Oh To Be In Receipt Of Academic Honours

Whilst researching for a future post, I had cause to access the list of people honoured by the University of South Wales in 2014. It was certainly a bit of a surprise, because a number of those people had something in common – they had been involved in concealing health and social care scandals and some of them have previously featured on this blog. What can be going on at the University of South Wales – if any readers can shed light on this phenomenon, please do. Anyway, here’s the lowdown on the names that jumped out at me…

Gerard Elias QC, presented with an honorary doctorate of Laws. Gerard was Counsel to the Waterhouse Inquiry, that massive whitewash regarding the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal. (I will be blogging more about Waterhouse and those involved, including Gerard, very soon.)

The Rt Hon Paul Murphy MP, presented with an honorary doctorate of the University. Paul Murphy was Secretary of State for Wales under Blair by the time that Waterhouse had completed his Report and it was Paul Murphy to whom the Report was sent. Paul Murphy was delighted that the Report confirmed that no public figures had been involved in the abuse of children in north Wales, although it was confirmed that a paedophile ring had operated in the Chester and Wrexham areas and that Lucille Hughes, the Director of Gwynedd Social Services, had known that a paedophile ring was operating through the social services. Paul was obviously greatly relieved that it was just the sheepshaggers abusing each other. Paul was of course MP for Torfaen and my co-researcher has dug up some comments from a few of Paul’s constituents who were less than flattering about him, believing him to be ‘anti-Welsh’, ‘Blairite’ and consistently voting against the interests of his constituents. It didn’t do him any harm, he’s now in the Lords. For a man who has spent so long in politics there is not much information in the public domain about Paul. He is known to be a ‘bachelor’, a devout Catholic and he was of course one of Blair’s men involved in the Northern Ireland peace process, so he will probably have been involved in whatever deals were done that prevented Martin McGuinness facing murder charges and ending up in Government instead. Murphy was at one point summarily removed as Welsh Secretary but nobody ever seemed to find out why. He supported Andy Burnham in the now notorious Labour leadership battle. That’s the Andy Burnham that consistently concealed the carnage at Mid-Staffs.

The Rt Hon the Lord Morris of Aberavon, presented with an honorary doctorate of Laws. Lord Morris was previously John Morris, Labour MP for Aberavon 1959-2002, Secretary of State for Wales, 1974-1979 and Attorney General for England, Wales and N Ireland, 1997-1999. Morris had an interesting special advisor who died recently, Lord Gwilym Prys-Davies (please see post ‘In Memoriam’). Prys-Davies was a member of the Welsh Hospitals Board which oversaw the horrors that occurred at the North Wales Hospital Denbigh under Gwynne and Dafydd and will undoubtedly have known at least some of what they were doing. Furthermore, Lord Prys-Davies came from north Wales himself, so of course he’ll have known about Denbigh. The Welsh Hospitals Board was abolished and it’s functions passed to the Secretary of State for Wales in 1974 – which was the year that Gwilym was appointed special advisor to Morris! Like Morris himself, Gwilym was a lawyer who had studied at Aberystwyth University – as were so many people who were involved with keeping a lid on the horrors of Denbigh and the abuse of children or passing judgement in Court on those who had dared cross the paths of those we know and love. Between 1997 and 1999, under Blair, Morris was Attorney General. I discovered this morning that in 1996, it was agreed by the Attorney General that nothing said by the witnesses giving evidence to the Waterhouse Inquiry could be used in a criminal prosecution against them. The witnesses did of course include the people who’d been molested whilst in the care of the social services as children and a lot of those people had criminal records for offences involving drugs or theft, burglary etc. But of course many of the witnesses had been involved in rather more serious activities – the sexual abuse of children. And they were the ones running and staffing the ‘services’. No wonder there have been so few prosecutions. The Attorney General who made this kind offer was Sir Nicholas Lyell MP, who worked under both Thatcher and Major (there will be more about Lyell in a future post). But in 1997, when Waterhouse was actually in the process of taking the evidence from witnesses, Blair won the election – and Morris took over as Attorney General and presumably continued with the same generous arrangement. Paul Murphy, the Secretary of State for Wales who received the Waterhouse Report, would have known about the protection that people potentially involved in very serious crime had been afforded – but was completely reassured by the Report nonetheless. No more questions to be asked on the matter. Morris was also President of the London Welsh Trust – just like dear old Sir William Mars-Jones, the man who protected Gwynne the lobotomist when Gwynne was causing havoc at Bangor University! – and Lord Lieutenant of Dyfed in 2002. (It’s extraordinary how many representatives of HM the Queen have been involved in some very sordid activities.) But best of all, in 2013 Lord Morris was appointed Chancellor of the University of South Wales. No wonder they honoured him. The University of South Wales was of course formed from the merger between the troubled University of Glamorgan and the mired in scandal University of Newport. Lord Morris had been Chancellor of the University of Glamorgan since 2002.

