He Knows Where The Bodies Are Buried

My post ‘My How Things Haven’t Changed’ named a number of those close to Jeremy Thorpe as well as a few others who weren’t necessarily very fond of him but who concealed his wrongdoing, even that which was involved with allegedly trying to have his former gay lover Norman Scott assassinated. I mentioned that I suspected that some of those who covered for Jeremy were the same people who probably covered for Dafydd and Gwynne when they were younger. I’ve been doing a bit more research – it looks as though my suspicions were correct. Those around Jeremy had some very close links to members of the shithouse already named on this blog. So here’s a few details.

The Top Doctor at St George’s Hospital who treated Norman, Dr Brian O’Connell, will have been a key player – I covered him and his network in my post ‘The Case Of The King’s Sperm’. But many more people and networks supported and protected Jeremy.

Not a word appeared in the media about Thorpe’s activities until Andrew Newton, the man who maintained at Thorpe’s trial that he had been hired to kill Norman, shot Norman’s Great Dane Rinka dead on Exmoor and then tried to murder Norman. Yet Jeremy’s activities with Norman as well as others were widely known and discussed.

As described in ‘My How Things Haven’t Changed’, some builders carrying out work on the former office of Jeremy’s friend Peter Bessell discovered a briefcase concealed in a false ceiling. The briefcase was full of incriminating material relating to Jeremy, including documents concerning Norman. The builders took it to the Sunday Mirror. Not only did the Sunday Mirror not publish a word but the Editor Bob Edwards personally returned the documents to Jeremy at Westminster.

Bob Edwards edited the Sunday Mirror between 1972-84. He knew how to keep powerful people onside.

Edwards joined the Labour Party when he was young and knew Ian Mikardo when Mikardo was the Labour MP for Reading. Mikardo alerted Edwards to a vacancy on Tribune and sent him along to meet the Editor, Michael Foot. Edwards edited Tribune between 1951-54. He then became the leader writer for the Evening Standard 1954-57. In 1955 Edwards stood as the Labour candidate for Merton and Morden. He became the Deputy Editor of the Sunday Express 1957-59, the Managing Editor of the Sunday Express 1959-61 and the Editor of the Daily Express in 1961.

Edwards’s move from working on the left-supporting Tribune to the Express prompted accusations that he was no more than a paid hack without principles. Edwards was sacked from the Express and (mistakenly) believing that his son was worried about him reassured his son by telling him that a ‘mysterious freemasonry’ existed known as the Editors Club and that famille Edwards wouldn’t even lose their yacht because he would soon get another job.

Edwards purchased Christine Keeler’s memoirs for 2k in 1963 – but not material relating to Jeremy some ten years later…

Between 1966-72, Edwards edited the People. By this time he was seriously wealthy and was living in a castle in Oxfordshire.

In the case of the People, Edwards ‘inherited a fiercely campaigning newspaper…[which] largely cleaned up the protection rackets and brothels of Soho’. It is claimed that under Edwards the People ‘continued in much the same spirit, exposing bent detectives on the take from pornographers and ‘vice-kings’.

Edwards was considered a fearless man who had crossed so many nasty characters that he worked behind bullet proof glass after alleged threats to his life.

Although Edwards wouldn’t touch Jeremy Thorpe, in 1980 he had a go at the Royal Family. He discovered that the Royal Train with Charles on board had been shunted into a siding in Wiltshire where it stayed for several hours – whilst a young woman called Diana Spencer boarded it to spend time with Prince Charles… Edwards published the story and later maintained that it cost him a knighthood.

Edwards was Director of Mirror Group Newspapers 1976-88. Maxwell acquired the Mirror Group in July 1984 and under him Edwards became Deputy Chair.

Joe Haines, Harold Wilson’s Press Secretary who maintained that it wasn’t known whether Wilson had blackmailed Thorpe over Norman, also worked for Maxwell. Haines was a Mirror journalist who was initially completely hostile to Maxwell when Maxwell acquired the Mirror Group, but soon came under his influence and ended up writing the authorised biography of Maxwell.

Edwards wasn’t the only person involved with the Sunday Mirror who wielded influence at the time that the documents discovered by the builders were returned to Jeremy. The Chairman of IPC, the company which owned the Mirror at that time, was Sydney Jacobson. He was made a life peer a couple of years or so after Jeremy’s documents were returned to him. In 1974 – when the Mirror supported Labour in the General Election and at about the time that the documents were given to the Sunday Mirror – Jacobson was the Deputy Chair of IPC, working under his friend and colleague Hugh Cudlipp.

Cudlipp was Welsh, from Cardiff and was Chair of Mirror Group Newspapers between 1963-67. Cudlipp was given a peerage in 1974.

Cudlipp was a very big figure and in 2005 dear old Michael Grade – who excels at grovelling to powerful people – stated in a lecture that Cudlipp was ‘one of the giants of British journalism and one of it’s greatest editors’.

After Thorpe resigned following the media reporting the whole dreadful mess including Andrew Newton killing Norman Scott’s dog, then trying to shoot Norman and subsequently being charged with possession of a firearm with intent to danger life, Sir Harold Evans, the Editor of the Sunday Times, showed a considerable degree of sympathy towards Jeremy, met him and subsequently published supportive articles.

Evans edited the Sunday Times between 1967-81. In 1984 he moved to the US. Since 2005 he has contributed to the Guardian and Radio 4 and in 2011 he was appointed Editor at large of Rueters.

Like Edwards, Harold Evans was considered a fearless journalist who was not afraid to expose the truth. He was responsible for the crusading style of investigative journalism for which the Sunday Times was known at one point and it was under his editorship that Marjorie Wallace – see previous blog posts for the dirt on Marjorie and the horrors of psychiatry and child abuse that she kept her mouth firmly shut about – revealed the Thalidomide scandal. It was also Harold Evans who exposed Kim Philby.

In 1981 when Murdoch acquired Times Newspapers Ltd, Evans was appointed as Editor of the Times. He only stayed for one year. Fifty journalists resigned within the first six months of Murdoch’s take-over – some of those journos disliked Evans. In March 1982 a group of journos called upon Evans to resign as a result of the ‘erosion of editorial standards’.

In 1981 Evans married yet another journalist who was constructed as scary and fearless – Tina Brown. I’ve always just considered Tina Brown to be someone who writes vacuous rubbish about Diana and other celebs, but I’ve discovered that when she was younger Brown did write intelligent material and she knew some capable people who also wrote intelligent material critiquing powerful vested interests.

So no-one among this network of journos who would take on anyone and any topic, who rooted out injustice and who struck fear into the heart of everyone ever challenged Jeremy…

‘My How Things Haven’t Changed’ described how two BBC reporters who began researching for a book about the Jeremy and Norman story after everything became public and Jeremy had stood down as leader, were ‘supported’ in this by Sir Charles Curran, the Director-General of the BBC between 1969-77. However the reporters then found that they were issued with new contracts from the BBC that ensured that they would lose control over their own material. They resigned from the BBC as a result.

Charles Curran was someone whom it seems could be pressurised. After complaints from Mary Whitehouse that Dr Who contained far too much sex n violence or something similar, Curran replaced the series producer in 1976. The BBC online site ‘History of the BBC’ aka Pravda, profiles Charles Curran and boasts about his Huge Contribution to the Golden Years of TV. I remember that Golden Age well – utter rubbish, ‘light entertainment’ involving sitcoms dependent upon crude stereotyping. I think that Curran must have been responsible for ‘It Ain’t Half Racist Mum’ actually, but that’s not mentioned on ‘The History of the BBC’, probably because it’s indefensible. What is boasted about however is Curran’s tenure overseeing ‘Parkinson’. So Curran was the person who thought that Parkinson’s crude sexual harassment of the young Helen Mirren was OK – Helen obviously thought that Parkinson was a sad old git but was far too polite to knee him in the groin, although that episode still became infamous.

‘The History of the BBC’ also intriguingly tells us that Curran was ‘somewhat in the shadow of Huw Wheldon’. So Huw Wheldon who – as detailed in the comments after ‘Wheels Within Wheels Or Flies Drawn To The Same Incestuously Corrupt Shithouse?’ – had a hotline to the paedophiles’ friends in north Wales, was obviously Mr Big at the BBC.

Jeremy Thorpe was a member of two London clubs, the Reform Club and the National Liberal Club. Thorpe spent a lot of time in these places and was obviously not unwelcome.

Charles and Camilla are honorary members of the Reform Club and in 2011 guest speakers there included Nick Clegg and Theresa May. Members include: Ruth Lea, Martin Sorrell, Stella Rimmington, Charlie Falconer, Menzies Campbell, former Tory MP Michael Brown, Betty Boothroyd, Roy Hattersley and Michael Howard.

The National Liberal Club’s current President is Alan Beith, a man who was much mentioned in Michael Bloch’s biography of Thorpe. In the 1970s Cyril Smith actually lived at the National Liberal Club. David Belloti, the MP who tried to help Mary Wynch and who within two years of doing so was finished in national politics, was a member of the Club. In 2006, Chris Huhne – the Liberal MP who was later jailed, along with his former wife Vicky Pryce and her mate the barrister Constance Briscoe – launched his leadership campaign from the club, as did Nick Clegg in 2007. The Club played a crucial part in Thorpe’s own election campaign in 1974, by which time the scandal involving him and Norman was common knowledge among the Liberal Party as well as their political opponents, as were the fears that Norman and his friends had for his life.

