The Battle Of The Cowshed

A few days ago a news item on the Radio 4 Today programme discussed how children’s services in Rotherham have been ‘turned around’ since the scandal concerning the en masse sexual abuse of children in care blew up. It was admitted that ‘we’re still not quite there yet’ and that there are still areas needing improvement, but it was stressed that things were very much better. Although things could hardly have got worse.

I have no idea whether anything has really got better in Rotherham’s Children’s Services – people did eventually resign over the scandal (although they all clung on for as long as they possibly could, they certainly weren’t willing to admit that they had wilfully ignored criminal gangs raping kids in care for years) and it might well be true that a clean up has happened and that people who actually know what they are doing are now running the services.

I am not however entirely convinced by the reassurances that all is now well in Rotherham. Rotherham’s Children’s Services were not taken over by organised criminal gangs  because of the fuckwittery of just those few people who resigned. A problem as big as Rotherham will have evolved over many years and virtually everyone involved in the ‘service’ will have been complicit. It was also admitted that in Rotherham, the police had completely ignored what was going on and in some cases had actively colluded – teenagers who had been raped and threatened with immolation by their rapists were told to piss off by the police when they tried to report the serious offences that had been committed against them. The region’s NHS services will also have been fully aware of what was happening to those teenagers, but as usual no-one has mentioned that. The education authorities will have known as well and the Third sector organisations.

As with the activities of the paedophiles and their friends in north Wales, most of Rotherham will have known.

I am also not reassured just because external inspections of Rotherham Children’s Services are now resulting in glowing reports. Inspections of health and social services can provide a fair and accurate reflection, but inspections are equally capable of maintaining that all is well in very troubled, even dangerous, services. When Sharon Shoesmith appeared on the Radio 4 PM programme immediately after the Baby P disaster, one of the first things that she did in her interview with Eddie Mair was to tell him that the shambles over which she presided was a three star service (or it may even have been a four star service). People working in the mental health services in north Wales in the 1990s were telling people that Dafydd and his cellar and the thugs in the Arfon Community Mental Health Team were among ‘the best in Europe’.

These people are not only mad and dishonest but they often personally know the people ‘independently’ inspecting their services.

The Lazarus-like recovery of the Rotherham Children’s Services has been attributed to Ian Thomas, who took up the post of Strategic Director, Children’s and Young Person’s Service in Rotherham Borough Council in Jan 2015. It was Ian Thomas who was interviewed on the Today programme and he was faced with the inevitable questions about the gangs who abused the children being South Asian, the children being white British and why hasn’t he been more vocal about this. Thomas emphasised that the common characteristic of the people who abused the children in Rotherham was that they were abusers. Whilst I was glad to hear him stress this, there is of course another common theme throughout ALL the big UK child care scandals – that the abuse happened to kids in care and social workers knew about it but ignored it. No-one dares mention this. There weren’t any South Asian gangs in north Wales – but there was  a gang of social workers working in collaboration with other professional people…

Who Chaired the Inquiry into the Rotherham Child Abuse Scandal and wrote the subsequent damning Report? Alexis Jay – the social worker who is now Chairing the Independent Inquiry Into Child Sexual Abuse, which is falling apart after lawyers and survivors have walked out. The survivors’ rationale for exiting was that Jay is a social worker, it was social workers who abused them and rather than trying to achieve anything worthwhile Jay has turned the Inquiry into a ‘social workers talking shop’. She’s probably holding regular breaks for Mindfulness sessions. Alexis Jay might gave good reason to preside over a social workers talking shop rather than an Inquiry exposing the criminality and fuckwittery of those employed within the UK Social Services Depts – Jay was the social work senior manager who was responsible for the Orkney Satanic Abuse Scandal (see post ‘The Most Dangerous Man In The World – The Scottish Play’).

Thomas had spent the previous years as Deputy Chief Executive and Strategic Director of Children’s Services with Derbyshire County Council. Derbyshire Social Services had a problem with child abuse in its child care service in the 1970s and 80s at least and there were connections between some of those who abused children in north Wales and paedophiles in Derbyshire. John Jillings, who carried out in the investigation into child abuse in Clwyd, was the former Director of Derbyshire Social Services. Jillings’s 1996 Report was so damning that Michael Beloff QC, the legal advisor to Clwyd County Council’s insurers, recommended that the Jillings Report should never be released to anyone and that if it was the Council’s insurance should be withdrawn. Councillors were told that if the insurance was withdrawn they would be personally liable for damages if any former kids in care sued, would be bankrupted and lose their homes. Beloff advised that Malcolm King – a Labour Councillor from Wrexham who had asked some very difficult questions about the paedophile gang in north Wales – should be sacked if he ever discovered the contents of the Report and disclosed them. Just for good measure, Clwyd County Council was abolished at the same time as the Jillings Report was submitted. The Jillings Report was pulped but just a few years ago someone actually turned up with a copy and it was made available. It was very, very heavily redacted but the conclusion was that horrific abuse had taken place in north Wales since 1974, had almost certainly dated back well before then as well and that what had happened to children in care was indefensible. However Jillings refused to say whether there was evidence of a paedophile ring at work. For details of the horrors that led to the Jillings Report, the idiots who ran the ‘services’ and the aftermath, see post ‘It’s A Piece Of Cake’.

