The Poisonous Tentacles Of The Home Office

The Observer Online is reporting that ‘outreach workers’ for homelessness charities in London have unwittingly gathered information which has been used to deport some of the people whom they aspired to help. Charity workers were told to collect sensitive data on rough sleepers – including their nationality, gender and factors concerning their mental health – which was then stored on a database by the GLA (Greater London Authority). An FoI request has now confirmed that the GLA passed the data to senior immigration officials in the Home Office who used it to track down rough sleepers from the EU and central eastern Europe and then deported them under guidelines introduced by the Home Office in May 2016. The charity St Mungos has said that they were told that the database was established to ‘identify emerging needs’.

This whole saga reminds me of the conversations that I used to have with a friend of mine at Bangor University who is a Jewish scholar. As the University HR Dept sent around increasingly intrusive ‘monitoring forms’ for no good reason requesting info about people’s gender, age, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion and disabilities, I expressed concern to my friend that such information was being collected, particularly as the then Director of HR, Lyn Meadows, was a poisonous cow who was known to be accessing personal data relating to staff to use against them. (Meadows was also breaking confidentiality and sharing information with third parties.) My friend observed that people of Jewish heritage are always very sensitive about providing data relating to their religion/ethnicity because of course this sort of data had been used by the Nazis to target Jewish people. I tried to refuse to provide such data at one point and a senior colleague told me that if I did refuse to provide it, Meadows would undoubtedly then try to target me for refusing to adhere to University policies. So that is how Lyn Meadows was able to ask staff if they were gay or transgender or had sensitive health problems and they were forced to co-operate with this gross invasion of privacy!

So now The Observer has told a cautionary tale with regard to ‘monitoring’. The Director of Liberty, Martha Spurrier, has commented that the Home Office’s conduct is reflective of a ‘crisis of compassion’ within the UK political system and a consequence of the hostile environment for illegal immigrants created by Theresa May when she was Home Secretary. Martha asks ‘who knows where else the Home Office’s poisonous tentacles have reached’?

This is all very timely because I’ve been reading about the workings of the Home Office recently. I’ve been working my way through Ken Clarke’s autobiography – it’s a real treasure trove and I’ll be blogging about it in detail soon – and he details his time as Minister of Justice in the Coalition Gov’t. Ken describes his battles with what he felt was a very illiberal culture in the Home Office, a culture which was obsessed with being seen to be tough on immigration and on crime, even if the policies didn’t work or backfired. He of course had previously been Home Secretary under John Major and had been replaced by Michael Howard, who was rather more on message where law n order was concerned. However it was when Ken was Justice Minister that he described a battle with the machinery of the Home Office which seemed to try to obstruct him on matters if he was too liberal. The Permanent Secretary whilst Ken Clarke was Minister for Justice was a Sir Suma Chakrabarti and he was responsible for running the Crown Office under the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice (that’s a dual role). During Suma’s tenure that was Lord Charlie Falconer, then Jack Straw and then Ken Clarke. Sir Suma left the Home Office in 2012 to become President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, but he’d been Permanent Secretary at the Ministry for Justice since Nov 2007. So one presumes that Sir Suma was substantially contributing to that illiberal culture, if not leading it. Theresa May was Home Secretary between May 2010-July 2016. Suma overlapped with Theresa then – and Theresa’s one preoccupation when she entered the Home Office was immigration. In terms of timescales, it may be assumed that the wheeze to collect nationality data on rough sleepers and then use it to deport them after changing the rules in order to allow this must have been dreamt up some time ago – no doubt on Theresa’s watch. Perhaps Suma had something to do with it as well.

Readers will have noticed Suma’s surname – Chakrabarti. There is of course another Chakrabarti who used to work for the Home Office – Shami! Between 2003-2016 Shami was Director of Liberty. During her time there Shami campaigned against ‘excessive’ anti-terrorist legislation. Shami started her career as a lawyer though – and after graduating, in 1996 she secured a position as a barrister in the Home Office. That was the Home Office under the Tories – when Michael ‘prison works’ Howard was Home Secretary! Now he won’t have been at all liberal – so I don’t think that young Shami will have been working on some very fine causes whilst she was a barrister in the Home Office. The Tories were voted out in 1997 and Jack Straw became Home Secretary. Jack was no liberal once he got into office either which is why so many people who had voted Labour were so disappointed. Shami didn’t begin working for Liberty until 2001, when she joined them as in house counsel. Has anyone spotted what I have? What major public inquiry took place between 1996 and 2000 which concerned the Welsh Office – and the Home Office? The Waterhouse Inquiry! The high level cover-up into the abuse of children in north Wales and the associated paedophile ring. Shami will have known all about it. The Home Office were very much involved because of the collusion of the North Wales Police with the abuse – and of course some of the kids in care had ended up in prison or in Risley Remand Centre, institutions which were the responsibility of the Home Office. Bryn Estyn, the home where some of the most serious abuse occurred, was formerly run directly by the Home Office. Of the staff from Bryn Estyn who went to prison for child sexual abuse, a number had been employed there when it was still run by the Home Office. I always wondered why Liberty didn’t take up the cause of patients in the mental health system who had been abused whilst they were kids in care. Although poor old Liberty’s track record on child abuse isn’t too hot – in the days when it called itself NCCL it was affiliated to PIE. When that hit the media a few years ago Shami lost no time in telling everyone what a shameful part of the NCCL’s history that was and that the organisation had been ‘infiltrated’ by paedophiles. They didn’t need to ‘infiltrate’ Shami – Harriet Harman, Jack Dromey, Patricia Hewitt, Henry Hodge et al were so dim that they let them in. They’ve got the excuse that they were fools playing identity politics – what’s your excuse for your stint in the Home Office whilst the Waterhouse whitewash was happening? We keep being told what a fine legal mind you’ve got and how committed to justice you are – you didn’t consider offering your services to the victims of the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal free of charge then? Not that anyone else did either – although loads of radical lawyers provided such a service to the NUM during the Miners’ Strike…

I do keep wondering – Suma and Shami. Are they by any chance related? Suma was born in 1959 in Bengal but he went to school in London. Shami was born in 1969 ‘to Bengali parents’ and grew up and went to school  in London. Could Suma possibly be Big Brother?

Suma joined the Civil Service in 1984. He initially worked for the Dept that was the predecessor to DfID (Dept of International Development). Then he was seconded to the World Bank. He was then Private Secretary to Lynda Chalker (Cons), Minister of State for Overseas Development (Foreign Office). Suma was head of AID Policy and Resources. In 1996 – when Shami joined the Home Office! – Suma worked in the Treasury. It was the Treasury who, in 1995, paid Mary Wynch a pittance and told her to piss off and not bother them again. Mary had been ruined as a result of misconduct by the Home Office, among others. (See post ‘The Mary Wynch Case – Details’). After that, Suma held a Cabinet Office post with responsibility for creating the new Performance and Innovation Unit to support Blair. He then headed the Economic and Domestic Affairs Secretariat and had a foot in the Dept of Transport, Local Gov’t and Regions. In 2001 it was back to DfID again, where Suma was Director-General for the Regional Development Programmes. He oversaw 1200 staff in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America. Readers may be aware that there have been long standing allegations of corruption at DfID. In Dec 2009 Suma gave evidence at the Iraq Inquiry.

What about Shami’s progress after she joined Liberty? She certainly hit the big time and was feted by the liberal media and the BBC who really loved her. She entertained the nation with accounts of her existence as a diligent schoolgirl from an ethnic minority who had a burning ambition to become a lawyer to seek justice on behalf of the oppressed. She does not explain how a few years working in a corrupt Home Office which had spent years concealing a paedophile gang who murdered some of the witnesses to their activities fitted in to that plan.

Shami’s mask has slipped on occasions though. She is an Alumnus of the LSE and they were so proud of her that they gave her a place on their governing body. She was on there when the LSE received a donation of £1.5 million from Colonel Gaddafi’s son Saef. Shami’s excuse was that she didn’t attend the Council meeting in 2009 when the donation was approved. I did not ever hear her make any public comment about the PhD that the LSE awarded to Saef though – it was alleged to have been written by someone else, I think a member of staff at LSE. Shami was a keen supporter of the lawyer Phil Shiner who was struck off in 2016 for misconduct after he made false allegations of abuse against British troops. After the publication of her book ‘On Liberty’, Shami was sued for libel by Martin Hemming, the former legal advisor to the Ministry of Defence. Shami also famously headed the Inquiry that Jeremy Corbyn set up to investigate the allegations of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party. Shami joined the Labour Party herself at about the same time! Her report concluded that anti-Semitism or Islamophobia weren’t issues in her party. Two months after her report was produced, Jeremy Corbyn put her name forward for a peerage! The Vice-President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews described the situation as a ‘whitewash for peerages scandal’. But Lady Chakrabarti knew all about whitewashes by then – she’d learned at the knee of the best, the Home Office. In Oct 2016 Lady C was appointed Shadow Attorney-General.

As someone with principles, Shami has always made it clear that she opposes grammar schools because she believes that they result in social division and segregation. Shami of course didn’t think of sending her own son to a grammar school. He attends Dulwich College, one of the most exclusive public schools in the UK. I understand that he’s slumming it at Dulwich College after he failed to get into Eton.

Shami lives in Lambeth. Of course.

 

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.

Lest We Forget…

The title of today’s post is blatantly cribbed from the latest issue of ‘Private Eye’ which I picked up this morning. It contains a ‘Sylvie Krin’ special, a short story – about Prince Charles of course – ‘Lest We Forget’. It’s timely – over the past 24 hours or so, there seems to have been an awful lot that has been forgotten by a great many people who are appearing in the media.

I am of course talking about the latest sex trafficking scandal that is receiving wall to wall coverage, the imprisonment of seventeen men and one woman in Newcastle for the sexploitation of under-aged girls, as well as associated drugs offences. Once more, publicity has been given to a case in which nearly all those found guilty were British born South Asians (although some were of Iranian and Turkish descent). News reports are stressing that ‘hundreds’ of South Asian men have now been convicted of this type of offence. Yes they have – but what is receiving much less (indeed often no) publicity is the huge numbers of people who are not South Asian who are being banged up for these offences as well. I am glad to say that more and more of those now elderly people who committed offences against children in care in north Wales in the 70s and 80s are gradually being imprisoned. This is receiving no media coverage. They are not South Asian. But they all worked – or associated with people who worked – with kids in care. Once more I implore people to look at the running theme – it is NOT ‘South Asian’ men. It is that vulnerable people in the care of the welfare services were the victims. I note that one of the girls in the Newcastle case had learning disabilities – as well as young people in care, the targets of sex offenders are frequently youngsters with learning disabilities or mental health problems. The National Crime Agency is now stating that this sort of offending is happening in EVERY PART of the UK – there are not South Asians living in every part of the UK, so it simply cannot only be them committing the offences.

Yet Lord Ken MacDonald, the former DPP, appeared on the ‘Today’ programme this morning – and is now being quoted by everyone and has been ‘backed up’ by Labour MP Sarah Champion – saying that society needs to be honest and admit that this is a ‘profoundly racist crime’. It isn’t. This is if anything a profoundly classist crime – the victims are usually (although not always) from disadvantaged social groups, who are on the receiving end of ‘care’ and advice from the professional classes. Wake up everyone – the forerunners of this were the organised paedophile gangs that infiltrated the children’s care system in the 70s and 80s. Those gangs whose conduct was concealed and facilitated by huge swathes of professional people employed in social work, psychiatry and the law. Who were assisted by corrupt police officers and charities like MIND and the NSPCC. Gangs who were greatly helped by councillors and politicians who would not speak out lest they ended up covered in crap in public – the politicians who in turn ensured that the extent of the problem was never reported by the media. Neither should we forget that the security services also assisted in the cover-up – to protect the politicians and a few of their own who were actually perpetrating child abuse.

So where are that lot now? Well I’ve named scores of them on this blog – they are senior politicians, some of whom are sitting in the Lords. They are senior executives of charities. They are barristers practicing in chambers specialising in ‘Human Rights’. They are judges sitting in the highest courts in the UK. They are Chairs of NHS Trusts and Boards. They are Professors of social work, psychology, nursing and psychiatry. They are Gov’t appointed Commissioners – the most outrageous example in north Wales being that of the North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner, Arfon Jones, the man who chauffeured North Wales Police Inspector Gordon Anglesea to the venues where he sexually molested boys. Arfon is currently responsible for tackling trafficking and modern slavery in north Wales!

There has been a great wailing and a gnashing of teeth because it has been revealed that the Chief Constable of Northumbria paid a convicted child rapist £10k for information that led to the arrest of the Newcastle gang. He has been robustly condemned by – among others – ironically the NSPCC. The Chief Constable had to resort to this because of the wall of silence that is being maintained by the professions and people mentioned above. However the people named on this blog have received much more than £10k – their noses are stuck well into some very deep troughs.

Keen readers might remember the name of Lord Ken MacDonald from my post ‘A Future Leader Of The Labour Party’, in which I detail the backgrounds of all the DPPs – all of whom have failed to prosecute numerous child abusers against whom there was much evidence. Ken was DPP between 2003-08. Ken was the first pupil barrister of Lady Helena Kennedy – who relied on ‘expert witness’ Professor Nigel Eastman in many of her cause celebres. Eastman was one of the psychiatrists at St George’s Hospital Medical School who knew about the criminal activity of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones whilst Dafydd concealed the paedophile ring that operated in north Wales. Ken’s appointment caused quite a row at the time because of the obvious conflicts of interest involved. Ken’s ultimate boss was the Attorney General Lord Goldsmith – who was a mate of Tony Blair, the then PM. Ken was a business partner of Tony’s wife Cherie Booth – they had co-founded the chambers Matrix, along with Tim Owen. Despite all the fuss, Ken’s appointment was defended by the Solicitor General at the time who was someone called Harriet Harman – who back in the 1970s had been the legal officer for the NCCL, whilst the NCCL had been affiliated to PIE. In fact Harriet even wrote a document which gives the distinct impression that she was campaigning on behalf of paedophiles whilst she was employed by the NCCL.

