A case from Wales has been in the London-based media this week. A gay father from south Wales – Matthew Scully-Hicks – is standing trial at Cardiff Crown Court charged with the murder of the baby girl Elsie whom he and his partner had adopted just a few weeks before she died. The Court has heard how Scully-Hicks was completely unable to cope with looking after the baby, described her as ‘Satan in a baby gro’ and screamed and shouted in frustration at her. Scully-Hicks’s partner however claimed that their house ‘was full of love’ – I think that perhaps the Vale of Glamorgan Social Services who allowed Scully-Hicks to adopt Elsie might have some explaining to do.
Politicians and child sexual abuse have taken up much news time over the past few days, particularly as the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has been hearing evidence about former Liberal MP for Rochdale Cyril Smith. It was reported that for many years prosecutors were lying when they made public statements maintaining that they didn’t know about the allegations of sex offences against children involving Cyril Smith – prosecutors knew that there had been numerous complaints against Smith and he was even arrested on at least one occasion but was allowed to quietly walk away without charge. The Inquiry heard that Smith used his ‘respectability’ to protect himself from prosecution or public exposure. The DPP Alison Saunders popped up on Radio 4’s Today programme to reassure us all that nothing like this could ever happen these days – of course Smith would be prosecuted today because the ‘systems’ have improved so much. That explains why not only was Lord Greville Janner never prosecuted despite many allegations that he sexually abused children, but that Alison Saunders herself admitted that he should have been charged back in the 1990s. She was unable to explain why he wasn’t. Janner famously was eventually ordered to face a ‘trial of the facts’ – he could not actually be tried for the alleged offences because his lawyers submitted medical evidence that he was suffering from dementia. This evidence was challenged, but the CPS accepted it. Janner never did face a trial of the facts because the whole process took so long that he died before anyone got within a whiff of a trial of the facts. Alison Saunders was DPP at the time. For further background on Alison and her dedication to improving systems, see post ‘Sisters Are Indeed Doing It For Themselves…’.
Just to reinforce how much systems have changed, following the release of Operation Conifer’s report into the allegations that Ted Heath abused male children, supporters of Ted are demanding a judicial review of Operation Conifer as well as the blood of Mike Veale – the Chief Constable of Wiltshire Police who led Operation Conifer – for supposedly besmirching Heath’s reputation. Heath’s fan club are fuming because one of the men who claimed that Ted Heath raped him as a child is ‘a paedophile serving a prison sentence for a sex offence who confessed to a murder that he hadn’t committed’. He is therefore an ‘evil’ ‘fantasist’ who cannot be believed, whereas Ted Heath was a respectable politician.
No-one has felt able to mention that not only does being sexually assaulted as a child often lead to huge confusion and distress in adult life, but some – although by no means all – kids who are molested go on to sexually abuse other children. What leaps out at me however is that the man making the allegations against Heath confessed to a murder that he hadn’t committed – what if he also confessed to a sexual assault on a child that he hadn’t committed and that’s why he’s sitting in prison at the moment? Furthermore, we know nothing about the circumstances in which he confessed to a murder that he hadn’t committed – was he, like the Birmingham Six, beaten to a pulp by the police until he confessed? Was he being ironic after being accused of committing a very serious offence that he obviously hadn’t committed? Did he even confess to the POLICE to this murder? He could have been larking around with his mates in terms of ‘ooh there’s been a murder’ – ‘yeh, I know, I done it’ sort of thing. We have so little information about the man who alleges that Heath raped him that no conclusions can be drawn at all, let along a conclusion that he is an ‘evil fantasist’. I can only remind Heath’s supporters that one problem noted during the various investigations into the abuse of children in care in north Wales was that by the time that anyone began investigating, the former children had grown up and many had led very troubled lives. They weren’t Peter Pan – at the time that they gave evidence they were adult men and many of them had criminal convictions, drug and alcohol problems. (They had complained whilst they were children but had been ignored by everyone but the whistle blowing social worker Alison Taylor who was sacked.) Which is what tends to happen to teenaged boys who spend years in places like Bryn Estyn where they are beaten and buggered daily. It results in no-one believing them, which is particularly convenient when the whole of north Wales wants to delude themselves that the ‘children’s services’ really weren’t as bad as some people are making out and no-one knew anything anyway.