Jillings began his inquiry in 1994. In 1992 five witnesses to the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal were killed in a firebombing. The man who allegedly confessed to starting the fire was hit by a lorry and killed days later. One man who survived the fire and claimed that witnesses to the abuse in north Wales were being murdered was subsequently found dead shortly after giving evidence at the 1995 trial of John Allen – the owner and manager of the Bryn Alyn Community and a key figure in the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal – days before he was due to receive a payment from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme. For details of the firebombing attack, see post ‘The Silence Of The Welsh Lambs’.

So perhaps we can understand why no-one could bring themselves to admit that a paedophile ring with links to serious organised crime was in operation in north Wales.

In Nov 2014, whilst Ian Thomas was still working for Derbyshire County Council, he was described as described as having ‘almost 30 years experience in private, voluntary and public sectors including 25 years in local government’ and had ‘worked for Derbyshire County Council since 2006 in a number of senior roles’. The world was told that Ian had presided over a great improvement in Derbyshire Children’s Services, which was reflected in Oftsed reports.

If Ian’s career is as described, he will definitely have come across the sort of criminality in children’s services and local authorities described on this blog. He may well not have participated in it, but he will have known that it was happening. Perhaps Ian is  a real star who is going into corrupt abusive children’s services and cleaning up – but we only have those ‘independent inspections’ to tell us that.

Before working for Derbyshire, Ian was a member of the senior leadership team at Trafford Council – he joined Trafford in 1999. You’ve guessed it – some of those involved in the abuse in north Wales had links with Trafford. It’s OK though – whilst at Trafford, Ian ‘helped transform the performance of social care and housing’ and the ‘social care performance went from weak to excellent’.

Ian is described as a ‘national leader’ within the Association of Directors of Children’s Services – he Chairs their National Resources and Sustainability Committee. My alarm bells are ringing – I know the sort of people who make up the Association of Directors of Children’s Services. They are members of the Mafia of Drips who have spent their careers watching children in their care being abused. If they had identified Ian as being any different from themselves they would not be telling people that he’s a national leader and letting him Chair committees.

Ian has a Masters from Lancaster University in Professional Practice (Children’s Services).  He is a ‘level 7 qualified executive coach and mentor’, which sounds seriously worrying.

Ian’s appointment to Rotherham was ‘welcomed’ by Paul Larkin, leader of Rotherham Borough Council. I very much doubt that was true – between 1997-03, Rotherham Councillors had allowed at least 1,400 teenagers in their care to be plied with alcohol and drugs and then battered and gang raped by serious criminals. The Council will not have been welcoming anyone who looked as though they might get to the bottom of that. Jo Clegg, Chair of the College of Social Work, stated that the ‘College work look forward to supporting Ian and his team in Rotherham’. The College of Social Work is endemically hopeless, if it were anything but endemically hopeless social work would not be in its current sorry state. They will not have looked forward to supporting Ian if he was going to ‘turn around’ the services, they’ll have looked forward to undermining him, blaming him for their own incompetence and negligence and getting him out of there.

In an interview with the Guardian in Dec 2014, Ian Thomas stated that the root of the problems in Rotherham were ‘weak leadership’. I rather gained the impression that it was serious organised crime and corruption in the Council, the police force and just about every other body in Rotherham. Ian goes on to say that  he knew ‘the last person and she’s a lovely woman’ so ‘I have to be careful what I say here’.

That is the crux of the problem. Everyone knows each other and they’ve all got to be careful what they say. I am not suggesting that colleagues should not be friends and I am certainly not suggesting that one should gratuitously kick one’s colleagues in the groin and then insult them in the national press, but if they are allowing a sex trafficking gang to take over the children’s services, one really does have to prioritise the welfare of the children over being careful what one says.

I spent 30 years watching drip after drip respond in an Ian-like way when I told people what was going on in north Wales. Some years ago I met two retired Gwynedd social workers socially through a chapel without realising at first that they had literally worked with the paedophile gang. They did of course know all about Dafydd and made no attempt to defend him at all – they remembered him as a monster whom everybody would have very much liked to have seen the back of. Yet when I named one of those who had attempted to have me arrested by lying to the police, I was met with ‘oh I worked  with her, I liked her’. The woman whom we were discussing was known to be a highly abusive person – her colleague to whom I was talking must have known about the mountain of serious complaints. I was then told that Keith Fearns was ‘decisive’. Keith Fearns was the leader of the Arfon Community Mental Health Team who threatened and abused the clients and perjured themselves in attempts to have people imprisoned. One female social worker who blew the whistle on them alleged that she’d been sexually assaulted by a male colleague in that team. A male nurse alleged that Fearns had physically assaulted him. Another social worker who gave up and left in despair described Fearns as ‘the most abusive professional that I have ever met’.  The decisive Fearns was a very nasty piece of work who was assisting a vicious paedophile gang.

Problems like this cannot be remedied by a mutual cup of Fairtrade coffee and a bit more continuing professional development in mindfulness-based practice. Furthermore, because the professions of health and social care have been allowed to become this dysfunctional, nearly everybody within is part of the Mafia of Drips. A number of people were honest enough to admit to me ‘I know he/she is dreadful, but I’ve got to work with him/her.’ They know that there will be absolutely no support from colleagues if they blow the whistle. Which is why all anybody dares do is describe a criminal sociopath as being ‘decisive’.

The nurse who blew the whistle on the biggest mental healthcare scandal in the UK in recent years has just been sacked and struck off the nursing register for having sex with her own husband. Not one colleague has stuck their head up above the parapet to declare that this is bonkers and dangerous. They’re far too frightened that they’ll be sacked for having sex with their own partners as well.