Presumably Thorpe held a key position in the National Liberal Club, because it was Thorpe who in 1976 handed the Club over to be managed by George Marks, a Canadian ‘businessman’ who was in reality a confidence trickster – he also used the name George de Chabris. Thorpe maintained that he knew nothing about Chabris being dodgy. Chabris and his family lived rent free at the Club, he ran fraudulent businesses from there, he embezzled and fleeced thousands from the Club and flogged the Club’s library to Bristol University at a knock-down price. Chabris was given the boot in 1977 and the Club was rescued by a generous donor.

From a young age Thorpe was good friends with Jeremy Fry, a member of the famous chocolate-making family – it was Fry’s conviction for ‘importuning for immoral purposes’ that prompted an investigation by the police into Thorpe’s suitability for a role at the wedding of Princess Margaret. Fry had been considered for the role of best man but that idea went out of the window after his conviction. Fry’s excesses were well-known but there seems to have been a great deal of hypocrisy over the business of banning him from the Royal Wedding. He was on such good terms with Princess Margaret and Anthony Armstrong-Jones that there were allegations of a menage a trois. Fry continued his friendship with the Royal couple after his own marriage and Princess Margaret and Armstrong-Jones stayed at the Fry’s house near Bath.

In recent years the biological father of Polly Fry, Jeremy’s daughter, has been revealed to be Armstrong-Jones aka Lord Snowdon. Like the Jeremys Fry and Thorpe, it is now admitted that Lord Snowdon put himself about a bit. He was bisexual and fathered Polly shortly before he married Princess Margaret. Marjorie Wallace was one of Snowdon’s mistresses (see post ‘One Dangerous Fucker’). Now that both Princess Margaret and Snowdon are dead, more and more is being revealed about the boozing, the drugs and the shagging and I suspect that there is yet more to come. I cannot help noticing how often people very close to Lord Snowdon have popped up among people who had connections to or concealed the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal/Paedophile Ring and the associated wrongdoing in the mental health services. It took me a while to realise the significance of this because I never thought that Snowdon had much to do with north Wales. In recent years he didn’t. But when he was younger he did. Snowdon was born in Belgravia but the family also had a country house in north Wales. Snowdon’s father was a barrister, his paternal grandfather was a psychiatrist and physician and his paternal grandmother was the daughter of Sir Owen Roberts, the famous Welsh educationalist. Snowdon used to visit north Wales with Princess Margaret and interestingly enough although he died in London, he is buried at Llanfaglan near Caernarfon in the family plot of the ‘celebrities graveyard’.

During my battles with Dafydd and the paedophiles’ friends, again and again people sympathetic to – but feaful for – me mentioned ‘very powerful people’ having connections with Dafydd. Other people seemed to be grossly affronted by me having the temerity to ask questions. The dreadful Dr Cathy Wilson at St George’s once yelled intriguingly at me that I needed to understand about ‘important people’. I now know that St George’s knew all about Dafydd et al and were also involved in concealing their wrongdoing. My post ‘I Want Serious Money Now Please’ explained how the Duke of Westminster knew about Sir Peter Morrison abusing under-aged boys. Morrison preyed on boys in care in north Wales. ‘Running The Country – And All That Jazz’ detailed the links between the Duke of Westminster and St George’s Hospital.

Snowdon was bisexual, promiscuous, had strong connections to north Wales and indeed Top Doctors and lawyers in north Wales, visited the region and was directly connected to the Royal Family. As the years pass, it becomes increasingly obvious that much about the activities of Princess Margaret and Snowdon were actively concealed. Are you thinking what I’m thinking as Michael Howard used to ask.

As for ‘important people’ – I am not a vacuous social climber and the difference between Cathy Wilson and me is that although I really don’t mind with whom Lord Snowdon and others like him had sex and took drugs if everyone involved was consenting adults, Dafydd et al were facilitating and concealing the abuse of kids in care. Many of whom were found dead, as were other witnesses. As very nearly was Norman Scott. It’s not very nice is it Wilson, even if you do think that the people involved are worth toadying to. Is it really worth colluding with such matters just to get oneself invited to yet another dinner party? Were you perhaps hoping to hit the jackpot and receive an invite to the Athenaeum to join Marjorie, Snowdon and Savile?

Jeremy Fry is also noted for having been James Dyson’s mentor and is credited with being responsible for Dyson starting out on his own.

 

Even after the rest of the Liberal Party finally decided that Jeremy Thorpe had become far too embarrassing to be seen with in public, Thorpe remained good friends with Clement Freud. Eric Lubbock (Lord Avebury) and David Steel remained supportive of Thorpe long after everyone else had given up on him, although even Steel wanted him to go after Andrew Newton tried to kill Norman.

Clement Freud has in recent years been revealed to have been a sexual predator who raped at least one person and molested many other girls and young women.

Eric Lubbock was the Liberal MP for Orpington between 1962-70. In 1971 he inherited the title of Lord Avebury and remained in the Lords until his death in 2016 – after Blair abolished the right of many hereditary peers to sit in the Lords, the Lib Dems elected Lubbock as being one of the Lords to remain.

Lubbock was Chief Whip for the Liberals between 1963-70.

It was Lubbock who stood bail for Thorpe when he was charged in 1978 with conspiracy to kill and incitement to murder Norman. Norman’s allegation that Andrew Newton had tried to shoot him after shooting Rinka was made in Oct 1975 – Newton was subsequently charged. Lubbock sat on the Royal Commission for Standards of Conduct in Public Life 1974-76. In 1976 Lubbock founded the Parliamentary Human Rights Group, which he chaired for the next 21 years – he then became the Vice-Chair.

Lubbock was a patron of the British Humanist Association, an honorary associate of the National Secular Society, a patron of Prisoners Abroad and a member of the All Party Parliamentary Humanist Group.

In Sept 2010 Lubbock signed an open letter for the British Humanist Association to the Guardian, opposing the state visit to the UK by Benedict XVI.

Lubbock became a Buddhist in the 1970s and in a June 2012 interview published on the website Liberal Democrat Voice, he states that he is a patron of a Buddhist chaplaincy and is contemplating ordination in a Buddhist monastery.

Whilst he was in the Commons, Lubbock had been the Secretary and Chair of the Parliamentary Group on Civil Liberties, which was serviced by the NCCL – the Secretary of the NCCL at the time was Martin Ennals (he acted as Secretary until 1966).

Ennals features on my post ‘MIND Are Out For Mental Health – Never For Themselves Of Course…’. After leaving NCCL he worked for the Commission for Racial Equality and was Secretary of Amnesty International, 1968-80. During Ennals’s time at Amnesty he was awarded the Nobel Peace prize.

Martin Ennals was a founding member of the Anti-Apartheid Movement in 1959. Thorpe was active in that movement.

Martin Ennals’s older brother David was the Secretary of State for Social Security when in 1969 Norman Scott rang Ennals’s Private Secretary and told him about Thorpe’s activities (see post ‘My How Things Haven’t Changed’).

David Ennals was heavily involved with MIND for years and his son Paul is the former Chief Exec of the National Children’s Bureau and Chair of a number of a number of Safeguarding Boards, including in Haringey (see post ‘MIND Are Out For Mental Health – Never For Themselves Of Course…’ for full details of the Ennals’s clan’s connections to MIND and other organisations).

David Steel was Liberal MP for Ross & Cromarty between 1965-97 and then an MSP between 1999-2003. He was also Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament. In 1997 Steel was given a life peerage.

Steel became leader of the Liberal Party in 1976 when Thorpe stepped down and remained leader until 1988 when the Party merged with the SDP. Between 1970-76 he was the Liberals Chief Whip. It was Steel who led the Liberals into the Lib-Lab pact in March 1977. It lasted until 1978 but was widely perceived to have been a very poor deal for the Liberals – in the light of the weakness of the Labour Party at that time, there was a degree of confusion over why Steel couldn’t land a better deal.

Steel was Thorpe’s protégé, became his PPS and was campaign manager when Thorpe ran for the leadership. Like Thorpe, Steel was in the Anti-Apartheid Movement and was it’s President between 1966-70.

When the Liberal activist from Wales who was so concerned at what had happened to Norman Scott at the hands of Jeremy Thorpe contacted Emlyn Hooson and asked for a meeting (see post ‘My How Things Haven’t Changed’), it was actually Steel that she met initially, because Hooson (who also worked as a barrister) had been called away to a murder trial. Steel was also shown documentary evidence of Thorpe’s payments to Norman and was given a frank account of what had gone on.

Before Steel was elected he worked for the BBC.

David Steel also knew about Cyril Smith of course…

 

Jeremy Thorpe was known to have taken a leaf out of the book of his hero David Lloyd George – the father of Gwilym and Megan, two friends of Thorpe – and offered people peerages in return for various favours. Thorpe came up with the goods for Gerran Lloyd, a Liberal Party donor who received a peerage in 1973 and became Lord Lloyd of Kilgerran. After Thorpe was charged with conspiracy to murder and incitement to kill in 1978, Lord Kilgerran set up a Defence Fund to pay Thorpe’s legal costs.

Gerran Lloyd was a barrister who stood for the Liberals on Anglesey in the 1959 General Election. He was President of the Welsh Liberal Party, 1971-74 and President of the British Liberal Party, 1973-74.

 

Megan Lloyd George was older than Jeremy, but they were very close. As a boy Jeremy used to visit Megan in the Commons for tea and Megan encouraged his political ambitions.

Megan was the first female MP for a Welsh constituency – she was the Liberal MP for Anglesey between 1929-51 and became Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party. In 1955 Megan defected to the Labour Party. In 1957 she was elected as the Labour MP for Carmarthen and held the seat until her death in 1966.