Mail Online reported that 15 year old Robyn Lewis Ellson from north Wales died after Alder Hey Children’s Hospital gave her a toxic combination of medication during treatment for leukaemia. The Top Doctors admitted that it should never have happened and apologised to Robyn’s family. It won’t happen again they have reassured everyone. Toxic combinations of drugs are actually quite a common occurrence in the NHS – I was prescribed such a combination myself by Dr Richard Tranter at the Hergest Unit, but I didn’t take it which probably saved my life. Tranter is a psychopharmacologist. If he’s prescribing lethal combinations of drugs in the face of warnings published about those combinations, the problem will be widespread – but the patients are not usually in a position to know that it’s happening.
Radio 4 reported that the CQC have blamed the now undeniable NHS crisis on the rising number of elderly patients and levels of obesity. So as with most things NHS, it’s the patients fault – they’re all too fat and old. A CQC spokesman arrived on the Today programme talking cobblers. He stated that because people are living so much longer, the cost of the NHS caring for them throughout their older years was enormous. Older people do not actually drain the NHS of resources in the way suggested. People are now experiencing much better health in their older years than a couple of generations ago. The huge cost is usually encountered only in the final 18-24 months of someone’s life, when multiple health problems frequently occur. That can happen when someone is in their 90s or, if they are less fortunate, in their early 70s. People don’t hit retirement age and then spend 30 years utterly decrepit, occupying a hospital bed on life support. Furthermore of course, in the case of many elderly people who are very frail, the final nail in the coffin is often an admission to hospital for a routine problem which is then dealt with appallingly.
The man from the CQC did stress that most NHS care is still ‘excellent’. Of course – there’d be no problem at all if it weren’t for all these fat old gits demanding a service from the Top Doctors and Angels.
There has been widespread derision from those on the left at Theresa May’s plan to train one million volunteers in ‘mental health first aid’ – although the likes of MIND have been vigorously promoting these ‘courses’ for ages. The Gov’t has stated that they will probably be online courses and the estimated cost is £15 million. Public Health England will consult on how the courses will be run and taught – that’s the Public Health England that is part of the system that has led to the current dire state of affairs. Theresa has of course used the stigma discourse – the mental health first aiders will be ‘fighting the stigma’. Theresa has been accused of wanting to replace mental health professionals with members of the general public after spending 15 quid on training each of them. I have always been very rude about the idea of ‘mental health first aid’ because it cannot possibly address the problems of people with severe and enduring mental illness – it’s the sort of thing that people might find useful to reassure a friend who is anxious or mildly stressed. If you’ve been clobbered with a psychotic illness or are so clinically depressed that you can’t talk or get out of bed, ‘mental health first aid’ is not going to do much for you. It will also possibly decrease understanding of seriously ill people and increase the levels of dear old stigma – if someone’s had mental health first aid applied and they’re still not back in full-time work or have topped themselves, it just goes to show that it was their fault and that there was probably something wrong with them.
On the other hand, mental health professionals are doing such a bad job that I’m not surprised that Theresa May has decided that she doesn’t want to waste anymore money on training and employing the sort of ones that we have at the moment. As I have mentioned many times, it is mental health professionals who have the most stigmatising attitudes to people with mental health problems -members of the general public are often very understanding, unless of course an Angel or a Top Doctor has been whispering sweet nothings in their ear about Dangerous Mental Patients.