Let us look at the rest of Ian Thomas’s CV:

Accounts assistant, NSPCC, 1986-87. Finance Officer, London Borough of Newham, 1988-89. Senior Finance Officer(Social Services), London Borough of Tower Hamlets, 1989-92. Finance and Project Officer, Base 51 (health info for Nottingham teenagers), 1992-94. Senior Finance Officer, Derby City Council, 1997-99.

So Ian witnessed the financial transactions of the NSPCC, as well as the London Borough Councils of Newham and Tower Hamlets when they were doing business with John Allen and the Bryn Alyn Community and continued to send children in care into the arms of Allen and his paedophile gang even after complaints and deaths. Ian dispensed health information to teenagers in Nottinghamshire shortly after the Satanic Panic in that city and then he ran the finances of the paedophiles of Derbyshire.

Ian is either Of Them or he is a Master of Disguise.

When Ian was appointed to the post at Rotherham, two of his senior colleagues from Derbyshire County Council went with him. One of those was Mel Meggs, who was appointed Deputy Strategic Director for Children’s and Young Person’s Services for Rotherham Borough Council. Mel joined Rotherham in May 2016.

Mel had been Service Director, Early Help and Safeguarding at Derbyshire County Council (Children’s Services). Mel has ’30 years experience’ in ‘early help and social work’. So she’s been ignoring organised child abuse for a very long while then. At some point Mel was Head of Prevention at Leicester City Council. The Leicester City Council which ignored the paedophile gang numbering Frank Beck and Greville Janner among its members (see posts ‘Radical Leicester And Some Other Free Radicals’). The Leicester City Council which funded a law centre in which a lawyer called Keith Vaz worked – after he had worked as a lawyer for Richmond-Upon-Thames Council and Islington Council, whilst both of those Councils had huge problems with organised paedophile rings operating within their social services (see post ‘Always On The Side Of The Children’).

Keith’s mum was a Councillor on Leicester City Council.

Mel is a member of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services Families, Communities and Young Persons Policy Committee.

Ian Thomas was head hunted for the Rotherham post by Malcolm Newsam, the Children’s Social Care Commissioner who oversees children’s services for Rotherham. Newsam was appointed by Education Secretary Nicky Morgan in 2014 in the wake of the Jay Report.

Yet in 2011 Malcolm Newsam was at the centre of a spat himself. Mail Online reported that Newsam was one of a number of temporary Directors who had been brought in by Kent County Council’s Conservative leader Katherine Kerswell as the Council cut services and oversaw the loss of 1500 jobs. Newsam was being paid 1250k per day.

That is a great deal of money. But – there was a ding dong in north Wales some years ago when it was revealed that a ‘troubleshooter’ sent in to Anglesey County Council by the Welsh Gov’t was being paid a great deal of money. Anglesey County Council was a nightmare, one Councillor had gone to prison, come out again and gone straight back onto the Council, corruption was endemic and had been for decades, local democracy did not exist and neither did any functioning ‘services’. The Welsh Gov’t probably thought that it was worth paying to try to get it sorted out and no sane person would ever work with Anglesey County Council unless they were paid danger money. The troubleshooter deserved the danger money as well, they gave him hell.

Kent is yet another place that has a history of child abuse stretching  years.

Newsam was also sent into the children’s services of Essex and Peterborough to ‘turn them around’.

In the face of all this turning around of services by troubleshooters, one wonders why there are currently police investigations into most local authority children’s services re the abuse of children in care and why so many of the UK’s children’s services are in special measures.

But then again, even the best troubleshooter has an enormous task on their hands if the whole region has colluded with organised crime for years and some of the officials who did so are now sitting in Parliament.

Whether Ian Thomas is a member of the Mafia of Drips or not, there was someone who did do something worthwhile in Rotherham and that was the lawyer who successfully prosecuted many members of the Rotherham gang who terrorised and abused so many underaged girls. This lawyer has recently been retained by the Welsh Gov’t and has stated that he wants Wales to be the safest country in Europe for women. He has a mountain to climb. Should anyone wish to draw his attention to this blog, he’ll find the names of the culprits, the accessories and details of some of the crimes here.

I continue to uncover more members of the Mafia of Drips. Let me introduce Nia Griffith, Labour MP for Llanelli since 2005.

Nia has featured on this blog before, when she was a member of the Welsh Affairs Committee who in 2012 ‘took oral evidence’ from Dafydd’s right hand man Clive Wolfendale, Chief Exec of CAIS, regarding Dafydd and Lucille’s need for many more millions of pounds of pubic money (see post ‘The Evolution Of A Drugs Baron?’). Before hearing the ‘evidence’ from Clive and others, Nia mentioned that she had just enjoyed ‘hospitality’, ie a lovely free lunch – or it may have been a dinner – from one of the Third sector organisations who were asking her for money, whom Nia noted provided a ‘superb’ quality of care. And superb nosh-ups for politicians as well presumably.

Nia went to Somerville College, Oxford and then did her PGCE at Bangor University (then called UCNW). Nia finished her PGCE in 1980, the year before I began my degree at Bangor.