The Rt Hon Margaret Hodge, presented with an honorary doctorate of the University. Well if we’re talking ignoring the presence of a paedophile ring, Margaret Hodge is up there with Lucille. Margaret was famously the leader of Islington Council when a paedophile ring was causing utter chaos in it’s children’s homes. One of the children molested whilst he had been in the care of Islington wrote to Hodge when he was older, only for Hodge to publicly denounce him as ‘disturbed’. He sued her and won and subsequently Hodge tried to excuse her dreadful conduct by claiming that we didn’t know about sexual abuse in those days. Yes Margaret we did, which is exactly why people like you discredited people who dared bring it to your attention. Margaret’s husband Henry was a judge – who when he was young had been involved with the National Council for Civil Liberties, which had been affiliated to PIE, a group that campaigned for ‘paedophiles rights’. (For more information on this whole sorry mess and the relevance that it has to the north Wales child abuse scandal, please see my post ‘The London Connection’.) Margaret was a good mate of a man called Tony Blair and she later was appointed as Minister for Children in Blair’s Gov’t. Had I ignored a paedophile gang whilst running children’s homes I would expect people to have a really good laugh at me if I then accepted a post as Children’s Minister, but Margaret is now a Dame as opposed to merely a Lady which she was when she was married to a Sir. Margaret is the MP for – most appropriately – Barking. Barking had a lethal hospital that was exterminating patients and at the same time that this establishment was the focus of much terrible publicity, Margaret was a guest on ‘Any Questions’. Someone was mildly critical of the NHS and Margaret let rip, yelling repeatedly that it was ‘my NHS’ that they were talking about and thus succeeded in shouting them down. She failed to mention that her NHS was killing people, in much the same way that she had trouble admitting that her social services were sexually assaulting children.

Dr Peter Carter OBE, presented with an honorary doctorate of the University. Peter Carter was the General Secretary and Chief Executive of the Royal College of Nursing 2007-2015. That’s the RCN that provides free assistance and legal advice to nurses who stand accused of abusing and harming patients. I accept that everyone is entitled to a fair trial and indeed are innocent until proven guilty but the RCN seem to go a little further than adhering to this. Alan Roberts, the nurse practitioner who threatened me and threw me out of Ysbyty Gwynedd after I’d been unlawfully refused treatment (please see post ‘Two Dangerous Very Dishonest Nurses’) was some years later caught red handed by a (very brave) whistleblower threatening an old lady, impersonating a police officer and then assaulting and injuring the old lady. Roberts was found guilty but then appealed. By the time that his appeal was heard the old lady had died. Roberts’s conviction was overturned – not because he hadn’t assaulted the old lady, but because it couldn’t be proven that her injuries were a direct result of his assault on her. After his appeal Roberts announced that he would be applying to return to work as a nurse in Ysbyty Gwynedd. I understand that he received advice from the RCN throughout. In 2013 in the wake of the Mid-Staffs scandal and associated enquiries, Peter Carter wrote an article for the ‘Guardian’ reassuring the readers that nursing had not ‘gone bad’ and placed the problems firmly at the feet of Mid-Staffs ‘management’. Some of those ‘managers’ were nurses and were members of the RCN – and some of the behaviour of those nurses was inexcusable even in the face of appalling management. One also wonders why the RCN themselves didn’t go public on what was happening at Mid-Staffs – because they did know. In 2011 Peter was awarded the inaugural President’s medal from the Royal College of Psychiatrists. That’s the Royal College of Psychiatrists of which Prof Rob Poole is a leading light in Wales. The Rob Poole who works for the Betsi – which is currently in special measures due to ‘institutional abuse’ in the mental health services. Peter is a former psychiatric nurse himself but I never noticed him publicly commenting on the dreadful state of the UK mental health services. In 2013 Peter was awarded an honorary fellowship with the Royal College of General Practitioners. The Royal College of General Practitioners of which Dr DGE Wood has been a leading light in Wales – whilst he concealed a mountain of crap in the mental health services in north Wales. Peter is a member of the Prince’s Trust, one of whose priorities is ‘young people in care’ (which obviously explains why Huw Vaughan Thomas, who was the Chief Exec of Gwynedd County Council whilst his staff were investigated by the police regarding the paedophile ring that was operating in it’s children’s services, is involved with it). Peter also appears on the website of the College of Medicine, which lobbies for the availability of ‘complementary medicines’ of no proven clinical benefit on the NHS. It is widely believed that the College of Medicine is a resurrection of the ‘Princes Foundation For Integrated Medicine’ which imploded in 2011 among allegations of fraud and money laundering. Peter is described as a ‘keen supporter of military medicine’, is the honorary Colonel to the 203 (Welsh) Field Hospital in Cardiff and in 2011 he spent a week in Afghanistan visiting troops and the medicals/paramedics.

