The Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Connection?

My post ‘A UK Network’ speculated upon possible connections between north Wales and the north east of England. I described how I suspect that the Cleveland Child Abuse Scandal did Dafydd and the paedophiles’ friends in north Wales a very big favour by muddying the waters just at the very time when Alison Taylor, Mary Wynch and I were writing to politicians, Ministers and others regarding the criminal activities of welfare professionals in north Wales. At the time I didn’t realise that what I was witnessing and experiencing was a direct result of the paedophile ring in north Wales and I don’t think that Mary did, but Alison was of course a children’s social worker for Gwynedd Social Services who was blowing the whistle on the abuse happening in the children’s homes.

‘A UK Network’ named Dr Neil Davies and Professor Bob Woods as being two senior figures who worked in the mental health services in north Wales for years who had both previously worked in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. Neil Davies read medicine at Cambridge and then worked in Newcastle, Bob Woods did his clinical psychology training in Newcastle and worked there afterwards. Bob Woods had also worked at the Institute of Psychiatry before moving to Bangor. Neil Davies was a Consultant Psychiatrist in north Wales (he has now retired) and Professor Bob Woods is a Clinical Psychologist who for many years ran the Clinical Psychology training at Bangor University, working in partnership with the mental health services in north Wales. Bob Woods is Professor of Old Age Psychology at Bangor University and specialises in dementia and Alzheimers.

Neil Davies was for many years a Consultant Psychiatrist in the North Wales Hospital Denbigh – I met him whilst Dafydd unlawfully imprisoned me there in the winter of 1986/87. My post ‘How I Arrived At Denbigh’ details the entries that Neil Davies made upon my medical records in 1986 after being confronted by a nurse who told him that she was most unhappy about being implicated in Dafydd’s illegal activities and the ‘deal’ that he had done with a corrupt policeman at Bangor Police Station, a Superintendent Roberts. Davies reassured her that it wasn’t actually her who was breaking the law or participating in the ‘deal’ (that was the word that Davies actually used on my medical records), all she had to do was to refuse to let me out of the locked ward where I was being unlawfully held.

I met Neil Davies again some years ago. He was then a Consultant at the Ablett Unit, Ysbyty Glan Clwyd. I went to see him after my lawyer had conducted a battle for more than a year to get me an appointment at the Ablett Unit, so that I would never have to risk my neck with the dreadful Hergest Unit again. The North West Wales NHS Trust had simply ignored my lawyer’s repeated requests – I don’t know why, because they hated me and the lethal Dr Tony Roberts of the Hergest Unit had made it clear that I could die before I’d receive any support, but no, they just couldn’t find it within them to refer me elsewhere. After a very long battle and my lawyer pointing out repeatedly that denying me care was simply illegal (although breaking the law has never bothered the north Wales mental health services), I did receive an appointment to see Neil Davies.

I remembered Neil Davies from the North Wales Hospital, but when I went to see him we didn’t mention meeting there, although I presumed that he did remember me. When I went to see him at the Ablett, I hadn’t yet gained access to the records that he’d written at Denbigh years earlier, so I knew nothing about these written confessions of illegal incarceration and deals with corrupt police officers. At the Ablett, Neil Davies was very chatty and pleasant – people always find Neil Davies chatty and pleasant, he is not conspicuously deranged like Dafydd – and we actually spent most of the time discussing my publications. I only saw Neil Davies I think about three times when I gave up again – dear old Tony Roberts reared his ugly head once more, throwing hissy fits and ordering junior doctors at the Ablett not to treat me no less, because I was ‘his’ patient, not Neil Davies’s. God knows what was going on, I just gave up with them at that point.

Last year however my lawyer forwarded yet more records to me, including the incriminating records that Neil Davies had compiled at Denbigh. But she also forwarded the records that he had compiled about me when I’d been to see him at the Ablett. I discovered that there had been no official referral. Alun Davies, the corrupt manager of the Hergest Unit, had simply ‘had a word’ with Neil Davies at a meeting about another matter in mid-Wales and asked him if he would see a ‘difficult patient’. I can only imagine what Davies said about me. Furthermore it came as no surprise that there was no appropriate referral – Alun Davies conducts his whole existence on the basis of ‘having a word’ with people (often his corrupt contacts) and if he ever was told that a third party had been critical of the Hergest Unit, his standard response was to bellow ‘I’ll be having a word with them’. He even bellowed that he would be having a word with Edwina Hart the Health Minister when she implemented a policy that he didn’t like.

The records from Neil Davies were illuminating. He had written a letter to my GP after my first appointment mentioning that he’d seen me, but he didn’t realise ‘who she was’ until I started talking about my work. Davies stated that he realised that he ‘knew me by repute’ – presumably he had forgotten completely about the corrupt deal and illegal detention that he had been party to in Denbigh. But then that sort of thing was an everyday occurrence out there.  Now when Neil Davies said that he knew me by repute, he didn’t mean hat he knew me as an academic. Davies meant that he knew me as the woman who had dared to complain about Jones and Denbigh, the women whom the mental health services had spent years trying to imprison because she was so phenomenally dangerous but who had recently completed a PhD and was now appearing in the press commenting about the failing mental health system. I even found copies of some of my academic papers among Davies’s records relating to me (good to know that you thought they were worth keeping Neil!). Davies’s letters to my GP didn’t mention me being a potential axe murderer as most of the correspondence about me usually did, but interestingly he talked about me being a ‘very disordered personality’ (yeh, that’s how I am such a prolific writer Neil, when you’re as mad and as disordered as me you can write even more publications than anyone else). Interestingly enough, in support of his claims of my ‘disordered personality’, the only thing that Davies managed to dredge up was that I had just broken up with someone after a ‘brief relationship’. The brief relationship in question had lasted nine years. Which I think is longer than any of Dafydd’s serial marriages lasted…

What was most telling though was the copy of Neil Davies’s hand-written notes that my lawyer forwarded. At the top of the first sheet of the ‘contemporaneous notes’ that he made during my first appointment with him, Neil Davies had written ‘DAJ issue’. ‘DAJ’ in north Wales psychiatry ALWAYS translates as ‘Dafydd Alun Jones’. In the Hergest Unit, Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) even used to say ‘DAJ’ rather than utter Dafydd’s name. So although we didn’t mention Dafydd during our meeting and although no letter had ever been sent to Davies telling him that when I was younger I had made complaint about Dafydd, he knew that there was a DAJ issue. He also considered it to be so overwhelmingly important that it was the first thing that he wrote down. In doctor speak. Not mentioned again in any official correspondence. Which sums it up really – are you a prolific academic with an out-patients appointment after you happened to have ended a nine year relationship? Well of course you have a ‘disordered personality’ – because you’re the bastard who complained about Dafydd breaking the law and sexually exploiting patients 25 years ago and we know you ‘by repute’.

I have never heard any allegations at all that Neil Davies sexually exploited patients. But he knew all about Dafydd and my records demonstrate that he colluded with Dafydd’s criminality. For all his pleasant manner, Neil Davies’s remedy was the same as everyone else’s – this patient must be discredited…

I have never had any dealings at all with Professor Bob Woods, although I know a number of people who have. However he has been working in north Wales for long enough to be well aware of the history and practices of the mental health services. Although his CV boasts of his status as one of the UK’s leading lights in dementia and Alzheimers, he also works in ‘partnership’ with the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board which was responsible for the abuse and neglect at Tawel Fan, a dementia ward in the Ablett Unit. Tawel Fan was the worst mental health care scandal that the UK had experienced for many years (see post ‘The Tawel Fan Scandal’).

I mentioned in my post ‘The Case Of The King’s Sperm’ that one of the friends and protégés of the crazed psychiatrist and eugenicist Eliot Slater – who with his colleagues Dr Carlos Blacker and Dr Desmond Curran discussed the possibility of asking King George VI to donate sperm in order to artificially inseminate a patient of Curran’s – was Professor Sir Martin Roth. Martin Roth died in 2006 and was a very big name in UK psychiatry – he worked in Newcastle and it was there that he achieved his towering reputation. Roth’s speciality was old age psychiatry, particularly dementia and Alzheimers. I suspect that Martin Roth may have been yet another person who’s status and reputation was used to protect those screwing up so badly in the mental health services in north Wales for decades.

Roth was appointed Professor of Psychological Medicine at Newcastle in 1956, whilst Newcastle was still part of the federal Durham University. He stayed there until 1977. He will have been there when both Neil Davies and Bob Woods worked in Newcastle. Roth established units for child psychiatry, neurosis and psycho-geriatrics. His obituaries tell us that ‘he embraced the discipline of clinical psychology within his department’.

By 1959 Roth had an international reputation and was consulted by WHO (World Health Organisation). In the 60s Roth became known for his pioneering dementia research, demonstrating that the problems with a poor prognosis experienced by many elderly people in psychiatric hospitals attributed to senility and dementia were actually a result of treatable conditions eg. depression or infections. Roth instigated studies with Sir Bernard Tomlinson into Alzheimers and it is claimed that as a result of this, ‘patient care was improved’. Roth and his researchers undoubtedly conducted interesting work into the molecular pathology of Alzheimers, but in view of what happened at Tawel Fan and the standard of ‘care’ meted out to thousands of other elderly people with dementia or Alzheimers, I’m not convinced that Roth’s research has led to an improvement in patient care. Some of the recent scandals in the care of the elderly mentally ill have been as bad as the Ely Hospital Scandal in the late 60s.

In 1964 Roth was a member of the Clinical Research Board of the MRC and Director of the MRC Research Group in psychiatry at Newcastle.

Between 1965-75 Martin Roth was an advisor to the Ministry of Health on mental health and was involved with Keith Joseph in Gov’t plans to replace mental hospitals with units in District General hospitals and community care. Roth was said to have ‘expressed concern about the quality and scope of care, which went unheeded’. I have noted previously how when Denbigh was closed, the abusive practitioners who had been employed at Denbigh were simply re-employed in the new services and most of them carried on with their abusive and/or negligent practices. It wasn’t the building at Denbigh which was the problem. But Bob Woods and Neil Davies have never admitted that, at least publicly.

In 1971 Roth was elected as the first President of the newly created Royal College of Psychiatrists.

Roth was knighted in 1972 whilst he was at Newcastle.

After Roth left Newcastle he continued his Alzheimers research at Cambridge, where he was the first Professor of Psychiatry between 1977-85, then Professor Emeritus. Roth was a Fellow of Trinity College Cambridge from 1977.

Roth was considered to have pioneered psychogeriatrics, but he was also described by Professor Claude  Wischik, a former PhD student of his, as being ‘a leading voice for biological psychiatry and was listened to throughout the world’. However Roth also had interests in anxiety, panic attacks and agoraphobia.

Along with Willy Mayer-Goss and Eliot Slater, Roth wrote ‘Clinical Psychiatry’, the standard text until well into the 80s. The first edition was published in the mid-50s, but further editions and revisions were published until 1977. Roth was also responsible for Camdex – the Cambridge Examination for Mental Disorders of the Elderly, published in 1988.

Roth is attributed with having done much work on the diagnosis and classification of mental disorders and it is said that it was Roth’s work that in the 1970s led to the task of differentiating between the affective disorders. Roth’s obituary in the Daily Telegraph in Oct 2006 maintains that ‘his greatest contribution lay in his emphasis on categorisation, on clinical diagnosis, on the formulation of reliable and objective systems for describing psychopathology’. How successful were Roth’s efforts? According to the obituary of Roth written by Claude Wischik, Roth emphasised a ‘quantitative scientific approach using mathematics, genetics, experimental biology and physics’. His ‘perceptions were enshrined…in definitions of distinctive forms of illness captured in DSM [the American Psychiatric Association Diagnostic and Statistics Manual] and ICD [WHO’s International Classification of Disease]’.

I’m not quite sure where Claude has witnessed maths, genetics, experimental biology and physics being utilised in the diagnosis of mental health problems but I have certainly never seen it happening and I don’t know of any other patient who has. What I and most other people I have known observed was diagnoses being made after short superficial interviews and cases of numerous patients receiving a number of different diagnoses over a period of time. Dr Tony Roberts only had one diagnosis – borderline personality disorder. Dafydd only had one diagnosis for private patients – PTSD. Other diagnoses from Dafydd depended upon what was convenient for his purposes at that particular moment – over the course of a few months he told people that I had paranoid schizophrenia, a process psychosis, a disturbed personality disorder and then told me that I had manic depressive insanity. Two years later, after I had complained about him, he agreed with Professor Robert Bluglass that I was criminally insane. Which mathematical equations and laws of physics they used to make those diagnoses I do not know – there are no references to maths and physics on any medical notes of mine. Or even experimental biology and genetics. Whenever I have read DSM I have seen no references to the equations and physics necessary to make any of the diagnoses detailed within. I suspect that all of the psychiatry that I encountered was actually predicated on the Neil Davies methodology ie. ‘DAJ issue’ being the most important symptom to be taken into account.

During Roth’s career, psychiatry did of course come under attack and Roth defended psychiatry against its critics, the most famous of that time being R.D. Laing, Thomas Szasz and Ivan Illich. Roth challenged Szasz’s view that ‘psychiatry merely provides a police and custodial service on behalf of the socio-political establishment to deal with deviancy’. I have to contradict Roth – in north Wales, that is exactly what psychiatry did and Neil Davies and Bob Woods knew it. Critics of Szasz, including Roth, maintain that mental illness is ‘real’ and the problem is how to help. That is perfectly true – I witnessed numerous people in north Wales who were deeply distressed, who were suicidal, who were so clinically depressed that they could not talk, walk any distance or look after themselves or who were living with serious psychotic symptoms. But whether they received ‘care’ or ‘treatment’ and what ‘care’ or ‘treatment’ (or diagnosis) they received had far less to do with their symptoms or degree of distress than the vendettas being conducted against anyone who dared complain about Dafydd and the paedophiles. People were undoubtedly often left to die if they had dared cross the path of those we know and love. A common pattern was incarceration in the North Wales Hospital (when it was still in operation) and if that didn’t shut someone up it was transfer to Risley Remand Centre/prison/secure psychiatric unit, all the way up to the level of Broadmoor/Ashworth/Rampton if necessary. It is clear from my records that this was the course planned for me. Not because I’d assaulted anyone, committed violent offences etc – but because I had complained about Dafydd, Gwynne the lobotomist and Tony Francis (Dr X). This was also the path followed by so many of the children in care in north Wales who were abused by the paedophile ring. There really was no correlation with any degree of illness. After Denbigh closed, the solution was to fail to provide any care and support or indeed basics such as housing and disability benefits, whilst harassing and threatening the patient and then to stand back and wait for them to turn up dead sooner or later.

Professor Anthony Clare interviewed Thomas Szasz on ‘In The Psychiatrist’s Chair’ many years ago and accused Szasz of cruelty in failing to recognise the suffering caused by mental illness – Szasz became very angry with Clare for trying to colonise the moral high ground. Szasz’s ideas certainly can be used to justify cruelty – the Arfon Community Mental Health Team used to quote Szasz when they justified abandoning their clients to suicide – but Dafydd et al have had a ball with conventional psychiatry. Except that of course when it suited them, they started quoting Laing and Szasz…

As for Ivan Illich, Roth claimed that he was ‘a brooding presence in night, like a dysfunctional lighthouse, emitting shafts of darkness to confuse unwary travellers’. Unwary travellers were confused far more by Dafydd facilitating a paedophile ring whilst utilising a network of psychiatrists across the UK – some of them being of international stature – to ensure that he was never held to account (let alone stopped) and that anyone who challenged him was ruined.

I note with some irony that Roth wrote about the use of psychiatry to silence Soviet dissidents…

Roth’s Daily Telegraph obituary maintained that ‘Roth never lost his sympathy for the individual patient or his awareness of the reality of his or her suffering’. I never met Martin Roth, he may have been an excellent, compassionate doctor. However, at least two who had worked in his empire at Newcastle ignored a great deal of suffering indeed…

In 2006 Roth’s former student Claude Wischik noted that ‘the times of vast psychiatric institutions housing populations in excess of 1000 souls in varying degrees of torment and hopelessness are still etched in the collective social consciousness and their residue lives on in the stigma which is still so often attached to mental illness’. I would argue that rather than stigma arising from the population’s collective memory of asylums, it arises from psychiatrists telling third parties that people are ‘criminally insane’ or ‘extremely dangerous’ or indeed merely ‘disordered personalities’ because of a ‘DAJ issue’ many years ago…

In terms of it’s status as a profession, it seems that psychiatry has a lot to be grateful to Martin Roth for. Not only was he the first President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, but his ‘expert early nurture’ was instrumental in it’s ‘robust growth’ into the powerful institution with political muscle that it is today.

Like all medical institutions that want to be taken seriously, the Royal College of Psychiatrists has a very grand office – it is situated in Belgravia. It was Martin Roth who assisted with the acquisition of this very upmarket building. Roth’s Times obituary explains that there was great difficulty in raising the money for the ‘splendid late-Georgian town house, 17 Belgravia Square SW1’, but with the ‘persuasive wiles of Roth, the influence of Lord Goodman and a very substantial gift from the charitable Trust of Marks & Spencer, it was done’. My first thought was what fiddle had Marks & Spencer been involved in, particularly as Arnold Goodman – Harold Wilson’s solicitor who was widely believed to have been a crook – played a role. Lord Goodman acted as legal advisor to Jeremy Thorpe after Thorpe was charged with conspiracy to murder and incitement to kill.

But I have found another article concerning the acquisition of 17 Belgravia Square by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, explaining that the building cost £750,000 (at early 1970s prices) and that ‘the money had to be borrowed and substantial amounts of interest paid’, although there was ‘additional help from generous sponsors’.

So how did a fledgling organisation ever raise and repay that money? £750k was a very great deal of dosh in the early 1970s – 17 Belgravia Square nestles among the residences of relatives of the Royal family. Much of Belgravia is of course owned by one particular relative of the Royal Family – the Duke of Westminster. The Duke of Westminster in the early 70s was Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor, Prince Charles’s mate – who is now dead – but was the President of the City of Chester Conservative Association when Sir Peter Morrison was MP for Chester and molesting boys in care in north Wales (see post ‘I Want Serious Money Now Please’). Gerald Cavendish also had a claim on St George’s Hospital Medical School – who concealed Dafydd and the paedophiles’ friends’ wrongdoing – because his family provided the money for the charitable Trust which founded St George’s (see post ‘Running The Country – And All That Jazz’).

Not that setting up shop in a palatial building in the poshest part of London was ever what Roth and the Royal College wanted – Roth explained that ‘we didn’t chose to go to a fashionable place but we couldn’t find any other’. Presumably there were no tin sheds in Basildon available when Roth and the Royal College of Psychiatrists went looking for office space, so they were dragged kicking and screaming into Belgravia.

Martin Roth was made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1996, one of only three psychiatrists ever to have been given such an honour (one of the others was Sigmund Freud).

In his obituary in the British Journal of Psychiatry in April 2007, Roth was described as ‘the most respected and most successful psychiatrist of his generation’. Roth studied medicine at St Mary’s Paddington and although nearly every article available about him stresses his Messianic qualities, his deep compassion for his patients, his inspirational role as a teacher and a scientist, a Special Article in the British Journal of Psychiatry April 2007, ‘Sir Martin Roth: An Appreciation’, explains that Roth stated that his decision to embark upon a career in medicine arose out of ‘the necessity to qualify at something I could make a living at’.

My suspicions that two of the north Wales contingent passing through Roth’s empire helped ensure that the wrongdoing on their patch was concealed in the same way that Dafydd’s stint under Bob Hobson at the Maudsley ensured that no-one ever fessed up to exactly what Dafydd was doing lest the reputation of Hobson took a tumble, were fuelled by a comment of Claude Wischik, Professor of Geratology at Aberdeen, after Roth’s death. Claude observed that he was the last of the ‘Roth-Mafia’, the Professors of Psychiatry trained and inspired by Roth. That’s the problem with medicine – it really does operate as a Mafia, with a network that no-one is allowed to leave or dishonour. If you do, you’ll be sleeping with the fishes. Who ever was going to admit that two of those who had trained at the knee of one of ‘the most successful and most respected psychiatrist of his generation’ were working with old Dafydd who was colluding with organised crime? Far easier to perpetuate the myth that they’re all ’eminent’ up there in north Wales – although for some reason for donkeys years that quiet rural region had a terrifyingly high suicide rate…

 

Martin Roth was a lifelong friend of Eliot Slater – he who suggested procuring the King’s sperm – and they co-authored together. One account of Roth’s career states that Roth met Eliot Slater when he went to work at the Maudsley, but another account states that Slater invited Roth to come to work at the Maudsley with him. The lack of clarity could be significant because although Roth did work at the Maudsley after he qualified, things did not go smoothly and he left prematurely.

My post ‘The Case Of The King’s Sperm’ provided some details of Slater’s unpleasant notions and running mates. Slater was not simply ‘a man of his time’, he clung on to his fondness for lobotomy long after it had become discredited and when he was younger he had worked with Ernst Rudin, the architect of Hitler’s eugenic sterilization policies. Slater was an enthusiastic eugenicist who worked at the Maudsley/Institute of Psychiatry for decades. He will have been there when Dafydd ‘trained’ at the Maudsley.

Roth credited Slater with being ‘the greatest influence on his intellectual development, firing him with a conviction that scientific method could be used to elucidate clinical psychiatric problems’. Roth was ‘impressed by the scientific integrity and precision of Eliot Slater’s writings’.

Slater went to work at the Maudsley as Senior Registrar to Professor Sir Aubrey Lewis. The Maudsley was considered to be the ‘Mecca of academic psychiatry in the UK’.  One toadying commentator stated that Slater and Lewis were ‘both intellectual titans’ but ‘proved to be incompatible’. Slater himself stated of Aubrey Lewis: ‘at first I was impressed but later I found he poured jars of cold water on people, some of whom gave splendid presentations’. Whether Slater is referring to real or metaphorical jars of cold water I do not know – this lot were so crazy and so arrogant that they would have quite capable of drenching one another when lecturing. Whatever was going on, Slater felt that he had no option other than to leave the Maudsley after only two years. In his own words ‘I felt unhappy and it was clear that I had no future there’.

Aubrey Lewis was yet another mad eugenicist – he died in 1975. He was born in Australia and qualified as a doctor from the University of Adelaide. He then carried out some anthropological work on Aborigines – it can be assumed that was probably quite unsavoury. He arrived at the Maudsley in 1928 and became Clinical Director in 1936. Lewis was a member of the Eugenics Society and contributed to a 1934 volume ‘The Chances of Morbid Inheritance’, edited by Carlos Blacker (another psychiatrist who was in hot pursuit of the King’s sperm, along with Slater). This book has been described as being ‘remarkable for its total admiration for the German work and workers, including Ernst Rudin’. The ‘German work’ was of course all that eugenic thought that so influenced Hitler and which he put into practice…

In 1946 the Maudsley was designated the Institute of Psychiatry, under the auspices of the University of London. Aubrey Lewis was appointed to the inaugural Chair of Psychiatry at the Institute, which he held until his retirement in 1966. Aubrey’s wiki entry proudly reproduces a quote that stated that it is ‘said that the flowering of British psychiatry after World War II can be attributed to three things: a long humanitarian tradition, the NHS and Aubrey Lewis’.

‘Humanitarian tradition’ is not a phrase that one readily associates with these unhinged adherents to the ideology which excited the Nazis so much. If British psychiatry did any flowering following World war II it could probably be best compared to the blooming of Amorphophallus titanium aka the Corpse Flower, a plant with a giant bloom that smells of rotting flesh.

The Maudsley is nothing if not good at promoting itself. Aubrey Lewis was credited with attracting ‘many of the most promising medical graduates from around the world’. So that’s how Dafydd found himself entering through their doors then.

Aubrey Lewis was a member of the Advisory Committee on Medical Research of WHO.

Lewis had a most effective PR man who worked with him, a psychiatrist called Michael Shepherd, who died in 1995. Shepherd worked with Roth. Shepherd notes that Lewis had an ‘austere appearance’, which was captured in portraits which some people stated made him look ‘mean’. Shepherd however was able to confirm that this was deceiving, Aubrey was a lovely old buffer.

Michael Shepherd was yet another towering figure in British psychiatry – the Maudsley churned them out – who was born in and went to school in Cardiff no less. Shepherd started working in psychiatry at the Maudsley in 1947 and in 1956 joined the staff of the Institute of Psychiatry as a Senior Lecturer. In 1961 he became a Reader at the Institute and in 1967 he was appointed to the Chair of Epidemiological Psychiatry, yet another world first. Shepherd was also a Consultant Psychiatrist at the Maudsley – he spent his whole career at the Maudsley/Institute of Psychiatry except for 1955-56, which he spent at John Hopkins University, Baltimore. So Shepherd will have been another giant who was at the Maudsley when dear old Dafydd ‘trained’ there.

Shepherd was a Founding Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in 1971. Who knows, perhaps he contributed to the palace in Belgravia for which they had to beg, steal and borrow to fund.

In the late 50s, Shepherd established a GP Research Unit at the Institute of Psychiatry under the auspices of the DHSS. He remained the Director of this Unit until he retired in 1988. Shepherd maintained that the capacity of the mental health services could not be enhanced by an ever-proliferating number of psychiatrists, it could only be enhanced by GPs focussing on the more minor psychiatric problems. Thus Shepherd pressed for better support and training for GPs, rather than more resources for psychiatry which certainly pissed a lot of his psychiatrist colleagues off. Shepherd himself stressed the interpersonal and social aspects of a case and left the epidemiological studies to his team of young researchers.

Enhancing the role of GPs, emphasising the interpersonal and the social – are we talking about a human being for once among all the lobotomising eugenicists that Dafydd rubbed shoulders with? Probably not – I have only found one patient opinion as opposed to the many colleagues of Shepherd who recorded his splendours – the patient spoke of Shepherds ‘chillingly superior glance’. Yes, that probably summed up the extent of his communication skills. ‘You’re a piece of shit and of course no-one’s facilitating a paedophile ring or shagging the patients – now let me introduce you to Dr Gwynne Williams and his ice-pick…’

Michael Shepherd devised a classification system which involved identifying the dreadful Aubrey Lewis as a ‘representative psychiatrist’, whom Shepherd seemed to feel embodied all the elements of one who was great and good in that profession.

Shepherd was the founding Editor of ‘Psychological Medicine’, the go-to journal between 1969-93.

There are hints that Shepherd had help in achieving the status of a Colossus. It was observed that ‘it is important to note that he was served by generations of young research workers whose assistance helped him achieve the epidemiological studies for which he is renowned’. His former student the media psychiatrist Anthony Clare stated that Michael Shepherd was ‘without equal’ in his record of ‘selecting and nurturing young men and women who would go on to fill senior academic posts in Britain and throughout the world’. So they did his research for him – although I bet he still put his own name on the publications and he may even have left theirs off – and if they were lucky he ‘selected and nurtured’ them. There’ll be a lot of senior people who owe their careers to Shepherd – and probably a few who had their careers brought to a sharp stop by him as well. Clare explained that Shepherd ‘identified able and committed doctors in Africa, Asia, South America and East Europe on his travels…he often raised funds for their salaries and took a great personal involvement…securing them a foot on the ladder of academic achievement, whilst helping to maintain the Maudsley’s position as one of the world’s great postgrad centres for teaching and research’. So Shepherd had his paws on the purse strings as well then.

Michael Shepherd sounded as though he wielded a great deal of power in post-war psychiatry. No wonder everyone continued to hail the Maudsley as a fine institution, despite the Nazi sympathisers and pursuers of Royal sperm on which its foundations were built. No-one was going to dare admit the monster that was Dafydd had been spawned down there. Presumably Michael Shepherd didn’t ‘select and nurture’ Dafydd – he sent him back to north Wales when he realised what Dafydd was like. I can’t believe that they didn’t notice what Dafydd was like – there’s no way that he went from competent trainee at the Maudsley to lunatic facilitating a paedophile ring and sexually exploiting the patients the minute that he hit home turf. The attitude will have been what it was at St George’s/Springfield – we know what Dafydd is doing but as long as he’s not doing it on our patch we don’t give a damn.

 

As I read about the barking mad deeply unpleasant megalomaniacs at the Maudsley, I was struck by how many of them were described as highly cultured men, who loved arts and the ballet, literature, poetry and music and who spent much time pursuing such interests – as well as of course being scientific geniuses who overflowed with compassion for the poor wretches who filled their clinics. No I don’t believe it either.

In 1967 a collection of essays and articles by Aubrey Lewis was published. It was called ‘The State of psychiatry’. That State was an absolute disgrace then and it’s no better now.

 

 

 

News Round Up, August 11 2017

The fall-out from the Newcastle sexploitation case continues in the media (see post ‘Lest We Forget…’), but a slightly modified version of the blame-game has emerged – it’s not South Asian men that are the problem, it’s Muslim men. No – these cases are happening across the whole of the UK as was admitted by the National Crime Agency, but the mainstream media is choosing to report those cases involving South Asian/Muslim men. My post ‘Did Glenda Occupy A Key Role In Keeping It All Out Of The Media?’ explains in detail why the en masse sexual abuse and trafficking of children in north Wales in the 1980s and 90s never received the media attention that it should have. The people named in that post are still controlling the UK media and they are choosing which cases to highlight. I note that Peter Saunders, who established NAPAC (the National Association for People Abused In Childhood), observed that there has been a major problem with the sexual abuse of children by representatives of the Catholic Church. How many of them were South Asian or Muslim men? Whilst I’m glad that Peter made public comment about this, Peter has missed a trick as well. He stated that the problem was that many ‘men’ were abusing young people. Yes it does tend to be men that are carrying out the actual abuse – but this blog has named an awful lot of women who facilitated and concealed such abuse, suppressed complaint or discredited complainants. Once more I emphasise that the common theme is the abuse of vulnerable people who were in the clutches of the health and social care system. The headlines at the moment are concentrating on the abuse of ‘white girls’, but many of the victims are boys and I bet that they are not only white boys either. However, most of the victims are from disadvantaged social groups.

The Mail Online today has published an interview with Ann Cryer, the former Labour MP for Keighley. Ann has told the Mail that she is greatly relieved that this sort of crime is now being dealt with because for many years she was trying to bring attention to the sexual abuse of white girls by South Asian men but was ignored by ‘politically correct’ people who accused her of racism. I am friends with someone who knows Ann Cryer who told me years ago that Ann is not racist and that she was trying to represent and protect some people having a very hard time. (Ann also raised the issue of forced marriages and honour killings before anyone else dared to.) Ann was the MP for a constituency with a high South Asian population – so in Ann’s constituency, the abuse will have been substantially carried out by South Asian men, that is indeed what Ann will have witnessed. I know that she was accused of racism, my friend told me years ago that there was a witch-hunt against Ann Cryer by those with vested interests. I suspect that to accuse Ann of racism was simply the easiest way of discrediting her in that community.

