challenge her soon afterwards. He was deselected by the Conservative Party for his ‘treachery’ in 1992 and later joined the Lib Dems. So although it was Geoffrey Howe who delivered the killer blow, we have Sir Anthony to thank for kick-starting Thatcher’s demise. We also have him to thank for keeping a bloody monster out of Parliament when he mounted a High Court challenge to her and her henchmen in 1983.

 

Whilst I was reading about Beata, I saw across another name that I’d previously come across as well – Tom Ellis. Brookes was re-elected as MEP for north Wales after defeating Ellis in 1984, when he stood for the SDP.

Tom Ellis went to Ruabon Grammar School and studied chemistry at UCNW (Bangor University). In 1957 he became manager of Bersham Colliery. He was President of Wrexham Fabian Society and in 1970 was elected the Labour MP for Wrexham. In 1981 he defected to the SDP – Ellis was one of the founder members. He became President of the Welsh Social Democrats. After boundary changes in 1983 he stood for the SDP in Clwyd South West but lost. As MP for Wrexham, Tom Ellis is someone else who will have heard about the paedophile ring – Bryn Alyn and Bryn Estyn were located just outside Wrexham. He’ll have known about the horrors of the North Wales Hospital Denbigh as well. But as I detailed in my post ‘Dr Death’, the Top Doctors of north Wales were attracted to David Owen like flies around a honeypot. And their support was just so much more valued than the support of people who ended up dying so that the Top Doctors and the paedophiles’ friends could continue with their noses in the proverbial trough. Dafydd, Gwynne and Lucille really did have it all sewn up nicely – although virtually everyone knew what they were doing.

 

 

 

 

 

MIND Are Out For Mental Health – Never For Themselves Of Course…

MRegular followers of this blog will know that I – and some of those commenting on my posts – have been bringing to public attention the appalling hypocrisy of MIND, an organisation claiming to be the ‘voice of the service user’ whilst concealing serious abuses in the mental health services and even entering into ‘partnerships’ with abusive services and individuals  (see posts such as ‘The Mysterious Silence Of MIND’, ‘Newly Discovered – Parabl’ and ‘The Commissioning Of Parabl – And Yet More History’).

I have explained that I first became aware of the corruption of MIND when I went down to see William Bingley, their Legal Director, in 1987 regarding the criminal activities of the north Wales mental health services. Bingley admitted that he knew all about the wrongdoing of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and indeed he knew a lot more than I did. I gave Bingley yet more evidence re Jones et al but not only did Bingley continue to keep quiet regarding Dafydd and co but when Bingley later became Chief Exec of the Mental Health Act Commission, he and that organisation continued to collude with Dafydd and Dr Tony Francis (Dr X), although they knew about the continued illegal detention of people and abuse of the Mental Health Act in north Wales. I knew from my meeting with Bingley that he knew an awful lot about Dafydd – including the deaths in Dafydd’s ‘care homes’, the allegations that the wrongdoing in north Wales was linked to Freemasonry and the existence of Dafydd’s extensive ‘sex therapy’ practice and the possible purposes of that business. I have no idea whether Bingley knew that Dafydd et al were concealing the paedophile ring that was operating in north Wales at the time though – the paedophile ring that was concealed again at a higher level by Thatcher’s and Major’s Gov’ts. However before Bingley began working for MIND, he worked as a research assistant for Matthew Parris, A Tory MP who had previously worked as Thatcher’s correspondence secretary. A man whose autobiography told of his summer trips – in the company of friends – to a place in Italy that they named the ‘villa of shame’, where they would be visited by ‘boys’ whom Parris described as ‘always willing’. For more background on Parris and his connections, see post ‘A Pretty Classy Piece Of Operation’.

I had thought that I had previously dug up a substantial amount of shit and compromising info on MIND, but I’ve spent a bit of time doing more research on a few other key figures in that organisation and I’ve found much more worrying info – that organisation has been compromised for decades. Here are a few of the highlights that I have dug up.

The current Chief Exec is the disgusting Paul Farmer whom I have blogged about previously. Farmer’s reputation is plummeting fast as a result of his enthusiasm for MIND to land contracts from the Dept of Work and Pensions, contracts that are all about forcing ‘service users’ into employment that may well be unsuitable and for which they may well be too ill. Farmer’s enormous salary has also been made public by disability activists – he trousers in excess of £100k pa for his role as the Voice of the Service User – and I’m delighted to say that this unscrupulous git has been met with protests on his travels around the UK. I was expecting the BBC to wheel him out for him to give his comments regarding the latest round of bad news re the UK’s mental health services, but mercifully we were spared that for once. Had he done the rounds of the BBC studios perhaps somebody would have finally asked him why he and his lame organisation have kept so quiet about the crisis – which has been evident for many years. Of course Farmer also knew all about the criminal activities of the north Wales mental health services many years ago. When I wrote to Peter Hain in his capacity as Secretary of State for Wales in approx. 2005 giving him full details of what had happened to me t the hands of the mental health services, I cc’d the letter to the Chief Exec of Rethink (I didn’t cc it to MIND because I knew that they were ignoring what was happening in north Wales) – who at the time was one Paul Farmer. I never received a response, although a few months later Farmer then became Chief Exec of MIND!

But what of previous CEOs of MIND? Before Farmer, the CEO was Richard Brook, who was appointed in 2001. Brook was CEO when I e mailed MIND HQ about the assaults being carried out by Hergest Unit staff on patients – only to receive an e mail back written as though it was to a small child telling me that what I had to do was go to the yellow pages and look up ‘solicitors’ and go and talk to one of them…. At this time the ‘service user reps’ for the Hergest were heavily involved with MIND – those reps who wet themselves at the thought of confronting Hergest staff and managers concerning the gross abuses that were endemic. One of those ‘service user reps’ admitted to me that she knew that residents in Prestwood Homes were being abused – furthermore, Prestwood Homes were taking full advantage of free MIND facilities such as walking groups, drop in centres etc without paying MIND a penny, although Prestwood were charging thousands of quid a week for a ‘placement’. Somebody else involved with MIND knew about the abuse of residents at Prestwood as well – Geoff Lees, who is now Director of Vale of Clwyd MIND. I told him about it, whilst he was still working as a social work tutor at Coleg Menai in Bangor. I know that a number of other people told him what was going on at Prestwood as well. For details of the horrors at Prestwood and the unfortunate death of a young woman support worker there who witnessed even more that I did, see posts ‘A Convenient Arrangement With The Private Sector’ and ‘The Commissioning Of Parabl – And Yet More History’.

Richard Brook was able to publicise unacceptable practice if he felt like it though. In 2004 the ‘Daily Mail’ ran an article entitled ‘Why I Resigned Over This Disgraceful Happy Pill Cover-Up’. The article explained that Brook had resigned from the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulation Authority) after he discovered that they had known about the side effects of the anti-depressant Seroxat but had not publicised them. Brook claimed that he had been threatened with legal action by Prof Kent Woods, the CEO of the MHRA, if he revealed that the MHRA had been ‘sitting on’ it’s knowledge of Seroxat’s side effects. Brook stated that MIND had been ‘tracking Seroxat’ for a decade’. So MIND knew about Seroxat and it’s problems as well then – but then they’d known about the problems in north Wales since 1979 at least, when Mary Wynch was illegally arrested and imprisoned (see post ‘The Mary Wynch Case – Details’) and had done or said nothing. In this article, Brook mentions the ‘Panorama’ programme about Seroxat that had been screened the year before – that will be the programme that featured Dr David Healy, who worked at the Hergest Unit! So MIND had got into bed (so to speak) with two psychiatrists from north Wales – Dafydd, who years before had been involved with MIND and David, as he Bravely Spoke Out. Brook told the Mail that following the ‘Panorama’ programme, MIND held a demo outside the offices of the MHRA. As opposed to outside of the Hergest Unit, where patients were being assaulted, framed for serious crimes, refused treatment no matter how ill they were and were committing suicide.

Brook maintains that he went to see the Health Minister Lord Warner to tell him of his concerns regarding SSRIs and Warner told him that he would speak to the MHRA. Warner then simply issued a guide to doctors detailing the max recommended dose of Seroxat (that must have been why Dr Richard Tranter, Healy’s friend, protégé and PhD student prescribed a friend of mine three times the maximum recommended dose of Seroxat then). It was at this point that the man of principle Brook resigned from the MHRA. Brook told the Mail that there was an urgent need for an inquiry into the MHRA and stated that many people involved with the MHRA also have connections to the pharmaceutical industry. Which is true – but then MIND’s hands are as dirty as those of any advisor to the pharmaceutical industry.

In Jan 2006 Brook featured in a BBC News online report and commented on the mental health of people living in rural areas. He stated that ‘the extent of mental health problems in the countryside is likely to be hidden’ – it was in north Wales, it was hidden by MIND, they knew that huge numbers of people were being given a diagnosis of ‘borderline personality disorder’ and refused care after being told that they were ‘untreatable’. At the time the area served by the Hergest Unit had the second highest rate of suicide for women in England and Wales.

After defending people with mental health problems so successively, upon leaving MIND Brook was appointed CEO of the newly created Office of the Public Guardian! Just the sort of person that was needed in such a position obviously. After a year guarding the public, Brook then became CEO of the deaf-blind charity SENSE.

MIND’s CEO before Brook was Judi Clements, who was in post between 1992-2001. So she oversaw those crazy years in which I was repeatedly arrested by the mental health services for ludicrous reasons, in which Dafydd resisted efforts to shut down the North Wales Hospital Denbigh and for his pains walked away with the contract to provide ‘substance abuse services’ for North Wales (see post ‘The Evolution Of A Drugs Baron?’) – the years which also saw the massive cover-up of the paedophile ring in north Wales which was the Waterhouse Report, in the wake of which a lot of people who’d been victims of that gang as children were found dead after becoming ‘users’ of the mental health services. Judi’s tenure also spanned the years in which Prestwood Homes were established and became big business within just a few months, what with the constant supply of vulnerable people from secure hospitals available for Prestwood to traffic them…

Something must have happened on Judi’s watch, because there is virtually no info from MIND available about Judi, it’s as though she never passed through their doors. However, there is some info about her in an article in HSJ from 2010. HSJ told us that after being Chief Exec of MIND for nine years, she was leaving due to health related problems, namely diabetes and arthritis. A David Peryer, the Chair of Trustees of MIND, stated that Judi would be ‘sorely missed’ – so that’s why they subsequently air-brushed her out of history. Preyrer mentioned that MIND was currently undergoing restructuring to concentrate on ‘supporting local offices’. These were of course the ‘local offices’ which included those in north Wales who were so helpfully providing free services to Prestwood Homes and who then began entering ‘partnerships’ with CAIS to provide yet more ‘services’ after being handed contracts by the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board – many of whose former staff and their friends were now working with MIND.

Judi didn’t just leave MIND, she did a Richard Tranter and left the UK for New Zealand. Despite the diabetes and the arthritis, Judi seems to have bounced back and in 2005 when she relocated to New Zealand, she landed a job as Chief Exec of the Mental Health Foundation over there. She ‘moved on’ in 2015. In Feb 2015 Judi featured on the website of the New Zealand Law Society, promoting her forthcoming seminar on Mindfulness for the New Zealand Law Society Auckland Branch. On this website Judi was described as an ‘experienced Chief Exec in the NGO sector’ with a ‘background in law, social policy, housing, local government and management practice’. It was explained that ‘after a successful career in local government service management, policy and practice development, Judi moved to the NGO sector’. So which failing local authority did Judi work for prior to keeping the lid on the barrel of shit in MIND then? Judi has an LLB – so she will recognise serious crime when she sees it. Or indeed conceals it – or even facilitates it.

Judi has sat on ‘several Gov’t advisory groups covering mental health, social policy and NGO development’.

Between 1989 and 1992, Ros Hepplewhite was Chief Exec of MIND. Whose reign also spanned the Dafydd years, but then the Dafydd years have gone on for the last five decades so everyone’s implicated where Dafydd is concerned. So perhaps it’s more helpful to mention that Ros’s reign spanned the period of time during which St George’s Hospital Medical School and Springfield Hospital colluded with Dafydd – although they knew what he was up – to in his attempts to have me labelled dangerous and banged up. The early 1990s of course also saw allegations that a paedophile ring was active in north Wales involving political figures appear in the London based media. Dafydd and his mistress Lucille Hughes were concealing and facilitating this paedophile ring – it was Dafydd and Lucille to whom St George’s Hospital and Springfield turned for ‘evidence’ of my dangerousness. It was in 1992 that five people with connections to the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal were killed in an arson attack on a flat in Brighton (see post ‘The Silence of the Welsh Lambs). So Ros was pretty close to some serious action.

