News Round Up, April 20 2017

The Chief Inspector of Constabulary, Sir Thomas Winsor, has made comment in his annual report regarding the human and monetary cost of the police now frequently being the ‘first responders’ to people with mental health problems. There was a discussion about this on today’s ‘World At One’ news programme on Radio 4. The journalist presenting the programme, Martha Kearney, interviewed Michael Brown, a high profile blogger who blogs as ‘Mental Health Cop’ – Brown styles himself as a police officer (I think that he is an Inspector) who has a particular interest in mental health matters. Kearney certainly conducted an interesting interview with him, trying to clarify why so many people in the ‘care’ of mental health teams were relying on the police for help. Brown drew a veil over why this might be, suggesting that further collaboration was needed between the health services and the police to analyse data to clear this mystery up. I certainly found Brown’s response fascinating – he writes a blog that is articulate and well-informed, full of details regarding the various pieces of legislation that pertain to police responsibilities concerning people with mental health problems, yet from what I’ve seen of his blog the one thing that Brown NEVER mentions is wilful neglect on the part of the mental health services and institutionalised corruption in psychiatry. These are big problems that are found throughout the UK and Brown undoubtedly knows about them – furthermore some months ago I left a comment on Brown’s blog regarding these problems. Brown did not publish my comment. During the Radio 4 interview, Kearney also asked Michael Brown about cases where mentally ill people have been mistreated by the police, such as the case of Thomas Orchard who died after being picked up by the police and taken to Heavitree Police Station in Exeter as a ‘place of safety’ (I covered this case in detail in a previous post). Brown reassured us that all is now well as a result of ‘improvements’ that have been made by the College of Policing since the police in Exeter managed to kill Mr Orchard.  Presumably ‘Mental Health Cop’ is yet another site such as those published by arms of the NHS or the big mental health charities that silences grassroots voices and assures us that the only thing wrong with the nation’s mental health services is that they do not have enough dosh…

Now for a bit of politics, what with Theresa May declaring a sudden General Election in June and the forthcoming Council elections in May. I’ve been participating in a bit of e mail correspondence with a reader who’s been raising questions and speculating about certain figures in Plaid who have previously starred on this bog, such as Leanne and dear old Hywel Williams. My post ‘Normal Service Resumed – News Round Up, March 8 2017’ discusses the attempt that Leanne made to derail the recent investigation into the north Wales paedophile ring by asking victims to contact her rather than speak to the police – in the furore that followed, Leanne sweetly suggested that she thought that victims of the paedophile gang might prefer to talk to her rather than the police ‘because I’m a woman’. I think that the police can supply a female officer if needed Leanne, they’ll have had that bit sorted, after all this was an enormous inquiry into a vicious paedophile ring that was alleged to have friends in political circles and whose victims kept turning up dead in suspicious circumstances. Leanne is a former probation officer and at one point was the co-chair of the National Association of Probation Officers – she will understand the meaning of the phrase ‘interfering with witnesses’. My correspondent has pointed out that in her capacity as a probation officer and as leader of their union, Leanne will have had the privilege of attending all sorts of meetings that no-one else had and will also have been party to a lot of interesting info. My correspondent asked me if I knew anything about Leanne’s early political life – I know very little and what I do know is from the official potted history of Leanne and will have been supplied by Leanne herself. At one time she worked as a researcher for Jill Evans MEP. Jill Evans own wiki entry is not very extensive, but it does mention one name known to me. Jill’s wiki entry states that she was taught Welsh by a man called Penri Jones.