So Nia will have known about everything that I found out about. She will have known that children in north Wales from poor and disadvantaged backgrounds were being abandoned by both Gwynedd Social Services and the schools and that there were a small number of near destitute quite young children who would actually visit the students halls of residences to go begging. She will have known that Friars School favoured some children from the more middle class families in Bangor and that those kids went on to occupy influential positions in the region, became paedophiles’ friends and formed an influential old boys network which they used to assist each other. Members included Elfed Roberts, former Assistant Chief Constable of North Wales Police and corrupt Chair of the North West Wales NHS Trust and Keith Thomson, former corrupt CEO of the North West Wales NHS Trust (see post ‘Former NHS Managers Of Notoriety Now Keeping A Low(er) Profile’). A member of the Friars network from a previous generation who ably assisted the paedophiles’ friends was Huw Wheldon, Mr Big of the BBC for many years during the 60s and 70s (see post ‘The Creme de la Creme’).

Yet Friars School also served the Maesgeirchan estate on the outskirts of Bangor, where many of those being shafted by the paedophiles’ friends lived. The Ty’r Felin children’s home was located on Maesgeirchan, where serious abuse occurred and where children were trafficked for sex, including down to Dolphin Square in London (see post ‘Are You Local?’). Friars School did not like the kids from families in difficulty, did not want them in the school and did nothing even when the staff knew that the kids were being ill treated or had even been abandoned by their parents. When the kids stopped coming to school no questions were asked.

Whilst I lived in north Wales I spoke to many people from different generations who went to Friars and this two tier system seemed to have operated for decades. Some men over the age of about 50 also described incredibly brutal practices, even in comparison to the education of boys in an era when it was routine to hit them. People have told me of how they were so mercilessly beaten at Friars that they couldn’t learn because they were emotional wrecks. One Jewish man from Anglesey who came to north Wales as a refugee from the Nazis told of how at Friars one particular teacher constantly assaulted him, told him in front of the class that he ought to be sent back to Germany because Mr Hitler knew how to deal with Jews and on one occasion threw him down a fire escape, causing injury. I heard about all this in a public lecture in Bangor and there were a number of other elderly former Friars pupils who all remembered this teacher and testified to his brutality. They told me that his nickname had simply been ‘Mochyn’ (Welsh for ‘pig’).

Nia Griffith trained as a teacher many years after the Jewish refugee was treated so badly, but I knew people who did teacher training in Bangor shortly after Nia – they told me the horror stories of the children who were being mistreated by social workers and of certain schools and teachers who were not conducting themselves as they should. It was like the stories about the North Wales Hospital Denbigh – if you lived in Bangor in the 1980s you heard about it. Of course there were many people who weren’t actually that bothered about what was happening to the plebs, including some trainee teachers.

Nia did not grow up on Maesgeirchan herself. Her father was Professor T. Gwynfor Griffith, a linguist who taught Italian Studies at Manchester University and her mother was Dr Rhiannon Howell. So Nia is from the Welsh speaking middle classes herself and went into teaching, a popular career choice for girls from that section of Welsh society in the 1970s. Some of those people made a substantial contribution to society as well.

Did Nia?

Well she was a language teacher who taught at Queen Elizabeth Cambria School, Carmarthen, as well as at Gowerton Comprehensive in Swansea and was then Head of Languages at Morriston Comprehensive School. She has been an education advisor and worked as an Estyn advisor from 1992. (Estyn is Wales’s equivalent of Ofsted and like Ofsted is deeply unpopular with many teachers, who perceive Estyn inspections to be box ticking exercises with unfairness built in and no reflection of how well a school is really performing.)

Nia was Chair of the Carmarthenshire Youth Project in the 1990s and is a founding member of a local Women’s Aid organisation.

Nia definitely knows about the neglect and abuse of disadvantaged people by the statutory services.

Nia publicly declared herself to be lesbian in a media interview in 2016. However, back at the dawn of time, Nia was married. Her then husband was a social worker. Presumably he lived and worked in west Wales like she did. The west Wales where a paedophile ring operated in the social services. The west Wales where Mark Drakeford also worked as a social worker. The west Wales which is just by Pembrokeshire, where the Gibbons twins grew up who were banged up for years in Broadmoor as teenagers on the grounds that they wouldn’t speak to anyone but each other and then claimed to be prostitutes (see post ‘One Dangerous Fucker’). The twin whom the Top Doctors hated most died ‘from the effects of her medication’ days before she was due to be finally released.

Nia, would you like to tell us the real reason why those girls were incarcerated and give your ex-husband a nudge to encourage him to speak up as well? Perhaps old Drakeford would like to tell all too.

Nia joined the Labour Party in 1981 and is a member of the NUT and USDAW (Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers). She has been the Secretary of the Carmarthenshire County Labour Party, was elected as a Councillor for Carmarthen Town Council in 1987, became Sheriff in 1997 and then Mayor in 1998.

Corruption in Carmarthenshire County Council has spawned a great deal of citizen blogging in west Wales.

So Nia has been in a position for years to raise concerns about those kids in west Wales. She hasn’t said a thing and didn’t even back in the mid-80s when the story of the Gibbons’ twins became known internationally and the paedophiles’ friend Marjorie Wallace built herself a whole new career at their expense.

When Nia became an MP, she found yet another friend with whom she could have raised the matter of June and Jennifer Gibbons or indeed the other kids who suffered at the hands of Nia’s husband’s and Drakeford’s colleagues – Harriet Harman! Nia was Harman’s PPS when Harman was Minister for Women and Equalities. But some Wimmin are of course more equal than others.

And I looked from pig to man and from man to pig and from pig to man again and from Nia to Harriet and from Harriet to Drakeford and from Drakeford to Lesley Griffiths and from Lesley Griffiths to Jane Hutt and then to Brian Gibbons and to Julie Morgan and even to dear departed old Rhodri himself and it was impossible to tell the difference in so far as the whole bloody lot of them had concealed and/or ignored a paedophile gang who murdered witnesses.