Between 1936-56 Megan was the mistress of the Labour politician Philip Noel-Baker, a campaigner for disarmament who won the Nobel Peace prize in 1959 and who’s wife was a friend of Virginia Woolf.

 

My post ‘My How Things Haven’t Changed’ described how in 1971 a Liberal Party secret inquiry into Thorpe’s conduct invited Norman Scott to speak, but ended with Lord Frank Byers, a member of the inquiry, shouting and hurling insults at Norman. It was Byers’s behaviour that motivated Norman to contact the police yet again about Thorpe and make a 33 page statement.

Byers was the Liberal MP for north Dorset between 1945-50. He was made a life peer in 1964 and became the Liberals Leader in the Lords in 1967.

Byers was a Director of Rio Tinto Zinc, 1962-73.

Although Byers was a Liberal, he knew Harold Wilson from their time at Oxford, when they were both members of the Oxford Liberal Club.

 

Lord Byers has a famous granddaughter who has followed him into politics – Lisa Nandy, who has been the Labour MP for Wigan since 2010. Lisa’s friends were keen for her to challenge Jeremy Corbyn for the Labour Party leadership. She hasn’t yet done this – although her supporters such as Owen Jones live in hope that the day will come when she does. Lisa herself supported Andy Burnham for the leadership, he who concealed the thousands of deaths at Mid-Staffs for so long.

Lisa worked as a researcher for Centrepoint, the homeless charity between 2003-05. She was a senior policy advisor to the Children’s Society from 2005 and an advisor to the Children’s Commissioner for England.

So Lisa will be one of the many people who will have known about the endemic abuse and trafficking of children in care but who has been strangely silent on this topic. Lisa also found one of those people at a senior level to work for once she entered Parliament – Lisa was PPS to Tessa Jowell.

Is Lisa a bit like her granddad perhaps, knowing about truly appalling matters but keeping them under wraps?

Lisa and her followers like to describe her as being on the ‘soft left’ of the Labour Party. Lisa has been inexplicably vigorously promoted as a wonder and potential leader virtually from the day that she was elected. I cannot help wondering if Lisa’s partner Andy Collis might have had something to do with this – he’s a PR consultant.

In fact Lisa’s supporters were so busy touting her around that some four years ago even I was invited to hear her speak. I was a member of the Compass group at the time and I used to receive notification of various events, but as they were always in London and I was in north Wales I didn’t take much notice. But on one occasion, an e mail virtually begged me to go to an event at a well-known location in London with a radical history, where a certain Lisa Nandy was going to be speaking. The event was promoted as being the one to attend even if you were unable to attend others and I had been bombarded with e mails telling me that Compass were keen to enlist the help and support of folk outside London. So for once I made the effort and went to London for the event. Because of the timing of Lisa’s lecture I was assured that I didn’t need to arrange to stay in London overnight, I could get there in time for the lecture, meet people and then get an evening train back to north Wales. So off I went.

What a surprise I had. Although maybe I shouldn’t have actually been that surprised, what with Lisa being a descendant of Frank, but I didn’t know that then.

Until about three years ago I suffered from very serious migraines – not just bad headaches, these were real bastards, when I got one I couldn’t see properly or balance. They were related to a neck injury that I suffered when I was young and of course because I’d dared complain about the paedophiles’ friends I was effectively refused all treatment for them (I have detailed all this elsewhere on the blog). For years I went without effective medication and the only thing that I could do if I developed a migraine was to lie flat in the dark – to take any physical strain off my neck and to minimise the amount of light that I was exposed to. When this happened I used to explain to people around me what was going on. When I was around sane normal people I was always met with a great deal of understanding – unfortunately however I wasn’t always around sane normal people.

About half an hour after arriving at the venue to hear Lisa speak, I developed a migraine. A real killer. Compass had BEGGED me to go to Lisa’s lecture. Not only did not one person even bother to speak to me – although there were only about ten people at the event and Lisa herself stuck like glue to the three stooges who seemed to be at her side throughout – but when I started to feel very, very bad and tried to tell the people sitting immediately next to me, I was completely blanked. I could feel myself losing my balance so I thought that I’d better get out of the audience quick before I fell on the floor. I was about three rows away from the front. Lisa SAW ME almost keeling over. She SAW ME trying to ask for help. Lisa did not bat an eye-lid. On and on she droned, ploughing through her speech – which even I could hear wasn’t very good and she was having to read it pretty much word for word. In the end I managed to make my way to the back of the hall and escaped through a door, which led to a cloakroom place outside of the entrance to the bogs. I did the only thing that I could and I lay down flat with my eyes shielded. Some 45 mins later a load of people came through on their way to the bogs – Lisa’s lecture had ended and they were having a break before the Q and A session. They walked over me. Every one of those nice middle class London radicals who had come to hear Lisa – some of whom obviously knew her – walked over me. No-one even asked me what I was doing and if I was OK. One woman gave me a frosty look so I explained that I was experiencing a very bad migraine. She then walked out of the door.

I remained on the floor shielded from the light throughout Lisa’s Q and A session. When the event ended everyone buggered off. As did Lisa. They all knew that I was crashed out in the back room with a migraine. I stayed there for the next couple of hours until I was just about able to walk without keeling over. By this time I realised that I’d not be able to catch the train from Euston back to Bangor. Because I was in London rather than on the doorstep of the Top Doctors in north Wales, I decided that I’d try and make my way to a London hospital for help – I ended up at UCL. Christ that was not a good idea, but that is another story. I failed to elicit any help at UCL and was ‘discharged’ ie. chucked out, into the middle of London at 3am. By this time my migraine was gradually beginning to pass. I spent the next few hours dossing outside Euston station waiting for it to open (I didn’t realise that Euston shuts for the small hours). I got the first train back to Bangor – which meant buying another ticket, because the one that I’d purchased was no longer valid.

The whole trip cost me a bloody fortune but it taught me a lot about Lisa Nandy and her supporters.

I continue to receive e mails from Compass asking me for dosh, asking me if I’d like to start up a local Compass group and inviting me to more events in London. I’m never giving them another penny and I’ll never risk my neck at another Lisa Nandy related event in my life.

Lisa is on record as saying that she has received ‘abuse’ from Corbyn’s supporters and that she was ‘genuinely frightened’. So was I Lisa, I was in the middle of London where I knew no-one, in agony, unable to walk or see properly and worried that I was going to start throwing up. But at least you got to read – literally – your speech. What I find even more ‘genuinely frightening’ Lisa is that your grandfather ignored the witness testimony and the pleas for help from someone who had already been by that time the target of a murder plot, according to evidence given at the Old Bailey many years later.

Lisa was selected as a Labour party candidate on an all women shortlist. Her wiki entry boasts that she is the fist female MP for the constituency – as there was an all-women shortlist imposed that is not really much of an achievement – and that she was born into a ‘Bengali family’ no less and that she was ‘one of the first six Asian MPs elected’.

As far as I understand, Lisa’s mother – Frank Byers’s daughter – was not Bengali. It was only Lisa’s father who was Bengali. So in terms of ethnicity, Lisa is as much white (presumably British) as she is Bengali. Is Lisa perhaps being somewhat selective in which boxes she chooses to tick?

The one box that Lisa does tick however is ‘one quarter composed of the genetic material of Lord Frank Byers’.

How about that for your wife’s next election campaign slogan then Andy?

 

Emlyn Hooson sat on the secret inquiry into Thorpe, alongside Lisa’s granddad and David Steel.

Emlyn Hooson was the Liberal MP for Montgomeryshire, between 1962-79. He was then elevated to the Lords where he sat until his death in 2012. Hooson sat as a Liberal and then as a Liberal Democrat.

Hooson was born in 1925, the son of a Denbighshire hill farmer and attended Denbigh Grammar School – like a few others we know and love. After that, Hooson read law at Aberystwyth University….He served in the Royal Navy – just like Gwynne the lobotomist…

Hooson became a barrister in 1949. He was Chairman of the Flint Quarter Sessions from 1960 and the Merioneth Quarter Sessions from 1962. He was a member of the Bar Council from 1965.

Like so many of the paedophiles’ friends, Hooson played a role in the trial of the Moors Murderers – he was Ian Brady’s QC.

Emlyn was appointed Recorder at Methyr Tydfil and Swansea in 1971 and was Leader of the Chester and Wales Circuit when the corruption on that Circuit was in full swing between 1971-74. He was appointed Recorder of Crown Courts 1972-91. Hooson also became a Deputy High Court judge. He was President of the Cambrian Law Review and an honorary professorial fellow at Aberystwyth University.

Hooson stood as the Liberal candidate for Conwy in the 1950 General Election and again in 1951.

Emlyn Hooson was Chair of the Liberal Party of Wales in 1955 and appointed to the Liberal Party Executive in 1965.

As Chair of the Liberal Party of Wales, he led it’s merger with the North and South Wales Liberal Federation, forming the Welsh Liberal Party.

Hooson introduced the Government of Wales Bill  1967 which eventually led to the establishment of the National Assembly for Wales.

In 1979 Hooson became a life peer. The year that his mates ignored the activities of Dafydd, as he unlawfully had Mary Wynch arrested, imprisoned and relieved of her property.