After yet more ‘fighting stigma’ talk, I was interested to note the fulfilment of a prediction that I made on the blog a few days ago in my comments section, regarding the ‘research’ that Radio Five Live had ‘carried out’ among ‘nurses’, which ‘proved’ that the level of attacks on Angels by mental health patients were rocketing as a result of The Cuts. Radio Five Live did not mention their methodology, the way in which they analysed their results or even how many Angels that they interviewed, let alone how they selected those Angels. Neither did they explain the statistics behind the % increase in assaults that the Angels claimed was occurring or from which date they had calculated the alleged % increase – it was so obviously a figure plucked out of thin air.
As if on cue, the next day a Labour MP – an MP with a remit for disability as well – spoke up in Parliament about the ‘research’ that ‘proved’ that attacks on ‘staff’ by ‘psychiatric patients’ were increasing. Anyone for fighting stigma? Ironically on the same day in Parliament, Chris Bryant – a Labour MP for one of the constituencies in the south Wales valleys – very effectively ripped apart Theresa May’s laughable website of unanalysed statistics which she believes will help fight injustice against ethnic minority groups. Bryant made the point that there is a difference between correlation and causation – he quipped that when Thatcher was voted out, Marathon bars were renamed Snickers, but it probably wasn’t that which was responsible for Thatcher’s comeuppance. I am hoping that Mr Bryant will have a word with whichever dickwit Jezza has appointed disability spokesperson – even if ‘attacks’ on Angels by psychiatric patients are increasing (and I very much doubt that they are and Radio Five Live has certainly proved no such thing), it cannot be assumed that it is a result of The Cuts. Particularly as there haven’t been any Cuts – the Tories haven’t dared implement The Cuts much as they’d like to, because of the wailing and the gnashing of teeth that they know will follow. What has happened is that the dosh that has been given to the NHS for mental health services has been spent on other things. It is the NHS that has done this, not the Tories. The NHS really is not very nice to mental health patients, it certainly doesn’t spend money on them. The NHS spends money on PFI agreements, on expensive carpets for executives offices, on management consultants as well as on enormous salaries for its own managers, on machines that go ping, on expensive lawyers to fight patients whom the NHS has maimed or damaged, on away days and training, but it definitely doesn’t spend money on mental health patients.
The fuckwittery has been taken up by the Angels employed by the Betsi – who’s mental health services are so bad that they have landed the Health Board in special measures. The Daily Post Online ran a huge feature about an Angel who works as a psychiatric nurse for the Betsi. The unidentified Angel maintains that ‘every nurse’ whom she knows ‘has been attacked’. Well as the Betsi believe that a distressed or psychotic patient swearing in the presence of an Angel – not even AT an Angel – constitutes an ‘attack’ (it counts as a ‘verbal assault’) it is hardly surprising that ‘every’ Angel has been attacked. I can absolutely guarantee that very few Angels have been physically assaulted by a mental health patient – despite the crude stereotypes that the NHS likes to promote when it is asking the Gov’t for more money, physical assaults on staff by patients are unusual and when they do happen are more likely to come from drunks than mental health patients. However certainly at the Hergest Unit there have been a number of complaints from patients of assaults on them by Angels – I was assaulted myself by four Angels in the Hergest Unit. My complaint was not investigated by the Hergest let alone the police – and evidence was destroyed. I know of other patients who were assaulted by staff in the Hergest or who witnessed other patients being assaulted by staff. One male patient told me that he witnessed male Angels in the Hergest employing every excuse possible to ‘restrain’ one particular female patient and using this as an excuse to grope her.
