A Vampire At Glyndwr University!

The Daily Post is tremendously excited after discovering that a senior lecturer at Glyndwr University is an ‘expert’ on vampires, has published on the subject and even appeared on daytime TV. The Post has got it’s teeth into this story because a PhD student of the lecturer concerned is claiming compensation for ‘work related stress’ and is maintaining that there is a ‘health and safety issue’ at stake. Allegations have been made that after a lecture on vampires, a student cut themselves and licked the cut to taste the blood.

I’ll declare an interest in this story now. The lecturer concerned is Dr Emyr Williams and I know Emyr very well. I became friends with him when were both doing our PhDs at Bangor University and I remained close friends with him for years although I haven’t seen him recently because I was forced to leave north Wales after extreme harassment from the paedophiles’ friends. Dr Emyr Williams is not and never has been a ‘vampire’, as the lurid story in the Post speculates. Emyr is a psychologist of religion and his first degree was in theology. His PhD was actually on the beliefs and attitudes of people attending Bangor Cathedral, but Emyr is very bright, very inquiring and he also became interested in the beliefs of people who follow alternative spritualities -and yes, there are people in the UK who claim to be vampires. Emyr is now one of the leading authorities on this. That has nothing to do with being a vampire. Glyndwr University were very keen to employ Emyr – the institution is seriously short on high achieving academics and they bit his arm off when he showed an interest in working there. Emyr is also a whizz at stats, which very few academics are unless they are actually statisticians. This means that Emyr can spot bad research when he sees it or research that is trying to mislead and there is a lot of that about. As for ‘work related stress’ – if there is work related stress at Glyndwr and from what I used to hear there was always plenty of that, it will not be emanating from Emyr. He shows a concern for the well-being of his students and colleagues way beyond that usually found in universities. Indeed that is how I became such good friends with Emyr. Whilst the paedophiles’ friends harassed and threatened me, spread vicious rumours about me, rang up my PhD supervisor and dripped poison into his ear, drove cars in my direction very fast very carelessly and then had me arrested because the Chair of the North West Wales NHS Trust Elfed Roberts was ‘fed up’ of my complaints about the mental health services and was cross because I had pink hair and had called his ludicrous car a penismobile, Emyr was the best friend that one could have had. He could see exactly what was going on and like the Hergest Whistleblower and a few others who stood by me, reassured me that the appalling behaviour of these people said nothing about me.

It speaks volumes about Glyndwr that it is Emyr who has found himself at the centre of a storm there. Glyndwr University is a troubled institution and it has been for years. There are a number of other academics there who like Emyr are high performing both in terms of their research and their teaching, but Glyndwr has found itself at the bottom of the league tables ever since it was created but they don’t have enough staff like Emyr. Glyndwr has tried to construct itself as an institution which is vocationally based, but there are massive problems with that claim as well. I don’t know anything about the engineering side of Glyndwr, but I do know about the ‘health and social care’ side – we’re back to the paedophiles’ friends again. The institution is teaming with ‘experts’ in health and social care who have previously worked in or been very well aware of the practices of the dreadful ‘services’ in north Wales and their penchant for neglecting and abusing patients. But none of them will say a word. My post ‘Last Man Standing’ details the background of Dr Wulf Livingstone, a senior lecturer in social work there – Livingstone knows so much about the misconduct of the ‘services’ that he probably should make his way to the police station and give a statement. A few years ago Glyndwr was running a ‘substance abuse’ course for people who wanted to work with drug users. Except that it seemed that people with the backgrounds and skills necessary for that work were being turned down for places – whilst places were offered to people who were drug users themselves. Why are we not surprised? The ‘substance abuse’ business in north Wales is dominated by CAIS, the ‘charity’ run by the paedophiles’ friends Dafydd and Lucille and some of their ‘peer support workers’ are dealing to their ‘clients’. As Brown observed, no-one in north Wales would want a drugs worker who could actually do the job properly, because they’d see straight through CAIS and get more than a few of them arrested.

Glyndwr University has a history from which it has not escaped. It was previously known as NEWI, the North East Wales Institute and before that, Cartrefle College. Read the biographies of the paedophiles and their friends as described in the Waterhouse Report – again and again they had ‘trained’ at Cartrefle College. The thugs on the ground battering and sexually assaulting the kids in care in north Wales had qualifications from Cartrefle College but their managers frequently had qualifications from Bangor University, Liverpool University or Salford College of Technology. The lawyers and judges who protected them all were often graduates of Aberystwyth and the Top Doctors sitting on the heap of shit were frequently graduates of Liverpool Medical School. There was a very obvious pattern. Somebody was employed at Cartrefle College giving qualifications to that bunch of monsters – and that somebody will have been subsumed into NEWI when it was formed and then into Glyndwr University. Even if they are now retired, it will be the usual phenomenon – they’ll still be in touch with former students and associates who will not yet have retired, they’ll be pulling the strings and back-scratching and everyone will be quietly reminded of exactly how many reputations and careers will go tits-up or indeed how many now elderly people could die in prison if the vow of silence is broken. What happened in children’s homes in north Wales is now receding into history, a lot of the politicians and judges involved are dead and those we know and love are fully aware that if they can keep the lid on it for another ten years or so they’ll be home and dry. Pensions and reputations intact. Of course nearly all the kids who were in the homes and the patients of the paedophiles’ prisons – the North Wales Hospital and Garth Angharad – are now dead, having met unfortunate premature deaths.

People living and working in north Wales have long since been fascinated by the tales of madness and serious mismanagement that leaked out of Glyndwr University. The centre of the most florid stories was Professor Mike Scott, the former Vice-Chancellor. People looked on in wonder and asked each other how much longer the chaos could be allowed to continue – staff told stories of Mike Scott giving crazed lectures to the staff en masse, of Scott telling barefaced lies and of rumours that the University was known to be virtually bankrupt but Scott nonetheless was spending like a drunken sailor on bizarre plans. One of the most notorious was Mike Scott’s plan to establish a ‘corridor of knowledge’ – he purchased some sheds along the side of a road in Wrexham in pursuit of this plan, but somehow it never really got off the ground. One of the Biggest Mysteries in north Wales also involves Mike Scott – whilst it was widely alleged that Glyndwr was flat on it’s back breathing it’s last financially, Mike Scott purchased the Racecourse which was next to the University for nearly two million quid – no-one could work out HOW. Allegations of financial corruption flew…He paid a lot of money for the sheds as well. Even people who only fleetingly met Mike Scott never forgot him – someone who shook hands with him described it as like shaking hands ‘with a wet fish’. But then I discovered that Scott had previous. Before being given his own university to destroy, he had been a PVC at De Montfort University – and had really screwed up there. Whilst Scott was at De Montfort he announced plans to establish an ‘axis of knowledge’ passing through three countries (I think the countries involved were England, Wales and Ireland), a bit like Hitler’s expansionist plans a few decades ago. People marvelled at how, after the DMU years, Scott was ever actually given any sort of job at NEWI, let alone given responsibility for running the place. It was alleged that NEWI was such a train wreck that the Welsh Gov’t were desperate for it to ‘merge’ with another institution, but no other college would touch them with a barge pole. Whilst he was wreaking havoc in Wrexham, there was another truly fascinating anecdote circulating about Mike Scott. Some of the older staff at Bangor University claimed to know the man who failed Mike Scott’s PhD in times past. I was told that Scott had done a PhD in English years ago, but he failed his viva and had to resubmit, which is why so many at Bangor looked on in horror at what he was allowed to do in Wrexham.

I know that readers will be fully aware that much of this can be interpreted as academics sneering at other institutions and their alleged follies and of course an awful lot of that goes on. Brown always used to say ‘when you work in a university you hear the most appalling things about people and you must never believe a word of it. But you must never be naïve enough not to listen’. But the reason that there was so much interest in what was going on in Wrexham was that someone somewhere was allowing this to happen – and public money was being squandered on a very large scale. Where was the accountability?

So what about the governance of Glyndwr University? Let’s take a look.

The current Chancellor of Glyndwr University is Trefor Jones CBE; he took up the post in Jan 2016. Trevor is described as having a ‘long and distinguished relationship with NEWI’ – he was their Chair. Trefor Jones was the Lord Lieutenant of Clwyd 2001-2012. He took his duties seriously – when HM the Queen and went to visit Flint, Trefor met her at Flint station! (Flint station is a dreadfully grotty place, I’m gobsmacked that Her Maj ever agreed to alight there.) Readers will understand why my interest was piqued when I saw that Trefor had been appointed to this post – this blog is full of the names of the paedophiles’ friends who ended up as Lord Lieutenants or Deputy Lieutenants. So who is Trefor?

Trefor Jones grew up in Rhyl and started his working life as an apprentice at what is now called Airbus at Broughton. He eventually became Chair and CEO of Pilkington Optronics. In 2000 Pilkington won a contract worth millions to supply the Royal Netherlands Army. I note that the new Vice-Chancellor of Glyndwr, Professor Maria Hinfelaar, is described as a ‘Dutch national’. Now that could well be of no significance – but continue reading this post.

Trefor has many varied interests. He was or is Chairman of the North Wales Area Committee; was or is the Chair of Celtec; was or is a member of the Welsh Industrial Development Advisory Board; was or is the Chair of the North Wales Economic Forum; was the Deputy Chair of the WDA (see post ‘Corruption Bay Special’ for background on the infamous WDA); he was or is the Chair of Clwyd Justices Advisory Committee; he has just stepped down from his role as Chair of St Kentigerns Hospice. Now perhaps he is, as the local media reassures us, simply a man who has dedicated his life to public service in north Wales. But guess what else Trefor was? He was a member of Clwyd Health Authority. So Trevor knew that Dafydd and Gwynne the lobotomist of the North Wales Hospital were unlawfully banging people up who crossed the paths of the paedophile gang. Trefor will have been one of the people who ignored the numerous complaints about patients being assaulted, sexually abused and fleeced of their money. He was part of the Health Authority that did not investigate complaints about those matters. As a member of that Health Authority he will have known the other people named on this blog who as members of both the Health Authority and Clwyd Social Services were directly involved in concealing the abuse in children’s homes in Clwyd. After the abolition of Clwyd Health Authority, Trefor continued with an NHS role – he was Vice-Chairman of Conwy and Denbighshire NHS Trust. So he will have had domain over those notoriously dreadful wards for the elderly in Ysbyty Glan Clwyd then.

Trefor had fingers in many pies and was at the top of one of the biggest businesses in north Wales. He is someone who could have spoken up about the wrongdoing. But he didn’t.

More about those pies. When Trefor was appointed Lord Lieutenant, the Clerk to the Lord Lieutenant Colin Everett – who doubled up as CEO of Flintshire County Council – announced in Jan 2009 that Tefor had appointed numerous Deputy Lieutenants. Among them were Judge Roger Dutton, Lady Susan Langford, Michael Peters and Professor Mike Scott. Lady Susan Langford is President of St Kentigerns, the hospice of which Trefor has just stopped being Chairman! Lady Susan’s husband, Lord Geoffrey Langford, is a Patron of St Kentigerns. Michael Peters I believe is better known as Mike Peters, the rock star from the band The Alarm. Mike Peters and his wife Jules are probably the most effective PR people that Ysbyty Glan Clwyd has. Mike Peters famously developed testicular cancer and has spent the years since raising money and extolling the wonders of the hospital which saved his life. Presumably the Top Doctors didn’t tell Mike that testicular cancer has a very low mortality rate and that nearly all patients survive, even if they are treated in a hospital with a reputation as bad as Ysbyty Glan Clwyd. A recent press release informed us that Jules has now been diagnosed with breast cancer. I think that someone ought to tell her just how big the problems are in YGC and give her the chance to be treated elsewhere, because breast cancer has a much higher mortality rate than testicular cancer. As for Professor Michael Scott – well we know all about him…

So who sits on the governing body of Glyndwr University? I had a look at the University website and the Governor’s Register of Interests 2016/17 and this is what I discovered. The governors include:

Celia Jenkins. In 2013 Celia was the High Sheriff of Clwyd. She was originally from Cheshire – the stomping ground of Sir Peter Morrison MP and all those who kept quiet about him molesting children (see post ‘    ‘). Celia is the Deputy Chair of the North East Wales Magistrates Bench, the Chair of the North East Wales Magistrates Panel, a member of the Wrexham Youth Justice Management Board, a member of the Lord Chancellor’s Committee for Clwyd and a member of the Executive Committee of the League of Friends Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Foundation Hospital. Celia’s spouse is a member of the Council of Chester University and a Board Member of the Llangollen International Eisteddfod. Previous posts have mentioned people involved in the abuse of children in north Wales who trained at Chester College – which became Chester University – and the paedophiles’ friends who were or are involved with the Llangollen International Eisteddfod, including the daddy of the biggest cover-up, Sir Ronald Waterhouse.