Emlyn Hooson’s biography tells us that in the Lords he was active in ‘improving the Mental Health Act’. Would he perhaps have made a contribution to the 1983 Act, which was drafted by Robert Bluglass and accompanied by a Code of Practice drafted by William Bingley, whilst both of them covered-up for Dafydd? Not that Emlyn needed to have even bothered – Dafydd just broke the law under the new Act as he had done so under the old one. Emlyn also spoke in the Lords on the necessity for police reform and drugs trafficking. He’ll have known an awful lot about both…

In 1980 Lord Hooson became a member of the ITV advisory council and in 1985 he was appointed a non-executive director of Laura Ashley. He became Chair of Laura Ashley in 1995. So Emlyn could have told everyone why that company went seriously pear-shaped after the death of Laura Ashley and whether the allegations about Bernard Ashley were true…

In 1980 Hooson also Chaired the consortium that bid for the Wales and West TV franchise.

Between 1991-2000 Lord Hooson was Chair of Severn River Crossing PLC.

In 1966 Hooson was President of the National Eisteddfod of Wales. In 1967 he was made an honorary White Bard of the Gorsedd. Between 1987-93 he was President of the International Eisteddfod at Llangollen.

Hooson has two daughters, the Hon Sioned and the Hon Lowri. They both attended the London Welsh School, where Emlyn was Chair of the Governors.

So Hooson had a foot firmly planted in the London Welsh contingent. Hooson died in 2012 which is a great pity, because I would have liked to have asked him why for no good reason some years ago the fraternity of twats in high society in London all wanted to join the London Welsh Society – David Frost was hammering at the door so hard that he nearly broke it down and was most irate when he wasn’t accepted. Lots of fatuous jokes were being made about how being Welsh had suddenly become the height of cool among the London elite. Nonsense -Frost et al had no interest in anything that did not personally advance them, they had no interest in Wales, if they had they’d have gone to live there. Something else was going on. It was nearly as odd as when David Frost died unexpectedly of a heart-attack on a cruise ship when most unusually he wasn’t accompanied by his wife, just as the ship was too far away from the shore to have summoned the help needed. And then Frost’s son was found dead after he’d gone out jogging – from heart problems that were ‘undiagnosed’. I seem to remember all this happened as Operation Pallial got underway. Which was when Dafydd’s partner in crime Tony Francis (Dr X) killed himself – in the light of the documents that I now possess I can understand why Francis might have felt like doing that…

Emlyn’s dad Hugh farmed in the Vale of Clwyd. After Emlyn died, Ieuan Wyn Jones, former leader of Plaid and former Deputy First Minister, commented that he had known Emlyn from Clwyd, where Ieuan Wyn Jones had also lived and that Emlyn ‘was extremely knowledgeable about the politics, history and culture of the Vale’. He certainly was and he knew Dafydd and Gwynne the lobotomist too – and I bet that he knew about the long standing paedophile activity towards the children in care.

Kirsty Williams waxed lyrical about Emlyn when he died, explaining that he was the founding father of the Welsh Liberal Party. Kirsty, I think that your foundations might be a little bit rotten…

In 1970, after the jailing of some Welsh students for invading the High Court in London, Hooson stated that ‘the Welsh were fed up with people who broke the law then whined about the consequences’. Indeed – after Mary Wynch sued Dafydd, everyone was fucking furious to see him given air time on the TV to maintain that ‘I found myself in this bizarre situation when I was only trying to help’. Ten years later when Dafydd was asked to explain why I had complained about him unlawfully arresting and detaining me, he came out with exactly the same phrase.

Emlyn was a close friend of Lord Alex Carlile, who succeeded him as Liberal MP for Montgomeryshire. Carlile had known him previously, he’d met Hooson when Carlile was training to be a barrister.

Even Emlyn Hooson’s most loyal fans agree that the path in life of this son of a Denbighshire hill farmer had been helped by his marriage to the daughter of Sir George Hamer, the Lord Lieutenant of Montgomeryshire.

 

Emlyn Hooson was not called as a witness at Thorpe’s Old Bailey trial. Peter Bessell, Thorpe’s friend and Liberal Party colleague, did give evidence and testified that Hooson knew of Thorpe’s payments to Norman Scott. The Court heard a recording of David Holmes, Thorpe’s friend and co-defendant, telling Bessell that Hooson had been ‘firmly sat on’ for trying to force Thorpe out. Someone somewhere will know who sat on Hooson, but they weren’t called to give evidence either.

 

David Freeman, Harold Wilson’s Press Solicitor, was someone who offered a helping hand to Thorpe’s friend and co-defendant, David Holmes.  When The Mirror revealed that it was Holmes who had purchased incriminating material about Jeremy which according to Norman Scott had been sold without his authorisation by Scott’s GP Roger Gleadle, Holmes met with the DPP and David Freeman subsequently prepared a statement on Holmes’s behalf. The statement was allegedly personally vetted by Harold Wilson.

Freeman was born in Cardiff and was involved in the Robert Maxwell DTI inquiry in 1970.

In 1974 Freeman advised Wilson on libel.

Freeman was a Trustee of Ravenswood (now Norwood) Children’s Home. In 2007 he built a children’s centre, The Freeman Family Centre, for Barnardos in Brent.

Freeman’s wife was an educational psychologist who then became a partner in his law firm in 1967 after she qualified as a solicitor. She wrote the authorised biography of Lord Denning.

 

Another character whose name appeared repeatedly in Michael Bloch’s book about Thorpe who seemed to be highly influential in the Liberal Party during the Jeremy Years was Trevor Jones – who in 1981 became Sir Trevor Jones.

Trevor Jones was for many years the Lib Dem leader of Liverpool City Council. Although he was constructed very much as Welsh and was nicknamed ‘Jones the Vote’, he grew up in Bootle. However his parents were Welsh – they were from Dyserth in Denbighshire and Jones was born in north Wales.

Trevor Jones was elected to Liverpool City Council in 1968 and to Liverpool Metropolitan District Council in 1973. He led his party to control Liverpool in 1973, was Council leader again between 1981-83 and then again in 1987. He remained a member of the Council until 1991. In 2003 he returned to the council when he was re-elected to Liverpool City Council and remained there until 2010. Jones also stood as the Liberal candidate for Liverpool Toxteth in the Feb 1974 General Election. In the General Election in the October of 1974, Jones was Liberal Candidate for Gillingham. Jones was President of the Liberal Party in 1972 for one year and in the early 70s campaigned for the Liberal Party in the south east of England.

Trevor Jones was heavily involved with David Alton’s election victory in 1979. Alton’s result was breath-taking, there was an enormous swing in his favour – which was a bit strange, because David Alton is really only a one-track pony. He is anti-abortion and that’s about it. Whilst there are many people who are quite genuine in their opposition to abortion – it’s rather ironic that in the past couple of weeks there have been howls of outrage about Jacob Rees-Mogg declaring himself to be anti-abortion because there are many more offensive indefensible things about Rees-Mogg than that – the tactics used by some MPs and their associates who have stood on an anti-abortion platform have been very unpleasant. One wonders what Trevor Jones and co did to achieve that impressive result.

Trevor Jones’s wife Doreen was a Liverpool City Councillor for 30 years and was Lord Mayor of Liverpool twice – Jones himself was also Lord Mayor of Liverpool.

Although flattering profiles of Trevor Jones stress his ‘public service’ and ‘success’, Liverpool local politics during his years were very fraught indeed. Derek Hatton was causing havoc – I was told in the 80s by someone who’s family were involved in local politics in Liverpool that Hatton was actually far worse than was ever publicly admitted and was no more than a thug – and Trevor Jones was one of those who opposed Militant. It was as a result of the expulsion of 47 Militant Councillors in March 1987 that Jones became Council leader. However I imagine that Jones has numerous skeletons in his own cupboard – he was leader of the Council at the time of the Toxteth riots and ‘worked in partnership with Heseltine’. Many interesting things were going on in Liverpool – this blog has already detailed some of the corruption in the NHS and medical school in Liverpool, but a number of people have told me that ‘community politics’ were absolutely poisonous and that some genuine people were very badly damaged and withdrew from such activities.

Trevor Jones’s style and contribution to politics can perhaps be assessed by the nature of his protégé – in Nov 2008, the Liverpool Echo mentioned a Chris Rennard, described as Jones’s ‘younger Lieutenant’.

Readers may recognise the name – Rennard, now Lord Rennard, became infamous a few years ago after numerous allegations surfaced that Rennard was attempting to extract sexual favours from women in return for their progress in the Party.

Chris Rennard was a Liberal Party activist in Liverpool in the late 70s – whilst at university he had Chaired the Liverpool University Liberals. Rennard is described as one of the ‘early pioneers of community politics in Liverpool’…. Rennard himself maintains that Trevor Jones was a ‘major influence’ on him.

Whilst Deputy Chair of Liverpool Labour Party, Rennard organised many campaigns in the 80s when the Liberals controlled the City Council. Rennard was David Alton’s agent in 1983 when Alton stood for the newly created seat of Liverpool Mossley Hill. In 1984 Rennard was one of the Party’s national Area Agents in Leicester. He’ll have heard about a Lord Greville Janner of the Labour Party then. Chris Rennard also assisted in the Eastbourne campaign in 1990 – so he’ll have known David Bellotti, the Liberal MP who tried to help Mary Wynch and disappeared from national politics afterwards never to resurface.

In 2011 ‘Total Politics’ described Rennard as ‘the most formidable and feared political campaigner of the last twenty years.