Penri Jones taught Jill in Tonypandy, but more latterly Penri Jones migrated to north Wales – he is currently a Councillor for Llanbedrog on the Llyn Peninsula and I presume will be up for re-election in May. Back in 2001/2002 I was learning Welsh in a class in an FE college in Bangor. Our class had a very enthusiastic tutor and we all got on with her very well. I became friendly with her because she lived in the same village as me. This lady, whom I shall call G, was active in Cymuned at the time. Cymuned was a group established in the wake of concerns regarding the future of the Welsh language and the rapidly escalating cost of houses in some parts of north and west Wales which were becoming too much for local people to afford. Cymuned received a lot of bad press, particularly from the ‘Welsh’ Daily Mirror and a lot of it was directed at Seimon Glyn, a leading light in Cymuned. G was friendly with Seimon Glyn. Seimon Glyn had previously been active in Plaid in Gwynedd but as Cymuned gathered momentum a lot of bad feeling grew up between Plaid and Cymuned – because Cymuned were being portrayed as ‘Welsh extremists’ some people in Plaid feared that they would lose them votes. (Cymuned eventually imploded but I didn’t ever find out why – I knew quite a few people involved, but I noticed that people began leaving and by the time that it died a death I didn’t know anyone in there myself any longer.) One member of Plaid who was expressing fears that Cymuned were damaging Plaid was a Penri Jones – who was G’s boss at the FE college and whom G told me had ambitions to stand as a Plaid candidate.

One day I received a phone call at home from Penri Jones, a few hours before a Welsh class. He told me that unfortunately the Welsh class had been cancelled because G was ‘ill’, so please don’t bother to go in. But that evening I received a phone call from G. She was very distressed and told me that she was phoning because she had heard that Penri Jones had rang the members of her class up and told them that she was ill. G told me that she wasn’t ill at all, but that she had had a huge row with Penri Jones which seemed to be based on her friendship with Seimon Glyn and her support for Cymuned and that he had upset her so much that she had crashed her car on the way home. She told me that she’d see me at next week’s class. So I went along – to find Penri Jones with a partner in crime (whom G actually believed was a friend) sitting in the classroom waiting to greet us all. Once we had all arrived he asked us if any of us ‘had a complaint about the tutor’. None of us did. So he asked us again if we were all happy with the tutor. This was obviously a trawling exercise so I stated very firmly that I was more than happy with our tutor, she was highly committed, had taken us all to the Eisteddfod in her own time and presumably hadn’t been paid for that (Penri Jones would not have known that I was friendly with G and therefore knew that he had lied about her being ill and had caused her to have a car crash or that she had been caught in the cross-fire in the battle between Plaid and Cymuned). Penri Jones was good enough to sit in the classroom for about 30 minutes waiting for someone to make a complaint about G but no-one did. A few days later G told me that she had left her job – she had felt forced out by Penri Jones. G landed another job as a Welsh tutor at another FE college in Dwyfor. It started off really well and she was very happy, but after a few months things seemed to turn sour and she left – I lost contact with her at this point because I’d moved house, although the last time that she saw me she told me that after forcing her out of her job Penri Jones retired. However I note that there is information on the internet indicating that Penri Jones had connections with the FE college in Dwyfor where G had obtained employment after she left the FE college in Bangor…

If Jill Evans has bothered to mention Penri Jones in her wiki entry presumably she is quite close to this man who accesses personal details of students, lies to them and forces colleagues out of jobs if they are members of pressure groups that he fears are damaging the chances of a political party that he has ambitions to represent…

Since I participated in the e mail exchange with my reader, Leanne has made a public statement in which she stated that she ‘wouldn’t rule out’ standing for Westminster in the forthcoming General Election. This morning Hywel Williams was quoted in the media as saying that he would be delighted if Leanne stood in the General Election for the Rhondda. This is the Hywel Williams who for many years was employed as a psychiatric social worker in Gwynedd, who seems to have had a very cosy relationship with Dr Dafydd Alun Jones who oversaw multiple horrors and abuses in the mental health services in north Wales – the Dafydd that is a former partner of Lucille Hughes who was named in the Waterhouse Report as knowing that a paedophile ring was operating in Gwynedd Social Services whilst she was Director, but failing to act. That’s the Dafydd Alun Jones who was the subject of a ‘tribute’ song penned and sung by the former leader of Gwynedd County Council Dafydd Iwan – who nominated Leanne to stand as leader of Plaid! Yesterday Hywel stood up in the Commons and denounced Theresa May as being as ‘bent as a banana’. The words ‘pots’ and ‘kettles’ spring to mind… In a recent blog post Jill Evans mentioned how ‘proud’ she was of the work of her colleague Hywel Williams. What could possibly go wrong if Leanne ever achieves her dream and rules over us all in an independent Wales?