However I can’t find any references to Ros’s activities at MIND. Although Ros did hit the headlines after she left MIND. In 1993 Ros was appointed CEO of the Child Support Agency – which was a Gov’t disaster as big as the NHS IT system that had to be shelved after a few billion had been spent on it. Although unlike the CSA, the failed NHS IT system was not thought to have contributed to anyone’s suicide…Ros was famously removed from her post and the CSA metamorphosed into something else because Gov’t could not withstand the embarrassment any longer.

I have found a reference to Ros on the blog of the Labour MEP for London, Mary Honeyball. Mary’s post dated Jan 11 2010 discusses examples of what she believed was outrageous sexism. Honeyball believes that Ros was removed from her post as a result of such sexism – nothing to do with the suicides of distraught parents then, or the numerous parents who were never able to collect their maintenance payments, or the absent parents who used every trick in the book not to pay up leaving their former partners destitute whilst the CSA refused to listen to their pleas for help… Tragedies as a result of the chaos that was the CSA involved both men and women – and of course the children. Honeyball entertainingly stated that Dame Barbara Mills the DPP was also the victim of sexism. Babs has featured on this blog previously – she was the DPP whilst the CPS found excuse after excuse not to mount prosecutions against numerous paedophiles despite stacks of evidence being presented (see post ‘A Future Leader Of The Labour Party’). Mary Honeyball also extended her ‘sympathies’ to the former Home Secretary Jaqui Smith, who was ‘hounded’ for being a ‘high profile woman’. No, Jaqui Smith became a source of national entertainment when it was revealed that her husband had rented porn films, the cost of which Jaqui had then reclaimed on her Parliamentary expenses. In a desperate attempt to salvage herself in the eyes of a nation rolling around laughing, Jaqui then tried to construct herself as a latter day Mary Whitehouse and began speaking out about Porn and Sex, which culminated in her presenting a documentary about prostitution. Unfortunately she did this whilst wearing one of those brightly coloured plastic macs when she was filmed under street lamps, which caused one of the better Radio 4 comedians – it might have been Sue Perkins – to comment that Jaqui looked like something out of ‘Band of Gold’.

Mary Honeyball ends her post by explaining that she speaks as someone ‘who ran’ the Association of Chief Officers of Probation in the mid-90s – she mentions that she didn’t have a background in probation, but that she was appointed on the basis of her other talents. So that’s why at that time some of those accused of molesting children in north Wales or failing to act when their colleagues were molesting children found it possible to move into careers with the Probation Service.

Ros Hepplewhite was CEO of MIND whilst the most dreadful scandals involving the abuse and even murder of patients occurred at Ashworth and Broadmoor. Don’t remember the Voice of the Service Users saying much about all that at the time.

At the time of my initial encounters with Dafydd and the paedophiles’ friends in the mid-80s, the CEO of MIND was Christopher Heginbotham – he’d been appointed CEO in 1982. He was in post at the time that I had my meeting with William Bingley. I suspect that Chris and Bingley might have been chums – Heginbotham was appointed CEO in 1982. Bingley was working as lobbyist for MIND at that time and landed his plum full time post there in 1983. Bingley’s mother Lady Juliet Bingley was also a bigwig in MIND and was Chair 1978-84. Furthermore Heginbotham departed from MIND in 1989 – Bingley ‘moved on’ into the post as Chief Exec of the Mental Health Act Commission in 1990. Bingley eventually wound up in the Chair of Mental Health Law and Ethics at the University of Central Lancashire and then in a role at the University of Cumbria after resigning from his post as Chair of an NHS Trust when a few awkward questions were asked about his business interests. Heginbotham also eventually secured a position at the University of Cumbria. References to William Bingley seemed to have disappeared from the MIND website recently, but I know that MIND named a building after him in Lancashire, ‘William Bingley House’. I wonder if it’ll be a bit like the fall out after Jimmy Savile’s death and MIND will end up renaming the building in a desperate attempt to pretend that they’d never met Bingley? But guess what? Heginbotham ended up in Lancashire too – where I presume that he still is.

Bingley and Heginbotham were at MIND when Savile was appointed General Manager of Broadmoor. I do not remember them questioning the appointment. What’s the betting that there’s some photos somewhere of dear old Jim with folk from MIND that are now well hidden? Should anyone know of any, please do let me know…

Heginbotham is a Director of something called ‘Values Based Commissioning Ltd’ in Lancashire, which began life in 2011. The other Director is a Christine Heginbotham. It is described as ‘health and social care consultancy’. Christopher Heginbotham has also published a book on Values Based Commissioning of Health and Social Care. So what is this all about?

According to an article in HSJ from June 2013, ‘Values Based Commissioning’ (VbC) ‘aims to put users’ views at the heart of reshaping services’. The discussion concerns the commissioning of mental health services by CCGs (Clinical Commissioning Groups) and it is explained that ‘expertise’ in this area is ‘varied’. However, as readers may have guessed, a few aficionados are on hand to help! HSJ quotes words of wisdom from Rethink’s Associate Director of Policy, Research and Campaigning, Victoria Bleazard, as well as Sophie Corlett, Director of External Relations at MIND. A Joint Commissioning Panel on Mental Health (JCPMH) was established in 2011, which is co-chaired by the Royal Colleges of Psychiatrists and General Practitioners – this Panel produced ‘guidance’. VbC is ‘a new type of commissioning’ (which must be why it involves the same old people and institutions as the previous commissioning did), ‘prioritising service users’ values and experiences’ (the Royal Colleges mentioned, Rethink and MIND have such good track records in that area don’t they).

HSJ identifies a Dr Neil Deuchar as the architect and champion of VbC – he’s a psychiatrist from Birmingham, a specialist advisor on commissioning and JCPMH Co-Chair. The other Co-Chair is Liz England, a GP who is Mental Health Lead for a Locality Care Group within a CCG and National Institute for Health Research Clinical Lecturer at the University of Birmingham. Deuchar is quoted as saying that ‘patient power is the key’ and that ‘co-production between patient and carer groups, clinicians and commissioners is vital’. There then follows a bit of asinine text headed by the words ‘what do service users think?’

So Christopher Heginbotham saw an opportunity then – an insane system was devised by a Gov’t that had relied on the likes of Heginbotham and his mates at MIND for advice, this insane system was then explained to the world by HSJ and promoted by MIND and their friends, by which time Heginbotham had written his book and set up his company – presumably with Mrs Heginbotham – to serve the insane system. The insane system was entirely dependent at every stage on the involvement of the very same people and institutions that were colluding with the likes of Dafydd and the paedophiles’ friends.

Is it surprising that five years down the line we have Sir James Munby, the President of the Family Courts, hitting the roof because there is virtually no provision in the whole of the UK for a suicidal 17 year old girl who is due to be released from ‘secure custody’? Although no-one has explained why a girl in her state is IN secure custody, allegedly alone in a seclusion room from which everything has been removed except a mattress on the floor. That’s going to do her a power of good isn’t it. Furthermore I guarantee that I know how that barbaric regime will be described on that girl’s records – there will be a reference to her being ‘nursed’. I have heard mental health nurses taking about ‘nursing’ people in ‘seclusion’ or ‘nursing’ them ‘on a mattress on the floor’. The whole system is completely nuts and the people working within it have been sent nuts by it if they weren’t already nuts when they took up their employment.

If readers have been impressed by the calibre of MIND CEOs described so far, hold on to your hats whilst I tell you about Heginbotham’s predecessor, Tony Smythe, CEO from 1974-82.  Smythe’s incumbency pre-dated the internet, but Smythe was quite something and info about him is still available online. Smythe’s full name was Clifford Anthony Smythe. He categorised himself as a radical anarcho-pacifist until the day that he died in 2004 and was involved with a number of political causes. He was appointed General Secretary of the NCCL in 1966, a post that he held until 1971. It was in the 70s that it became clear that the NCCL had been infiltrated by paedophiles who had conflated their cause with gay liberation – paedophiles also infiltrated the Campaign for Homosexual Equality (CHE) at this time and a number of those guilty of abusing children in north Wales were active in CHE. Smythe was at one point Vice-President of CHE. In 1971 Smythe became involved with MIND. His obituary describes him as establishing an ‘executive committee’ which led to ‘service users becoming involved in management and policy decisions’ and that this ‘chimed with Tony’s anarchist belief’.

Now this talk of the active involvement of ‘service users’ also surrounds Bingley and his mother. Which ‘service users’ do people think that the Bingleys and Smythe liberated? Psychiatry was dreadful in the 70s and early 80s – it was particularly gross in north Wales but it was pretty grim everywhere else as well. There is no way that ‘service users’ had any voice anywhere in the 70s – who are MIND actually talking about? Radical ideas were bandied around by people like Laing et al but these ideas didn’t touch mainstream psychiatric practice – it is dishonest to pretend that they did.  I am wondering if all this guff about the active involvement of ‘service users’ in MIND is simply a glorified reference to one or two influential people in the organisation who may have had mental health problems themselves at some point. Of course Dr Dafydd Alun Jones told everyone that he suffered from a ‘nervous illness’ himself – it was a good excuse when he was challenged about his appalling conduct.

CHE was usually led by people who were gay themselves, so I was interested to read that Smythe had a ‘lifelong partner’ Jeanne and five daughters. Jeanne died in 2001.

Smythe and Jeanne were involved with Haringey MIND long after Smythe had stepped down from his post as CEO. Tony Smythe was listed as a Director of Haringey MIND between 1998-2000 and Jeanne between 1990-92 and between 1996-97.

I have mentioned previously that Dr Dafydd Alun Jones had a contact in Haringey Social Services – when I finally got out of the North Wales Hospital in Jan 1987, he told me that he had rung Haringey Social Services to ‘let them know’ that I would be living on their patch. This was not any sort of referral for aftercare – this was just the way that Dafydd conducted himself. I have also mentioned that I now have copies of letters between Alun Davies, the manager of the mental health services in Gwynedd and Laurie Wood, the manager of the North Wales Hospital Denbigh, in which they discuss their ‘friend’ at St George’s trying to find out which dept I was working in when I started working there in 1989 – there is also a reference to their friend accessing mail that was sent to me at St George’s in an attempt to discover my home address. There is no clue as to the identity of this friend in my documents, but whilst I was working at St George’s I was visited by a junior doctor called Jimmy Schroff who had come to find me because he’d heard that there was a girl from Bangor working there – Jimmy Schroff seemed to know everyone whom I had made a complaint about in north Wales and furthermore he had done his GP training in the practice of Dr D.G.E. Wood (see post ‘St George’s Hospital Medical School, 1989/1990’). Jimmy Schroff died some years ago – his widow works at the Betsi.

Tony Smythe was also a Director of an organisation on the Embankment called Reach Volunteering in 1990/91. In 1992 and again between 1995-2001 Jeanne was a Director of ‘an inclusive community hub’ called the Markfield Project.

Tony Smythe kept interesting company. He was acquainted with an actress called Adrienne Corri who died in 2016. Corri had a cult following and was noted for being rather excessive, sometimes swearing aggressively at her own audiences. She was friends with Ronnie and Reggie Kray. In the days before they were both banged up when it dawned upon everyone that despite hanging out with Barbara Windsor and Adrianne Corri they were a pair of vicious thugs. Who had also murdered people. Ronnie of course ended up in Broadmoor and there was a lot of huffing and puffing from some Tory MPs when it was revealed in the press that he had superstar status in Broadmoor, was politely called Mr Kray by the prison officers (who according to the likes of Professor Robert Bluglass were ‘nurses’) who generally pandered to him. What the Tories expected from an institution which Edwina Currie had appointed Jimmy Savile to run I do not know. Perhaps they should have taken a bit of notice of the other patients who complained that they were being beaten up and sexually abused by the ‘nurses’. As well as by Savile.

In 1968 whilst Tony Smythe was still leading the NCCL, they sponsored a production of Samuel Beckett’s play ‘Come and Go’ which starred Adrienne Corri. It was advertised as ‘gala entertainment concerning depravity and corruption’. The evening included other entertainment as well and was compered by George Melly. The George Melly who was famously promiscuous but whose wife was very tolerant of his desire for an open marriage. Much has been written about Melly’s bisexuality and his penchant for numerous extra-marital relationships, but his wife was I suspect much more tolerant than most people realised. Many years ago, George Melly came to do a gig at Theatre Gwynedd in Bangor. I know a man who was at the time of Melly’s performance in Bangor 16 yrs old. Melly paid to have sex with him. This was whilst the age of consent for gays was still 21. I have never seen Melly’s name included among the Rolfs or the Saviles or the Gary Glitters, which is extraordinary, particularly as some years before he died Melly gave an interview to a newspaper mentioning how much he enjoyed caressing the thighs of pre-pubescent boys. Yet no-one commented on this at all. Melly retired to Wales of course – to the Brecon Beacons.