Rennard stood down as Chief Exec of the Lib Dems in 2009, after a number of truly hair-raising accounts from female Lib Dems regarding their experiences with him. There were allegations of serious sexual harassment and people were alleging that sexual favours were expected in return for advancement in the Lib Dems. There was an enormous hoo ha, with some Lib Dems maintaining that Rennard was the loveliest man that they had ever met (which was what the corrupt occupational health physician at St George’s, Nicky Mitchell-Heggs, said about Professor Tom Burns), whilst others claimed that he was a ruthless sexual predator who ruled by fear. Cleggy and the usual suspects all maintained that bullying wasn’t tolerated in the Lib Dems, neither sexual harassment etc etc. But then Cleggy dispensed kind words at Cyril Smith’s funeral. And probably at Jeremy Thorpe’s as well.

The aggro concerning Chris Rennard did not go away – the allegations of sexual harassment returned with a vengeance in 2013 after a number of women complainants were furious that so little action had been taken against him, although at one point there was a Metropolitan Police investigation as well as a Lib Dem investigation.

In 2014 after Rennard was suspended from the party, the Times reported that ‘friends’ of Rennards claimed that he would reveal two decades of sex scandal in the Party if he were to be expelled – it was overtly stated that ‘he knows where the bodies are buried’. I suspect that Rennard also knows about two decades of sex scandal in the Tory Party, in the Labour Party and in Plaid Cymru. Because I do as well.

I too suspect that I know where at least some bodies are buried. I think that some bodies are buried within the grounds of the now derelict North Wales Hospital Denbigh. Anyone want to start the excavations a la the Catholic institutions for the unfortunate?

 

Chris Rennard is a friend and legal advisor of Alex Carlile.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Doris Karloff – Honest About Her Expenses But Not Much Else

One genre of book that I quite enjoy reading is the political autobiography or biography. A lot of politicians are quite vain and not as bright as they think that they are, so there are often some unintentional revelations in their autobiographies. For example Matthew Parris some years ago wrote about holidaying in Italy with his friends at a place that they termed the ‘villa of shame’, enjoying the company of ‘boys who were always willing’ – Parris wrote this years before journos started circulating lists of names of people suspected of being involved in the Westminster Paedophile Ring to bloggers like me…

On holiday last week I took a stack of theory books – but for light entertainment I also took a copy of Ann Widdecombe’s autobiography, ‘Strictly Ann’. I thought that this might be an interesting read because a few years ago I came across Ann’s website, ‘The Widdyweb’, which fuelled my suspicions that she was quite mad. ‘The Widdyweb’ was a sort of Enid Blyton fantasy land in which Ann talked about her cottage which has lupins all the way up the path and the many cats that she has owned, including one called Mitten. Exploring ‘The Widdyweb’ enabled me to perhaps understand how Widdycombe managed to live on a different planet from the rest of us in which anyone who has the temerity to get divorced should be cast into the outer darkness. I recommended ‘The Widdyweb’ to my former PhD supervisor and he was sufficiently impressed by it’s content to speculate that it might be a spoof. It wasn’t, it was Ann’s own work. (‘The Widdyweb’ has had an overhaul since then and it now features donkeys as well as cats and a lot of photos of Ann herself.) So I expected to delve further into Ann’s fantasy world of lupins and cats called Mitten by reading ‘Strictly Ann’.

I had a surprise. Widdecombe has quite a deceitful streak. She is of course famous for being one of the politicians who was not disgraced in the expenses scandal – I think  that she, Jeremy Corbyn and Frank Field were about the only MPs not claiming for everything possible, but I would have predicted that. I don’t share many of Widdecombe’s views, but I would not expect her to be fiddling her expenses or pilfering in any form. But Ann’s autobiography reveals a degree of low level cunning and hypocrisy that I honestly did not expect to find.

When I have heard Widdecombe contributing to discussions regarding politicians renumeration, she has always been someone who has argued that if politicians aren’t generously paid, ‘talented people’ will not go into politics. (She doesn’t use the same logic when she discusses appropriate salary levels for other public servants.) She very obviously considers herself an ‘able’ and ‘talented’ person. I knew that she was an Oxford graduate, so I presumed – particularly in the face of all this talk about ability and talent – that Widdecombe, like Cameron and a few other leading Tories who consider themselves a cut above the rest of us, had been academically very successful. Not so. Widdecombe was actually rejected by Oxford when she applied as a sixth former, although she made it very clear that she would have given her right arm to get in there. She did her first degree at Birmingham – which was her fifth choice of university. So a few other people said no to Ann as well as Oxford then. However, whilst at Birmingham, she had developed a desperation to enter politics and her preferred way of doing that wasn’t to become active in local government as a councillor, it was to somehow get involved with the Oxford Union – because Ann had got wind that was the route that the big names used. To do that she needed to be studying at Oxford – so she applied again to pursue a Bachelor’s degree at Oxford after she had graduated from Birmingham. Ann’s parents offered to fund the Oxford degree. Ah, the myth of the naturally talented woman who got where she did in life by hard graft begins to unravel – a large quantity of readily available parental dosh played a crucial part at an early stage…

To be fair to her though, there was a lot of hard graft involved as well. Not cleaning toilets, or stacking shelves, or even studying (she ended up with a Third) – the hard graft involved a great deal of toadying, networking and beavering away in the Oxford Union with other aspiring politicians. Ann really loved being part of the Oxford Union, she didn’t see it in terms of a bunch of immature over-privileged tossers playing games at all, she really got down to Business there. She became Secretary of the Oxford Union and was also active in the Federation of Conservative Students (whose later activities became so offensive that Tebbit had to intervene and I think that the organisation was dismantled). In Ann’s words ‘we were fuelled by ambition and a will to carve out success for ourselves’ and she ‘met and talked to a wide range of politicians, broadcasters and academics’. She waxes lyrical about meeting the likes of David Owen (they loved him so much that Dr Death received a ‘huge ovation’) and the place was so packed for Enoch Powell’s burfday that people were forced to sit on the windowsills.

After Oxford, Widdecombe beavered away for many years trying to get into Parliament before she finally succeeded. She landed a mind numbingly boring job after graduation with Unilever, but spent every waking moment planning her future political career. It was all highly strategic and centred around getting to know the right people. She joined the Bow Group because, as with the Oxford Union, she perceived that to be where her version of the beautiful people hung out: ‘I was just one of a very ambitious set of young professionals who yearned to get into Parliament’. Ann mentions that the Bow Group was actually a bit left wing for her liking, but it was where the influential people were….

Despite their dangerous socialist tendencies, Ann made some good mates among the Spartists in the Bow Group. Richard Barber, who interviewed her when she applied to join, became her solicitor and another member, Michael Stern, became her accountant. She began working on papers with the Bow Group with folk like Richard Luce and Edward Leigh. Those readers interested in the rumours swirling regarding the Westminster Paedophile Ring might be interested to note that some of the names being bandied around as suspects were/are members of the Bow Group. Not that Ann Widdecombe’s name has appeared on any of the documents that I’ve been sent.

Ann was also keen on the idea of another Tory organisation where those with influence hang out, the Carlton Club. She had a problem there though, because for years they wouldn’t admit women. (However, as soon as they did relent, Ann joined – she became the first woman to become a full member of the Carlton in 2008 and was the first woman to serve on their General Committee.)

Ann was desperately trying to get onto the candidates list at Conservative Central Office, but for some reason they didn’t seem too impressed with her. She mentions that a Lord Lothian gave her a reference. I presume that this was the father of Michael Ancram – Ann had campaigned for him and acted as his PA when Ancram was trying to get elected himself in the 1974 General Election. Ancram inherited his father’s title in 2004 and is now in the Lords. Ann was obviously quite impressed with the Ancram clan, there is much name dropping of all the aristos that she rubbed noses with when she was working hard to get Michael into Parliament. She states that after she returned from Ancram’s campaign she ‘spent the next 13 years focussed on the House of Commons’.

Despite the best efforts of pere Ancram, Ann continued to have difficulty finding her way onto the candidates list, but she persisted. She was interviewed by Marcus Fox but rejected – he wanted ‘councillors with dirty hands’. She was told by John Lacey, the Central Office Area Agent for the south east, that to be accepted onto the candidates list she needed a record and that ‘there was an absence of professional information’ about her. At one point she was simply given a bollocking and told that the party were getting fed up of smart arses who had joined bodies like the Oxford Union and the Bow Group in order to bag a seat in Parliament.

Ann eventually ended up on something called the deferred list, which seems to have meant that she could apply to be a candidate but that she would receive no help from Conservative Central Office. They certainly meant ‘no help’ as well – people on the deferred list weren’t even informed of forthcoming selections (Ann, I think that Central Office might have been trying to tell you something). Widdecombe had a solution to that though – she ingratiated herself to someone who worked at Central Office and got them to access the info for her.

This is where it became entertaining. Ann’s mole kept an eye open and told her of EVERY seat that arose – and Ann applied for all of them, and boasts of the ‘creativity’ she employed as she made up cock and bull stories regarding her ‘connections’ to the constituency and desperation to represent the folk who lived there. She also took care never to mention her involvement with the Bow Group at interviews, because she believed that the Bow Group was unpopular with constituency parties. Ann may have been very good at identifying people who could assist her up the career ladder but she certainly wasn’t very good at finding out about the constituencies upon whose doors she was hammering. Her research involved a visit to the local library a couple of days before her interview. The depths of Ann’s ignorance and her shameless ruthlessness is particularly evident from her account of being called for interview on Anglesey no less.