The Angel interviewed by the Daily Post Online talks about the dreadful standard of the mental health services at the Betsi and how it is all the managers’ fault. She mentions that she has worked there for a long time and refers to the Tawel Fan scandal to illustrate her points regarding the dreadful service. The mental health service in north Wales is dreadful, it has been dreadful for decades – so that particular Angel has been part of the problem. The managers are indeed shite – many of those managers are promoted Angels themselves and they too have been there decades. The buck stops with this lot. They cannot blame anyone but themselves for the mess, the deaths, the litigation and the Ombudsman’s damning reports. The Top Doctors and Angels hounded out Mary Burrows, the CEO from outside of the region, who tried very hard to improve matters. The current Chair of the Betsi, Dr Peter Higson, is a former clinical psychologist who grew up in north Wales, who trained in north Wales, who worked as a psychologist in north Wales and who then managed the mental health services in north Wales. Higson’s sister Ruth Hussey was until recently Chief Medical Officer for Wales – she ignored what was going on as well. Martin Jones, the Director of Workforce for the Betsi, comes from Anglesey, went to school on Anglesey, went to Bangor University and then began his working life as an office boy in Ysbyty Gwynedd. (It is rumoured that he failed accountancy exams at some point, but I haven’t seen concrete evidence of that.) Craig Barton, the Director of Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, came from north Wales, went to Bangor University, became an NHS manager in north Wales and was previously a manager of the Hergest Unit. You couldn’t get much more local than this collection of local talent. And what a mess they have made. To quote from the mad mother in the horror film ‘Carrie’ – ‘the Devil has come to his own’.
As for Tawel Fan – no Angel was attacked by anyone. That ward was shut down because the Angels were abusing the patients. The only Angel who was disciplined was the real Angel who recorded what was going on in that ward and blew the whistle – she was arrested, received death threats, faced disciplinary action from the NMC and lost her job. The other Angels were transferred to another mental health unit. Where there was another scandal involving the abuse of patients shortly after they arrived. To my knowledge, no-one has been sacked, although the Angels concerned were refusing to co-operate with an external investigation.
The Angel in the Daily Post mentions that UNISON is supporting their campaign. UNISON and its predecessor COHSE have a long and glorious history of concealing misconduct and malpractice on the part of their members and of conjuring up images of violent nutters attempting to murder Angels when they’re about to submit a pay claim. The former General Secretary of COHSE was David Williams, an Angel from north Wales who trained and worked at the North Wales Hospital when patients died after being lobotomised, when they were physically and sexually abused by staff and when the staff of that hospital concealed organised child sexual abuse (see post ‘A Very COHSE Relationship With Some Very Nasty People’).
The abusive Angels of the Betsi have the full support of the North Wales Community Health Council – the Chief Exec of the CHC has spoken to the Post himself and backed up the Angels. This is the CHC that ignored at least two very serious complaints about abuse and neglect in the north Wales mental health services. The CHC that numbers among its past and present members Top Doctors from north Wales, including a retired psychiatrist from the Hergest Unit, Dr Sadie Francis and a retired surgeon from Ysbyty Glan Clwyd, Christine Evans. One member of the CHC is married to a member of the Betsi Board and another former member is Glanville Owen. Glanville was the Deputy Director of Gwynedd Social Services responsible for children’s homes whilst a paedophile ring raged in those children’s homes (see post ‘I Know Nuzzing…’).The highest profile member of the North Wales CHC however is one Eleanor Burnham.
Eleanor was a Lib Dem AM for North Wales, 2001-2011, before the electorate decided that they’d had a bellyful of her and voted her out. Eleanor was born in Wrexham and her early career was in social services management. She sat as a Wrexham Magistrate and also on Mental Health Review Tribunals for the North Wales Hospital Denbigh. She competed in and won prizes at the International Eisteddfod Llangollen.
The children’s homes in north Wales where children were abused were run by the social services. The homes with the biggest problem of sexual abuse were near Wrexham. The abuse of children in those homes went back decades. The abuse was so extensive that the homes were functioning as child brothels. Boys who complained of being abused were stitched up for crimes in the local Magistrates Courts. The North Wales Hospital detained patients unlawfully and also detained people who complained of being abused by psychiatrists, social workers or in the children’s homes. A number of people involved with concealing the abuse in the children’s homes were involved with the International Eisteddfod. Sir Ronnie Waterhouse, the judge who carried out the biggest cover-up, was President of the International Eisteddfod.