The Blair Gov’t defended Ken’s appointment on the grounds that it had been made by an ‘independent’ panel, consisting of First Civil Service Commissioner Lady Usha Prashar, Lord Justice of Appeal Sir Robin Auld, Permanent Secretary at the Department of Constitutional Affairs Sir Hayden Phillips and Permanent Secretary at the Cabinet Office Sir David Omand. So how independent were they?

Usha Prashar is a fairly standard example of someone who achieved greatness during the New Labour years – she was elevated to the Lords in 1999. Her career was based on her ‘expertise’ in race relations and equality – what else? Between 1986-91 she was Director of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, which encompassed those charities that were ignoring or concealing child sexual abuse.

Robin Auld is a member of the Athenaeum. As was Jimmy Savile, Marjorie Wallace and quite a few others named on this blog who have concealed child sexual abuse or the wrongdoing of psychiatrists who have concealed it.

Hayden Phillips was a Civil Service mandarin. He joined the Civil Service as Assistant Principal in the Home Office in 1967 and continued to travel upwards until he became PPS to Roy Jenkins between 1974-76, when Jenkins was Home Secretary. Phillips was Assistant Secretary in the Home Office between 1979-81 and Assistant Under-Secretary of State in the Home Office between 1981-86. So Hayden occupied senior positions in the Home Office during the time when it was directly managing Bryn Estyn – whilst the boys there were beaten and molested – and whilst Leon Brittan was Home Secretary. The Leon who was alleged to have been a paedophile himself and who ‘lost’ the dossier given to him by Geoffrey Dickens MP which gave the names and details of Westminster figures who were alleged to have sexually abused children.

David Omand is also a former mandarin, who began his career at GCHQ and ended up as it’s Director in 1996. After that he was Permanent Secretary at the Home Office and then First Permanent Secretary and Security and Intelligence Co-Ordinator in the Cabinet Office. Omand was among those who decided that Dr David Kelly should be pursued for talking to the media about the dodgy dossier of Iraq/WMD/Alistair Campbell fame. The David Kelly who was later found dead, having ‘committed suicide’ by making a cut to his wrist which was not substantial enough to have killed him and by taking a non-lethal quantity of paracetamol. So David Omand worked for the security services. The security services who were known to have concealed the activities of the Westminster Paedophile Ring.

Ken MacDonald is now a Lib Dem peer. As DPP he established the Organised Crime Division. There’s certainly a need for that now isn’t there. Although Ken’s inside knowledge concerning the reasons why will never hit the media – in 1980 he married Linda Zuck, a TV producer for an Islington-based company ‘Illuminations’. They won’t have produced anything that illuminated the paedophile ring that was known to be in operation in the children’s homes run by Islington Council at the time. Whilst the Council was led by Blair’s mate Margaret Hodge.

Both Blair and Cherie have been on Radio 4 today. An interview with Blair by Peter Hennessey was broadcast this morning. Blair spent a lot of his time talking about how much he’d enjoyed acting, both at school and at university. We noticed your penchant for acting Tony – as well as for lying. In particular, lying to the House. Then Cherie was wheeled out for the ‘World At One’ to talk about modern day slavery and trafficking! Cherie was given quite a lot of time to bang on about her concerns and she talked about Albanians, Romanians, people from the Far East, Vietnamese, nail bars, domestic workers and child labour utilised in carpet production. What she did not mention were the criminals in the 70s and 80s who abused children in care and trafficked them into prostitution, whilst fuckwits like Tessa Jowell and Margaret Hodge who were later elevated to high office by Cherie’s own husband ignored their activities. Neither did Cherie mention that a number of recent prosecutions identified that service users and homeless UK citizens were being trafficked into forced labour and prostitution. Just like the service users at Prestwood Homes were (see post ‘A Convenient Arrangement With The Private Sector’). Those service users who’s pleas for help were ignored by the police, by MIND, by their social workers…

I think I can understand why the National Crime Agency is now investigating cases of modern slavery in every town in the UK, even if the causes of this are a mystery to Cherie.

Despite being committed to human rights, Blair and Cherie now both run consultancies in which they charge a great deal of money to dispense advice to some particularly nasty dictators.

A further irony of the coverage on ‘the World At One’ concerning modern slavery was the advice that people who know about such matters should ring Crimestoppers – as the Hergest Unit patient described in previous posts did, repeatedly, in the late 90s, giving details of the criminal activities of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones, only to be accused of making hoax calls.

Whilst I am delighted to see that some of those named on this blog whose past activities suggest that they have information of interest to Inspector Knacker are finding themselves in hot water – Meri Huws’s grand post is about to be abolished by the Welsh Gov’t and it looks as though Baroness Patricia Scotland of Corruption won’t last much longer as Secretary-General of the Commonwealth – this all absolutely stinks. The payment of £10k to a rapist is trivial when compared to the scale of the collusion of so many others who even have the temerity to appear in the media discussing the Serious Problem of Human Trafficking. What did they expect to happen when they concealed the forced prostitution of vulnerable people by organised criminals thirty years ago? Did Margaret Hodge, Patricia Scotland and Tessa Jowell think that the paedophiles and their associates were all going to revert to a law abiding existence when Maggie, Patsy and Tess took their seats in the Lords after so generously assisting those scumbags in their activities?

As for ‘but we didn’t know’ – yes you did, all of you. I told you. Alison Taylor told you. Mary Wynch told you. We wrote and we wrote and we wrote. We wrote to MPs, to Ministers, to Secretaries of State, to the GMC, to Inspectorates of Social Services, to Chief Constables and we even contacted the media. Alison was sacked, I was hounded out of jobs and harassed and Mary and I were arrested and illegally imprisoned. And you lot moved heaven and earth to conceal all of it. Whilst the bodies of young people after they had given evidence about the abuse that they had suffered in care kept turning up and five such people died in an arson attack on a building as they attended a party to which they’d all been invited (see post ‘The Silence of the Welsh Lambs’). After which the body of the man who had allegedly ‘confessed’ to starting the fire was discovered.

And I’m sitting here along with 10,000 documents detailing much of the criminal activity signed by the criminals’ own hands – waiting for an explanation as to why a forged document purporting to be a letter from me turned up in the possession of the GMC, why a forged certificate of indictment was found in the possession of the north Wales Court service and why the Police National Computer record relating to me was falsified several times.

Well? Anyone? Exactly how fucking stupid are all you High Court Judges and Human Rights barristers, many of whom have crawled into the Lords? Lady Hale? Cherie? Helena?

 

 

 

 

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.

A Few More Who Might Be Able To Answer Questions

I mentioned in a post a couple of days ago that I was about to begin reading Jack Straw’s autobiography, ‘Last Man Standing’. I finished it this morning and it was very much a case of the Ghost of Private Eyes Past – Straw talks about all the things that provided Eye readers with so much entertainment throughout the Blair and Brown years. Lord Levy, the Millennium Dome, Prezza assaulting a member of the public, Hans Blix searching for Saddam’s WMD down the back of the sofa, Lord Derry Irvine of the very expensive wallpaper, Charlie Falconer, the Hutton Report, it’s all there. Jack talks a lot about his friend Condi Rice and mentions many things that will remind everyone of why so many people cancelled their Labour Party membership during the Blair years. Jack seems to think that he’s dealing with these matters in a way that constructs them as positive, but he doesn’t manage that very successfully.

Jack’s interpretation of history is rather different than that of many other people. ASBOs ‘were a success’ – no Jack, ASBOs criminalised thousands of vulnerable people including children with mental health problems, autism and Tourettes, they were a disaster which is why they were abandoned. The return of Mandelson to Gov’t was a ‘positive’ move – no, that was the final straw (so to speak) for many of us – and best of all, Alistair Campbell was a man of ‘integrity’. Er, OK Jack, whatever you say. So what does Jack have to say about that rather difficult business involving the death of Dr David Kelly? Well, Dr Kelly ‘tragically died in July 2003’ but Jack doesn’t mention the circumstances. I seem to remember it had something to do with a dodgy dossier, the most enormous row with the BBC and the hounding and scapegoating of Dr Kelly – the root of all this being Alistair Campbell.

Jack is very scathing in his book about someone who stood for election against him on one occasion, even more scathing than he is about the BNP. Who was this candidate who pissed Jack off so much? It was Craig Murray, the former Ambassador for Uzbekistan. I went to listen to Craig Murray speak when he came to Bangor a few years ago and it was fascinating. Craig was of course famously withdrawn from his post in Uzbekistan and was subjected to much Gov’t criticism because he drank, partied and had some relationships with local women. But Craig did something else which was probably what really bothered the Foreign Office – he refused to shut up about the appalling human rights abuses happening in Uzbekistan, which included people being boiled alive. Craig was told that he was ‘over-focussed on human rights’ and was transported back to England where he ended up in a psychiatric hospital. During his lecture, Craig described how he was interrogated and subjected to extreme pressure by British officials and at one point he was told that all this was being done on the personal orders of Jack Straw, who was at the time Foreign Secretary….

There are plenty of pointers in Jack’s book to his slipperiness – for example whenever a scandal broke, whether it was on his watch as Home Secretary or later as Foreign Secretary, he always seemed to be conveniently due to leave the UK that very night and thus was at the airport or on the plane, so it was inevitably a case of ‘I know nuzzing…’ At the very beginning of his book, Jack revels in the fact that even as a young man who had done little more than work for the NUS he had already gained a reputation as a duplicitous git – he boasts that Barbara Castle gave him a job as her political advisor because of his ‘low down cunning’. People who read the comments section of my blog might have noticed that one of my correspondents has been mentioning that Barbara Castle, Jack Straw and Norman Warner were covering up terrible things happening to disabled people in the mid-70s – Jack speaks admiringly of Norman Warner in his book and obviously really rated him. Jack mentions that Norman became Lord Warner – it’s becoming a familiar scenario isn’t it…

Jack did of course cause a bit of a stir at one point by going public on his habit of asking fully veiled women visiting his surgery in Blackburn to remove their veils before they spoke to him. At the time that Straw did this, The Veil was becoming an issue, seemingly because people believed that the country was teaming with Muslim women concealing bombs beneath their burkas. Straw represents Blackburn, a constituency with a high proportion of Muslims and I suspect that he has sufficient knowledge to know that Daily Mail columnists’ prejudices rarely reflect reality. He’d represented Blackburn for decades, had a home there and no-one had ever tried to blow him up with weaponry concealed in Islamic dress. He also will have known that for some fully veiled women at least, asking them to remove their veil is like someone asking him to remove his trousers. Jack spoke out about another sensitive subject in his part of the world as well – the sexual grooming of young white girls by some Pakistani men. Fearless Jack asks ‘what’s the point of being in politics and not saying what you think about the difficult issues…’

So was Jack always frank about difficult issues?

One massively difficult issue that landed on Jack’s desk when he was Home Secretary was that of Thatcher’s friend General Pinochet. Pinochet had arrived in England, had tea with Thatcher and a few other old mates and then found himself under arrest because the Spanish Gov’t wanted him extradited to face trial for torture. Jack stressed that he really did think long and hard about this, it took him months and he wasn’t going to be swayed by anyone else’s opinion – indeed he refused to discuss the matter of the murdering old bastard with anyone else at all. Readers may remember that Pinochet wasn’t extradited because some Top Doctors came to his rescue and presented ‘expert’ evidence that Pinochet was incredibly frail and far too ill to stand trial. Pinochet flew home and was famously filmed landing in Chile, immediately getting up out of his wheelchair, happily walking towards his supporters and greeting them enthusiastically.  Jack was horrified! Pinochet had tricked the ‘system’! He was another Ernest Saunders, just when Jack had assured everyone that no way would he allow another scam like that! So whose advice had Jack relied upon – whilst he was refusing to discuss Pinochet’s case with anyone of course? For a start, that of the Chief Medical Officer, Liam Donaldson.

Liam Donaldson wasn’t quite as successful as other Chief Medical Officers had been at pulling the wool over everybody’s eyes – although he did keep bollocking on about successfully achieving ‘patient empowerment’ – and he ended up resigning as a result of the ‘modernising medical careers’ disaster, which screwed up the job application process for thousands of junior doctors. Liam was of course no rebel – indeed when Liam was CMO Mid-Staffs was quietly brewing away and he didn’t put a stop to it, Harold Shipman was brewing away and he didn’t manage to catch that in time either and of course the Top Doctors in north Wales were doing the most appalling things (I note that Donaldson studied at Bristol Medical School at the same time as Dr D.G.E. Wood…). However Top Doctors do get very angry if their paths are crossed in even a minor way and the BMA turned on their own and went after Liam’s blood. One Dr Richard Marks, Head of Policy at the BMA, very obviously wanted Donaldson’s head on a plate and was greatly pleased when he got it. I am wondering if Richard Marks is a member of the high profile Marks medical family, which includes the former Chair of the BMA Dr John Marks and Professor Vincent Marks, whom I worked for at the University of Surrey – both of whom kept quiet about the wrongdoing of the Top Doctors in north Wales (see post ‘The BMA At The Root Of Another Mystery’). I bet he is, being a Top Doctor who reaches the highest echelons of the medical establishment does run in families. Obviously the superior genes…

Liam ‘oversaw’ the medical assessment of Pinochet. I have long wondered who actually provided the dishonest expert report which enabled a vicious dictator to return home and die peacefully of old age in luxury when the bodies of many of his victims had not yet been recovered. It is very difficult to access such info, because a lot of secrecy surrounds Top Doctors’ expert reports to Courts. Of course, Court cases are (usually) public and the expert reports can decide whether someone is imprisoned, banged up for life in a special hospital or allowed to go free immediately, but not any old Tom, Dick or Harry can read those reports or even find out the identity of the Top Doctors giving evidence. I had always intended to publish the packs of lies that Dr Dafydd Alun Jones, Dr James Earp and Dr Robert Kehoe wrote about me in their capacity as ‘expert witnesses’ to demonstrate what the Top Doctors are actually capable of, but before I began this blog I took legal advice and was told ‘sorry, you are not allowed to ‘reproduce’ their reports in any way’. But they can lie about me… So I have just provided as many details about them as I am legally allowed on the blog. My friends have of course all read the reports and were suitably wowed by the lack of integrity of the Top Doctors who put their names to those documents.