Barrie Jones. Barrie is the Editorial Director of NWW media – he joined the ‘family owned Board of Directors’ in 2010. This is the North Wales Weekly News Group, which published illustrious local titles including the North Wales Weekly News and Wrexham Leader. Barrie worked for those newpapers back in the 80s. When those papers had a penchant for printing flattering articles about Dr Dafydd Alun Jones rather than what was really happening inside of the North Wales Hospital. I very much doubt that the victims of the paedophiles’ were given much of a voice in those titles either. Barrie is involved with the journalism course at Glyndwr!

Gill Kreft. Gill is married to the well-known Mario Kreft and they own the Pendine Park empire, a substantial business involving care homes for the elderly and those with dementia. Gill is listed as a Director and shareholder of a number of the businesses that she and Mario run. She is also a Director of DBS Disclosures Services Ltd, a Director of Gwarchod Properties Ltd and a Trustee of the Social Care Institute of Excellence. The Social Care Institute of Excellence is now a standing joke in the wake of recent revelations as to the reality of much ‘social care’ in the UK. Gill also has a role with the Academy of Care Practitioners Ltd and Care Forum Wales.

Gill’s husband is very high profile in Wales and appears in the media regularly raising concerns regarding the lack of funding for social care. He certainly sounds much more compus mentis than many other people involved in that area of business in north Wales, although I don’t know anyone who’s ever worked for him so I don’t know what the reality is. His business is certainly very substantial and seems to be expanding rapidly, in spite of his pleas of living on the breadline and being unable to afford to pay his staff anything higher than the legal minimum. I note that Gill lists her interests as opera and exotic travel, such a viewing mountain gorillas. Opera and luxury holidays to the Virunga National Park don’t come cheap. I doubt that the care assistants at Pendine Park can afford such pastimes.

Rebecca Maxwell. Corporate Director of the Economy and Public Realm at Denbighshire County Council. In 2003 was Head of Children’s Services for Stirling Council. Prior to this, Rebecca had a ‘thirteen year career in the NHS in a variety of strategic and operational roles in England and Scotland’. Advisor to the North Wales Economic Ambition Board.

Paul McGrady. Has lived in Wrexham since 1977 – he was there when the paedophile gang in the Wrexham children’s homes was doing it’s worst than. Paul works at Wrexham County Borough Council as an accountant. That’s the Wrexham County Borough Council who were involved in the fiddle that I have previously blogged about which ensured that Dafydd and Lucille’s charity CAIS landed the contract for ‘service user involvement’ across the whole of north Wales then. Paul has previous – in 2005 he was Head of Finance and Assests for Denbighshire County Council. Denbighshire County Council has featured on the blog previously regarding irregularities in the funds – on some occasions the funds weren’t there. In 2015 Paul was appointed a Director of CCG, the ‘social landlord’ that was formed when the housing stock of Gwynedd County Council was transferred. The CCG who continues to employ the same staff who fiddled and embezzled when they were employed by the housing dept in Gwynedd County Council (see post ‘News Round-Up, March 24 2017’), the CCG that is the subject of constant serious complaints and media exposes.

Judy Owen. Judy is a Trustee/Director of St Kentigerns Hospice – that’s right, the hospice from which Trefor has just stepped down as Chairman! Judy joined Pilkington P.E. Ltd in 1973 and progressed to the role of site accountant. So she was an employee of Trefor’s then – and was responsible for the dosh. In 1999 she left Pilkington to work for Euro DPC at Llanberis, where she became finance director. I used to live near Euro DPC and they became a legend. When they first opened their doors in 1991 or 1992, they placed big adverts in the local papers telling local people how many ‘opportunities’ would be available. The employment situation in the area was dire, so everyone – including me – beat a path to their door. What a shock we had. The ‘international biotech company’ who had told the world that there would be well-paid managerial and scientific jobs in Llanberis was indeed seeking managers and scientists, but they had no intention of paying managers and scientists professional salaries, at least if those managers and scientists were local. I was offered the grand sum of £6000 pa after replying to an advert for scientists with postgrad qualifications and experience and the son of someone else I know was offered a similar pittance when he applied for a managerial position. When I asked why they were offering their scientists and technicians such poor pay they cheerily told me that the ‘market rate’ in Gwynedd dictated the salaries on offer. Euro DPC also had a plant in Oxford – where people doing exactly the same jobs as in Llanberis were paid very much more. I knew of one person who moved from Gwynedd to Oxford to do exactly the same job for much higher pay. Because Euro DPC paid sheepshaggers less. I that bet Euro DPC received ‘funding’ from the WDA to set that plant up in Llanberis as well. Do you want to tell us what was going on in that company Judy? Euro DPC played fast and loose with Health and Safety as well. One of the students that I did teacher training with in 2000/01 was partially blind. She’d been a chemist at Euro DPC in Llanberis, there’d been an accident and chemicals had got into her eye – there was no first aider on the premises and a manager refused to take her to Ysbyty Gwynedd for a check up. She suffered damage to her sight.

Phil Storrow. Phil is Head of a Dept at Glyndwr. He used to work at British Aerospace, just like Trefor. Phil is also a Director of Optic Glyndwr Ltd and of Glyndwr Innovations Ltd. So he is a Head of Dept at Glyndwr, a Director of two businesses owned by the University and a member of the University’s governing body – having previously worked for a company that the University’s Chancellor is associated with. Phil is also a Trustee of the Chester Childbirth Appeal. I don’t know what that is all about – although no doubt Trefor Jones will be involved somewhere – but the Countess of Chester Hospital has received an awful lot of bad publicity recently after it was revealed that the care was shite and a number of babies died unnecessarily. But then the maternity care at that hospital was not what it should have been for many years, but no-one piped up.

David Subbachi. Yet another Magistrate – David has sat on the Wrexham and Denbigh Benches for twenty years and was Chair of the Denbigh Bench. He is a former member of the Lord Chancellor’s Advisory Committee for North Wales on the selection and recruitment of Magistrates and a member of the Welsh Bench Chair’s Forum as well as the National Council for Magistrates’ Association. David’s career was spent as a civil servant in the Valuation Office Agency. He is a governor of Ysgol Morgan Llwyd Wrexham and a former governor of St Mary’s RC School, Wrexham. David’s wife is Chair of Offa Community Council.

Vincent Ryan. He was born and educated in Wrexham, but he won’t have been one of the kids who grew up in a children’s home there. He has a law degree from Cardiff University and in 1981 joined Allington Hughes Solicitors, becoming a partner with the firm in 1988. He stayed until 2009. So he was a local lawyer both whilst the paedophile ring raged and throughout the Waterhouse cover-up then. Which explains why he’s the Chair of Trustees of the Wrexham Diocesan Protection Management Committee. Vincent is an employment judge at employment tribunals.

Brian Everett. Brian has spent his career in UCU (Universities and Colleges Union). He is an employment judge in employment tribunals as well. Brian is a Director of Bevere H Consulting and the Chair of Wrexham RC Diocesan Safeguarding Commission. He is also a Trustee of the CAB. As is Lucille Hughes, the woman who was named in the Waterhouse Report as knowing that a paedophile ring was operating in the social services but failed to act, whilst she was Director of Gwynedd Social Services. Brian is Trustee and Chair of the Charles Lloyd Foundation.

Neil Ashbridge.  Neil is a non-executive Director of Cartrefi Conwy and Vice-Chair of Disability Wales. He is a member of the Liverpool Cathedral Finance Committee; a member of Liverpool Hope University’s Executive Advisory Board; a member of Oxford University’s Business Economy Project Advisory Board; a member of the Welsh Industrial Development Advisory Board; a Director of the Board of West Cheshire and North Wales Chamber of Commerce; the Chair of Liverpool Chamber of Commerce.

Professor Sandra Jowett. Sandra is Vice-Chair of the National Open College Network; a non-executive Director of Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust; an Emeritus Professor at the University of Cumbria. Her son works for KPMG, London.

Tim Mitchell. Tim is a Director of McLintocks, Wrexham; a Director of the recently formed North Wales Crusaders Rugby League team, based at Glyndwr University Racecourse Stadium; the Hon Sec of the Chester and North Wales Society of Chartered Accountants.

Askar Sheibani. A Director of Deeside Business Forum Ltd; Group CEO Comtek Network Systems Ltd; a member of the Alyn and Deeside Constituency Labour Party.

Dr Colin Stuhlfelder. Colin is a Senior Lecturer in the Built Environment at Glyndwr University. He is also a Board member of Riverside Mersey North Housing Provider.

Emma Perrin. Emma’s spouse works at Airbus Operations at Broughton. Trefor’s former employers.

 

Well, there we have it. Perhaps I ought to open a competition for readers to see who can spot the highest number of conflicts of interest among that lot – before anyone does yet more research on the organisations that I’ve mentioned. The over-riding impression is of a group of people many of whom have worked for or with Trefor Jones or are involved in charitable causes or local authorities with which he has connections and who are in a position to do favours for or benefit from Glyndwr University. Many of whom are involved in the criminal justice system, which must be a dream for the paedophiles’ friends who are still cluttering up the region.

One further point about the organs of government at Glyndwr University. They have a senior member of staff, James Dawson – who has a famous brother-in-law. Dawson’s brother-in-law is John McTernan, the Rottweiler and former Director of Political Operations for Tony Blair! I have blogged about how Dawson left his previous job at Bangor University under a cloud after trying to steal a number of computers. One of which was mine, with lots and lots of info on it concerning the wrongdoing of the north Wales mental health services and how Blair’s Gov’t was keeping that as well as many other mental health scandals quiet (see post ‘When Showbiz Meets Politics’).

 

Having had a taste of what Trefor Jones got up to in his roles as Lord Lieutenant and Chancellor of Glyndwr University, I thought that I’d check out what might have been going on at St Kentigerns Hospice, where he was Chairman until literally a few days ago. I prioritised identifying who are Trustees and Patrons.

Trustees include:

Lady Susan Langford, the President. I have provided details re Susan earlier.

Judy Owen, Treasurer. That’s the Judy described earlier – who used to work as the accountant for Trefor’s company and then worked as the finance director for the dodgy Euro DPC.

Professor Mari Lloyd Williams. Mari is a Top Doctor specialising in palliative care who works at the University of Liverpool North West Cancer Centre. She has served on the fitness to practice and professional conduct committees of the GMC; on the HEFCW (Higher Education Funding Council for Wales) and UKHEAC committees 2006-12; was appointed by the Welsh Assembly Gov’t to the Review of Governance in HE in Wales; was a member of the Advisory Group under Chair Sir Adrian Webb into the Future of Higher Education in North East Wales; Chairs the Tenovus Cancer Charity Psychosocial Grants Committee. With all those connections to healthcare research and HE, presumably Mari could help Glyndwr University out if she wanted to. She’s also been in a position to decide what fate should befall the dreadful Top Doctors of north Wales should the GMC ever decide to place any of them in front of a Tribunal.