This blog has provided numerous details concerning people who have tried to speak out about organised sexual abuse in health and social care settings or the abuses of a psychiatric system which has proved so useful in concealing it. Alison Taylor wasn’t accused of racism – she couldn’t be, everyone involved in the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal was white British. Alison was accused of exaggerating, of being ‘devious’, of being ‘worse than a troublemaker’ and of using her ability as a novelist to embellish her accounts of the abuse. Mary Wynch wasn’t accused of racism – she was a ‘paranoid schizophrenic’. I wasn’t accused of racism – I was a ‘known troublemaker’, ‘psychotic’, ‘manipulative’, in possession of a ‘borderline personality disorder’, ‘highly intelligent and plausible’ with an ability ‘to get people on my side’ and ‘likely to end up in a ward for the criminally insane’. The Hergest Whistbelower wasn’t accused of racism – he was accused of ‘cherry picking’ ‘attractive young women’. My former PhD supervisor wasn’t accused of racism when he made a witness statement regarding the way that I had been harassed, intimidated and slandered by the mental health services – he was called ‘naïve’. The people who gave evidence at the Waterhouse Inquiry regarding the abuse that they’d suffered in care in north Wales weren’t accused of racism. It was instead stressed that they were drug addicts, had criminal convictions, had mental health problems or were simply ‘very poor witnesses’.

Having said all that, I need to add a caveat here. In north Wales ‘racism’ involving ‘ethnic minorities’ wasn’t an issue. But relations between the ‘Welsh’ and the ‘English’ were sometimes used to muddy the waters. My post ‘I Know Nuzzing…’ described how a number of self-appointed guardians of Welsh culture and the Welsh language used this as a smokescreen to hide their gross misconduct. Dr Dafydd Alun Jones, when it was convenient, reminded everyone of his Welshness and his dedication to the Welsh nation. Whilst his mistress Lucille Hughes facilitated a paedophile ring trafficking youngsters from Wales to be sexually used by Westminster figures and whilst Dafydd himself banged up anyone who complained about what was happening. At the same time as selling his services as a ‘sex therapist’ or ‘expert’ to anyone who’d line his pocket, no matter what their language or nationality.

Race and allegations of racism reared their heads in Keighley because there is a substantial  ethnic minority population there. In other parts of the UK where race and racism is very obviously not a factor in organised sexual abuse or professional malpractice, some other excuse will be made as to why the victims and whistleblowers mustn’t be believed.

Ann mentions someone previously named on this blog in her Mail interview – Ken Livingstone. She explains how when she met Ken and discussed her concerns with him, he told her that what she was encountering in Keighley was what he and others had encountered in London ten years previously but in London they now ‘understood’ the ‘communities’ involved. Ken ‘doesn’t remember’ this meeting but I can believe that he did say it – Ken is an unscrupulous wily old politician who’ll use any excuse to get himself out of a tight spot (he has recently tried to discredit opponents by calling them Nazis or declaring them insane). My post ‘The London Connection’ details how some of the London boroughs not only were running children’s services that had been infiltrated with paedophiles but were also sending children in their care to north Wales where they were abused. Ken and the GLC were in the thick of it and before Ken ran the GLC he was a Councillor in Lambeth, who were sending children in their care to north Wales and whose own children’s homes were rife with paedophiles. Ken was also one of those politicians who signed the Early Day Motion in protest at proposals to close Garth Angharad, the privately run ‘hospital for mentally abnormal criminals’ in Gwynedd which housed some of those who dared complain about the abuse that was going on (see post ‘More On Those Who Signed That Early Day Motion’).

 

An item featured on BBC News yesterday involved Dr Peter Wheeler, Diana’s former doctor (he identified her body after her death). Wheeler is being sued by the widow of Stefanos Vavalidis for negligence, after Wheeler, in his capacity as a ‘private doctor’, spent a number of years prescribing methotrexate for Stefanos’s psoriasis but failed to monitor Stefanos by blood tests as recommended. Stefanos died in 2016 from liver failure, which an inquest decided was ‘most probably’ associated with methotrexate toxicity. The solicitor from Leigh Day who is acting for Mr Vavalidis’s widow has stated that despite ‘specialising in healthcare since 1985…[this is the] worst case of repeated, persistent, negligence that I have ever come across’. He hasn’t been party to the activities of the north Wales mental health services then.

Wheeler is being represented by the MDU. His surgery met all five essential standards in it’s last CQC inspection four years ago. He has however admitted to a breach of his duty and is under investigation by the Metropolitan Police as well as by the GMC. Stefanos’s widow has observed that 18 months after his death, she still doesn’t know whether the GMC will actually be bringing fitness to practice proceedings against Wheeler. Readers are recommended to read Dr Sara Ryan’s blog regarding her experience with the GMC – Sara’s son Connor Sparrowhawk died whilst in the ‘care’ of Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust and the psychiatrist responsible for his care is currently up in front of the GMC. Sara has been on the receiving end of many months of non-communication and disrespect from the GMC, the psychiatrist concerned previously described Sara as a ‘toxic woman’, lied about her and is shedding tears on the witness stand now that she is finally facing a fitness to practice hearing. She continues to work as a psychiatrist in Ireland after being suspended from the register in the UK.

Another story concerning a healthcare professional from England features that of ‘married NHS psychologist’ Markus Themessl-Huber, who is currently the subject of a Health Care Professions Council Tribunal after conducting an affair with a female patient who had previously been sexually abused. Following her relationship with Themessl-Huber, she took an overdose. The Tribunal heard that Themessl-Huber, who worked for NHS Tayside, wooed his patient with chocolates, cake and cheese and spent therapy sessions holding hands with her, rubbing arms or exchanging hugs whilst she sat on his lap. Whilst doing all this Themessl-Huber also falsified his timesheets to conceal the time that he was spending out of the office with the patient.

Themessl-Huber’s rationale for his misconduct was for his patient ‘to be in close proximity to men’. I’ll be interested to hear what the verdict in this case is, because in the 1990s it was actually standard practice in Broadmoor and Ashworth to encourage female patients – who had very often been sexually molested – to enter into relationships with male patients, who were very often sex offenders or even murderers. This was packaged as ‘therapy’ for both the female and male patients. It’s every woman’s dream obviously, a sex offender or murderer as a partner.

A watered down version of the same line of ‘therapy’ involving rather hackneyed ideas of gender roles that was even more widespread and often dished out to female patients with anorexia involved encouraging patients to dress in a ‘feminine’ way if they were thought to have issues with their gender. The writer Laurie Penny was on the receiving end of this when she developed anorexia as a teenager and she has written a bit about it. It was done by some therapists with the best of intentions, but obvious factors – such as someone just wanting to wear trousers on that occasion – tended to be misinterpreted. I was told some years ago that unbeknown to me at the time, one of the geniuses from the Hergest Unit believed that he knew that I was ‘well’ when I was wearing a dress. Which is seriously weird because I owned both dresses and trousers and what I chose to wear when was bugger all to do with if I felt depressed or not. But then a number of people believed that I used to have pink hair because I was bipolar. No, I just liked pink hair. And the Hergest Unit changed my diagnosis on a regular basis depending upon what they wanted to deny or have me arrested for anyway.

The full blown Themessl-Huber therapeutic techniques however were alive and kicking in an appallingly abusive chain of ‘nursing homes’ in north Wales, Prestwood Homes, much more recently (see post ‘A Convenient Arrangement With The Private Sector’). Prestwood was, as I have described previously (see post ‘News Round Up And Crime Report, May 14 2017’), very obviously a trafficking organisation, softening up female ‘service users’ for sex work and packing off male ‘service users’ to ‘placements’ in which they would work in labouring jobs for little or no pay. I witnessed female residents being told that ‘Sue loves you’ (‘Sue’ being Suzanne Hamlet, the highly abusive manager of Prestwood who was in a same sex relationship with Lynda Holland, the other highly abusive manager of Prestwood) and being encouraged to hug and cuddle ‘Sue’ as ‘therapy’, to overcome past experiences of sexual abuse. Other therapy involved young women who had been molested being locked in rooms whilst pornography was screened and being ordered to ‘work with’ male support workers, yes, to acclimatise them to close relationships with men. Prestwood got away with this – and much worse – for years until finally a POVA inspection commented on the ‘bad practice’. Prestwood were ordered to stop their ‘therapy’. The dreadful Sue n Lynda used to publish an in-house magazine (called most appropriately ‘Pulp’) and they reported POVA’s criticism with disgust in ‘Pulp’, commenting that ‘it’s the world we live in’. ‘It’s the home we live in’ observed Brown.

 

BBC News Wales reported yesterday that the charity ‘Crisis’ has predicted a massive increase in homelessness in Wales over the next few years and are busy telling the Welsh Gov’t what they need to do about this matter. Like other Third sector organisations mentioned on this blog, ‘Crisis’ is not all that it is cracked up to be. I and a friend did a stint with them years ago, volunteering to work at one of their famous ‘open Christmas’s’ in London. There were tons of enthusiastic volunteers but the management was chaotic and volunteers were angered at the lack of people skills displayed by the organisers. The homeless people partaking of the ‘open Christmas’ all had to wear a different style of ID badge to the volunteers which pissed them off and were not given a voice in the organisation, which was a great pity because some of them obviously had abilities which could have been put to good use. It was instead made very clear that they were the paupers in receipt of our charity. ‘Crisis’ perpetuated another big lie too – they made a name for themselves by claiming that ‘no-one is ever turned away’. They were. As I left the building in the middle of Christmas Day, I found a young man sitting on the pavement just down the road, in very inclement weather, blankets soaked in the rain, begging. I asked him if he knew that there was food and shelter available about half a mile down the road and he told me that he’d already tried to get into the ‘open Christmas’ but had been turned away because they were ‘full’. That wasn’t surprising because at that time there were a great many homeless people in London and it was understandable that ‘Crisis’ wouldn’t be able to cater for them all, but they didn’t admit that.

‘Crisis’ kept quiet about other things as well. Anyone working at ‘Crisis’ was brought up sharp against the neglect and abuse of the mental health services as well as the dreadful attitude of the Top Doctors to people who don’t have anywhere to live. One young man had come to ‘Crisis’ seeking advice from their Top Doctor (Crisis enlisted the help of a Top Doctor and held a ‘clinic’ for the duration of the ‘open Christmas’). He had been attacked whilst sleeping rough in London and was stabbed, sustaining a serious injury to a kidney. He had been taken to a central London teaching hospital, had been operated on and was then discharged virtually immediately, although he had nowhere to live and no-one to help him. That would not have happened to someone with a home and people around them to witness events. This young man was in considerable pain and his wound wasn’t healing which was why he was seeking medical advice from ‘Crisis’. I’ve never noticed them speak about such matters, but they’ll have plenty of evidence.

‘Crisis’ these days is a much, much bigger charity than it was when I volunteered, but I suspect that the management is still questionable. I know that the ‘cook in charge’ of one of their recent ‘open Christmas’s’ was someone who has harassed and made unfounded malicious allegations against at least three vulnerable neighbours of hers and who was some years ago dismissed from a position as an assistant psychologist after she was deemed to be a danger to vulnerable people. She was good enough to blog about her work for ‘Crisis’ – not as an expose, but to let the world know what a charitable person she is – and it was clear from her account that chaos and mismanagement reigned.

‘Crisis’, like MIND, the NSPCC et al is now big business. In the year 2012-13, ‘Crisis’ had a turnover of over £22 million and had 280 staff. A look at recent Chief Execs of ‘Crisis’ suggests that like MIND et al, ‘Crisis’ is run by people who are making a career out of managing huge charities which are receiving millions in grants from Gov’t – those Chief Execs in turn sit on Gov’t advisory Committees. It is a convenient relationship but not one which is conducive to coming up with solutions to problems. The current Chief Exec of ‘Crisis’ is Jon Sparkes. He was before his present appointment the Chief Operating Officer of UNICEF and prior to that head of Scope. I don’t know anything about UNICEF but I have heard much criticism of Scope. Jon Sparkes replaced Leslie Morphy as Chief Exec of ‘Crisis’. Leslie Morphy is now Vice-Chairman of Oxford Brookes University, a member of the Home Group Board and the Chair of an unidentified charity ‘focussed on supporting newborns in Vietnam’.

This is big business and the rewards are huge salaries, gongs, invitations to Buck House and for some, seats on bodies such as the EHRC. There are still some well-motivated people involved in charities but it can be a frustrating business if your charity is dependent upon Gov’t grants – no-one will dare speak out if Gov’t does something unacceptable or which simply won’t work. I was previously involved with a Third sector women’s organisation in Wales. All the Trustees were excellent and very genuine, but there was one issue in particular that they wanted to speak out about. The organisation was ordered by a Welsh Gov’t Minister to remove a sentence from one of it’s reports – because the sentence was mildly critical of the Welsh Gov’t. The Minister who pressurised that organisation is a Minister who continually touts herself as a Minister representing the feminist cause, who has built her reputation upon being the founder and former head of a major Welsh charity fighting for women’s equality and who dishes out awards for ‘Women of Achievement’ in Wales. At her last such ceremony she gave an award to a woman who formerly worked at Bangor University who was the most ferocious self-serving bully and who attempted to close down four departments which, if she had succeeded, would have put a considerable number of other women out of work. The charity that I was involved with did not carry on like ‘Kids Company’, but sadly the Kids Companies of the world do very well for themselves – if they toady to Ministers and tell them what they want to hear they can draw down millions.

The Third sector has it’s own publications, it’s own awards ceremonies and it’s own websites advertising career opportunities and Gov’t funding opportunities. It is no longer a voice independent of Gov’t/the state, it employs people who have been trained in Gov’t/state agencies and it reproduces the same problems as Gov’t/state organisations do. For years I thought that the symbiotic relationship between Gov’t and charity that spilt over into corruption was just evident in MIND. Then I noticed it in other mental health charities. Then in drugs/alcohol charities. Talking to other people who have worked for a whole variety of charities it is clear that the back-scratching and corruption is endemic. With regard to charities providing health and social care services, as far as the ‘support workers’ on the ground ‘supporting the clients’ are concerned, it is low pay, masses of responsibility and no recognition. Union membership in this sector is never discussed. The supervisors and managers are frequently Angels or social workers who have disgraced themselves in their previous career.

There has been much discussion on the Welsh political blog Jac O The North recently regarding the Third sector in Wales. Jac and a number of his correspondents take a right wing nationalist perspective and are scathing about the Third sector because it is bank-rolled by the Welsh Gov’t and is responsible for attracting many people with social problems into Wales. This should not be interpreted as only a right wing or nationalist argument, it is indeed happening and the result is vulnerable people not receiving the support that they need. Cheap property and the availability of Gov’t grants is resulting in a lot of charities housing disadvantaged people from England in rural Wales. Usually the biggest concern is the neglect or abuse of the vulnerable clients themselves, but there is now a growing business in the provision of ‘services’ for sex offenders or other people whose behaviour may well be very distressing to those living around them. For me, the salient issue is England exporting it’s citizens who need care and are costly to the state to parts of Wales which does not have the infrastructure to support them. Wales is then derided for having so many citizens categorised as ‘disabled’ or in receipt of benefits, the implication being that we’re all ignorant bastards who ignore the dear old public health experts’ advice and have willingly got ourselves into such a state that we can’t work. No, England has sent us thousands of people that they will not look after and do not want.

Yesterday it was reported in the Daily Post Online that ‘homelessness charity’ The Wallich has just won a Court Appeal giving them permission to house homeless people with histories of sex offending and drug use in Colwyn Bay. The Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, which serves that region, is in special measures as a result of the institutional abuse of mental health patients, it’s mental health services have collapsed, it does not have any services for sex offenders and ‘substance abuse services’ are provided by Dafydd and Lucille’s charity CAIS. The area houses a chapter of the bike club ‘The Outlaws’, two of whose members were recently convicted of drug dealing on a massive scale and has seen turf wars between rival drug dealers which has resulted in stabbings, shootings and murders. It is not the best place to house sex offenders and people with drug problems.

The Third sector con seems to have been going on for a long while. A friend told me the other day of how he caused a diplomatic incident at an Amnesty International meeting in Birmingham years ago. He had asked the person presiding over the meeting when they were going to support the Birmingham Six, who at that time were still languishing in prison. Amnesty supported Nelson Mandela, but no they would not support the Birmingham Six ‘because they had a fair trial’. No they didn’t, they were framed and spent years in prison because just about everybody involved in the case had lied. Even Amnesty wouldn’t admit that the British justice system was bent. Probably because someone had applied for Gov’t funding or wanted a gong.

 

The Welsh media are once more reporting on the rural GP crisis. Dear old Dr Eamonn Jessup, a regular on this blog, has been mouthing off again regarding the ‘rapidly escalating rural GP crisis’. Eamonn and his mate Dr D.G.E. Wood featured on this blog recently after I discovered that they are popping over to Cyprus and advertising their services as ‘real British doctors’ to folk unacquainted with them (see post ‘I Think That We’ve Been Here Before’). One of these real British doctors – Wood – was instrumental in threatening, harassing and lying about me in his efforts to conceal the criminal activities of his mates Gwynne the lobotomist, Dafydd and Dr Tony Francis (Dr X). Those three were of course in turn concealing the North Wales Paedophile Ring. Eamonn regularly screams and screams until he is sick, he started doing this when Edwina Hart was Health Minister and Mary Burrows was CEO of the Betsi and they were both trying to address the corruption and misconduct in the north Wales NHS. Whilst trying to depose Edwina and Mary, Eamonn promoted a Facebook group, ‘Higher Pay For Doctors’. Eamonn and ‘Dave’ have been leading lights in general practice in north Wales for decades and have both been involved in GP training. So if GPs don’t want to work in north Wales it is very probably something to do with them.

To illustrate the GP crisis in north Wales there has been much lamenting that two local practices are closing. One is the practice of Dr Adriaan Smits near Bontwnog. This is the practice that was recently found to have unlawfully dismissed it’s practice manager because she dared to complain about the vile behaviour of one GP towards both staff and patients. The other GPs colluded with him, framed her for embezzling money and unlawfully sacked her (see post ‘Top Doctors In Trouble Again And News Round Up’).The other sad loss is of the appalling Dr John Morris Jones whose practice at Penygroes is shutting it’s doors now that Morris Jones is retiring. This is a man who hung up on me when he was supposed to be performing on call duties when I rang, because I had complained about his mate Dr Tony Roberts of the Hergest Unit (see post ‘One Dangerous Fucker’ for details). I was actually ringing in response to a much nicer female doctor who had been worried about my condition a few hours earlier and had asked me to ring back. Morris Jones did not tell me that she was still in the office and he did not tell her that I was on the phone asking for her. When he realised that it was me ringing he simply said ‘she’s not here’ and put the phone down. Since this event I heard a number of first hand stories of Morris Jones refusing to treat or insulting the residents of Penygroes. This lethal git raked in the best part of £100k pa for risking the lives of people in that village. No-one will be any the worse off after the closure of these two surgeries, the NHS will simply save itself a great deal of money. Perhaps Jessup and Wood would like to piss off to Cyprus on a permanent basis and hand over the remit for GP training to others, then maybe trainee GPs will stop running away from north Wales screaming.

 

A story from south Wales – a groping NHS male nurse has been found guilty of seven counts of sexual assault at Cardiff Crown Court, although it is not reported at which establishment he was employed. He is said to have been molesting female colleagues for the last four years ‘at an NHS hospital’ – although I bet he’s been doing it for far longer, he’s not just going to have spontaneously turned into a sex offender for no good reason four years ago. He gave the reason for his groping as him not being able to help it. Which was always the excuse used by sex pests in days gone by. In fact Jimmy Savile used to make comments like that when he pretended to faint with desire at being surrounded by so many dolly birds on ‘Top of the Pops’. When he wasn’t asking four year old girls if he could be their boyfriend whilst they were trapped in a hospital bed. Not of course that Esther ever noticed any of this.

 

An inquest at Ruthin has heard that an elderly resident in a ‘care home’ at Rhos-on-Sea died as a result of serious untreated pressure sores. The manager of the home failed to call a GP and wouldn’t let anyone else call one either. I’m tempted to say that the elderly lady would probably only have encountered Jessup, Wood, Smits or Jones anyway, so who knows if the outcome would have been any better if a GP had been consulted.

 

The Daily Post Online are reporting on a major trauma – that patients in north Wales might ‘lose their watchdog’. Yes the Welsh Gov’t are ‘consulting’ regarding the future of the most ineffective watchdog in the land, the yapping Jack Russell that is the Betsi/North Wales Community Health Council, the subject of a number of previous posts (eg. ‘High-Level Shenanigans At The Community Health Councils’). That is the ‘independent voice of the patients’ which has a considerable number of retired Top Doctors and their allies sitting as members, including former Hergest psychiatrist Dr Sadie Francis, former facilitator of the paedophile ring Glanville Owen (Deputy Director of Gwynedd Social Services whilst the paedophile ring operated in that organisation) and the mummy of them all ‘Dr Chris’ aka Dr Christine Evans, retired surgeon from Ysbyty Glan Clwyd. Long time readers of this blog may remember me reporting on Dr Chris’s adventures many months ago. At one time Dr Chris was leading the CHC – she also most helpfully wrote a blog in her capacity as a Councillor which made it quite obvious that Dr Chris’s loyalty was first and foremost to her former colleagues at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, who along with other vascular surgeons in north Wales were scrapping among themselves, failing to co-operate with anyone and making decisions which prioritised their own lifestyles and wishes rather than patients’ needs. Unsurprisingly they were the subject of a highly critical report suggesting that at least some of their units should be shut down. They screamed and screamed until they were sick and then enlisted the help of Dr Chris, who pledged her support for them on her blog. Dr Chris had every right to support her former colleagues even if they were foul and incompetent, but she shouldn’t have been passing herself off as the independent voice of the patients whilst doing so. Furthermore the independent voice of the patients was still working as a surgeon herself – she was going on jollies with other surgeons, working as an examiner and doing a bit of charity work as a surgeon. Her effectiveness as the independent voice of the patients was limited by her habit of only remaining in Board meetings long enough to say what she wanted in defence of her colleagues and then walking out.

Hilda Foxall, whose husband died whilst on the care of Bryn Hesketh Unit in July 2015, has been conned into defending Dr Chris and co. Hilda has told the Post that her husband died from kidney problems and sepsis and that the CHC helped her gain answers from the Betsi. The CHC probably didn’t tell Hilda that her husband should never have died in the first place – the Betsi has been prioritising and ‘training’ it’s staff in sepsis for a good ten years now and they still miss the symptoms every time. Furthermore Hilda’s husband died in 2015 – that was long after the Betsi was placed in special measures by the Welsh Gov’t for the institutional abuse of patients in Tawel Fan ward. Where were the staff responsible for the abuse in Tawel Fan redeployed (none of them were disciplined except for the nurse who blew the whistle on the abuse, who was sacked)? Bryn Hesketh. So they were very likely to have been the very people responsible for failing to look after Hilda’s husband properly.

The Betsi have stated that they ‘value’ the CHC’s work and that they ‘have a good working relationship with the CHC’ and that they ‘work in partnership with them’. Of course they do, the CHC is the best friend that the Betsi could possibly have, their members are either complete dickwits or former employees of the NHS and their partners in crime.

Plaid AM Llyr Huws Gruffydd has sprung into action – the Llyr who knows exactly how bad the mental health services are because I wrote to him in detail about one my friends who was left to kill himself by the Hergest Unit. Llyr is defending the clapped out bunch of con-artists that is the CHC and had told the post that ‘leading politicians’ such as Andy Burnham ‘regretted’ the scrapping of the CHCs in England. Andy will have been horrified at the scrapping of the CHCs – Andy Burnham was the Minister who, along with Alan Johnson, refused over 80 requests from concerned colleagues to hold an inquiry into Mid-Staffs. The CHC helped keep the lid on all those patients who died up there….

 

Lastly, I have to report a triumph for those we know and love. Jimmy Burns, the police officer and former Hergest Unit nursing assistant who has been on trial in Caernarfon Crown Court for attempting to pervert the course of justice and assault, has been cleared, along with another police officer, despite a body camera worn by a third officer filming Jimmy Burns shouting and swearing at a man whom they had arrested and then spraying pepper spray in his face, although the man under arrest was handcuffed in the back of a patrol car at the time. Jimmy and his colleague seemed to have had a helping hand from the judge, Huw Rees, who yesterday ordered the jury to clear Burns’s colleague. Jimmy’s barrister was a man called Wyn Williams. Who is married to one of Burns’s former colleagues, a psychiatric nurse at the Ablett Unit! I’m glad that Wyn has been able to effectively represent his wife’s former colleague. Because when my solicitor sought an opinion from Wyn Williams regarding the conduct of the mental health services towards me – including his view regarding the evidence of criminal activity and collusion on the part of the Ablett Unit – somehow it all fizzled out. In fact I remember meeting Wyn, but I don’t actually remember receiving a report from him. Thank goodness that he was on the ball for Jimmy!

After noticing which barrister had represented Jimmy, I did a bit of research on Judge Huw Rees who had been so helpful to the defendants. Huw Rees is a law graduate of the University of Aberystwyth, like so many lawyers and judges named on this blog. Huw was formerly a barrister based in Iscoed Chambers, Swansea and listed ‘sexual abuse cases’ as one of his specialities. Some years ago he was involved in the high profile case of the paedophile ring in west Wales. Since Huw has been sitting as a judge, he has shown a great deal of understanding towards certain offenders. In the last few days he passed sentence on a man who punched his girlfriend in the face, breaking her cheekbone. Huw observed that he wasn’t a violent man and passed a community sentence rather than a prison sentence. I’m not sure how Huw concluded that the man involved wasn’t a violent man, because he already had a caution for a previous assault on a female partner. Huw Rees was also most understanding in 2015 when he presided over the trial of a primary school caretaker who had been found in possession of more than 600 child abuse images – he escaped a prison sentence too. As did a Colwyn Bay man who carried out a serious sexual assault on a woman, he got away with a community sentence.  In one of his judgements, Huw made reference to people knowing his sentencing policy towards sex offenders – this seemed to be a reference to Huw being known to favour less draconian sentences in such cases. I don’t think that prison sentences do much good myself and I would prefer a world in which greater understanding was shown towards more offenders and indeed the availability of therapeutic programmes for certain sex offenders, such as those found in possession of indecent images.

But Huw comes down like a ton of bricks now and then. In April 2017 he jailed a man from Bangor for three years after his two young children had been ‘exposed to heroin fumes’. Caernarfon Crown Court heard that the father didn’t mean to harm his children, the offence happened as a result of his own drug addiction. Whilst presiding over the trial of a teenaged girl from Bethesda who had kicked a man (she had played as a professional junior footballer) whilst he was lying on the ground after he’d been in fight with her and two of her companions, Huw denounced her as ‘feral’, stated that he would not tolerate anyone who kicks someone when they’re on the ground and imprisoned her, although she had only inflicted  minor injury. She sounded like a cow – but there was one aspect reported regarding the case which was not fully explained. That was, a comment that the girl had ‘felt threatened’ as a result of something that had happened on the bus upon which she, the man whom she kicked and another youth had been previously travelling. The only info regarding the circumstances leading up to the fight was that those involved were on a bus when some comments were passed – the teenager and the youth with her texted another man who met them when they all got off the bus and it was then that they had a fight with the man who ended up getting kicked by the teenager. So something happened on the bus – that allegedly upset a teenaged girl and caused a fight between two of her male companions and another man. But we don’t know what it was.

Since 2012, Huw Rees has been a legal member of the restricted patients’ panel of the Mental Health Act Tribunal. Which could well be great news if you’re a mentally ill sex offender but not so great news if you’re a mentally ill teenaged girl who’s lashed out after feeling threatened by someone. Whatever, if you’re a mentally ill wife-beater you’ll be well away if Huw’s sitting on the Tribunal.

In The News At Present

I’m following up a few research leads for the blog at the moment, so today’s post is just a resume of a few stories that are currently in the news, with a bit of background info on some of the people involved.

This morning the ‘Today’ programme broadcast a rather weak piece concerning the issue of men in the workplace and their mental health. Of course, MIND provided someone to comment  – not the odious Paul Farmer, who has kept a low profile for a few days, but a Madeleine McGivern. Madeleine is ‘head of programmes, workplace well-being’ for MIND. I’m taking more and more of an interest in the Third sector, as are a number of other bloggers, because it has become clear that MIND are not the only charity coining it in by pretending to be representing the oppressed whilst doing anything but. There are problems across the whole of the Third sector. Madeleine has a wealth of experience in this domain, having previously worked for Christian Aid and Water Aid for some years. She does actually seem to have a lot of experience in working in the Middle East and specialised in the Middle East whilst she was at university. Her CV in that field is very impressive. So one wonders how she ended up in her present post with MIND – the only clue is that prior to her extended stint concerning the Middle East, she was a charity junky, having worked in a number of roles in the Third sector after she graduated. But there are now many people who are building extended highly paid careers on the back of charity work. Madeleine has shown a bit of nous in terms of building a network to land such roles – she co-founded something called FIND, a network which connects women with professional interests similar to hers. Despite her lack of previous stated experience in mental health, Madeleine is also a Trustee of Haringey MIND. My post ‘MIND Are Out For Mental Health – Never For Themselves Of Course…’ mentions that the worryingly paedophile-friendly Tony Smythe, former Chief Exec of MIND, continued to be involved with Haringey MIND long after he stepped down as Chief Exec, as did his partner Jeanne. So I took a look at the present ‘Board of volunteer Trustees’ for Haringey MIND.

There’s an awful lot of them – so either Haringey MIND is a substantial concern or they are top heavy. The Trustees are described on the MIND In Haringey website thus:

David Pascall, Chair and Acting Treasurer. David states that he has personal experience of mental illness and that he lives in Haringey. Is he a long term service user, battling with the excesses of welfare reform? Probably not. He states that he has retired from full-time executive work and is seeking non-executive chairmanships and directorships. He’s not going to be making the tea at the drop in centre then. I completely accept that executives can experience mental illness but David’s CV suggests that he wasn’t clobbered that badly – and some of his previous posts are rather inconsistent with the image that MIND likes to project. David was a senior executive with BP for 25 years. That’s the BP that was responsible for the 2010 Deep Horizon oil spill, the biggest oil spill in marine waters in history, which resulted in BP pleading guilty to eleven counts of felony manslaughter, two misdemeanours, one felony count of lying to Congress and paying more than $4.5 billion pounds in fines and penalties. David was the MD of Terra Firma, a private equity group, for eight years. (Terra Firma’s record is so bad that I have not got time to detail it all here, I recommend interested readers to just google, you’ll find pages of unscrupulous practices.) David has also held Gov’t positions and has experience of a range of non-executive chairs and directors positions.