However Jack’s book reveals the name of the Top Doctor who was so helpful to Pinochet! It was Sir John Grimley Evans, who is now Emeritus Professor at Oxford University. After Pinochet made his spectacular recovery as soon as he touched Chilean soil and the shit hit the fan, John Grimley Evans tried to shoulder the blame onto Straw, quibbling over the use of one word in his report. The uproar didn’t harm the long term prospects of dear old Sir John though – in 2005 Parliament still thought highly enough of him to receive written evidence from him for the Select Committee On Science and Technology regarding quality of life in old age. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and between 1999-2014 was listed as a Director of St Luke’s Hospital Oxford, which seems to be a care home. But there’s also a passing reference in Straw’s book to the ‘team’ of medical officers working for the Home Office who were employed on the Pinochet case! So there was Jack, John Grimley Evans and a team of Top Doctors – how did they all manage to get it so wrong?

I remember the case of Pinochet like it was yesterday, because by that time I had discovered how dishonest Dr Dafydd Alun Jones regularly was in his Court reports and I had shared this information with another Hergest patient who had also been stung by Dafydd. This patient entertained himself by ringing Dafydd whilst pretending to be calling from the Spanish embassy to ask Dafydd if he’d certify Pinochet fit for trial. Little did I know that that they might as well have asked Dafydd, his opinion would have been worth about as much as that of Straw, Evans and the Home Office medical officers.

The thing about poor old Jack and his claimed ignorance regarding the wrongdoing of the Top Doctors is that it doesn’t quite add up, whether it’s his Gov’ts lack of nous concerning the growing shit-storm at Mid-Staffs – or Top Docs concealing paedophile rings – or Pinochet’s health assessment. For a start Jack’s daughter Charlotte was a medical student and is now a Top Doctor herself. (Charlotte raised money for Cancer Research UK recently and requested donations to enable the noble scientists and Top Doctors at Cancer Research UK to find a ‘cure’. For  snapshot of what goes on at Cancer Research UK, see post ‘A Cause Close To Our Hearts’.) But Jack was very close indeed to someone who really will have known all about the Top Doctors and could have also found him a reliable expert witness to give an opinion on Pinochet – his wife Alice. Alice was a mandarin in the Dept of Health! Furthermore, Jack reveals that in 1997-8 Alice was a senior civil servant in the Treasury working for Gordon Brown, but shortly afterwards was appointed Director General in the DoH! Pinochet was flown back home in in 2000. Come on Alice – why didn’t you tell Jack? Ooh and why didn’t you explain to Jack that where grooming young people in care is concerned it really is not only Pakistani men up to no good – it wasn’t Pakistani men ‘grooming’ (ie. raping and trafficking) the kids in north Wales, it was the social services who were being assisted by the Top Doctors! And once those kids had been beaten into submission and were agreeing to have sex with anyone who asked, they were taken off down to London to have sex with folk in Westminster! Jack claimed to be clamping down on people trafficking in 2000…

Alice is not the only person who might have been able to enlighten Jack re child abuse/the use of psychiatry to conceal such abuse – that is if he didn’t already know something about it from his time working with Barbara Castle and Norman Warner in the DHSS between 1974-76. Jack’s early forays into politics were as a Councillor in Islington – which had a serious problem with a paedophile ring in it’s children’s homes. Jack was also a member of the notorious ILEA between 1971-74 and was Deputy Leader of ILEA 1973-74. Jack is not afraid to level criticism at ILEA in his book – he tells us that he knew that standards in inner London schools were often unacceptably low. There were close links between ILEA, the GLC and the London Councils – those Councils whose children’s services had been infiltrated by paedophiles.

Jack’s work on London Councils and with ILEA resulted in him rubbing noses with an awful lot of people who will have known about the paedophiles running riot in the children’s homes – because those buddies of Jack’s were running those Councils. Jack makes reference in his book to someone whom he admires greatly, the ‘inestimable’ Valerie Amos. Valerie is now Baroness Amos, but long ago at the dawn of time Valerie worked for Lambeth Borough Council – which had a child abuse problem among it’s children in care as big as that in Islington or in north Wales. Indeed, children from Lambeth were also sent up to homes in north Wales where they were molested. The Shirley Oaks Survivors Association from Lambeth are publishing their own accounts of the abuse to which they were subjected, so fed up are they of Gov’t investigations going nowhere. Lambeth Council has paid out millions in compensation to children who were abused in it’s care and it accepts that it will be paying out much more. As in Islington and north Wales, the Council was told what was happening to those kids but the Council let it continue. Amos describes her work with Lambeth as one of her ‘career achievements’ – others include her work with Camden Council and Hackney. Camden – she’ll know this blog’s old friends Tessa Jowell (see posts ‘The London Connection’ and ‘Tower Hamlets, Paul Boateng and Tessa Jowell’) and John Mills (see post ‘One Dangerous Fucker’) then! Like so many people who worked for or ran those London Councils in the 70s and 80s whilst paedophiles ran riot in the children’s services, Valerie used her ‘work’ on ‘equality and diversity’ with those councils as a springboard into a career in ‘equalities and diversity’ boosted by New Labour.

Between 1989-94 Valerie was Chief Exec of the Equal Opportunities Commission. In 1995 she formed Amos Fraser Bernard and was an advisor to the South African Gov’t on public service reform, human rights and employment equity. In August 1997 she was made a life peer and became the Secretary for International Development in Blair’s Cabinet. Amos acquired this position after Clare Short resigned. (Straw is incredibly rude about Clare Short in his book – did she have a few too many principles for you then Jack? Clare Short was not one for turning a blind eye as the shit that gathered under Blair mounted up.) In 2003 Amos took over as Leader of the Lords when the previous Leader, Lord Williams Of Mostyn, died. Jack liked him. Lord Williams of Mostyn featured in my post ‘Y Gwir Yn Erbyn Y Byd’ – he defended Gordon Anglesea after Gordon Anglesea sued Private Eye after the Eye accused him of molesting boys in children’s homes in north Wales. Anglesea won the case and shortly after the trial Mark Humphreys, the young man whom had given evidence that Anglesea had abused him, was found dead. Last year Gordon Anglesea was convicted of abusing boys in north Wales children’s homes and imprisoned. Valerie – standing on the shoulders of greats! Indeed, it was onwards and upwards.

Although Valerie left the Cabinet when Gordon Brown became PM, her stellar career didn’t stop. In 2007 she became a Director of Travant Capital Partners, a Nigerian private equity firm. Poor old Valerie ended up mired in allegations of corruption when it was revealed that Travant Capital had received £15 million from DFID, the Gov’t Dept that she used to lead.  In his book ‘Catholic Orangemen of Tongo’, Straw’s nemesis Craig Murray claims that he was told by a Director of Travant that the company ‘had access to DFID funds because Baroness Amos was a Director’.

In 2007 Amos also became the EU’s representative to the African Union. In 2010 she was appointed Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Co-Ordination.

In addition to these plum appointments, Valerie has had numerous others – she was the British High Commissioner to Australia and in 2015 she was appointed Director of SOAS (University of London). She was the Deputy Chair of the Runnymede Trust 1990-98, a Trustee of the IPPR, was involved with project Hope (an NGO promoting healthcare), was a Trustee of VSO and was a Director of Hampstead Theatre. Guess what else? In Sept 2008 Amos Chaired the GMC’s Equality and Diversity Forum! She has also been a non-executive director of University College London Hospitals Trust and between 1994-98 she was Chair of the Board of Governors at the Royal College of Nursing Institute.

So like so many who have been closely associated with organisations in which children were sexually abused and exploited, Valerie Amos is a good friend of the Top Doctors and Angels. A number of people have noticed that throughout her career in the higher echelons of public life, Valerie Amos has not been democratically elected to one position, they were all ‘appointments’. Well considering that Lambeth Borough Council oversaw the worst excesses of child abuse and ended up in such a financial mess that many of it’s Councillors were banned from office, I very much doubt that anybody would vote for anyone who had played a key role in that Council.

 

Jack’s book mentions a close colleague of his who also knew all about the shortcomings of Lambeth Borough Council who has starred on this blog recently – Paul Boateng (see post ‘Tower Hamlets, Paul Boateng And Tessa Jowell’). I have mentioned before that Paul’s wife Janet is a former Lambeth social worker. I have now read a bit more about the Tyra Henry case and Janet was involved up to her eye-balls. Tyra was a 22 month old girl who was murdered by her father Andrew in 1984. The case gained massive publicity because of the severe cruelty involved and the gross failings of Lambeth Borough Council. Tyra died two days after she had been left at a London hospital under a false name. She had suffered extreme physical abuse and there were 52 bite marks on her body. It transpired that her injuries had been inflicted by her father – Tyra had been allowed to live with him after he was released from prison, although there had previously been a decision not to allow this to happen. Before Tyra’s birth, her father had already assaulted her six month old brother, who was left blind and permanently brain damaged as a result of the attack – he was in care.  The Inquiry into Tyra’s death was led by Stephen Sedley QC – a colleague of Michael Mansfield and one of that generation of radical lawyers who did take on cases against the British state but who never seemed to be as outspoken as one would have expected about cases of abuse of children in care or the abuse of people in the mental health system.

In 1984 the Chair of Lambeth’s Social Services Committee was Janet Boateng. The Vice-Chair was Stephen Bubb. The aftermath of Tyra’s murder caused a massive rift between the Lambeth Councillors and the social workers employed by the Council (Janet of course had been in both positions.)  The Councillors and social workers both blamed each other for the dreadful state of the children’s services in Lambeth. It is reflective of the concerns of Lambeth Council at the time that the blame game wasn’t played out in terms of allegations of incompetence – it involved allegations of racism. Black Councillors maintained that white social workers were unable to work appropriately with black families and the white social workers made counter-allegations of not receiving ‘training’ and ‘support’ to work with black families. Where this left Janet Boateng who was black, a Councillor, Chairman of the Social Services Committee but had also worked as a social worker in the same Borough I do not know. I do know that it is ironic that the chaos and tragedy that presided in this Borough launched the careers of a group of people like Boateng and Amos, who were then lauded and honoured for their ‘services’ to equality and diversity. Amos’s biography is littered with references to her ‘firsts’ – the first black woman Cabinet Minister, the first black woman to become head of a UK university, one of the most influential black people in the UK etc. Whilst Amos and co played identity politics a little black girl was murdered – Tyra is not mentioned anywhere in the extensive guff about Lady Boateng or Lady Amos that is so readily available.

What was the fate of Boateng’s Vice-Chair, Stephen Bubb – a white man? Like the Ladies of Lambeth, Bubb has thrived. He is now Sir Stephen Bubb, Director of ‘Charity Futures’. His knighthood was awarded in 2011 for ‘services to the voluntary sector’.

Bubb describes himself as ‘influential in both the Labour and Conservative Parties’ with his ‘longstanding advocacy of charities replacing public services chiming with both parties’ policy of promoting competition and choice in areas such as healthcare’. Bubb has a website, ‘Bubb’s Blog’, and a recent post sees Bubb fuming angrily that the present Gov’t is ignoring the charity sector. I think that’s because of the embarrassment that was ‘Kid’s Company’ Stephen, it was a rather disillusioning process for those who promoted the idea of the ‘Big Society’. Bubb’s determined to ram his message home though, he’s very busy indeed working hard lobbying for the Third Sector. ‘Bubb’s Blog’ is currently hosting a ‘guest post’ by Henry Brook who is on ‘work experience’ with Bubb. Henry waxes lyrical about the global possibilities for the Third Sector and mentions that there’s a lot of wealthy people in China although Africa is still a bit too poor to participate in the jamboree.

Bubb is certainly a man who’s been on a political journey and who’ll work with anyone. In 1976 he was a research officer for the TGWU’s Jack Jones. In 1980 he was a negotiations officer for the NUT. Then there were his glorious achievements at Lambeth – Labour Party Member for Lambeth Borough Council from 1982 and Chief Whip to the Labour Group. In 1987 he was Lead Advisor concerning pay negotiations to the Association of Metropolitan Authorities (both Tessa Jowell and John Mills had positions on this body as well). In 1995 Stephen was Director of Personnel for the National Lottery Charity Board. Between 2000-06 he was Chief Exec for  ACEVO, the Association of Chief Execs of Voluntary Organisations. Since 2006 Stephen has been Chairman of the Adventure Capital Fund, a ‘social enterprise’ now administering ‘Communitybuilders’. He was Chairman of ‘Futurebuilders England’ in 2008. He founded ‘Charity Futures’ to ‘investigate the challenges to and provide support for the Third Sector for the next generation’ (does that translate as ‘my kids need a job now as well?’). In 2011 he was seconded to the Dept of Health as part of Andrew Lansley’s NHS ‘listening exercise’.

I haven’t actually researched all these different Third Sector organisations that Bubb has created – I know that’s remiss of me, but I suspect that I know what I will find. A very big gravy train, the passengers upon which will be other folk like Bubb, former Councillors from disastrous 80s Councils who did really well for themselves once Blair became PM and are still prospering as no-one dares mention the phrase ‘The King’s New Clothes’ now that they have been given gongs and been put in charge of so many things. Bubb became notorious for defending big salaries in the charity sector – he was paid in excess of £100k pa at ACEVO. ‘Bubb’s Blog’ tells us that he is ‘globally recognised’ and provides ‘strategic advice to Governments and businesses usually at Prime Minister, Minister, Mayor and Chairman level’. Bubb is Secretary General of the ‘European Third Sector Leaders Network’, which was ‘founded through his passion and drive’.

So what brought this globally-recognised-advisor-to-Prime Ministers’ career in local government to an end back in the 80s then? Lambeth Borough Council was one of the councils that refused to set a rate during the rate capping row with Margaret Thatcher’s Gov’t. Therefore the Councillors were surcharged for causing the Council financial loss through wilful misconduct. They were sacked and disqualified from office in 1986. Not that it held Stephen back from sitting in judgement on others – between 1980 and 2000 he served as a Youth Court Magistrate in Inner London.

Bubb has also dabbled with the Top Doctors – he was a member of the Local Health Boards of Guy’s Hospital and St Tommy’s Hospital.