David Gozzard. David is a retired Consultant Haematologist from Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, a position that he achieved in 1988. He was Clinical Director of Pathology and was Medical Director of the Conwy and Denbighshire NHS Trust – Trefor was Vice-Chairman! After the Conwy and Denbighshire NHS Trust evolved into the North Wales NHS Trust – yet another reorganisation in a desperate attempt to stop the regional NHS killing people and it’s staff/managers siphoning off NHS funds – David became Medical Director of the new organisation. David was also Chair of the North Wales Medical Committee 2001-04.

Having been Clinical Director of Pathology in Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, David might be able to clear up a long-standing puzzle. In the summer of 1991 I had one of my many Bizarre Experiences. I had moved back to north Wales to live and I applied for a job in the path labs of Ysbyty Glan Clwyd. I was called for interview and faced a panel of three people. One man was someone from IT who was obviously the brightest on the panel but was the most junior in the hierarchy in terms of jobs, the other was a senior person from the lab staff – could it have been David Gozzard? – and the other was a most extraordinary man, even by the standards of north Wales, a Top Doctor called Binns-Smith. I should have realised that I was in for a fun time, because before I was called in for the interview I was sat in a waiting area near to some workmen who were working on the ceiling. An enormous man with a huge belly, no jacket, open-necked shirt and no tie emerged from an office nearby and started bellowing at the men working on the ceiling, hurling insults about the ‘average British workman’ no less. I presumed that he must have been their foreman, particularly as he was in possession of the stereotypical builder’s bum as his trousers started to descend whilst he yelled at the workmen. Then I noticed that not only were his trousers descending, but his flies were undone so in total quite an expanse of ancient white Y fronts were on display. He turned to me and asked if I was waiting for interview – this man it transpired was Dr Binns-Smith, head of pathology ay Ysbyty Glan Clwyd.

I followed Binns-Smith into the interview room with him still bellowing about British workmen. As I sat down, one of the others on the ‘panel’ gave me a very strained smile and simply said ‘portent’. Binns-Smith didn’t respond, but then introduced me to the IT man, making a joke about him being so lowly in the workforce but of course ‘everybody calls him the boss’. Binns-Smith commented that he had noted from my CV that I had a postgrad degree from and had worked in the London medical schools. He then launched into a rant about how his son had applied for a place in the London medical schools but had been rejected by all of them and the trouble was that medical schools were full of ‘cabbage patch socialism’ (whatever that is) and that his son’s teachers had advised him to apply for other courses after clearing but he wasn’t having his son doing an ‘arty farty’ course. This man was clearly both mad and offensive and was obviously embarrassing the other ‘interviewers’ who sat there without saying a word. I did wonder what his son was like – could he perhaps actually keep his trousers up, unlike his father? Was he as obnoxious as dad, or was he truly oppressed, having been told by his father to apply for medicine when he wasn’t able to gain the high grades needed? After about ten minutes of this, I decided that I really didn’t want to work for this lunatic, so I told Binns-Smith that I was leaving. As I walked out, I heard him bellowing at the other two men ‘gentlemen, this interview is over’. I expected the mother of all insulting letters afterwards, but I never heard another thing. I asked around, but no-one I knew was acquainted with Binns-Smith. Unlike Dafydd who regularly hit the media, I never saw any references to Binns-Smith in the local papers either. I have tried googling him since then, but nothing. Some years after my encounter with him, I did of course start hearing stories that Ysbyty Glan Clwyd was every bit as dangerous, corrupt and mismanaged as Ysbyty Gwynedd and that people were being misdiagnosed and dying when they shouldn’t have been. In the light of who was running their pathology dept I cannot say that I was surprised. Binns-Smith wasn’t the average British workman but he was only marginally worse than the average north Wales Top Doctor. If David Gozzard gets to read this blog and fancies meeting up, I’d dearly love to hear the many anecdotes that I know will have circulated around Ysbyty Glan Clwyd about that man.

St Kentigerns Hospice has a number of Patrons, one of whom is Colonel Lord Geoffrey Langford, Susan’s husband!  Lord Langford was identified as being 100 years old in an article about him a few years ago, so I’d be surprised if he was still alive. He spent his career in the British Army and inherited the family seat at Rhuddlan from a member of his extended family who had died without children. He married a number of times, the last time in 1975 to Susan. Who was then Susan Denham from Wrexham. I presume that Susan is quite a bit younger than Colonel Lord. Colonel Lord’s heir was listed as being his son, Owain Grenville Rowley-Conwy, who married a Joanna Featherstone. I presume that Owain is now Lord Langley. I note that after Trefor Jones finished his stint as Lord Lieutenant of Clwyd, the next Lord Lieutenant was someone Featherstone. It just has to be one of Joanna’s relatives doesn’t it.

One recent media article reporting that Trefor Jones was standing down as Chair of St Kentigerns after seven years mentioned that St Kentigerns was ‘saved’ solely by Trefor a few years ago when it faced bankruptcy. There were no details of how Trefor raised the money needed to save it – which will have been considerable. Trefor won’t have had it in his piggy bank. Perhaps Judy Owens – the Treasurer of St Kentigens, the former accountant of Trefor’s company and the former finance director of Euro DPC – might like to tell us.

 

I’m going to terrify readers a bit more now. Whilst I was searching for info on Trefor – I’ve only carried out a very brief search, God knows how much else I’d find if I spent a few days on it – I cam across Trefor’s name in Hansard no less. Trefor’s name appears in a document that was prepared in March 2008 and submitted to the Welsh Affairs Committee when the Committee were considering the provision of cross-border health services for Wales. The document is entitled ‘Memorandum Submitted By Huw Thomas And Colleagues’ beneath which are the words ‘submission from a group of retired people who have played a prominent role in the NHS and public life in North Wales’. The document is a lengthy, furious response to the proposals by Edwina Hart, the then Minister for Health, to redirect elective neurosurgery patients away from The Walton Centre in Liverpool to the Morriston Hospital in Swansea. I hadn’t seen this document before, but I remember that row very well. It happened as the Top Doctors and their associates in north Wales were doing their utmost to bring Edwina down. They really loathed her. The charge from the GPs was led by Dr Eamonn Jessup, who at the time was displaying a Facebook group on his Facebook page entitled ‘higher pay for doctors’. Dr Richard Tranter, lately of the Hergest Unit, was telling his patients that Edwina wanted patients referred to the Morriston because it was near her constituency. Tranter was also telling his patients to write to their AMs and MPs to complain about the NHS. Did Tranter ever tell patients to do this some years previously when the Hergest Unit were framing patients who had complained and presided over one of the highest suicide rates in the UK? No, he only did it when the Top Doctors began their co-ordinated campaign against Edwina.

The ‘memorandum’ bangs on at great length, presenting what it believes is a clinical case for continuing to refer patients to The Walton Centre. I note that the memorandum isn’t only fighting on behalf of The Walton Centre – it is also angrily maintaining that patients should not be referred to Cardiff and that referrals from north Wales should continue to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Broadgreen Cardio-Thoracic Centre, Manchester Royal Infirmary Cardiac Centre and Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Gobowen (spinal injuries and specialist orthopaedics).

Now there are a great many arguments for and against sending patients from north Wales to either the north west of England or to Cardiff or Swansea for complex specialist treatment. But what I’m interested in is who signed that ‘memorandum’ along with Trefor. Because I recognised a lot of those names. Many of them are names that can be found on the early medical records of mine that my lawyer had to go to the High Court to extract. They are the names of people whom I had never met and in many cases whom I did not know existed – but they were all part of the effort to have me either banged up in a secure hospital on the grounds of my ‘dangerousness’ which was predicated entirely on statements made by Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) which they knew were untrue, or prosecuted for offences which they knew that I had not committed. Many of the names were also advising on how not to investigate my complaints concerning the criminal activities of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones, Dr Tony Francis and the staff of Gwynedd Social Services. Francis, Jones and Gwynedd Social Services were at the time facilitating and concealing the paedophile ring. I also recognised some of the names from archive material dating from the late 80s – they were the names of the people who were running Gwynedd Health Authority so badly that the Health Authority was bankrupt, the Welsh Office had sent a hit squad in and David Hunt, the Secretary of State for Wales, was writing letters to them himself.

The following names were the names that I recognised:

Dr Cedric Davies, former Director of Public Health Medicine, Gwynedd Health Authority. Cedric was on very chummy terms with Tony Francis and was part of a plot to incarcerate me in the Caswell Clinic in south Wales – although I was living and working in London.

Noreen Edwards, former Chairman of Gwynedd Health Authority. Noreen was cc’d into most letters about me. David Hunt wrote to Noreen Edwards regarding the ‘crisis’ in Gwynedd Health Authority – which had been caused by her and her mates.

Professor Robert Owen, former Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Hospital Gobowen and Professor of Orthopaedics at Liverpool University. Robert Owen was the Medical Ombudsman for the Welsh Office who organised the cover-up led by Professor Robert Bluglass after I complained about the criminal conduct of Dafydd et al (see post ‘Enter Professor Robert Bluglass CBE’). I now have documents demonstrating that doctors who were not part of my complaint and whom I was no longer being ‘treated’ by were communicating with Robert Owen without my knowledge, outside the parameters of the ‘investigation’ and were communicating with him about this at his home in Colwyn Bay. (By the way on an earlier post I stated that Robert Owen was a surgeon and prof at Cardiff – I had always presumed that, because I met him in Cardiff and of course the letters from him had a Cardiff address on them, although it was obviously the Welsh Office’s address. The info in this post concerning Owen’s affiliations to Liverpool University and the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Hospital was supplied by Owen himself in the ‘memorandum’.)

Dr David Roberts, former Consultant in Public Health Medicine, Gwynedd Health Authority. David Roberts was cc’d into letters about me.

Hilary Stevens, former Chairman, Conwy and Denbighshire NHS Trust. I used to see Hilary in action when she was a member of the Betsi Board when the Betsi was first formed. She certainly wasn’t as mad or as obnoxious as many of those we know and love, but Hilary obviously didn’t have a grip on the Conwy and Denbighshire NHS Trust. Was this because Hilary was a normal human being who was unable to control a load of criminals, some of whom had concealed a paedophile ring? Or was Hilary a smiling devil with better social skills than the rest of them?

Professor Eric Sunderland, former Vice-Chancellor of Bangor University and Lord Lieutenant of Gwynedd. Professor Sunderland always struck me as being very establishment but not barking mad or corrupt. But he did run a University full of the paedophiles’ friends with Gwynne the lobotomist working in the Student Health Centre. Perhaps Eric was someone else who was surrounded by monsters whom he couldn’t control. Either way, he can’t have been completely Of Them because he never received a knighthood. Which everybody expected him to. I was told that Eric and his wife were deeply hurt by this lack of recognition and that Professor Sunderland Not Being Given A K was another north Wales conundrum. He should have taken it as a compliment – he obviously wasn’t friendly enough with the paedophiles’ friends. And if he’d been a child molester himself, he’d have been given a peerage and admitted into the highest echelons, along with Greville Janner.

Huw Thomas, former Chief Executive of Gwynedd Health Authority. Huw wrote me inane – and in the end rude – letters and failed to investigate the most serious of complaints. He was also writing the paedophiles’ friends letters about me – he was much friendlier to them than he was to me. Huw was Chief Exec of Gwynedd Health Authority at the time of the ‘crisis’ when David Hunt had words with Noreen.

The signatures of people unknown to me are:

Dr Pat Barry, former Consultant Anaesthetist, Ysbyty Gwynedd.

Mr Michael Crumplin, former Consultant Surgeon, Ysbyty Maelor.