Marcus Yorke. Marcus doesn’t claim any service user credentials himself, but he previously worked as an occupational therapist in a 57 bedded unit for young males with psychotic illness, supporting them to find work and educational opportunities. Marcus may have been doing a very useful job there – or he may have been the sort of mental health professional described in a previous post, who coerced people into work and education when they were not capable of it, resulting in them hitting disaster after a few weeks and finding themselves back in the mental health system again, although the records of Marcus will have had lot of ticks in the boxes labelled ‘recovered’. I cannot help thinking that Marcus’s previous employment will have been very attractive to MIND, as they made it clear to Gov’t some time ago that they couldn’t wait to bid for those lucrative DWP contracts forcing claimants with mental health problems off benefits into work. Marcus has organised events challenging stigma!

Gemma Coleman, Secretary. Gemma spent five months volunteering at Haringey MIND and then joined the Board. She worked for the Dept of Education in SEN and disability research. She has also worked for Rethink Mental Illness and has a Masters in Mental Health Research from UCL.

Laura Aldridge. Has personal experience of mental health issues. Laura spent a year volunteering at Haringey MIND in the admin dept. She believes that ‘mental health charities are ever more important due to the lack of Gov’t funding for mental illness’. Not only is that the Official Paul Farmer Line, but the only reason why Farmer, in his £100k pa plus post, wants an increase in Gov’t funding ‘for mental illness’ is so that it is channelled in the direction of MIND. Laura has worked in academic publishing and is a graduate of UCL.

Oran Blackwood. Oran is a mental health survivor and is training as a counsellor and SEN co-ordinator. He has ten years of experience working with SEN and mental health issues in post-16 education. Oran also volunteers with a number of other charities.

Tricia Bohn. She has worked as a GP in Hackney for more than 20 years, in a practice with a strong commitment to mental health and local voluntary organisations. Prior to working as a GP Tricia was a Youth and Community worker in Haringey and Hackney.

Glynnis Joffe. Glynnis has over thirty years experience in working in social care, initially as a social worker and then as a social services senior manager for twenty years. She has experience of working with NHS CCGs and provider Trusts offering hospital and community services, including mental health. Glynnis believes in co-production between the voluntary sector and service users!

Helen Moulinos. Helen trots out the myth that ‘1 in 4’ people suffer from mental illness. Which is not true, but it’s what MIND tells people. She has twenty plus years of international commercial experience in charity and the financial services. She has skills in business and commercial strategy and creating new business models. She is a Trustee of an East London based mental health charity – which is helping people return to the workplace! Helen is also involved in restructuring three of the UKs largest public health and social care charities.

David Mosse. David has personal experience of bereavement due to suicide. He is the Professor and Head of the Anthropology Dept at SOAS (University of London). His career has been in community based approaches to poverty reduction and human development internationally eg. Oxfam in India. He is a Trustee for an NGO working in rural India and a Governor of SOAS.

Heather Pegrum. She is a Mental Health First Aider and a volunteer support recovery worker with a background in fine art/graphic design.

Richard Popple. Richard is a trainer and facilitator for the private and public sectors including the NHS. He is also an actor and writer.

 

What is striking about these Trustees is what a very limited sector of society they have been drawn from. Many of them work in or manage the mental health services or arms of Gov’t which have led to so many of the problems experienced by ‘service users’. Two of them were educated at UCL which has been involved in concealing abuses in the mental health services and a number of them have spent their careers working in the Third sector. There is not going to be much divergence in thought among these Trustees – with the exception of the two who have a background in academic/international NGO work and of course the oil executive/corporate capitalist, they will all have been completely inducted into thinking about mental health problems and ways of addressing them in the way that the mental health services and MIND do. Which has not got us very far. Furthermore, most of these Trustees are in positions which makes public dissent impossible.

The Voice of the Service Users? Hardly. Some of them claim to have personal experience of mental health problems, but they all seem to have been able to build careers. That is not to dismiss their own experiences, which will be valuable – but there is an obvious absence of the voices of people with severe enduring mental illness who have experienced long-term poverty. It is those people who are being left destitute by Theresa May’s welfare reforms – welfare reforms which MIND intends to benefit from by bidding for Gov’t contracts. Something else is clear about this Board as well. Whilst I am cynical about organisations hitting ‘diversity’ targets, there is only one Trustee who is not white British. Haringey has one of the most ethnically and culturally mixed populations in the country. There is a huge Cypriot community, a huge Black community and a Jewish community. Statistics tell us that the Black community in Haringey will be over-represented among people who have been diagnosed with psychosis and treated under the Mental Health Act. Where are they on this Board? Where are older people, many of whom will be in receipt of ‘services’ (or more probably will need to be in receipt of services but won’t be getting them)? The Service Users on this Board are professional people whom I suspect have experienced the milder types of mental health problems. Which is probably why one of them is quoting the misleading 1 in 4 statistic…

 

Another health news item on the ‘Today’ programme was a discussion concerning the Gov’ts plans to increase the number of medical student places in UK universities – it’s a bit too little too late. It was pointed out to the Health Minister being interviewed, Phillip Dunne, that those students won’t be arriving in the medical workforce for years, yet the increase in numbers is a response to the alleged shortage of doctors now. Dunne stated that medical students make a valuable contribution to the medical workforce whilst they are training. They are certainly used as cheap labour for menial tasks, but they are also kicked about and bullied – particularly by a certain sort of Angel actually. Angels get kicked about and bullied by Top Doctors themselves which causes some of them to get the retaliation into medical students on the grounds that in a few years time their salaries will be exceeding the Angels’ pay and they’ll be putting the boot into the Angels themselves. It’s all a case of Red In Tooth And Claw in the NHS. Medical students are also completely powerless – so if they’re witnessing mad or negligent Top Doctors in action they can do nothing about it at all, even if patients are being very obviously harmed. NHS whistleblowers are nearly always sacked even when they’re paid up members of the workforce – I’ve not yet actually encountered a medical student who’s ever tried to report malpractice or misconduct, although I know plenty who have witnessed it. I do know student nurses who have been forced off their course for reporting the abuse of patients.

Phillip Dunne also emphasised that more ‘diversity’ was needed among medical students and that the Gov’t will be giving universities incentives to accept students from underprivileged backgrounds or those who want to work in rural or coastal areas or psychiatry. No doubt the Gov’t will now implement some simplistic lame initiatives which will not result in what they want to achieve. This blog has previously commented that many Top Doctors are from privileged backgrounds. Younger Top Doctors however are often not quite so privileged – they still tend to be from the middle classes, but many more of them have attended state schools. The discussions concerning diversity in medicine that I’ve encountered are missing a crucial element. A greater variation in social backgrounds would be a positive move, but the problem with the Top Doctors isn’t so much that they are drawn from the more privileged sections of society – it is that so many of them are incredibly self-interested and no-one is acknowledging this. Their self-interest and sometimes sheer naked greed is what leads them to abuse or neglect patients, to demand bigger and bigger salaries, to mistreat their colleagues and to falsify research. There is little point in increasing diversity if the system still selects for people who’ll murder their grandmother – or indeed other people’s grandmothers – to advance themselves.

‘Today’ broadcast an interview with a Top Doctor who had been working in a rural GPs practice but who had returned to the city to work in a hospital. He explained in his interview that he had found general practice rather routine and boring and wanted ‘broader experience’. He was probably too tactful to admit that he had been stuck in a surgery with a group of old farts of senior partners who had ‘done things this way’ for years and weren’t going to take on board any suggestions from a whippersnapper. Of course, the image presented to aspiring medical students – including by medical schools themselves – is that of medicine as a glamorous career which involves endless heroics and life-saving, plus a healthy dose of brain surgery. If the students have been lured in on that basis, they will feel that it’s a bit of let-down when they find themselves spending most of their time treating frail elderly people with conditions that are not going to improve. As for tempting students into psychiatry – well Phillip Dunne needs to get rid of the Dafydds, the Marie Savages and the Tony Roberts’s if psychiatry is ever to become a popular speciality.

As is my current practice, I did a bit of research on the person being interviewed by ‘Today’, Phillip Dunne. His wiki entry describes him as a ‘farmer’ and a ‘banker’. I presume that he’s not the sort of farmer who has a flock of sheep on the side of a mountain in north Wales and is reliant on the agricultural subsidies to keep him from bankruptcy. Phillip I suspect is the sort of farmer who owns a few thousand acres and who also receives agricultural subsidies – but in his case they will ensure that he remains one of the wealthiest people in the UK. (I think that Lord Newborough of Rhug Farm Estate worked in the City before he returned to north Wales and took over the ‘family farm’.) I’m not sure that either of Dunne’s previous jobs leave him in a particularly good position to take up a role as Health Minister.

I was also interested to hear the former Chancellor Alistair Darling speaking on the radio – ‘Today’ were celebrating the 10th anniversary of the banking crash. Alistair reminisced about how it took him completely by surprise, he was actually on holiday and had gone out to buy some rolls when he heard that the French banks had collapsed. He didn’t worry but he then heard that banks were collapsing across the world and he thought gosh it might happened to the British banks. It did, a few hours later. Just like that. He subsequently had a phone conversation with the head of one of the biggest UK banks who told Alistair that the bank was probably going to run out of money later that afternoon and Alistair realised that he didn’t know what to do about any of it. Alistair, who had no idea that his running of the economy was going to lead to a banking crash and then didn’t know what to do when it did, has of course been rewarded with a seat in the Lords. Harriet Harman memorably stated that if only Lehman Brothers had been Lehman Sisters none of it would ever have happened (it was a problem of gender you see, not one of global capitalism) and the rest of them blamed the general public for spending like drunken sailors, although Gordon Brown had positively encouraged everyone to do this. Liam Byrne put the icing on the cake by leaving a witty note behind telling the incoming Coalition Gov’t that there was no money left.

 

BBC News Wales online has reported that the Welsh Gov’t has announced that it will be dispensing with the post of the Welsh Language Commissioner, who is of course a star of this blog – Meri Huws aka the Crack of Doom (see posts ‘Let Me Enlighten Lord Gnome… and ‘Local Accessories’ for background on Meri and the way in which she was alleged to have secured the numerous jobs that she could not do). Cymdeithas yr Iaith have got very angry about this, but then Meri is their former Chair, so they would wouldn’t they. Heledd Gwyndaf from Cymdeithas stated that the Welsh Gov’ts proposals were ‘aimed at making civil servants lives easier’. Their lives certainly will be easier once Meri is out of the door, when she was given that job a senior colleague of mine at Bangor University observed that she won’t know what she is doing, but at least the civil servants will. Alun Davies the Minister for the Welsh language made some eminently sensible comments, including that promoting and protecting the Welsh language involves ‘more than slogans and chanting on an Eisteddfod field’. But as I noted previously, Meri should never have been given that position, there was outrage among language scholars and researchers when the appointment was announced because she had no credibility with any of them.

Meri gave an interview stating that ‘change for change’s sake is not acceptable’ but ‘change is acceptable if it leads to improvement’. So Meri, who has received more than £100k pa for the last five years from the Welsh Gov’t, is now dictating the circumstances under which they can kick her out. Meri has demanded ‘evidence’ that change is needed. The evidence Meri is that you made such a hash of drawing up ‘standards’ a few years ago that Leighton Andrews had to publicly comment on the cock-up and that after five years of you being in post there is every indication that Welsh is still on the back foot. Furthermore, it was recently reported that ‘Sports Direct’ in Bangor had banned staff from speaking Welsh. Did you organise a boycott of ‘Sports Direct’ or send anyone in undercover to clock how many laws they were breaking – which they will be, they are after all ‘Sports Direct’? No, you were at the Eisteddfod, giving interviews explaining why it wasn’t ‘acceptable’ for the Welsh Gov’t to sack you.

There was however a protest in Bangor yesterday by another self-appointed guardian of the Welsh language. Hywel Williams, MP for Caernarfon, was photographed standing in the rain on a pavement in Bangor holding up a small piece of paper with a ‘No To Starbucks’ printed on it. It transpires that ‘Starbucks’ are planning to open a café in Bangor. Was Hywel protesting because this American tax-dodging giant might put other cafes out of business or disrespect the Welsh language (which it probably will)? No, Hywel was protesting because he thought that the road junction on which the proposed ‘Starbucks’ is to be sited is ‘dangerous’. Not that anyone has ever been killed or injured there.

Even the ‘Times’ yesterday, the Murdoch owned, Danny Finkelstein-employing, Tory-supporting ‘Times’, published a leader supporting the right of people to speak Welsh and condemned ‘Sports Direct’ in the strongest terms. So the ‘Times’ has been more pro-active in it’s support for Welsh than the Welsh Language Commissioner. Is anymore evidence needed to justify her dismissal?

BBC News Wales recently ran a story concerning a scandal in a Council in south Wales. A number of staff were disciplined for consuming cooked breakfasts whilst they were supposed to be working. New readers may not be aware that one of my first posts when I started this blog was an account of the practices of the Arfon Community Mental Health Team. Not only did they perjure themselves in an attempt to have me imprisoned and threaten to assault clients in their own homes, but the Arfon Team achieved notoriety for their consumption of cooked breakfasts. They’d all gather in Morrison’s café in Upper Bangor at about 9-30 every morning and enjoy a fry-up, finally returning to their offices at about 11-30. ‘Service users’ who were being refused ‘help’ from this team on the grounds that they were ‘too busy’ would watch this ritual daily. It went on for years – that ‘team’ was jointly managed by Gwynedd Social Services and the North West Wales NHS Trust. Disciplinary action was never mentioned.

To finish, some news about Bangor University. The Daily Post online is taking delight in reporting that the University has once more performed brilliantly in terms of student satisfaction. Bangor has done well on this measure for years – there are a lot of staff, including admin staff, who are very committed to student welfare and love working with the students. The irony is that the man who is basking in the glory and bragging about it to the Daily Post is none other than Professor Oliver Turnbull, PVC for Teaching and Learning. Turnbull is best known for being sent on extended gardening leave a few years ago when an e mail that he wrote was leaked to ‘Private Eye’. A female psychology student had complained about being sexually harassed by a teaching assistant. Turnbull had responded by asking whether her complaint should be taken seriously or whether she should just be viewed as a poorly performing student who was seeking excuses. Turnbull accidentally cc’d the e mail to the student herself. It remains a mystery why he was ever appointed as PVC for Teaching and Learning after his suspension. One thing is certain. Bangor excelling in it’s support for students will have sod all to do with Oliver Turnbull. For more details of Oliver Turnbull and the School of Psychology that he runs, see post ‘He’s Not The Messiah, He’s A Very Naughty Boy’.

More Summer Reading!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

A Prescription For Murder?

I’ve just returned from holiday today and I found an e mail informing me that a star of this blog, Dr David Healy, appeared on a ‘Panorama’ programme, ‘A Prescription For Murder’, a few days ago. Naturally I watched the programme on catch-up.

Healy was doing pretty much what I thought that he would be doing – he was appearing in the guise of an ‘expert’, proffering his opinion that the consumption of a prescribed SSRI had caused someone to commit mass murder. The case featured in the programme was that of James Holmes, the PhD student from the University of Colorado who gunned down a load of people in a cinema a few years ago during a screening of a ‘Batman’ film. Healy went over to meet Holmes in prison after the murders and was happy to inform ‘Panorama’ that he definitely attributed Holmes’s killing spree to his use of the SSRI sertraline. Healy was not called to give evidence at Holmes’s trial – it was not explained why not – and Holmes’s plea of insanity was rejected by the jury. Holmes is now serving a sentence of thousands of years, one of those sentences that are sometimes handed down by American courts although everybody is well aware that no-one would ever live long enough to serve the sentence. A number of other ‘experts’ were featured on the programme as well. One was a psychiatrist who maintained that Holmes committed the murders because he was mentally ill and that his crimes were completely unrelated to sertraline, another pursued an argument that Holmes’s use of sertraline had disinhibited him sufficiently to commit the crimes and a Prof Peter Tyrer took the same line as Healy, ie. that sertraline was definitely responsible for causing Holmes to commit the murders. Holmes himself stated that he believed that sertraline caused him to commit the crimes.

Much of the programme was spent discussing Holmes’s alleged mental state, both before he got anywhere near murdering anyone and then in the weeks and days leading up to the murders. We heard much about his ‘social anxiety’ (presumably this meant that he was shy) his failure to embark upon a relationship with a woman until a relatively late age (he wasn’t 80 though, he must have been in his early or mid 20s) and his pursuit of a PhD in neuroscience because he knew that he was a bit messed up. Upon taking sertraline, he dyed his hair red, took some selfies whilst wearing coloured contact lenses and then began keeping notes which allegedly detailed his disintegrating psyche until the day that he gunned a load of people down. None of this was really very convincing. Scores of young men are shy and many people do not enter into sexual relationships until their twenties. Dying one’s hair really is not a sign of being unhinged (I had pink hair for a few years and I was always interested to note how many people told me that it was because I was bipolar – no, it was because I really liked having pink hair) and neither is wearing coloured contact lenses or taking selfies whilst gurning. As for doing a PhD in neuroscience – yes, it is very obvious that a lot of people who enter what Nikolas Rose calls the psy disciplines seem to do so in the hope of tackling their own problems (one look around the School of Psychology at Bangor University or indeed the Hergest Unit where Healy himself works will confirm that), but doing a PhD in neuroscience will have meant that James Holmes almost certainly had been exposed to the work of Healy and co who maintain that SSRIs can precipitate aggressive outbursts. So James Holmes might have been a young man with problems who then lost it completely after taking sertraline – or he might possibly have been someone who for reasons best known to himself was planning a massacre and thought that if he kept detailed notes documenting his own deteriorating mental state for a few weeks, notes that were consistent with the ideas of people who believe that SSRIs can cause violent outbursts, he might escape jail on a plea of insanity, especially if he could wheel out someone like David Healy as an expert witness. Healy’s views on SSRIs are well-known and he has held them for a very long time – a neuroscience PhD student would have to be a pretty poor student not to know about them.

The evidence presented on ‘Panorama’ was in no way sufficient to convince a viewer of anything really – Holmes might have been mentally ill or he might not; he might have reacted badly to sertraline or the changes in his mental state – if indeed there were any changes – might have been precipitated by something else. He might have suddenly developed a desire to make copious notes charting his mental state or this might have been a calculated action designed to enable him to produce those notes as ‘proof’ in the aftermath of a crime that he was planning. I am not aware that anyone has yet shown a statistical relationship between dying one’s hair, wearing contact lenses, taking selfies and murder.

So what we have to rely on here is the expertise and integrity of the experts – Healy and Tyrer. Can Healy and Tyrer’s expertise and integrity be relied upon?

My post ‘The Biggest Expert Of The Lot’ (as well as other associated posts) gives an account of some of the rampant research fraud and bad practice that I witnessed at the Hergest Unit in the early and mid-1990s when Healy et al claimed to be participating in cutting edge research. Healy’s blog makes reference to Nobel prize winners no less visiting the Hergest Unit. Er no, I never saw a Nobel prize winner there. I saw a bunch of utterly unscrupulous psychiatrists and their colleagues who were neglecting and abusing patients and some of those people were colluding with and even facilitating a paedophile ring that was known to be operating through the social services dept that employed some of that lot attending the ‘research seminars’. There was one high profile cutting edge researcher who did visit the Hergest Unit and that was Marius Romme, the psychiatrist who pioneered work on hearing voices. Marius Romme was working with Dr Phil Thomas who left the Hergest Unit a few years later.

Phil Thomas is the only member of staff who worked at the Hergest Unit at that time whose name does not appear on the documents now in my possession demonstrating that staff at the Hergest Unit were going to great lengths to have me prosecuted for crimes that they knew that I had not committed or declared dangerous and banged up without trial. The names of everybody else appears on those documents at some point – including Healy. Healy’s contribution was to order the staff to call the police and have me arrested if I approached the Hergest Unit for assistance. Healy was not my consultant and I did not know about the existence of this document until my lawyers retrieved it a few years later. Last year I e mailed dear old Healy via his blog to ask him to explain his actions, but I did not receive a reply. I know of another Hergest patient who was arrested on the orders of David Healy after this patient rang the Unit and told a nurse that he was so suicidal that he felt like chopping a gas pipe. He was taken to Walton Prison where he spent some weeks although he was never found guilty of any offence. David the radical!

During the ‘Panorama’ programme, Healy admitted that he sometimes prescribes SSRIs. However he stressed that if one sees unfortunate side-effects developing, one should stop increasing the dose immediately. The Hergest patient whom Healy had arrested for feeling like chopping a gas pipe was some years ago on SSRIs. Now this man believes, like Healy, that SSRIs CAN precipitate violence and aggression. He believes this because whilst he was in the Hergest Unit, after being prescribed SSRIs, he felt a level of aggression that he had never previously experienced and he threw a wardrobe across the room. He told his consultant psychiatrist – one of Healy’s colleagues – who told him not to be so ridiculous, of course it was nothing to do with the SSRIs. That particular consultant had attended all those research seminars with the putative Nobel prize winners. The same patient was prescribed SSRIs again a few years later. The prescribing psychiatrist continually increased the dose until the patient became so worried that he sought out information about the therapeutic levels of the SSRI concerned. He had been prescribed three times the maximum therapeutic dose. The prescribing psychiatrist was Richard Tranter, Healy’s friend and protégé, who like Healy is an ‘expert’ in psychopharmacology. But then Tranter prescribed me a combination of drugs some six years ago that was neurotoxic. I didn’t take them which made Tranter very cross but it probably kept me alive. A prescription for murder anyone?

Of course, Healy cannot be held responsible for the actions of his colleagues – although some of those actions of some of those colleagues have involved such serious negligence, malpractice and criminality that if Healy was anything like the public image that he trades on he’d have shopped them to the GMC or even the police by now. However, although Healy cheerily jets off around the world to dispense his words of wisdom to patients having problems with SSRIs when they have been prescribed by people unconnected with his colleagues, I’m wondering if he takes a rather different view if the problems erupt closer to home.

Some years ago I lived on a hill farm in Snowdonia with a farming family who had let out a caravan to a rather quiet man who told us all that he was involved in psychological research, although he didn’t seem to be attached to any university. The grandson of the farming family had a pet sheepdog, Rex. One day with no warning at all, the man in the caravan walked over to Rex with a carving knife and stabbed him to death. The farmer’s wife was the only person at home and was terrified, locked herself in the house, rang her husband and then me. By the time that we had all got back to the farm the man who killed Rex had been arrested by the police and was in custody. Later that night the police sent a message to the farmers saying that the Arfon Community Mental Health Team – the team attached to the Hergest Unit where Healy works – had ‘assessed’ the killer of Rex and had deemed him not to be mentally ill. So he had appeared in court and had been bailed – but he had fled the area because some animal rights activists were after his blood. Over the following few days we found out that he was actually a psychiatric nurse himself who had left his post after becoming ill and had been prescribed SSRIs by a GP in Caernarfon. A few weeks later he pleaded guilty to killing Rex and received a suspended sentence – he had left the area completely by then.

Some two years later I read an article in I think the ‘Guardian’ – it was by him. He explained in the article that he believed that it was the SSRIs that had caused him to kill Rex and he had set up a website discussing the danger that he believed SSRIs posed. I visited the website and I noticed that the man concerned had consulted ‘a world expert’ on SSRIs, one David Healy. But Healy had told him that he really couldn’t be certain whether it was the SSRIs that had caused him to kill Rex. The other thing that was mentioned on the website was that the Arfon Community Mental Health Team had broken the law when conducting their ‘assessment’. (This will surprise no-one with knowledge of the Arfon Community Mental Health Team.) This man knew this because he was a mental health nurse himself and he knew the appropriate procedures for assessing someone in those circumstances. Judging from that website, I don’t think that the man who killed Rex realised that his world famous expert was a colleague of the Arfon Team. But I bet Healy noticed that they’d broken the law when he reviewed the case. (Healy certainly knew all about the misconduct of the Arfon Team – they were of course some of the people attending the research seminars where Nobel prize winners did not make an appearance.)

So when Healy was confronted with the wrongdoing of his colleagues, as ever he remained silent – and he also concluded that the prescription of SSRIs had not caused the tragedy. If Rex and his killer had been living in America would Healy’s conclusions have been different perhaps?

During the ‘Panorama’ programme, they gave a plug for a previous ‘Panorama’ investigation into SSRIs – which again relied upon the expert opinion of David Healy. That was in 2002. Rex was killed in 2002. David Healy ordered staff to have me arrested rather than agree to treat me in 2002. In 2002 so many people were committing suicide in north west Wales that it showed up as a statistical outlier in UK figures. In 2002, despite Healy’s best intentions, I was eventually admitted to the Hergest Unit with depression. Whilst I was there I was assaulted by the staff and told by Healy’s colleague Dr Tony Roberts that I didn’t have a mood disorder, I had a ‘personality disorder’. I was discharged and refused further treatment – and was arrested for ‘threatening to kill’ a manager, when what I had actually done was tell his secretary, on the phone, that he was a fat idiot. The case circulated around the Courts for two years whilst numerous staff at the Hergest Unit perjured themselves (see post ‘Interesting Happenings In The Legal System’). I was eventually convicted of calling the manager a fat idiot. There was never an investigation into my assault at the hands of Hergest staff or the perjury. Last year I found out that after the case a certificate of indictment had been forged stating that I’d been convicted of ‘violent disorder’ (see post ‘An Update On Those Legal Conundrums’). I am still waiting for the legal dept of the North Wales Police to sort it out. In the wake of the abuse and neglect that I was subjected to at the hands of the Hergest Unit, I complained to the GMC about Dr Tony Roberts. Last year I discovered that the GMC were in possession of a forged document which they had used to ‘investigate’ my complaint against Roberts and subsequently clear him (see post ‘The General Medical Council And Yet Another Forged Document’). I complained about another Hergest psychiatrist at the same time, a man who was my former neighbour so should never have been involved in my case and whom I knew to be suffering from a mental illness himself and to be violently assaulting his wife. I was branded as making ‘outrageous allegations’ and no action was taken against this doctor. He was later removed from the Medical Register after beating up his wife so badly that she was sectioned as a result of her own distress and his children were taken into care as a result of severe neglect.

So that’s what was happening on David’s doorstep in 2002 as he appeared on ‘Panorama’ as their expert. In 2002 people in north west Wales were openly talking about the chaos and neglect at the Hergest Unit and the hatred between the consultants there. GPs had started doing just about anything to avoid referring patients to the Unit and were privately conceding that the Unit was unsafe. One long-serving consultant, Dr Tony Francis (‘Dr X’) had recently taken early retirement after open warfare with his colleagues. The documents now in my possession show that this man was concealing the paedophile ring that had been in operation in the region. Francis killed himself some three years ago, as Operation Pallial re-opened the investigation into the north Wales paedophile ring. I was told just before I went on holiday that Tony Francis had actually been under suspicion of having been involved in the child abuse ring himself.

Healy’s CV describes him as having been the leading consultant in the north west Wales mental health service for many years and having been responsible for the ‘development’ and ‘training’ in that service. So the carnage on the ground is presumably down to Healy and his ‘leadership’. Healy believes in the concept of a ‘fall guy’. In the case of the Hergest Unit it should most definitely be him.

It’s not much to boast about really is it David. Many years ago David Healy won a notorious case against a drug company after they withdrew a job offer. Healy was alleged to have won a substantial settlement. I cannot help but think that if the drug company concerned had known what Healy and his colleagues were doing at the time, they would ask for their money back.

What of the other ‘expert’ featured on ‘Panorama’, Prof Peter Tyrer? Tyrer agreed with Healy – sertraline caused James Holmes to commit mass murder. Most of Tyrer’s work seems to be concerned with improving the classification of personality disorders (I think the biggest improvement would be to stop using such an asinine term) and to bring about a halt to stigmatising patients with such diagnoses and to achieve better therapeutic outcomes for them. Which is the polar opposite of what has gone on at the Hergest Unit for years – that Unit has become notorious for declaring patients to have ‘borderline personality disorders’ after they have dared make a complaint about the abuse that pervades the place and then refusing to treat them. A number of patients have been literally left to commit suicide under these circumstances.

So who is Tyrer? He is the Professor of Community Psychiatry at the Centre for Mental Health at Imperial College. For info about malpractice, research fraud and general skulduggery at Imperial, see post ‘A Cause Close To Our Hearts’. Tyrer was appointed to that post in 1991, but I cannot find any references to his biography before that, so whether he has passed through those hallowed portals of corruption St Georges Hospital Medical School and the Maudsley I do not know. Imperial’s website also tells us that the Centre for Mental Health is associated with the Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust. The Chief Exec of that Trust is one Claire Murdoch – who is also NHS England’s ‘Mental Health Chief’ and Director of the Imperial College Academic Health Science Partnership, which currently has a ‘partnership’ with the drug company GSK (see post ‘News Update And A Few More Accessories’). That’s the GSK that manufactures the SSRI paroxetine that was the target of the 2002 ‘Panorama’ programme with David Healy. This week’s ‘Panorama’ programme stressed that Pfizer had omitted certain crucial case histories from the information that they released about sertraline. Well ‘Panorama’ seems to have omitted quite a lot of crucial info pertaining to Healy and his colleagues as well as to Tyrer’s links. ‘Panorama’ can’t plead ignorance re north Wales psychiatry either – I offered them a story and documentary evidence about the wrongdoing of the mental health services in north Wales about six years ago. I wondered if their failure to take up what would have been a far more devastating expose than even Winterbourne View was related to the media silence that surrounds anything to do with the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal (see post ‘Did Glenda Occupy A Key Role In Keeping It All Out Of The Media?’), but I wonder if it was because they’d given Healy so much free publicity that they didn’t dare run a story on what was happening in his own Unit? The Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board, which runs the Hergest Unit and employs Healy, is currently in special measures and is the subject of two external investigations into the institutional abuse of mental health patients.

Never mind ‘Panorama’ – all the info is going up on this blog, free to good homes. Including that drug company that Healy sued all those years ago…

 

 

Dr Death

Readers noticing the title of this post could be forgiven for wondering who exactly it is referring to as a number of Top Doctors featured on this blog are worthy of the name. I am however making reference to the Dr Death whose adventures so entertained ‘Private Eye’ readers in the 1980s, Dr David Owen, now Lord Owen.

I am of the generation who particularly loathed Dr Death and I was very glad to see the back of him when he finally admitted defeat after the SDP polled fewer votes than the Official Monster Raving Loony Party at the Bootle by-election in 1990. Dr Death had a well-established reputation as a complete bastard and he wrecked every organisation that he became involved with. When Dr Death was doing his best to become Prime Minister or should I say to ‘break the mould of politics’, I was just on the cusp of being seriously screwed over by the other Top Doctors who are the stars of this blog, Dr D.G.E. Wood and Dr Tony Francis (Dr X). Documents now in my possession demonstrate that these two used to engage me in conversation back in the mid 80s in order to acquire information regarding my network of friends and my activities because they were more than a little worried about what I might be saying to whom about the mental health services in north Wales. One thing that I was interested in was politics and I certainly chatted about that at length with Wood and Francis and the one thing that I remember was that they were both paid up members of the SDP and they idolised Dr Death. Brown observed at the time that they were ‘defending another shit in their own profession again’ – they had already done their best to get Gwynne the lobotomist off the hook by then but I was unaware of the extremes to which they were prepared to go to do this. Brown’s comment proved to be prescient.