Eleanor’s biography has disappeared from the Lib Dems website. I cannot imagine why.
Some years ago I attended a meeting of the Court at Bangor University when Eleanor Burnham was in the audience. I don’t know what precipitated it, but during the meeting Eleanor Burnham became very angry, stood up and started shouting and yelling at the Vice Chancellor and the Chancellor. She hurled comments about everyone being MEN and shrieked ‘do you have any women on the University Council?’ Instead of replying ‘we’ve got loads you dipstick, take a look at the list of members’, they simply commented ‘yes there are women on the Council’. It wasn’t enough for Eleanor – she continued yelling and eventually the Vice Chancellor quipped that he’d attended the first Women’s Liberation conference in Oxford (which was true – I don’t think that Eleanor was there though, she’d have been far too busy assisting the paedophiles of north Wales). At which point Eleanor screamed ‘and look what happened to you’ and stormed out of the room.
Christ almighty Eleanor, look what happened to YOU – you’ve got what must be the most shameful CV in Wales and you ended up in the Senedd and now you’re on the CHC, no wonder there’s problems, you shouldn’t even be walking the streets a free woman.
Eleanor lists one of her interests as being ‘social inclusion’.
The Daily Post Online also reported that Ernest Marjerison, an elderly man who was admitted to the Wrexham Maelor Hospital with a fractured hip, died after a feeding tube was inserted into his lung. Coroner John Gittins carried out the inquest in Ruthin. No, there was not a verdict of murder returned or manslaughter or even gross negligence…
Daily Post Online reported an enormous row over the alleged oppression of Welsh speaking police officers in north Wales. I have no idea whether there is discrimination against them within the North Wales Police, but I was interested to see that Arfon Jones the North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner came to the rescue, pledging to ‘support the language’. When Arfon was a police constable he was the man who chauffeured the senior officer Gordon Anglesea to the venues in which Anglesea molested boys in care. In his capacity as Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon was responsible for an ‘oversight’ that resulted in Anglesea’s widow receiving a police pension, although her husband died in prison a convicted child abuser. Another well-known defender of the Welsh language was former Assistant Chief Constable Elfed Roberts, who later became Chair of the disastrous North West Wales NHS Trust and had me arrested because I had pink hair, had called his car a penismobile and he was fed up of my complaints about the mental health services (see post ‘After The Attempt To Frame Me…’). A friend of mine was told by the dreadful Trystan Pritchard – a former NHS manager in north Wales and now Chief Exec of St David’s Hospice – that he really admired Elfed because he had ‘done so much for the language’ in the NHS. The former Chief Constable of the North Wales Police Richard Brunstrom was also enthusiastic about the language. He learnt Welsh to a very high standard, became a member of the Gorsedd of the Bards and Wales’s national poet penned a tribute to him. Elfed Roberts really hated Mr Brunstrom, in fact Elfed Roberts fed stories to the Daily Mail about how everyone else hated Mr Brunstrom as well and how important it was that Mr Brunstrom should Go. It was Elfed who coined the description of Richard Brunstrom as ‘the mad mullah of the traffic Taliban’ – not of course that Elfed was at all bigoted, ignorant or held crude stereotypes of people who lived in Foreign Parts. Elfed Roberts left the North Wales Police himself after what was described to me as ‘a conversation about the privileges and perks that Elfed seemed to be enjoying’. Other people told me that Mr Brunstrom ‘kicked Elfed out for corruption’. The Daily Mail didn’t report that.
Arfon Jones recently signed a document of solidarity with the protesters in Catalonia.
A well-known and popular homeless man of Llandudno was found dead after going missing for days. He was being ‘supported’ by ARC – an organisation previously featured on this blog after winning an award from the paedophiles’ friend Arfon Jones. Nicola Jones the Coroner stressed that his death had ‘nothing to do’ with his homelessness – it could have happened to any of us. Except that it didn’t, it happened to the homeless man, in the same way that so many deaths in north Wales that Coroners rule to be completely unrelated to the appalling neglect of the local mental health services keep happening to people with mental health problems.