Mr Chris Davies, former Consultant Surgeon, Ysbyty Glan Clwyd.

Dr Harry Edwards, former Consultant Anaesthetist, Ysbyty Gwynedd, Chair of Welsh Medical Committee.

Dr Ellen Emslie, former Consultant Dermatologist, Ysbyty Glan Clwyd.

Annwen Carey Evans, former High Sheriff, Gwynedd.

D.B. Carey Evans (no position given – presumably a nobody who was simply related to the High Sheriff, which was obviously quite enough to turn them into a somebody.)

Elizabeth Colwyn Foulkes.

Sir William Gladstone, former Lord Lieutenant of Clwyd.

Dr Jeffrey Green, former Consultant Cardiologist, Ysbyty Gwynedd.

Michael Griffiths, former Chairman, Clwyd Health Authority and Chairman, Conwy and Denbighshire NHS Trust.

Dr Idris Humphries, former GP and Chairman of Welsh General Medical Service’s Committee.

Mr O.M. Jonathon, former Consultant Surgeon, Ysbyty Glan Clwyd.

Professor David Jones, former Chief Nursing Officer, Gwynedd Health Authority and Professor of Nursing, Sheffield University.

Mr David Jones, former Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon, Ysbyty Gwynedd and Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, London.

Dorothy Keddie, former Assistant Director of Nursing, North Wales Health Authority.

Mr Hywel Oliver, former Consultant Surgeon, Ysbyty Gwynedd.

Bill Owen, former Director of Finance, Gwynedd Health Authority.

Dr J. Gwyn Thomas, former GP and Chairman of Welsh Branch of Royal College of General Practitioners and Provost of Merseyside and North Wales Faculty of the Royal College of General Practitioners.

Dr Mari Thomas, former GP and Chairman of MENCAP Wales.

I do not know the above named, but I know from the positions that they were so proud to have held that they, variously, bankrupted a Health Authority, worked as leading Top Doctors in hospitals with appalling track records where serious mistakes were made which led to patients being maimed or killed, worked in a region where learning disabled people lived in dreadful conditions and were referred to as ‘cabbages’ by the managers of the ‘services’ supposedly caring for them, obstructed any attempts to improve services and declared all out war on patients who dared complain.

All of this lot who signed the ‘memorandum’ knew that terrible things were happening in the surgical depts of the local hospitals. They probably knew that the paediatrics dept of Ysbyty Gwynedd had such a dreadful reputation that there was an arrangement among local doctors that their own children would not be admitted there. Many of this lot also knew that there was a madman running the region’s psychiatric hospital, that he was sexually exploiting patients, that he was unlawfully incarcerating anyone who crossed the path of him or his criminal associates – of which there were many – and that some of those illegally incarcerated were literally never seen again. Oh and a lot of them will have known that a paedophile gang was operating in the children’s homes and that when the kids weren’t being beaten, starved or forced to work as free labour, they were being raped and buggered. This motley crew destroyed the fabric of north Wales – how did they believe that they had the right to send this foolish rubbish to Parliament and demand that they be listened to?

So why were this bunch of moribund old gits so desperate to get rid of Edwina and continue to send patients to hospitals where they had connections? Was it that they feared losing control of the vice-like grip that they had over the region and  – as with the employment of new staff from elsewhere  – they dreaded anyone uncovering evidence pointing to what they had done? Myself, I keep pondering on a truly nightmare scenario. I witnessed patients who were undoubtedly left to die after complaining about this shower – it was very obviously supposed to have happened to me as well. A number of us who refused to keep quiet have existed for years whilst being completely unable to access ANY medical treatment for any medical problem, no matter how painful or life threatening. We have found vicious rumours spread around the region about us and we found ourselves turfed out of jobs in bizarre circumstances. When we investigated, a member of the Cylch was always involved. People with businesses found themselves going out of business, even if they had previously been highly successful.

Some years ago, just before this almighty row erupted between Edwina and the paedophiles’ friends which hinged upon The Walton Centre, I knew of two people in north Wales who both developed brain tumours at about the same time. One was married to someone who was known to have had a bellyful of the paedophiles’ friends and would dearly have liked to see them brought down. The paedophiles’ friends themselves were doing everything that they could to shaft this person. The other person was a former social worker who had worked in this role when the paedophile gang were on the loose and undoubtedly knew what was happening. Both of these people were referred to Walton. The former social worker was operated on, made a slow but good recovery and still socialises with the paedophiles’ friends in retirement. The spouse of the person who was being targeted by the paedophiles’ friends was told that their tumour was inoperable and they subsequently died. Maybe that tumour was inoperable – but how would anyone ever know? I was told many things for many years – but once my lawyer obtained my medical records I discovered criminal conduct that shocked even me, I discovered that Top Doctors whom I always rated as being better than their colleagues and whom I liked and thought that I got on with well were ruthlessly using the fact that I trusted them to extract information about me and even people close to me in order to do as much damage to us as they could. I also found that the only two people who had actually dared stick their necks out to protect me had lost their jobs within months – after one was prosecuted and convicted of an indecent assault.

These people were involved in serious organised crime for years. And Edwina Hart knew all about – because I told her what was happening to me, as did a few other people. No wonder she wanted to put these fuckers out of action and stop them referring patients to their mates.

So to all the relatives of the people that they killed – have this blog as a free gift. I’ll name every single person whom I know was involved. Even those who spent time supping with HM the Queen. In fact, particularly those who spent time supping with HM the Queen.

The story dominating the news reports on the radio today has been the announcement that Alison Saunders (the DPP) is ordering the CPS to  prosecute trolls who send hate mail to others on social media. Female MPs in particular are waxing lyrical about this and Luciana Berger has been wheeled out on every news bulletin to tell us all how many nasty messages she gets and how they affected her mental health. I know that public figures -especially women – can be targeted by some deeply unpleasant people. Jess Phillips went public months ago on some of the online messages that she was receiving and read a few of them out – graphic descriptions of the various sexual tortures to which these sad bastards wanted to subject her. It is deeply, deeply unpleasant and it is not acceptable. But just look at what those we know and love have got away with and Alison Saunders and previous DPPs did nothing. In spite of the fact that back in the 90s, thousands and thousands of witness statements were taken and hundreds of people were identified as having abused children in care in north Wales. As for Luciana and her mental health – at one point Luciana was Jeremy Corbyn’s spokesperson on mental health. I was seriously underwhelmed by her complete failure to speak out about what actually happens to people in the mental health system. They die Luciana. Particularly if they have grown up in care and start talking about what happened to them.

 

There would seem to be many vampires in north Wales, particularly at Glyndwr University. But Dr Emyr Williams is not one of them. Emyr is a high achieving academic, someone who does not put himself first constantly and is a man of integrity. What on earth would north Wales want with one of them, it is hardly surprising that the writs are flying and the Daily Post is in overdrive.

 

 

 

Update On ‘Tainted Blood’ Scandal – The Culprit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Corruption Bay Special

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I Want Serious Money Now Please

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

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

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

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

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

Brandreth never heard any of this discussed????

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

Anyone for co-production?

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More Summer Reading!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

News Round Up, August 1, 2017

I am no longer attending Betsi Board meetings having moved elsewhere, but I do still hear about them. I have recently received an e mail from someone who attended the last Board meeting who told me that the Betsi Board are still utterly deluded regarding the ‘services’ that they are providing and their abilities to run their own organisation. Bad news Betsi stories continue to hit the local media on a weekly basis and the Board remains in special measures. Vaughan Gething the Health Minister recently refused to establish a medical school in north Wales, no doubt because he knows that the problems in the NHS in north Wales are such that any medical school sited there would be a disaster – and a spectacular waste of money. The Board is currently awaiting the results of two independent investigations into the ‘institutional abuse’ of mental health patients.

So my correspondent was somewhat surprised to hear Peter Higson, the Chair of the Board, use the phrase ‘IF there is to be another appraisal’ when speaking about the Board’s possible release from special measures. As my correspondent noted – ‘IF’??? Does Higson really think that he is going to get away with no more appraisals after the scale of the disaster? Perhaps Higson does think this – after all he was the manager of the North Wales Hospital Denbigh whilst the most appalling things went on and was never required to answer to anyone, he then played a leading role in the scandal ridden quango Elwa and was rewarded with an appointment as Chief Exec of Health Inspectorate Wales, during which time he steadfastly failed to investigate serious complaints. By the time that Higson left HIW it was described as ‘not fit for purpose’ – he was then appointed Chair of the Betsi. Yes, maybe Higson is a little surprised that for the first time in his long and glorious career of shafting the citizens of Wales he is now finally under scrutiny. The Welsh Office’s concealing of the shite at the North Wales Hospital Denbigh because it in turn was concealing the North Wales Paedophile Ring provided a big umbrella for Higson for many years and he won’t have suffered by having a sister who was Chief Medical Officer for Wales, Ruth Hussey – although I note that Ruth’s exorbitant salary was made public in the Welsh media last week and invoked fury in some quarters….

It’s entertaining to compare what is appearing in the media concerning the Betsi with the ‘press releases’ on their website. What appears in the local media is a relentless catalogue of scandal, complaint, crisis, suicides, avoidable deaths of patients and damning reports from the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales. But when one clicks on the Betsi’s website one enters another universe. I’ll detail just a few of the stories that have appeared on there over the last couple of weeks.

On July 25 it was reported that at Llandudno Hospital, some ‘dementia champions’ were encouraging staff and visitors to back a scheme established by the Alzheimers Society to train ‘dementia friends’ to ‘support local people living with dementia’. Dementia support worker Rachel Richards, who has worked at Llandudno Hospital as a dementia champion for four years, won the UNISON Wales 2016 ‘Outstanding Person of the Year’ award for her work concerning dementia. Now Rachel might be a really nice person who has moved heaven and earth to try and improve the lives of people with dementia. If she has done this, it will be in spite of her employers, not because of them. The Betsi is currently in special measures and the subject of two investigations as a result of the scandalous abuse of patients with dementia on Tawel Fan ward. After the closure of that ward, there was another scandal involving dementia patients at Bryn Hesketh, although the Betsi refused to ever come clean regarding the details of that.

UNISON is the union that a lot of Betsi staff belong to – including some of the staff who over the past years have been involved in the abuse of patients. UNISON has provided those staff with unlimited free legal advice even in the face of very serious complaint from patients. Some years ago a former manager of the Hergest Unit, Robin Holden, told someone known to me that the problems at the Hergest were very serious but that he was completely unable to resolve them whilst he was employed as a manager there because ‘the unions’ obstructed him constantly. And I bet that one of those unions was UNISON. UNISON doesn’t support whistleblowers but it does support staff who are the subject of very serious complaint, including assault or sexual assault on patients. I accept that everybody is entitled to a fair hearing no matter how serious the allegations against them are, but in the case of patients alleging abuse on the part of NHS staff it is not a level playing field. The staff accused will receive free legal advice from their union and the support of the NHS – because the NHS NEVER admits failure until there is a damning external report from somewhere – whereas the patients/relatives will only be entitled to a very limited number of hours of legal aid, even in the case of a death. Furthermore, if you are Martin Jones (the former Chief Exec of the North West Wales NHS Trust and currently the Director of Workforce at the Betsi) you will deliberately fail to answer questions from patients’ lawyers no matter how many times they are put to you in order to prolong correspondence between yourself and patients’ lawyers as much as possible, knowing damn well that if you manage to string this out for a few months the patient’s legal aid will run out. Martin will then write the patient a letter refusing to correspond with them any further. Which is what you did to me when CCTV filmed your staff threatening me, refusing to treat me and making false allegations against me in an attempt to have me arrested wasn’t it Martin?