Bubb found himself in the spotlight in 2013 when he held his 60th birthday party. I wouldn’t have thought that a birthday party could cause a diplomatic incident, but Bubb held a bash at the House of Lords with a number of cabinet ministers, Baronesses, media folk and charity leaders. They all had a great time and went back to Stephen’s place afterwards for champagne and fireworks. Stephen was particularly chuffed to receive a birthday card from Tony and Cherie. It was subsequently revealed that Stephen’s party had cost a great deal of money and that the bill had been footed not entirely by Stephen – although he is a very well-paid man – but partly by ACEVO. When questioned, ACEVO maintained that it was money well-spent because the party was ‘part of it’s [ACEVO’s] on-going work in building stakeholder relationships’.

The guest who made the welcoming speech at Stephen’s party – that was partly funded by people who were duped into believing that they were supporting charitable work – was Baroness Hayter. Dianne Hayter is the Deputy Leader of the Lords and is described as a ‘powerful advocate’ for the Third Sector. She is an old friend of Stephen’s from their Young Fabians days and was a founder member of ACEVO herself, whilst she was Director of ‘Alcohol Concern’. Bet she’s a mate of Tony and Cherie’s as well. Dianne is married to Professor David Caplin who works at Imperial College. David Caplin is a physicist – perhaps they have a bit more integrity than the Top Doctors at Imperial.

Whilst trumpeting the wonders of the Third Sector, Stephen tells us on his blog that ‘state provision often neglects the consumer or beneficiary’. That Stephen is because it was so often run by people like you and Janet Boateng – you neglected the beneficiary to such an extent that a little girl was murdered and even then you tried to tart it up as a race relations problem. The charity sector is now blighted with exactly the same problems as the state sector – because you lot have now moved in and colonised that. Stephen mentions on his blog that ‘more than a third of mental health services are provided by charities’. Yes and the leading story on all the news programmes today has been the scandalous state of the nation’s mental health services. This morning it was revealed that thousands of mental health patients are spending YEARS in hospital after they have been deemed to be fit for discharge because there is no accommodation for them and at lunchtime it was reported that Sir James Munby, the head of the Family Court, has been unable to find suitable psychiatric care for a suicidal teenaged girl. Munby has sated that if care for her cannot be found ‘society will have blood on it’s hands’. You obviously haven’t noticed Sir James – society has been awash with the blood of the mentally ill for decades. And you’ve only just woken up to it. No doubt Paul Farmer and Marjorie Wallace will pop up on the ‘Today’ programme tomorrow to give us all a lecture about the horrors of people remaining in hospital for years because of a lack of accommodation. Well why haven’t they mentioned it before? The rest of us knew that it was happening – in fact I e mailed a number of politicians about this some three years ago….

 

Many years ago a book was published called something like ‘The Court of The Blairs’ which was an account of some of the rather shallow, dysfunctional people lining their own nests who surrounded Tony and Cherie. Valerie Amos, Janet Boateng and Stephen Bubb are pretty good examples of the outer circle. (Blair’s inner circle was comprised of the likes of Silvio of course…)

 

Somebody else who might be able to enlighten us all regarding what was going on in Lambeth at the time of Tyra’s murder is a man whose name crops up in reports of the case from that time – the Chair of the British Association of Social Workers Southwark, John Wheeler. John Wheeler is now based in the north east of England – I suspect like some others who were previously associated with Lambeth, he’s air-brushed that bit out of his CV – and doubles up as ‘John Wheeler Solutions Ltd’. He has a website that bangs on about him having experience in ‘solution focussed’ practice and expertise in ‘training and development’. The site mentions his ‘thirty years experience as a social worker/family therapist’ and tells us that he has ‘co-developed a model for complex child protection issues’. Wheeler is a visiting lecturer in solution focussed practice, systemic practice and narrative therapy at the following Universities: Northumbria, Newcastle, Durham, Sunderland, Teeside. He teaches on the following courses: social work, psychology nursing, systemic practice and child protection.

John has published too – in ‘Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry’, on brief solution focussed therapy. The Hergest Unit used to offer that – Brown observed that it will certainly be brief but there won’t be many solutions. There weren’t many solutions for the therapist either. He was a nurse with a PhD who had been told by the North West Wales NHS Trust to pass himself off as a clinical psychologist. One of the many patients whom the Hergest Unit tried to frame for a crime that she didn’t commit found out about this and complained. The therapist was subsequently sacked – not for false representation, because the Trust had forced him into that, but for allegedly having a relationship with a patient. The therapist knew a friend of mine and his story was that he had actually only begun a relationship with the patient a year after she had been discharged after meeting her again at a party. But Ysbyty Gwynedd were smarting with embarrassment that they’d been caught misrepresenting the status and qualifications of their staff, so he was the scapegoat.

Like the esteemed Professors Poole and Robinson of Bangor University, John Wheeler has been paying visits to India to dispense his pearls of wisdom. He’s also been popping over to Poland to show them how it’s done. John’s website is advertising an ‘online certificate of competence’. He has helpfully provided diagrams and instructions concerning how to fold and read your certificate of competence if you’re too incompetent to work out how to do it.

I really do recommend a visit to John’s website. It can be summed up by one phrase – ‘Clare In The Community’.

John’s website doesn’t only detail his expertise regarding focussing on solutions. He plays in a ceilidh band and also recommends singing as a way to deal with stress and to bond with other people.

One has to be careful if one’s a service user and one does a bit of singing though. Some years ago there was a young man who was a patient at the Hergest Unit – he suffered from bouts of severe depression – who had two young children. His first baby was a girl and he was delighted – a couple of years later his wife became pregnant again and this time he thought that it would be really great if they could have a boy, one of each. His wife gave birth to a little boy and the day after the birth, this young man took his little girl for a walk in Snowdonia. He was so happy about the birth of his second child that he was singing. He was stopped by a policeman and interrogated regarding who the little girl with him was – on the grounds that he might not be suitable to be responsible for a little girl, what with him being a singing service user. The incident caused quite a furore, because his fuming wife contacted the local media. Both she and her husband gave interviews regarding the idiocy of a young father being stopped by the police because he was singing in the woods. About ten years after this incident, the young man sadly became ill with depression again and killed himself. I knew his wife – she told me that it was heartbreaking, both she and he knew that he was becoming very depressed again but they didn’t know why. There was no help forthcoming from the Hergest Unit – by this time the day centre had been closed and Alun Davies et al had just about destroyed ‘the service’ completely. But at least north Wales was crawling with those experts in suicide prevention that I have previously blogged about and dear old David Healy was making regular media appearances.

Someone else whom Jack Straw will know who has knowledge of the insanity at Lambeth is Lord Herman Ouseley, the former Chair and Chief Exec of the Commission for Racial Equality 1993-2000.  Before he made his career in ‘equality and diversity’, Herman was Chief Exec of ILEA and Chief Exec of Lambeth! (Herman has removed all references to Lambeth from his wiki entry, but he was very much there.) Herman has been at the ‘forefront of challenging institutional racism in organisations’. Like so many of his contemporaries who were involved in running the car crash at Lambeth, Herman is now a management consultant advising on equality and diversity issues. It was Herman who introduced Paul Boateng, husband of Janet, to the Lords when Boateng was given a peerage.

Following hot on the heels of Herman as the Chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality was Gurbux Singh. Sing hadn’t worked for Lambeth but he had been just about everywhere else that managed to disgrace itself in the 1980s – the GLC, Hackney, Brent and Haringey. Gurbux ended up as Chief Exec of Haringey Council and he was there at the time that Dr Dafydd Alun Jones rang them up to have a word with them about me when Dafydd discovered that I would be living there after I left the North Wales Hospital Denbigh! Gurbux – how did you know a crazed old bugger in north Wales who was concealing a paedophile ring? Gurbux was a member of Jack Straw’s Race Relations Forum when Straw was Home Secretary and was also an advisor to the Association of London Government and a member of our old friend the Association of Metropolitan Authorities. No doubt Gurbux would have been elevated to the Lords by Blair as well if only he hadn’t come unstuck at a cricket match in 2002 by getting pissed, threatening a policeman and getting himself arrested. The incident caused him to resign from the CRE. This wasn’t because of the drunkenness or the arrest, it was because Singh told the policeman that he (Singh) knew Ian Blair the Deputy Commissioner of the Met – now Lord Blair, a big mate of another man called Blair – and would have the policeman sacked.

Yet another old lag who made a career out of her ‘expertise’ in equality and diversity was Judith Hunt. Judith used to edit the GLC magazine ‘Equalities’. Judith is now Judith Hunt OBE and runs an outfit called ‘Judith Hunt Associates Ltd’. She is of course an ‘executive coach’ and ‘consultant’ ‘working across the sectors’ dispensing advice on ‘diversity and equalities’. She is a Board Member for Transport for London and a Member of the Audit Committee there.

Judith’s previous positions include: National Officer and Assistant General Secretary of ‘a national trade union’ (she doesn’t say which one, so presumably there’s been a bit of trouble there); Director of Personnel at the GLC; Chief Exec at London Borough of Ealing for 7 years; Chief Exec of Local Gov’t Management Board 1993-99; Chair of Camden and Islington Health Authority 2000-02; Chair, London Health Observatory 2002-06.

Come on Judith, with a CV like that you’ll have known something about the abuse of children and the associated cover-up by the Top Doctors.

Judith was a Board Member of the CPS, 2002-05. The CPS that could not explain why it did not prosecute Greville Janner and numerous other high profile child abusers – including the dozens in north Wales against whom there was substantial evidence. Judith is now a non-executive director of the CPS and the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal. She has contributed to the delivery of the CPS Diversities strategy.

Judith has also contributed to the Civil Service Commission and the ESRC Research Priorities Board – so that’s why the ESRC does what it’s told by the Gov’t, even when the agenda is obviously so lame!

People actually pay Judith for her advice – including the NHS and Dept of Health.

The website of ‘Judith Hunt Associates Ltd’ is well worth a visit as they used to say on ‘Blue Peter’, because one can click on the various people who assist in her consultancy. They are all as equally vacuous as Judith and use very similar phrases to describe their work, phrases which are actually meaningless. Judith curiously claims to carry out ‘health checks’. Which is seriously weird, because I don’t think that she’s a Top Doctor, even if the NHS and DoH are wasting good money on her ‘advice’.

Another former leader of Lambeth (1986-88) who could answer a few questions is Linda Bellos – she too is now a management consultant, ‘Linda Bellos Associates’ – in equalities and diversity, although Linda specialises in LGBT issues. Linda was one of the Lambeth Councillors who resigned over the rate capping saga – and I think that she was the leader when the Council finally imploded. Linda has advised the British Army, the Met, the CPS and the Association of Chief Police Officers!

 

So there we have it, a bunch of people who ran the most dangerous, chaotic Councils in England – whose children’s services were pervaded by paedophiles – many of whom ended up being disqualified from office and who effectively bankrupted their authorities. Who better for Blair to elevate to the Lords and appoint to lead Gov’t Commissions, advise the NHS, the police, the CPS etc on ‘equality’? It was after all only the most disadvantaged children in the country who suffered and died in the ‘services’ that they ran.

There are two other people who might be able to answer questions as well, although they are not friends of Tony and Cherie. One is Ted Knight, who was leader of Lambeth Borough Council from 1978. Ted was disqualified from office but for many years remained active in Unite. However, when Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour Party, Ted announced his re-entry into politics and he’s now busy in Lambeth once more. The other is a man called John McDonnell, who was involved in the GLC and hung around a lot with Ted and co. This John McDonnell will know something. I wonder where he is now…

 

NB. I heard on the news earlier that Rogue Top Doctor Ian Paterson has had his prison sentence increased. The judge who increased it made a speech about a shocking breach of trust, how could any Top Doctor ever behave in such a way etc etc. I’ve got news for Lady Justice Hallett – plenty of them are capable of doing so. After all I’ve got 10,000 documents showing that scores of them concealed a paedophile ring and tried to have me imprisoned by perjuring themselves. No doubt when Paterson is eventually released, the GMC will put him back on the register and double his pension pot to compensate for his lost earnings whilst he was inside. There has also been a GP in east London arrested for numerous sexual assaults on patients. Is that the sound of loud snoring that I can still hear coming from the direction of north Wales?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Doris Karloff – Honest About Her Expenses But Not Much Else

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Professor Prestigious And His Associates

Professor Sir Michael Marmot was all over the media yesterday talking about inequality after some shock horror research has been published demonstrating that health inequalities in the UK are not decreasing. I cannot understand why anyone is even surprised. Michael Marmot is considered by the Top Doctors to be the ultimate guru where health inequalities are concerned, although sociologists are not as impressed by him as Top Doctors, politicians and policymakers are. However, by the standards of Top Doctors, Marmot is nuanced and relatively radical. It was Marmot who first bust the myth of poor people drinking excessively by demonstrating that people on higher incomes did a lot more boozing and in his famous study of Whitehall civil servants in the 1980s Marmot also showed that it is not people in senior jobs who experience ‘stress’, it is people at the bottom of the pecking order. Marmot uses concepts such as social and cultural capital which makes him relatively unusual among Top Doctors. As a result of all this Michael Marmot has gained a reputation as someone who is outspoken on health inequalities and who is not afraid to conduct rigorous research and to subsequently expose the root of such inequalities. He has famously said that ‘medicine was a failed prevention’. Governments love Marmot. He was knighted in 2000 for his work on ‘understanding health inequalities’ and he Chaired the Commission On Social Determinants of Health, which was set up by WHO (World Health Organisation) in 2005. He conducted the famous Marmot Review of UK Health Inequalities which was commissioned by Gordon Brown in 2008 and reported to the Coalition Gov’t in 2010. Marmot Chaired the Scientific Reference Group on tacking health inequalities. He is the MRC Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at UCL and Director of UCL’s Institute of Health Equity. So one would have thought that what with Marmot having been at the helm for so many years that health inequalities in the UK would have disappeared. What can be going wrong? From what I heard on the ‘Today’ programme yesterday, Marmot didn’t explain why the UK is still a deeply unequal nation in terms of health outcomes, but he did know what the solution is – it is to give the NHS more money. It does seem to come down to that these days – if only the Top Doctors were given more money all would be well. Marmot would probably also argue that if he was given another massive research grant that would help too.