Ann travelled all the way up to Anglesey from her base in the south east for the selection. She manages to sum up Anglesey as ‘all sheep and Rio Tinto Zinc’. There are sheep on Anglesey but there are other things as well. What there is not on Anglesey is zinc. There is a place called Parys Mountain where copper was historically mined and there was an industrial plant called Anglesey Aluminium – which was owned by Rio Tinto. Aluminium is nothing to do with zinc, it is a different element with a different position in the Periodic Table. ‘Strictly Ann’ is a book littered with smug comments regarding the perceived ignorance of other people in terms of their lack of knowledge of Latin, Shakespeare and the Bible. Yet Ann does not know the difference between two metals – and she very obviously didn’t bother to find out. At the time that she went for that seat on Anglesey, Anglesey Aluminium was a huge employer, so presumably she would have been after their votes. But she couldn’t even be arsed to find out what they produced. Ann’s confusion probably arose from the history of Rio Tinto who owned Anglesey Aluminium – at some point in the dark ages, Rio Tinto had merged with another company that was involved with zinc. But not on Anglesey. Furthermore I would have thought that the name ‘Anglesey Aluminium’ contained a clue as to what was being produced.

But guess what – the selection panel didn’t care that they had a total ignoramus on their hands. They loved Ann and she loved them! Which is weird, because Widdecombe knew bugger all about Anglesey and obviously didn’t care that she knew bugger all, she doesn’t mention the issue of language which would have been very important on Anglesey, she doesn’t concern herself with the socio-economic problems that plagued the region at that time and she wasn’t even that interested in the sheep. But Anglesey really wanted her, they were biting her arm off. She ‘stayed with an officer of the association so was under scrutiny the whole time and the interview was a rip-roaring success’.

Now one passion of Ann’s that has been a life-long obsession really is her commitment to the anti-abortion cause. It seems to be the only thing that she is indeed committed to – it’s the one thing that she doesn’t lie about or keep under wraps if necessary. It also caused some people to see her as an unsuitable candidate – she was perceived by some to be uncompromising and dogmatic and by others as a one-policy candidate. She devotes much of her autobiography to accounts of her anti-abortion campaigning and the reasons for her strong feelings on this matter and gives details of some very deceitful tactics that she and other anti-abortion campaigners used in their attempts to force legislation regarding this issue through Parliament. I am wondering whether it was Widdecombe’s enthusiasm for outlawing abortion that made her so attractive to Anglesey.

My post ‘The BMA And It’s Ethics’ detailed how a co-ordinated effort by Top Doctors in north Wales made it impossible for women in that region to access NHS abortions until well into the 80s/90s – the region was notorious for this and the Top Doctors crowed about their success in preventing abortions being carried out legally on the NHS in north Wales. Where did the Top Doctors tend to live if they worked in north west Wales? Anglesey. They colonised the area between Menai Bridge and Beaumaris in particular – that area is next to the Menai Strait, it’s very pretty, it’s where the more expensive and luxurious properties are and it’s near the hospitals in Bangor. I am not exaggerating here – that stretch is literally full of Top Doctors, I used to live there myself and huge numbers of the people living in Llanfairpwll/Menai Bridge/Llandegfan/Beaumaris were Top Doctors – or academics. It was always the reason that was given for Ysgol David Hughes in Menai Bridge performing so well academically – numerous children had mums and dads who were university lecturers or doctors. And if the residents of those villages weren’t Top Doctors, they were nurses or NHS managers or people who worked with the Top Doctors. They didn’t tend to live in Gwynedd because it was a bit wet and hilly there and the houses weren’t so grand – their colony was on Anglesey.

Widdecombe will absolutely not have kept her commitment to anti-abortion a secret during that selection. And I bet that the Anglesey Conservative Association contained a few Top Doctors or their associates who sounded the candidates out concerning their stance on abortion as well. They must have thought that Christmas had come when Widdecombe arrived – the Top Doctors of north Wales were getting very angry at the idea that they might be put under pressure to offer terminations and what would be more helpful to them than a local MP who would back them up all the way?

Sadly for Anglesey Conservatives though, it was a dream that was snatched away. Ann dropped them! A seat in Burnley had also come up and of course Ann had applied for that too (totally committed to Burnley as well!) and although Derek Laws, the Welsh Area agent, wanted Ann to withdraw from Burnley because Anglesey were so desperate to snare her, Conservative Central Office insisted that she follow procedure which meant keeping her name in the hat for Burnley and the Burnley election happened first. Anglesey seem to have been particularly miffed about this – Widdecombe’s book mentions that years later by which time she was in Parliament she bumped into someone from Anglesey and they asked her if she regretted letting them down. Ann herself has no regrets – it wasn’t a safe seat! She mentions of course that the candidate who was eventually selected for Anglesey was Keith Best and the seat was ‘lost’ from the Conservatives a few years later. She fails to mention that it was lost because Best was convicted of fraud and ended up in prison.

Ann wasn’t elected in Burnley and her search for a seat continued a while longer. Readers might well be wondering by now how Widdecombe was actually managing to sustain herself in the south east whilst spending so much time campaigning for the Tories, grovelling to influential people and indeed charging off around the UK in hot pursuit of a seat. It transpires that Ann had a very understanding employer. She got fed up of Unilever pretty quickly and took up a job as an administrator at the University of London. She wasn’t just on reception, she actually worked her way up to a very senior role in the University Court dept and ended up being responsible for the financial part of the project that merged the London medical schools ie. the merger between Guys and Tommy’s and University College and Middlesex. Ann Widdecombe will have been party to an awful lot of very interesting information in that role – and if she’d kept certain people happy she would have made some very influential friends. Which Ann seems to have been very good at doing anyway. One person who was very keen to help Ann further her career in the Conservative Party was her boss at London University, Peter Holwell.

Peter Holwell seems to have been a very useful boss to have – he allowed Ann an awful lot of time off to go campaigning (she doesn’t mention any obligation upon her to take this as unpaid leave) and she even mentions that she took her secretary from the University with her campaigning – the secretary played a full on role as well, answering letters, preparing canvassing returns etc. Did the authorities at London University know that two of their staff – a senior administrator and her secretary – were taking weeks off work in order to bag one of them a seat in Parliament? We are talking the 80s here, the Thatcher years, when universities were being berated for their wastefulness, their lack of productivity and were subjected to severe financial cuts.

But Peter Holwell didn’t just give Ann weeks off to fight elections and supply her with a secretary to do this. He seems to have participated in a great deal of subterfuge with Honest Ann. Readers of my vintage will remember that in 1982 the Tories became so vexed about the CND movement – in particular the women’s protests at Greenham – that they established a campaign in opposition to this which certainly had everyone rolling in the aisles: ‘Women and Families for Defence’, led by the dreadful Lady Olga Maitland, who doubled up as a gossip columnist for the Sunday Express. (Olga was as bad as Ann in terms of only bothering to get to know certain people. In one press interview she waxed lyrical about her love of dinner parties, but stressed that she only invited selected people ‘like Edward De Bono and his wife’. I won’t be receiving an invitation then.) Ann was involved with this campaign and was a key figure in running it – during her time at London University. She mentions that Peter Holwell was ‘keenly interested in my political activity and was a sympathiser’ – the preparations for the launch of ‘Women and Families for Defence’ were ‘carried out in secrecy’ and were referred to in London University as ‘the initiative’. Holwell was in on it all and all Ann had to do was ask for time off from the University for ‘the initiative’.

What exactly was going on in the senior ranks of the Court at London University in the 1980s?

Peter Holwell is still alive, although long retired. He’s been a busy bee though. He was listed as a Company Director for:

A.C.A. Ltd; Leeds Castle Foundation; Edge Foundation; Friends of the Courtauld Institute; Samuel Courtauld Trust; Setoncrest Ltd; Law 646 Ltd; Zoo Operations Ltd; Zoo Enterprises Ltd; Whipsnade Wild Animal Park; Zoo Restaurants Ltd.

Some of these organisations are well-known, some seem to be businesses connected to London University and some are frankly opaque and rather suspicious….

But to return to ‘the initiative’ which was so generously supported in complete secrecy by the upper echelons of London University. ‘Women and Families for Defence’ was always presented by the Tories as being a movement led by real women who wore nylons and were called Lady, rather than a bunch of screaming lesbians of doubtful sanity which of course were what made up the ranks of CND. Yet Ann tells us something else – although the initiative was supposedly led by Olga assisted by the likes of Angela Rumbold and Virginia Bottomley, Ann states clearly that it was all ‘initiated’ by a man called Michael Lingens, a Bow Group officer, who needed a ‘women’s group’ to make an ‘even bigger noise’ than the Greenham women. So who was this Michael Lingens who told the ladies what to do?

Michael Lingens was a Councillor in Hammersmith and Fulham 1982-86 and became Chairman of the Bow Group in 1984. These days he is described as a ‘corporate lawyer’. He is a partner in an organisation called CharlesRussellSpeechlys and is described on their website as being a man who ‘advises on corporate and transactional work for public and private companies, primarily in the healthcare sector’. Lingens has ‘worked with a number of the UK’s leading care home operators in recent years’. He is ‘responsible for the firm’s offices in continental Europe and Chairman of the International Committee which co-ordinates the firm’s international activities in general’.