Nia was part of the mass shadow front bench resignation in June 2016 in an attempt to bring Jeremy Corbyn down because the resigners thought that he wasn’t going to win a General Election and none of them would ever be in Gov’t. If you’ve got the sort of talents that Nia has obviously you don’t just want to waste time merely serving your constituents, particularly if they’re living with the legacy of a paedophile gang that you’re keeping quiet about. Nia was one of many who changed her mind about Jeremy when it looked as though he was rather more popular than they thought and by Oct 2016 she was back on the shadow front bench as Defence Spokesperson, entertaining the nation because it was obvious that she didn’t have a clue what she was talking about and disagreed with Jeremy over defence policy anyway.

Nia was named and shamed in the 2009 Parliamentary election expenses scandal and was ordered to repay over 4k in wrongly claimed mortgage interest relief. Then she ended up in trouble again for breaching Parliamentary rules regarding the use of Commons stationery for political campaigning.

Nia owns a property in Llanelli, has a home in London and a smallholding in Carmarthenshire – for which she has received Welsh Gov’t funding under the Tir Gofal scheme.

Nia’s official website is currently plastered in NHS campaigning material. One notice urges people to write to NHS Wales to insist that the South Wales Major Trauma Centre is established at Swansea not Cardiff, for the benefit of her constituents. Nia – I know that everyone gets pissed off with everything being in Cardiff, but that probably is the best place for a Major Trauma Centre serving south Wales, just on the basis of demography, transport links and geography. It might be more convenient for your constituents to have the Centre near them, but it isn’t convenient for anyone else.

There are major problems at the University Hospital in Cardiff, but there are at Swansea as well, so Nia would be doing everyone a favour if she spoke up about the dire state of the NHS rather than demanding machines that go ping near her constituency.

Not that Nia shows any indication at all of raising  concerns about the serious problems in the NHS – her website also explains how she is ‘fighting for Prince Philip Hospital’. Nia wants assurances that services will remain at Prince Philip Hospital. Prince Philip Hospital has been the site of a number of very serious scandals involving patient harm and deaths and was also the centre of the very sad business involving Sian Caiach.

Sian Caiach was an orthopaedic surgeon who worked at the Prince Philip Hospital and reported fraudulent activity on the part of some of her colleagues to the Welsh Audit Office – Top Doctors at the Prince Philip were using NHS resources for private patients. Although the Welsh Audit Office found Sian’s allegations to be correct, she was suspended, remained suspended for many years and was eventually sacked and struck off. One of the Top Doctors committing the fraud was promoted, the other continued to practice.

Where were all the people who ‘love the NHS’, who bang on about strong women or their admiration of women who succeed in male dominated professions when Sian was targeted? They were nowhere to be seen.

In 2015 Sian asked the then Health Minister Mark Drakeford to address the issue of NHS Top Doctors exploiting the NHS and its patients in order to personally benefit from private practice. Left-leaning Drakeford who loves the NHS and state-provided welfare services more than anyone else on the planet didn’t ever quite get to grips with that one.

Nia’s local Health Board Hywel Dda is another that is on its knees after years of mismanagement. Nia tells us that ‘I will be keeping a close eye on the situation’. If Nia really wanted advice about the NHS all she needs to do is ask for the opinion of a fellow smallholder in Camarthenshire, Sian Caiach.

The Welsh political blog Jac O The North has recently asked questions about one of Nia’s proteges, Tonia Antoniazzi. Tonia campaigned for Nia and is now MP for the Gower, having been elected in 2017. As Jac’s blog mentioned, Tonia only joined the Labour Party in 2014, so that is rapid progression.

Tonia is from Burry Port, the territory of corrupt Top Doctor Prof Linford Rees who used his medical and film/TV network in south Wales and London to keep the lid on the wrongdoing of Dafydd and the paedophiles (see post ‘A Galaxy Of Talent’). Tonia went to Gorseinon College, then to Exeter University and then to Cardiff University to do her PGCE. Like Nia, she was a language teacher and before her election she was Head of Languages at Bryngwyn School, Llanelli. Which is somewhat inconsistent with Tonia’s claim to have been reliant on the foodbank. Foodbanks will be running out of food for people who’ve had their benefits unlawfully stopped with all these nurses and teachers raiding the supplies.

Tonia’s USP in media interviews is that she used to play for Wales in the Women’s Rugby team.

Tonia seems quite well connected re Welsh politics – one of her brothers is married to Helen Bradley who was formerly Head of News and Research for Plaid Cymru and is now Strategic Communications Lead at Chwarae Teg, the ‘equalities charity’ established by paedophiles’ friend Jane Hutt.

There are two other Antoniazzis who wield a great deal of power in Wales, but I do not know if they are relatives of Tonia – there are a number of families called Antoniazzi in south Wales. Whether they are relatives of Tonia or not, they are worth a mention.

One of these people is Dr Manon Antoniazzi who from Jan 2017 has been Chief Exec and Clerk to the National Assembly, the most senior Assembly Commission employee ie the Principal Accounting Officer. When Manon was appointed she stated that she would ‘champion the Assembly’s reputation within Wales and beyond’. Before Manon was appointed Chief Exec and Clerk, she was Director of Culture, Sport and Tourism for the Welsh Gov’t. In 2016, Sport Wales, a Welsh Gov’t-sponsored body that advises Ministers on sporting matters and also distributes National Lottery funding in Wales, found itself in meltdown. Allegations of conflict of interest and nepotism regarding the awarding of contracts were made – although an investigation by Deloitte later cleared them of wrongdoing. However the Board was accepted to be dysfunctional and the Chairman and Vice-Chair were suspended.