Whenever I hear Michael Marmot speaking about health inequalities, I am always reminded of the phrase ‘the dog that didn’t bark’. Because although I agree with much of what Marmot says and he makes many valid points, there is one topic on which I never hear Marmot say anything – that of health inequalities KNOWINGLY perpetuated by the NHS itself. He will discuss in detail health inequalities that arise as a result of the NHS serving well-educated people or people on higher incomes better than others, but he discusses this as though it’s an accident on the part of the NHS and that the dear old NHS is doing it’s best to treat everybody to the same high standard, but for multiple complex reasons some people just don’t benefit as much from the treatment/care. Marmot is not actually telling lies in that there are numerous reasons why some people benefit from the NHS more than others. But there are also some groups of people – notoriously those with learning disabilities and severe long-term mental illness – who die decades earlier than everyone else, because the NHS does not bother to treat them. I discussed this in my post ‘Why So Many Die So Early’ and gave a few examples that I have witnessed. This phenomenon is well-documented and Marmot will know all about it. He will know that people with learning disabilities have ‘DNR’ (do not resuscitate) notes pinned t0 their medical records without anyone being informed, he will know that they are not given treatment for certain conditions or under certain circumstances because their quality of life is assessed on a different basis from everybody else, he will know that there is a fatalism pervading the NHS which dictates that ‘they usually die before they’re 50 anyway’ and he will know that frequently NHS staff find learning disabled people difficult to communicate with or difficult to keep calm, so they simply avoid trying to do this. Marmot will also know that people with mental health problems who have a diagnosis of ‘personality disorder’ are deemed by many to be untreatable and will be left without treatment for eg. depression, when other patients will receive that treatment. He will know that the ‘medication’ given to patients deemed psychotic can have very severe ‘side effects’ which shorten patients’ lives – and he will know that there is a lot of very bad prescribing about which increases the possibility of this happening. Michael Marmot will also know all about the dreadful, brutal practices that exist in mental health and the very sorry state of the mental health services. He will know about all this not just because he is much more switched on than most Top Doctors where health inequalities are concerned, but because Michael Marmot is a psychiatrist.

I did not realise that Marmot was a psychiatrist until a few weeks ago. He describes himself as an ‘epidemiologist’ or sometimes as a ‘social scientist’. But I heard him on a Radio 4 programme, a Libby Purves or an Andrew Marr thing, a chat show with ‘interesting’ guests and Marmot was one of the guests. Another guest was a woman psychiatrist who, after training and practicing in the UK, had spent many years overseas dispensing wisdom to Johnny Foreigner and who had written a book about her adventures. As Libby (or Andrew) and the guests marvelled at her ‘compassion’ and her desire to ‘help’ in her capacity as a Top Doctor, Michael Marmot joined in the admiration and revealed that he was particularly interested in this woman’s work, because he too was a psychiatrist. Now this woman actually mentioned that people with serious mental illnesses die many years earlier than other people. I was delighted to hear this admission and looked forward to, for once, an honest discussion about the way in which people with severe mental illness are wiped out by the NHS itself. It didn’t happen. Marmot and the female psychiatrist tutted about the premature deaths and both agreed that it was shocking that this was so and that it was very sad and dreadfully unfair. But there was not one word about the reasons why people with serious mental illness die so prematurely. Yet Marmot had already been given a lot of air-time to discuss his theories regarding health inequalities – but as soon as severe mental illness was mentioned the conversation was moved onto another topic. The institutionalised discrimination from the NHS faced by people with mental health problems and learning disabilities is the most striking example of health inequality in the UK today. In interviews and articles Marmot constantly makes statements such as ‘I showed them the evidence’ and ‘I always look at the evidence’. When he appeared on ‘Desert Island Discs’ in 2014 he stated that ‘I don’t do the skulduggery of politics’. Presumably Marmot doesn’t ever mention the very damning evidence regarding the way in which some groups of people are (mis)treated by the NHS for other reasons then.

When I hear Marmot speak I am reminded of a Top Doctors lecture that I attended in Ysbyty Gwynedd a few years ago. I felt myself to be in Injun Country because I noticed a few people in the lecture theatre whom I had done battle with myself – indeed the man introducing the speaker was Dr Richard Tranter, a Top Doctor lately of the Hergest Unit, who has featured on this blog. I went to the lecture because it was advertised as being about health inequalities and the speaker was a health economist from Bangor University. I didn’t think much of the lecture because the speaker was a great believer in Nudge Theory which is one of the biggest cons that behavioural psychologists have inflicted upon the western world, but I’ll return to Nudge later in this post. However at the end of the lecture a Top Doctor raised his hand to ask a question. This lecture took place at the height of the BMA’s battles with the then Health Minister Edwina Hart and the attempts of the Top Doctors to depose Mary Burrows, the first CEO of the Betsi. The Top Doctor then spoke. He asked the health economist if she agreed with privatising the NHS ‘because why should doctors be told what to do by this Welsh Government’. I felt like shouting out ‘because they pay you a hundred fucking thousand a year you arrogant bastard’, but I restrained myself. Imagine my surprise when the health economist replied that she did not believe in privatising the NHS because the NHS was there for poor people who benefit much more from it than anyone else. ‘No they don’t’ whispered my colleague who’d attended the lecture with me. I know that they don’t. So not only was there a greedy arrogant bastard of a Top Doctor in the lecture, but Bangor University employs a health economist who doesn’t know her arse from her elbow.

But to return to Professor Prestigious. I have been googling Michael Marmot and I can find no references to him being a psychiatrist. I was wondering if perhaps he’d worked with those we know and love, wondering if perhaps he’d passed through the Maudsley or St George’s Hospital Medical School as so many have, but there are no references to any psychiatric training at all. There is however a lack of detail regarding how he spent the early years of his working life. He qualified as a doctor from the University of Sydney in 1968 and he was awarded his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1975. His online biography tells us that in 1980 he became an honorary consultant in Public Health Medicine and from 1985 onwards he worked at UCL, with a stint at Harvard. So when did he work as a psychiatrist? Before doing his PhD? Or immediately afterwards? Why does he not detail this part of his career – he has been happy to provide extensive details of everything he’s done since arriving at UCL. Marmot’s work as a psychiatrist remains a mystery.

Despite his claim that he doesn’t do the skulduggery of politics, I suspect that Marmot is very shrewd indeed politically. His 1980 honorary consultant post in Public Health Medicine is listed as being with the GMC. That will be the same GMC who in 1980 were receiving complaints about Dr Dafydd Alun Jones – who in that year found himself on the receiving end of the beginning of the litigation for unlawfully imprisoning Mary Wynch. The GMC took no action against him either for that or for the other numerous instances of misconduct involving Jones at that time, at least one incident resulting in the death of a patient. He was of course concealing a paedophile ring as well, but I don’t know if anyone actually made formal representation about that.

In 2008 when Gordon Brown commissioned Professor Prestigious to Chair the Marmot Review, it was Secretary of State for Health Alan Johnson who asked Marmot to do it. The Alan Johnson who, along with Andy Burnham, refused more than 80 requests to hold a Public Inquiry into events at Mid-Staffs because of the horrifying death rates there. Marmot is a health inequalities expert. He will be able to spot inordinately high death rates. It is now admitted that the deaths and poor outcomes at Mid-Staffs were a result of dreadful care. Nothing to do with social or cultural capital. It is highly likely that Marmot had had access to UK mortality stats for years before the Mid-Staffs scandal broke. So what did he think was going on in Mid-Staffs?

Marmot has occupied another position as well which is not given out to people who do not do the skulduggery of politics – he was President of the BMA, 2010-11. Which was when the BMA Cymru were still running a co-ordinated campaign against the CEO of the Betsi and against the Welsh Gov’ts Health Minister. It was at about that time that BMA Cymru were sending aggressive rude e mails to me as well – and those e mails were from their PR man no less.

Marmot mentions something else interesting in his interview for ‘Desert Island Discs’. He talks about his research some years ago that showed the high levels of well-being among Japanese woman. This surprised everyone, particularly when Marmot’s theories concerning the causes of well-being were taken into account. Marmot had famously written about people experiencing poor health outcomes if they had little control over their lives or were considered to be of low social status. Japanese woman – especially back in the 70s and 80s – were considered to have been a very oppressed group indeed. The society in which they lived was perceived to be highly patriarchal, there were very, very few employment opportunities for woman – especially married women – a high degree of social control was exercised over women and men famously spent much of their time away from their wives and families, either at work or socialising with other men. Five years ago I was reading of the experiences of a young European professional woman who had married and gone to live in Japan and she observed that she found life there very difficult because being a woman ‘my opinion counts for nothing’. This was a woman with postgraduate qualifications who had learnt Japanese. So even in recent years, women in Japan did not equate to Marmot’s empowered respected beings in control of their lives.

Marmot however came up with an explanation for his seemingly anomalous results. He maintained that the Japanese husbands spent nearly all of their time away from their wives, which resulted in the wives building up their own social capital and networks. It’s an interesting theory, but I’ve got an interesting theory too. Marmot was, at some point a psychiatrist. He is also politically sharp and by the 80s was becoming a very influential figure in the medical establishment. Now I’m not sure when Marmot carried out his research on Japanese women but I presume that it was after his PhD – maybe late 70s or 80s? There was sometime around the late 80s a major diplomatic incident between Japan and the World Psychiatric Association. It had been revealed that conditions in Japanese mental hospitals were dreadful, with patients being viewed as convicts. Their heads were shaved, they were made to wear uniforms and there was evidence that they were being beaten with iron rods. British psychiatrists compared their treatment with that of inmates in asylums before the 19th century. Then the World Psychiatric Association stated that Japan would be expelled from their organisation. I followed this at the time because by then I’d experienced Dafydd Alun Jones and the North Wales Hospital and frankly I didn’t think that British psychiatry was in any position to point the finger at anyone else. And I remember Japan getting very angry and saying pretty much the same thing. It is not improbable that if at this time Professor Prestigious had published research suggesting that Japanese women’s position in society was adversely affecting their health outcomes that a very big political row could have blown up. Research is suppressed for political purposes. I have mentioned previously that there are hardly any studies published investigating violence towards mental health patients by staff. Researchers in Bradford knew that forced marriage and honour violence/killings were a problem but did not publicise it for a long time because there were fears that the BNP would misuse it. It is also only relatively recently that people have spoken openly about the problem in Bradford of genetically inherited conditions among babies born to parents who are first cousins. Yet all these things have been known about for a very long time. I really do wonder if Marmot’s research on Japanese women was affected by political considerations. If it was it didn’t do him any harm. He was President of the World Medical Association 2015-16.

Professor Prestigious’s Institute of Health Equity at UCL was launched in 2011, the year that he stood down as President of the BMA and is supported by the Department of Health – and the dear old BMA! I notice that details of the Institute of Health Equity appear on the part of the UCL website entitled ‘UCL Public Policy’. Details of the ‘UCL Centre For Behaviour Change’ appear on the same page. ‘Behaviour Change’ being a concept that neoliberal governments really love because it can be used to locate social problems with complex causes within the individual – it’s been causing havoc for a long while in mental health (‘they think that they have no responsibility to get better’ as a social work team manager once told me), but the dear old Nudge Theory has now found it’s way into everywhere, including into the UK benefits system. It’s why letters to people claiming disability benefits now have slogans on them saying ‘it has been proved that having a job is better for your health’. Better than what? A poke in the eye with a sharp stick? I’m sure that having a fulfilling job that you enjoy is good for your health but working for ‘Sports Direct’ isn’t. Isn’t it puzzling that health inequalities are still with us and Michael Marmot is surprised at this. No wonder the Top Doctors need more money, it’s the only solution. One glimpse at the UCL Public Policy webpage suggested to me that there’s enough there to provide material for a whole series of blog posts but sadly I don’t have time. I will just mention that on May 17 the Centre for Behaviour Change co-hosted an event entitled ‘exploring behaviour change in the setting of large organisations’ – with BUPA. Good to know that the Top Doctors remain committed to the NHS and continue to avoid the skulduggery of politics.

As I frequently theorise on this blog, people who make it big in medicine only do so if they keep quiet about the things that the Top Doctors really do not want anyone to find out about. The fact that Marmot was offered a position by the GMC and ended up as President of the BMA – and of course landing commissions from Westminster Gov’ts – suggests that he will have been party to an awful lot. That is why I was interested to find out where he’d worked when he was a psychiatrist and whom he worked with. He’s obviously keeping that info under his hat, but another name whom he has admitted to working with jumped out at me – Sir Donald Acheson.

Marmot’s biography states that he served on the Scientific Advisory Group of the Independent Inquiry into Inequalities in Health Chaired by Acheson, whilst Acheson was UK Chief Medical Officer. Donald Acheson could be described as the Top Doctor’s Top Doctor. Acheson really did not have to Chair an Inquiry to find out why health inequalities existed. They existed because Acheson existed.

Acheson died in 2010. He was the Gov’ts Chief Medical Officer between 1983-91. Before devolution. So Acheson’s reign spanned the full horrors of Dafydd and the paedophile ring and all that I have described in previous posts. The lies, the perjury, the corruption, the unlawful imprisonment of anyone crossing the paths of those we know and love, the hounding of whistleblowers out of jobs, the appointment of Jimmy Savile and his mates to the management ‘task force’ of Broadmoor Hospital, Acheson was there throughout it all. Acheson is described as ‘serving’ the Gov’t in the DHSS, the Department of Education and Science and at the Home Office. In the thick of all of it then. After leaving office, Acheson held positions at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine – the establishment that unlawfully withdrew my place on an MSc (see post ‘A Top Doctor In The News’) and UCL, where he will have worked with Professor Prestigious. Acheson was President of the BMA 1996-97. Just as the Waterhouse Inquiry began. Acheson received a number of honours from toadying universities, including an honorary doctorate from the University of Birmingham in 1991.

That was the University of Birmingham that employed Professor Robert Bluglass who concealed Dafydd’s wrongdoing as Dafydd concealed the paedophile ring and that also employed Dr Tony Francis’s (Dr X’s) former boss, Professor Ian Brockington – Tony Francis’s wrongdoing wasn’t even investigated By Bluglass, although it formed part of my complaint (see posts ‘Enter Professor Robert Bluglass CBE’ and ‘Ian Brockington’s Mischief’). 1991 note – the year that it is alleged that a cover-up of a major paedophile ring with connections to Westminster took place, the year that I was hounded out of my job at St George’s Hospital Medical School, the year that Dr Tony Francis and the MDU hired the services of Sir Robert Francis QC in an attempt to imprison me because I had written numerous letters alleging that there was serious criminal activity taking place in the north Wales mental health services, including on the part of Tony Francis (see post ‘The Sordid Role Of Sir Robert Francis QC’). It was also the year that a close friend of mine who knew what had happened to me in north Wales and was interested in making a documentary about it was unfairly dismissed from her job at the Royal Television Society (see post ‘Did Glenda Occupy A Key Role In Keeping It all Out Of The Media?’).