Tony Smythe’s years as CEO of MIND covered the period of time which saw Mary Wynch unlawfully arrested and illegally detained in Denbigh for a year by Dafydd. Whilst she was in Denbigh Mary told me that she witnessed the patients in Dafydd’s ‘young people’s ward’ having sex with each other – after being encouraged to do so by Dafydd – whilst the nurses watched the show. Mary approached MIND for advice regarding her unlawful imprisonment. William Bingley admitted to me that MIND received grant funding from Gwynedd Health Authority and that Dafydd wrote to MIND telling them that he would block their dosh from Gwynedd if they advised Mary. Bingley told me that they didn’t succumb to Dafydd’s threats. However I now know that Bingley wasn’t in the least bit truthful regarding his stories of fighting for patients rights. What’s the betting that they slung Mary overboard lest they lost their dosh from Gwynedd Health Authority? Bingley also admitted to me that Dafydd had been a ‘leading light’ in MIND himself in the 1960s.

The General Secretary of MIND immediately prior to Smythe was Mary Appleby. She was CEO from 1951-74. Whilst Dafydd was a leading light in MIND! At the same time that Gwynne was lobotomising people and the paedophile ring was growing and growing, assisted by John Allen’s collection of children’s homes, the Bryn Alyn Community, which was doing a roaring trade in accepting children from across the UK but particularly from the London boroughs and the West Midlands…

Appleby died in 2013 and her obituary in the ‘Guardian’ mentioned that she became involved in MIND because there were mental health issues in her family. The ‘Guardian’ tells us that it was as a result of Mary’s efforts that MIND (then still called the National Association for Mental Health) became hugely influential, employing 200 people and was consulted by the Gov’t, the judiciary, the NHS and social workers’ organisations. In the early 70s a group of Scientologists tried to join MIND. Scientologists, although they are a rather eccentric group of people themselves, famously loathe psychiatry. They attempted to join MIND after alleging that psychiatrists were illegally imprisoning people, torturing people and were ‘carrying out perversions’. Mary fought the Scientologists in the High Court to keep them out of MIND. However, she allowed Dafydd to remain in.

Mary Appleby worked in both the War Office and the Foreign Office. She Chaired the Bench of Magistrates in an inner London juvenile Court for many years. She contributed to Gov’t Inquiries on mental health and social services. She sat on the appeals panel for the BBC and ITV and was a Member of the Immigration Appeals Tribunals. She also sat on the Selection Committee for the Civil Service. A pretty well-connected and influential lady then – even at Whitehall level.

Tony Smythe took over from Mary Appleby in 1974, but Appleby remained a Vice-President of MIND until her death in 2013. She will have not only had substantial influence regarding the appointment of Smythe, but she wielded considerable influence over that organisation for decades. She will have known exactly what sort of people were being appointed, what they were getting up to and indeed what they were concealing, ignoring or colluding with.

 

So what about those who have Chaired MIND? Let’s take a look at some of them….

Between 1969-78 Christopher Mayhew MP was Chair. Mayhew spent many years as a Labour MP but in 1974 he defected to the Liberals. In 1974 the Liberal MP Cyril Smith was busy abusing boys (and had been for some years) but it is now admitted that there was assistance from the security services in ensuring that he was never prosecuted (see post ‘Dr Death’). Mayhew is perhaps most famous however for taking part in a mescaline experiment in 1955 with Dr Humphrey Osmond. The plan was to film Mayhew on a mescaline trip for ‘Panorama’ but the programme was never broadcast. Humphrey Osmond was a psychiatrist who was well-known for his research into hallucinogens and schizophrenia – he was the man who administered mescaline to Aldous Huxley in the 50s which resulted in Aldous Huxley writing ‘The Doors of Perception’. Osmond also experimented with peyote when he went to stay with Native Americans.

So Mayhew was a man up for experimentation. He was given a peerage in 1981.

Between 1978 and 1984, William Bingley’s mother Lady Juliet Bingley was Chair. Juliet Bingley grew up in Harley Street – her father was a surgeon at Barts. She studied social administration at the LSE, during which time she undertook a placement in Liverpool at the Personal Services Society. In 1945 she qualified as a medical almoner (what we would now call a social worker). Her first job was at Barts. Juliet Bingley was married to Admiral Sir Alec Bingley who in 1959 was appointed NATO commander-in-chief of the Royal Navy’s Mediterranean fleet in Malta. The family only spent three years in Malta but Juliet got to work out there. She became involved in the development of health services for elderly people – but she was also good mates with the former Prime Minister of Malta, Dom Mintoff. Mintoff had just resigned as PM, which meant that Malta was under direct rule from London – Juliet became the ‘messenger’ between Mintoff and the London Gov’t and continued to play this role throughout the 70s and 80s during the various crises in Anglo-Maltese relations. Alec Bingley died in 1972 which was when Juliet became involved with MIND. She was initially Chair of the Local Associations Committee before becoming Chair of the whole organisation. In 1973 she also took up a post as medical social worker at St Marks, a hospital for gastro-intestinal disorders in London and was Chair of the Heads of Departments Committee there.

Juliet Bingley was busy with other charity work as well as MIND. In 1979 she founded the National Association for Colitis and Chrohns and she was also a founding Trustee of the Carr-Gomm Society, a charity now working for the homeless.

Well with a mum and dad with backgrounds and connections like that William Bingley was certainly not going to do anything to put Dafydd out of action whilst he and Lucille facilitated a paedophile ring supplying boys to Westminster figures and others in London who were enjoying the protection of the security services at the time. Come to think of it I don’t think that Juliet would have been particularly inclined to put a stop to Dafydd’s activities either – and she was incredibly well-connected among the very Top of the Top Doctors as well as the highest echelons of Gov’t should she need to protect him…

How did the Bingley clan ever manage to convince anyone that they were the Voice of the Service Users?

The person who succeeded Juliet as Chair of MIND was Lord David Ennals – he was Chair between 1984-89. Ennals was a Labour politician. In 1967 he was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Home Office under Jim Callaghan. The Home Office that was at that time directly managing Bryn Estyn, where a brutal regime overseeing the violent sexual abuse of teenaged boys was becoming established. Ennals became Minister of State for Social Services in 1969. He lost his seat in 1970 and it was then that he became the ‘Mind campaign’ Director for the National Association of Mental Health. This campaign was established to fundraise but also to clarify the policies and aims of the organisation – as a result of the campaign in 1972 the charity changed it’s name to MIND. It was whilst Ennals was Chair that Tony Smythe was appointed Chief Exec – supposedly on the basis of his ‘human rights’ experience. Ennals remained campaign director until 1973 and was re-elected to Parliament in 1974. He lost his seat again in 1983 and was elevated to the Lords – then he popped back to MIND again to become Chair.

Ennals has a few close relatives who are worth mentioning. His younger brother Martin was a human rights activist and Secretary-General of Amnesty International. His son Paul has fingers in numerous pies.

Sir Paul Ennals was Chief Exec of the National Children’s Bureau (NCB) between 1998-2011. That’s the NCB to whom Peter Righton, a social care expert and academic who was a founder member of PIE and a convicted paedophile, acted as a ‘consultant’ (see post ‘The Waterhouse Tribunal – Who Was Involved And What Happened To Them Subsequently?’). Despite such worrying connections, the NCB, being an umbrella organisation, has links with many other organisations, including Barnardos – some of those involved with child abuse in north Wales had worked for Barnardos. The NCB also collaborates with the NSPCC – which works with Esther Rantzen’s Childline (see post ‘Ian Brockington’s Mischief’ for the questionable background of Valerie Howarth, the first Chief Exec of Childline) – and works in partnership with the Department of Health.

Paul Ennals is Chair of Haringey Local Safeguarding Children Board; South Tyneside Local Safeguarding Children Board; Gateshead Local Safeguarding Children Board; Sunderland Local Safeguarding Children Board. I do not know why Ennals has interests in both Haringey and the north east of England but I presume that he does a lot of commuting. If anyone living in the north east hopes to escape Paul Ennals’s safeguarding when they hit 18, they’ll be disappointed – he also Chairs the Safeguarding Adults Board of Gateshead and South Tyneside.

Before Ennals was involved with the NCB he was Director of Employment at the RNIB. He has Chaired or played a leading role on numerous Gov’t taskforces, working groups etc concerned with SEN, disabled or very young children.

Between 1994-2001 David Peryer was Chair of MIND. Peryer had previously been Director of Humberside Social Services. On 23 April 1998 Peryer gave evidence to the Select Committee on Health, along with Liz Sayce (Policy Director of MIND), Peter Wilson and Dinah Morley. Wilson had been Director of Young Minds for six years, was a child psychotherapist and had ‘many’ many years ago’ been a social worker. He had also worked in child and adolescent mental health at another institution familiar to readers of this blog, the Maudsley. In addition Wilson stated that he had worked in ‘child guidance’ in London. Dinah Morley was the ‘professional services manager’ for Young Minds. She had previously been the Assistant Director of an unidentified London borough, responsible for mental health and children’s services. Before that she ran a multi-disciplinary mental health team. She is also a member of a Health Authority.

So these witnesses all had vast experience of working in organisations and fields that had screwed up badly. Indeed Peryer told the Committee that he began working the field of child protection in 1977 in East Sussex, ‘shortly after the Maria Colwell case’. Maria Colwell was the first high profile death of a child in recent decades that was attributed to the fuckwittery of the welfare services.

The Committee were happy to rely on the advice of this bunch nonetheless. Liz Sayce in particular had a lot to say to the Committee. She was keen to tell the Committee of the sort of problems that ‘service users bring to us’ – did they include abusive psychiatrists, mental health staff perjuring themselves in order to secure convictions against them or their illegal detention in secure units? No, the service users complained of being bored in day hospitals. So Liz recommended that day hospitals should be shut and service users encouraged to attend college. I remember the results of Sayce’s recommendations well. The day hospitals were indeed closed down – nothing replaced them, so service users had nowhere to go at all and lost touch with their friends whom they used to meet in the day hospitals. So service users ended up being bored at home, alone. In the two years following the closure of the day hospital at the Hergest Unit, service users could be seen hanging about in the local towns destitute. A number of them died. As for ‘going to college’ – well a very small number of ‘service users’ benefited greatly from this and it turned their lives around. However Sayce’s ‘encouragement’ of such activity was interpreted by mental health teams as ‘coercion’ and certainly in north Wales numerous ‘service users’ were frog marched into college courses – they were told that they would lose social services support if they didn’t ‘take responsibility for getting better’ and enrol. Many of them did not have the academic ability needed for the courses that they had been coerced into joining and even more of them were far too fragile emotionally to cope with a college course. I knew of one course in which at the beginning of term about 15 service users enrolled at the behest of their mental health teams – every one of them withdrew before the course was half-way through and two of them were so distressed that instead of handing in essays to their tutor they handed in suicide notes and accounts of how they had been sexually abused by members of their chapel when they were children. The college ‘counselling service’ was in no way equipped to deal with the difficulties that these students were encountering. Not that the mental health team cared – once the ‘service user’ had enrolled, the mental health team ticked a box marked ‘recovered’ and forgot about them. A lot of ‘service users’ paid a very high price as a result of Liz Sayce’s advice.

No-one noticed – Sayce fucked up peoples lives all over again a few years later once she had been appointed Chief Exec of the Disability Rights Commission and a leading light on the UK Commission for Employment and Skills. It was Sayce that advised the Gov’t – what with her unique insight and being the Voice of the Service User – to close the Remploy factories on the grounds that they were ghettoes. Hundreds of Remploy staff volubly protested that they loved working at Remploy, that their disabilities were such that they couldn’t hold down other jobs – Remploy staff came forward with the most harrowing accounts of their mistreatment in previous workplaces and begged for Remploy to be reprieved. But Nurse Liz knew best and in 2012 told anyone who would listen in no uncertain terms that Service Users must be Included, that Remploy was Old Fashioned and that the Gov’t proposed Access To Work Fund was far more Empowering (it was also much cheaper and merely involved chucking a few hundred quid at a few service users to pay for simple adaptions on things like cars). The Gov’t followed Sayce’s advice and shut the Remploy factories down. Many of the former Remploy staff never worked again and are now on benefits. Furthermore I think that Theresa May et al are now proposing to whittle away at the Access To Work Fund anyway.

The Gov’t is still grappling with the advice that Liz gave them in 1998 – she recommended that health care and social care should NOT be merged. That’s why there is still such extreme inequity in the treatment of those people classed as needing ‘social care’ as compared to those whose needs are categorised as ‘medical’. But somebody was stupid enough to allow Liz to ‘lead’ on creating the Disability Agenda forming the basis of policy for the next two decades….

In Jan 2017 Liz announced her retirement from the Disability Rights Commission – she’d been shortlisted for a post as a Disability Commissioner on the European Human Rights Commission! For fuckwittery, arrogance and sheer irresponsibility, Liz is only matched by Rachel Perkins.

In 2001 David Henry took over as Chair. I can find no info about David Henry at all other than that whilst he was Chair of MIND he was given two free tickets worth £1,500 for the opening ceremony to some grand event in his capacity as ‘leader’ of a UK charity.