On July 21 the Betsi website published an article about a lady of whom they are most proud, Dr Alys Cole-King, an ‘expert’ in suicide prevention. This expert in suicide prevention is a former psychiatrist at the Hergest Unit which had one of the highest suicide rates in the UK among it’s patients. Alys now works at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd as a psychiatrist – the hospital which was the site of the institutional abuse of mental health patients. My post ‘Experts In Suicide Prevention??’ provides a full account of the bullshit and hypocrisy that emanates from Alys as well as details of the con that is her organisation ‘Connecting With People’. Alys was congratulated by Higson after she won a ‘top international award’ for her ‘pioneering work’ supporting people at risk of suicide and self-harm. So that’ll be why so many people are still killing themselves in north Wales then and why self-harming patients are still reporting that they are unable to access effective treatment from the Betsi. Alys went to Malaysia no less, to the ‘glittering awards ceremony’. Well that beats staying at home in north Wales treating your patients doesn’t it.

But Alys isn’t the only expert on suicide and self-harm from the Betsi gaining international recognition! Professor Rob Poole – a psychiatrist who mistreated one patient of his so badly that he was the subject of a speech in the Senedd – and his colleague Professor Catherine Robinson have been awarded dosh to continue their trips to south Asia to teach Johnny Foreigner all about self harm and suicide prevention (see posts ‘It’s Those Experts From The Betsi Again!’ and ‘He’s Not The Messiah – He’s A Very Naughty Boy’ for more info on Poole and Robinson). I received a phone call from someone telling me ‘but they don’t know anything about suicide prevention’. I know that they don’t, but they don’t tell anyone that. They tell everybody that they are experts in these matters and everybody around them goes along with the fantasy in the hope that the Betsi or Bangor University can then tweet nonsense about the experts in their employ. And no-one in south Asia knows the grim reality of what passes for ‘care’ of the suicidal or self-harmers in north Wales. This technique worked so well for Mark Williams and Mindfulness (see post ‘The Biggest Expert of the Lot’) that others have taken a leaf out of his book.

The Betsi published another story on it’s website on July 21 as well – it announced that a ‘UK top clinical leader’ had attended an event at Bryn y Neuadd Hospital, supporting the Betsi’s strategic plan involving ‘senior mental health nurses’. These will be the senior mental health nurses that have been responsible for the neglect and abuse of patients to date then – they won’t be new senior mental health nurses because nobody will actually work for the Betsi so bad is it’s reputation. Jen French, the Director of Nursing for Mental Health and Learning Disability, admitted this – she commented that she hoped that the new strategy would boost recruitment when word got around about the ‘supportive environment that we provide’. That environment is so supportive that the nurse who blew the whistle on the Tawel Fan scandal was sacked. None of the staff involved in abusing the patients were disciplined. The whistleblower was also wrongfully arrested, subjected to malicious smears and received death threats. That’s Jen’s ‘supportive environment’ for you.

So who was the ‘top clinical leader’ who gave the Betsi his support? He was Emeritus Professor Tony Butterworth. The Betsi stressed that Tony was listed as one of the top 100 clinical leaders by the ‘respected’ Healthcare Services Journal. The HSJ was the offender who at one point named Katrina Percy as ‘NHS CEO of the Year’. Percy presided over the scandal at Southern Health, where hundreds of patients with learning disabilities and/or mental health problems died. The scandal only ever became public as a result of the campaigning of Dr Sara Ryan, an Oxford sociologist, whose son died whilst in the care of Southern Health. As happens to so many people who dare expose NHS failure, Sara has received abuse and threats, her abilities as a parent were questioned by Southern Health, she was described by the psychiatrist who was responsible for the care of her son when he died as ‘toxic’ and the teenaged son of a colleague of Katrina Percy sent out a tweet describing Sara as a ‘fucking pest’. Yesterday the inquest returned the verdict on the death of Connor, Sara’s son – death by neglect. The associated report was utterly damning of Southern Health. So I don’t think that anyone is going to be too impressed by anyone who comes highly recommended by the HSJ.

Tony Butterworth wasn’t the only person invited along to the event at Bryn y Neuadd – CANIAD were there too! That’s the CANIAD that has been established by Dafydd Alun Jones et al at CAIS to represent ‘service users’. For details of the con that is CANIAD and the corrupt process which resulted in it landing the contract for ‘service user involvement’ for north Wales, please see posts ‘Introducing Caniad’ and ‘The Story Behind £1.5 Million’. I have already received correspondence from someone who was duped into working for CANIAD and has discovered that it does not represent service users at all. But then Dafydd et al don’t have much of a track record where patient representation is concerned.

On 19 July, the Betsi website featured a ‘therapy dog’ called Max. Max is currently paying visits to the Hergest Unit where he is alleged to be working wonders. It was observed that when Max arrives the patients come out of their rooms. I bet they do – the reason why patients stay in their rooms in the Hergest Unit is that the staff ignore them or are nakedly aggressive towards them. Max will be a very welcome change (unless he becomes inducted into the culture of the Hergest Unit and starts snapping and snarling at the patients). There is a photo of Max on the website and I note that he is wearing an ID badge. Which is considerably more than the Hergest staff used to – they were notorious for refusing to identify themselves to patients, for refusing to wear ID badges and even uniforms. There was one principal reason for this – it was to ensure that if patients wanted to make a complaint about their appalling behaviour, the patients wouldn’t be able to identify them. All the patients were ever told was the first name of the member of staff and all staff referred to themselves as ‘nurses’. They weren’t – they were nearly all nursing assistants and a lot of them were agency or bank staff. In fact so few of them were qualified nurses that sometimes there was no qualified nurse on duty.

When I made a serious complaint about four Hergest staff, it took me MONTHS to actually find out who they were, although the complaint involved an assault. Nobody would say anymore than ‘Bethan, Michelle, Dave and Sian, nurses’. It was bloody obvious that most of them weren’t nurses, they were barely literate and ‘Dave’ was a caveman with a broken nose, nearly shaved head and prison tattoos. After many months of detective work, I discovered that they were actually Gwen Bethan Roberts, Michelle Shaw, David Wood (nursing assistants) and Sian Ruth Lloyd (newly qualified nurse). I also discovered that there had been numerous other complaints about them involving their abuse and aggression towards patients and that in a previous job with young people ‘nurse Dave’ was alleged to have flushed a client’s head down the bog. Max the dog is going to be a very big improvement on that bunch of thugs.

The article about Max boasts of the other activities that are available to Hergest patients. Art therapy is mentioned. There is an art therapist at Hergest and a lot of patients speak very highly of her. One patient who desperately wanted to do art therapy was prevented from doing so – because she had been to the same school as the art therapist and the dear old Hergest were worried about ‘boundaries’. I suspect that what they were really worried about was that the patient might have told her former school friend what had happened to her in Taliesin Ward – she had been so badly treated in there that one of her neighbours pretended to be a lawyer when she visited her, because the neighbour thought that if the Hergest staff thought that they were being observed by a lawyer the extent of their neglect and brutality might be curbed. The website claims that Tai Chi and walking groups are available for patients. I know a Hergest patient who attended those Tai Chi and walking groups. The ‘groups’ consisted of him – a keen mountaineer in his late 50s – and four or five elderly ladies with the early stages of dementia. No, there was not much Tai Chi or walking done. It is mentioned that a group of Bangor University student volunteers also attend the Hergest Unit to assist with activities. That student group was set up by the Hergest Whistleblower a few years ago – the students were lovely and were very keen. The Hergest Unit management did all they could to stop that group – because they did not want those students witnessing what was going on in the Hergest Unit. At least one of the students was refused permission to continue with the work on the grounds of a minor criminal conviction that he had incurred some years previously – so he was left feeling really bad about himself after being labelled a ‘danger’ to staff and patients. It was bollocks – he wasn’t a danger to anyone, the Hergest management knew that they were employing people like Caveman Dave and they did not want people knowing how patients were being treated.

Interestingly enough, for years animals were banned from the Hergest Unit as well. Patients like me who had dogs had to get our friends to bring our dogs to the hospital and we had to go out into the car park to meet our dogs. And if the ‘nurses’ decided not to let you out of the ward, you couldn’t see your dogs because there was a total ban on animals. Many years ago there was a very friendly Irish junior doctor who worked at the Hergest who was actually a human being and he used to bring his dog in at nights to greet the patients when the other Top Doctors had all gone home. He told us that if anyone found out that he was doing this he would be sacked. It wasn’t just mammals that were banned at Hergest – pigeons were unacceptable as well. The day centre at Hergest – which was eventually closed down entirely – used to have a little courtyard attached to it and pigeons would land in the courtyard. Patients really loved the pigeons and fed them biscuits. A notice appeared on the wall asking everyone not to feed the pigeons. Everyone ignored it and carried on feeding the pigeons so another notice appeared ORDERING everyone not to feed the pigeons. Everyone ignored that notice as well, so then another notice appeared saying that the door into the courtyard would be locked because people were continuing to feed the pigeons.

On July 13 the Betsi website reported that the family of a man with learning disabilities who died whilst in the ‘care’ of Morriston Hospital in Swansea had appeared at the launch of yet another Betsi ‘initiative’ to improve the care of learning disabled people. It was mentioned that the failures in care at the Morriston had been described by the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales as ‘abject’ and ‘dire’. The Ombudsman has made very similar comments about the failures of care provided by the Betsi recently. The Morriston Hospital isn’t in special measures either.

 

My recent post ‘A Prescription For Murder’ reviewed a ‘Panorama’ programme which featured that well-known Top Doctor from the Hergest, Dodgy Geezer Dr David Healy. There’s been quite a bit of fall-out from the programme with the Top Doctors taking to twitter – Rob Poole even wrote a blog post about it (Rob touchingly uses the phrase ‘we experts’ in his post). The voices noticeably absent are those of the patients – I’m glad to say however that someone who has been on the receiving end of Healy has left comments on ‘Service Shenanigans’….

NHS England also caused a twitter storm and prompted much media comment earlier this week when it was announced that there was to be a huge increase in the number of mental health posts. So Jeremy Hunt is going to train and employ thousands more people to carry on doing what has failed to help people with mental health problems so spectacularly so far then. The Top Doctors and their associates have been scrapping over those plans as much as they have been scrapping over Healy’s appearance on ‘Panorama’. I am reminded of that scene in ‘Time Bandits’ when the dwarves all start fighting each other and Napolean looks on delighted and applauds saying ‘That’s what I like – little things hitting each other’. As the Top Doctors and the RCN and the Dodgy Geezers all argue amongst each other, falsify their research and declare themselves the true experts, global capitalism continues to screw healthcare completely. Jeremy Hunt himself has also hit a new enlightenment – he stated that there are ‘problems’ in the NHS that can’t be solved no matter how much is invested in it and that other Gov’ts found the same problem despite spending huge amounts of money on the NHS. I suspect that the ‘problems’ Jeremy might be thinking of are called the BMA and GMC. That’s right Jeremy, they’re institutionally corrupt, you’ve all known it for years and the monsters are now so big and so greedy and so demanding that you can’t possibly give them what they want and now they going to scream and scream until they’re sick.

A fascinating medical scandal has begun to emerge, one that the ‘Independent’ is maintaining could be as big as thalidomide – the vaginal mesh scandal. Since the 1990s, thousands of women experiencing even just mild occasional stress incontinence have been encouraged to have vaginal meshes inserted. The meshes are kept in place by hooks attached to one’s soft tissues. Surprise, surprise, it’s now been revealed that inserting a mesh with hooks on into one’s fanny is not a particularly good idea, the meshes have been slicing through tissue causing bleeding and other awful consequences. Various gynaecologists have been crawling out of the woodwork and some have given comments to the press interpreting this as a consequence of sexism and a cavalier attitude to female health. No, this is an example of the cavalier attitude that Top Doctors routinely adopt towards their patients’ health in general. Gynaecologists both male and female knew what those meshes were doing to people but they have kept quiet for the last twenty years. Furthermore, although a few female gynaecologists self-identifying as the defenders of women’s health are now speaking up, they could have done so a very long time ago – but they didn’t. There is also a complete absence of information regarding who developed vaginal meshes and where the early clinical trials took place. Anyone happen to know? Because someone put those things on the market and robustly promoted them, including to some women who did not actually need such interventions….