As if that wasn’t enough, I have also discovered that Acheson was born in 1926, so just a few years younger than Gwynne the lobotomist – and he trained at the Middlesex Hospital, just like Gwynne! Acheson’s first wife was a nurse from the Middlesex and Acheson is described as having ‘held various clinical posts at the Middlesex Hospital’. Such institutions have thriving Alumni organisations – medical schools in particular really love them – people keep in touch throughout their careers and a super-strength professional glue binds them all together. One thing that the Alumni organisations and professional glue are useful for is extracting each other from slurry pits. Now imagine if you and your mates were concealing a paedophile ring who were supplying boys to Westminster figures – many of those figures members of the Party that was in Government at the time – and you knew the Chief Medical Officer working for that Gov’t. Or indeed imagine if you were the Gov’ts Chief Medical Officer and what the consequences would be if it ever got out that one of your associates had concealed such a paedophile ring and had been banging people up unlawfully or heaven forbid lobotomising them if they had started to talk about what was happening. Documents in my possession show that Dr D.G.E. Wood, the GP who ordered me to drop my complaints against Gwynne the lobotomist or suffer career damage, was writing and phoning everyone and anyone he could behind the scenes in his efforts to extract Gwynne, Dafydd, Tony Francis et al from the shit. I will provide further evidence of why I think that a distress call may have been sent out to Acheson in a minute.

In 2000 long after he’d retired, Acheson appeared on the BBC News, as a ‘whistleblower’. This news item concerned the BSE scandal that occurred in the late 80s on Acheson’s watch. Things had got a little difficult for Acheson because there had been a Public Inquiry into the BSE crisis and it had been revealed that he ‘might’ have misled the public over BSE in 1990 by publicly announcing that ‘there is no risk associated with eating British beef’ – of course there was a risk and a number of people did develop CJD as a result, although there are claims that the Gov’t never came clean about the number of people who did. At the BSE Inquiry, Acheson stated that his comment about there being ‘no risk’ from British beef ‘must have been a slip of the tongue’ (as opposed to a bloody great lie). He also told the Inquiry that he’d never heard of BSE until March 1988. Acheson however knew where the blame did lie  – he had been deceived by MAFF (the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food) because they had not told him about BSE. MAFF had been ‘unnecessarily secretive’ (you’d never get a Top Doctor being secretive unnecessarily would you) and furthermore Acheson had no idea at all that abattoirs had not been heeding the rules regarding the butchering of animals and the treatment of the carcasses.

This is all very odd. By March 1988 BSE had been an identifiable disease for over 17 months. Furthermore, when I was doing the MSc in Experimental Pathology at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School, Hammersmith Hospital, in 1986-87, when we ‘did’ CJD, it was mentioned that a variant in cattle had recently appeared. So a bunch of postgrads were being taught things that the Chief Medical Officer didn’t know. The Chief Medical Officer who had access to all of the UK datasets and who had a whole department – which included a staff of nearly 100 Top Doctors – reporting directly to him. As for his naivety regarding the practices at abattoirs, everyone knew that abattoirs were frequently staffed by the local psychopaths who broke all the rules. When I was a teenager, a neighbouring farmer took my sister to the abattoir with him when he was taking his pigs there. This man told my sister that he always stayed when his pigs were being slaughtered because he didn’t trust the abattoir men. He was right not to – on the occasion that my sister went with him, she saw a pig running around on three legs, because the slaughterhouse men had cut a leg off for a laugh.

So we’ve established that Donald Acheson was a lying git who risked the health of UK citizens, probably because of the damage that the Gov’t at that time feared would be done to the British beef industry if anyone was told the truth about BSE.

So this was obviously why after he stood down as Chief Medical Officer he was given a Chair at the International Centre for Health and Society at UCL. Just the man for Tony Blair to ask in 1998 to Chair an investigation into health inequalities. The Acheson Report subsequently concluded that health inequalities were the result of poor people themselves – they got pissed and smoked and couldn’t afford the sort of food and services that resulted in good health. Marmot was part of that team – but then made a name for himself a few years later by debunking it all.

Acheson had to spin a yarn about MAFF, because he may well not have had his mind on BSE. Because whilst Acheson was Chief Medical Officer, something far more worrying for Thatcher’s Government than BSE occurred. HIV AIDS. Initially AIDS was thought to be only something that affected gay men, but then perceptions changed to it being something that predominantly affected the gay community. Acheson advised on the AIDS panic and his peers from that time have talked about how worried he was, how much of his time and effort went into planning the response to AIDS ie. he ‘ate and slept AIDS from 1985 onwards’. Acheson set up an informal group of senior medics and public health officials and invited people from the Terence Higgins Trust, an organisation with it’s roots in the gay community. From this evolved an expert advisory group which Acheson chaired. Acheson seems to have been a good deal more careful in his handling of the AIDS crisis than he was with BSE. He is on record as saying that the key was for society to become less promiscuous. Yet like Edwina Currie who famously advised the women of the UK not to ‘screw around’ if they wanted to avoid cervical cancer whilst she was doing a great deal of screwing around herself as were many of her colleagues, it seems that Acheson actually based his response to the AIDS crisis on a different message.

The ‘Guardian’s’ obituary of Acheson praised him for persuading Ministers to abandon their proposals for the compulsory testing of AIDS and making it a notifiable disease – Acheson was said to have persuaded Ministers that their proposals would deter people from seeking help. (The Conservative Gov’t did do one thing without telling the public though – they established a blood screening programme of all ante-natal patients in one major London hospital without informing the patients, in order to ascertain how widespread HIV was in the general population. The hospital where this was done with no-ones knowledge was St George’s. Of course.) Acheson argued for ‘reduction not prohibition’, for safe sex rather than no sex. The ‘Guardian’ also noted with surprise that Acheson effectively condoned illegal drug use by needle exchange schemes. In 1985 whilst talking about his reputation and credibility Acheson said ‘I must personally satisfy myself on the evidence on every issue’. He very obviously didn’t do that with BSE but I bet that he did it with AIDS. Because I think that Acheson knew that the repressed homophobic Gov’t of Thatcher’s ironically had more than a few members and associates who were not simply gay but who were wildly promiscuous and using the services of kids in care who had been trafficked into prostitution – by Acheson’s old mates Gwynne and co. Acheson had to ensure that the whole bloody lot of them didn’t become infected. This was a real threat – for example, Thomas Tyrell-Kenyon, the son of Conservative peer Lord Lloyd Tyrell-Kenyon, was known to be abusing boys in care in north Wales and died of AIDS in 1993 (see post ‘Y Gwir Yn Erbyn Y Byd’). When I lived in Bethesda in the late 1980s I knew a very promiscuous gay man who was using prostitutes in the Chester area who died of AIDS. So there were people infected with AIDS in north Wales in the 80s and as north Wales was a key supplier of rent boys for the Westminster Paedophile Ring – the homes trafficking children for this purpose being Ty’r Felin in Bangor and the Bryn Alyn Community near Wrexham – the paedophiles of Westminster were certainly at risk.

In 1998 Acheson said that a shake-up in the Department of Health in 1996 eroded the power and independence of the Chief Medical Officer by reducing the number of directly accountable staff to the CMO down to none – Acheson had a team of about 100 medical staff. Historically the Department of Health had two parallel hierarchies, the admin staff reporting to the Permanent Secretary and the medical staff reporting to the CMO. Acheson argued that had he not had that team of 100 medics, he would not have been successful in his AIDS campaign. He is on record as having said that ‘you cannot be independent if what you have access to is controlled by admin staff who may have a different agenda’. If you are a CMO who’s mates are facilitating a paedophile ring involving the Gov’t – and indeed the other parties in opposition – and you’ve got 100 Top Doctors working for you, that gives you an awful lot of power over your alleged political masters. You certainly won’t want a team of admin staff responsible not to you but to a senior civil servant, that would really throw a spanner in the works. So the DoH eradicated the Top Doctors reporting to the CMO in 1996 – just as the Waterhouse Inquiry began…

Acheson’s obituaries mention another achievement of his as well – he is described as having had a long association with the University of Southampton (since 1968) and was the prime mover and shaker in the establishment of the Medical School there, indeed he was appointed Foundation Dean. This was a real revelation to me, because it might explain something that happened to me in about 1989, just before I took the job at St George’s. This was of course, a time when I was still in touch with D.G.E. Wood and as I mentioned in previous posts, was being pumped by him for information regarding my and indeed Brown’s career plans, as is clear from the documents that I now have got hold of. I applied for a job in the then fairly newly established IVF Unit at Southampton Medical School. This was at a time when Top Doctors had realised that there was money to be made and status to be acquired from an IVF Unit and everybody wanted one (please see post ‘The BMA And It’s Ethics’). I was shortlisted for the post and at the interview I met the one other shortlisted candidate. We were both early, so we went for a coffee and she turned out to be great for a chat. She was not only the same age as me, but she’d also done her first degree in Wales – she had gone to Aberystwyth – but incredibly enough she had grown up in Somerset like me. She had been to school in Taunton, whereas I went to school in Bridgwater, so we had not ever actually met, but we marvelled a bit at how similar our paths had been. Unlike me however, she had worked in IVF since graduating, had worked with the pioneers and was already an experienced embryologist. It was very clear that she was the stronger candidate. We returned to the Unit to supposedly meet people and be shown around. But neither of us were shown around and the only person we met apart from the scientist in charge of the lab was a doctor called Elaine, whose main topic of conversation was how outraged she had been when a candidate for a job a few weeks previously had mistaken her for a nurse. It was very obvious that the man who was supposed to be running the lab was scared stiff of Elaine and was literally jumpy. The other candidate commented on this and said that this didn’t seem anything like the clinics that she had worked in. I was first in for the interview and the person leading the panel was an obstetrician called Gordon Masson. He was very friendly and extroverted but within about 10 mins he asked me who my boyfriend was and what he did for a living. Which even in those days was a very unacceptable question to ask a female candidate for a job, but I just presumed that this Top Doctor wasn’t too hot on etiquette where interviewing was concerned and held a lame stereotype that I might disappear on maternity leave within a few months, leaving them short of an embryologist. At the end of the interview they said they’d ring to let me know the outcome.

I went home but didn’t hear anything. So I rang the jumpy scientist to find out what was going on. His wife answered the phone and said ‘ooh I think Mr Masson isn’t appointing anyone who was interviewed he’s going to readvertise but don’t tell him I’ve told you’. About an hour later I then received a call from the other candidate – we’d exchanged numbers – and she greeted me with ‘I suppose you’ve got the job, because they’ve told me that I haven’t’. I related to her what I had been told and commented that I thought it was bizarre that she hadn’t been given the job, as she was one of the most experienced embryologists in the UK at that time. She then told me that her interview had been really weird. She said that Masson had spent most of the interview demanding that she admit to him that she and I knew each other. He banged on about us both coming from Somerset and then both going to university in Wales and absolutely insisted that we knew each other. I was mystified and she said that she had concluded that there was probably something going on in the Unit that they wanted to conceal and that they seemed to believe that we had applied for the job to somehow catch them out. I didn’t ever meet this embryologist again but I never forgot that strange interview. So when I acquainted myself with Acheson’s biography and realised that there was almost certainly a Gwynne the lobotomist connection and also a Chief Medical Officer who was suppressing a scandal connection, I thought about that interview. I don’t think that Masson was worried about me getting pregnant whilst working for him, I think that D.G.E. Wood had been busy – Wood was very wary of Brown because Brown had already started publishing before he began his PhD and Wood was very worried that Brown might publish something about what had gone on in north Wales. I think that’s why Masson was in a spin and also why he was sufficiently paranoid to think that I and the other candidate were up to something. This morning I googled Gordon Masson.

In 2005 Gordon Masson, described as the Director of the Wessex Fertility Clinic at Southampton, hit the media. A patient of the Wessex Fertility Centre had spent over £8,000 on fertility treatment and had been on their waiting list for their egg donation scheme when she received a letter from the Clinic telling her that they were no longer treating women over the age of 42 – although they had previously told her that she could remain on the waiting list until she was 45 – and she had therefore been removed from the waiting list. Gordon Masson issued a statement saying that they had been forced to alter their criteria because they had such a long waiting list that they had to prioritise younger women who had a better chance of becoming pregnant. Masson was roundly condemned by a number of people including a Sam Abdalla of the Lister Clinic, Professor Ian Craft Director of the London Fertility Centre – who offered to ‘help’ the patient involved himself – and the HFEA (Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority). My post ‘The BMA And It’s Ethics’ described just how dodgy some of the practices of IVF/infertility clinics were (and still are). Ian Craft was virtually a pariah on account of his practice of selective foetal reduction, ie. implanting up to ten embryos and aborting the ‘surplus’ ones as the pregnancy progressed. Craft’s ‘help’ would have come at a very high price financially and emotionally.

IVF clinics have continued with their questionable practices despite much hot air about the wonders of the regulator, the HFEA. The HFEA is a joke, many of it’s Chairs have been utter dipsticks who know bugger all about IVF but are simply sharp elbowed well-connected people who fancy another public appointment – the obvious name coming to mind being the dreadful Ruth Deech (see post ‘News Round Up, May 18 2017’), who was appointed a Dame on the basis of her ‘work’ with the HFEA between 1994-2002. So who was the Chair of the HFEA who condemned Gordon Masson – who, no matter what he got up to when he was interviewing me, was correct when he stated that women with fetility problems were very unlikely to become pregnant after the age of 42 and it was therefore better practice to prioritise younger women? It was Dame Suzi Leather, who was Chair of the HFEA between 2002-2006. Suzi Leather’s tenure at the HFEA was characterised by a considerable relaxation of the rules concerning who was eligible for IVF treatment. A lot of people considered that Leather relaxed those rules far too much – IVF is a ruthless business and many of those clinics will treat anyone who hands over the dosh, no matter how unlikely they are to ever conceive or how unsuitable their personal circumstances are for a child. When Leather stepped down from the HFEA, the ‘Guardian’ stated that she had ‘turned the HFEA around’ and the Chief Executive of an organisation called Infertility Network UK stated that Leather had ‘put patients at the heart of the HFEA’. So if the HFEA needed turning around why was old Dame Deech made a Dame as a result of her sterling work with the HFEA, immediately before Leather arrived? As for putting patients at the heart of the HFEA, Leather actually ensured a greater supply of desperate people ripe for exploitation – she unleashed a cut-throat market in a notoriously unscrupulous business. So who are Infertility Network UK?