So it sounds rather to me as though Michael Lingens these days is in the business of privatising the NHS. Which is certainly interesting – Ann’s job at London University (when she was actually at work to do it) involved overseeing the reconfiguration of some leading London hospitals/medical schools and in ‘Strictly Ann’, Ann explains that of course she’s committed to the NHS, but years after her adventures with Olga Maitland et al when she became Shadow Secretary for Health ‘a major plank of my policy was to introduce private sector money to the NHS’. Ann enjoyed the miracles of private medicine herself when she suffered a detached retina. She trotted along to Moorfields Hospital and consulted the surgeon Lyndon da Cruz expecting to hear the worst and told him that she did know that ‘lots of people go through life with the sight of only one eye’. She was delighted to be told that ‘but YOU won’t have to’. Ann recalls that ‘they were the most beautiful words I had heard in many years’ and observed ‘how blessed I am to have BUPA cover’. I didn’t realise that BUPA had a spiritual aspect to it, but at least Ann didn’t have to go blind like the rest of us who don’t have BUPA cover are obviously expected to. ‘Strictly Ann’ is full of references to the Good Book and indeed quotes from the Good Book but Ann really is no John Bell.

The corporate lawyer who is gobbling up the NHS is not the only person who assisted Ann, Olga et al with the initiative. They were, explains Ann, ‘egged on’ by Julian Lewis, who had been at Oxford with her. Ann admiringly explains how on one occasion a few years later, Julian ‘actually managed to string pro-defence banners across Whitehall under which CND had to march on it’s route to Trafalgar Square’. Julian helped Ann with her maiden speech when she finally did succeed in getting into Parliament in 1987. The subject of Ann’s maiden speech was Trident.

So who’s Julian? He’s the Tory MP for New Forest East. In 1976 he received secret funding from the far-right organisation the Freedom Association to pose as a Labour Party moderate in an attempt to expose Militant Tendency entryism in the Labour Party. He is described as a ‘leading opponent of CND and other left-wing organisations throughout the 1980s’ and between 1981-85 he was the Research Director of the Coalition of Peace Through Security. In Parliament he actively pursues the retention and renewal of the UK Trident programme. Just to reassure everyone, in Sept 2010 he was appointed as a member of Parliament’s Security and Intelligence Committee.

So that’s who was pulling the strings of Ann and her mates. Funded without anyone’s knowledge by London University, as was Ann’s path into Parliament.

Ann did eventually manage to get elected in 1987, for Maidstone. Once more Peter Holwell did her a favour and allowed her to leave her job at London University without working out her notice. She mentions an early problem arising when she was newly elected – there was an ‘acute cash crisis’ at Maidstone Hospital, which was ‘very new and flagship’ and Honest Ann was called upon to manage the crisis (or perhaps the bad publicity?), which involved a series of discussions with the Health Authority Chair Anne-Marie Nelson, the hospital management, the Top Doctors, the Angels and the Minister Tony Newton. There were obviously very much more serious problems at that hospital than Ann admitted. Maidstone Hospital hit the media in 2007 as a result of a C diff outbreak, attributed to filthy conditions and overcrowding. In total, more than 1,150 patients became infected, 90 were estimated to have died as a result of infection and it was estimated that the infection contributed towards the deaths of another 240 patients. The Chief Exec was described as ‘blameless’ but was sacked nonetheless, with a severance payment of 250k. The Health Secretary at the time, Alan Johnson, intervened and the Dept of Health advised the Trust to withhold more than 2/3 of the payment. The case went to the Court of Appeal, the payment was restored and a judgement was issued that was highly critical of the Trust. Upon publication of the judgement the whole Trust Board resigned. So Ann didn’t manage to sort that little local difficulty out then, despite ‘Strictly Ann’ containing anecdotes about the machinations that she and her colleagues used to ensure that bad news NHS stories didn’t receive high profile coverage.

After all that toadying to actually get into the Commons, Ann very nearly came unstuck in 1992 when there was an attempt to deselect her by some members of her constituency association as a result of her anti-hunting stance. (Is it not ironic that it was this which nearly caused her to come to grief rather than the rest of the insanity and duplicity.) However, fellow anti-abortion campaigner Lib Dem David Alton was so mortified at the idea of Parliament without Doris that he came to her rescue. Alton theorised that to get Ann out of hot water, she needed the support of a high profile hunter and hey presto a letter from the Duke of Norfolk in support of Ann was sent to the constituency association. Ann was really chuffed when she found out that the Duke of Norfolk had written that he wished that he’d had her at his side when he was ‘fighting the Mau Mau’. I’m wondering if Doris has any idea of what was alleged to have happened in the fight against the Mau Mau uprising – the Mau Mau militants were notoriously terrifying and vicious, so the colonial forces did not hold back where retaliation was concerned. Mau Mau were flogged until death, roasted alive, sexually assaulted with a range of objects, set alight after having paraffin poured over them and castrated. Interrogation methods used by the colonial forces included slicing off ears, boring holes in ear-drums and pushing pins into fingernails. One can only wonder in what capacity the Duke of Norfolk imagined that Ann would have proved useful.

The Duke of Norfolk’s letter did the trick and Ann lived to fight another day.

In much the same way that it took Ann a very long time to actually get into Parliament, her progress once she was there was not what she had envisaged. As with the Chukas and the Yvettes and the Tristrams et al that have wrecked the Labour Party, doing a good job for her constituents as a useful backbench MP wasn’t enough for Ann – she knew that she was meant for better things. Like Norman Tebbit, Ann is someone who seethes at the idea that much of an MP’s role has now been ‘reduced’ to that of a ‘glorified social worker’. How they hate it when those sodding constituents keep turning up with their housing problems or their benefit concerns or their complaints about the NHS. As Tebbit used to stress ‘our job is to hold the executive to account’. Well that certainly is part of the job, but Tebs and Doris don’t seem to have worked out that the reason why MPs surgeries are now brimming over with desperate people about to lose the roof over their heads or with no income because their benefits have been stopped or who have nearly been killed at the hands of the NHS and no-one will even respond to their letters, is that since 1979 successive Gov’ts have set about dismantling the infrastructure of the UK and now nothing fucking works. Desperate people have nowhere else to turn but their MPs, particularly when the public services themselves break the law. Parliament is not the Oxford Union Ann, no matter how much that you wish it was. That was you playing with a load of other pretentious spoilt idiots – when you get elected you have things called constituents to answer to.

Although Doris did notice that no-one seemed very enthusiastic about promoting her, she did what she had done previously – she hassled a lot of influential people demanding answers as to why her talents were going unacknowledged. Unbelievably it worked and Doris began to get promoted.

Now one of the early positions that Doris achieved that interests me is that of Parliamentary Under Secretary of State to Tony Newton. Doris describes that this involved a huge amount of work and that as the Parliamentary Under Secretary it was she who did the legwork – including handling all correspondence. Tony Newton was the Minister to whom Alison Taylor wrote in Feb 1988 describing the abuse of children in care in north Wales that was happening – including assaults that she had witnessed herself. Ann Widdecombe will have known about that letter. Furthermore by the time that she wrote to Tony Newton, Alison had already written to Margaret Thatcher. Tony Newton was Health Minister. This was pre-devolution, so the NHS in Wales was the responsibility of Westminster. By the time that Doris was the gofer for Newton, the authorities were aware of my allegations concerning the psychiatric services in north Wales as well.

But Doris also knew somebody who was directly involved in the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal – Peter Morrison, the MP for Chester, whom former Tory MPs now admit was known to be molesting under-aged boys and who was visiting children’s homes in north Wales. Doris mentions Morrison a number of times in her book – Doris knew him as Thatcher’s PPS and repeats a number of times that Morrison was giving Thatcher ‘bad advice’. It is fairly clear now that Thatcher’s administration were covering up what was happening in north Wales, including Peter Morrison’s activities. Ann doesn’t mention that, but she does make reference to another situation which she claims was covered up by everybody from ‘Tony Newton downwards’, that of the serious alcohol problem suffered by Nick Scott. She observes that no-one did him any favours concealing the fact that he was drunk and incapable and she is probably quite right. But I suspect that Doris knew that Tony Newton along with the Welsh Office were covering up something far worse than an alcoholic colleague – and who knows she might well have still been in contact with her old buddies the Top Doctors from Anglesey who had so wanted her as their MP, who were covering up exactly the same thing. By that time Keith Best had been elected for Anglesey – the Keith Best who was so uninterested and unhelpful when I went to see him about the wrongdoing of the Top Doctors. The Keith Best who had a role in the Welsh Office.

After her stint with Tony Newton, Doris was Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for David Hunt at the Dept of Employment. The David Hunt who was Secretary of State for Wales – twice – and who covered up the wrongdoing in north Wales as well.

Doris’s autobiography makes it obvious that she was getting pretty pissed off with only being a mere Parliamentary Under Secretary and she was greatly pleased when she finally became a Minister of State in the Home Office. She was memorably Minister for Prisons under Home Secretary Michael Howard who maintained that ‘prison works’, as the prison numbers swelled with dispossessed people who were frequently mentally ill. Or in north Wales had complained about the psychiatric services or of having been molested in children’s homes. Doris waxes lyrical about the features of prisoners – that they are usually illiterate and innumerate, that they often have mental health problems, that they usually come from ‘broken families’. The one thing that she fails to mention is that a disproportionate number have grown up ‘in care’ – but I bet she knew it. Doris was a Minister in the Home Office at the time when Mary Wynch was chewed up and spat out, ruined, by the Home Office (see post ‘The Mary Wynch Case – Details’).

Doris was sufficiently attached to Tony Newton and David Hunt to mention how ‘upset’ she was when they lost their seats in 1997.

I find it very difficult to believe that Doris, whose whole modus operandi was predicated upon making friends with powerful people and helping ensure that things ran smoothly for them, had not heard an awful lot about the barrel of shite in north Wales that so many of those whom she was hobnobbing with were so deeply involved.