Last week somebody suggested to me that either Francis or Wood knew Dr Death personally and that he may well have been part of the network protecting them as they protected the north Wales paedophile ring. I’d never previously suspected this, but it wouldn’t be completely beyond the bounds of possibility – some very high profile people indeed from the fields of both politics and medicine were concealing what was happening in north Wales and Dr Death was well-connected in both of these fields. Dr Death also had connections to Wales.

Like so many named in previous posts who concealed the criminal conduct of Wood, Francis, Dafydd Alun Jones, Gwynne the lobotomist et al, Dr Death began his career as a psychiatrist. Dr Death was born in Devon to Welsh parents and qualified as a doctor from St Thomas’s Hospital in 1962. He then worked as a neurologist and psychiatrist at Tommy’s for two years. Now Dr Death and his supporters always made much of Dr Death ‘being a doctor’ and took that as evidence that not only was he ethical, compassionate and intelligent, but that he had an insight into matters of mental health, psychology, personal motivation and of course the right way to run a health service. ‘Private Eye’ cartoons at the time used to frequently feature Dr Death as Dracula saying things like ‘but I’m a nice young doctor’, whilst someone else in the frame would be saying ‘no you’re not you’re a vampire’. So was Dr Death a nice young doctor?

Dr Death’s early career at Tommy’s is not actually detailed that often and there might be a good reason for that. Dr Death was the assistant – for two years – to a psychiatrist called William Sargant, whose track record is so grim that psychiatry really would rather that he had not ever existed. Contemporary psychiatry text books rarely cite him so discredited is he. Sargant was a very big name in his day and was what we would now call a media psychiatrist. Even at the time there were people gravely concerned about Sargant’s activities but as ever in psychiatry their concerns were ignored. When Dr Death worked for him, Sargant’s work was described as ‘research into Parkinsonian trauma and neuropharmacology’. William Sargant was wildly enthusiastic about every dangerous, completely discredited psychiatric treatment – psychosurgery, deep sleep therapy, ECT in massive bursts very frequently and insulin shock therapy. Lest readers just presume that he was a man of his time, Sargant was bad even by the standards of mid-twentieth century psychiatry, in much the same way that the north Wales contingent were bad by anyone’s standards.

Sargant did not begin his career as a psychiatrist, he wanted to be a physician. He conducted some research into pernicious anaemia which involved giving patients huge doses of iron and history simply tells us that this research was ‘not well received’, indeed it was ‘disasterous’, which led to Sargant suffering a mental breakdown and being institutionalised himself. He was unable to continue his career as a physician and embarked upon a career in psychiatry instead. Sargant is by no means the only doctor who has been diverted into psychiatry because no-one else will have them, that characteristic is very obviously written into the biographies of many of those we know and love. I also wonder what the gory details of the ‘research’ were. Sargant was not a sensitive flower, for the research to have been so disasterous that he had a breakdown, ended up hospitalised and was unable to continue in his chosen field, I suspect that a few patients may have died – as they did on a regular basis when Sargant worked a psychiatrist. But because they were psychiatric patients it was tolerated.

Sargant did his psychiatric training at the Maudsley of course. In 1945 he became Director of Psychological Medicine at Tommy’s, where he stayed until his retirement in 1972 and indeed after that as well. Like Dr Dafydd Alun Jones, Sargant held a part-time NHS contract, which meant that whilst he slaughtered NHS patients he was able to build up an enormous private practice, in Sargant’s case at Harley Street. Sargant held a distaste for all types of psychotherapy. He took amphetamines himself whilst he was studying for his Diploma in Psychological Medicine – he took a number of drugs for depression throughout his life. Whilst he was at the Maudsley, insulin shock therapy was introduced. Sargant enthusiastically embraced this and it became a staple of his at Tommy’s. In the late 1930s whilst he was in America, Sargant met the notorious Walter Freeman and saw the results of Freeman’s psychosurgery on three patients. The patients had suffered huge damage but nonetheless Sargant then introduced psychosurgery to Britain.

At one point after the war London County Council tried to curb Sargant’s experiments with ECT and psychosurgery, but Sargant boasted that ‘we generally got our own way in the end’. London County Council insisted that advisors were needed to approve every psychosurgery case. If the advisors opposed, Sargant simply sent the patient to Wylie McKissock at St George’s and he lobotomised the patient. Sargant described this as ‘doing good by stealth’. Sargant selected neurotic patients, especially those with neurotic ruminations, for psychosurgery. The ‘operation’ often  left them with severely impaired functioning, serious memory loss and/or incontinent. A number of them died. Sargant also experimented with ‘abreaction techniques’ using barbiturates, in military psychiatric casualties. More experiments of his involved methedrine injections and ‘deep sleep’ treatments. Indeed so ‘experimental’ was Sargant’s work that he combined all these treatments. He subjected patients to up to three months of combined ECT, continuous narcosis, insulin coma and drugs. Sargant found narcosis a particular blessing, because as he explained himself he often found that patients ‘dreaded’ further treatment after the first two or three sessions, but if they were treated whilst they were in an induced sleep, ECT could be administered without their knowledge. Sargant also found another way of treating patients who didn’t want to be treated as well – he increased the frequency of ECT for ‘resistant obsessional patients’ to produce ‘therapeutic confusion’ which had the magical effect of ‘removing the power of refusal’. In other words they were shocked into oblivion and didn’t know whether they were coming or going.

This is what Sargant said about the beneficial effects of narcosis treatment: ‘all sorts of treatment can be given whilst the patient is kept sleeping, including a variety of drugs and ECT together, generally induce considerable memory loss for period under narcosis…patient does not know how long he has been asleep, or what treatment…he has been given’. Sargant inspired the psychiatrist Harry Bailey in Australia, whose deep sleep treatment resulted in the death of 26 patients. Bailey and Sargant’s correspondence show that they were in competition with each other to see who could keep a patient in the deepest coma. Sargant’s patients died as well and it has been suggested that the only reason that his death rate wasn’t as high as Bailey’s was the attention that the Tommy’s nurses paid to the patients once Sargant had got his hands on them. The nurses were waking the patients up every fifteen minutes, taking them to the loo and feeding them, which it is assumed kept a few of them alive. Sargant wasn’t put off when his patients did die in his ‘care’. He attributed the poor outcomes to the lack of a ‘good previous personality’. Now where have we heard that before???

Critics of Sargant maintained that he had extreme views, was irresponsible, cruel and ignored advice. It was said that he relied ‘upon dogma rather than clinical evidence’, was autocratic, a danger, a disaster and some spoke of ‘the damage he did’. So a combination of Dr T. Gwynne Williams, Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and Dr Tony Roberts then.

In 2009 a Radio 4 documentary interviewed patients whose lives had been ruined by William Sargant. There was discussion of his routine violation of patient’s rights regarding consent and his admission to an Australian lawyer that patients had died under deep sleep. The records of patients treated by Sargant at Tommy’s and associated Health Authorities have been destroyed which prevented patients seeking redress through the Courts.

It has been revealed that William Sargant worked as a consultant for MI5.

So what was Dr Death’s opinion of this lethal maniac who shocked, drugged and lobotomised patients without their knowledge let alone consent? After all Dr Death assisted him for two years. Dr Death stated that Sargant was ‘a dominating personality with the therapeutic courage of a lion’ and ‘the sort of person of whom legends are made’.

In March 1974 Dr Death was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary for Health. In July 1974 he became Minister of State for Health and Social Security and remained in that post until Sept 1976.

Between 1977-1979 Dr Death was Foreign Secretary. I remember many allegations at the time that Dr Death was rude and arrogant, offended foreign statesmen and couldn’t get on with people. Dr Death has since stated that whilst he was Foreign Secretary he considered having Idi Amin assassinated. Like a troublesome psychiatric patient perhaps. In 1981 Dr Death left the Labour Party and with the infamous Gang of Four formed the SDP. He led the SDP between 1983-87 but when the SDP membership voted to merge with the Liberal Party Dr Death threw a hissy fit and announced that he would lead the ‘continuing SDP’. Dr Death is of course quite a one for hissy fits, his political career has been a sequence of resignations. He led the continuing SDP until 1990 when even he couldn’t pretend that it existed any longer. It was at this time that Dr Death made public statements about having wished that he’d stuck with a career in psychiatry. Presumably because lobotomised patients can’t vote for someone else. Dr Death wasn’t in the wilderness for long, in 1992 he became a member of the Lords. He sat as a cross bencher until 2014, but he now sits as an ‘independent social democrat’, after giving more than £7000 to the Labour Party when Ed Miliband announced his intentions to ‘reform’ the relationship between the Labour Party and the Trade Unions.

Many people have suspected that Dr Death is actually a Tory and did his best to inflict serious damage upon the Labour Party.  Thatcher was certainly very complimentary about his talents and a lot of people looked forward to him joining the Conservative Party and then destroying them. He never did though, despite John Major nominating him for a peerage and wanting him in his Cabinet. Blair also approached Dr Death, as did Gordon Brown, but he declined offers from both of them.

Dr Death has of course been back in the news over the past few days. He has been speaking a lot about the contaminated blood scandal and once more is exploiting his position as a nice doctor who wants the best. As a man who was once William Sargant’s assistant of course he does. Dr Death is not only telling anyone who’ll listen that he was demanding that Britain should become self-sufficient in blood products in the mid 70s rather than reply on imported products derived from the US, but he is also maintaining that the archived files of his containing all the documents that would shed light on who suggested and did what regarding blood products for use in the NHS in the 70s and 80s has been destroyed by an unidentified person. Dr Death is alleging a Civil Service cover up. I too believe that there has undoubtedly been a cover up at Gov’t level regarding the contaminated blood scandal and I’ve previously blogged about this. Substantial blame rests with Thatcher’s Gov’t who were told that patients would die because US blood was not screened, but who then shut down the UK MRC lab, ensuring that the NHS was completely dependent upon US imported products.

But it is becoming clear that blame does not just lie with Thatcher’s administrations. There is now information that administrations before Thatcher’s were being told of the grave dangers posed to NHS patients by the use of contaminated blood – although the threat in the 70s was considered to be Hepatitis C rather than HIV which only became a serious problem subsequently. I have found out that in 1974 the Dept of Health were explicitly warned by a specialist in the field that the products that they were using at that time could infect NHS patients. The Secretary of State for Health and Social Security was Dr Death. He had of course been a Minister in the same dept before that. Furthermore, Anita Roddick’s daughter Sam has now revealed that her mum – who died from complications arising from Hep C in 2007 – contracted Hep C from an infected blood transfusion at the time of Sam’s birth in 1971. Neither did anyone actually tell Anita Roddick that she was infected with Hep C until she had developed cirrhosis and it was too late for effective treatment. Of course no-one will have told Anita, because it was the NHS who had caused the damage and the NHS never informs people when it has harmed them. So by the time that Dr Death was making hay by making public statement in 1976 regarding the need for the NHS to become self-sufficient in blood products, people had already been infected and for a number of years as well. But no-one will ever find out exactly how much Dr Death knew and when and what his responses were because his files have been destroyed. By someone naughty in the Civil Service. Who did Dr Death a very big favour because he can now claim to be only relying on his memory when asked about the whole sorry business. This blog has previously described the rare variant of dementia which affects Top Doctors when they are faced with difficult questions regarding their role in patient harm – other sufferers include Dafydd, Robert Bluglass and Peter Higson. I suspect that Dr Death will be clobbered by a particularly serious form any day now.

Dr Death has spent his political career reminding everyone of his commitment to the NHS and has done this again very recently. So that is obviously why he was a member of the Board of the Abbott Laboratories, an American drug company between 1996-2011. In 2012 Abbott Labs were charged with a $500 million fine and $198.5 million forfeiture for illegal marketing, the second biggest fine in US history for a drug company. This was as a result of Abbott Labs unlawfully promoting the anti-psychotic Depakote for uses not approved by the FDA, including it’s use in children. Abbott Labs were also given a five year term of probation and court supervision. Which is more than William Sargant and his assistant ever got. Dr Death was Chairman of the Board of Yukos International UK BV, a division of a former Russian petroleum company, between 2002-2005. He was non-executive Chairman of European Steel until 2015. Between 2009-2014 Dr Death was on the Board of Texas-based Hyperdynamics Corporation, an oil concern.

Latterly Dr Death has expressed deep concern about ‘hubris syndrome’ among politicians. He became so worried about this that he established the Daedalus Trust. The Daedalus Trust exists to ‘promote and provide funds for the interdisciplinary study of how the intoxication of power in all walks of life affects personality and decision making’. Dr Death is Chair of the Trust. Well he would be wouldn’t he. He no doubt will remember this quote from his mentor William Sargant: ‘men…should humbly remember how much they resemble dogs in brain function and not boast themselves as demigods’. Other men that is, not Dr Death or William Sargant obviously.

As for Dr Death’s Welsh connections, I didn’t know about these until I heard him interviewed by Peter Hennesey on the radio in 2015. Dr Death explained that he grew up in Plymouth but was raised ‘in the Welsh radical tradition’. He spent his summers living with his grandparents in Tenby or Aberporth. Dr Death explained that his grandpa was a ‘clergyman’ ‘in the Welsh Church but was basically a Methodist’. Which is a bit confusing because historically Welsh chapels have been very keen to distinguish themselves from the Anglican Church in Wales and the Church in Wales doesn’t have a radical tradition. And Methodists call their Ministers Ministers rather than clergymen. The mystery deepened when Dr Death maintained that as a boy ‘I went to the local school everyday with him [his grandfather]…I learnt Welsh but I’ve forgotten every word of it’. Apart from a few specific locations which are noted for being bastions of Welsh speaking Welsh isn’t very widely spoken in south Wales, certainly by kids from Devon on their summer holidays. Dr Death is getting on a bit, when he was a schoolboy there won’t have been any Welsh medium schools in south Wales. The fight for Welsh medium education took place whilst Dr Death was an adult – when he was a boy Wales was still suffering from the notion that teaching kids through the medium of Welsh was not a good idea. Welsh was the language at home of many children in the north, but not where Dr Death was holidaying. Furthermore if Dr Death had learnt Welsh, how could his memory have become wiped clean completely? One’s second language can certainly become very rusty if one doesn’t stay immersed in it, but it’s not forgotten. Surely Dr Death could manage a ‘bore da’ or a ‘diolch’?

However Dr Death DOES have some Welsh connections via his extended family. In fact Dr Death is considered to be a bit of a celeb by some in south Wales, so much so that when the building that used to house a shop owned and run by one of his forebears was converted into a museum, Dr Death was invited to open it. Dr Death has also always clung to his identity as a Top Doctor and I bet Dr Death still networks with other Top Doctors as well – including Top Doctors in Wales. Both D.G.E. Wood and Tony Francis had good connections with other Top Doctors in south Wales. Wood worked for the Royal College of General Practitioners which took him to south Wales frequently and was also involved in training doctors, which again will have involved working with doctors in south Wales. Francis studied at Cardiff medical school and also spent a number of years working there. Furthermore when Francis wanted to have me declared dangerous and banged up, it was Dr Chris Hunter, his mate from south Wales, that he enlisted to help him (please see post ‘The Night of the (Dr Chris) Hunter’). Dafydd and a number of the other Top Doctors involved in wrongdoing in north Wales trained at Liverpool medical school. Dr Death was Chancellor of the University of Liverpool between 1996-2009. The Waterhouse Inquiry was announced in 1996.

I have blogged about a number of politicians involved in the cover-ups relating to child abuse and the associated wrongdoing in the mental health services, but I haven’t mentioned any figures whom I know to be politically close to Dr Death. There was an SDP MP who ended up in hot water after sexual impropriety, Mike Hancock, but that case involved him indecently assaulting an adult constituent with mental health problems. Hancock checked himself into the Priory after the constituent complained, where he probably received rather more care and attention that the woman that he assaulted did at the hands of the NHS.

There is of course one party which has been plagued by actual sex abuse scandals, rather than simply alleged sex abuse scandals and that is the party that Dr Death formed an alliance with, the Liberal Party. There was the Jeremy Thorpe business, although of course that involved adults rather than the abuse of under-aged children. But recently it has been admitted that two Liberal MPs were known to have abused children – Cyril Smith and Clement Freud.

The track record of Cyril Smith, who died in 2010, was appalling – as was the track record of the Liberals/Lib Dems in failing to deal with him In 2012 the Greater Manchester Police admitted that Smith should have been charged with sex offences against children. In April 2014 it was revealed that there had been 144 complaints against Smith, involving children as young as eight and that attempts to prosecute him had actively been blocked. Rochdale Council, the police and the social services were all implicated. In 2015 it was revealed that Smith had been arrested in the early 80s, but a high level cover up resulted in his release within hours. The investigating officers were bound by the Official Secrets Act. There were investigations into Smith in 1970, 1998 and 1999. He was a friend of Jimmy Savile and appeared on one of Savile’s TV shows in the early 70s. In 2012 a former Special Branch officer with the Lancashire Police stated that a dossier of sex abuse allegations against Smith which police claimed was lost had actually been seized by MI5. The Special Branch officer had been asked by MI5 to send this dossier, which was ‘thick’ with allegations that Smith had abused boys, to London.

Smith was alleged to have abused boys at the Knowl View residential school – there were allegations of a paedophile ring. Greater Manchester Police stated that there were 21 suspects, 14 of whom had been identified, one of these being Smith. In July 2014 Rochdale Council’s inquiry into child abuse at Knowl View was stopped at the request of the Greater Manchester Police, whilst detectives investigated a possible institutional cover up.

It is known that Smith put pressure on the BBC in 1976, asking them not to investigate the ‘private lives of certain MPs’ – the National Archives reveal that Smith wrote to the Director General Sir Charles Curran, ‘deeply concerned about the investigative activities of the BBC’.

In July 2014 the CPS admitted that in 1970 a police detective investigating Smith presented evidence to a superior concerning Smith’s abuse of boys at a care home in Rochdale but no action was taken. In Nov 2014 the former editor of the ‘Bury Messenger’, Don Hale, stated that he had been served with a D notice in the 80s the day after Cyril Smith had been ‘aggressive’ and threatened him with a D notice from the police.

In 2015 a retired police officer had said that he had been threatened with the Official Secrets Act after he found Smith in the home of a known sex offender with two drunk teenaged boys and a police sergeant in civilian clothes. The retired officer stated that he was then summoned to a meeting with a senior officer at Stockport Police Station and told ‘in no uncertain terms’ not to say anything. The alleged incident was in 1988 at a house in Stockport after a complaint that the occupier was committing a lewd act in the window in front of a newspaper boy.

BBC Newsnight has broadcast claims that Smith was arrested in the early 80s regarding his participation in a paedophile ring, but that there was a cover up using the Official Secrets Act. There were also reports of his arrest by Northamptonshire Police and his subsequent release in mysterious circumstances.

In 2013 a spokesman for the Met confirmed that Smith had visited the Elm Guest House, a brothel near Barnes Common in south west London where children in care alleged that they were abused by politicians and other high profile figures. Savile was alleged to have visited and some parties there were organised by Sydney Cooke, a paedophile who was imprisoned for the murder of Jason Swift. At least one former resident of a north Wales children’s home has alleged that he was taken there and molested. One man alleged that he had been raped at the Elm Guest House when he was 14 by Sir Peter Morrison, Conservative MP for Chester, who was also known to have visited children’s homes in north Wales. The manager of the Elm Guest House, Carole Kasir, was found dead in 1990 at the age of 47, from an insulin overdose. The death was categorised as suicide, although people who knew Carole at that time have disputed this.

Sexual abuse and grooming at the Elm Guest House was the focus of Operation Fairbank. Operation Fernbridge resulted from the Operation Fairbank allegations and Peter McKelvie, a retired child protection team manager, claimed that evidence of a powerful paedophile ring was covered up in 1991. 1991 – I remember it well. I was bullied out of my job at St George’s Hospital Medical School, told by psychiatrists there who knew about the criminal activities of their colleagues in north Wales to ‘go back to north Wales’, taken to Court on the basis of a statement in which Dr Tony Francis perjured himself to find that one Sir Robert Francis QC was requesting my imprisonment for ‘harassment’, the harassment being me writing letters maintaining that psychiatrists in north Wales were breaking the law (see post ‘The Sordid Role Of Sir Robert Francis QC’). In 1991 my friend who was interested in making a documentary about what had happened to me in north Wales was bullied out of her job at the Royal Television Society. We should count ourselves lucky, a number of people who were victims of the north Wales paedophile ring were found dead at that time.

Cabinet Office papers released in March 2015 confirmed that Margaret Thatcher was aware of the allegations concerning Smith before he was knighted in 1988.

Other members of the Liberal Party have not really come up smelling of roses with regard to Cyril Smith’s conduct. David Steel, the leader of the Liberal Party between 1976-1988 and Dr Death’s political partner during the years that the Liberals and SDP were in the Alliance together, recommended Smith for a knighthood. In 1979 ‘Private Eye’ published an article which was based on an investigation carried out by the ‘Rochdale Alternative Paper’ into Smith, which revealed that Smith was known to have spanked boys on their bare bums. After the publication of this, Smith admitted to David Steel that he’d carried out (presumably bogus because he wasn’t a Top Doctor) intimate medical examinations on boys at a residential establishment. Steel famously commented that all Smith had done was ‘spank a few bare bottoms’. Steel became very angry when he was reminded of this response after the extent of Smith’s abuse was revealed – however it is also known that after the ‘Rochdale Alternative Paper’ published their article, Steel’s Press Office commented to them that ‘it was not a very friendly gesture, publishing that’. In 2014 Steel stated that he confronted Smith about his ‘unusual’ behaviour with boys after the 1979 allegations. Steel has also commented that it was a ‘different era’ and that ‘corporal punishment was permitted’. Which does not really adequately explain what the local MP was doing administering the punishment in question. It may have been a different era but molesting children wasn’t acceptable in that era either which is probably why so many people were working so hard to ensure that the allegations about Smith didn’t find their way into the public domain.

In 2014 the Liberal leader Nick Clegg refused to hold an inquiry into Smith – Clegg maintained that the Party did not know about Smith’s actions.

Just to add to the Liberal Parties woes, in 2016 it was alleged that former Liberal MP Clement Freud, who died in 2009, had been a paedophile who had spent a lifetime molesting and harassing young women, including girls as young as ten. A number of people came forward with tales of Freud’s lechery and unusually in such situations, there was no attempt by anyone to deny the allegations. Freud’s widow made a public apology to his victims, although she hadn’t actually done the molesting. Freud had shared an office with Cyril Smith. Freud too was knighted, in 1987. Mourners at Freud’s funeral included David Steel, George Osborne and Gordon Brown. But then Cyril Smith had a good turn out and I think that Clegg even made a speech at his funeral. Freud was someone who was in a very good position where suppressing stories that he didn’t want to appear in the media was concerned. Freud had many media connections as he was himself a food and drink journalist and later a favourite on Radio 4. His daughter Emma is also a journalist and a regular star of Radio 4 – she is married to the producer/script writer Richard Curtis. But it is Freud’s son Matthew who truly excels in this arena. Matthew Freud has his own PR company which he established in 1985. He was formerly married to the second wife of Earl Spencer and after that married Elisabeth Murdoch, daughter of Rupert. A quick look at the website of Freud Communications revealed a photo of Sadiq Khan – presumably a client – and the logos of BBC Worldwide and Public Health England.

The Liberal Party, SDP and Lib Dems have often become excited in the face of notions that they are in situations whereby they can affect the balance of power and at such times there have been allegations that they have been very demanding of other parties. I can imagine a lot of wriggling if they not only had someone like Cyril Smith on their team but knew that there were people getting up to similar things with under-aged children in other parties. If Dr Death were to be introduced into those machinations – the Chair of the Daedalus Trust suffering from a very severe case of hubris himself at all times and under all circumstances – I can only imagine what might have gone on. Particularly if a few Top Doctors from Wales involved in the chain of supply of fresh meat for the Westminster Paedophile Ring had sent out a mayday call.

 

 

Are You Local?

My post ‘Local Accessories’ named a few former social workers from Gwynedd who undoubtedly had knowledge of the wrongdoing by the paedophile gang and their associates that operated in north Wales. Following all the bad publicity, the police investigation and Waterhouse Inquiry in the 90s, it was admitted even by those who were doing their utmost to conceal the extent of the abuse of children in care in north Wales that there was a paedophile gang that operated in the Wrexham and Cheshire area and that they abused children in care in the region. It is admitted that the most dreadful sexual abuse occurred at Bryn Estyn and at the Bryn Alyn Community in Clwyd and a number of ‘care staff’ were imprisoned. Even dear old Ronnie Waterhouse acknowledged that. Ronnie also identified Lucille Hughes, the Director of Gwynedd Social Services, as knowing that a paedophile ring was in operation but she did nothing to stop it. Yet Ronnie really poo-poohed the notion that widespread sexual abuse had happened in the children’s homes in Gwynedd, even at Ty’r Felin, the children’s home in Bangor run by the dreadful Nefyn Dodd and his wife June, as detailed in ‘Local Accessories’.

Conditions at Ty’r Felin were known to be dreadful and Dodd was ferociously violent towards the children. ‘Local Accessories’ described how the complicit fool Waterhouse dismissed the fact that a teenaged girl was allegedly made pregnant by David Hughes, a staff member at Ty’r Felin. As with so many folk in north Wales who are ‘highly disturbed’ – that is who allege terrible abuse and wrongdoing – this girl was transported elsewhere, in her case to south Wales. Documents now in my possession demonstrate that this is what Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) and his colleagues were trying to ensure happened to me. They had their mate Dr Chris Hunter from the Caswell Clinic in south Wales on tap and were busy behind the scenes with a highly organised attempt to have me declared dangerous and transferred to Hunter’s institution. Indeed Hunter HAD proffered his opinion that I was ‘very dangerous’ – although he had never met me. His opinion had been formed on the ‘evidence’ presented to him by Tony Francis, as well as Jackie Brandt and Keith Fearns, two social workers from Gwynedd whose colleagues were of course abusing kids and colluding with organised paedophilic activity. For full details of the ‘case conference’ that was held about me – whilst I was employed in a London medical school with no knowledge of what was going on regarding my planned future ‘care’ at the hands of these monsters – please see post ‘The Night Of The (Dr Chris) Hunter’.

Readers who follow the ‘comments’ section of my blog will have noticed that a friend of Tony Francis’s, Kate, is becoming increasingly angry with me as I reveal more about his network and activities on this blog. I have left Kate’s recent comments up because they are an example of what I have had to put up with for thirty years after unwittingly stumbling across the associates of the paedophiles – manipulative sleights, suggesting that I am some sort of wicked master-criminal who uses many aliases and harbours a crazed obsession resulting in me maligning innocent Top Doctors. Kate and co continually maintain that I have no evidence for my claims, despite me offering to show them the documentation that my lawyer forwarded to me a few months ago. They’re going to get even more angry with me now, because the activities of the social services in Gwynedd and the Top Doctors who concealed them were, it would seem, far worse than even I knew.

I have received communication from a journalist who maintains that Nefyn and June Dodd and their colleagues were not just excessively violent to children – I had heard that time and again and people I knew who worked at Ty’r Felin confirmed that – but that there was en masse sexual abuse happening at Ty’r Felin, just as there was at Bryn Estyn and Bryn Alyn in Clwyd. This journalist tells me that numerous former residents of Ty’r Felin didn’t just detail the physical abuse that they suffered at the Dodd’s hands, but they described how they were forced into participating into sex with the Dodds, repeatedly. It is also alleged that the girls at Ty’r Felin were taken to ‘nightclubs in Bangor’ by care staff where huge quantities of booze was consumed and the girls were forced into returning to the homes of people who had financial arrangements with the staff of the home. The boys were not taken to nightclubs but were farmed out to private homes and hotel rooms to provide sexual services there. After children left Ty’r Felin, they were transferred to London and trafficked into prostitution.

Now I had never heard about boys from that home working as prostitutes, but the allegations regarding the girls certainly ring true. The journalist who sent me all this is London-based, so probably doesn’t know that in Bangor in the 1980s one couldn’t talk of ‘nightclubs’. There was ONE nightclub, the Octagon, and it was notorious. Everybody had really looked forward to the Octagon opening when word got round that a nightclub had come to town because there wasn’t anything of the sort in Bangor and never had been. There was a shed on Anglesey called Plas Coch which deluded itself that it was a nightclub – this caused much entertainment among postgrads who came to Bangor after having done their first degrees in cities with real nightclubs – but Plas Coch was essentially just a barn that sold drink, held discos and paid local Welsh rock groups to do a turn there. It had a very good atmosphere though and came highly recommended and I don’t remember there ever being any grief at Plas Coch. But for a real nightclub one had to go to Cardiff, Birmingham, Liverpool or Manchester. Bangor University Students Union also arranged trips to these cities to see rock groups because they did not come to Bangor, not even to the Students Union.

The Octagon opened I think in the summer of 1984 among much excitement. Samantha Fox came to the opening night and the lecherous old farts from the Daily Post and Bangor and Anglesey Mail could barely cope. People were really wowed by the Octagon because it had ‘moving coloured lights’. But within weeks students were telling each other not to go there. There were violent attacks on male students, sexual assaults on female students and the one thing that everybody was commenting on were the underage girls ‘from Maesgeirchan’ who were very obviously being sexually used by older men. Maesgeirchan is a big council estate on the outskirts of Bangor and in the 80s it was one of the most socially disadvantaged areas in Wales with a very high crime rate. One part of Maesgeirchan had such a fearsome reputation that people on the housing waiting list used to turn down the offer of a house if it was there. Ty’r Felin was located on Maesgeirchan.

At the time of the opening of the Octagon I knew a student who had been employed to help with the preparations. He told me that the club was being run by a bunch of gangsters from Manchester who were terrifying local businesses. Then the Octagon started hitting the local press on a regular basis. There were complaints that it was being used for large scale drug dealing. Then there were cases of passers-by being violently attacked and there was at least one rape of a young woman who had been in the vicinity. Yet the Octagon was not closed down. Considering how the good burghers of Bangor actually carried on in those days, that was incredible. Bangor famously didn’t have an M&S store because for some reason best known to themselves the Council had conspired to keep M&S at bay and when I first went to Bangor you still couldn’t buy alcohol in a pub on a Sunday. So everyone was mystified at Sodom and Gomorrah erupting in the form of the Octagon.