Manon has also been Chief Exec of Visit Wales and before that she had worked for the BBC, S4C and Prince Charles.

Before she  married, Manon was Manon Williams – her sister Ffion is married to William Hague, the man who orchestrated the cover-up of the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal which was the Waterhouse Inquiry. Ffion met Hague when she was working as a civil servant in the Welsh Office, along with all the other civil servants in the Welsh Office who had spent years concealing the abuse and deaths of kids in care and psych patients in north Wales.

Manon was said to have secured the post of Chief Exec and Clerk to the Assembly following a ‘rigorous recruitment process’.

In 2014 Wales Online covered Manon’s wedding to John Antoniazzi. The ceremony was quite exclusive, there were just 18 guests there including Ffion and William Hague, who was at the time Foreign Secretary. So Manon hasn’t disowned them for concealing a paedophile ring who murdered their victims and witnesses.

Manon and John were married at Lake Como in Italy, one of the most expensive destinations in Europe – Wales Online explained that they were regulars at Lake Como. The romance of it all! A world away from being battered, raped, declared insane and illegally imprisoned in Dafydd’s dungeon…

Manon and John held a wedding party at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff. Linford Rees’s famous daughter actress Angharad Rees held an honorary position at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

I have heard a little bit about Ffion and William’s wedding as well. I was told that the man who conducted the ceremony was the father of a truly loathed theologian who used to work at Bangor University, Catrin Haf Williams. The person who told me this had been a theology student at Bangor and had achieved popularity and fame by successfully suing Catrin Haf. Catrin Haf had organised a field trip to the Middle East and told the students that it was obligatory but she would keep the cost as low as possible. She then booked everyone into a very expensive hotel because she wanted to stay there herself and had been offered a substantial discount on her own room if she booked all the students in there as well. The students were forced into penury because of this and they had all had such a bellyful of her intimidation and unpleasantness that the person I knew made a stand and sued her.

Catrin Haf’s partner in crime was her boss Prof Densil Morgan. Shortly after the student won his case against Catrin, Densil brought ridiculous disciplinary charges against the student which was very obviously a revenge attack. The student transferred to Aber to finish his degree – he was not the only person who claimed to have been targeted by Catrin Haf and Densil and forced out of the dept. There were also allegations that Densil was having words in the ears of influential people to prevent students to whom he had taken a dislike from being ordained – Densil is a Nonconformist Minister.

It was Densil who wrote a glowing tribute to J.E. Daniel online. J.E. Daniel was a theologian, Minister and Chairman of Plaid Cymru, 1939-43. He was the father of Huw Daniel, the corrupt judge who was involved in an attempt by the Hergest Unit to frame and imprison me for a serious offence (see post ‘Interesting Happenings In The Legal System’). J.E. Daniel went to Friars School of course.

Perhaps Catrin Haf’s finest hour was the occasion on which she was faced with a distressed student who wanted no more involvement with the thugs of the Arfon Community Mental Health Team – Catrin told the student that if she didn’t accept an appointment with the CMHT, she’d call security and have the student thrown out of the building. Catrin Haf was fully aware of the many serious complaints that students had made about Keith Fearns and co, including threats of violence towards students.

Catrin and Densil had a colleague, Prof Eryl Davies, whom they treated very badly. Eryl never conducted himself in the way that they did, but back in the 1980s Eryl knew some of what was happening in the North Wales Hospital Denbigh and he also knew about the drunken lecherous Gordon Farley from the Agriculture Dept sexually harassing the students (see post ‘Not Seen Since The 80s – Carwyn’).

Catrin Haf announced at one point that Bangor wasn’t good enough for her and she was off to Oxford, but unfortunately she returned after less than two years on the grounds that Oxford was full of gits. A mole maintained that Catrin Haf had simply got back what she had given out.

Bangor was mercifully relieved of Catrin and Densil when they relocated to Trinity St David’s University Lampeter, although everybody certainly felt for those in peril at Lampeter. After a few months we heard that Densil and Catrin were up to their usual tricks and there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth at Lampeter.

 

To return to Manon and John Antoniazzi. John Antoniazzi spent 25 years as a senior partner for Deloitte, heading audit for Wales. When he married Manon, John was Chairman of Central Cardiff Enterprise Zone. Central Cardiff Enterprise Zone was established in 2011 and John was Chairman for three years. Edwina Hart, the then Economy Minister, described the Enterprise Zone as aiming to attract ‘financial and professional services firms’. John was advising the Welsh Gov’t on the matter.

Regular readers of this blog will know that I have rather more respect for Edwina than for the other Health Ministers in the Welsh Gov’t because she did try very hard to challenge the paedophiles’ friends in the NHS in north Wales. She was subjected to an all out hate campaign co-ordinated by the BMA and eventually stepped down as Health Minister, although I had provided her with enough info to have Martin Jones and Elfed Roberts, the former CEO and Chair of the North West Wales NHS Trust, arrested. I am fairly sure that Edwina was compromised by her previous trade union activism. She is a member of both TGWU and AMICUS and was Chair of the Wales TUC, as was her husband Bob Hart. The union movement has concealed criminal activity and wrongdoing in the NHS and social services on a grand scale for many years. I know how the paedophiles’ friends operate – they blackmail, bribe and smear people and they’ll do it to anyone under all circumstances, including to those who have previously extracted them from the slurry. I very much suspect that Edwina was faced with this, which was why she eventually backed down in the face of the loud squealing from the paedophiles’ friends. I remain grateful that Edwina did at least try.