But even after Hunt and Newton had left the Commons, Doris found herself yet again close to someone else who played a major role in covering up the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal – she became Shadow Secretary for Health under William Hague. Whilst the cover-up that was the Waterhouse Inquiry was underway. Doris was a big fan of Hague and her explanation for his disastrous stint as Tory leader was that he simply arrived in that position too early in his career. Even in her account of her support for Hague as leader though there are indications of Doris’s underhand activities. By the time that Hague stood in the leadership race, Doris had of course fallen out with Michael Howard in a very big way and certainly did not want him becoming leader of the party – she did of course launch a very public attack on him in which she notoriously claimed that there was ‘something of the night’ about him and what with that coming from Honest Plain Speaking Ann, it killed off Howard’s 1997 leadership chance. Ann explains in her book how Hague was actually going to support Howard for leader in 1997 until she told James Arbuthnot – the principal Hague supporter – that she was going to launch a major attack on Howard. Hague subsequently reneged on his deal to support Howard. Ann wonders whether Arbuthnot told Hague that he was supporting ‘damaged goods’ – of course she has no idea whether Arbuthnot ever did tell him that, but she remarks that it would have been ‘strange’ if Hague’s ‘first lieutenant would not have told him what he had learned’. Of course it would Doris, that’s why you set the cat among the pigeons…

Doris also had cause to call on the help of yet another person whom I have named on this blog as helping to keep the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal out of the media as much as was possible – Amanda Platell (see post ‘Did Glenda Occupy A Key Role In Keeping It All Out Of The Media?’). In 1999, by which time Platell had her feet well under the table as Head of Press at Conservative Central Office, Peter Lilley made a speech which compromised one of Doris’s policies. An early draft of Lilley’s speech was leaked by a journalist – a journalist whom it was known was regularly briefed by Doris. Suspicion fell upon Doris and rumours flew – Doris was horrified that she had fallen under suspicion (I’m not sure why, if she was known to be briefing this journo on a regular basis it would seem logical to presume that she’d done so again). Fortunately for Doris, the helpful Amanda held a full investigation using some of her contacts that I mentioned in my previous post about her, two people were identified as being the source of the leak and were sacked. Doris remained – presumably to continue briefing journalists when she found it necessary.

Readers may remember that Doris fancied herself as Tory leader but never actually got that far. What is noticeable in Doris’s book is that she had felt that this was her destination and she takes it as a matter of fact that she’d have been an absolutely brilliant PM. Fortunately for the rest of us it never actually happened. However Doris does spend quite a lot of time telling us all how she would run the world if anyone were ever rash enough to allow her to do so. She claimed to be speaking for a section of society that she termed the ‘Forgotten Decents’. Which is an interesting concept from a woman who admired so many close colleagues who had concealed a paedophile ring. Of course Ann stood down from Parliament in 2010 and although she has made it known that she was miffed not to have been offered a seat in the Lords, her career post-politics has continued. She has become a sort of cabaret act, taking part in Strictly Come Dancing and the like. She devotes quite a bit of space to these activities in her autobiography.

Doris tells us how as part of a project for one TV programme she ‘found a prostitute’ called Collette from Peterborough, who wanted to escape from prostitution ‘but could get no help’. A bit like those teenaged boys in north Wales that your colleague Morrison was molesting then Ann. Ann sadly observes that Collette disappeared with a mobile phone that the TV folk had given her and ‘went off the radar’. Well some of the former residents of the children’s homes were found dead after they’d given evidence about what had happened to them and no-one even gave them a mobile phone to bugger off with.

During the filming of another TV programme, Doris was appalled to encounter a ‘work shy’ man called Mick Philpott who ‘pretended’ to take on a job that Ann had found for him ‘but never reported for duty’. Well if Ann had found him a job as a senior administrator at London University, he wouldn’t have needed to have reported for duty, he could have pissed off around the country with the use of a secretary campaigning for a seat in Parliament. Doris was also deeply traumatised when she discovered that the work shy man had a rather complex domestic set up – he was in a sexual relationship with a number of different partners all at once (just like Marjorie Wallace then) and made reference to him ‘servicing’ them. Doris was appalled at the use of this phrase. I can tell that when Doris worked in London medical schools she was an administrator who didn’t share a tea room with Top Doctors or their minions. Do you know what the absolute bog standard phrase at St George’s was for shagging someone Doris? Servicing them. I heard it every day, among much ribald speculation relating in particular to various Top Doctors who were known to be serving – or being serviced – by numerous casual partners. Indeed one Top Doctor who achieved fame for being serviced by five different men in one weekend now appears in glossy women’s magazines in relation to her campaigning work on FGM. I saw an article featuring her the other day. Unlike Ann, I don’t really mind who services who if it’s non-exploitative and between consenting adults, but the icing on the cake was when I was told that one of the Top Doctors at another medical school in London wasn’t very popular because ‘he has a pony tail and arrives on his motorbike every day’. I remarked that was hardly earth shattering and I was then told ‘yes but the trouble is he has sex with his children, he’s too much’. Yep, they knew that a professor of gynaecology in London was having sex with his children. They didn’t like it, they gossiped about it but not one of them lifted a finger to investigate or stop it. St Georges was a medical school with a labour ward that used to be occasionally visited by social workers and police officers to remove new born babies from the care of women if they had been deemed unsuitable to care for their children. The man who was alleged to be having sex with his children is still on the Medical Register, he is actually still a very big name and is a Professor Emeritus who sits on the Boards of numerous medical charities. But of course St Georges had a Professor of Paediatrics, Oliver Brooke, who in the mid 1980s went to prison for possessing huge quantities of child porn.

Like some of the Top Doctors, Doris has rather inconsistent views where sexuality is concerned. She supported Section 28 because it was ‘about protecting children’. (So that’s why the Tories covered up a paedophile ring then!!) When discussing child sexual abuse she relies on the Margaret Hodge defence of ‘we didn’t know about it in the 70s and 80s’. Yes Doris, we did know about it. Molesting children was considered very unacceptable indeed, even in the 70s and 80s, which is why people went to such lengths to conceal it. The one thing that people didn’t tend to accept in the 70s and 80s was that respectable middle class men with families and allegedly ‘normal’ lives might be involved in such activity – it was very much seen as the preserve of a loner in a flasher’s mac. To illustrate the depths of society’s ignorance regarding paedophilia, Doris mentions that Harriet Harman and Patricia Hewitt who were famously involved with the NCCL when it was affiliated to PIE are now ‘exemplary mothers’. I’m not sure that I see the connection – Harman and Hewitt I am sure would never let their own kids near paedophiles but that did not stop them from doing some stupid things when they worked for the NCCL and then throwing hissy fits in the media when it was exposed many years later. But then Margaret Thatcher would never have let Mark and Carol near a paedophile gang but she ignored one that ran riot in north Wales on her watch because they were only molesting the kids of some sheepshaggers who were in local authority care. The one paedophile whom Doris does have harsh words for is Jimmy Savile – Doris blames the BBC. It wasn’t the BBC who nominated him for a knighthood or invited him to Chequers for Christmas – it was Thatcher. And it wasn’t the BBC who put him in charge of a high security hospital – it was Doris’s colleague Edwina Currie….

Most staggeringly though, one paedophile who Doris has nothing but warm words for is the man who when Doris’s dancing partner Craig Revel Horwood was a teenager took Craig travelling and used him, in Ann’s own words, as ‘rent boy’. This man was a lot older than Craig and Craig’s mother was told a tall story in order to ensure that the travel plans weren’t stopped. Craig told Doris that despite all this, his travelling companion was a nice man. Which he might well have been, but he was also a highly exploitative man who was happy to lie to people in order to have sex with a minor. Doris marvels at Craig’s insights and wishes that the whole world could be as forgiving (which is odd coming from someone who is very keen on the idea of hanging people). She comments that friendship is a marvellous thing. Which I think is a fairly standard line that paedophiles use when approaching young people – and they tell them not to tell their mums what is going on.

So there’s The World According To Widdecombe for you. Doris’s political life has been one of daft simplistic ideas, of telling the plebs what’s good for them, of ludicrous games learnt at the Oxford Union, of ruthlessly fawning to powerful people particularly if they have titles or a great deal of money and of chortling away with her Tory mates whilst making smug comments about socialists. As a paedophile ring ripped through north Wales, leaving a trail of death, destruction and people wrongly imprisoned in it’s wake. Although Doris doesn’t know the difference between aluminium and zinc, she considers herself a multi-talented erudite being and she spends a lot of time turning her nose up at the plebs who haven’t read their Shakespeare. Had Doris been a different sort of electoral candidate for a seat in north Wales, she might well have bothered to become acquainted with some of the literature from the region. One of north Wales’s most famous writers was someone called Kate Roberts. She wrote a book called ‘Feet In Chains’ Doris. Which just about describes the state of those kids in north Wales who were shagged senseless and beaten up in order to provide sexual services for some of your colleagues and were banged up in the North Wales Hospital or Risley Remand Centre if they complained about what was happening. Should any readers think that I might be overdoing it here, I should explain that as well as the people mentioned in this post, in her book Doris also names scores of other political chums whom she has hung out with and who helped her along her way. FIVE of those names appear on the list of names that I have been sent by a journalist as being suspected members of the Westminster Paedophile Ring.

Doris has now retired to Dartmoor with a load of cats. But the damage that this rather dim woman inflicted because she thought that she was Prime Minister material remains.