But it didn’t get closed down, instead it simply became a complete no go area for students and it was rumoured to be essentially a place where schoolgirls sold sex to very unsavoury men. Presumably all that was being facilitated by Ty’r Felin. Which would also explain why the Octagon never got closed down. It was the fucking managers of Gwynedd County Council who colluded with the paedophile ring, they weren’t going to shut down the brothel.

I note that the London journalist claims that boys from Ty’r Felin were sent to hotels with clients. Bangor was pretty devoid of hotels in the 80s as well. There was the Railway Hotel which may well have shut down by then anyway and the Temperance Hotel which also had probably shut by then. The two functioning hotels were the Castle Hotel and the British Hotel. The daughter of the family who owned the Castle Hotel studied at Bangor at the same time as me and achieved infamy for cheating in her finals – she was caught by an invigilator with sheets of crib notes from which she was openly copying – and then being allowed to graduate nonetheless. There was much bad feeling about that among the staff and there was speculation as to how she had managed to get away with it. The Castle Hotel had a cellar bar and my friends and I soon found out that going in there was not a good idea. The first occasion resulted in one of the boys from our house being approached by one of a gang of elderly rough-necks, who pointed to one of the other elderly rough-necks and said ‘did you know that he’s a former boxer?’ Whereupon my mate was rash enough to reply ‘with a face like that I didn’t think he’d be a brain surgeon’ and we had to flee. It transpired that the retired boxer was a bloke called Dai Davies from Maesgeirchan and his mates considered the cellar bar of the Castle their turf and the likes of us were not welcome. Street knowledge circulating around Bangor dictated that Dai Davies himself was not the problem, it was the meat-heads that accompanied him who were alleged to be into serious crime. There was an incident a while later in which some of them murdered a tourist on Anglesey. Dai Davies’s brother Steve Davies was a well-known maniac with a serious drug problem who ended up going to prison for a long time after terrifying someone so much that they jumped out of a window to escape what they were sure would be certain death at Davies’s hands and broke both of their legs. A few weeks after the brain surgeon comment, my mates and I were driving home from a friend’s house late one night when we encountered the Davies gang again in their beaten up elderly Mercedes and we had to escape their clutches once more. We were not the only people to have had an unpleasant encounter in the cellar bar, I heard of a number of other people who also had similar experiences there with the Davies’s and they pretty much colonised the place in the mid 80s. So it is possible that the Castle Hotel was being used as a location for the abuse of Ty’r Felin kids.

However I know for a fact that unscrupulous social workers had a nice little number going on with the British Hotel in the mid 1990s. I used to know a young learning disabled woman from Bethesda who one day couldn’t stop crying when she was on the bus. I asked her what the matter was and she explained that she didn’t like her job. This was weird because she was on benefits and was fairly obviously someone who wouldn’t have been able to hold down a conventional ‘job’, so I enquired further. It transpired that she was washing up in the British Hotel for 50p/hour between mid-morning and mid-afternoon every day and was being mistreated by her ‘boss’. I asked her why she didn’t simply leave the job and she told me that her social worker had told her that she had to do it. A pretty similar arrangement to the one that my friend’s wife uncovered when she worked at the teenaged boy’s hostel Ty Newydd (see post ‘Local Accessories’).

I suspect that the landscape for people with learning disabilities in north Wales was as grim as it was for kids in care or for people with mental health problems. There was a saga on Anglesey when it was discovered that a group of people with learning disabilities who had previously been staffing a café for 50p/hour had all been laid off and were told that if they wanted to continue working in the café, THEY would have to pay the café, because the jobs had been reclassified as ‘training’. I also discovered a bit of a dung heap in the late 80s when I naively applied for a job as an advocate at the hospital for people with learning disabilities at Bryn Yn Neuadd, Llanfairfechan. I was invited for interview, along with another candidate. When I arrived early (I get everywhere early, it can be interesting), I found the other candidate having a cup of tea in the office with the interviewing panel – they knew her because she was an employee of Bryn Yn Neuadd. The job was for an ‘independent advocate’ to ensure that nothing untoward was happening to the residents. I was also surprised when during the interview, one of the panel, a senior manager of Bryn Yn Neuadd, explained to me that most of the patients were ‘cabbages’. I did not get the job, so presumably they employed their own member of staff to safeguard the rights of the cabbages.

This lot are so fucking bad that they don’t even understand how bad they are.

Regarding hotels in Bangor, I note that there is a comment in the Waterhouse Report regarding one the of the former residents of Ty’r Felin who gave evidence that he was abused by Nefyn Dodd. This man explained that because he was on a ‘catering course’ at a hotel in Bangor, Nefyn Dodd made him do all the cooking and washing up at Ty’r Felin. Would that ‘catering course’ possibly have been one at the British Hotel which involved washing up for several hours a day at 50p/hour? And why was a schoolboy on a ‘catering course’ anyway? Ty’r Felin was a home for kids below the school leaving age. Ronnie doesn’t ask any difficult questions, as ever.

Previous posts (‘So Who Was It Exactly Who Appointed The Corrupt Old Bastard?’ and ‘Local Accessories’) have detailed how Waterhouse blithely dismissed accounts of the most serious physical and sexual abuse of children or used the most flimsy and ludicrous explanations to point to why scores of witnesses could not be believed. I mentioned previously how at one point in the Waterhouse Report, Ronnie mentions that he was presented with a letter of ‘dubious authenticity’ written in Risley Remand Centre, sent to Lucille Hughes, the Director of Gwynedd Social Services, in support of Nefyn and June Dodd, supposedly signed by a young man who’d alleged that they’d abused him. Ronnie accepts that the letter had been forged so ignores it. At no point does he wonder why someone would have gone to such lengths and the wrongdoing involved in the forging of the letter anyway. When people resort to forging documents, there is much at stake – as there is when they resort to inviting a load of people to a party and then petrol bombing the building (see post ‘The Silence of the Welsh Lambs’). So the Dodd’s protectors included folk working in Risley Remand Centre as well as Lucille Hughes who were happy to forge documentation. Just as Dr Tony Roberts’s protectors at the GMC were prepared to forge a letter from me (see post ‘The General Medical Council And Yet Another Forged Document’).

If the Dodd’s were involved in the trafficking of children for prostitution such extreme efforts to get them off the hook would be understandable. The one person in north Wales who had corrupt colleagues working at Risley Remand Centre was Dr Dafydd Alun Jones, Lucille’s bedfellow. The Dafydd who discredited and banged up people who complained about the activities of the paedophile gang.

Dafydd was the Top Doctor who handled many of the young men from north east Wales who had passed through the children’s homes in Clwyd, although Dafydd himself lived on Anglesey. Dafydd’s domain was primarily the North Wales Hospital Denbigh but previous posts have explained how he held clinics in Ysbyty Gwynedd – although he rarely bothered to turn up, he was usually at a private clinic somewhere else. But children in care – and indeed learning disabled people – being exploited and abused in Gwynedd would undoubtedly come to the attention of Top Doctors and not only with regard to mental health issues. Sexual abuse/exploitation usually involves unwanted pregnancies, demands for contraception by unlikely people eg. very young girls and STDs. The information that the London based journalist sent me alleges cases of STDs at Ty’r Felin. The Top Doctors of Bangor would have known about that. Including Dr D.G.E. Wood, whose patients included people from Maesgeirchan (who didn’t like him – I witnessed some less than satisfied customers in his surgery). My post ‘The BMA And It’s Ethics’ described how practices at St David’s Hospital in Bangor were nearly on a par with the Magdalen laundries in Ireland. So how were the unwanted pregnancies at Ty’r Felin – of which the London-based journalist alleged there were many and even Waterhouse admits that he heard about one – dealt with? It was famously nearly impossible for women to access abortions in north Wales in the 80s because of an arrangement made by the local Top Doctors who were anti-abortion, that’s why students went private to Chester if they wanted terminations. Abused schoolgirls in care wouldn’t have been able to go private to Chester.

Trafficking and prostitution at Ty’r Felin would also explain why children from Gwynedd with alleged psychiatric problems were being sent by Gwynedd Health Authority to the notorious Gwynfa Unit in Clwyd, where they were of course abused, as detailed in post ‘Don’t Be Silly, He’s Nice’. Waterhouse’s Report mentions that both children in care and living with their own families were ending up at Gwynfa. If children from Gwynedd in care were being sent to Gwynfa, they will either have been residents of Ty’r Felin, Cartref Bontnewydd, Queens Park Close or Y Gwyngyll. (Queen’s Park Close and Y Gwyngyll were children’s homes on Anglesey.) They were the only children’s homes in Gwynedd (Anglesey came under Gwynedd for NHS purposes). Nefyn Dodd lived on the premises at Ty’r Felin, but he was also the line manager for Queen’s Park Close and Y Gwyngyll. Not only did Gwynfa take virtually all it’s patients from Gwynedd, but Dr Barry Kiehn, the child psychiatrist responsible for Gwynfa, was employed by Gwynedd Health Authority.

So if Nefyn Dodd was trafficking those kids, not only did the social services know about it but the Top Doctors did as well. Including the Top Doctors at the Hergest Unit. Sorry Kate, this one leads to Dr Tony Francis and his colleagues again.

I have gained a further insight into the everyday story of Ty’r Felin folk over the past two days. Someone who was a resident there has been e mailing me. As a fifteen year old in Ty’r Felin he was visited by a man involved with voluntary work at Ysbyty Gwynedd who was 61. He began a sexual relationship with him and when he left Ty’r Felin he went to live with this man – who it turned out wasn’t just using a false name, but was also a businessman in Bangor who was a complete crook. This man was violent and also used to take pornographic photos of the former Ty’r Felin resident. During an incident of domestic violence the former Ty’r Felin resident pushed the older man, who fell over, hit his head and died. The former Ty’r Felin resident was charged with murder. However those charges were mysteriously dropped and he was subsequently charged with manslaughter. He then found out that the older man who had been allowed into Ty’r Felin to abuse him had previously served a prison sentence for buggering children. When his case came to trial he was only given probation. Furthermore, the details of his trial did not appear anywhere in the media in Wales. I suspect because no-one wanted anyone to ever find out how a teenaged boy who’d left care had ended up cohabiting with an older sex offender who was beating him up and using him for porn. Particularly when the said sex offender was a well-known volunteer at Ysbyty Gwynedd. The former Ty’r Felin resident is now in the care of the mental health services. Who will of course know all about his past. So the Top Doctors DO know what was going on in Ty’r Felin, as do the probation service. This man has also told me that as a teenager in Bangor he was paid for sex by a number of doctors at Ysbyty Gwynedd. My post ‘Another Case Of Not Knowing’ describes how a young psychiatric patient at Ysbyty Gwynedd in the early 1990s was being sexually exploited by a group of junior gynaecologists who worked at Ysbyty Gwynedd, who made her pregnant twice and who coerced her into abortions that she did not want and that they arranged. Her psychiatrist whilst she was admitted to a mental health ward the night before one of those terminations was a man called Tony Francis.

It comes as no surprise to me that a crooked businessman who was also a convicted sex offender was volunteering at Ysbyty Gwynedd. Dodgy business deals were a hallmark of that place and indeed the wider North West Wales NHS Trust. There was the chaos of ‘Butty Wars’ (see post ‘There’s Going To Be A Hog Roast’) which erupted in the wake of the WRVS HQ cancelling the contract that the WRVS Ysbyty Gwynedd canteen had with the Menai Deli to supply sandwiches – the Menai Deli whose proprietors seemed to have many close links with Elfed Roberts, the former Chairman of the NW Wales NHS Trust. Then there was squealing when Mary Burrows, the first CEO of the Betsi who did her best to clean up, dared to cancel the contract that Ysbyty Gwynedd had with Blasus Ar Fwyd – a catering company that just happens to be owned by Deiniol ap Dafydd, the son of one Dr Dafydd Alun Jones. The backhanders and dodgy dealing of course extends into the Third Sector as well. Posts ‘The CEOs of St David’s Hospice’ and ‘Don’t Be Silly, He’s Nice’ describe how St David’s Hospice at Llandudno is managed and supported by the former clapped out staff and managers of the local NHS who were responsible for much wrongdoing. It hasn’t stopped. Trystan Pritchard, Elfed’s old mate who formerly worked as a manager at Ysbyty Gwynedd and who is now CEO of St David’s Hospice, appeared on the Daily Post’s website today explaining how he was hoping to come to an agreement with the Betsi regarding the hospice using the ‘unused wards’ of the Betsi. Peter Higson, the Chair of the Betsi, is quoted as saying that he’s sure that they’ll be able to help. Of course they will, no-one will ask how a Health Board with waiting lists a mile long has spare capacity to donate to Trystan or will question the numerous conflicts of interest which will no doubt be involved.

My correspondent who spent time in Ty’r Felin mentioned something else as well. That he approached the S4C programme ‘Y Byd Y Bedwar’with his story and there was initial interest but then all went dead. In about 2006 I was in contact with a journalist from ‘Y Byd Y Bedwar’ and after they read the incriminating documents that I had regarding Alun Davies the former manager of the Hergest Unit, Martin Jones the former CEO of the NW Wales NHS Trust, Gwynedd Social Services and the mental health services, they were very keen to do a documentary about what had happened to me. I had many meetings with the journalist and she even got as far as preparing to go into Ysbyty Gwynedd with a hidden camera to film undercover. But the day before she had planned to do that, her boss pulled the plug on the whole documentary without explanation.

So who’s the Big Cheese at S4C ensuring that no documentaries featuring anyone who can name the culprits or produce documentary evidence of wrongdoing on the part of those we know and love ever goes ahead?

It would seem that Nefyn Dodd was afforded even more protection than those at Bryn Estyn and Bryn Alyn – at least some of their staff were imprisoned and named. For Nefyn Dodd to have escaped when the Bryn Estyn and Bryn Alyn contingent didn’t, Nefyn Dodd would have had to be useful to someone. The London journalist has given me the name of a lobbyist for the Conservative Party who was also one of Thatcher’s speech writers, whom he claims was receiving those kids trafficked from Gwynedd. This man has been named as one of those involved with the Westminster Paedophile Ring, but he has not been the subject of the sort of extreme Satanic sexual abuse allegations that Ted Heath for example has been. I have been sent a list of names that are business contacts of this man – one of whom is allegedly Neil Hamilton – and a list of MPs whom have stated themselves are friends of his, which include Edwina Currie and William Hague. The Edwina who appointed Jimmy Savile as manager of Broadmoor, an institution containing kids abused in care, at least one of whom was from north Wales at the time of Waterhouse. The Hague who organised Ronnie’s whitewash. I have also been given the name of a Tory peer whose son is alleged to have abused children from Ty’r Felin – not Tyrell-Kenyon whom I named in a previous post who was known to have abused boys in care at Bryn Estyn, but someone else. I note that the son of this peer studied at Aberystwyth University in the 1980s and now lives in Australia.

The London journalist also told me something else that I did already know. That the Welsh Office held one inspection of Ty’r Felin and hardly ever returned. Dyfed County Council’s officers were requested to investigate Ty’r Felin by Ioan Bowen Rees, the then Chief Exec of Gwynedd County Council after complaints of serious abuse. Bowen Rees was formerly the County Secretary of Dyfed, so he’ll have known the investigators from Dyfed well. The investigators did as required, there was much criticism so everyone could claim to have dealt with the concerns. But no-one admitted the trafficking and coercing of children into prostitution or even that children were being forced to have sex with June and Nefyn Dodd. The collusion of Dyfed has present day ramifications. Mark Drakeford, the former Health Minister who proved so fucking useless in the face of the scandalous state of the NHS in north Wales, is a former social worker from Dyfed.

For the names, backgrounds and details of the extreme fuckwittery of the senior managers of Gwynedd Social Services and Gwynedd County Council whilst all this happened, please see post ‘I Know Nuzzing…’

So Nefyn Dodd was left entirely to his own devices. There was of course a police investigation into Nefyn Dodd after Alison Taylor blew the whistle. No action was taken against him. Like Dr Dafydd Alun Jones, Dodd was obviously mad, obviously abusive and was hated by everyone. But no-one scrutinised his activities and even in the face of the most serious complaints backed up by evidence, no action was taken against him. Because Dodd was supplying boys to the Tory lobbyist – who was also involved in huge business deals which were benefiting the Tory Party.

I really do think that just about every social worker and Top Doctor working in Gwynedd in the 1980s will have known something about all of this. They could hardly have missed it.

My post ‘Local Accessories’ named a few social workers who definitely DID have information and I requested that they now pay a visit to the police to make statements. There are a number of other people who definitely have some knowledge of these sordid events who need to be questioned by the police as well. One of those is Gwenan Carrington, the former Director of Gwynedd Social Services and latterly of Anglesey County Council. Another is Aled Griffiths aka the Buffet Slayer, who is Gwenan’s brother and doubles up as senior lecturer in law and social policy at Bangor University. The other is Joanna Griffiths, the Buffet Slayer’s wife, who is the former Director of Conwy Social Services. Which I think took over the management of Gwynfa when Clwyd Social Services was dissolved and was also responsible for the staff of the inspection unit who threatened me when I contacted them about the abuse and possible trafficking of residents of the dreadful Prestwood Homes, as described in the post ‘A Convenient Arrangement With The Private Sector’. Gwenan, the Slayer and Joanna have had their fingers in many pies for years and most of those pies involve concealing the wrongdoing in the social services. They know all the people named in my post ‘Local Accessories’ and are collectively known as The Mafia in north Wales. The Slayer himself attempted to block my path one day just before I left Bangor University and started bellowing at me – my complaints about the mental health services were making him even angrier than my blog is making the friends of Tony Francis. Well the party’s over now isn’t it you fat crook.

 

The day before yesterday a stranger who seemed to know about the contents of this blog suggested that I do a bit of research into a well-known politician who is also a Top Doctor – the stranger thought that this man knew either Tony Francis or D.G.E. Wood. I will be blogging more about this soon.

Ian Brockington’s Mischief

Since researching for yesterday’s post ‘One Dangerous Fucker’ and realising that the Top Doctors in north Wales who concealed the paedophile ring that operated in the region over decades had even more friends in high places assisting them than I ever imagined, I’ve followed up on a few things that I should have followed up on before. One of those things is the academic and professional contacts of Dr X (Dr Tony Francis) before he went to work at the North Wales Hospital in the mid 80s. Previous posts have explained how documents that I only acquired earlier this year demonstrate that Tony Francis was involved in very serious wrongdoing, including industrial scale perjury in an attempt to have me imprisoned after I’d complained about the north Wales mental health services.

Francis killed himself a few years ago, after the re-opening of the investigation into the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal, I suspect because he feared – or indeed knew – that the net was closing in on him. (Readers of this blog who follow the comments section will have seen how recently a friend of Tony Francis became very angry with me for naming him.) I have for a while been interested in why Tony Francis ever went to work in a hell-hole like Denbigh. Denbigh was notorious, no way would any ambitious competent psychiatrist ever want to go there to join Dafydd Alun Jones, Gwynne the lobotomist and the paedophiles’ friends. I posed the same question about the arrival of Professor Mark Williams and David Healy in Bangor, but as a previous post explains I suspect that was because they knew that there was no research governance there and they’d be able to publish anything, claim miracles and not be questioned (see post ‘The Biggest Expert Of The Lot’). But they arrived a few years after Francis and they did arrive at a time when Professor Fergus Lowe had embarked on his own bit of empire building in the School of Psychology at Bangor University. Francis arrived when Dafydd still dominated the School of Psychology and was wangling places there for his own children even if they weren’t appropriately qualified, when Gwynne the lobotomist was still causing havoc in the Student Health Centre and before there was really any in-patient psychiatric care at all available in Bangor, it was all still based at te North Wales Hospital Denbigh. I can only think – indeed I’m fairly certain now that I know what Francis was actually doing without the patients’ knowledge – that he disgraced himself in some way in a previous job and that’s why he was cast out into the Evil Darkness that was the North Wales Hospital and the paedophiles. Top Doctors are never cast out for incompetence or poor clinical skills, they are cast out if their senior colleagues believe that they are such a liability that the shit is going to one day hit the fan on their patch, as I witnessed when I worked at St Georges Hospital Medical School. Francis must have been causing a great deal of concern to someone to have been despatched to Denbigh, even if north Wales was desperately in need of new blood and an alternative to Dafydd and Gwynne.

My post ‘One Dangerous Fucker’ named Prof Tim Crow as one of Francis’s previous academic colleagues, but I think that Francis worked with Crow in the 70s. Before arriving in north Wales, Francis worked in Manchester. I have discovered a number of abstracts of publications written before he went to north Wales. A number of those publications, dated 1980, 1981, 1982 and 1983 concern mood disorders and peuperal psychosis and are co-authored with an I.F. Brockington. That is one Professor Ian Brockington who is Emeritus Professor at the University of Birmingham. Brockington describes himself as a neurobiologist on his website – he is a psychiatrist whose research interest is neurobiology. His forte is women’s mental health and one of his most well-known books is ‘Eileithyia’s Mischief’, Eileithyia being the Greek goddess of childbirth and midwifery. In 1993 Brockington was the founder and first Chairman of the section on women’s mental health in the World Psychiatric Association. Between 1983-2001 Brockington was Chair of Psychiatry at the University of Birmingham and was responsible for training thousands of medical students as well as for training many psychiatrists at postgraduate level. Before that he was Senior Lecturer at Manchester between 1975-1982 and it was there that Francis worked with him.

Now one phenomenon that I have noticed in medicine is that although Top Doctors will ensure that a problem is removed from their own patch, not only do they not blow the whistle, but if the problem becomes caught up in a scandal later in their career – as Dafydd did constantly after ‘training’ at the Maudsley – they will deny that they ever spotted a potential problem, lest they are implicated. This is why those charmers at St Georges Hospital Medical School and Springfield Hospital felt able to conceal Dafydd’s criminal activities and misconduct when they were faced with it in 1991. Dafydd had worked with their mate Bob Hobson at the Maudsley and no-one was going to admit that Bob had trained an abusive nutter who then went out into the world and caused chaos. (Lord Robert Winston employed a serial sexual harasser at Hammersmith Hospital – Winston passed him on to St Georges who passed him on to Cardiff. He’s still there.) So if Tony Francis had disgraced himself whilst on Brockington’s team, it is highly likely that Brockington would never let anyone know what had happened even if Francis ended up in hot water subsequently.

So Francis was despatched to north Wales in about 1983. In 1987 I made a very serious complaint which involved Tony Francis, Dafydd Alun Jones and a number of other staff. My complaint included unlawful imprisonment, assault and attempts to bribe and threaten me into dropping my complaint. My post ‘Enter Professor Robert Bluglass CBE’ details how difficult it was to even get that complaint investigated and how there was a complete whitewash when it was investigated. Documents in my possession demonstrate what was going on behind the scenes at the time (detailed in previous posts), including phone calls and letters being exchanged between the Medical Ombudsman for the Welsh Office, Professor Robert Owen and one of Tony Francis’s mates, a GP in Bangor, DGE Wood, who was not part of my complaint in any way and who was no longer my GP. I had no knowledge of these communications at the time. The letters and phone calls were being sent and made to Owen at his home in Colwyn Bay. So all pretty irregular really.

One thing that happened at the hearing into my complaint led by Bluglass was that no part of my complaint involving Tony Francis was dealt with – although Francis was called as a witness. Huge aspects of my complaint about Dafydd weren’t dealt with either, but nothing at all relating to Tony Francis, the conduct of his SHO a Dr Perera, or the social worker who broke the law to do their bidding, Jackie Brandt, was mentioned in the final report. Perera and Brandt were not called as witnesses either. Previous posts have explained how Bluglass had co-authored with Dr Paul Bowden from the Maudsley – who will have known Dafydd’s mate Bob Hobson. I thought that was a salient connection. But at the time that I made that complaint about Tony Francis, the man with whom he had worked for a number of years, Ian Brockington, was the Chair of Psychiatry at Birmingham – Bluglass was the Chair of Forensic Psychiatry at Birmingham at the same time. No wonder Francis wasn’t investigated or even mentioned in Bluglass’s final report.

Brockington is a very big name indeed in women’s mental health. Tony Francis unlawfully detained and then repeatedly perjured himself in an attempt to imprison one woman who had complained about him. He encouraged other people to perjure themselves as well in an attempt to achieve this end. I know of another woman who at about the same time as me also made a complaint against Tony Francis and Jackie Brandt, again that she had been detained unlawfully. Some years later the same young women made another complaint against Tony Francis – she maintained that Tony Francis had exposed himself to her. There were no witnesses to the incident, the young woman was deemed to be psychotic and Francis was cleared. I have no idea at all whether he did do that, but I now have numerous documents demonstrating that Francis and his colleagues broke the law repeatedly, lied constantly and perjured themselves again and again.

Would Professor Brockington now like to tell us what it was that Francis did whilst he was on Brockington’s team that resulted in Francis being cast into the Evil Darkness? If Brockington is going to claim the same sort of sudden memory loss that Robert Bluglass experienced when I confronted him with his wrongdoing a few years ago, perhaps some of the others who worked with Francis and Brockington at the time could enlighten us. Francis’s co-authors on those papers with Brockington were: J.E. Helzer, V.F. Hillier, S. Wainwright, K.F. Cernik, E.M. Schofield, A.R. Downing and C. Keelan. Come on now, Francis did some very naughty things in north Wales – including concealing a paedophile gang, some of whose victims were found dead in suspicious circumstances. Cough.

But Ian Brockington may well have had connections with Dafydd as well as with Francis. Brockington too undertook his training in psychiatry at the Maudsley and is of a similar vintage to Dafydd. Like Dafydd, Brockington spent a few years doing a few other things before taking up psychiatry – Brockington was a cardiologist, whereas Dafydd just got himself thrown out of a chemistry degree – so what’s the betting that their paths crossed at the Maudsley? Even if Brockington did not know Dafydd personally, that stint at the Maudsley will have brought him into contact with many others who were keeping a lid on Dafydd’s crimes – Brockington also worked at the Institute of Psychiatry in 1969, so he’ll have had opportunities for further bonding there.

Brockington’s wife Diana is described as a ‘tribunal judge’. Now that could be employment tribunals – but just imagine if it were mental health tribunals…

Should anyone try to escape the Top Doctors of north Wales by emigrating, hard luck. Brockington, like the Count (see post ‘One Dangerous Fucker’), has contacts abroad as well. He was a visiting prof in Chicago. And he’s done a stint at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School, Hammersmith Hospital, an institution featured in previous posts.

Brockington’s previous at Manchester may explain something else as well. The protection afforded to the truly lethal Dr Tony Roberts, latterly of the Hergest Unit and one of Francis’s colleagues in north Wales, who managed such a high suicide rate among his patients that it showed up as a statistical outlier – the highest in Wales, the second highest in the whole of England and Wales. Roberts trained at Manchester at the time that Brockington was there – and of course Francis. Tony Roberts was so unpleasant, dangerous and dysfunctional that I don’t think anyone ever questioned why he’d landed a job at the North Wales Hospital, he was obviously virtually unemployable. Despite him being loathed by his colleagues and exterminating patients, the GMC felt it worth their while using a forged document to protect him (see post ‘The General Medical Council And Yet Another Forged Document’).

Tony Francis also had links to Cardiff Medical School. He studied there as an undergrad (he was a student there whilst Neil Kinnock was the NUS President there) and in the 70s he was working and publishing with the Dept of Psychological Medicine at Cardiff. This alone will have ensured that he knew what a bloody dreadful reputation the North Wales Hospital Denbigh had, he’ll have heard the stories. Francis published with the team from Cardiff in 1976, 1977 and 1978. Perhaps his colleagues from that time would like to spill the beans. His co-authors were: D.M. Shaw, G.V. Groom, D. Riad-Fahmy, P. Williams, J. Link, E.N. Cole, D. Hughes, S.F. Tidmarsh, A.L. Johnson, A.C. Michalakeas, G.J. Riley and R. Blazek.

In 1979 Francis was the single author of a paper concerning brain structure and schizophreniform psychosis. Which sounds like the sort of work that Time Crow might have been involved with.

My post ‘One Dangerous Fucker’ described the possible links that the founder of SANE, Marjorie Wallace, had with the associates of the Top Doctors in north Wales. Marjorie has inflicted her damage by using her media contacts to provide much misinformation regarding the activities of the Top Doctors. Marjorie has excellent media contacts because she has worked in journalism since the 60s. As well as her relationship with Count Andrew Skarbek who was also a Top Doctor, as I detailed yesterday Marjorie has had relationships with Lord Snowdon and Tom Marjerison. All at the same time. I wrote a bit about Tom yesterday, who was obviously a very big hitter indeed, being the founder of New Scientist and London Weekend Television, but Tom had worked with those at the very top of the tree. One of the co-founders of LWT was David Frost, who provided never ending entertainment for the likes of Peter Cook, but was of course famous for ingratiating himself to just about every British PM and US President of the last forty years. Frost indulged in idiocies such as presenting ‘Through The Keyhole’ which led to me being completely unable for years to believe all the stories about Frost being seriously influential in Gov’t circles, but those stories were true – he toadied to the very best. Frost died a very odd death a few years ago. He was on a cruise ship without his wife which was alleged to have been unusual for Frost, when he had a heart attack. Frost had a lot of bad luck there – the heart attack happened at a time when the ship was at a location where Frost could not be helped, although the sort of ships that Frost travelled on have their own medics on board. Then a few months later Frost’s son died an equally odd death – he was a young man, who collapsed whilst he was out jogging. Both Frost and his son were alleged to have suffered from the same hereditary heart problem, but the Frost family subsequently claimed that no Top Doctors had ever warned them that Frost’s son had the heart problem. Then it was revealed that whatever had caused Frost’s heart attack, it wasn’t his heart defect. These two deaths were so weird that one could almost imagine them happening to people who might have known about the Westminster Paedophile Ring that was being discussed so extensively at the time and who were suspected of being about to investigate or even go public…

Talking of the Westminster Paedophile Ring, I received a very helpful e mail yesterday from a journo providing me with names and details of suspects, victims and accessories. It’ll take me a few days to read it all, but I’ve already spotted a few names that I recognise. Like me, this journo believes that north Wales and Lambeth were the areas of the most intense activity where the providing of youngsters in care for the purposes of sexual exploitation was concerned.

Marjerison did business with another very high profile person when he established LWT as well – Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch was an investor in LWT, but Marjerison fell out with him in a big way, which is what caused Marjerison’s departure from LWT in 1971. Marjerison may have fallen out with Murdoch, but Marjorie was of course a journo on the ‘Sunday Times’ throughout the 80s, when she launched her ‘keep the prisons for the paedophiles’ victims open’ campaign – Murdoch bought the ‘Sunday Times’ and the ‘Times’ in 1981. Murdoch’s press famously did Thatcher’s administrations great favours. Matthew Parris, Thatcher’s former correspondence secretary who waxes lyrical about having sex with ‘willing boys’ in his autobiography (see post ‘A Pretty Classy Piece Of Operation’) also worked and still works for Murdoch on the ‘Times’. So I don’t think that any publication owned by Mr Murdoch was likely to run an expose of kids in care being sexually abused by public figures, some of whom were close to Thatcher. Indeed his publications might have welcomed journos and articles which distracted from or concealed what was going on.