However, Edwina does seem to have been involved in some less than fair and transparent activities re the Central Cardiff Enterprise Zone when she was Economy Minister. The successes of the Enterprise Zone included the revamping of parts of Cardiff and it was boasted that prestigious companies had ‘been attracted’ to the Tiger economy that was central Cardiff and were ‘bringing jobs’ and ‘investing’. One such success was the arrival of the Business Operations Centre of Deloitte – the former company of John Antoniazzi, the Chairman of the Enterprise Zone.

Among all the talk of investing and bringing jobs, there are clues that the Welsh Gov’t itself was giving these ‘investors’ a lot of money in return for their ‘investment’. I know that this is how Govt’s often tempt businesses to locate to various regions, but there were allegations that Edwina was making decisions regarding as to whom to give dosh on rather questionable grounds.

Edwina utilised the talents of an unpaid advisor, David Goldstone. Goldstone is a very rich man but reassured everyone that he was a selfless old boy at heart and just wanted to help the taxpayer. How one does that by giving large amounts of their money to very rich businesspeople he did not explain. Goldstone made serious money back in the 1970s and has been Chairman of both Cardiff and Swansea City football clubs. Among other things he was founder and Chief Exec of the property firm Regalian, the owner of Lands End and a Board member of Cardiff Airport, which was famously purchased by the Welsh Gov’t in 2013. The Chair of the Board of Cardiff Airport was Lord David Rowe-Beddoe, the ‘Monaco-based businessman’ who was Chair of the famously disreputable WDA and who was involved in the transfer of many millions of taxpayers money into the pockets of a small number of already wealthy people as  result of the development of Cardiff Bay (see post ‘Corruption Bay Special’). Goldstone is also the hon Vice-President of the Royal Albert Hall. Goldstone is an elderly man now and although press interviews with him provide much info about his early life, wax lyrical about his days as Mr Big in Welsh football, talk about how he lives in Mayfair but when he’s in Cardiff he crashes out in the Hilton and how people still flock to him because he’s a lovely old bugger who’s such good company, there is a veil drawn over his career before he became an ‘entrepreneur’. We are simply told that Goldstone was a London based ‘commercial lawyer’.

Football is best known at present for massive levels of corruption at national and international levels and the recent revelations regarding the sexual abuse of boys, sometimes by well known coaches.

Martin Jones has spent years involving himself with junior football clubs in north Wales and I never understood why, because he doesn’t have an altruistic bone in his body. Keith Fearns has for years managed a ladies football team in Gwynedd and no-one has ever believed this to be a benign activity.

 

People do not make the sort of dosh that David Goldstone has made by prioritising the needs of the taxpayer.

One of Goldstones’s triumphs was his organising a £15 million deal in 2013 through which the Welsh Gov’t acquired offices owned by property developer J.R. Smart in the Capital Quarter scheme. J.R. Smart’s son now works for J.R. Smart, but before he did so, he worked for the Bank of Wales, which was not a bank but an organisation run by a spiv who sold poor people things at high rates of interest. That high profile paedophile the now disgraced former Speaker of the House George Thomas, aka Lord Tonypandy, was involved with the Bank of Wales.

So there was obviously a great deal of money sloshing about in the coffers of the Welsh Gov’t which was available for thrashing out deals with some very rich people.

In 2015 BBC News Wales ran stories regarding the collapse of a hi-tech company called Ideoba. Ideoba was run by Adam Price – now a Plaid AM – and a US finance expert, Andrew Auerbach. Ideoba’s collapse was attributed to the refusal of the Welsh Gov’t to provide it with a loan of just 150k. This is not to suggest that Ideoba was an unsustainable ramshackle affair – information available suggests that it had a sound basis, that it was a small but expanding company and that other investors had come forward and were prepared to invest if the Welsh Gov’t would provide the loan of 150k. The Welsh Gov’t refused, Ideoba collapsed, employees were made redundant and Adam Price personally lost 70k.

Ideoba was the sort of business that the Welsh Gov’t was telling people that it wanted to encourage and support. Instead it allowed the company to collapse for the sake of a 150k loan – whilst Deloitte, who just happened to have connections with the Chairman of the Central Cardiff Enterprise Zone and Economy Minister so close that the phrase ‘conflict of interest’ screams loudly at us all, picked up massive quantities of Gov’t money for doing the Welsh Gov’t the favour of opening a business operations centre, which would no doubt be highly profitable for Deloitte. Deloitte picks up numerous Gov’t contracts and whilst researching for this blog I have constantly come across people formerly of Deloitte who have been given given senior roles in public services for which they are very obviously not qualified.

Andrew R.T. Davies, the leader of the Welsh Conservatives, alleged that Edwina Hart had broken the Ministerial code with regard to the consideration of the loan to Ideabo. It was David Goldstone who advised against a loan being made to Ideabo, yet Goldstone was employed to advise only on property. It was revealed that Goldstone had been involved in discussions about the loan with Edwina and her officials and that he had been given commercially sensitive information that should not have been made available to him. Most damningly, Adam Price’s business partner Andrew Auerbach alleged that he had been told by Goldstone himself that Ideabo had been refused the loan because Price had announced his intentions to stand as  Plaid candidate in the forthcoming Assembly election. Goldstone is a member of the Labour Party.