For a start they are now called Fertility Network UK – which sounds more hopeful doesn’t it. As I suspected, Fertility Network UK advertises infertility treatments, has contact details of clinics and ‘recommends’ Top Doctors working in the field. It is essentially a market place. I went on their website this morning and noticed a huge logo on the front page – a logo for the Lister Clinic no less. Clicking on the Lister Clinic reveals that the Clinical Director of the Lister is a Hossam Abdalla – presumably the Sam Abdalla who was so rude about Gordon Masson when Masson stopped treating someone who was very unlikely to become pregnant anyway. So the Chief Exec of Infertility UK who was so complimentary about Suzi Leather would seem to have had a vested interest in dear old Suzi ‘putting patients at the heart of the HFEA’. What’s the betting that the ever-helpful Ian Craft was also hiding among the skirts of Fertility Network UK somewhere?

Suzi Leather would seem to be even more of a dipstick who has been given appointments for which she is obviously unqualified than Ruth Deech. Leather graduated from the University of Exeter in 1977, then did a BPhil in Social Work and between 1984-86 was a trainee probation officer. Regular readers will have read my comments concerning the huge problems in the quality of social work/probation service training (see post ‘Social Work Theory’). Leather didn’t hang about being a social worker or probation officer though – in 1988 she became a ‘freelance consumer consultant’ and did this until 1997. Whereupon she was appointed as Chair of Exeter and District NHS Trust. How on earth did that happen? A woman with a bachelors degree in social work and then after two years as a trainee probation officer farts around as a ‘freelance consumer consultant’ for ten years and is then given an NHS Trust to run. That’s quite something even by the standards of the NHS. Could this perhaps be the reason why there have been such serious problems in the NHS in the Exeter region? The Trust down there is competing with the Betsi in terms of the scale of the disaster and recently the Chief Exec Paula Vasco-Knight narrowly escaped prison as a result of her swindling (see post ‘NHS Chief Executive Collapses In Court After Being Spared Jail’). The region’s NHS won’t have got itself in that mess quickly, as in north Wales there will have been chaos and malpractice for many years.

No matter what state she left Exeter’s NHS in, Suzy was now in the fast lane. Upon departing the NHS she was appointed Deputy Chair of the Food Standards Agency. Then it was the HFEA – obviously a logical step from Food Standards – then, between 2005-06 it was back to food again, this time as Chair of the School Food Trust, which overlapped with her stint at the HFEA. In 2006 as a result of that roaring success that she enjoyed at the HFEA, Suzi was appointed to the Board of Accreditation Service. I have no idea what that is, but it was a political appointment from Blair’s office at Number 10. Between 2006-2012 Suzi was Chair of the Charity Commission and received £104,999 for three days/week there.

Leather has been called ‘the quango Queen’ and questions have been asked about her public appointments because none of them have been elected posts. She was named in Quentin Letts’ book as one of the ’50 People Who Buggered Up Britain’. (I suspect that there are rather more than 50 people in that category although no doubt Suzi is one of them.)

I can find no clue as to how Suzi became Chair of the Exeter and District NHS Trust, which seems to have been not only an inexplicable appointment and probably one that did much damage, but was obviously the one that launched her career of doing fuck all on pointless bodies for a great deal of money and appearing on ‘Any Questions’ with nothing very original to say. Suzi is married to Iain Hampsher-Monk, a professor of political theory at Exeter. Perhaps he could enlighten us.

 

As well as featuring an appearance by Professor Prestigious, the ‘Today’ programme yesterday also featured Nanette Newman. In a previous post I mentioned how the Top Doctors really enjoy a Royal Ball. Whilst I was still being bullied and hounded at St George’s I shared a house with a junior doctor who worked at St George’s – who is now a Top Doctor at another hospital in England – and his wife. And they were really chuffed to receive a personal invitation to a Royal Ball organised by St George’s. The Royal Personage who graced the event was Prince Edward and one of the featured celebs was Nanette Newman no less. The junior doctor from our house even managed to dance with Nanette Newman. I never quite worked out what Nanette Newman was doing at a Top Doctors Royal Charity Ball but she was there nonetheless. I’m not going to name my former housemate here because unlike many whom I have named on this blog, he definitely wasn’t concealing a paedophile ring and I very much doubt that he is now (he is now a Consultant Surgeon). This man though was a perfect example of what one must do to survive if one is to become a Top Doctor. One must ignore a lot of very Nasty Things and Keep Quiet about them. He trained at St George’s and worked there as a junior doctor and he was very frank with me regarding the state of the psychiatry dept at St George’s and the associated psychiatric hospital, Springfield. He told me that the medical students hated doing their psyche placements, that the psychiatrists were mad and neglectful and that it was a bum deal all round. When I wound up in Springfield myself the following year and told him how bloody awful they were there – despite the medical establishment perpetuating the myth that the academic dept of psychiatry at St George’s was a centre of excellence (it was a centre of corruption) – he told me to get out of their clutches fast and to have no more to do with them. But he won’t have told a soul that he knew all that about them – if he had he’d have been destroyed. So I’m doing him and all the other medical students who had to look on in silence as that bunch of bastards destroyed lives a favour – I’m naming them all myself here.

Whilst remembering Nanette Newman and the Royal Ball, I remembered something else that happened at St George’s at that time that now really worries me, in view of the fact that the world-leading ‘experts’ in the psyche dept were a bunch of lying crooks concealing the wrongdoing of Dafydd et al in north Wales as Dafydd et al facilitated a paedophile ring. At one point a notice was sent around to every member of staff in every dept – a notice concerning a Girl Who Must Be Helped. Everybody was told that there was ‘a girl’ who was known to be approaching medical students in the hospital and telling them that she had diabetes and asking them if they could help her. There were no allegations that she was stealing or using violence or accessing records or drugs or equipment improperly, she was just telling medical students that she had diabetes and needed help. But this was obviously tantamount to murder – everyone was given instructions to immediately report it if they saw her because she had to sectioned and taken to Springfield Immediately. Now had Springfield actually been a compassionate institution offering appropriate care to distressed people I could see the logic in offering to help a distressed young woman. But it wasn’t. Springfield was appallingly callous and neglectful, the Top Doctors there were knowingly colluding with Dafydd and the paedophiles, one of their patients had been banged up in there by an abusive husband who regularly threatened to kill her and was using her ‘mental illness’ to ensure that she lost custody of her kids, another patient had been raped by a senior policeman at Scotland Yard and Springfield were sitting on that barrel of shit as well and few years after that, there were a number of scandals with patients murdering each other and the staff. Springfield was not a place which will have wanted to help a young woman with delusions that she had diabetes. So who was that young woman, what did she know, what had happened to her and indeed what the fuck was going on?

As for Nanette Newman’s appearance at the Royal Ball, I note that Nanette Newman’s wiki page tells us that she comes from a ‘theatrical family’. Her daughter Emma Forbes is a TV and radio celeb. Emma is a Patron of Great Ormond Street Hospital. The GOSH that is currently the centre of the storm concerning the care and future treatment of the baby Charlie Gard. A journalist on a radio news report a couple of days ago discussing the dispute between the parents of Charlie Gard and the Top Doctors and the claims and counter-claims stated that ‘surely a world leading hospital in London wouldn’t lie?’ Yes they would, they do it regularly. And they fabricate research, lie about harm to patients even when it results in death and a lot of them concealed a paedophile ring over many years.

When my lawyer forwarded me the documents that she’d finally extracted from the North West Wales NHS Trust with a Court Order, among all the documents upon which Tony Francis had lied, perjured himself and encouraged others to so the same in an attempt to have me imprisoned, there was a letter within which he’d stated that I was mad and dangerous and that ‘this case can only end in tragedy’. ‘It has’ remarked Brown, ‘for them’.

Any members of the Southampton contingent or other former colleagues of Donald Acheson feel like a trip to the police station to tell them what you know?

 

‘A Pretty Classy Piece Of Operation’

Yesterday somebody drew my attention to a few You Tube clips from that period of time that so many people found so difficult – the months in 2012 following the Jimmy Savile revelations. I watched a clip of Esther Rantzen with great interest as she wriggled around maintaining that she had heard ‘rumours’ but one can’t act on rumours (people used to say that to me when I challenged them over Dr Dafydd Alun Jones’s conduct). At one point Esther got really ratty and angrily told the interviewer that Childline had acted on every single complaint that children had made – well that’s interesting Esther because I was told that some of the kids who were abused in north Wales rang Childline and no, they were not helped. But then when Esther was campaigning for improved mental health care I wrote to her about Dafydd Alun Jones and the North Wales Hospital Denbigh – I did not receive a reply (see post ‘News Round Up, April 30 2017’). I noticed that the Daily Post’s website ran an article last week featuring Esther on a visit to north Wales publicising Childline… Now I don’t really expect anything other than vacuous insincere hypocrisy from an idiot like Esther, whom I was told by a friend who used to work at the BBC was loathed and known as a ferocious sharp-elbowed bully anyway – but there was a far more interesting You Tube clip than Esther pretending that she never had an inkling regarding Savile’s activities. That was a clip of Edwina Currie being interviewed on RTE 1 on 3 November 2012, in which she too denied all knowledge of Jimmy Savile’s penchant for molesting vulnerable people. Edwina of course was the junior Health Minister who, in 1988 when Ken Clarke was Secretary of State for Health, had appointed Savile to lead the ‘task force’ that was charged with managing Broadmoor and sorting out it’s very serious problems (see post ‘Socio-Political Context Of The North Wales Mental Health Services In The 1980s’). After Savile’s exposure as a sexual predator who shagged anything that moved, Edwina reassured the world that the reason why she made that very inappropriate appointment was that the POA (Prison Officers Association) to which all the ‘nurses’ at Broadmoor belonged were swindling enormous sums of money out of the NHS and dear old Jimmy had told her that he would reign the POA in by blackmailing them. Savile’s plan was to frighten the POA into submission by threatening to use his media contacts to run a story about them in the ‘Sun’. Edwina is on record as saying that she considered this to be ‘a pretty classy piece of operation’. But Savile was by no means the only one indulging in a bit of classy blackmail.

As Edwina was repeatedly confronted by the RTE interviewer with the reality of Savile’s abuse of Broadmoor patients, she continued to maintain that she had no idea that he was capable of such debauchery and that the only reason that she could think of for the staff at Broadmoor not grassing him up was that Jimmy, being as we all know an evil manipulative genius who fooled the world, had ‘information which gave him a hold over staff’. I’m sure that he did – not only were the staff at Broadmoor stealing from the NHS but they were behaving every bit as badly as Savile. There was rampant sexual abuse of patients, a porn racket and serious violence and brutality. Now the Tories knew that patients were being horribly abused in Broadmoor and they knew that many of the patients were not ‘criminals’ but were actually patients whom Top Doctors in other hospitals had transferred to Broadmoor after refusing to care for them themselves – just like Professor Robert Bluglass predicted that I would be if I didn’t stop complaining about Dafydd et al! – but they weren’t raising concerns about that. They were concerned about the POA embezzling the dosh and controlling the institution. So why couldn’t the Gov’t reign in the POA at Broadmoor, or indeed at Ashworth, which had very similar problems at the same time? Could it have been that the POA were playing the same game as Savile and were holding people over a barrel with ‘information’? What information might those staff have had?

Well, they would have known that a lot of the patients in Broadmoor were alleging that they had been sexually abused, beaten up and generally violated in other psychiatric hospitals. The Broadmoor staff would also have known that many of the patients were making exactly the same allegations about their experiences when they had been children who had been in care. Some of them in north Wales. Now some of the former residents of children’s homes in north Wales have maintained that some of the people who abused them were ‘VIPs’, at least two of which were alleged to have been Tory politicians. One of those politicians was Sir Peter Morrison, MP for Chester. He was known to have visited children’s homes in north Wales for inexplicable reasons and two former Conservative MPs are on the record as saying that they knew that Morrison was having sex with under-age boys. Those MPs are Rod Richards and Edwina Currie. Currie described Peter Morrison as a ‘noted pederast’ in her 2002 book of parliamentary life.

Currie appointed Savile as leader of the Broadmoor task force in the summer of 1988. During her RTE interview she stated somewhat vaguely that ‘for approximately four months in 1988’ she was responsible for mental health. That was pre-devolution, so her remit would have extended to the mental health services in north Wales. By the summer of 1988 Mary Wynch and I had both approached politicians and Ministers about our own abuse at the hands of the mental health services in north Wales. In the autumn of 1988 I was receiving correspondence from the Welsh Office concerning the Review into my complaint (this was the Review that eventually took place in 1989, the utter whitewash by Robert Bluglass). By the time that Edwina was in charge of the nation’s mental health services Mary Wynch had won her case against Risley Remand Centre, Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and Clwyd Health Authority (please see post ‘The Mary Wynch Case – Details’). Edwina was only responsible for mental health for four months in 1988, but she was Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health between Sept 1986-Dec 1988. By 1987 the chaos in Gwynedd Health Authority was such that the Welsh Office had sent a team of management consultants in (see post ‘A Visit To Gwynedd Archives’).