It brought back a few more memories of the Everyday Story of St George’s Folk for me. I have mentioned in previous posts how dysfunctional relationships were between Top Doctors at St George’s and how the main pastime was knifing each other or gossiping about who was shagging who. There was one Top Doctor there who was particularly loathed by everyone – a gynaecologist called Stuart Stanton who specialised in treating urinary incontinence. He seemed very secretive about his practices and people spent much time and effort trying to find out what he was up to – including where in the world he actually was at any one time, because he wasn’t always in London. Stanton was robustly recommended to well-heeled private patients as being the man to consult should they suffer from pelvic floor problems. Yet people who worked with him used to constantly make comments along the lines of ‘Christ I wouldn’t let him near me’. I never ever found out what it was that he was doing that repulsed everybody so much and why there were so many efforts made by so many people to try and find out about his business practices. As ever with the Top Doctors, there was clearly a slurry pit somewhere involving Stanton but they weren’t going to let on, especially not to patients. Stanton is still practicing – in Harley Street of course. I keep wondering how many people he might have recommended a vaginal mesh to…

Whilst reading all about the vaginal meshes in the ‘Indie’, I noticed another story on their website. That of a case of a learning disabled couple in Oregon, who have had their new born baby removed from them on the grounds that they had learning disabilities. There were no allegations of them presenting a danger to the baby, the decision was made simply because both the baby’s parents had ‘low IQs’. This is not a first and this sort of thing happens rather closer to home than Oregon. You’ve guessed it – I witnessed the very same thing happen to a learning disabled couple whose baby was born at St Georges. The decision to remove the baby from their care as soon as it was born was not one taken by the midwives or obstetricians and a lot of them were very uncomfortable with what was happening and felt that it was very sad. The decision had been taken by the social services – as were other decisions regarding the removal of babies from their mothers, again in circumstances that left a lot of the staff on the labour ward very uncomfortable. I felt that this was bad enough at the time, but after receiving the documents regarding my own case a few months ago, I am now very concerned at what might have been going on. Because the social workers making the decisions to remove those babies from their parents at birth were the very same social workers who my documents now demonstrate were without my knowledge – and after never having even met me – in communication with Lucille Hughes, Dafydd Alun Jones and Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) regarding my ‘dangerousness’. The Lucille, Dafydd and Tony who were facilitating a paedophile ring in north Wales. Many of the decisions to remove babies from mothers giving birth at St Georges were made in consultation with psychiatrists from St Georges – the psychiatrists who knew about the serious criminal activities of Dafydd Alun Jones et al in north Wales but who colluded with them and said nothing about their wrongdoing….

The ‘Guardian’ is reporting on a major industrial dispute in NHS England that is getting remarkably little attention – but then it doesn’t involve Top Doctors or Angels. This dispute involves some genuinely very badly paid NHS workers – the cleaners of Barts NHS Trust. They are not actually employees of Barts or indeed of the NHS because of course the cleaning contract has been outsourced, in order to pay the cleaners even less. The cleaners are working for Serco, some shifts start at 4am in the morning and some of the cleaners are in their 60s with health problems. The workforce involved is mostly female and substantially made up of ethnic minorities. So among all these media allegations of ‘nurses going to food banks because their pay is so low’ – no, nurses’ pay is not that low, it is not high but it is above the UK average – here is a group of workers who really are being exploited and paid dreadfully. So where’s the outcry then? I’m glad to note that Jeremy Corbyn is supporting them, but there’s a conspicuous absence of other high profile names who have tripped over themselves to spout off about junior doctors not being able to live on their salaries and of course all those nurses down at the food banks. There is one glaring inaccuracy in the ‘Indie’ report though. It states that Florence Nightingale knew the value of hygiene. She didn’t – Florence had quite a casual attitude to hygiene, it was all a bit Mid-Staffs. When Florence was told of the existence of ‘germs’, she refused to believe that they existed on the grounds that something that small wasn’t possible. So she continued to walk through the wards giving everyone a dose of the deathly lamp.

 

BBC News Wales online has had much coverage of the commemorations of the Battle of Passchendaele over the last few days. There has been much remembering of the fallen. As the Betsi continues to exterminate people with mental health problems whilst boasting about it’s experts, I think that it’s about time that we remembered the now hundreds of people who have died in the face of all this expertise. I suggest a Tomb of the Unknown Service User with an eternal flame to counteract the constant stream of propaganda from Higson et al.

 

Last Man Standing

I have plagiarized the title of this post from Jack Straw’s autobiography which I am about to start reading. Because I haven’t read his book yet I don’t know why a privileged former Cabinet Minister has framed himself as the last man standing, but the subject of this blog post really is worthy of that title, as his chances of reaching mid-life yet alone pensionable age were so much lower than Straw’s. I decided to write this post to illustrate the ways in which mental health patients’ experiences are grossly caricatured by mental health staff, how abuses and horrors are intentionally air-brushed out of medical histories and how if anyone really wanted to uncover the institutional wrongdoing that was prevalent in north Wales during the latter decades of the twentieth century they could, quite easily.

The man starring in this post is F, a man who has spent most of his adult life living among the hippy community in Bethesda. F acquired diagnoses of, variously, ‘paranoid schizophrenia’, ‘drug induced psychosis’ and ‘chronic psychotic illness, resistant to medication’. F did suffer from a psychotic illness and at stages during his life had been in a very bad way indeed, but the way in which he had arrived at that state does not appear in any of his medical records. F is – unbelievably for those of us who know something of his adventures – still alive, although I understand is no longer under the ‘care’ of the mental health services, after a lifetime of their ‘help’. He told them to piss off some three years ago as he had decided that they play no useful role.

As did many of the Bethesda hippies, F came from a middle class background in England but actively made the decision to ‘drop out’ sometime in the seventies. He moved to Bethesda in either the late 70s or early 80s when his first wife took up a place at Bangor to do teacher training. By the time that F had moved to Bethesda he had already acquired a degree in Fine Art – at one point he was described as the most talented artist in north Wales, but unlike his contemporaries Ed Povey and Peter Prendergast, F was seriously hampered by illness. He could still do the artistic bit and churned out excellent work but tended to say and do bizarre and unacceptable things at exhibitions or when trying to negotiate sales, which unsurprisingly resulted in him not ever selling very much.

By the time that they arrived in Bethesda, F and his wife were enthusiastic dope blowers as well as keen consumers of magic mushrooms. They were completely uninterested in narcotics, had pretty much given up amphetamines but occasionally took hallucinogens. Although F’s wife qualified as a teacher she didn’t like teaching and she established a gardening and house renovating business. F spent most of his time painting although he did spend a few summers working as a gardener at Penrhyn Castle – he inherited money as a young man which enabled him to lead quite a leisurely lifestyle. Previous posts have discussed the police corruption that was rampant in north Wales. This has received UK-wide media coverage because of the part that it played in the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal, but students and hippies invariably experienced it in the form of the completely bent drug squad that operated in north Wales, in particular two notorious plain clothes drug squad officers who used to frequent the Bangor area and stitch up anyone whom had crossed their path. The effect of the actions of these two was to constantly harass and prosecute people for possessing small amounts of cannabis whilst allowing a thriving trade in hard drugs to develop in the area, to a large degree facilitated by Dafydd Alun Jones’s ‘peer support workers’ at CAIS who were frequently dealing to their ‘clients’.

F came to the attention of the corrupt drug squad because he was basically a hippy who was newly arrived in the area. In the early 80s they raided his house. During the raid, they planted cocaine in his wife’s handbag and seized the small amount of cannabis that was in the house. The drug squad then ordered F’s wife to make a statement against him, framing him for possessing much greater quantities of drugs than he actually had, in return for a plea bargain concerning the cocaine that they had planted on her. F and his wife had a volatile relationship and led a fairly chaotic existence – although they were both bright and well-educated – and thus F’s wife allowed herself to be threatened by the drug squad in this way. So F was arrested and taken off to the police station. He was not given access to a solicitor whilst he was there. At the police station – I think it was Bangor – he was ordered to strip naked. After he did so, a senior officer – F described him as an ‘inspector’ – walked into the room and in F’s words ‘ogled me’ and commented on his genitals. F responded by saying ‘Christ can’t I even undress in peace’ and ‘why do you want to look at another naked man’. The Inspector punched him in the face. F responded by saying ‘that took a real man with the whole police force behind you’ and stated to the constable who had witnessed this assault that he would complain about this. The Inspector walked out and F didn’t see him again. F  was charged with possession of drugs – far more than he had actually been in possession of – and after a long while, with no medical attention following the punch in the face, was released. He went back to Bethesda, distressed after what had happened at the police station.

He was alone at home, his wife had gone back to England to visit family, not knowing what had happened at the station. That night, F descended into a full blown psychosis. He had not consumed any drugs since leaving the station – his interpretation is that the arrest, framing and assault at the station had been so traumatising that it all precipitated the psychotic episode. (F had experienced his first psychotic episode in England a couple of years previously.) F’s account of that night is that he hallucinated giant spiders crawling out of the walls, a demon sitting in the corner of the room and then heard God’s voice telling him to ‘raze this house’. F set fire to the house – it was a terrace and fortunately the neighbours saw smoke and called the fire brigade. By this time F had left the house believing that it was possessed. He spent the night outside, seriously ill and he was only picked up when the police arrested him for arson and endangering life.

He was taken to the magistrates court – I think in Bangor – and was detained in the notorious Risley Remand Centre for ‘psychiatric assessment’. F’s account is that after two weeks or so in Risley, the psychotic episode had passed – not that he received any ‘medication’ whilst he was there. He graphically described to me how every night he heard the screams of the other prisoners as they were beaten up by the prison officers, how prison officers taunted all the prisoners with threats of ‘we’ll make sure you come back here and it will be even worse when you do’ and how when he asked an officer if he would change the light bulb in his cell because it kept flickering on and off and was stopping him from sleeping, the officer removed the light bulb leaving him in darkness saying ‘you’ll sleep alright now won’t you’. He was left in darkness for several days. But something else happened to F whilst he was in Risley. A detective from London came to visit him and tried to interview him. This detective got frustrated with F and gave up, threw him back in his cell saying ‘There’s no point talking to you, you’re mad’. F told me this story many times but he never managed to work out what it was that the detective from London wanted to know. F remembers the detective constantly saying ‘I want to talk to you about your brother’. F  had a brother who lived in Surrey whom he did not get on with and had little contact with. F’s brother ran the family business, he was not involved with drugs or hippydom and he was very condemning of F’s lifestyle. So it is unlikely that the detective would have been hoping to grill F about any potential criminal activities involving his brother.

I had always presumed that the detective would have been after info about the drugs trade in north Wales. But researching the details of the North Wales Child Abuse Ring and it’s network into Westminster has thrown up another possibility that F himself never mentioned. F had been violently assaulted after challenging an Inspector who had walked into his cell after F had been framed and ordered to take off his clothes. F was a young man when this happened, he was attractive as a young man and he was also very slightly built. We now know that police officers such as Gordon Anglesea – who was, guess what, an Inspector – were sexually abusing boys and young men after they had been arrested, detained and criminalised for trivial offences. Those young men described being violently assaulted if they resisted – and many of them ended up in Risley Remand Centre or in the mental health system. F had announced his intention to complain about the officer who hit him. The assault had been witnessed by a constable. F was not an illiterate teenager who had grown up in care, he was from a middle class affluent family and his wife’s father was a society dentist with mates in Harley Street. F’s wife’s brother was a journalist. I’m wondering if there might have been some very worried police officers after F ended up going psychotic – F had of course made the headlines of the local papers after setting fire to the house. I suspect that this might have been why F received a visit from a detective from London when he was in Risley. F’s father was dead and his mother had returned to South Africa to live (she grew up there and only moved to England after she married) – so F’s brother was his only blood relative. F’s next of kin was of course his wife – who had been framed by the police herself and forced to make a statement against him. I really don’t think that the North Wales Police would have wanted to answer any difficult questions about what had happened to F in the police station.