The present Chair, Ryan Campbell, has been in post since 2012. He was formerly the CEO of a ‘drug, alcohol and mental health charity in the south east of England’ and is currently the CEO of Demelza Hospice Care in Hindhead, Surrey. Ryan was previously involved with Age Concern and has been an expert advisor to Gov’t on the development of health services; is the author of DoH guidance to commissioning in the Third Sector; has been an advisor and taskforce member to DoH guidance on High Impact Changes in Health and Social Care (2008); and was the UK rep to the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse.

Ryan is also a member of something called the ‘Association of Chairs’, which seems to be no more than a collection of freeloading dipsticks who become Chairs of outfits like MIND. Ryan explains on their website that he joined the Association ‘because I need a network’. Of course you do Ryan. To propel you onwards and upwards in the face of your dismal performance in order that one day you too can bag a seat in the Lords or a place on the EHRC alongside Rachel bloody Perkins.

 

It is because of people like this lot that so many other people are dying and suffering in the UK’s health and welfare system.

 

NB. BBC News Wales and the ‘Daily Post’ online are reporting that there is pressure on Wales to provide ‘fix rooms’ in which drug users can inject heroin. North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones – he who as a young PC chauffeured Gordon Anglesea to the venues at which Anglesea molested boys and who many years later as Police and Crime Commissioner ‘made a mistake’ which resulted in Anglesea’s widow receiving 50% of his police pension although Anglesea died in prison as a convicted child abuser – is fully in support of the idea. Well it’s another great business opportunity for Dafydd and Lucille at CAIS – they can provide shooting galleries in which the CAIS clients can inject the goodies which they have been sold by their ‘peer guides’ and draw down a grant from the Welsh Gov’t to fund it all! I used to know someone who always quipped that CAIS stood for ‘Come And Inject Some’.

Anyone for co-production?

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More Summer Reading!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

A Few More Who Might Be Able To Answer Questions

I mentioned in a post a couple of days ago that I was about to begin reading Jack Straw’s autobiography, ‘Last Man Standing’. I finished it this morning and it was very much a case of the Ghost of Private Eyes Past – Straw talks about all the things that provided Eye readers with so much entertainment throughout the Blair and Brown years. Lord Levy, the Millennium Dome, Prezza assaulting a member of the public, Hans Blix searching for Saddam’s WMD down the back of the sofa, Lord Derry Irvine of the very expensive wallpaper, Charlie Falconer, the Hutton Report, it’s all there. Jack talks a lot about his friend Condi Rice and mentions many things that will remind everyone of why so many people cancelled their Labour Party membership during the Blair years. Jack seems to think that he’s dealing with these matters in a way that constructs them as positive, but he doesn’t manage that very successfully.

Jack’s interpretation of history is rather different than that of many other people. ASBOs ‘were a success’ – no Jack, ASBOs criminalised thousands of vulnerable people including children with mental health problems, autism and Tourettes, they were a disaster which is why they were abandoned. The return of Mandelson to Gov’t was a ‘positive’ move – no, that was the final straw (so to speak) for many of us – and best of all, Alistair Campbell was a man of ‘integrity’. Er, OK Jack, whatever you say. So what does Jack have to say about that rather difficult business involving the death of Dr David Kelly? Well, Dr Kelly ‘tragically died in July 2003’ but Jack doesn’t mention the circumstances. I seem to remember it had something to do with a dodgy dossier, the most enormous row with the BBC and the hounding and scapegoating of Dr Kelly – the root of all this being Alistair Campbell.

Jack is very scathing in his book about someone who stood for election against him on one occasion, even more scathing than he is about the BNP. Who was this candidate who pissed Jack off so much? It was Craig Murray, the former Ambassador for Uzbekistan. I went to listen to Craig Murray speak when he came to Bangor a few years ago and it was fascinating. Craig was of course famously withdrawn from his post in Uzbekistan and was subjected to much Gov’t criticism because he drank, partied and had some relationships with local women. But Craig did something else which was probably what really bothered the Foreign Office – he refused to shut up about the appalling human rights abuses happening in Uzbekistan, which included people being boiled alive. Craig was told that he was ‘over-focussed on human rights’ and was transported back to England where he ended up in a psychiatric hospital. During his lecture, Craig described how he was interrogated and subjected to extreme pressure by British officials and at one point he was told that all this was being done on the personal orders of Jack Straw, who was at the time Foreign Secretary….

There are plenty of pointers in Jack’s book to his slipperiness – for example whenever a scandal broke, whether it was on his watch as Home Secretary or later as Foreign Secretary, he always seemed to be conveniently due to leave the UK that very night and thus was at the airport or on the plane, so it was inevitably a case of ‘I know nuzzing…’ At the very beginning of his book, Jack revels in the fact that even as a young man who had done little more than work for the NUS he had already gained a reputation as a duplicitous git – he boasts that Barbara Castle gave him a job as her political advisor because of his ‘low down cunning’. People who read the comments section of my blog might have noticed that one of my correspondents has been mentioning that Barbara Castle, Jack Straw and Norman Warner were covering up terrible things happening to disabled people in the mid-70s – Jack speaks admiringly of Norman Warner in his book and obviously really rated him. Jack mentions that Norman became Lord Warner – it’s becoming a familiar scenario isn’t it…

Jack did of course cause a bit of a stir at one point by going public on his habit of asking fully veiled women visiting his surgery in Blackburn to remove their veils before they spoke to him. At the time that Straw did this, The Veil was becoming an issue, seemingly because people believed that the country was teaming with Muslim women concealing bombs beneath their burkas. Straw represents Blackburn, a constituency with a high proportion of Muslims and I suspect that he has sufficient knowledge to know that Daily Mail columnists’ prejudices rarely reflect reality. He’d represented Blackburn for decades, had a home there and no-one had ever tried to blow him up with weaponry concealed in Islamic dress. He also will have known that for some fully veiled women at least, asking them to remove their veil is like someone asking him to remove his trousers. Jack spoke out about another sensitive subject in his part of the world as well – the sexual grooming of young white girls by some Pakistani men. Fearless Jack asks ‘what’s the point of being in politics and not saying what you think about the difficult issues…’

So was Jack always frank about difficult issues?

One massively difficult issue that landed on Jack’s desk when he was Home Secretary was that of Thatcher’s friend General Pinochet. Pinochet had arrived in England, had tea with Thatcher and a few other old mates and then found himself under arrest because the Spanish Gov’t wanted him extradited to face trial for torture. Jack stressed that he really did think long and hard about this, it took him months and he wasn’t going to be swayed by anyone else’s opinion – indeed he refused to discuss the matter of the murdering old bastard with anyone else at all. Readers may remember that Pinochet wasn’t extradited because some Top Doctors came to his rescue and presented ‘expert’ evidence that Pinochet was incredibly frail and far too ill to stand trial. Pinochet flew home and was famously filmed landing in Chile, immediately getting up out of his wheelchair, happily walking towards his supporters and greeting them enthusiastically.  Jack was horrified! Pinochet had tricked the ‘system’! He was another Ernest Saunders, just when Jack had assured everyone that no way would he allow another scam like that! So whose advice had Jack relied upon – whilst he was refusing to discuss Pinochet’s case with anyone of course? For a start, that of the Chief Medical Officer, Liam Donaldson.

Liam Donaldson wasn’t quite as successful as other Chief Medical Officers had been at pulling the wool over everybody’s eyes – although he did keep bollocking on about successfully achieving ‘patient empowerment’ – and he ended up resigning as a result of the ‘modernising medical careers’ disaster, which screwed up the job application process for thousands of junior doctors. Liam was of course no rebel – indeed when Liam was CMO Mid-Staffs was quietly brewing away and he didn’t put a stop to it, Harold Shipman was brewing away and he didn’t manage to catch that in time either and of course the Top Doctors in north Wales were doing the most appalling things (I note that Donaldson studied at Bristol Medical School at the same time as Dr D.G.E. Wood…). However Top Doctors do get very angry if their paths are crossed in even a minor way and the BMA turned on their own and went after Liam’s blood. One Dr Richard Marks, Head of Policy at the BMA, very obviously wanted Donaldson’s head on a plate and was greatly pleased when he got it. I am wondering if Richard Marks is a member of the high profile Marks medical family, which includes the former Chair of the BMA Dr John Marks and Professor Vincent Marks, whom I worked for at the University of Surrey – both of whom kept quiet about the wrongdoing of the Top Doctors in north Wales (see post ‘The BMA At The Root Of Another Mystery’). I bet he is, being a Top Doctor who reaches the highest echelons of the medical establishment does run in families. Obviously the superior genes…

Liam ‘oversaw’ the medical assessment of Pinochet. I have long wondered who actually provided the dishonest expert report which enabled a vicious dictator to return home and die peacefully of old age in luxury when the bodies of many of his victims had not yet been recovered. It is very difficult to access such info, because a lot of secrecy surrounds Top Doctors’ expert reports to Courts. Of course, Court cases are (usually) public and the expert reports can decide whether someone is imprisoned, banged up for life in a special hospital or allowed to go free immediately, but not any old Tom, Dick or Harry can read those reports or even find out the identity of the Top Doctors giving evidence. I had always intended to publish the packs of lies that Dr Dafydd Alun Jones, Dr James Earp and Dr Robert Kehoe wrote about me in their capacity as ‘expert witnesses’ to demonstrate what the Top Doctors are actually capable of, but before I began this blog I took legal advice and was told ‘sorry, you are not allowed to ‘reproduce’ their reports in any way’. But they can lie about me… So I have just provided as many details about them as I am legally allowed on the blog. My friends have of course all read the reports and were suitably wowed by the lack of integrity of the Top Doctors who put their names to those documents.

However Jack’s book reveals the name of the Top Doctor who was so helpful to Pinochet! It was Sir John Grimley Evans, who is now Emeritus Professor at Oxford University. After Pinochet made his spectacular recovery as soon as he touched Chilean soil and the shit hit the fan, John Grimley Evans tried to shoulder the blame onto Straw, quibbling over the use of one word in his report. The uproar didn’t harm the long term prospects of dear old Sir John though – in 2005 Parliament still thought highly enough of him to receive written evidence from him for the Select Committee On Science and Technology regarding quality of life in old age. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and between 1999-2014 was listed as a Director of St Luke’s Hospital Oxford, which seems to be a care home. But there’s also a passing reference in Straw’s book to the ‘team’ of medical officers working for the Home Office who were employed on the Pinochet case! So there was Jack, John Grimley Evans and a team of Top Doctors – how did they all manage to get it so wrong?

I remember the case of Pinochet like it was yesterday, because by that time I had discovered how dishonest Dr Dafydd Alun Jones regularly was in his Court reports and I had shared this information with another Hergest patient who had also been stung by Dafydd. This patient entertained himself by ringing Dafydd whilst pretending to be calling from the Spanish embassy to ask Dafydd if he’d certify Pinochet fit for trial. Little did I know that that they might as well have asked Dafydd, his opinion would have been worth about as much as that of Straw, Evans and the Home Office medical officers.

The thing about poor old Jack and his claimed ignorance regarding the wrongdoing of the Top Doctors is that it doesn’t quite add up, whether it’s his Gov’ts lack of nous concerning the growing shit-storm at Mid-Staffs – or Top Docs concealing paedophile rings – or Pinochet’s health assessment. For a start Jack’s daughter Charlotte was a medical student and is now a Top Doctor herself. (Charlotte raised money for Cancer Research UK recently and requested donations to enable the noble scientists and Top Doctors at Cancer Research UK to find a ‘cure’. For  snapshot of what goes on at Cancer Research UK, see post ‘A Cause Close To Our Hearts’.) But Jack was very close indeed to someone who really will have known all about the Top Doctors and could have also found him a reliable expert witness to give an opinion on Pinochet – his wife Alice. Alice was a mandarin in the Dept of Health! Furthermore, Jack reveals that in 1997-8 Alice was a senior civil servant in the Treasury working for Gordon Brown, but shortly afterwards was appointed Director General in the DoH! Pinochet was flown back home in in 2000. Come on Alice – why didn’t you tell Jack? Ooh and why didn’t you explain to Jack that where grooming young people in care is concerned it really is not only Pakistani men up to no good – it wasn’t Pakistani men ‘grooming’ (ie. raping and trafficking) the kids in north Wales, it was the social services who were being assisted by the Top Doctors! And once those kids had been beaten into submission and were agreeing to have sex with anyone who asked, they were taken off down to London to have sex with folk in Westminster! Jack claimed to be clamping down on people trafficking in 2000…

Alice is not the only person who might have been able to enlighten Jack re child abuse/the use of psychiatry to conceal such abuse – that is if he didn’t already know something about it from his time working with Barbara Castle and Norman Warner in the DHSS between 1974-76. Jack’s early forays into politics were as a Councillor in Islington – which had a serious problem with a paedophile ring in it’s children’s homes. Jack was also a member of the notorious ILEA between 1971-74 and was Deputy Leader of ILEA 1973-74. Jack is not afraid to level criticism at ILEA in his book – he tells us that he knew that standards in inner London schools were often unacceptably low. There were close links between ILEA, the GLC and the London Councils – those Councils whose children’s services had been infiltrated by paedophiles.