There is however something much more fascinating about Tom Marjerison than even his work with Frost and Murdoch. That is the stories concerning his involvement with the security services. Although Marjerison spent most of his career in the media, he began life as a physicist and in the 60s was acknowledged as being an expert on Soviet technology. He was the BBC’s source of info for this and made a ‘Panorama’ programme about the Red Army’s ammunition production in Siberia. Merjerison’s obituaries relate anecdotes concerning the making of this programme that cannot be true. In the attempts to portray him as some sort of Super Hero, they explain how when he was in Siberia filming, he won the admiration of the Soviets by drinking even more than they did, swimming in a pool which was covered in thick ice, wore only a ‘light Marks & Spencers suit in -40c temperatures’, evaded his ‘Soviet minders’ and ‘the bugs in his room’. No matter how much of an expert on Soviet technology Marjerison was, he was still a human being and the reason why people in Siberia wrap up well – very well actually, more than any other place on earth, in layers of skins and fur – is that if they don’t do this, they die. History is full of examples of whole armies that died when they attempted to cross what used to be the Soviet Union because they encountered those temperatures in unsuitable clothes. Such as M&S suits. Furthermore, I very much doubt that Merjerison did evade his ‘Soviet minders’ – the Soviet Union in the 1960s was a very harsh place and the consequences of leaving your group would be very high indeed. And how did he know that he evaded the bugs in his room? If the bugs were any good he wouldn’t have found them anyway. So some tall stories were being told in an attempt to convince people that Tom smuggled state secrets out of the Soviet Union for ‘Panorama’. He didn’t. (By the way ‘Panorama’ wouldn’t even tackle the Top Doctors in north Wales let alone the KGB – I know because I offered them the story.)

The same obits lovingly recounted how the Soviets were so impressed by Tom’s Putin-like qualities that the KGB tried to recruit him as a spy by leaving him bottles of vodka in telephone boxes outside of West End theatres. If they really did that, the vodka would be picked up by a passing vagrant, it wouldn’t wait there for Tom to come out of the theatre. But so impressive was Tom that MI5 tried to recruit him as well! But Tom was having none of it – he met with MI5 at the Cumberland Hotel to discuss his future with MI5’s careers officer, but he saw so many other identical meetings going on in the same room at the same time that he turned MI5 down. These stories sound to me very much like the stories that are put about to muddy the waters – and some such stories are put about by people who did work for the security services. But there is other info about Tom available as well. That during the war, when he was still working as a physicist, he did ‘undercover work’ for the war effort, work that ‘continued for several years into peacetime’. So Tom did work for the security services then, which was probably how he got into the Soviet Union to make a documentary. Nothing to do with an M&S suit in the cold climate. Furthermore, Tom was Director of the Nuclear Electric information Group and a consultant for the British Nuclear Industry Forum. The Gov’t wouldn’t have given those jobs out to just anyone. Marjerison was sufficiently good friends with Yuri Gagarin to have accompanied him to a meal at Buck House when Gagarin was invited to meet HM the Queen. Tom’s obituaries also contain references to him being wheeled out to deal with ‘the unions’ at various times in his career.

The reason that I am interested in all this, is that it has now been admitted that Sir Peter Hayman, a diplomat who did work for the British security services, was a convicted paedophile, but was not prosecuted for a number of other offences when he should have been. There are allegations that members of the security services were involved in the Kincora Boys Home scandal and that the security services were involved in concealing the extent of child abuse in north Wales. Tom Marjerison ‘helped’ Marjorie Wallace in her work with SANE. Although Tom and Marjorie didn’t start living together until the mid 80s, they both worked together on the ‘Sunday Times’ for a long while before that and as with Marjorie and Lord Snowdon, they were ‘close’.

Another friend of Marjorie’s that I mentioned in ‘One Dangerous Fucker’ was Mary Kenny, a rather eccentric journalist who has written for Tory supporting publications like the Torygraph and the ‘Spectator’. Mary Kenny is famously idiosyncratic, she was a leading light in the Irish feminist movement in the early 70s but is still very faithful to the Catholic Church in Ireland. I haven’t been able to find any info that suggests that Kenny might be closely associated with anyone complicit with organised child sexual abuse – but the Catholic Church itself isn’t too clean on that whole issue. (I am reading the book that Conrad Black, the former owner of the Torygraph wrote after he was released from prison, which is a mine of info. I’ll be using the info in future posts.)

‘One Dangerous Fucker’ detailed the way in which a close friend of mine was sacked from her job at the Royal Television Society – a friend whose parents had been supporting me in my battles with the north Wales Top Doctors/paedophiles’ friends and who was interested in making a documentary about it. The President of the RTS at the time was Sir Paul Fox. Fox began his career at the BBC in the 1950s and was controller of BBC 1 for six years from 1967. He spanned the height of Jimmy Savile’s abuse at the BBC then. Paul Fox was then head of programmes at Yorkshire TV and was the Managing Director of Yorkshire TV between 1977-88. Fox was Chairman of ITN between 1986-1988 and Managing Director of BBC Network TV between 1988-1991.

In July 1989 people working for Yorkshire TV approached the social worker who blew the whistle on the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal, Alison Taylor, regarding child abuse in north Wales. In September 1989 Alison Taylor and a man who had been in care in north Wales who alleged abuse were filmed extensively for Yorkshire TV. In Feb 1990, Yorkshire TV abandoned the film about child abuse in north Wales for a documentary about another, far smaller, child abuse case. My friend was working at the Royal Television Society at this time. She was dismissed in early 1991, at the same time that I was hounded out of my job at St Georges Hospital Medical School. My friend was subsequently awarded compensation for unfair dismissal. Paul Fox was knighted in 1991.

Top Doctors don’t have to be married to Marjorie Wallace to have media connections. One thing that Top Doctors really enjoy is rubbing noses with Royalty or appearing in the media. I would advise the Royals to be cautious where the Top Doctors are concerned though. The Top Doctors are certainly shameless toadies when they are in the presence of a Royal personage and if a Royal appears at a Top Doctors meeting or conference, no matter how inane the Royal address to the Top Doctors is, the Top Doctors will nod enthusiastically throughout the speech and then clap very vigorously at the end, with that weird expression on their faces that they use specifically for such occasions, a sort of over-determined expression. And of course the Top Doctors are delighted to have a Royal open a new wing of a hospital, it makes their day, it is only bettered when a Royal appears at a Top Doctors Charity Ball. However in the 1990s the gynaecological case history of a member of the Royal Family was being passed around the London hospitals, for the entertainment of everyone. It’s the Top Doctors you know – they’re really not all that they pretend to be.

Top Doctors enjoy hobnobbing with other celebs as well as Royals and one Top Doctor who had connections to those we know and love who became very well known for a celeb connection was the psychiatrist Robin Skynner. Skynner famously co-authored with John Cleese in 1989 and 1993. John Cleese with the BBC career that is. Cleese had been one of Skynner’s clients since 1975 and the books that they wrote together introduced family therapy to a lay audience.

In terms of being in a position to conceal the wrongdoing of Dafydd et al or indeed organised child abuse, Robin Skynner had a CV as good as that of the Count. Skinner qualified as a doctor from UCL in 1952 and trained as a child psychiatrist. He passed his Diploma in Psychological Medicine in 1957 and worked with S.H. Foulkes (originally known as S.H. Fuchs), a psychoanalyst. Foulkes was a pioneer and one of the founders of group analysis in Britain and his official history states that he attracted others who were keen to change the way that mental health patients were dealt with. Now there was a lot of this sort of thing alleged in the 60s, that the new generation of psychiatrists wanted change and I’m sure that many of them did. But change did not happen – psychiatry remained an incredibly abusive, oppressive speciality that was used to silence people who should have been listened to. What did happen though was some very abusive people like Dafydd Alun Jones and Tony Francis learnt the language of therapy and used that to inflict very great damage on people and conceal some real horrors. Skynner was attracted by the early stages of the ‘therapeutic community’ movement – just like Dafydd! In fact Dafydd told Dr Robin Jacobson of St Georges Hospital Medical School/Springfield Hospital in 1991 that he had treated me in a therapeutic community, rather than explaining that I’d been unlawfully arrested after having been threatened by him, illegally imprisoned and then assaulted by the staff. Documents in my possession demonstrate that Jacobson knew that Dafydd was lying and also knew that Dafydd was having sex with patients but no-one challenged Dafydd about any of it. in 1959 Skynner and disciples of Foulkes formed Group Analytic Practice and what followed was the emergence of the Institute of Group Analysis for training in group therapy. In 1977 Skynner formed the Institute for Family Therapy and Chaired this until 1979.

Skynner was the authority on family therapy, so intellectually and academically he was phenomenally influential. But he had the other usual powers of the Top Doctor as well, in terms of his professional network. He was invited to become a member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists on it’s formation in 1971. He was then elected a Fellow of the Royal College in 1976. He trained as a child psychiatrist at the Maudsley – where else? Along with the Count and Dafydd and Bob Hobson and the rest of them and at a very similar time. It was at the Maudsley that Skynner met Foulkes. Skynner was the Director of the Woodberry Down Child Guidance Unit and between 1965-1970 was Physician In Charge of the Dept of Psychiatry at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for Children. In 1970 Skynner gave up child guidance work. From 1971 he held a Senior Tutor post at the Institute of Psychiatry and a post as Honorary Associate Consultant at the Maudsley. So we’ve arrived back at those two establishments again…

Skynner retired from the NHS and from university teaching in 1982, but like the rest of them continued with his private practice. Well it doesn’t just keep the dosh rolling in, it means that one’s still in a position of influence should anyone start publicising anything that a lot of important people would rather they didn’t. S.H. Foulkes, the daddy of them all, worked at Barts Hospital until he retired in 1963, but continued in private practice after that.

Skynner didn’t work alone, he worked with his wife Prudence. Together they became leaders in family therapy and pioneered the development of therapy groups for couples that included groups for bishops of the Church of England and their wives no less. If I had come across this info a few years ago I’d have been a bit non-plussed and wondered why bishops of the C of E and their wives might be particularly in need of family therapy. But in recent months even Radio 4’s ‘Sunday’ programme has simply become one long roll call of bishops who either spent their lives molesting children or concealing other people in the Church who molested children. Skynner and Prudence obviously identified a market long before anyone else knew about this syndrome.

Prudence died in 1987. She was so highly regarded in the field that one London medical school named it’s family therapy unit in honour of her when it opened in 1990. Yes, it was St Georges Hospital Medical School/Springfield Hospital, who one year later were ignoring evidence of Dafydd’s and Tony Francis’s criminal activities and were consulting Lucille Hughes – Dafydd’s mistress and Director of Gwynedd Social Services, who was later named in the Waterhouse Report as colluding with a paedophile gang – for evidence regarding my ‘dangerousness’.

After Prudence died, Skynner entered into a long term relationship with Welsh landscape artist Josh Partridge and they spent much time together at Skynner’s cottage in Wales…

As so many of those we know and love are, Skynner was ‘spiritual’. He had a long association with the Gurdjieff Society. I’ve been on their website and it’s pretty much what I expected – I also note that it involves something called ‘The Fourth Way’. As opposed to Blair and Giddens’s Third Way.

Like many spiritual people whom I have known who have made careers in therapy and analysis – which has tended to include discrediting or even lying about anyone who uncovers the sordid underbelly of the world of the Top Doctors – Skynner seems to have actually been quite a dysfunctional man. He had an incredibly ‘difficult’ childhood and in later life used to quip that his mother called him a lunatic but that he managed to enter psychiatric hospitals by the staff entrance. Skynner was always happy to maintain that he ‘needed treatment’. On a more sober note there were observations that as a bomber pilot during the war Skynner had some very bad experiences which profoundly affected him. There is mention of therapy sessions that were ‘chaotic’, with people screaming at each other and crying. If one is a half-competent Top Doctor it is de rigueur to admit that one has one’s own problems – it’s like having patients’ art work on one’s walls, it shows that you’re not like Gwynne the lobotomist.

Robin Skynner may well have been very genuine in his expressions about all this, but Top Doctors can find admissions of psychological problems or mental illness very useful. It gets them out of trouble. Dafydd was a pioneer in this field, he told absolutely everyone back in the 80s that he suffered from a ‘nervous illness’, for which he received treatment ‘from a doctor in England’. One of my postgrad friends at the time observed that the beauty of this would be that if ever Dafydd was done for misconduct he’d just say ‘oh it’s my nervous illness’ and that friend was spot-on. Likewise Tony Francis had a mood disorder. Now Tony Francis was indeed a very troubled man, but in the months before he killed himself he spent a very long time in hospital in Manchester. (I note that he certainly didn’t use the services provided by his colleagues in north Wales.) When I told my friend Brown about this, he observed that one advantage of being in hospital would be that Francis wouldn’t have to answer any questions. I thought that Brown was being overly cynical at the time, but some time later I had a very interesting conversation with someone who was a neighbour of Francis and knew his wife. This person didn’t know that I had known Francis years before and she didn’t know that I’d ever been a patient of his. But she mentioned that he was suffering so much because of a ‘dreadful woman’ who had complained about him. After a few more sentences it became clear that the person whom she was talking about was me. I didn’t like to mention that I hadn’t even seen Francis for at least four years and that the complaint had been made some twenty years ago and had never been investigated anyway. And I certainly didn’t tell her that Francis and his colleagues had perjured themselves repeatedly and concealed a paedophile gang, because I didn’t have the documents then that I now have. So if a Top Doctor has a mental illness the narrative plays out somewhat differently to when the rest of the world does.

Robyn Skynner on one occasion did something that would be frowned upon by most therapists. He introduced one of his clients – John Cleese – to another therapist, whom Cleese subsequently had a relationship with and then married. That was the American lady whom Cleese divorced a few years ago among much acrimony, publicity and which left him feeling so bitter that he used the divorce as the basis for a comedy tour.

One comment in one of Skynner’s obituaries that is particularly significant was that he ‘worked with adults and children of an unusually wide range of socio-economic status, from the poorest districts of the East End to private practice’. This could apply to anyone working at the Maudsley. The Maudsley’s immediate catchment area is Lambeth. The Lambeth that, along with north Wales, had the biggest problem in the UK with children in care being abused and trafficked by paedophiles. Lambeth Council also sent many children on placement to children’s homes in north Wales. So theoretically, the Count or Dafydd or Bob Hobson or indeed Robin Skynner, could be treating both the trafficked kids and the paedophiles who abused them. If those paedophiles were celebs, people with connections to Westminster or members of the security services, the consequences are obvious.

There is of course a former Top Doctor from the Maudsley who is probably the most well-known media psychiatrist – Anthony Clare. (Raj Parsaud followed hot on his heels but unfortunately Raj was exposed as an outrageous and shameless plagiarist, which he had been for many years but no-one had dared mention it.) Clare is no longer with us, he died in 2007. He qualified as a doctor at University College Dublin in 1966 and after doing his initial training in psychiatry at St Patrick’s Hospital Dublin, he ended up at the Maudsley for five years as a registrar and then senior registrar. In 1976 he became a researcher in general practice at the Institute of Psychiatry, spending six years there. It was during this time that he began broadcasting on Radio 4 and in 1982 he began doing the programme for which he became famous, ‘In The Psychiatrist’s Chair’. He was applauded for getting to the soul of his interviewees and poor old Bob Monkhouse ended up in tears. Clare did of course interview Jimmy Savile – and he didn’t mention You Know What. Savile didn’t end up in tears. It would be unfair to let Clare off the hook by saying that no-one asked Savile the Big Question – which is what everybody claimed after his death – because actually there was one journalist who did ask Savile if he was a paedophile and that was Lyn Barber. I read the interview, it was in I think ‘The Observer’ and it passed pretty much without wider media comment – but Lyn Barber had said to Savile during the interview ‘they say that you like little girls’. And Savile had come out with the usual load of Savilesque meaningless tripe, but Lyn Barber did ask him. In 1983 Clare became Prof and Head of Dept of Psychological Medicine at Barts. In 1989 he returned to Dublin. Many years ago in ‘Private Eye’ an article appeared concerning a scandal that had happened in a hospital over which Clare had responsibility. A woman had been sectioned and detained for three days – because she had started divorce proceedings against her husband. It wasn’t the Maudsley, it was a hospital in Dublin to which Clare had returned to work after 1989. There was a fuss, the woman sued and there was media comment about how embarrassing this was for Anthony Clare. I’d be interested to know how that lady ever managed to make herself heard let alone begin legal proceedings – just look at what was going on in north Wales and indeed St Georges Hospital Medical School/Springfield Hospital at the very same time. So presumably whichever hospital in Dublin it was, it wasn’t involved in concealing a vicious paedophile ring – because if it was it would have been guaranteed complete protection from publicity or legal action.

After Clare died, one of his obituaries mentioned that during the 1990s Clare ‘completely’ ‘turned his back on the media’, refused to do any media work at all and wouldn’t even review a book. Anthony Clare was the ultimate media tart for years and the media loved him. So what happened?

Clare is fondly remembered by other Top Doctors. Prof Peter White, now Emeritus Prof of Psychological Medicine at Queen Mary University London and before that of the Maudsley and Barts, remembered how Anthony Clare had flown from London to Sydney to give a keynote speech just three hours after landing and how during the flight the airline had lost Clare’s slides and notes and that he was also jet-lagged. But Clare had the audience ‘spellbound by a speech in which he used his Irish charm, humour and passion to remind us that so long as we truly listened and put the patient first, all would be well in psychiatry’.

I think that something’s gone wrong somewhere despite Clare having snogged the face off the Blarney Stone.

 

 

In recent posts I have mentioned how, like Marjorie Wallace, another ‘mental health campaigner’ in the media ignored correspondence from me regarding the misconduct of the Top Doctors in north Wales back in the 80s – Esther. So my ears pricked up when I heard the allegations that someone had written to Esther about Jimmy Savile when dear old Esther launched Childline, but had been ignored. I had heard allegations that Childline was failing to help children who had contacted them who had been abused whilst ‘in care’.

I have now been sent some information about Esther which is in the public domain but hasn’t received much coverage – it explains a lot. Esther founded Childline in 1986 with her cousin, the wife of Nick Ross, the former presenter of BBC’s ‘Crimewatch’ programme. My correspondent has also told me that Nick Ross’s colleague Jill Dando – who was shot dead by an unknown assassin – was at the time of her murder working on an investigation concerning allegations that people with connections to the BBC were involved in a paedophile ring. Barry George, a man with mental health problems and learning difficulties, was convicted of Jill’s murder but was released from prison when it was demonstrated that a lot of lies had been told and that he’d been fitted up.

The first Chief Exec of Childline that Esther appointed was a controversial and rather rash choice. It was Valerie Howarth, who is now Baroness Valerie Howarth, a cross bencher in the Lords. The appointment was controversial because Howarth was Director of Brent Social Services at the time of the death of Jasmine Beckford, a four year old girl who died as a result of the complete negligence and fuckwittery of Brent Social Services. Jasmine died in 1984 and Howarth was Director between 1982-1986. Furthermore, when Howarth later applied for the job of Director of Cambridgeshire Social Services, she failed to mention that the death of Jasmine had taken place on her watch (although I would have thought that they could have worked that one out). Esther however assured everyone that she knew that Valerie was sound. How did she know this? Because Valerie had trained Esther’s sister Priscilla Taylor, who was a social worker! They were both social workers for Lambeth. Howarth worked for Lambeth between 1963-1982 – she wasn’t just there for a few weeks. No wonder children abused in care found that Childline were not interested. Priscilla told Esther that Valerie was ‘a skilled and experienced social worker’. Who somehow didn’t notice that the kids homes were rife with child molesters. Valerie and Priscilla must have really excelled because Lambeth have now paid out millions in compensation to former residents, many more claims are due to be settled and the Shirley Oaks Survivors Association, a group of people were abused in Lambeth children’s homes in the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s, have set up an excellent website with the names, details and mugshots of the paedophiles responsible and have published their own report into the matter.

In 2013 Esther wrote an article defending herself, Valerie Howarth and Sharon Shoesmith – who famously presided over Haringey Council at the time of the Baby P scandal. The death of Baby P, Peter Connelly, also involved gobsmacking negligence on the part of a Top Doctor at Great Ormond Street Hospital. She failed to notice that Peter had a broken back. I know somebody who told me that the Top Doctor in question didn’t actually examine Peter. It was admitted that at the time the ‘world leading’ GOSH was in chaos. Esther’s article was a mixture of fury directed at everyone who had levelled criticism at Shoesmith and Howarth, invective at the inadequate – or in Esther’s eyes bad/wicked/evil/manipulative ad infinitum – parents of the children involved and extreme defensiveness. As the defenders of senior social workers who screw up badly often do, Esther made much of the evil genius of such parents who pull the wool over the eyes of skilled and experienced social workers while they torture and murder their children. Such parents are of course not cunning geniuses, in all of the high profile cases of this nature social services had been told again and again by scores of concerned people that there were serious worries about the welfare of the child who later died. The parents were obviously hopelessly inadequate, chaotic and sometimes very brutal but the one thing that they were not was clever or competent. The parents were on low incomes, usually benefits – Shoesmith, Howarth and others at their level are paid hundreds of thousands a year to do an admittedly very difficult job, but part of the reason for the high salary is that they are expected to take responsibility. If they can’t do that and instead just blame the innate wickedness of the ‘service users’ in the face of serious failure, we might as well sack the whole lot of them and save on their salary bill.

Esther also stressed that the talented and wonderful Valerie and Sharon had ended up ‘unemployed’. They don’t stay unemployed for very long Esther, they used their contacts and their numerous excuses to get themselves further highly paid positions. Indeed Valerie landed a job as Chief Exec of Childline because she knew Esther’s sister. Esther uses the example of Valerie being in the Lords as an demonstration of Valerie’s enormous ability. Valerie is of course in the Lords because Esther gave her a job. Valerie’s on the up and up though, despite Lambeth and despite Jasmine. Valerie is on the Board of the Food Standards Agency, she’s a Trustee of ‘a number of children’s charities’, Patron of the Youth Advocacy Scheme, Vice-Chair of the National Care Standards Commission and Secretary to the All Parliamentary Children’s Group. She is a Board member of CAFCASS and in 2008 was Chair of CAFCASS. That is the scandal ridden disasterous CAFCASS which in 2008 was in such chaos that it’s staff were having nervous breakdowns as a result of their working conditions and were leaving posts a matter of months after being appointed, the CAFCASS which subsequently found that no-one wanted to work for them at all.

Esther mentioned in the article that her daughter Miriam was training to be a social worker – and that her daughter was clever, compassionate and dedicated. She won’t be working for Lambeth, Brent or CAFCASS then.

 

I have previously mentioned to Brown that in the light of how many people I know who have ascended the ladder by gaining knowledge of the wrongdoing of others and silently blackmailing everyone else about it, if I operated on the same principle I’d be President of the World by now. I think it also helps if one conceals organised child sexual abuse in high places, that seems to be the key.

I will soon be naming some more accessories.

 

 

One Dangerous Fucker

Someone suggested to me recently that I should pay a bit of attention to a man called John Mills. John Mills has been mentioned on this blog before – he was the husband of Dame Barbara Mills, the DPP who just could not find it within her to prosecute members of the paedophile gang in north Wales despite mountains of evidence being handed over to the CPS and recommendations that there was sufficient evidence to prosecute scores of people. Mills is also the brother of David Mills – the man involved in that messy business regarding bribes from Berlusconi – who is of course the husband of Tessa Jowell. He was no longer the husband of Tessa for a short time during all the bad publicity re Silvio and the trial for corruption, but he became the husband of Tessa once again after the media had moved on to another scandal. That’s the Tessa who has worked for so many organisations at the heart of the abuse of children and the continued abuse of them when they entered the mental health system (please see previous posts). I mentioned in a previous post that John Mills had been a Camden Councillor whilst children in the care of that Council – some of whom were being ‘placed’ in children’s homes in north Wales – were abused by organised paedophile gangs. But I didn’t realise how deeply within that Council Mills was embedded. He was a Councillor between 1971-2006 and for much of that time Mills was responsible for the Council’s budget. He revels in the accolade that Camden Council received in 2003 – that of ‘Council of the Year’. This of course would have had nothing at all to do with the fact that in 2003 New Labour was well and truly ruling the roost and many past and present Councillors from, and residents of, Camden were key figures in New Labour – such as Tessa Jowell.

Now here’s a mystery – in the early years of the millennium, UK suicide statistics showed that Camden had the highest rate of suicides among women in England and Wales. The runner up was Conwy in north Wales. There was a fuss about this because Conwy is a lovely rural area and no-one could understand why so many women were committing suicide there. Of course everyone involved with the mental health services knew why – it was because the consultant for that patch was the lethal Dr Tony Roberts who constantly failed to identify patients with severe depression, told them that they all had personality disorders and refused to treat them So they topped themselves in very great numbers. No-one stopped Roberts though and when I complained about his conduct to the GMC at that very time, the GMC even went to the lengths of referring to a forged document that had somehow found it’s way into their possession purporting to be a letter from me as part of their ‘investigation’ into Roberts. No action was taken again him. Roberts had a partner in crime during that period of time, a truly dreadful GP from Penygroes who was the GP on call one night when I rang for help because I was suicidal. The GP, John Morris Jones, told me that the very good GP on call – whom I had spoken with earlier and who had asked me to ring back – was ‘unavailable’. He then hung up on me. At the time I just thought that I was speaking to yet another truly appalling Top Doctor but I now have obtained documentation relating to that night. The good GP who had tried to help earlier was still in the building but John Morris Jones had not told her that I was on the phone and he did not tell me that she was still there. Instead John Morris Jones took advice from the disgusting Tony Roberts – who sent out the order to ‘DO NOTHING’ (yes, the message was conveyed in capitals), in response to the earlier GP telling Roberts that I was ‘suicidal ++++’. That is why Conwy had such a high suicide rate. The Daily Post online today has a feature bemoaning the fact that John Morris Jones is retiring and now there will be no Welsh speaking GP left in the village. Local Plaid politicians and councillors Hywel Williams, Sian Gwenllian and Judith Humphreys have been photographed with sad expressions on their faces protesting over the loss of dear old John Morris Jones. They need to find a worthier cause – speakers of any language will be far safer now that Jones has shut up shop. It wasn’t just me that had unfortunate encounters with him – I heard from a number of Penygroes residents that he was a complete bastard. I suspect that like Tony Roberts, John Morris Jones was such a bad doctor that no doctor at all is actually a safer option.

But what about Camden, the Council of the Year where Tessa and John had reigned supreme? I know very little about the socio-geography of Camden but I’m wondering whether it is one of those London boroughs where rich and poor live separate lives but physically almost next door to each other. Could it possibly have been that by the time that Tessa had become a Minister – she was Minister for Young People at one point! – those kids who had been so badly abused whilst in council care had grown up into adults with mental health problems and as in north Wales were either being refused care or given care that was frankly abusive and were therefore killing themselves in great numbers? Conwy’s a great place to live if you’ve got a bit of money and don’t have to rely on Tony Roberts for mental health care and I bet Camden’s great if you’re a New Labour Minister. But not so great if you’re one of the more disadvantaged citizens who had been ‘helped’ by the services that Tessa, John et al oversaw.

John Mills’s involvement with the Labour Party didn’t stop at being a Camden Councillor. No, John is a very big fish indeed. John Mills is very rich – ‘a millionaire businessman and political donor’ – and it is on record that Mandelson did like filthy rich people. (Mills has a website which is dedicated entirely to blowing his own trumpet and that website is full of references to ‘Peter’.) John has made his fortune from his business JML, described by John as ‘an import-export and distribution company’. Which certainly covers a multitude of possibilities. He is Labour’s biggest individual donor and in 2013 gave Labour £1.65 million of shares. There were allegations that this was a tax scam but John reassured everyone that of course it wasn’t, just as he reassures people that giving millions to the Labour Party doesn’t buy one any influence at all. Not sure anyone believes you there John, it’s why the membership voted for Corbyn – they were sick to the back teeth of ‘Peter’ and his mates. John’s business career hasn’t always gone smoothly though. A former business of his, Fairlane UK, went bust, so shortly after Mills set up JML which he claims was founded in the basement of his house in Camden in 1986. Whilst those kids were being raped and trafficked by paedophiles and the idiots running the Council ignored all the alarm bells ringing in north Wales as Alison Taylor blew the whistle repeatedly but was simply sacked. Mills was once charged by Trading Standards for flogging ‘gold plated jewellery’ that was actually brass – Mills pleaded guilty and had to stump up £750.

Mills stood as a Labour candidate twice in 1974 and for the European Parliament in 1979. Mills seems to be the Nigel Farage of the Labour party in that although he desired election to the European Parliament he describes himself as a Eurosceptic. In fact it was Mills who bankrolled the Labour Party’s ‘Leave’ campaign.

Mills constantly refers to himself as an ‘economist’ on his website – you’re not Nobel material John no matter how much money you’ve managed to accumulate – and mentions that he was Deputy Chairman of London Docklands Development Corporation 1985-1987. And what a barrel of shit that was. John also tells us that for nine years he was Chair (or opposition leader) on Housing with the Association of Metropolitan Authorities and the London Boroughs Association. Might anyone be taking an interest in the disastrous housing policies and decisions that John et al made in the wake of Grenfell Tower?

This blog has ended up touching on many areas of malpractice and sleaze, but it was set up to focus on mental health. John has an interest here, through his charitable work. John is a supporter and funder of none other than SANE – the mental health charity that has inflicted more damage on people with mental health problems than even MIND has. I’ve blogged about SANE and it’s crazed founder Marjorie Wallace previously and I do hope that new visitors to the blog will take the time to read that post ‘Another Confession From NHS England’, but I have some new revelations now.