So what happened to F after this detective visited him in Risley? Whilst he was there, F’s psychotic episode quietened down. By this time he did have a solicitor, who visited him in Risley and told him that although everyone accepted that he was no longer psychotic, he was going to be transferred to the North Wales Hospital Denbigh ‘to keep the courts happy’. F was told that he would only be expected to stay at Denbigh for three weeks or so. The charges of ‘endangering life’ were dropped – interestingly enough, after F’s solicitor mentioned that he had been assaulted by an unidentified police officer. F was charged and convicted of arson. He was then transferred to the North Wales Hospital – to the care of one Dr Dafydd Alun Jones!

So F arrived at Denbigh, no longer psychotic. Once there he was told again that he would just be there for a month or so as a formality. He had an interview with Dafydd and like all interviews with Dafydd it was bizarre. F described Dafydd as ‘a bit of a twat’, but F is quite open and friendly even to twats, so cheerfully engaged in a conversation with Dafydd about his cannabis smoking habits. F’s account of his interview with Dafydd is worth hearing – he does a good impersonation of Dafydd and explains how he mentioned to Dafydd that he was walking in the mountains and ate some grass. To which Dafydd responded ‘do you mean mar-i-jew-a-na?’. F replied ‘no, grass’. Dafydd asked ‘why were you eating grass?’ F explained ‘because I was thirsty’. At which point Dafydd began furiously scribbling away. F later caught sight of his notes – Dafydd had described him as ‘a man with pleasant manners and casual attire’ who of course was suffering from ‘cannabis psychosis’. No mention of F and his wife being framed by the drug squad, no mention of F being punched in the face by a senior police officer who had inexplicably appeared as F was naked, no mention of conditions at Risley Remand Centre, no mention of the detective from London visiting F at Risley, no mention of F no longer being psychotic and only being admitted to Denbigh ‘to keep the courts happy’. No mention of any of it – but a diagnosis of cannabis psychosis!

So did F only stay at Denbigh for a month to keep the courts happy? No, of course not. F was in Denbigh for a year. When F was first admitted to Denbigh, F commented to the nurses on their quasi-military uniforms. He playfully flicked the epaulettes on the shirt of one nurse and asked him if he was a sergeant major. He was dragged off down a corridor and sedated. After about four weeks in Denbigh F was offered amphetamines by another patient. Yes, Dafydd’s proud establishment, his much boasted about ‘therapeutic community’ where people who’d grown up in care and hippies had to remain for months and months to keep them away from the perils of cannabis, was host to a healthy trade in drugs much more problematic than cannabis. At the time that F was offered the amphetamines, he was severely depressed so he accepted the offer. Whatever he was given was incredibly strong – and it precipitated another psychotic episode. So F was deemed to be suffering from such a serious form of cannabis psychosis that he was detained by Dafydd for a year.

Imprisoning F for a year lest anyone began to investigate those corrupt police officers wasn’t enough for Dafydd though. F only narrowly escaped ending up in Holyrood House, the appalling ‘care home’ in Llandudno run by Margaret Richards that was choc full of Dafydd’s patients. Holyrood House was the centre of a media expose in the 1980s and even got a mention on ‘That’s Life’. Patients were being beaten up by a heavy who was employed as a ‘security guard’ there and a former drug addict from Liverpool was responsible for the drugs cabinet. When Dafydd finally decided that the coast was clear and that it was safe to let F out, he told F that he would make a better recovery in lovely Llandudno. F told me that he ‘wanted to get back to dogs, Bethesda and mess, not live in bloody Llandudno’. Dafydd then refused to let F out ‘because you do not have an offer of accommodation’. Apart from Holyrood House that was. After a few weeks of Dafydd trying to force F into Holyrood House or be forever incarcerated in Denbigh, F sneaked out of the grounds, rang a hippy friend in Bethesda, explained what was happening and the hippy friend agreed to write to Dafydd offering F accommodation. And that is the only way that F actually got out of Denbigh.

F had many other adventures in Denbigh. I’m not going to detail them all here, I’m going to let those we know and love guess how much F told me. They’ll all know who F is and because F is chatty a lot of them actually know what happened to him before he set fire to his house because he used to talk about it quite openly. But those bastards don’t know what else he told me….

Whilst F was in Denbigh, he did try and engage the help of the charity ‘Release’, which had a reputation for being able to get people out of prison or police custody if they had been arrested on drugs charges. A man from ‘Release’ did go all the way up to Denbigh from England, but he was unable to get F out. I wonder what he thought was happening – he had travelled to the wilds of Wales and found a sane but eccentric man being held prisoner in a hell-hole…

I knew F well for the best part of ten years and I knew how he and his problems were conceptualised by the Hergest Unit throughout the 1990s. It was all a matter of drug induced psychosis – or occasionally there would be speculation that he was someone who would have been vulnerable to psychosis anyway, but his consumption of drugs triggered it. I heard him tell Hergest staff what had happened before the fire. I was even in his company when he met the policeman who had witnessed the Inspector punch him in the face and he reminded that policeman of what had happened that day – the policeman still worked locally. The policeman looked sheepish and had a sudden lapse of memory. More recently that particular policeman was stationed at Ysbyty Gwynedd.

North Wales is heaving with people who knew that these sorts of things were happening. They are all colluding in a sort of en masse delusion as many of them now move into their comfortable retirements on public service pensions. Every time the North Wales Child Abuse ring is mentioned – ooh, no, I never knew anything about that. Every time police corruption is mentioned – ooh but we never knew. As for Denbigh – ooh it wasn’t good, but no, we didn’t know patients were being abused….

F’s adventures at Risley and at the hands of Dafydd are some thirty years ago now. But F was stung more recently all over again by those we know and love. My post ‘It’s All About Protecting Children’ details how F was denied access to his own baby because he dared report a child molester who was being protected by Jo Bott, the monstrous ‘safeguarding officer’. Bott had previously been a police officer. That post also describes the untimely death of yet someone else who had witnessed wrongdoing on the part of Gwynedd Social Service’s child protection team – this young man was killed just at the time that no-one could deny any longer that child abuse on an enormous scale had taken place in north Wales and talk of police cover-ups and possible public inquiries were in the media.

I mentioned at the beginning of this post how F has suffered from a psychotic illness throughout his life. This is true – he is bright and sociable, but he certainly had difficulties throughout the whole time that I knew him. But the thing that I noticed more and more during the 90s were that a lot of F’s difficulties were being caused by the mental health services. Not just in the obvious ways – they stood by whilst he was fleeced financially by an unscrupulous family after he finally split up from his first wife and they stood by whilst lies were perpetuated about him which led to him losing access to his own child – but the ‘medication regime’ that he was on had to be witnessed to be believed. This was someone who when he was young did take drugs – but he gave up illegal drugs after the house fire and the year in Denbigh. Instead he moved onto prescribed drugs – which were given to him in huge quantities by the mental health services. Obviously they didn’t have to work too hard to persuade him to take them, he was delighted to have some drugs to take – but they did bugger all to try to stop him. As far as I knew there were only two people – two of the rather better GPs that worked in the area – who warned him frankly about the dangers of excessive drugs and told him that they would in no way collude with him if he abused prescription drugs. The psychiatrists at the Hergest Unit – namely Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) and Dr Bob Tresman – loaded him up with more and more drugs as the years went by. The drugs were never reviewed, although they were very obviously affecting F’s functioning – he used to sleep for about 18 hours a day because he was so heavily sedated – and whenever he expressed any anxiety or stress (which he did very regularly) the prescription pad would be wielded and another anti-psychotic or benzodiazepine would be added. But no drug was EVER removed as another one was added. Suggestions from other people that he might be massively over-medicated would be brushed aside with ‘but he’s got a psychotic illness’. Yet bizarrely his Hergest notes described him as ‘chronically psychotic, resistant to medication’. If his illness was resistant to medication why did they continue to dispense so much of it and continue adding to it?

As F hit his 40s, his teeth very obviously began to disintegrate. He maintained that there was nothing wrong with his teeth because he wasn’t experiencing toothache. In the end, he was persuaded by his friends to visit a dentist. By the time that he made that visit his teeth were so far gone that the dentist maintained that the only option was to remove the remains that were there. F was staggered and asked the dentist why he hadn’t been getting toothache. The dentist explained that he was on such high levels of benzodiazepines and anti-psychotics that his pain receptors weren’t responding. Even the dentist was shocked as to the drugs that were being prescribed. There was one person in F’s life who took prescription drugs along with him though – that was a social worker who lived in the village who had been a friend of his from his hippy days. She used to pop around for a coffee and down a few benzodiazepines with him, just as the rest of his friends were desperately trying to impress upon him that the shite being foisted upon him by the wielders of prescription pads in the Hergest was not really doing him any good. That social worker now works as a social work trainer for Conwy!

F is no longer living in Bethesda and I haven’t seen him for years, but one of my friends is in contact with him. He is now in his 60s and I am told that his psychotic symptoms have decreased drastically, that he still paints and that his moods are much more stable. A few years ago for a while, for the first time in his life, he was allocated a CPN whom I was told was head and shoulders above the others. This CPN actually managed to get a review of F’s medication to reduce the amount being prescribed. His psychotic symptoms gradually started to recede….

So that’s the story of F, who is indeed the last man standing from Denbigh. As far as I know, I and two other women are the last women standing. Like nearly all the former kids in care who witnessed the North Wales Paedophile Ring in action, everyone else from Denbigh (and pretty much the early days of the Hergest Unit as well) is dead. But before they died, they will have told scores of people what had happened to them. Which was almost certainly why no-one worked too hard to ensure that they stayed alive.

F spent more than thirty years being used by the mental health services in north Wales as a cautionary tale of the perils of Too Much Cannabis. He was actually the consequence of a corrupt drug squad, a perverted and violent police inspector, a corrupt magistrates court and Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and the associated thoroughly rotten mental health and children’s services. Compared to the damage that lot did to F, the cannabis was neither here nor there.

Although the main trashing of F seems to have been precipitated by the fear of what would happen if anyone started investigating the circumstances in which he was arrested and what subsequently went on in the police station, a lot of people had a vested interest years later in ensuring that no-one would believe anything that F said and not just because of his knowledge of the misconduct on the part of the children’s services in Gwynedd. F had a sense of humour and although he was always dismissed by Hergest staff as being completely mad, he chatted to people, listened to their stories, remembered those stories and often knew some of the ‘professionals’ whose misconduct he was hearing about. He had heard nearly as many first hand accounts of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones’s inappropriate conduct with female patients and staff as I had heard; he noticed that everyone appointed as a ‘service user representative’ in Gwynedd and Anglesey was a total fuckwit who were simply doing what they were told by the managers of the mental health services and he confronted Alun Davies, the manager of the Hergest Unit, about the naked corruption that was occurring between the managers and clinical director of Ysbyty Gwynedd, Dr Terry Maxwell; he personally knew people who had been threatened with violence by staff of the Arfon Community Mental Health Team; he knew scores of dispossessed people in the area whose lives had been ruined by those we know and love, including people who had been sexually molested by people paid to care for them; he knew about the corruption in MIND and had confronted the staff in the Bangor branch about it and was then banned from the ‘drop in centre’ by the Voice Of The Patients Helen Milne (who after ignoring the criminal abuse of patients at MIND was given the Rape Crisis Centre to play with would you believe) and sometimes, as a result of entertaining himself, F would uncover serious wrongdoing. One such occasion involved F’s efforts to secure a telephone for the Hergest whistleblower.