Jack’s work on London Councils and with ILEA resulted in him rubbing noses with an awful lot of people who will have known about the paedophiles running riot in the children’s homes – because those buddies of Jack’s were running those Councils. Jack makes reference in his book to someone whom he admires greatly, the ‘inestimable’ Valerie Amos. Valerie is now Baroness Amos, but long ago at the dawn of time Valerie worked for Lambeth Borough Council – which had a child abuse problem among it’s children in care as big as that in Islington or in north Wales. Indeed, children from Lambeth were also sent up to homes in north Wales where they were molested. The Shirley Oaks Survivors Association from Lambeth are publishing their own accounts of the abuse to which they were subjected, so fed up are they of Gov’t investigations going nowhere. Lambeth Council has paid out millions in compensation to children who were abused in it’s care and it accepts that it will be paying out much more. As in Islington and north Wales, the Council was told what was happening to those kids but the Council let it continue. Amos describes her work with Lambeth as one of her ‘career achievements’ – others include her work with Camden Council and Hackney. Camden – she’ll know this blog’s old friends Tessa Jowell (see posts ‘The London Connection’ and ‘Tower Hamlets, Paul Boateng and Tessa Jowell’) and John Mills (see post ‘One Dangerous Fucker’) then! Like so many people who worked for or ran those London Councils in the 70s and 80s whilst paedophiles ran riot in the children’s services, Valerie used her ‘work’ on ‘equality and diversity’ with those councils as a springboard into a career in ‘equalities and diversity’ boosted by New Labour.

Between 1989-94 Valerie was Chief Exec of the Equal Opportunities Commission. In 1995 she formed Amos Fraser Bernard and was an advisor to the South African Gov’t on public service reform, human rights and employment equity. In August 1997 she was made a life peer and became the Secretary for International Development in Blair’s Cabinet. Amos acquired this position after Clare Short resigned. (Straw is incredibly rude about Clare Short in his book – did she have a few too many principles for you then Jack? Clare Short was not one for turning a blind eye as the shit that gathered under Blair mounted up.) In 2003 Amos took over as Leader of the Lords when the previous Leader, Lord Williams Of Mostyn, died. Jack liked him. Lord Williams of Mostyn featured in my post ‘Y Gwir Yn Erbyn Y Byd’ – he defended Gordon Anglesea after Gordon Anglesea sued Private Eye after the Eye accused him of molesting boys in children’s homes in north Wales. Anglesea won the case and shortly after the trial Mark Humphreys, the young man whom had given evidence that Anglesea had abused him, was found dead. Last year Gordon Anglesea was convicted of abusing boys in north Wales children’s homes and imprisoned. Valerie – standing on the shoulders of greats! Indeed, it was onwards and upwards.

Although Valerie left the Cabinet when Gordon Brown became PM, her stellar career didn’t stop. In 2007 she became a Director of Travant Capital Partners, a Nigerian private equity firm. Poor old Valerie ended up mired in allegations of corruption when it was revealed that Travant Capital had received £15 million from DFID, the Gov’t Dept that she used to lead.  In his book ‘Catholic Orangemen of Tongo’, Straw’s nemesis Craig Murray claims that he was told by a Director of Travant that the company ‘had access to DFID funds because Baroness Amos was a Director’.

In 2007 Amos also became the EU’s representative to the African Union. In 2010 she was appointed Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Co-Ordination.

In addition to these plum appointments, Valerie has had numerous others – she was the British High Commissioner to Australia and in 2015 she was appointed Director of SOAS (University of London). She was the Deputy Chair of the Runnymede Trust 1990-98, a Trustee of the IPPR, was involved with project Hope (an NGO promoting healthcare), was a Trustee of VSO and was a Director of Hampstead Theatre. Guess what else? In Sept 2008 Amos Chaired the GMC’s Equality and Diversity Forum! She has also been a non-executive director of University College London Hospitals Trust and between 1994-98 she was Chair of the Board of Governors at the Royal College of Nursing Institute.

So like so many who have been closely associated with organisations in which children were sexually abused and exploited, Valerie Amos is a good friend of the Top Doctors and Angels. A number of people have noticed that throughout her career in the higher echelons of public life, Valerie Amos has not been democratically elected to one position, they were all ‘appointments’. Well considering that Lambeth Borough Council oversaw the worst excesses of child abuse and ended up in such a financial mess that many of it’s Councillors were banned from office, I very much doubt that anybody would vote for anyone who had played a key role in that Council.

 

Jack’s book mentions a close colleague of his who also knew all about the shortcomings of Lambeth Borough Council who has starred on this blog recently – Paul Boateng (see post ‘Tower Hamlets, Paul Boateng And Tessa Jowell’). I have mentioned before that Paul’s wife Janet is a former Lambeth social worker. I have now read a bit more about the Tyra Henry case and Janet was involved up to her eye-balls. Tyra was a 22 month old girl who was murdered by her father Andrew in 1984. The case gained massive publicity because of the severe cruelty involved and the gross failings of Lambeth Borough Council. Tyra died two days after she had been left at a London hospital under a false name. She had suffered extreme physical abuse and there were 52 bite marks on her body. It transpired that her injuries had been inflicted by her father – Tyra had been allowed to live with him after he was released from prison, although there had previously been a decision not to allow this to happen. Before Tyra’s birth, her father had already assaulted her six month old brother, who was left blind and permanently brain damaged as a result of the attack – he was in care.  The Inquiry into Tyra’s death was led by Stephen Sedley QC – a colleague of Michael Mansfield and one of that generation of radical lawyers who did take on cases against the British state but who never seemed to be as outspoken as one would have expected about cases of abuse of children in care or the abuse of people in the mental health system.

In 1984 the Chair of Lambeth’s Social Services Committee was Janet Boateng. The Vice-Chair was Stephen Bubb. The aftermath of Tyra’s murder caused a massive rift between the Lambeth Councillors and the social workers employed by the Council (Janet of course had been in both positions.)  The Councillors and social workers both blamed each other for the dreadful state of the children’s services in Lambeth. It is reflective of the concerns of Lambeth Council at the time that the blame game wasn’t played out in terms of allegations of incompetence – it involved allegations of racism. Black Councillors maintained that white social workers were unable to work appropriately with black families and the white social workers made counter-allegations of not receiving ‘training’ and ‘support’ to work with black families. Where this left Janet Boateng who was black, a Councillor, Chairman of the Social Services Committee but had also worked as a social worker in the same Borough I do not know. I do know that it is ironic that the chaos and tragedy that presided in this Borough launched the careers of a group of people like Boateng and Amos, who were then lauded and honoured for their ‘services’ to equality and diversity. Amos’s biography is littered with references to her ‘firsts’ – the first black woman Cabinet Minister, the first black woman to become head of a UK university, one of the most influential black people in the UK etc. Whilst Amos and co played identity politics a little black girl was murdered – Tyra is not mentioned anywhere in the extensive guff about Lady Boateng or Lady Amos that is so readily available.

What was the fate of Boateng’s Vice-Chair, Stephen Bubb – a white man? Like the Ladies of Lambeth, Bubb has thrived. He is now Sir Stephen Bubb, Director of ‘Charity Futures’. His knighthood was awarded in 2011 for ‘services to the voluntary sector’.

Bubb describes himself as ‘influential in both the Labour and Conservative Parties’ with his ‘longstanding advocacy of charities replacing public services chiming with both parties’ policy of promoting competition and choice in areas such as healthcare’. Bubb has a website, ‘Bubb’s Blog’, and a recent post sees Bubb fuming angrily that the present Gov’t is ignoring the charity sector. I think that’s because of the embarrassment that was ‘Kid’s Company’ Stephen, it was a rather disillusioning process for those who promoted the idea of the ‘Big Society’. Bubb’s determined to ram his message home though, he’s very busy indeed working hard lobbying for the Third Sector. ‘Bubb’s Blog’ is currently hosting a ‘guest post’ by Henry Brook who is on ‘work experience’ with Bubb. Henry waxes lyrical about the global possibilities for the Third Sector and mentions that there’s a lot of wealthy people in China although Africa is still a bit too poor to participate in the jamboree.

Bubb is certainly a man who’s been on a political journey and who’ll work with anyone. In 1976 he was a research officer for the TGWU’s Jack Jones. In 1980 he was a negotiations officer for the NUT. Then there were his glorious achievements at Lambeth – Labour Party Member for Lambeth Borough Council from 1982 and Chief Whip to the Labour Group. In 1987 he was Lead Advisor concerning pay negotiations to the Association of Metropolitan Authorities (both Tessa Jowell and John Mills had positions on this body as well). In 1995 Stephen was Director of Personnel for the National Lottery Charity Board. Between 2000-06 he was Chief Exec for  ACEVO, the Association of Chief Execs of Voluntary Organisations. Since 2006 Stephen has been Chairman of the Adventure Capital Fund, a ‘social enterprise’ now administering ‘Communitybuilders’. He was Chairman of ‘Futurebuilders England’ in 2008. He founded ‘Charity Futures’ to ‘investigate the challenges to and provide support for the Third Sector for the next generation’ (does that translate as ‘my kids need a job now as well?’). In 2011 he was seconded to the Dept of Health as part of Andrew Lansley’s NHS ‘listening exercise’.

I haven’t actually researched all these different Third Sector organisations that Bubb has created – I know that’s remiss of me, but I suspect that I know what I will find. A very big gravy train, the passengers upon which will be other folk like Bubb, former Councillors from disastrous 80s Councils who did really well for themselves once Blair became PM and are still prospering as no-one dares mention the phrase ‘The King’s New Clothes’ now that they have been given gongs and been put in charge of so many things. Bubb became notorious for defending big salaries in the charity sector – he was paid in excess of £100k pa at ACEVO. ‘Bubb’s Blog’ tells us that he is ‘globally recognised’ and provides ‘strategic advice to Governments and businesses usually at Prime Minister, Minister, Mayor and Chairman level’. Bubb is Secretary General of the ‘European Third Sector Leaders Network’, which was ‘founded through his passion and drive’.

So what brought this globally-recognised-advisor-to-Prime Ministers’ career in local government to an end back in the 80s then? Lambeth Borough Council was one of the councils that refused to set a rate during the rate capping row with Margaret Thatcher’s Gov’t. Therefore the Councillors were surcharged for causing the Council financial loss through wilful misconduct. They were sacked and disqualified from office in 1986. Not that it held Stephen back from sitting in judgement on others – between 1980 and 2000 he served as a Youth Court Magistrate in Inner London.

Bubb has also dabbled with the Top Doctors – he was a member of the Local Health Boards of Guy’s Hospital and St Tommy’s Hospital.

Bubb found himself in the spotlight in 2013 when he held his 60th birthday party. I wouldn’t have thought that a birthday party could cause a diplomatic incident, but Bubb held a bash at the House of Lords with a number of cabinet ministers, Baronesses, media folk and charity leaders. They all had a great time and went back to Stephen’s place afterwards for champagne and fireworks. Stephen was particularly chuffed to receive a birthday card from Tony and Cherie. It was subsequently revealed that Stephen’s party had cost a great deal of money and that the bill had been footed not entirely by Stephen – although he is a very well-paid man – but partly by ACEVO. When questioned, ACEVO maintained that it was money well-spent because the party was ‘part of it’s [ACEVO’s] on-going work in building stakeholder relationships’.

The guest who made the welcoming speech at Stephen’s party – that was partly funded by people who were duped into believing that they were supporting charitable work – was Baroness Hayter. Dianne Hayter is the Deputy Leader of the Lords and is described as a ‘powerful advocate’ for the Third Sector. She is an old friend of Stephen’s from their Young Fabians days and was a founder member of ACEVO herself, whilst she was Director of ‘Alcohol Concern’. Bet she’s a mate of Tony and Cherie’s as well. Dianne is married to Professor David Caplin who works at Imperial College. David Caplin is a physicist – perhaps they have a bit more integrity than the Top Doctors at Imperial.