One of Peter’s close colleagues is also keen on military medicine. That is Tina Donnelly, Director of the RCN in Wales since 2004. When Mary Burrows was Chief Exec of the Betsi and was doing her best to combat the corruption and dreadful care prevalent in that organisation, Tina was regularly found to be fuming in the Welsh press, reminding everyone of the hard-working selfless angels that staffed Wales’s hospitals. Those were the angels who abused and neglected the patients in Tawel Fan, who were left crawling around naked on a floor covered in faeces and urine – one patient was found to have an untreated broken arm. Tina has been a reservist in the Army medical services for 23 years and has completed two tours of Afghanistan. In 2008 she was Medical Group leader for Health Care Governance on operations in Afghanistan – Tina was also Commanding Officer of a Role 3 hospital at Camp Bastion in Afghanistan in 2013-14.

Tina and Peter are in good company. Another nurse from Wales who enjoys marching up and down is Stephen Gallagher, a senior nurse in A&E at Ysbyty Gwynedd who refused to assess or treat me and told me that if I was suicidal I ‘should be in a cell’. Gallagher then called the police alleging that I’d threatened him. CCTV footage showing that I had done no such thing was destroyed by the hospital when my lawyer requested it to be released. After my lawyer had demonstrated that Gallagher had lied repeatedly and I then discovered that he had previously been investigated after a doctor complained about him and that it was acknowledged that Gallagher’s competence and integrity could not be relied upon, a good news story about Stephen Gallagher was released to the London based media by the North West Wales NHS Trust. It alleged that Major Gallagher, an Army reservist, whilst on tour in Afghanistan, had saved the life of a boy with a head injury. It transpired that Gallagher had done no such thing, he had simply made a phone call to somebody else who later collected the boy from Gallagher’s colleagues and took him elsewhere to be operated on. Some months later Gallagher once more refused me treatment unlawfully and this time threatened and insulted two members of the public who were trying to help me and was assisted in this by another nurse in A&E at Ysbyty Gwynedd, Andrew Parry. I understand that Andrew Parry is an Army reservist as well. Gallagher hit the local media again in 2010 – he had been the last person to see a patient who was later found dead in inexplicable circumstances. This amount of bad luck with patients hasn’t impeded Gallagher’s desire to continue marching up and down – last year I came across a reference to Colonel Gallagher no less. Gallagher and his colleagues from hospitals in north west Wales who are also Army reservists deeply impressed another man who even attended one of their awards ceremonies in Liverpool (Gallagher himself picked up an award at this event). The man who praised the work of Gallagher et al had spent the previous few years campaigning on behalf of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones’s ‘nursing home for veterans’ in Llandudno, Ty Gwyn, which was on its last legs because it was, well a con and the Welsh Gov’t refused to fund patients to stay there. The campaigner was Sean Tierney, one of Dafydd’s patients and told everyone that he was a former Major who had been shot in the Falklands campaign and had only survived thanks to battlefield surgery and now suffered from PTSD. He was actually a conman, was not a Major, had not fought in the Falklands and is now in prison after being found guilty of trying to murder two of his neighbours. (Full details of all these extraordinary events are covered in my posts ‘Two Dangerous Very Dishonest Nurses’ and ‘A Very Bad PR Man’.) Tina and Peter are in good company then. But guess what – Tina was also honoured by the University of South Wales, in 2012 they gave her an honorary fellowship!

Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, presented with an honorary Doctorate of Science. The University of South Wales are cultivating Mr Big here, Sir Leszek is Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University no less (in view of the firm and ruthlessly hierarchical nature of the UK university sector, I can only wonder why Leszek would want an honour from the University of South Wales). Leszek is a medical academic and was formerly Chief Exec of the Medical Research Council. He was a consultant at Hammersmith Hospital (for an account of the dodgy activities of many of the grandest people at Hammersmith whom I encountered when I spent a year there doing an MSc, please see post ‘A Cause Close To Our Hearts’). Leszek then headed the Dept of Medicine at the University of Wales – details are not provided regarding Leszek’s position in relation to the many scandals and troubles that have emanated over the last few years regarding those associated with medicine in the University of Wales – and Leszek then was appointed Deputy Rector at Imperial College. He was responsible for ‘the overall academic and scientific direction of the college’.  So he will have been directing the activities of all those questionable people who worked at Hammersmith and then became part of Imperial when the institutions merged. Such as Professor Sir Nicholas Wright, now a bigwig at Cancer Research UK – Cancer Research UK also happens to fund much of Nick Wright’s research. Cancer Research UK is the latest incarnation of what used to be known as the Cancer Research Campaign. For an account of the research fraud, deception and haemorrhaging of funds that I witnessed at the Cancer Research Campaign laboratories at the University of Nottingham, please see post ‘A Cause Close To Our Hearts’. I note that Leszek is a council member of Cancer Research UK – a wise move if he has been involved in the scientific direction of Imperial, he’ll be keeping schtum about a great deal. I, along with the other researchers in Nottingham, all took the view that if the general public actually saw what was going on in that lab and how zilch genuine research was being done by the ‘academics’ as the ‘leaders’ of that lab grandly titled themselves, no-one would ever donate to cancer research again.