Marjorie set up SANE in 1986. She was controversial from the start because under the guise of responding to the crisis in community care, Marjorie lobbied vigorously to prevent the closing down of psychiatric hospitals. Now Marjorie was correct in saying that there were insufficient facilities to care for patients in the community, there were, it was a joke to believe that vulnerable people unable to look after themselves would thrive when they were dumped in poor quality accommodation miles away from their contacts with no infrastructure to support them. But Marjorie did not put effort into campaigning for better community facilities. No, Marjorie was very keen indeed on the idea that people should remain sectioned and indeed locked up in institutions. Now Marjorie knew what was going on in psychiatric hospitals in the 80s because the more radical mental health activists like ‘Survivors Speak Out’ had been articulating the abuses to which they had been subjected and were confronting Marjorie on TV and in other situations. I too wrote to Marjorie about what was happening in north Wales – I did not receive a reply. All I knew in those days was that Marjorie was a ‘Sunday Times’ journalist who was also known as Countess Skarbek. I presumed that she was naïve and did not know what was happening in UK psychiatry. She bloody well knew alright and I suspect that is why Marjorie set up a charity in an attempt to prevent the closure of psychiatric hospitals. The prisons to silence dissenters – particularly people who had been sexually molested as children by some powerful people in public life – were in danger of closing. Including the North Wales Hospital Denbigh – where the dissenters were ‘admitted’ and sometimes disappeared without trace…Do you know, Marjorie started her campaign not to close the asylums at the VERY TIME that it was admitted that Denbigh in particular was just so bad that it would have to close…

I have been aware for years that Marjorie is entirely establishment – the Top Doctors love her, she has collected endless honorary fellowships, awards and gongs after being nominated by them – but since researching for this blog I’ve noticed a much more sinister side to Marjorie’s connections. Her book on June and Jennifer Gibbons, two teenaged twins from Pembrokeshire who were elective mutes, gained Marjorie much publicity and Marjorie’s public utterances were designed to give the impression that she was sympathetic to the twins plight – they had ended up in Broadmoor allegedly for refusing to talk and their involvement in petty crime. Yet Marjorie just did not ask some very obvious questions. The decision to send those twins to Broadmoor was inexplicable. Before being banged up in there, those girls had been involved with the children’s health and welfare services in south Wales. The dynamics in those services and the behaviour of some of the staff involved with the twins was obviously dysfunctional. Of course we now know that there was a paedophile ring operating in that part of Wales as well, so that will have caused chaos in the region. Marjorie visited the twins many times in Broadmoor in order to write her book. Yet she never uttered a word about the violence and sexual abuse that Broadmoor patients – particularly women – were subjected to, although it was very well-known at the time among mental health campaigners. Instead Marjorie aligned herself with the institution and it’s Top Doctors, although she noticed that the ‘side effects’ of the ‘medication’ which those girls were being forcibly injected with was damaging their health. One of the twins, Jennifer, died as a result of her ‘medication’ days before she was due to be released. Not a word was spoken in concern by anyone. HELLO – MIND, SANE, they’ve just KILLED one of the girls who should never have been sent there before she got out and had the chance to tell anyone what the hell was going on in that place…

After the expose of Jimmy Savile, Marjorie was one of the many people associated with Broadmoor who popped up in the media with her pearls of wisdom. She said exactly what the Broadmoor staff said after Savile’s abuse was made public – that she knew that Savile’s appointment was inappropriate, that he was so odd that it was seriously worrying and gosh she thought to herself ‘the lunatics had taken over the asylum’. The lunatics were already running the asylum, the authorities at Broadmoor were incarcerating distressed people who had been brutalised and in some cases sexually abused whilst in the child care and mental health systems and evidence of the ‘dangerousness’ of these people was being fabricated by the Top Doctors named on this blog. Marjorie did not say anything about Savile or any other of the many worrying matters about Broadmoor at the time.

I think that Marjorie knew a lot about Savile by the time that he was appointed to the Broadmoor task force – by which time he’d been a ‘volunteer’ at Broadmoor for donkeys years anyway – and I think that she knew that he was more than an idiot in a turquoise shell suit with a distasteful amount of bling. Because Marjorie had excellent media connections. She was a journalist, had been for years and the media world knew about Savile. Marjorie was a journalist for the ‘Sunday Times’ between 1972-89. Prior to that, in the 60s Marjorie had worked on the ‘Frost Programme’ and on BBC’s ‘Nationwide’. The BBC that employed Jimmy Savile. Post-Savile there have been a lot of memories from older people regarding the shagfest that was the BBC in the 60s and 70s. Even Grand Dames like Joan Bakewell freely admit that young female journos and researchers had plenty of opportunities to sleep with men who could advance their careers and social prospects and Bakewell is honest enough to admit that she had a great time. Others such as Esther – who knew nothing about Jimmy Savile of course – have reframed themselves as fighters against such sexism and Strong Women who broke the glass ceiling. Esther was someone who found her career considerably enhanced after she married her boss, Desmond Wilcox. I have dug up a touching little anecdote about Marjorie being offered the job at ‘Nationwide’ – that famously employed Frank Bough of cocaine and prostitutes fame – after a BBC producer complimented her on the ‘shapeliness of her legs’. Because of course in the 60s and 70s if a gentleman wanted to have sex with a lady he would beat around the bush with comments about her legs. I think that Marjorie would have got the message.

But Marjorie seemed quite good at receiving and sending out such messages. Even the most toadying of articles about Marjorie make reference to her rather complex domestic and/or ‘romantic’ arrangements. Marjorie enjoys being known as Countess Skarbek. No Marjory is not descended from a noble old British family, she married a Polish aristocrat, Andrzej Skarbek (who was actually known as Andrew Skarbek). Marjorie uses every opportunity possible to wax lyrical about her husband’s ancestors – there is a connection to Chopin which really impresses Marjorie – and throughout their married life and indeed even now after his death Marjorie refers to him as ‘the Count’. If Marjorie is to be believed it was only when she discovered that the Count was a Count that she was alerted to the possibilities – when she met him, she thought that he was merely an ‘émigré doctor’ working at UCL involved in clinical trials for anti-psychotics. But then she found out that he was a Count and my God her attitude changed. She embarked upon a romance with the Count – who at the time was married to someone else, a Countess, with a few kids. However being the mistress of a Count was so brilliant that Marjorie continued with this arrangement. In 1972 when she gave birth to her first child by the Count, she was sharing a flat with Mary Kenny, another journalist who evolved into one of those rather mad right wing women who scribbled for organs like the Telegraph. The Count did finally get around to divorcing the Countess and married Marjorie in 1974, so she then became a Countess! She has never been able to forget it – the dear old Count eventually abandoned her and went to Canada leaving her with three children, but Marjorie still reminded everyone that she was a Countess married to the Count. She kept on reminding everyone lest she forgot that she was a Countess, or at least that’s what she claimed in interviews. After the Count left the UK, Marjorie then acquired a new partner, Tom Marjerison, who died in 2014. Tom founded ‘New Scientist’ – but he also founded something else very much grander, namely London Weekend Television.

Of course Marjorie knew about Jimmy Savile.

The Count returned to the UK after a few years and by the time that she was in her 60s Marjorie was paying regular visits to the Count – who lived just down the road from her in Hampstead – and was looking after Tom Marjerison with whom she was living, who had developed Parkinson’s. But Marjorie had a bit on the side as well – she was Lord Snowdon’s mistress! Marjorie’s shagging CV dates her romance with Lord Snowdon from 2003, but she intriguingly described herself as having ‘been close to him for thirty years’, since they worked together on the ‘Sunday Times’ (Snowdon was her photographer). If I know anything about euphemisms used by elderly luvvies/media folk, ‘being close to’ means pretty much the same thing as landing a job on account of one’s ‘shapely legs’. Lord Snowdon was of course bisexual, famously promiscuous and was alleged to have enjoyed recreational chemicals. This was admitted years ago after he split up from Princess Margaret, but after his death people became a lot more frank about his excesses.

My post ‘A Pretty Classy Piece Of Operation’ described how appointments to the Broadmoor task force, which was led by Savile, were arranged at a rather irregular meeting at the Athanaeum club in Pall Mall involving two senior civil servants, Jimmy Savile and Savile’s mate Alan Franey, who was appointed Chief Exec of Broadmoor. Savile was a member of the Athanaeum as are a lot of Top Doctors and academics and this was not the only meeting that was held there to discuss the senior management arrangements of Broadmoor. Edwina Currie attended at least one such meeting, Edwina being the Minister who actually appointed Savile to lead the Broadmoor task force after he told her how he would blackmail the violent, sexually abusive nurses of Broadmoor into ceasing their embezzlement of NHS funds. He didn’t mention stopping them from abusing the patients – which of course he was doing himself. At the very time that Marjorie was making regular visits to Broadmoor and chatting to the staff there about June and Jennifer Gibbons (read Marjorie’s book about them – there’s a few worrying breaches of confidentiality in there), Savile was sexually abusing the female patients. Savile’s targets were usually young. Those twins were I think the youngest patients in Broadmoor at that time. Don’t tell me that he resisted that temptation. Marjorie herself is no stranger to the Athanaeum. When she was awarded her CBE in 2008 she celebrated by hosting a lunch at the Athanaeum with Lord Snowdon! Savile was still alive and kicking then – come on Marjorie, who attended that lunch to celebrate your ill-gotten gains?

Now I had always presumed that Marjorie’s success as a mental health campaigner leading an organisation that is loathed by many people with mental health problems themselves and speaks for everyone but the patients was a result of her ingratiating herself to Top Doctors and never mentioning a word about their abuses – the MIND model of success. Then a few months ago I saw a passing reference to the Count having been a psychoanalyst. I wondered why a psychoanalyst would be in UCL conducting clinical trials on anti-psychotics. So I thought that it was about time that I found out a bit more about the Count. I wish that I’d done this a very long time ago, it would have explained a lot. Not only is the Count a Count but he is the ultimate Top Doctor.

Andrzej/Andrew Skarbek was born in 1925 in what was then Ukraine. His family arrived in the UK shortly after the war. He had begun his medical studies before they migrated, but obviously his studies were interrupted, although he resumed them in the UK. Later on he ended up doing a PhD at UCL, which was how he came to be running clinical trials on anti-psychotics. So he – and Marjorie – will have known just how much damage such ‘medication’ can cause if it isn’t prescribed carefully and care given to monitor patients symptoms. Yet Marjorie is very keen on that medication being given to people who are banged up against their will. Skarbek studied medicine at St Mary’s Hospital Paddington, whilst funded by family money. He qualified as a medical doctor in 1954. After graduation he worked as a paediatrician – but he ended up meeting Donald Winnicot and decided upon a career in psychiatry. Well guess where he trained? At the Maudsley! That fine institution at which dear old Dafydd Alun Jones also ‘trained’. Furthermore I suspect that they might even have known each other – Skarbek received his Diploma in Psychological Medicine in 1961. Which is pretty much about the same time that dear old Dafydd was ‘training’. Furthermore Skarbek’s interest was psychodynamic psychotherapy – so he will have been training under Bob Hobson, just like Dafydd! The Bob Hobson who afforded Dafydd a great deal of protection – because nobody wanted to admit that Bob Hobson had trained a total rogue. Skarbek qualified as an analyst five years after completing his Diploma in Psychological Medicine and then became involved with the Langham Clinic, along with R.D. Laing. Laing and some of his colleagues were known to have sexually exploited patients. Skarbek subsequently became Director of the Langham Clinic when it was renamed the London Clinic of Psychotherapy. In 1966 he became an Associate Member of the Institute of Psychoanalysis. There has been a problem in psychoanalysis for many years of analysts sexually exploiting their patients and their students. Skarbek worked at UCL, at King George Hospital Ilford and in 1977 was appointed consultant psychotherapist at Runwell, Rochford and Basildon Hospitals in Essex, where he was said to have developed a ‘community psychodynamic psychotherapy’ service. Skarbek’s career is a bit confusing. There is information stating that he received his PhD from UCL in 1977 – by which time he was well-immersed in psychodynamic psychotherapy and analysis. It seems a little odd for someone to be pursuing a research interest trialling anti-psychotics whilst being interested in analysis and therapy, they are not easy bedfellows. Unless of course he was the sort of Top Doctor who was very worried about anti-psychotics and was involved in trials to investigate how damaging – or ineffective – they are. But Marjorie has never said a word if he was.

However, a CV like this will have meant that Skarbek was very influential and very well connected. He will also have known an awful lot about a lot of people and like dear old Alice Levinson at St Georges Hospital Medical School/Springfield Hospital he will have been great at generating the psychobabble needed to discredit anyone who might have said something like ‘you know those Top Doctors in north Wales? They’re breaking the law, framing innocent people, sexually abusing the patients and concealing a paedophile ring which involves high profile public figures and politicians’. But Skarbek had worked as a paediatrician as well – now their opinion is crucial in deciding whether a child is being abused or indeed if a person is wrongly accused of abusing a child.

Skarbek’s influence did of course stretch further than the NHS. He was an advisor to the National Association for Mental Health. That was the old name for MIND. The MIND that later employed Tessa Jowell as deputy director at the same time as they were concealing the wrongdoing of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones. But guess what else William Bingley, the legal director of MIND, told me in 1987 when he admitted that they knew all about Dafydd? That in the 60s Dafydd had been a leading light in MIND – or as it was then the National Association for Mental Health!

I mentioned earlier that at one point the Count abandoned Marjorie and the kids and went abroad. In the early 1980s he was Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Ottawa. The Count then returned to the UK and in the early 90s is described as having ‘led the group therapy programme at the Dept of Psychotherapy at UCL’. After he retired the Count continued with private work. Well as most Top Doctors discover, it helps to keep your oar in. Particularly if you’re concealing so much shit that you and all your associates will end up in prison if anyone ever finds out what has been going on.

Should anyone point out that just because the Count may have been party to information regarding wrongdoing in high places does not mean that the Countess will have been as well, I recommend that they google Marjorie. After the Count and Tom died and when Snowdon was on his last legs, Marjorie took to reminiscing about her younger life in media interviews. She talks about serving coffee and sandwiches at the meetings of psychoanalysts that took place at her home with Scarbek in Hampstead in the 70s, she talks of making so many visits to Broadmoor that she even used to take her children there at weekends and she talks of her long running affair with the Count before they married – they used to meet at the hospitals where he was working and she stresses how she used to chat to all the patients. When discussing her work as an ‘investigative journalist’ – but there were some things that you chose not to expose weren’t there Marjorie – she stresses again and again that her ‘method’ was to live with the people who had knowledge of the topics that she was investigating. What a sociologist would call an ethnographic approach. I doubt that Marjorie was really much of an ethnographer – she’d be far too busy telling everyone that she was a Countess – but she will have had skills in befriending people and extracting info from her work in journalism. Marjorie will have known that psychiatry was used to shut people up if they were making claims that powerful people didn’t want heard. What if Marjorie had heard via her media connections that there was an awkward social worker in north Wales who was alleging that there was widespread sexual abuse of children in children’s homes there? What if she knew that the Director of Social Services colluding with the paedophile ring in operation in those homes was the mistress of one of the Count’s former colleagues and that former colleague of the Count was also proving most useful in discrediting or incarcerating the people who were claiming that they had been abused in those homes – which were being visited by the Conservative MP for Chester and Thatcher’s aide, Sir Peter Morrison? Had Morrison et al been exposed at the time the damage to Thatcher’s Gov’t would have been enormous. The Times newspapers – and the Torygraph which employed Marjorie’s old flatmate Mary Kenny – were staunch supporters of Thatcher.

Did Marjorie have any other possible connections to north Wales apart from the Count’s old colleague from the Maudsley, Dafydd? Er yes – she was ‘close to’ Lord Snowdon. The excessive, bisexual, promiscuous Lord Snowdon who had north Welsh roots and – although I didn’t know this until recently – did used to visit north Wales. Snowdon is actually buried at Llanfaglan near Caernarfon. The Lord Snowdon who was in the House of Lords – which is choc a bloc with politicians who had a hand in concealing the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal. Lord Snowdon was so keen to remain in the Lords that after hereditary peers were excluded he accepted a life peerage that had been especially created for him. This caused quite a lot of criticism at the time, it was considered rather bad form. But Snowdon really wanted to remain in there – which is a bit weird, he was hardly a political animal. Just an animal.

Little wonder that Marjorie announced a ‘crisis’ in 1986 as Alison Taylor blew the whistle – the only remedy to the ‘crisis’ being to keep the abusive, discredited asylums open, including the North Wales Hospital Denbigh. Marjorie came in for so much criticism that latterly she tempered her language in interviews, but some of her early TV appearances were splendid. She would always be given far more air time than the patients who were trying to explain what was happening to people in psychiatric hospitals and I saw her make claims that she ‘knew’ that patients wanted to be kept in ‘secure’ places because they knew themselves that they were dangerous. One group of mental health patients set up an organisation called ‘MANE – Marjorie, A National Emergency’, but their voices were completely drowned out by Marjorie and the Top Doctors.

So what about SANE these days? Institutions like Denbigh have now closed but patients are simply abused and neglected in the ‘community’ instead should they cross the path of the Top Doctors, although they can of course still be banged up in secure units, tasered whilst sectioned, transferred to prisons or high security hospitals, assaulted or even killed whilst being ‘restrained when distressed’ and forcibly injected with anti-psychotics that can destroy their health or kill them and there will not be an investigation. Chin up Marjorie, there are many ways of destroying vulnerable people without an asylum. SANE boasts that it has a helpline for the suicidal/distressed. That helpline is not all that it’s cracked up to be. It is only open between 4-30pm and 10-30pm – which is weird because if someone’s going to despair they tend to do so during the night not at tea-time. Furthermore I have heard from people who have worked at SANE and from people who have run the helpline that the people answering the helpline are completely out of their depth regarding the distress that they are being confronted with. Which is sad, because if Marjorie was running a helpful helpline it would be a very useful contribution. Is Marjorie perhaps constrained in terms of funding for the helpline?

It would seem not. Marjorie has been remarkably successful at raising funds for SANE, but she hasn’t used those funds for the helpline. Marjorie has used some of the funds for Research into suicide and self-harm. Yet nowhere can I find details of exactly what this research is. Which is even more puzzling because SANE established a whole research centre, POWIC. Which stands for the Prince of Wales International Centre for SANE Research. Prince Charles is the Patron of SANE – well he and Marjorie are related by extra-marital sex aren’t they. In 2008 POWIC shared a building with the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, which is of course spawn of Professor Mark Williams, who knows all about Dafydd, the paedophile ring and the madness of north Wales, he was right at the centre of it for years (please see post ‘The Biggest Expert Of The Lot’). Someone else who knows about Dafydd and north Wales also worked at the Oxford Mindfulness Centre and led a strand of research for SANE – Professor Tom Burns. I know that Tom Burns knows because in about 1990 I TOLD HIM – and Tom admitted that he believed me and that psychiatry ‘attracted disturbed people’ which created problems. What Tom also did – but without my knowledge – was write to the corrupt occupational health physician at St Georges who had sent me to him, Nicky Mitchell-Heggs, and tell her that I wasn’t psychotic but I was over sensitive and might have a paranoid personality disorder. When I became suicidal the following year as a result of being constantly arrested for serious crimes after Dafydd’s colleagues Dr Tony Francis (‘Dr X’) and his wife Dr Sadie Francis (Dr X’s wife) perjured themselves, Burns told Mitchell-Heggs that he ‘didn’t think that he had anything to offer’ when she contacted him again. I bet he didn’t because he knew what was happening and was going to walk away very quickly in the opposite direction. Which is how he ended up with a Chair at Oxford working with Mark Williams! SANE also had another person on board leading their ‘research’, based at the Dept of Psychiatry, Warneford Hospital, University of Oxford and that was the man who established POWIC in collaboration with SANE, Professor Tim Crow. Tim Crow worked with Dr Tony Francis before Tony Francis moved to north Wales and I think that it was Tim Crow who supervised Francis’s MD.

I really do not think that all of this can be a coincidence.

So where did the dosh for POWIC come from? From rather unusual sources. The Saudi Royal Family donated £1.75 million and this was then matched by a donation of another £1.75 million from the Xylas Greek shipping family. Marjorie needed yet more, so an appeal went out in the ‘Times’ and another donation from the Sultan of Brunei arrived.

If anyone can possibly think of a reason why the Saudi Royal Family, Greek shipping tycoons and the Sultan of Brunei would want to give large amounts of money to a bunch of charlatans who concealed a paedophile gang please do let me know. Because I am flabbergasted.

But other people have given dosh to SANE as well. Including the City Bridge Trust, the Garfield Weston Foundation, the John Ellerman Foundation, the Sobell Foundation and of course the Big Lottery Fund.

The City Bridge Trust is the City of London Corporation Charity. The Garfield Weston Foundation describes itself as a ‘family foundation’ and nearly all of the Trustees are descendants of the man who established it. A lot of them see to be connected with Fortnum and Mason, which is probably where Marjorie buys her groceries. ‘Mason’ being the operative word where the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal and Dafydd were concerned.

The John Ellerman Foundation has a number of interesting Trustees, many of whom are professional fundraisers on a very big scale. The Chair is Lady Sarah Riddell, who has a background in journalism – she’ll know Marjorie then. Riddell served as Vice-Chair of the Hammersmith Hospitals NHS Trust, which has now been incorporated into Imperial NHS Trust (see blog post ‘A Cause Close To Our Hearts’ for details of wrongdoing at Hammersmith Hospital). Sarah has served as a lay member of research ethics committees and a Gov’t advisory body on clinical trials. She is a Trustee of the Pilgrim Trust, the Sir James Knott Trust and the Castle Aukland Trust. (There seems to be a great deal of crossover between the Trustees of these three Trusts, with a number of the same people sitting on the Boards of more than one of them. Justin Welby is a former Trustee of the Castle Aukland Trust, as are two Top Doctors (one of whom boasts that he has been a GP for ‘four bishops’) and various people with connections to the Royal Family and various Oxbridge Colleges. Trustees of these various charities include members of the late Lord Longford’s family, Professor Colin Blakemore the controversial Top Doctor and former Chief Exec of the MRC and an Oliver James, who I think may be the Oliver James that is the truly dreadful media psychologist who spouts shite that no sensible person could ever be taken in by.) Ellerman Foundation Trustee Brian Hurwitz was ‘a GP in inner London for 30 years’. He was also the Professor of Primary Health Care and General Practice at Imperial (again, please see post ‘A Cause Close To Our Hearts’ for details of the extensive wrongdoing by folk at Imperial). Hurwitz is the Professor of Medicine and Arts at Kings – he directs the Centre for Health Humanities. And like nearly all the medics now trying to get in on the Health Humanities bandwagon I bet that he knows sod all about it, but hey there’s Gov’t funding available. (The best anecdote that I heard recently from this field was from a friend who attended a Literature in Mental Health conference. My friend is a medieval scholar and was particularly underwhelmed at a presentation by a clinical psychologist who professed an interest in literature and mental health and then gave them details of all the self-help books that he recommends to his patients. No doubt the manual that he follows himself is ‘How To Get Rich Quick’.) Peter Kyle is listed as a Trustee – he is the Chairman of the University of Westminster and has an background in high arts. (I am wondering if this is the same Peter Kyle who is the Labour MP for Hove, the gay rights campaigner who has done his best to get rid of Jeremy Corbyn and who is detested by many.) Well Marjorie loves her opera and classical music – and one of the Count’s ancestors was godfather to Chopin…Another Trustee is Gary Steinberg. Gary, ‘a manager of investment funds’, is the Chief Investment Officer of the Wellcome Trust; Chief Exec of British Petroleum’s UK Pension Plan; held a non-executive position with SUG Capital ‘a leading UK private equity company’; is on the Investment Committee of the Kings Fund and is Chair of the Investment Committee of Great Ormond Street Hospital’s Children’s Charity. The GOSH that is currently embroiled in an international row regarding the care of the baby Charlie Gard, with hundreds of thousands of people signing a petition in opposition to GOSH and Trump and the Pope wading in to denounce them as a bunch of murdering gits as well.

Like Mother Theresa who famously accepted charitable donations from the Mafia, I am left with the impression that Marjorie’s not too fussy where her dosh comes from.

Like all good mental health charities, SANE has some ‘ambassadors’. Marjorie doesn’t seem to have attracted the big hitters like MIND who managed to con the likes of Stephen Fry, Melvyn Bragg and Alistair Campbell into appearing on their website. SANE has a woman called Rachel who is a journo on the ‘Times’ who’s written some truly lame self-help advice for the depressed and of course Ruby Wax, that mate of Mark Williams’s who purchased a Masters degree from Mark and has acted as his PR woman ever since. Ruby is not one for exercising sound judgement in terms of the good causes that she supports – she endorsed Kid’s Company and look what happened there.

Marjorie is getting on now, she’s in her mid-70s, but her efforts to assist those who have a lot to conceal continue. Before old Snowdon pegged out she was featured in a newspaper article which described her ‘an elfin-faced femme fatale’ (surely ‘Glenda Slagg’ as featured in ‘Private Eye’ would be a more appropriate description). Marjorie talked of the delights of her affair with Snowdon and described him as ‘my partner in crime’. Yes Marjorie some very big crimes indeed were committed. Now perhaps those of you who are not yet dead would like to make your way down to the nearest police station and give a statement concerning what you know about all those kids in care who were forced into providing sexual services for public figures and whose lives were ruined by the Top Doctors if they dared complain about what had happened to them. Oh and before you’re pushing up the daisies yourself Marjorie, would you like to tell us why those two teenaged girls from Pembrokeshire were incarcerated for decades in the nation’s most notorious high security hospital? Because it certainly won’t have been because they didn’t talk or were involved in petty crime. From what I remember of the case, the straw that broke the camel’s back regarding the alleged misbehaviour of those two girls was their claim to be prostitutes…They were in Broadmoor within months after that.

A lot of the people named on this blog could be described as dangerous fuckers in terms of their willingness to put other people’s safety and even lives at risk. But Marjorie is in a league of her own in terms of being One Dangerous Fucker.

 

Footnote: It must have been sometime in 1987 when I wrote to Marjorie. Because I thought that she was a genuine mental health campaigner at the time of writing I gave her full details, dates and names of the people involved in the abuses at the North Wales Hospital, including the name of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones, the former colleague of the Count. Not only that but of course that letter had my own name and my address on. I was living in London at the time working in medical research. Some very unpleasant things happened to me after I wrote that letter and I do of course now have documentation demonstrating that those we know and love had contacted people whom they knew in London Medical Schools and were even using them to intercept mail that was being sent to me in an attempt to find out where I was living – I moved house frequently as a result of the unpleasant and bizarre happenings. I had a close friend who also lived in London at the time, my best friend from school. She knew what had happened to me in north Wales as did her mum and dad – they were mental health professionals themselves (but honest ones) and were advising me. Then unpleasant things started happening to my friend as well – she and her boyfriend had a small film production company and she wanted to make a documentary about what had happened to me in north Wales at the hands of the Count’s former colleague. My friend was also working at the Royal Television Society – at exactly the same time that I was hounded out of my job at St Georges Hospital Medical School my friend was sacked from the RTS. My friend’s dismissal was very obviously the result of one particular manager there who just seemed determined to get rid of her for no good reason. The treatment of my friend caused a rumpus – there was a staff walk-out in protest and my friend later won an unfair dismissal case and was awarded several thousand pounds in compensation. Did you happen to know anyone who was in a senior position at the RTS in the late 80s/early 90s Marjorie? You might have shagged a few aristocrats Marjorie but I have nearly 10,000 documents in a safe place. Think about it.

 

 

 

 

 

A Stalker’s Network

My post ‘Top Of The Cops’ mentioned some possible reasons why I suspect that there may have been a connection between Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and his contacts and John Stalker, former Deputy Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police and his contacts. Stalker’s book ‘Stalker’ mentions a number of names of people with whom he associated. Some of these people, such as Councillor Norman Briggs, Chair of the Police Committee, Stalker seems to have had an ambivalent relationship with, sometimes maintaining that they were sound honest people, but at the same time questioning certain actions of theirs. There are a number of people however about whom Stalker is entirely positive, referring to them as ‘friends’ or ‘supporters’. Let’s take a closer look at a few of these people – and what they have got up to since Stalker’s book was published in 1988.

One person whom Stalker identifies as being the man without whom he would not have got through the investigation into his activities and who became a close friend of his was the Manchester solicitor Rodger Pannone. Stalker maintains that unidentified ‘legal contacts’ of his put him in touch with Rodger Pannone and that Pannone was particularly good because he wasn’t phased by media attention. Indeed, it would seem that Pannone positively encouraged media attention – he held press conferences regarding the Stalker case and was obviously adept at using the media. Pannone and Stalker seemed to have had the sort of relationship with the media that the Princess of Wales did – they really hated all the media exposure and the intrusion, which is why they always seemed to be available for photos and interviews. Indeed Stalker’s book has a whole series of pages entirely devoted to snaps of him in uniform as a young man and as a senior officer with various bigwigs, including Royalty. When Stalker enlisted the help of Pannone, Pannone was already well-known in Manchester legal circles, but since then Pannone has really made it big and it would seem effectively helps run Manchester.

Pannone was originally from Bristol but moved to Manchester in 1964. In 2010 a media profile described him as having been ‘a leading light of the city’s legal scene for decades’. In 2010 he won an award for ‘outstanding achievement’ at the first Manchester Legal Awards. Pannone himself is of the opinion that lawyers in Manchester are now as good as those to be found anywhere in the UK, although in previous years this was not always so. Pannone retired as the senior partner in his city centre legal firm in November 2009, after joining the firm in 1973. Pannone is certainly proud of the sort of influential thriving city that Manchester has become and has paid tribute in public to those whom he considers to have done much to achieve this, including the Labour MP for Blackley, Graham Stringer (former leader of Manchester City Council), his successor Sir Richard Leese and the city’s Chief Exec, Sir Howard Bernstein. Pannone’s activities extend outside of the law. He is Chairman of the biotechnology business Renovo, was for many years Chair of the University of Manchester’s Council and oversaw the University’s merger with UMIST, was Chairman of the College of Law and a Governor for 17 years, was Chairman of the Forensic Science Service for ten years, is the North West Regional Chairman of Emmaus (a homelessness charity) and was appointed Deputy Lieutenant of Greater Manchester in 1999. He is a member of St James’s Club and Wyresdale Anglers. His wife will also have some clout – she sits as a magistrate. But it is of course in the field of law in which Pannone is a Very Big Name.

Pannone had already clocked up a very big success by the time that he advised Stalker. In 1985 Pannone was a leading light among the group of lawyers that represented the relatives of the people who were killed in the Manchester Airport Disaster, when a Boeing jet due for Corfu caught fire at Manchester Airport killing over 50 people. The settlements were enormous and Pannone is on record as commenting that the damages were less than would have been achieved if ‘we’d sued in the American Courts, but more than if we’d sued in the British Courts’. I don’t know which Courts Pannone used to bring the action, but obviously by 1985 he was a big hitter, working on an international scale. He also had influence at Gov’t level as well. Hansard (Feb 1985) reveals that when the Lord Chancellor, Lord Hailsham, set up his inquiry the Civil Justice Review, Pannone was appointed as a member. In 2010 Pannone was described as having advised ‘successive Lord Chancellors’ on civil justice. He was President of the Law Society of England and Wales in 1993 and 1994 and before that he had been Deputy and Vice-President. Whilst he was President, he challenged the relationship between the solicitors and the Bar and Pannone is credited as playing a role in achieving higher rights of audience for solicitors. Pannone described himself as a ‘close friend’ of one of the four solicitors who have become High Court judges, indeed the first one to be appointed, Sir Michael Sachs (who died in 2003). Another solicitor who became a High Court judge was Henry Hodge. Henry was of course husband of Dame Margaret Hodge, who was the leader of Islington Council when it’s children’s homes were pervaded by paedophile gangs. Henry himself had been involved with the National Council for Civil Liberties when it was infiltrated by PIE, a group who lobbied on behalf of paedophiles (see post ‘The London Connection’). Pannone was also a founding member of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers. By 2010 he was a member of the Board of Co-operative Legal Services, described as being ‘well-placed to capitalise on the changes from the Legal Services Act’, which seeks to liberalise and regulate the market for legal services in England and Wales. One can only wonder whether Pannone was involved in the development of the Legal Services Act himself, in his capacity as an advisor to successive Lord Chancellors.