Whilst trumpeting the wonders of the Third Sector, Stephen tells us on his blog that ‘state provision often neglects the consumer or beneficiary’. That Stephen is because it was so often run by people like you and Janet Boateng – you neglected the beneficiary to such an extent that a little girl was murdered and even then you tried to tart it up as a race relations problem. The charity sector is now blighted with exactly the same problems as the state sector – because you lot have now moved in and colonised that. Stephen mentions on his blog that ‘more than a third of mental health services are provided by charities’. Yes and the leading story on all the news programmes today has been the scandalous state of the nation’s mental health services. This morning it was revealed that thousands of mental health patients are spending YEARS in hospital after they have been deemed to be fit for discharge because there is no accommodation for them and at lunchtime it was reported that Sir James Munby, the head of the Family Court, has been unable to find suitable psychiatric care for a suicidal teenaged girl. Munby has sated that if care for her cannot be found ‘society will have blood on it’s hands’. You obviously haven’t noticed Sir James – society has been awash with the blood of the mentally ill for decades. And you’ve only just woken up to it. No doubt Paul Farmer and Marjorie Wallace will pop up on the ‘Today’ programme tomorrow to give us all a lecture about the horrors of people remaining in hospital for years because of a lack of accommodation. Well why haven’t they mentioned it before? The rest of us knew that it was happening – in fact I e mailed a number of politicians about this some three years ago….

 

Many years ago a book was published called something like ‘The Court of The Blairs’ which was an account of some of the rather shallow, dysfunctional people lining their own nests who surrounded Tony and Cherie. Valerie Amos, Janet Boateng and Stephen Bubb are pretty good examples of the outer circle. (Blair’s inner circle was comprised of the likes of Silvio of course…)

 

Somebody else who might be able to enlighten us all regarding what was going on in Lambeth at the time of Tyra’s murder is a man whose name crops up in reports of the case from that time – the Chair of the British Association of Social Workers Southwark, John Wheeler. John Wheeler is now based in the north east of England – I suspect like some others who were previously associated with Lambeth, he’s air-brushed that bit out of his CV – and doubles up as ‘John Wheeler Solutions Ltd’. He has a website that bangs on about him having experience in ‘solution focussed’ practice and expertise in ‘training and development’. The site mentions his ‘thirty years experience as a social worker/family therapist’ and tells us that he has ‘co-developed a model for complex child protection issues’. Wheeler is a visiting lecturer in solution focussed practice, systemic practice and narrative therapy at the following Universities: Northumbria, Newcastle, Durham, Sunderland, Teeside. He teaches on the following courses: social work, psychology nursing, systemic practice and child protection.

John has published too – in ‘Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry’, on brief solution focussed therapy. The Hergest Unit used to offer that – Brown observed that it will certainly be brief but there won’t be many solutions. There weren’t many solutions for the therapist either. He was a nurse with a PhD who had been told by the North West Wales NHS Trust to pass himself off as a clinical psychologist. One of the many patients whom the Hergest Unit tried to frame for a crime that she didn’t commit found out about this and complained. The therapist was subsequently sacked – not for false representation, because the Trust had forced him into that, but for allegedly having a relationship with a patient. The therapist knew a friend of mine and his story was that he had actually only begun a relationship with the patient a year after she had been discharged after meeting her again at a party. But Ysbyty Gwynedd were smarting with embarrassment that they’d been caught misrepresenting the status and qualifications of their staff, so he was the scapegoat.

Like the esteemed Professors Poole and Robinson of Bangor University, John Wheeler has been paying visits to India to dispense his pearls of wisdom. He’s also been popping over to Poland to show them how it’s done. John’s website is advertising an ‘online certificate of competence’. He has helpfully provided diagrams and instructions concerning how to fold and read your certificate of competence if you’re too incompetent to work out how to do it.

I really do recommend a visit to John’s website. It can be summed up by one phrase – ‘Clare In The Community’.

John’s website doesn’t only detail his expertise regarding focussing on solutions. He plays in a ceilidh band and also recommends singing as a way to deal with stress and to bond with other people.

One has to be careful if one’s a service user and one does a bit of singing though. Some years ago there was a young man who was a patient at the Hergest Unit – he suffered from bouts of severe depression – who had two young children. His first baby was a girl and he was delighted – a couple of years later his wife became pregnant again and this time he thought that it would be really great if they could have a boy, one of each. His wife gave birth to a little boy and the day after the birth, this young man took his little girl for a walk in Snowdonia. He was so happy about the birth of his second child that he was singing. He was stopped by a policeman and interrogated regarding who the little girl with him was – on the grounds that he might not be suitable to be responsible for a little girl, what with him being a singing service user. The incident caused quite a furore, because his fuming wife contacted the local media. Both she and her husband gave interviews regarding the idiocy of a young father being stopped by the police because he was singing in the woods. About ten years after this incident, the young man sadly became ill with depression again and killed himself. I knew his wife – she told me that it was heartbreaking, both she and he knew that he was becoming very depressed again but they didn’t know why. There was no help forthcoming from the Hergest Unit – by this time the day centre had been closed and Alun Davies et al had just about destroyed ‘the service’ completely. But at least north Wales was crawling with those experts in suicide prevention that I have previously blogged about and dear old David Healy was making regular media appearances.

Someone else whom Jack Straw will know who has knowledge of the insanity at Lambeth is Lord Herman Ouseley, the former Chair and Chief Exec of the Commission for Racial Equality 1993-2000.  Before he made his career in ‘equality and diversity’, Herman was Chief Exec of ILEA and Chief Exec of Lambeth! (Herman has removed all references to Lambeth from his wiki entry, but he was very much there.) Herman has been at the ‘forefront of challenging institutional racism in organisations’. Like so many of his contemporaries who were involved in running the car crash at Lambeth, Herman is now a management consultant advising on equality and diversity issues. It was Herman who introduced Paul Boateng, husband of Janet, to the Lords when Boateng was given a peerage.

Following hot on the heels of Herman as the Chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality was Gurbux Singh. Sing hadn’t worked for Lambeth but he had been just about everywhere else that managed to disgrace itself in the 1980s – the GLC, Hackney, Brent and Haringey. Gurbux ended up as Chief Exec of Haringey Council and he was there at the time that Dr Dafydd Alun Jones rang them up to have a word with them about me when Dafydd discovered that I would be living there after I left the North Wales Hospital Denbigh! Gurbux – how did you know a crazed old bugger in north Wales who was concealing a paedophile ring? Gurbux was a member of Jack Straw’s Race Relations Forum when Straw was Home Secretary and was also an advisor to the Association of London Government and a member of our old friend the Association of Metropolitan Authorities. No doubt Gurbux would have been elevated to the Lords by Blair as well if only he hadn’t come unstuck at a cricket match in 2002 by getting pissed, threatening a policeman and getting himself arrested. The incident caused him to resign from the CRE. This wasn’t because of the drunkenness or the arrest, it was because Singh told the policeman that he (Singh) knew Ian Blair the Deputy Commissioner of the Met – now Lord Blair, a big mate of another man called Blair – and would have the policeman sacked.

Yet another old lag who made a career out of her ‘expertise’ in equality and diversity was Judith Hunt. Judith used to edit the GLC magazine ‘Equalities’. Judith is now Judith Hunt OBE and runs an outfit called ‘Judith Hunt Associates Ltd’. She is of course an ‘executive coach’ and ‘consultant’ ‘working across the sectors’ dispensing advice on ‘diversity and equalities’. She is a Board Member for Transport for London and a Member of the Audit Committee there.

Judith’s previous positions include: National Officer and Assistant General Secretary of ‘a national trade union’ (she doesn’t say which one, so presumably there’s been a bit of trouble there); Director of Personnel at the GLC; Chief Exec at London Borough of Ealing for 7 years; Chief Exec of Local Gov’t Management Board 1993-99; Chair of Camden and Islington Health Authority 2000-02; Chair, London Health Observatory 2002-06.

Come on Judith, with a CV like that you’ll have known something about the abuse of children and the associated cover-up by the Top Doctors.

Judith was a Board Member of the CPS, 2002-05. The CPS that could not explain why it did not prosecute Greville Janner and numerous other high profile child abusers – including the dozens in north Wales against whom there was substantial evidence. Judith is now a non-executive director of the CPS and the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. She has contributed to the delivery of the CPS Diversities strategy.

Judith has also contributed to the Civil Service Commission and the ESRC Research Priorities Board – so that’s why the ESRC does what it’s told by the Gov’t, even when the agenda is obviously so lame!

People actually pay Judith for her advice – including the NHS and Dept of Health.

The website of ‘Judith Hunt Associates Ltd’ is well worth a visit as they used to say on ‘Blue Peter’, because one can click on the various people who assist in her consultancy. They are all as equally vacuous as Judith and use very similar phrases to describe their work, phrases which are actually meaningless. Judith curiously claims to carry out ‘health checks’. Which is seriously weird, because I don’t think that she’s a Top Doctor, even if the NHS and DoH are wasting good money on her ‘advice’.

Another former leader of Lambeth (1986-88) who could answer a few questions is Linda Bellos – she too is now a management consultant, ‘Linda Bellos Associates’ – in equalities and diversity, although Linda specialises in LGBT issues. Linda was one of the Lambeth Councillors who resigned over the rate capping saga – and I think that she was the leader when the Council finally imploded. Linda has advised the British Army, the Met, the CPS and the Association of Chief Police Officers!

 

So there we have it, a bunch of people who ran the most dangerous, chaotic Councils in England – whose children’s services were pervaded by paedophiles – many of whom ended up being disqualified from office and who effectively bankrupted their authorities. Who better for Blair to elevate to the Lords and appoint to lead Gov’t Commissions, advise the NHS, the police, the CPS etc on ‘equality’? It was after all only the most disadvantaged children in the country who suffered and died in the ‘services’ that they ran.

There are two other people who might be able to answer questions as well, although they are not friends of Tony and Cherie. One is Ted Knight, who was leader of Lambeth Borough Council from 1978. Ted was disqualified from office but for many years remained active in Unite. However, when Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour Party, Ted announced his re-entry into politics and he’s now busy in Lambeth once more. The other is a man called John McDonnell, who was involved in the GLC and hung around a lot with Ted and co. This John McDonnell will know something. I wonder where he is now…

 

NB. I heard on the news earlier that Rogue Top Doctor Ian Paterson has had his prison sentence increased. The judge who increased it made a speech about a shocking breach of trust, how could any Top Doctor ever behave in such a way etc etc. I’ve got news for Lady Justice Hallett – plenty of them are capable of doing so. After all I’ve got 10,000 documents showing that scores of them concealed a paedophile ring and tried to have me imprisoned by perjuring themselves. No doubt when Paterson is eventually released, the GMC will put him back on the register and double his pension pot to compensate for his lost earnings whilst he was inside. There has also been a GP in east London arrested for numerous sexual assaults on patients. Is that the sound of loud snoring that I can still hear coming from the direction of north Wales?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yet More Crime And Punishment

The Daily Post Online today is running one of it’s regular shock horror stories regarding that which the hard pressed staff of the Betsi have to tolerate as they go about their daily heroics: ‘Sexual Abuse, Violent Attacks and Verbal Insults – The Crimes North Wales NHS Staff Suffer’. The article explains that ‘new figures reveal the extent of the appalling offences committed against NHS workers’. We are told that NHS staff in north Wales have been ‘attacked’ more than 7000 times since 2012, according to ‘shocking figures’ released as a result of an FoI request. In 2013 there were 1929 incidents and over the next three years there were more than 1700 incidents each year.

It sounds terrible doesn’t it. But these thousands of incidents do not represent the numbers of convictions – they are figures supplied by the Betsi, not the police. Neither have they been confirmed by any other body. I happen to know that the Betsi employs a very elastic definition when it uses the phrase ‘attack on a member of staff’. The statistics for such ‘attacks’ include instances of psychotic or learning disabled patients swearing – not even necessarily swearing AT staff, but merely swearing in their presence. It is entirely at the discretion of Betsi staff whether they report ‘attacks’ on them and some of those staff are known to be reporting the most trivial of incidences – particularly if the patient involved has made a complaint. I know of staff employed in the Hergest Unit who were routinely complaining of being ‘attacked’ by patients as a means of getting themselves out of trouble when the staff themselves were the subject of complaint. I know of a number of patients – including me – who were accused of ‘assaulting’ or ‘attacking’ staff after they had complained about being assaulted by staff themselves. Most of these complaints involved the same staff. Furthermore I have compared my own medical records with the records of some of the patients who contacted me after they too had been wrongly accused – the same phrases had been used about all of us by the same staff. Those staff were working to a script. In no case that I know of were the staff involved disciplined – yet there was complaint after complaint about them.

The problems with certain members of staff in the Hergest Unit reached a peak in the years before the North West Wales NHS Trust was abolished, when Keith Thomson and then Martin Jones were CEOs there. (Details of the violence and aggression that I encountered and that I witnessed other patients being subjected to can be read in my posts ‘Who Is In Need Of Restraining?’ and ‘The Real Story Behind These Figures…’.) Both Thomson and Jones were constantly briefing local newspapers about the problems of staff being attacked by mad psychiatric patients – they were undoubtedly doing this because a number of patients were consulting lawyers and writing to politicians after having been violently assaulted by staff in the Hergest Unit. A now retired member of staff from Hergest told me that they were convinced that evidence against some patients who had dared complain had been fabricated and that some patients had been wrongly convicted as a result.