Why the University of South Wales decided to honour most of this motley crew I do not know – I presume that honouring Sir Leszek does have much potential for toadying purposes, but the others…. The University of South Wales has been in the news recently, regarding the possibility of redundancies. I suspect that it is a very troubled institution beneath the covers, as both of the institutions that gave rise to it had problems. The University of Glamorgan did have a number of excellent staff but seemed to treat them appallingly and not understand how good some of them were – they all wanted to escape, either to other jobs or to retirement. I also had a friend who did her degree down there and there was huge amounts of dissatisfaction among the students. They didn’t seem to be critical of the staff, but maintained that the University had misled them as to the facilities that were available there. It was claimed that promotional material sent out to potential students was frankly untruthful. But that was nothing as to the troubles at the University of Newport. I was on a train in south Wales on one occasion and I found myself sitting next to a married couple who had both been tempted by New Labour’s ‘widening participation’ policy to apply to university. They weren’t from academic backgrounds and they didn’t have friends or family who had knowledge of the HE sector, so all they were relying on was advertising from Blair’s Gov’t and of course universities themselves. The husband had enrolled for an engineering degree at Newport and his wife had enrolled for nursing at Newport. They had children and they made considerable sacrifices to undertake full-time study, but they were reassured by the architects of New Labour’s HE policy that of course it would be worth it, being graduates they would obtain well paid secure employment eventually. They had one heck of a shock as they neared graduation, which was when I met them. The engineering student found that the course that he was on, although it was an engineering course, was not recognised by the professional body needed for him to obtain a position as a graduate engineer. At no point had Newport told him or the other students that their degree did not have the same recognition that most other engineering degrees had. They only found out towards the end of their course when Newport revealed to them that they would have to undertake another degree in order to achieve the recognition that they needed. As for the nursing student – she was spitting blood. She and all her peers had been positively encouraged to become nurses only to be told just before graduation that there was virtually zero recruitment of nurses in the hospitals in south Wales. So this couple had made sacrifices, were in dept, but had no prospect of the sort of professional employment that they had been led to believe would be a certainty. But that of course was the big Blair con – the working class people that he persuaded to get into debt to acquire degrees did not know about the pecking order in UK universities and most of them were completely unaware that a degree from Newport was not viewed in the same way as a degree from a Russell group institution. Blair’s own kids I note, did not go to Newport to do nursing themselves…

But I heard an even better story about Newport sometime after my encounter on the train. One of my friends with an excellent academic record applied for a job as Director of Research there. He told me that his interview was one of the more bizarre experiences of his career. Of the panel that interviewed him, only one of them had a PhD. That was a man with a background in IT, whom my friend observed was very bright and seemed to have a good understanding of what was needed for a university to achieve success in the research stakes. But this man was completely marginalised and frozen out by the ‘leading’ member of the interview panel, whom my friend observed did not have a PhD herself and seemed to know nothing about research at all. My friend described this woman as ‘objectionable’ and said that he had never been treated so rudely at an interview before. It was so bad that he decided during the interview that if he was offered the job he wouldn’t take it, because the thought of working with this woman was dreadful. At the end of the interview he was offered a cup of tea with someone else who actually seemed very warm and friendly, so my friend took the opportunity to remark upon the way in which he’d been treated and asked what on earth had been bothering this woman. He was told that she’d been ‘having a hard time recently’. He later discovered that a number of students were threatening to personally sue her. They had been halfway through their degrees when the objectionable woman, in her capacity as a senior manager, had taken a decision that that particular degree would stop running. Just like that. And those students could sod off. The students did eventually find a way of completing their courses but only after threatening the dipstick with legal action. My friend subsequently received a letter from Newport telling him that he hadn’t got the job. They had instead appointed a woman who until about five years previously had been a PE teacher and who had just finished a PhD. But she was a champion golf player. So who was the mad woman leading the panel who narrowly avoided being sued by the students, treated my friend appallingly during his interview and appointed a director of research on their golf playing ability? She was Amelia Lyons. Amelia Lyons was of course Head of Counselling at Newport. What else could she have been.

Shortly after my friend’s encounter with Amelia it was announced that Newport was to merge with Glamorgan. As I remember Glamorgan didn’t actually want them, but were forced into it by the Welsh Gov’t. I wonder who is selecting those to be honoured. Amelia perhaps.