Police in North Wales tasered and nearly killed a man whom was ‘thought’ to be carrying a knife. The incident ie. near murder, was referred to the IPCC who have now cleared the North Wales Police. I note that it was not confirmed that the man who was nearly killed HAD been carrying a knife – just that it was ‘reported’ that he ‘had been seen’ with a large knife. Had the man actually been carrying the knife as reported, I’m fairly sure that this would have been stressed. So the police very nearly killed an innocent man and have now been given a clean bill of health by the IPCC. Years ago in England police shot dead man after a member of the public reported seeing him walking down the street carrying a shotgun- the shotgun that was spotted had actually been a chair leg…
The crisis of austerity is really beginning to bite in Wales. Councils in Wales have been told by Carwyn Jones that the Welsh Gov’t is so short of money after limited settlements from Westminster that if the NHS in Wales receives yet more money the Councils will have to make drastic cuts. The Councils are squealing loudly about the prospect of closing down all non-essential services and still not having enough money to run schools. One Council leader has entertainingly lectured the NHS and told them that they could learn good money management from Councils, because of course Councils never spend their money in the manner of a drunken sailor themselves and the Councillors have never fiddled their expenses or indulged in misconduct. Not even those on Anglesey, one of whom inexplicably became very rich indeed and then went to prison.
I think that the NHS must be following a plan to give the Councillors ammunition, because days after the Councillors declared war on the NHS – the scammers in these ‘services’ had previously enjoyed very cosy relationships, particularly where screwing money out of the Welsh Gov’t for causes like CAIS had been concerned – a report stated that the Betsi doesn’t know what to do with itself because it had planned a £25 million overspend but now it realises that the overspend will be £50 million instead.
How exactly does one ‘plan’ for an overspend of 25 million and expect to be taken seriously???
Days later, a local people held a protest outside of a meeting of the Betsi Board about the lack of GP services in Wrexham.
Both the London-based media and the Welsh media have reported so many NHS cock-ups leading to fatalities that I haven’t got the scope to cover them all on the blog. A teenaged boy in south Wales hung himself after being refused help for mental health problems and scores of Top Doctors from England have ended up in hot water for various matters, including domestic violence as well as the standard catalogue of neglect and misconduct.
This morning Guardian Online has published an article by Gaby Hinsliffe praising Baroness Jean Trumpington on feminist grounds. The article maintains that Trumpers would have known how to deal with Harvey Weinstein. One of the many comments that follows my post ‘Wheels Within Wheels Or Flies Drawn To The Same Incestuously Corrupt Shithouse?’ outlines how Trumpers also knew a great deal about the abuse of children and mental health patients by the state, but Trumpers said nothing. Trumpers was also a big supporter of Jeremy Thorpe – although ironically she hated poofs. The high spot of Trumpers’ career came when she was Under-Secretary of State at the DHSS in 1987 – it was Trumpers who appointed Jimmy Savile to the Management Board of Broadmoor. Somehow Trumpers’ name has been completely kept out of the Savile business – Edwina Currie and Ken Clarke took the flack, but dear old Trumpers was the one who did the dirty deed.
Trumpers et al ‘not knowing’ about Savile and all the associated shit is a pretty similar phenomenon to the current denouncing of Harvey Weinstein. It was explained on the radio that although Angela Jolie ‘knew about Weinstein’ (as indeed did everyone who worked with him), she couldn’t speak out because of the ‘stage of her career’ and the ‘place where she was’ when she found out what he was up to. Could that stage in her career and place where she was possibly have been realising that if one had sex with Weinstein, one’s career would go a very long way indeed? And that one could even end up as a Professor of Practice at the LSE without needing any qualifications at all? Or as an Ambassador for Women with the UN?