The Hergest whistleblower led a team of three or four and was the most valuable, helpful member of staff at the Hergest Unit. He was of course also the only person who kept blowing the whistle on the malpractice up there. F noticed that the Hergest whistleblower was treated very disrespectfully by Alun Davies and that although he was a team leader and had a bigger client load than anyone else, the Hergest whistleblower was the only member of staff who didn’t have a phone in his office. So F announced that he would get him a phone. He didn’t tell the whistleblower that he was going to do this, but he did tell me. F then rang BT and told them that he was John Mullen – who was either Chair or Chief Exec of the Trust at the time – and that he wanted to order an extra phone for an office in the Hergest Unit. And BT actually said ‘will this be on the special arrangement Mr Mullen?’ F was not asked to prove who he was, he was not asked anything about an invoice or an account, he was just asked if it was to be on the special arrangement. So F said ‘yes please’ and gave BT the number of the office in the Hergest Unit in which the whistleblower worked. There were literally no questions asked at all, BT cheerily stated that they would be installing the phone asap. F then rang the receptionist of the Hergest Unit, claiming to be BT and told her that a telephone would soon be arriving for the Hergest whistleblower’s office and when BT arrived please could she show them to the correct office. She was happy to oblige. I didn’t think that this plan would ever work, but it was really incredible because about a week later, there was a newly installed phone in the whistleblower’s office. F asked him about it and the whistleblower said ‘it’s all rather odd, I didn’t ask for a phone, Alun Davies told me that I wouldn’t be getting one, but it just arrived’.

So as Brown pointed out, there was obviously an irregular corrupt arrangement between that Trust and BT. Where had the bill for the installation of the phone been sent? Where was the bill for the use of the phone being sent? What on earth was the ‘special arrangement’? How the bloody hell could a patient make one phone call to BT’s marketing dept, claiming to be John Mullen and order a phone? Brown speculated that people in that Trust were installing home phones for themselves and charging them to the NHS and suggested that F could probably have ordered a car for the Hergest whistleblower as well and had that on a special arrangement.

Would John Mullen and Alun Davies care to enlighten us all regarding the ‘special arrangement’? This was happening during the John Major NHS efficiency years, circa 1995. About the time of the Jillings Report and all those assurances from the Welsh Office that there was nothing at all untoward happening in the public services in north Wales. Ooh and about the time that Dafydd was allowed to retire without all the very serious complaints about him being followed up and with the contract for providing ‘substance abuse services’ in his greedy clutches (see post ‘The Evolution Of a Drugs Baron?’).

F’s problems with the North Wales Police were a regular occurrence as well. At one point for a short while, he moved to Holyhead. His house was burgled and he called the police. An officer arrived who then threatened F. F told the officer that he would complain to a senior officer about this – so the police were forewarned. F arrived at the police station shortly afterwards and explained to the desk sergeant that he wished to make a complaint. The desk sergeant tried to obstruct him, so F asked to see the Inspector. The desk sergeant disappeared into the depths and F heard him swearing away at the Inspector waxing lyrical about what a pain F was. F heard the Inspector ask ‘but is he intelligent?’. The sergeant replied ‘yes’. F was entertained to find that the Inspector then appeared wearing a pair of half moons, presumably with the intention of impressing upon F that he was a scholarly intellectual man, rather than a corrupt old bastard whose officers threatened burglary victims. F’s complaint went uninvestigated. The half moons became a joke, because of course Dafydd and many of the other clapped out old fools with whom we all had to deal sported half moons. I have been told that in criminology, this sort of thing is known as a ‘signifier’ – conmen use such techniques, for example brass plaques outside the buildings of people masquerading as professionals when they are not. But in north Wales it was half moons.

Readers might think that although mental health professionals and others in north Wales were told hair-raising stories by F, this was a man who did suffer from a psychotic illness and perhaps those professionals genuinely didn’t believe the stories that F recounted. After all, Dafydd et al were writing down that F had ‘cannabis psychosis’, they certainly weren’t recording what had actually happened to him at their hands or anyone else’s, although he was telling everyone very clearly. It would be understandable to conclude that in the face of wrongdoing this dreadful, it could be difficult to believe a patient with serious mental health problems. But as I keep mentioning, there are some old lags in north Wales who’ve cluttered up the place for decades and they witnessed much of this, although every time there’s an investigation it’s a case of ‘I Know Nuzzing’. That is why I’ve started naming people on this blog.

Now there is one social worker in north Wales who has spent the last twenty years working in community work/probation work/alcohol and substance abuse services/social work training who most definitely knows the names of many of the sinners and knows about the sins that they committed – and many, many years ago he knew F. Step forward Wulf Livingstone, Senior Lecturer in Social Work at Glyndwr University.

Wulf Livingstone certainly knows me from my time working in the School of Social Sciences at Bangor University, but I doubt that he remembers the first time that he met me. It was in about 1993 and I was in a café in Bangor with F. Livingstone breezed through and F cheerily greeted him, only to be patronised by Wulf and spoken to like a loony. That was because Wulf was moving away from being a ‘service user’ himself into one who provides the services. After Wulf had gone, F explained that he knew Wulf from his drug taking days and that Wulf had ‘worked as a cook for that bastard Tindall and sued him’. Tindall was a notorious Bangor ‘businessman’ who owned and ran a number of absolutely dreadful ‘care homes’ for mental health patients – they were bad even by north Wales standards and were eventually forcibly shut down, amid rumours of Tindall being investigated by the police and being forced to surrender his passport. One of Tindall’s ‘homes’ seemed to almost solely house patients of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones. The sorts of things that went on in Tindall’s ‘homes’ were gross – elderly patients thrown back onto beds if they fell out at night, homes for EMI patients had no incontinence pads or gloves available, all health and safety considerations were ignored, chipped and cracked crockery was standard practice, furniture was purchased from junk shops, patients were fed inadequate quantities of the cheapest food available, staff were employed who had been dismissed from everywhere else, it was truly dire. Because there was a shortage of jobs in north Wales, a lot of people took jobs with Tindall’s establishments and left again within a couple of weeks – there were numerous allegations of Tindall not paying people. Wulf’s name was being bandied around Bangor as someone who had been swindled by Tindall and who had challenged him in court. That was how I first heard of and met Wulf.

Years later, when I started in the School of Social Sciences, I was gobsmacked to find Wulf working there – he was introduced to me as a social work lecturer ‘with an interest in mental health’. He didn’t seem too overjoyed to see me – I very much doubt that he ever remembered meeting me that day in the café with F, so I wondered if he was part of the contingent that had begun squirming with embarrassment because I’d turned up at the University with decades of knowledge of how patients were actually being treated in the ‘services’ that these folk were associated with. By then, Brown and I had also started appearing in the laypress making very critical noises about the mental health services in north Wales. A couple of days later I saw Wulf again at lunchtime, so I thought that I’d try to be sociable and I went over to say hello. I told him that he probably wouldn’t remember me but years ago I remembered him making a name for himself by taking on Tindall in court. I told him that it was good to know that someone had challenged Tindall. But Wulf’s reaction was quite interesting – he very obviously didn’t want to talk about that and he just said ‘yeh, right, yeh, nasty man’. So I made a few comments about the vile abuse of patients that had been going on and that I was very glad to see Tindall put out of business. I then mentioned that another chain of care homes equally as abusive as Tindall’s had started up, Prestwood Homes and I wondered if Prestwood was actually anything to do with Tindall. Wulf then announced ‘yeh, yeh, I know all about Prestwwod too. Still, we don’t want to go back to Denbigh do we’ and got up and walked off. Which apart from being bizarre and rude was unfathomable, because the likes of Tindall and Prestwood were abusing patients being released from psychiatric hospitals in exactly the same way that Holyrood House abused patients released from Denbigh.

Over the next few months I began to suspect that I knew why Wulf might have a problem with me. I discovered that since that day in the café, he had actually worked for many of the utterly shite organisations jammed full of abusive or corrupt people – but unlike Brown and me he wasn’t going public about any of it. And he knew that I knew what was going on and that I had intentions of publishing. Furthermore Wulf liked to portray himself as a radical service users champion – so I don’t think he really would have wanted anyone to know what he was keeping quiet about. Wulf had of course worked for CAIS – Dafydd’s set up. Unlike the stooges employed by Hergest as ‘service user representatives’, Wulf is not gullible and naïve, he is a very competent social scientist and he knows abuse and malpractice when he sees it. And from what I know of his CV, he has seen much of it. He was involved with CAIS for years and he also worked for the probation service in north Wales – the probation service that employed some of the people who had been accused of child abuse, the probation service that was warehousing the scores of people who had been fitted up in the way that so many people like F and indeed myself were.

Wulf definitely knows all about another man as well, who like so many of us experienced the worst of the ‘services’. This man was a friend of F years ago and experienced alcohol and drug problems himself for many years. He tried AA and walked out because he found an associate of Dafydd Alun Jones there – a man who masqueraded as a Minister and used to appear wearing his dog collar on TV and calling himself ‘Rev’ along with Dafydd, discussing how people could be weaned off drugs and drink. This friend of F’s brought a lot of grief upon himself by exposing this fake Minister. This man has also done much to challenge another bunch of quacks in north Wales claiming to offer ‘services’ to people with substance abuse and alcohol problems, a group based on Anglesey called AGRO. I do not know one person who has benefitted from AGRO, everybody has described it as a con. There is no confidentiality at all, another friend who was ‘referred’ to AGRO by the Arfon Community Mental Health Team received e mails openly cc’d to dozens of other ‘service users’ with their names and e mail addresses visible to all. On one occasion this friend received an e mail from AGRO asking him to send money urgently because the organiser of AGRO had been robbed whilst on holiday in the Philippines and needed money to get back home – whether this was the organiser of AGRO trying a rather transparent scam or whether his e mail had been hacked I do not know, but AGRO is very obviously not an organisation which is going to assist people with drink or drug problems. AGRO is of course in receipt of funding from numerous sources. How do I know that Wulf knows all about F’s friend’s experiences with AA, Dafydd, the fake Minister and AGRO? Because a couple of years ago I bumped into him and he told me that he was having another go at detoxing – and that his mentor was a man called Wulf Livingstone.

So Wulf has been a ‘service user’ himself, he knows other ‘service users’ very well and he knows exactly how bad and abusive the ‘services’ are – the services that he now works for! Just before I left north Wales I was given the name of a CAIS worker who it was alleged was a major drug dealer in Gwynedd. I was told that she and Wulf were in discussion regarding plans to set up a business together offering probation ‘services’ – the probation service is undergoing a sort of privatisation process and from what I understand many probation officers are now forming businesses in order to contract out their services to the probation service. I also notice that the online blurb available about Wulf describes him as providing ‘social work supervision’ for several teams and that he is also involved with the British Association for Social Work Cymru. It also states that Wulf is part of the ‘growing north Wales recovery movement’. There is no ‘recovery movement’ in north Wales, it is another illusion like ‘service user involvement’, organised by the same abusive colluding people who have spent years colluding with all the other malpractice. Wulf will of course know all about the appalling practices of the likes of the Arfon Community Mental Health Team. He has a particular interest in alcohol and substance abuse – so he will know that the Hergest Unit refuses to assist anyone at all with alcohol or substance abuse problems and that there has been a number of deaths of such patients hours after they have been turned away from the Hergest Unit.

So what’s keeping you so quiet about the rampant wrongdoing, misconduct and abuse of vulnerable people in north Wales then Wulf?