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 Stalker’s Network

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GOTCHA!