So Edwina knew that all was not as it should have been in the mental health services in north Wales. But would she have known about the paedophile ring operating in the region, the victims of which were ending up in the mental health system if they complained? Well someone whom Edwina idolised and claimed to use as a role model knew – Margaret Thatcher. In Jan 1987 Alison Taylor wrote to her and told her that children in care in north Wales were being abused. Alison – like Mary and I – also wrote to a lot of other people as well. One of those was a man called John Major, who at the time was a Minister in the Home Office. Edwina knew him well, indeed she shagged him for a number of years. (Interestingly enough it is rumoured that John Major was by no means the only politician that Edwina had an affair with, although none of the others have been identified. But she says a few interesting things about her boss John Moore in that RTE interview.) Early in 1988 Alison also wrote to Tony Newton, another Minister that Edwina will have had dealings with; Newton was Secretary of State for Social Security – at that time Health and Social Security were dealt with by the DHSS.

If Edwina’s rationale for appointing Savile to the Broadmoor task force – that he was a sharp operator where blackmailing other criminals was concerned – was eccentric, so was the way in which the appointment of the Chief Executive of Broadmoor at the same time was actually discussed. It was discussed – and presumably offered – to Savile’s friend Alan Franey at what Franey later called an ‘unusual meeting’ that was held at the Athanaeum club in Pall Mall. The meeting was attended by Franey and Savile as well as two senior civil servants, Clifford Graham (who was Currie’s departmental Under-Secretary of State) and James Collier. When this all became public in the aftermath of the Savile expose there was much gnashing of teeth, but I suspect that an awful lot of this sort of thing went on. For a start the Athanaeum is a club with a lot of Top Doctors and academics as members and there is a lot of evidence that even very senior jobs in medicine are dished out on the basis of networking rather than ability or a sound track record. After he died no-one wanted to admit to knowing Jimmy Savile – although he was a mate of Prince Charles’s and was invited to numerous Christmas’s at Chequers by Thatcher – and trying to establish who had lived it up at the Athanaeum with Savile et al was like trying to get blood out of a stone. Yet in her RTE interview Edwina fesses up that she had popped over to the Athanaeum with Savile too. Of course she stresses in the interview that this wasn’t the way to impress a woman like her – then why did she accept the invitation ? I bet if Savile had invited her for a coffee and a pasty in Greggs she’d have found it within her heart to say no. There were also some rather odd people working in the highest echelons of the civil service at the time. The mandarin who had been instrumental in forming the Broadmoor task force in 1987 was Brian McGinnis, the Under-Secretary for mental health with responsibility for high security hospitals. McGinnis was never convicted of child abuse but there was sufficient concern regarding his conduct with children for him to end up being banned from working with them after he retired.

In this fetid environment is it surprising that the POA themselves were getting away with abusing patients whilst simultaneously holding the Party of Law N Order hostage? Of course Broadmoor’s troubles didn’t end with the appointment of Savile and the task force. After Savile’s death, Dr Bill Kirkup led an investigation into his involvement at Broadmoor. Kirkup’s report is entertaining in that he admits just how dreadful the problems were/are at Broadmoor, but he works very hard to exonerate any Top Doctor of contributing to the fuckwittery that led to it all. Kirkup’s report mentions a few names known to me. There’s a reference to Robert Bluglass in there! Bluglass was involved in the investigation into the abuses at Ashworth in the early 1990s – which included the murder of a patient. Having concealed the criminal activity of Dafydd et al at the North Wales Hospital Denbigh some three years previously Bluglass was obviously the ideal candidate to carry out a whitewash at Ashworth. There’s a reference to someone else as well- Dr Julie Hollyman, the former Chief Exec of the West London Mental Health Trust,  who was responsible for managing Broadmoor whilst Savile abused patients there. I remember Julie Hollyman well, although she won’t know who I am. Hollyman was reputed to be the most aggressive and unhinged psychiatrist at St Georges/Springfield Hospital when I lived and worked in south London in the early 1990s. The nurses loathed her and even my flatmate who was a psychiatric nurse in another London hospital had heard about Hollyman. I managed to have an encounter with her myself. Part of my job used to be carrying out pregnancy tests and one day a sample came in from a Springfield patient marked urgent with a request to phone back with the result as soon as poss. So I did. Only to be literally subjected to a mouth full of abuse from Hollyman’s secretary – which really astounded me, so I hung up. I then received a phone call from Hollyman shouting at me accusing me of being intolerably rude to ‘her’ secretary. I explained that for some reason best known to herself her secretary had actually sworn at me down the phone – Hollyman shrieked that she didn’t believe that. So I hung up on her and informed the Head of Dept what was going on. The response from someone in the know was ‘oh God it’s Hollyman, she’s nuts’. I was then told that the foul mouthed secretary was actually a ‘service user’ on Springfield’s ‘flagship’ patients work programme (which hit the headlines a few years later when it was revealed that one ‘service user’ had been given a job as a stripper in a night club), that she wasn’t suitable, shouldn’t have been given the job and Hollyman knew it. But Hollyman wasn’t too happy that she’d been rumbled and Hollyman grasped any excuse for a scrap.

Of course I now have documentary evidence that Hollyman’s colleagues at Springfield knew about the criminal activities and abuse in the north Wales mental health services and things at Springfield itself in 1991 were pretty dire (see post ‘Some Very Eminent Psychiatrists From London’). But things were to get a lot worse at Springfield with patients murdering each other and members of staff. In 1993 Julie Hollyman herself appeared in the ‘Independent’, after a major scandal involving allegations that five patients had been raped – the appalling Hollyman had by then been promoted to the post of Unit General manager at Springfield. (I was delighted to see that MIND Spoke Out about the need to ensure that patients were safe – the MIND that knew what was happening in north Wales but kept schtum and indeed continues to keep schtum about the sordid activities of the mental health services. Please see post ‘The Mysterious Silence of MIND’.)

Five rapes on your watch? No problem – Julie Hollyman could only go higher and that is how she ended up being appointed in 1998 as Chief Exec of West London Mental Health Trust overseeing Broadmoor. In 2003 Julie hit the national media once more. A whistleblower at Broadmoor had gone public after conducting a small survey of 28 female Broadmoor patients over three years and finding that between them there had been 56 cases of sexual abuse, five rapes and that six of them had needed to request a pregnancy test. Dear old Julie had been in post when much of it had happened. Three months after the whistleblower blew Hollyman resigned and stated that ‘at 52 years of age’ it was time to leave the NHS. (I don’t think you should ever have been there in the first place Julie and you certainly should never have been promoted after the disaster at Springfield.) Sadly Julie believed that the world still needed her talents. She took up non-executive posts with the British Refugee Council, the Youth Justice Board and New College Worcester (a special school for the visually impaired). Julie also Chaired a housing association, the Hyde Group. More recently though Julie has realised that the NHS does indeed need the services of a vile bitch who has spent her career bullying staff and putting patients in danger and she is now a non-executive director of the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. I’m tempted to quip that we’ll now await a spate of rapes and sexual abuse at the Maudsley but I fear that things at the Maudsley may have been bad for a long while. The Maudsley is where Dafydd Alun Jones did a stint of ‘training’, it employed Dr Paul Bowden who ignored Dafydd’s abuses and criminal activities in north Wales and it also employed the plagiarist Raj Persaud who happily plagiarised away for years until Richard Bentall finally confronted him. And now the Maudsley has Julie on it’s Board.

But let us return to Edwina Currie. Currie’s role as a junior Minister will undoubtedly have resulted in her knowing exactly how dire the mental health services were, but she has also been in other positions whereby the abuse of children in care may have become apparent to her. Edwina was first elected to the Commons in June 1983, for the constituency of South Derbyshire. Edwina represented South Derbyshire until 1997. Indeed she still lives in Derbyshire, in Whaley Bridge, although she did spend a while living in Surrey. It was of course John Jillings, the former Director of Derbyshire Social Services, who carried out the first external investigation into the abuse of children in Clwyd. The Jillings Report was so damning that it was famously suppressed and only published many years later and then in a heavily redacted form, but I suspect that even Jillings may not have been as frank as he could have been regarding just how serious the abuse of children in Clwyd was. My post ‘A UK Network’ describes how even back in the 80s paedophiles working in the children’s services and those concealing their activities had linked up on a UK-wide basis. There were connections between north Wales and Derbyshire Social Services before Jillings ever retired and investigated Clwyd. John Leslie Jeffreys worked at the Bryn Alyn Community for nine or ten years, between about 1974-83. Prior to that he had been a community youth worker and then a residential care worker at a children’s home in Derbyshire, having received ‘training’ from Derbyshire Social Services. The Bryn Alyn Community was owned and run by John Allen, currently serving a life sentence for the sexual abuse of children in his care. Boys abused by Allen maintained that he ran a gay sex, drugs and porn empire and that boys from children’s homes in north Wales worked in brothels owned by Allen in London and Brighton. John Jeffreys was named repeatedly in the Waterhouse Inquiry as inflicting serious violence upon boys at Bryn Alyn and also upon a boy who was staying at John Allen’s villa in Bordeaux. Jeffreys’ wife – who moved to Bryn Alyn along with him from Derbyshire – also worked at Bryn Alyn and eventually became one of the Directors. Jeffreys was Officer in Charge of one of the Bryn Alyn homes. Jeffreys and his wife were major players in Bryn Alyn.

I note that two of the ‘advisors’ to the whitewash that was the Waterhouse Inquiry also had connections with Derbyshire. Sir Brian Briscoe, the Head of the Local Government Association, had previously worked for Derbyshire County Council. Sir Ron Hadfield, Ronnie Waterhouse’s advisor on ‘police matters’, had previously worked for Derbyshire Constabulary. It is quite obvious that absolutely everybody involved with the Waterhouse Inquiry only ever got near it because they were considered a safe pair of hands and would not be in any danger of making public just how horrific the situation prevailing was. So someone in the Welsh Office felt able to rely on people with previous involvement with Derbyshire. But of course someone somewhere also felt able to rely on John Jillings – they will have needed a clean skin for that investigation, someone who could be seen to be carrying out a thorough job (because by then the north Wales child abuse scandal had hit the London-based media), but they won’t have appointed anyone whom they thought might blow the whole thing wide open. Which was probably why the Jillings Report made a point of refusing to speculate on whether a paedophile ring was operating in north Wales.

But Edwina will have been in a position before she ever became an MP to know that some unacceptable things might be happening in children’s homes. Like many MPs, Currie has also been a councillor. Between 1975-86 she was a councillor for Birmingham City Council. Councils from the West Midlands were among those who were placing children in the Bryn Alyn Community. My post ‘Amber Rudd, The Miners’ Strike And A Memory Jogged’ details the case of a family from Birmingham who adopted a little girl who had been abused who then relocated to Anglesey in the 80s but were subjected to vindictive attacks by those we know and love. That post mentions a few other links between Birmingham and north Wales as well. Furthermore there were some people in public life in Birmingham who knew what was happening to children in care in north Wales. One of the people involved in the 1991 Cartrefle Panel of Inquiry which investigated after a care worker was imprisoned for sexually assaulting children was Susan Mead, Chief Inspector of the Social Services Division of Birmingham City Council. Adrianne Jones, the Director of Social Services of the City of Birmingham Council, carried out a review of children’s services in north Wales and then acted as an advisor at the Waterhouse Inquiry. Adrianne Jones then retired to Wales – to Abergavenny, which was another site of a facility where children had been sexually abused. Sir Ron Hadfield also had a connection to Birmingham – he was the recently retired Chief Constable of the West Midlands and was still based in Birmingham.

In the 1980s there was another Derbyshire MP who will have been in a position to know about paedophilic activity in children’s homes and who I think may well have known about the abuse that was happening in north Wales. That is Matthew Parris, who between 1979-86 was MP for West Derbyshire. As I have mentioned previously on this blog, I read Parris’s autobiography about four years ago, an autobiography that he wrote some years ago covering his time in politics. He writes of how he and a number of friends of his used to go to Italy to a place that they called ‘the villa of shame’ and have a lot of gay sex. Parris uses the phrase ‘the boys were always willing’. Boys – not men. Did Parris not wonder where these boys had come from and why they were so willing to have sex with him and his much older friends from Westminster? Who procured these boys for Parris and his mates? No-one seems to have thought to ask Parris about this. Parris was of course famously one of the first MPs to publicly declare that he was gay. He is also well-known for outing Peter Mandelson in 1998 and has stated that there are between 30 and 60 British parliamentarians who are gay but are keeping it quiet. Did any of them holiday at the villa of shame as well? By the time that he outed Mandelson and made his claims regarding scores of other gay politicians who were in the closet Parris had spent a few years in positions where he would have been well-placed to acquire such information. In the mid-70s he spent two years working at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. The same Foreign and Commonwealth Office that employed the diplomat Sir Peter Hayman, who was known to be a paedophile. After that Parris joined the Conservative Research Department and following a stint there he became correspondence secretary to Margaret Thatcher. The Thatcher who was a personal friend of Jimmy Savile and lobbied for him to be given a knighthood in the face of civil servants telling her that there were concerns about Savile’s ‘private life’ which could prove politically embarrassing if it ever became public. The Thatcher who was sent documents in 1980-81 informing her that Peter Hayman had sexual fantasies relating to children and that his ‘sexual perversion’ rendered him vulnerable to blackmail. The Thatcher who was told that Sir Peter Morrison was holding sex parties with under-age boys, but still appointed him Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party in 1986 and then her PPS in 1990… A correspondence secretary for a woman who was repeatedly being warned that some of her closest aides and friends were abusing children would have read a lot of very interesting things.

Both Edwina Currie and Matthew Parris have now left politics but are in excellent positions to control what is known by the wider public about them and indeed their associates. Edwina has cultivated good media connections and makes frequent appearances on TV and radio. At one point she had her own radio show and it was through this that she met the man to whom she is now married, John Jones. John Jones is a former senior detective with the Metropolitan Police! Since retiring from the Met he has worked as an advisor to media companies and in the media himself. Matthew Parris has an even more influential position. When he suddenly resigned as an MP in 1986 he took up the position as host of the ITV programme ‘Weekend World’. Between 1988-2001 he worked for Murdoch as a columnist for the ‘Times’ and he also wrote for the ‘Spectator’. He is now a parliamentary sketch writer and presents a weekly programme for Radio 4. Parris has homes in Catalonia, Derbyshire and the Docklands in East London. He doesn’t have all three homes to himself though. Parris has a partner, Julian Glover – they’ve been together since 1995. Glover is a political journalist and used to work for the Guardian. He is also a speechwriter for David Cameron.

A pretty classy piece of operation on behalf of just about everyone I think.