There is one former member of staff from Hergest who was a willing accomplice in all of this – a nurse called Gareth Phillips. Gareth retired from nursing as a result of ill health, but was offered the post of RCN rep. It was Gareth who was happy to provide comments to local papers about the shocking number of attacks on Ysbyty Gwynedd staff. I knew Gareth for years whilst he still worked as a nurse – I never witnessed Gareth abuse anyone himself, but he certainly knew that some of his colleagues were behaving appallingly. And he knew that some patients were being arrested and fitted up for offences that they had not committed, after hospital staff had lied to the police. Furthermore Gareth knew that this had happened to me. Someone else knew about this as well – Gareth’s wife Penny, who also worked as a nurse at the Hergest Unit. I have mentioned in previous posts how under the regimes of Keith Thomson and Martin Jones, there was an exodus of the better staff from Hergest. I met one of those people after they had escaped to work in another part of the Trust and they told me that both they and their spouse (who was also a nurse) had been stuffed over and forced out of their jobs – interestingly enough after one of them warned the authorities at Ysbyty Gwynedd that the conduct of staff towards the patients was making the Hergest Unit unsafe. This person remarked that the Trust however had ‘looked after’ Gareth Phillips when he became too ill to work, by giving him a job as RCN rep. This person also mentioned that the Trust ‘looked after’ Bob Ingham when Ingham became too ill to work. Ingham was a notoriously aggressive CPN with the Arfon Community Mental Health Team – on my first meeting with him he dragged me down a corridor after telling me that he was someone else and I know of another patient who was threatened with assault in his own home by Ingham when Ingham was making a ‘home visit’. So Keith and Martin were ‘looking after’ staff who agreed to keep silent about abuse and produce propaganda for the media and even staff who were abusive themselves. The people who did not get looked after were staff raising concerns about the level of aggression to which patients were subjected. Martin Jones is at present the Director of Workforce for the Betsi. Are we surprised that florid figures about attacks on Angels are still being bandied about?

If the figures being produced were accurate, anyone spending any length of time in any of the hospitals run by the Betsi would have witnessed at least one of these ‘attacks’. I have spent much time in their hospitals – the only thing that I ever witnessed that came anywhere near to an ‘attack’ was an acutely psychotic patient throwing a book at a psychiatrist which hit him in the face. Even that incident could probably have been avoided if the psychiatrist concerned, the dreadful Raj Sambhi, had built up any sort of rapport with his patients. He didn’t – he walked onto the ward for twenty minutes once a week and spoke arrogantly to distressed patients who barely knew who he was. With the exception of that incident I have never witnessed any patient physically attack any member of staff. I have witnessed an awful lot of rudeness towards members of staff, I have witnessed patients shout and swear at members of staff – but as with Sambhi and the book, many of those incidents were obviously a result of patients being treated very disrespectfully themselves. I have asked other people who have spent a long time in hospitals in north Wales if they have ever seen ‘attacks’ on staff and they haven’t either. One of them, like me, had witnessed an assault on a patient in the Hergest Unit by staff, but had only ever witnessed disorientated or distressed patients shouting or swearing at staff.

The Post article includes a comment from Gwenfair Jones, a Wrexham County Councillor who worked as a community nurse for twenty years before she retired two years ago. Gwenfair states that ‘it’s terrifying to think of the risks that NHS staff face every day at work’. She then relates an account of how a colleague was responding to a patient when someone tried to get in her car and having failed to do that, jumped on the bonnet. Gwenfair doesn’t state that it was the patient who did this, so presumably it was someone else – who actually might have been confused or distressed rather than out to attack the car driver… There is simply not enough info from that anecdote to suggest that it is an example of the terror that NHS staff face every day as a result of their work.

Gwenfair also mentions that when the NHS followed it’s lone working policy, staff were issued with alarms. Well I know of a situation in which the issuing of a piece of equipment to be used as an ‘alarm’ was ruthlessly used by the managers of the Gwynedd Hospitals NHS Trust and their partners in crime in the Arfon Community Mental Health Team in an attempt to frame a patient. In the mid-1990s I was prosecuted at the insistence of Gwynedd Hospitals NHS Trust for allegedly making an obscene and threatening telephone call to Bridget Lloyd, a CPN with the Arfon Team. I did not make this call. Florid statements were made about me to the police by Bridget Lloyd about her being terrified of me, indeed so frightened that the Trust had issued her with a mobile phone to carry with her when she went out in order to enable her to ring for help should she meet me and I attack her. There was also a statement made in Court by the Trust that I represented such a risk to Bridget and her ‘two young children’ that the Trust had organised a safe house for them should I be found not guilty. I did not even know that Bridget Lloyd had young children. I was found not guilty. Whether dear old Bridget and the kids then took up residence in the safe house I do not know, but when I requested an apology for being denied access to NHS hospitals during the course of this malicious case I was told very firmly that I would not be receiving an apology. A few months ago my lawyer forwarded me the documentation relating to this case. Among all the documents was a memo that Bridget Lloyd had written herself to her managers saying that she had only met me once or twice, that it was many years ago and that she was sure that if I saw her I would not recognise her. That memo was written before the case against me went ahead – it was also written at about the same time as her statement about the risk that I presented to her and her children and how she was ‘absolutely terrified’ of me.

Bridget didn’t mention on the memo the circumstances in which she had met me years previously. I met Bridget Lloyd when I had been illegally detained in Seiriol Ward in Ysbyty Gwynedd after I refused to drop my requests for a copy of my medical records. Bridget was the nurse in charge of the ward. I challenged Bridget over my illegal detention, as well as over the threats that I had received from Alun Davies, the manager of the mental health services – and over the mistreatment of other patients that I was witnessing. Bridget told me that ‘someone’ had decided that I ‘should be here’ and that no-one was being abused or illegally detained. Yes they were Bridget and you knew it. Now, off down to the police station with you to provide a statement giving the details of who it was who ordered you to perjure yourself in court in an attempt to secure a conviction against me.

The article in the Post makes a reference to the case of a man called Christopher Bambrough, who was jailed some months ago after ‘threatening to knock out a nurse’ at Wrexham Maelor. Sounds nasty doesn’t it. The facts of the case are that Bambrough had gone to Wrexham Maelor seeking help for mental health problems but had been refused such help and had been told to go and make an appointment with his GP. He became distressed and shouted a few rash comments that people were going to get hurt. OK, so a man whom it is admitted had mental health problems went for help – and was effectively told to piss off. Knowing just how damn near impossible it is to now access mental health care in north Wales I can imagine how desperate and frustrated that man probably was. Furthermore, I wouldn’t be surprised if he had made umpteen visits to his GP and the local hospitals trying to get help – I have witnessed people doing this and it is quite clear that there is no way that they will get treatment. Because the mental health services are no longer permitted to refuse to assess or treat people, the technique used in north Wales is now to send them from pillar to post, around and around in circles, with everybody refusing to treat them and telling them to see someone else.

So who was it who imprisoned a mentally ill desperate man for shouting a few rash things in the direction of the Angels? It was Judge Niclas Parry, who when he was merely solicitor advocate Niclas Parry, represented one of the most vicious of the paedophiles at the Waterhouse Inquiry (see post ‘This Is What Happened To Nicola, Niclas, Merfyn, Joan and Kathryn’ for details of Parry’s glorious career, his shameful role in the Waterhouse Inquiry and his kid-glove handling of two other people involved in organised crime). Parry told Brambrough that ‘hospital staff will be protected by the Courts’. Yes, along with paedophiles and drug dealers thanks to Old Nick being on the bench.

Daily Post Online makes reference to the police ‘having to be’ called out to ‘attacks on staff’ 591 times in the last five years. I wonder what the opinion of the police is regarding those call outs – because when I still lived in north Wales I was told quite frankly by a police officer that they were sick to death of the Hergest calling them out to deal with trivial situations that the staff should be dealing with themselves. But this has been happening for decades. When Dafydd Alun Jones et al first began having me arrested in the 80s there was an officer called Sgt Tim Evans who was known to be telling people that the whole situation was farcical – a bunch of pompous braying consultants were on the one hand telling Sgt Evans and his colleagues that they were ‘experts’ and Had To Be Listened To, but on the other hand were ringing the police on an almost daily basis because I was refusing to drop my complaints about the mental health services and continued requesting copies of my own records. I was told that Sgt Evans noted just how much more than the police that bunch of fuckwits were being paid yet were demanding that the police clear up their mess. As an example of the sort of thing that the Top Doctors were doing, I have in my possession a document which is a copy of a letter written by Top Doctor Sadie Francis, backed up by her mate from the Arfon Team the appalling social worker Sheila Jenkins, complaining about me walking into a room at Ysbyty Gwynedd ‘carrying a rolled up newspaper’. Francis and Jenkins demanded that the police be called in case I was ‘concealing a knife’ in the newspaper.  I could have been storing weapons grade plutonium in the rolled up newspaper but I wasn’t – these crazy allegations with absolutely no grounds were being bandied around about me (and a number of other patients) constantly.

The Betsi told the Daily Post that their staff receive ‘violence and aggression training’ and ‘de-escalation’ training. That ‘training’ leaves a lot to be desired. It is delivered by staff who have learnt their own aggression at the knee of the north Wales mental health services – for many years, the man who ‘trained’ the local Angels in ‘control and restraint’ was a nurse from the North Wales Hospital, the institution in which victims of the North Wales Paedophile Ring were illegally imprisoned. More latterly the ‘training’ was delivered by the dreadful Alison Parry, the highly abusive nurse responsible for running the highly abusive Taliesin Ward. I have watched the Angels from the Hergest Unit use their ‘training’ – it involves jumping on patients from a height for no good reason and pinning them to the floor for twenty minutes. As for ‘de-escalation’ – well after Alun Davies, the former manager of the Hergest Unit, refused to answer questions from either me or my lawyer regarding Parry and co carrying out assaults on me, I asked Davies in person when he was going to reply to my lawyer’s letters. He stood in a corridor at Hergest and bellowed ‘shut up’ at me repeatedly. My lawyer suggested to him that this was rather unacceptable and she received a letter from Davies saying that he was using ‘de-escalation techniques’ and that they were so good that a psychiatrist had complimented him on them. I can only presume that the Top Doctor in question was actually taking the piss out of him, but Davies was far too thick to realise.

In addition to boasting about the ‘training’ that their staff receive, the Betsi told the Post that all three of their District General Hospitals have police and security on site. I have known some of the ‘police on site’ at Ysbyty Gwynedd. One of them was really good, a very nice man with an excellent relationship with the patients. This however was ruined because the Hergest staff kept telling him to threaten to arrest the patients, instead of allowing him to talk to them. On one occasion this resulted in him having to threaten to arrest a young female psychiatric patient in the locked ward at Hergest because she kept dialling 999. Yes, the Hergest staff wanted a psychotic teenager taken out of a locked ward where she was sectioned anyway, arrested and charged for dialling 999 for bizarre reasons. That policeman ended up leaving that post – and I can see why. After he left he was replaced by a Scouse Thug who threatened me over the phone when I rang the hospital to inform them that I would be attending the hospital in person to deliver a statement from a third party who had witnessed hospital staff lie about me in order to have me arrested. I’m sure that the authorities at YG thought that the Scouse Thug did a great job.

As well as on site police and security, a Betsi spokesperson also explained to the Daily Post that they employ a ‘violence and aggression case manager’. Yes, I’ve heard about this person – they’re the one whom I was told actively encourages staff to demand that patients are prosecuted even if staff don’t want to press charges. Interestingly enough, the Betsi spokesperson does admit to the Daily Post that it is ‘important to recognise’ that the figures provided ‘may not reflect the actions of some patients who may not intend to be deliberately aggressive and may act in this way by extent of their conditions’. So that’s them fessing up then. But nonetheless they were still happy to release these ludicrous misleading figures – which even they admit aren’t a true reflection of the situation.

Intriguingly, the Betsi states that there is a National Memorandum of Understanding across Wales between the police, the CPS and the NHS on how to ‘support staff’ following incidents of violence. Readers who have followed my posts about the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal and the associated cover-up will remember that it involved the police, the CPS and the NHS…Those bodies understand each other very well in north Wales – and if Old Nick is on the bench, there’s even more understanding…

People who have been following this blog for a while will also remember my posts describing the scores of errors, fallacious allegations and downright lies that I discovered entered upon my medical records. Highlights include entries that I ‘had held a nurse hostage’, ‘was in prison after attacking someone with a knife’ and had ‘sexually assaulted a psychiatrist’. What’s the betting that these lurid allegations have added to the statistics that the Betsi have made up? Despite protracted correspondence with Gary Doherty, the CEO of the Betsi, I have been unable to persuade them to remove the dozens of lies from my records. Gary did agree to remove the references to me sexually assaulting a psychiatrist because he admitted that never happened – I note that Gary did not carry out any investigation into how these gross slur ever found it’s way onto my records and that no-one was disciplined for writing it. Gary has refused to amend anything else – although I can prove that the comments are not true – on the grounds that his staff told him that these things had happened and thus they must have happened. Furthermore Gary is now stating that twenty years worth of my records don’t exist because he can’t find them. I have copies here with me which my lawyer obtained previously, but no, according to Gary those records don’t exist.