It is clear from his profile that Rodger Pannone will have known many of the people named on this blog. But the senior partner in Rodger Pannone’s law firm will also know many of the people mentioned in previous posts. That is Michael Napier. Napier too was President of the Law Society, as well as a founding member, the Secretary, Vice-President and President of the Association for Personal Injury Lawyers. So he’ll know Patricia Scotland’s husband (see post ‘Even More About Baroness Patricia Scotland QC’). For 30 years Napier was a senior partner for Irwin Mitchell – he retired in May 2012. I know of Irwin Mitchell as one of the legal firms that are very good at bringing substantial claims against the NHS and a lot of people have certainly become a lot richer (but not as rich as Irwin Mitchell) as a result of those actions. But what I and a few others have noticed is that for some reason some people whose lives have been wrecked by criminal activity and malpractice on the part of the NHS still don’t succeed in winning  – particularly in cases of learning disability and mental health, two groups who are being literally wiped out by the NHS. Of course a lot of claims against the NHS are now on a no win no fee basis and many people allege that it is this that is encouraging ‘ambulance chasing’ lawyers. Napier is described as a ‘central figure’ in ‘helping others understand the no win no fee model’. Napier was appointed to the Legal Services Board in 2008 and since 2001 has been the Attornery General’s pro bono envoy.

Rodger Pannone’s success – and perhaps his integrity – is illustrated by the cases of two of his most famous clients, Ernest Saunders and Asil Nadir. Pannone acted for both of these men after he represented and became a close friend of John Stalker.

Ernest Saunders was one of the ‘Guinness Four’. Between 1981-86 he was Chief Exec of Guinness and was known to employees as ‘Deadly Ernest’ as a result of his ruthless cost-cutting. After attempting to manipulate the share price of Guinness in relation to a company take-over, in August 1990 Saunders was found guilty of fraud, false accounting and theft. The amounts of money involved were huge, the trial was complex and I think that it was the Guinness trial which was one of those where questions were raised about the use of jury trials in fraud cases, on the basis that the trial was so complicated that lay people couldn’t understand it. The charges against Saunders and his colleagues resulted in a number of investigations and a Department of Trade and Industry report subsequently described Ernest as a man who does ‘unjustifiable favours for friends and himself’. The case of Ernest though became notorious – and a long running joke in ‘Private Eye’ – not only because of the sums of money involved, but because Ernest, it transpired, was a mystery to medical science.  After his conviction, Ernest was sentenced to prison, but his sentence was slashed by half on appeal by Judge Patrick Neill. The sentence was cut after the Court heard evidence that Ernest had developed pre-senile dementia and was suffering from Alzheimers. Three expert medical witnesses gave evidence. A neurologist for the Crown maintained that Ernest actually was suffering from depression. Another man, described as a ‘forensic pathologist’, maintained that Ernest had Alzheimers. Not only did this man claim that ‘tests’ had revealed Ernest’s brain to be smaller than expected which was likely to be due to shrinkage as a result of Alzheimers, but he also maintained that Ernest couldn’t recite backwards a sequence of three numbers, or use a door and believed that Gerald Ford was President of the USA rather than George Bush. It was the evidence of this expert who convinced Patrick Neill. So who was the expert? It was a Dr Patrick Gallwey.

Patrick Gallwey – who died in 2014 – had been the founder, in 1980, of the South West Thames Regional Forensic Service at St Georges Hospital in London! The daddy of that shameless bunch of lying crooks who in 1991 colluded with the north Wales mental health services and Gwynedd Social Services – although they knew that those from north Wales were involved in criminal activities (please see post ‘Some Very Eminent Psychiatrists From London…’) and that Dafydd and Dr X/Dr Tony Francis had ‘lost their boundaries’ with patients. Patrick Gallwey moved to Devon in 1988 to ‘pursue his dream’ of living on a small holding. Until 2001, Gallwey worked at the Butler Clinic, Langdon Hospital, Dawlish. So Pannone knew whom to seek out and where to find him. After 2001, Gallwey worked as an ‘independent forensic consultant’. And no doubt was much in demand after his evidence resulted in Ernest being released.

Nowhere in any of the information that is available about Gallwey is he described as a ‘pathologist’ – except in relation to the evidence he gave concerning Saunders. He is consistently described as a forensic psychiatrist with a speciality in psychoanalytically informed psychotherapy. Furthermore, if he was a pathologist – or at least an honest one – he would have admitted that Alzheimers can only be confirmed for certain after death, by post-mortem. It does result in changes to the brain, but these can only be seen by examining the brain tissues. Alzheimers does result in the brain shrinking among other changes, but the ‘small brain’ evidence of Gallwey is flaky because brain size varies and is notoriously unrelated to brain function or capacity (remember all those allegations from a previous era about women and people who were a suspicious shade of brown or black having smaller brains?) But then Ernest didn’t have your common or garden variety of Alzheimers. Ernest had the sort of Alzheimers from which one can make a full recovery, although Ernest is the only person in the history of medicine who experienced this type. After leaving prison, Ernest’s condition improved rapidly and within five years of release he was once more one of the world’s leading businessmen, commanding enormous fees for his advice and sitting on the Board of an international company. Unsurprisingly, a lot of questions were asked in the wake of Ernest’s Lazarus-like recovery, but rather than Ernest becoming the object of scientific enquiry as one would expect, people’s curiosity centred upon Gallwey and his evidence. Ernest himself in 1994 simply claimed that he had never been diagnosed with Alzheimers. Gallwey in 1996 stated that ‘it can be very difficult to make a diagnosis, so we did not make one, we expressed worries about it’. Gallwey did not explain why he was for the purposes of the Court case described as a pathologist when he was no such thing.

Most people who make it big in science and medicine are well-known for doing very little else but science or medicine and this usually intrigues or frustrates those around them. Spouses complain that they never go on holiday or even take a full weekend off, adult children have memories of rarely seeing their eminent parent and they are often very difficult to interview by the likes of Kirsty Young and Libby Purves on media shows, because they’re not really suited to dinner party chat – all they do is work and that’s what they like to talk about, to other people who work in the same field. But Gallwey was rather different to this. Before he ever took up medicine he tried a bohemian existence as an artist, but gave that up after a while and went off to St Thomas’s Medical School. For the rest of his life Gallwey enjoyed sailing, a variety of cultural pursuits, socialising and of course pottering about on his smallholding. I don’t know what Gallwey’s family background was, but Tommy’s has always been considered to be a bastion of serious privilege – it attracts students who include aristocrats who fancy dabbling in medicine. It was always known as the ‘poshest’ London medical school. If Gallwey wasn’t well-connected by the time that he arrived there, he would have been by the time that he graduated. Gallwey had subsequently worked as a forensic psychiatrist at HMP Wormwood Scrubs. Just like Dr Paul Bowden, who was a colleague of the charlatans working at St Georges in 1991. The Paul Bowden who worked at the Maudsley – where Dr Dafydd Alun Jones did his ‘training’. The Paul Bowden who co-authored with Professor Robert Bluglass – the Bluglass who was utilised by Professor Robert Owen of the Welsh Office to whitewash the criminal activities of Dafydd and his colleagues in north Wales (please see post ‘Enter Professor Robert Bluglass CBE..’). Between 1970-79 Gallwey worked at the Portman Clinic (now part of the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust), which according to his obituary, ‘underpinned his breadth and understanding of the psychopathology of dangerous people’. Like the other lying scumbags at St Georges and like Bowden and Bluglass, this slippery customer was used to supply ‘evidence’ that determined whether ‘dangerous people’ had committed serious crimes if there was an absence of forensic evidence, or whether they remained banged up or not. Presumably ‘dangerous people’ who had complained that they had been molested whilst in children’s homes or who had found out what Dafydd and his mates were doing. Gallwey’s obituary mentioned his monthly seminars at the Institute of Psychiatry and his ‘legacy’, which was ‘several staff specialising in psychodynamic psychotherapy’. Including Dr Alice Levinson, who knew exactly what I had discovered going on in the north Wales mental health services but who nonetheless wrote an extraordinary letter about me in which she admitted that I showed no signs of psychosis at all, was suicidal because of the harassment that I was receiving at the hands of the north Wales mental health services, but nonetheless concluded that I was probably psychotic and should be referred to the forensic services for ‘containment’. Alice, who did a group of people protecting a gang of paedophiles such a big favour, is now practicing as a psychodynamic psychotherapist in leafy Richmond and is involved in supervising other psychotherapists.

The legacy of Gallwey and his crooked accomplices will be far bigger than Alice though. The ‘model’ of the forensic service at St Georges was not the usual model, that of one medium secure unit, but was a series of small secure units scattered throughout the hospitals in the region, with the St Georges charlatans ‘building relationships’ with staff in these units, planning meetings and running supervisions and training opportunities. There was opposition to this, with people maintaining that if secure conditions were needed for people who really were dangerous, then scattering them throughout the region presented a danger to everyone involved, but Gallwey’s model was nonetheless the one imposed. It might have put everyone in danger, but if Gallwey et al wanted to find a way of maximising their power and influence, I cannot think of a better way of doing it. Of course, some of the ‘dangerous’ people with whom Gallwey worked were sex offenders. And from what is known about sex offenders, some of them will have become sex offenders after being sexually abused themselves – whilst for example in children’s homes… So Gallwey and his colleagues will have known which institutions in the UK were host to paedophile activity and they will even have known the identity of some of the paedophiles! Just imagine if any of those paedophiles were well known political or public figures or celebs…

So much for the ‘medical expert’ that provided such a helpful service to Pannone’s client Ernest. What about Judge Patrick Neill, the judge who swallowed the hogwash that he’d been told about Ernest’s Alzheimers by a psychoanalyst who misrepresented himself as a pathologist? Lord Patrick Neill was a crossbencher in the Lords who died in 2016. He’d had a pretty good innings though. From 1977 he was the Warden of All Souls at Oxford, a post that carried a considerable amount of academic clout. Readers of my vintage will remember the hostility of Thatcher’s Gov’t towards the universities and how things reached boiling point in the mid 80s with Peter Swinnerton-Dyer and the UGC cuts (see post ‘Not Seen Since The 80s – Carwyn’). Norman Tebbit had been famously rude about the well-stocked wine cellars of Oxbridge and then there was the most enormous row because in 1985, someone at Oxford, in a vain attempt at toadying, had suggested that Thatcher should be given an honorary doctorate. The dons hit the roof and turned out in force to vote against the proposal, particularly the scientists who were seething at the damage that they considered Thatcher to be inflicting on British science. It was Patrick Neill who proposed that Thatcher should be given the honorary doctorate – he was Vice Chancellor of Oxford between 1985-89. Neill was also the Chairman of CTI (the City watchdog) between 1978-85, so presumably he wasn’t very effective in that particular role. Neither was he successful at reigning a few other people in with regard to their excesses – between 1978-85, he was Chairman of the Press Council. Those were the years when the ‘Sun’ published whatever it wanted, even fictional interviews with alleged widows of soldiers who’d been killed in the Falklands and photos of injured ‘Argies’ but there was never any comeback. In 1997 Tony Blair appointed Neill Chairman of the Committee for Standards in Public Life. Which is as good as Bluglass being appointed to investigate that murder in Ashworth Hospital whilst assisted by one of Dafydd’s senior nurses from Clwyd Health Authority. In 1997 Neill was elevated to the Lords and became Baron Neill of Bladen. Lord Neill’s name popped up amid the recent fall-out in the wake of the exposure of Jimmy Savile as a prolific child sex offender. In 2016 Neill claimed that many years previously he interviewed Tony Blackburn in a 1972 investigation after a teenager killed herself. The teenager had claimed to have been involved sexually with an unidentified Radio One DJ and the finger of suspicion was pointed at Tony Blackburn. Blackburn maintained that he had no such involvement with the teenager concerned, but more interestingly Blackburn maintained that at no point had he ever been interviewed by Neill. Blackburn became embroiled in a Grade A row with the BBC, which resulted in him being fired. Blackburn began legal proceedings against the Director General of the BBC, Lord Tony Hall for libel, maintaining that serious misrepresentation had gone on regarding the details of the 1972 investigation. Blackburn was reinstated – although one does wonder why he actually wanted to go back to work for them again. Neill maintained that he ‘remembered’ interviewing Blackburn.

Lord Neill has a number of children, one of whom is married to Sir Christopher Geidt, who is Private Secretary to HM the Queen!

I want to now return to a name that I mentioned earlier, Sir Michael Sachs, the ‘close friend’ of Rodger Pannone. Sachs was such a good mate that when Pannone was awarded his accolade at the first Manchester Legal Awards, he dedicated his award to Sachs. Sachs, the first solicitor who became a High Court judge. It is of course only natural that Pannone would admire Sachs, because Pannone was one of the key figures in ensuring that solicitors could become High Court judges. Sachs was appointed a full circuit judge in 1984, at which point he left his own law firm and worked for 18 months in Manchester and Liverpool. He became a High Court judge in 1993 and died in 2003. He was President of Manchester Law Society between 1978-79, a Member of the Law Society Council between 1979-84. Sachs presided over a high profile case in 1997, in which he gave a suspended sentence and a supervision order to a former psychiatric nurse who had killed her 14 year old disabled daughter. Sachs stressed that passing this non-custodial sentence should not be interpreted as him endorsing euthanasia.

However, I’m rather more interested in another case that Sachs presided over, in 1989-90. This was the 16 week trial of Manchester ‘businessman’ Kevin Taylor – along with three others – on charges of conspiracy to defraud. Sachs ruled some of the evidence inadmissible and the trial ended as no other evidence was presented. Taylor was acquitted. Kevin Taylor was the contact of John Stalker’s over whom concerns were raised which led to the investigation and suspension from duty of Stalker. Stalker was known to have associated with Taylor and it was alleged that Taylor had criminal contacts. As an example of how flimsy the allegations were, in his book Stalker explained that one concern involved a boat that had once been owned by Kevin Taylor – a boat upon which Stalker himself had sailed – which Taylor had sold and which had somehow ended up in the hands of someone who was investigated for importing drugs into the UK. (Stalker had previously been head of the drug squad.) I mentioned in my post ‘Top Of The Cops’ the similarities between Stalkers style of writing and Dafydd’s and how, like Dafydd, Stalker presents himself as an honest man being wrongly and outrageously investigated by people who are smearing his good name. Stalker’s defence when he stood accused of associating with people who had criminal connections was exactly the same as Dafydd’s in such circumstances – oh but I meet so many people in the course of my life, this sometimes happens and furthermore just look at the people my accusers are associated with. In his book Stalker constantly stresses that he only met Kevin Taylor now and again. One such occasion was at Kevin Taylor’s birthday party – which Stalker tells us in his book was also attended by doctors, lawyers, councillors, at least one local Lord Mayor, one MP, and a few members of the cast of Coronation Street. Another occasion was the Autumn Ball in Manchester’s Hotel Piccadilly in Nov 1985. Stalker was an ‘official guest’, along with two MPs. This knees up was sponsored by the local Tory Party, Kevin Taylor being a Member of the Committee.

At one point in his book, Stalker describes Kevin Taylor as ‘a man of unblemished character’. He remained an unblemished character after his trial in 1990, presided over by Michael Sachs – the close friend of Rodger Pannone, who was a close friend of Stalker. No doubt Kevin Taylor remains unblemished to this day. After the trial Kevin Taylor maintained that he had been targeted to smear his friend John Stalker.

Before we leave the subject of Stalker’s close friend Pannone, who seems to be a close friend of an awful lot of very powerful people himself, I want to just remind readers of who Pannone’s other high profile client, Asil Nadir, was. Asil Nadir was the Chief Executive of Polly Peck. Polly Peck collapsed in 1990 after an investigation by the Serious Fraud Office. Nadir faced 70 counts of false accounting and theft. Between 1993 and 2010 he lived in Northern Cyprus in order to escape trial -there is no extradition treaty with the Turkish Republic of Cyprus. After paying bail of £250,000 and securing an agreement not to be remanded in prison until his trial, Nadir returned to the UK. In 2010 he stood trial at the Old Bailey on 13 specimen charges of false accounting and theft totalling £34 million. He was found guilty on 10 counts totalling £29 million and in 2012 he was sentenced to 10 years in prison. In August 2016 he was transferred to a Turkish prison after repaying the £2 million that he’d received in Legal Aid (Pannone’s other multi-millionaire client Ernest Sauders also received more than one million in Legal Aid). In Dec 2016 Nadir was spotted in a restaurant in Northern Cyprus. I doubt that he was employed there as a waiter.

For some reason as I was researching Pannone and his contacts, the phrase ‘sleeping with the fishes’ kept coming into my head.

Rodger Pannone is not the only buddy of John Stalker’s who receives a mention in his book. Stalker refers to his good friend the MP Sir Fergus Montgomery, as well as another MP who was a ‘supporter’ ie. Cecil Franks and two other MPs who campaigned on his behalf, Stuart Bell and Tony Lloyd.

Sir Fergus Montgomery, who died in 2013, was Tory MP for Altrincham and Sale between 1974-1997. (Prior to that, he held two other seats for the Tories, Newcastle East and Brierley Hill.) Montgomery entered Parliament at the same time as Margaret Thatcher and remained good friends with her until she died, Montgomery and his wife visiting her regularly throughout the whole time. Montgomery was PPS to Thatcher during the latter part of her tenure as Secretary of State for Education and throughout the time that she was Leader of the Opposition. He was instrumental in Thatcher’s election as Tory leader. Despite remaining on excellent terms with Thatcher throughout her life, he resigned as her PPS in 1976 and never held a front bench role whilst she was PM. In 1977 he was arrested and convicted of stealing two books from a shop. His conviction was overturned on appeal and his explanation was that he’d been suffering from the effects of prescribed drugs that he’d been taking in order to lose weight. Thatcher supported him robustly throughout this time. I presume that the drugs that he was taking would have been amphetamine based – Thatcher herself of course was always reputed to have been taking amphetamine based drugs in order to sustain her work schedule. There were rumours of a very helpful person in Harley Street and I suspect that it was with this person’s assistance that the myth of the superwoman who only slept for three hours a night was built. In 1996 Montgomery claimed that he had been forced to resign twenty years earlier as a result of his previous friendship with John Vassall. Vassall worked in the British Embassy in Moscow, was gay and had been blackmailed into passing state secrets. The Vassall scandal occurred just before Profumo and the combination of the two are considered to have spelled the end of Harold McMillan’s Gov’t.

Montgomery was on the hard right of the Conservative Party. He supported the apartheid regime in South Africa and when he was MP for Brierley Hill he praised Enoch Powell for raising the issue of immigration. In 1969 Montgomery stated that ‘coloured immigrants’ had become a ‘favoured class’. He was a supporter of Eddy Shah with regard to his battles with the print unions at Warrington and he introduced Shah to Thatcher at a reception marking Montgomery’s 21 years as an MP. Montgomery was particularly exercised over the possible release of Myra Hindley from prison and campaigned to keep her in there. When he was told that she had received cosmetic surgery to change her appearance – with the implication that she was being prepared for release and a new identity – he actually went to visit her to check out the rumour. Montgomery’s wife served as Deputy Lieutenant and High Sheriff of Greater Manchester.

Cecil Franks was a solicitor from Manchester and Tory MP for Barrow-in-Furness between 1983-1992, who died in 2014. He had previously been a Member of Manchester City Council and lived at Altrincham. He was described as ‘confrontational and highly litigious’, although there was admiration for the ‘work’ that he had done in Barrow-in-Furness for the Tories – he was credited for actually getting bigwigs like Thatcher, Heseltine, Portillo and Jeffrey Archer up there, although it was considered a rather out of the way location.

Stuart Bell was a lawyer who was the Labour MP for Middlesbrough between 1983-2012. Bell was knighted in 2004 and died in 2012. Bell was the Shadow Spokesman for N Ireland in Kinnock’s opposition team in 1984, but resigned to campaign on the Cleveland Child Abuse Scandal. It was in connection with the Cleveland Scandal that I remember reading about Stuart Bell. The Cleveland Scandal occurred between February and July in 1987, as a result of two paediatricians in Middlesborough ordering a huge number of local children to be taken into care because they, along with the local social services dept, believed that they had been sexually abused. The Top Doctors concerned based their beliefs on the use of a rather flaky technique which many people maintained demonstrated nothing. The controversy raged in medical journals at the time and most discussion in those journals pivoted on whether this technique was reliable or not. However the problem hit the lay press because scores of parents came forward to say that their children had been removed from their care as a result of lurid allegations. So many children were removed from their homes that many of them had to be housed in the children’s ward of a local hospital and it caused the havoc – the staff of the children’s ward complained of the chaos presiding. One of the paediatricians involved, Marietta Higgs, was given a particularly dreadful time by the tabloid press, but a number of people who worked with her maintained that she was a genuine woman who did believe that all these kids had been abused. The Cleveland Scandal is interesting because no-one ever seemed to work out what went on. Lord Justice Elizabeth Butler-Sloss presided over a public inquiry and published her report in 1988, but not much became clearer. Higgs’s supporters maintained that society was in denial about the extent of child sexual abuse and that she was being scapegoated, whereas her detractors maintained that she really had got this badly wrong. Some years after the scandal had faded I read an account written by a parent who maintained that they’d been wrongly accused and whose children had been returned to them – but they maintained that they believed that some of the children had been abused and that the abusers had hidden under the campaign established to clear the names of the other parents. I suspect that may have well been an accurate analysis. I doubt that the children’s services in Cleveland were any better than they were in other parts of the UK at that time and it was obvious that the relationships between the paediatricians and their colleague from social services (a social worker called Sue whose surname I can’t remember) and everyone else were dysfunctional and ended up breaking down completely. However there will have been children in the region who were being abused – abused in the care of the local authority as well – as well as people wrongly accused. Who could ever tell whether Marietta Higgs, her colleague Geoffrey Wyatt and ‘Sue’ were concealing sexual abuse – including abuse carried out by their own colleagues – wrongly blaming innocent people, or trying to protect children? In the midst of all this, one thing I do remember was Stuart Bell not being very popular – even among those very worried about what Higgs and her colleagues were doing. There was a police surgeon involved as well who was alleged to have been as much of a problem as Bell and the ‘campaign for justice’ was very much spearheaded by the two of them. They seemed to particularly loathe Sue the social worker and it was obviously a very personal battle between all the individuals involved. The only aspect of Cleveland that ever touched my own investigations was when some years ago someone who grew up in that region told me that her father had been a child psychiatrist there and he had sexually abused her and her sister when they were children… One thing that I did notice about the Cleveland Scandal though was that it happened just after Alison Taylor, Mary Wynch and I had all started writing to Ministers and others about the wrongdoing in the children’s services and mental health services in north Wales! Stuart Bell became the centre of another controversy more recently when it was alleged that constituents were unable to contact him and that he hadn’t held a surgery since 1997, despite his wife being on the payroll as his ‘office manager’.

Tony Lloyd is the newly elected Labour MP for Rochdale – he was previously the Labour MP for Stretford between 1983-97, and then again between 1997-2012 after a reorganisation resulted in it being renamed Manchester Central. Between 2012-2017 he was Greater Manchester’s Police and Crime Commissioner. Between 2015-2017 he also served as interim Mayor of Greater Manchester. He did put his name forward as Labour’s candidate for the City Mayor’s post but was beaten by Andy Burnham, who has now been elected as Mayor. So that was the choice – Stalker’s ‘supporter’, or the man who concealed the slaughter at Mid-Staffs. Lloyd was Minister of State in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office 1997-99. Patricia Scotland was Minister in the same office between 1999-2001! Lloyd was Chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party 2006-12. Profiles of him describe him as being a big ally of Gordon Brown.

 

So there we have it. The ordinary cop who was the victim of monstrous slurs who only hung onto his sanity because of his wife and daughters has some very powerful friends who have even more powerful friends, some of whom are very unpleasant. And they all seem to be doing favours for each other as well as a few other people.

I was pointed in the direction of John Stalker’s book because someone noticed the similarity between his writing and Dafydd’s statements in Court about me – and as a result of my interest in Stalker and his Friends In The North I noted a few other possible links, as mentioned in the post ‘Top Of The Cops’. But there were two other people working in the mental health services in north Wales who had very direct connections to Manchester – Dr X/Dr Tony Francis and Dr Tony Roberts. Tony Francis, directly before taking up his post in north Wales in the mid 80s, had worked as a psychiatrist in Manchester for quite some time. I always wondered why Francis took a job in north Wales. He had an MD (the medics version of a PhD) which was virtually unheard of among psychiatrists in north Wales then and the North Wales Hospital Denbigh so obviously only employed the unemployable. Although documentation recently released to me demonstrates that Francis was lying, perjuring himself, encouraging other people to do the same and attempting to have innocent people imprisoned in order to conceal the activities of Dafydd, Lucille Hughes and the paedophile ring, I had no idea of the depths to which he was sinking and I doubt that many other people did either. He did have mental health problems but he wasn’t conspicuously unhinged like Dafydd was and he had much better social skills than Gwynne the lobotomist. When Francis arrived in north Wales he was actively promoted as a breath of fresh air in comparison to Dafydd and Gwynne. I have always wondered if he got into some sort of trouble in Manchester – no young ambitious psychiatrist who had gone to the trouble of completing an MD with quite a big name in psychiatry would ever want to join Dafydd at Denbigh. Tony Roberts worked at the North Wales Hospital and later became a psychiatrist at the Hergest Unit. Tony Roberts was much more of a candidate for a job at Denbigh – he was crazy, sadistic, had no social skills, fell out with the local GPs, continued to blame everyone else as all his patients died and in the end was one of the key players who brought the Hergest Unit to disaster. I can well imagine that after graduation he had no other option but a job at Denbigh. Tony Roberts had studied medicine at the University of Manchester. Although he is an utter fuckwit himself, I have traced, via dedications in publications, connections that he had in Manchester and Leeds with people who have not been publicly outed as dangerous doctors (although I bet that they are). And of course as I have previously described, the former Chair of the North West Wales NHS Trust – which employed both Tony Roberts and Tony Francis – Elfed Roberts, was a senior policeman who left the North Wales Police under a cloud, was Facebook friends with a number of serving and retired officers from the Manchester area. I understand that their hobnobbing destination was a wittily named place in France, Chateau de Cop. We know from Stalker’s own book that senior police officers and their contacts – contacts with unblemished characters of course – ended up at the same social events in Manchester as doctors, MPs, councillors, lawyers and showbiz folk.

Now let’s suppose that dear old Dafydd did have access to Stalker’s network. It would solve some of the Great Mysteries of North Wales. One being – who handles Dafydd’s business for him? One thing I have been repeatedly told about Dafydd – and was first told as long ago as the late 80s – was that everybody knew that Dafydd was involved in bankrolling and managing facilities where patients were abused and neglected, facilities that were frequently investigated, featured on the media and then closed down in the ensuing scandal, yet Dafydd was never held to account because his name would NEVER be on any documents. Likewise his accounts. Dafydd was alleged to be a very wealthy man, yet the accounts and profits of the businesses that he was alleged to be involved with were opaque. As with CAIS, the charity that he founded and still Chairs, everyone would always be asking ‘where’s all the money going?’ Dafydd was definitely involved up to his eyeballs – staff working in these establishments would freely admit that they were working for Dafydd and that he was the ultimate boss and the patients being abused and neglected would always explain that Dr Dafydd Alun Jones had recommended that they go into ‘his’ home for ‘care’. So Dafydd has had access to some very sharp lawyers, business advisors and accountants for a long while. Lawyers not afraid to threaten key institutions in north Wales as well. Some years ago a particularly abusive chain of ‘care homes’ in north Wales – homes that involved the residents being emotionally, physically and sexually abused – were sending their ‘service users’ on courses at Bangor University and the local FE colleges. Because the ‘service users’ had been sexually abused and generally driven nuts themselves, a number of them exhibited sexually unacceptable – or indeed – aggressive behaviours. One young woman behaved in such a way that male students in one of these institutions refused to sit in classes with her – they had been sexually assaulted by her. The students and their parents complained to the authorities and the college concerned wrote to the ‘care home’ explaining that they would not be able to accept this student any longer as she presented a risk to other students (which she did). I was told that the college then received a ferociously aggressive letter from lawyers acting for the ‘care home’ threatening to finish them off using the Disability Discrimination Act if they dared refuse to accept any of this home’s residents as students. This was of course a complete misinterpretation of the Disability Discrimination Act, but the college concerned was so frightened that they simply wet themselves and provided the girl involved with individual tuition, by herself, in a class by herself, with two teachers to ensure that they weren’t assaulted or indeed falsely accused. (Lest readers think I am exaggerating the difficulties posed by the conduct of some of the residents of this care home, there was at least one rape of a support worker there carried out by a resident – no doubt the lawyers dealt with that problem as well.) Now I don’t think that the sort of lawyers or accountants one finds in Bangor or Llandudno would be able to advise on these sorts of matters. But I bet that Mr Pannone knows people who could.

I have mentioned in previous posts, that when Dafydd appeared in Court himself some years ago, it was noted that this wealthy man had somehow secured Legal Aid. Just like Ernest Saunders and Asil Nadir did. It will obviously be a coincidence, but CAIS has moved into the homelessness business – Pannone is of course involved with a homelessness charity in Manchester. CAIS’s principal remit however is substance abuse (please see post ‘The Evolution Of A Drugs Baron?’). At one point Stalker was head of the drugs squad.

I think I might have solved another Great Conundrum – the one that has surrounded Dafydd for three decades, ie. How the fuck does he get away with it all?

I’ll expect to wake up to a horse’s head in bed with me any day soon.

I mentioned earlier that Lord Neill, the judge who so helpfully accepted Patrick Gallwey’s evidence that Pannone’s client Ernest Saunders was suffering from dementia, was Chairman of the Press Council during the days when the ‘Sun’ constantly ran offensive articles and headlines. The headline that everyone remembers was of course

GOTCHA!