How can anyone believe any statistics at all collected by this bunch of lying dipsticks?

Another former star of this blog featured in the Post article – Tina Donnelly, the Director of the RCN in Wales. Tina warns that these attacks on NHS staff affect recruitment. No Tina, what is affecting recruitment in the Betsi is the dreadful standard of care that is known to exist up there – good nurses do not want to work with negligent abusive people – and the brutal treatment of whistleblowers. The nurse who blew the whistle on the Tawel Fan scandal was sacked, wrongfully arrested after being subjected to malicious allegations and has received death threats. The staff who abused the patients in Tawel Fan were subjected to no disciplinary action at all. Donnelly has sat in the RCN throughout scandal after scandal in north Wales – including Tawel Fan – and has done nothing to take action against her members who are abusing their positions. I have read plenty of her semi-literate articles in the Welsh media demanding higher salaries for her members, or indeed banging on about the way in which they spend every waking hour at work being viciously attacked by unhinged patients, but I have not yet read any condemnation from her concerning poor standards of care on the part of some Angels. Indeed Donnelly seems to be quite close to two particularly unpleasant Angels employed at Ysbyty Gwynedd A&E – Stephen Gallagher and Andrew Parry. Please read post ‘Two Dangerous Very Dishonest Nurses’ for details of Gallagher and Parry’s lies, threats and dishonesty. Donnelly ‘serves’ in the Territorial Army along with Gallagher and Parry. For further details of Donnelly’s contacts and questionable background, see post ‘Oh To Be In Receipt Of Academic Honours’.

At the end of the article, the Daily Post chips in with their ‘opinion’. The Post maintains that ‘people join the NHS because they care…good decent human beings who want to make a difference…the vast majority of them aren’t in it for the money…these same decent people are routinely subjected to violence and verbal abuse – sometimes racist or sexual… [the offenders] should forfeit their right to free NHS treatment in the future…’

Now most people do indeed join the NHS for the right reasons – but there is a very big problem in north Wales. Until very recently a vicious paedophile ring operated throughout the region and it was concealed and facilitated by the mental health services. A lot of the people involved are still working in the mental health services – indeed one of them is the Chairman of the Betsi – and this has left a toxic legacy. These were not ‘caring’ ‘decent’ people and furthermore they were not subjected to violence and verbal abuse, they lied on oath in order to discredit people who were complaining about their own malpractice and abuse. They are using the same techniques now in a desperate attempt to detract from the train wreck that is the NHS in north Wales. I will remind the Daily Post of what happened at Tawel Fan – elderly patients were found to be crawling around naked on floors covered in faeces and urine; one patient had an untreated broken arm; staff swore at patients, trapped them in their beds by placing furniture on top of them and discussed their sex lives. Some of those patients died as a result of the neglect and abuse that they endured. The ward was shut down and the Board was placed in special measures after the Welsh Gov’t admitted institutional abuse of patients. It was the worst mental health scandal in recent years in the UK. And which newspaper carried ‘interviews’ with those staff, interviews in which staff insulted the patients and their relatives? The Daily Post.

Until the 1990s, people working in and managing children’s homes in north Wales were believed to be kindly avuncular folk working for modest salaries looking after ‘tearaways’, ‘naughty boys’, ‘disturbed teenagers’, ‘young thugs’, ‘streetwise kids’ or ‘criminals’. We now know that they were actually starving, beating and raping those kids before forcing them into prostitution and delivering them to the Westminster Paedophile Ring. When those kids told people what was happening to them they were discussed in exactly the same terms that the Post is using to discuss people whom they believe are ‘attacking’ noble selfless NHS staff.

As for people forfeiting their right to free NHS treatment – there are at present people in north Wales, particularly people with mental health problems, who CANNOT access the care that they need and to which they are legally entitled. Sometimes this is because the ‘service’ has collapsed and doesn’t exist to provide treatment, but a number of people have been subjected to a co-ordinated campaign to ensure that they will not be treated under any circumstances – because they complained about a fucking paedophile gang.

As for staff not being in it for the money – no many of them are not. But some undoubtedly are. This blog has exposed a number of scams being runs by NHS staff and those scams have been designed to line their own pockets. It is difficult to find highly paid work in north Wales and no-one but the Betsi is going to pay Martin Jones and his ilk £130,000 pa and Martin knows it. Which is why he is still sitting on that Board after years of disaster wearing cufflinks that cost as much as some people earn in a week. Martin with his rather poor degree (you weren’t up to much when you were at Bangor University were you Martin), Martin who is rumoured to have failed accountancy exams, Martin with his Mickey Mouse qualification in ‘Innovation and Change’, Martin who when he was CEO of the North West Wales NHS Trust flew first class to America on NHS expenses and lived it up with his mates for no good reason. Martin is most definitely in it for the money.

Although the Post article is about the NHS in north Wales, there is a link to an interview with someone employed by Cardiff and Vale UHB. That’s the Cardiff and Vale UHB that employs a consultant gynaecologist who many years ago was frozen out of the London circle because he was a relentless sexual harasser (see post ‘Every Sperm Is Sacred – Particularly In Scotland’).

Newsflash: Just appeared on the Daily Post website – a female paramedic with the Welsh Ambulance Service in north Wales has been convicted of assaulting another young woman. The ‘caring’ ‘decent’ NHS worker had ‘trained’ in the Army Medical Corps. Probably alongside Donnelly, Gallagher and Parry. She’s been travelling around in the back of an ambulance in a green jumpsuit for the last two years whilst the likes of the Daily Post told us that she was some sort of superior being.

As for all this talk of ‘decent’ people, in the early 1990s I attempted to enter Menai Bridge police station to make a complaint about a Top Doctor – one of those who was facilitating the paedophile ring – threatening me. What can only be described as a Ginger Pig in a sergeants uniform confronted me and told me that if I entered the police station he would arrest me. I told him that I had been threatened and I wished to make a statement. The Ginger Pig told me that he was here to protect ‘decent’ people like the Top Doctor and if I didn’t get out of Menai Bridge immediately he’d arrest me. He then pursued me as far as the Menai Suspension Bridge insulting me and told me to do everyone a favour and throw myself off the bridge. When I got home I rang Menai Bridge police station in an attempt to discover the identity of the Ginger Pig. Another policeman answered – whom I knew, because I had met him previously in Bangor Police Station after the Top Doctors had of course had me arrested. He was called Kelvin, he was nothing like the Ginger Pig himself, but he would not tell me the name of the Ginger Pig and he wouldn’t take down a complaint about him. On another occasion I tried to make representation about the Top Doctors and their harassment to an inspector in Bangor Police Station, an Inspector Beedham. As with Kelvin, Inspector Beedham didn’t conduct himself in the manner of the Ginger Pig, but no, he wouldn’t take a complaint about the Top Doctors either.

Sgt Tim Evans, Kelvin and Inspector Beedham all witnessed what was happening to me at the hands of the Top Doctors and Gwynedd Social Services. I now have possession of the documents that demonstrate that the Top Doctors et al perjured themselves repeatedly and ordered their minions to perjure themselves repeatedly, in order to conceal a paedophile ring. Come on Tim, Kelvin and Inspector Beedham, get your statements prepared and can you tell us who the Ginger Pig was as well….

 

I have mentioned in this post and in previous posts just how serious the wrongdoing of staff in the Hergest Unit and Ysbyty Gwynedd A&E was – unlawfully refusing people treatment, threatening patients, assaulting patients, lying to the police about patients, lying on oath, encouraging others to lie on oath etc. I have detailed how Alun Davies, Keith Thomson and later on Martin Jones simply did not investigate complaints (not just mine either – I knew of others who had terrible experiences whose complaints were never ever investigated). After Thomson wasted months of my and my lawyer’s time in a deliberate attempt not to investigate a series of assaults on me by his staff and their malicious allegations about me to the police, I tried the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales. At that time the Ombudsman for Wales was Adam Peat. Getting a response out of Peat to my complaint was like pulling teeth, so in the end I rang his office. I didn’t speak to Peat himself, I spoke to his sidekick – who was either a Gethin or a Geraint, I can’t remember which. And guess what – he insulted and then threatened me. Just like the NMC did when I tried to make representation to them about Sian Ruth Lloyd’s misconduct. Now I was getting pretty used to this sort of behaviour from the Top Doctors and Angels, but this was the Ombudsman’s office…

Shortly after my brush with Adam Peat’s sidekick, I received a reply from Adam himself. He had decided that he wasn’t going to investigate my complaint against the North West Wales NHS Trust. Not in the public interest. (This was at a time when the North West Wales NHS Trust had the second highest suicide rate among women in England and Wales.) I mentioned this later to a Welsh politician who was honest enough to tell me that there was a major problem with the Ombudsman’s office, in that Peat was choosing not to investigate an awful lot of very serious complaints. I now have the documentation relating to that period of time – evidence of perjury and perverting the course of justice, the altering of medical records, a forged document allegedly written by me found in the possession of the GMC, evidence of dishonesty on the part of the Mental Health Act Commission, the illegal interference with my record on the Police National Computer and the forging of a certificate of indictment on the part of the Courts among much other wrongdoing.

Looks like Adam had knowingly ignored some very, very serious stuff.

Adam Peat retired as the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales in April 2008. His final report before he retired covered the period 2007/08. This report showed that despite a 10% increase in complaints that year, the number upheld by the Ombudsman remained roughly the same. Out of 1420 complaints, Peat only upheld – either whole or in part – 139. He did not investigate 975 complaints. Of the complaints that Peat did uphold, 19 became public interest reports. So Peat was ignoring an awful lot of problems – and nearly all the 1420 complaints will have been a result of very serious problems because one cannot approach the Ombudsman until one has exhausted all other avenues of complaint and even then there are so many hurdles to overcome that no-one would ever get as far as the Ombudsman unless they had a real grievance.

So who was Peat, the man who decided that it was best to ignore thousands of complaints, even ones involving serious corruption in the NHS, social services, police, court service and probation service – for which he was paid £135k pa? Well between 1998 and 2003, Adam Peat was a senior civil servant in the National Assembly of Wales. For the previous nine years he had been Chief Exec of Tai Cymru, the body funding and regulating the housing association movement in Wales. Now my worries about Peat were always that he had prevented an investigation into such serious wrongdoing in the NHS – but his activities re housing are just as worrying. He had spent all those years involved with Tai Cymru, yet as Ombudsman he was responsible for investigating housing problems. Indeed, housing problems were something that he took a very big interest in – during his time as Ombudsman, one of his reports was devoted to housing allocation and homeless provision. So not only was Peat suppressing complaint into criminal activities in the NHS, but he had massive conflicts of interest as well.

So where is Adam Peat now? He’s back in the housing business! Adam Peat OBE is now Chairman of Magna Housing. Magna Housing is a community based housing association located primarily in Dorset and Somerset and provides over 8500 homes to let and 350 shared ownership homes. It’s annual turnover is in excess of £36 million. There is a notice on Magna’s website explaining that Magna has a confidential reporting process for employees to report serious concerns relating to trafficking and modern slavery. This organisation has a Chairman who suppressed a complaint about people involved in organised crime, namely a paedophile ring that was trafficking young people into prostitution. I wonder what’s going to happen if a Magna employee does report modern slavery or trafficking?

One of the blogs that I follow is Jac O The North. I don’t share the political views of Jac and most of his correspondents, but Jac does an excellent job of exposing corruption in Wales. There has been much on Jac’s blog concerning housing associations in Wales and the very odd things that seem to be happening in them. For example, the very great difficulty that some people even those who have lived in Wales for years have obtaining housing association properties. Many of Jac’s correspondents have written in with anecdotes of serious offenders from England somehow succeeding in obtaining housing association properties in rural Wales after they have been released from prison. A lot of those offenders have been sex offenders – and there was even a case in which yes, a whole paedophile ring were rehoused in Wales from England. When I first started reading these accounts, I presumed that these were the sort of myths one hears which don’t bear much relation to reality – along the lines of Theresa May’s anecdote to the Tory Party Conference about the terrorist who couldn’t be deported because his pet cat allowed him to use the Human Rights Act to remain in the UK. ‘I am not making this up’ said Theresa. It turned out that she was. However, it seems that Jac and his correspondents really are not making things up – sex offenders and people known to be involved with organised sexual abuse are being housed in rural Wales despite having no previous connections with the region at all. And it is happening too frequently for it to be a consequence of the general movement of people who choose to relocate. What if, as well as the network of corrupt people in the NHS, police, social services and legal services facilitating organised child sexual abuse and associated people trafficking, there were a few of them working in the housing association sector?

What do you reckon Adam?