Improper conduct was strongly denied by the Welsh Gov’t and Goldstone but it was noticed that Goldstone’s contract with the Welsh Gov’t was not renewed in April 2015. Ideabo collapsed in April 2015.

There were constant accusations that Edwina and Goldstone were members of a ‘Swansea Mafia’ – Goldstone was orginally from Swansea, although he made his fortune in London. Goldstone maintained that allegations of being part of a Swansea Mafia were all nonsense and that he hadn’t known Edwina until he found himself sitting opposite her when they were both on the Board of the Wales Millennium Centre. Goldstone explained that she told him that she was from Swansea so he made a point of getting to know her.

Which rather suggests that influential people with connections to Swansea make a point of networking with each other.

Some years ago I did hear of an allegation that Edwina had facilitated Welsh Gov’t funding for someone based on Anglesey in a deal so sordid that even I am not going to give details here – it involved the sort of thing that I need to have witnessed myself or at least have correlated before I publish it. The info came from a community activist who, like many others, were tearing their hair out at the levels of corruption that they were encountering.

The thing that intrigues but worries me is that David Goldstone was appointed a ‘property advisor’ to Edwina whilst she was Health Minister.

Goldstone has also been and might still be a property advisor to the Wales Rugby Union. Tasker Watkins, the one time ‘Greatest Living Welshman’, Presiding Judge of the corrupt Wales and Chester Circuit and great friend to paedophiles and criminal Top Doctors (see post ‘Corruption Bay Special’) was President of the Welsh Rugby Union, 1993-04.

Goldstone has been Chairman of the children’s charity the Thomas Coram Foundation. Many of those who concealed organised child abuse in north Wales and elsewhere have been/are involved with Coram.

It was David Goldstone who built the MI6 HQ in Vauxhall. One would have thought that MI6 would have chosen a property developer with rather less questionable contacts to build their house. But then they knew all about Dafydd and the paedophiles anyway and were key to ensuring that they were neither stopped or prosecuted.

 

To return to John Antoniazzi. He stepped down from the role of Chair of Central Cardiff Enterprise Zone in 2015 and stated that he would be ‘pursuing new business interests and charitable commitments’.

John Antoniazzi is Chairman of Premier Forest Ltd and a former non-executive Board member of Go Compare. He is a Trustee and Treasurer of the Catholic Archdiocese of Cardiff and Chairman of their Cornerstone Project. John was the founder Chairman of Fareshare Cymru.

John Antoniazzi has ‘supported the work of the NSPCC in Wales’. The NSPCC provided the ‘Helpline’ that was set up at the end of 1991 to ‘support’ the by then adults who had been victims of the north Wales paedophile gang when some of them were eventually put on trial. The Helpline was staffed and managed by the colleagues of the paedophiles (see post ‘It’s A Piece Of Cake’). Not many people sought support from the Helpline, but one person who did was found dead.

John is a Trustee of London Music Masters, which provides music tuition for children.

John is also involved with the cancer charity Maggie’s.

John Antoniazzi is the Independent Board Member for Estates on the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board. The Independent Board Member for the Third sector is a frequent star of this blog, Sara Moseley, Director of MIND Cymru. Professor Elizabeth Treasure is the Independent Board Member for Universities. Treasure caused havoc among the Top Doctors when she was a senior manager at Cardiff Medical School but so many of the Top Doctors there were completely corrupt that I never worked out if she was sinner or sinned against. She is now VC of Aberystwyth University, another institution which has provided a home for many a paedophiles’ friend (see post ‘A Bit More Paleontology’).

Associate Board Members include Tony Young, Director of Social Services for Cardiff Council and Phil Evans, Director of Social Services for Vale of Glamorgan Council.

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board employ Richard Penketh as a consultant gynaecologist. Penketh worked at St George’s Hospital Medical School and was a pathological sexual harasser who managed to have sex with another member of staff in a lab during working hours. Then he failed some professional exams and St George’s stated that they would do what they did with all really bad doctors – they’d ‘send him to Wales’. And they did – and then paedophiles’ friend Brian Gibbons gave Penketh an award for excellence.

 

Another Antoniazzi also works for the Assembly, Jon Antoniazzi, the Director of Policy, Legislation and Innovation at the Office of Future Generations Commissioner for Wales. That Commissioner is one Sophie Howe.

When I was researching Tonia Antoniazzi, I noticed that the MP for the Gower who preceded her was a Tory, Byron Davies, who did originally come from the Gower but he had spent his adult life in London – futhermore he had been a senior detective in the Met. Davies was in the Met when they all behaved like something out of the TV programme Life On Mars – whilst there was rampant corruption and the organised sexual abuse of children was ignored and actively concealed if complaints involved public figures. Davies only returned to the Gower in 2011 after he retired – where he successfully stood for election to the Welsh Assembly. He remained an AM until 2017. Police officers often do interesting things after they retire, but nonetheless this did seem a bit odd. Then I read a Wales Online article from 2011 profiling the new AMs and something so obvious had happened that it must have been visible from outer space. In 2011 the Assembly received an influx of AMs who had concealed the abuse of children in care. Before readers hurl accusations of conspiracy theories, just bear with me.

By spring 2011, questions about the possible existence of a Westminster Paedophile Ring would not go away. There was also much discontent in north Wales – I had written to a number of people stating that I intended to publish now that I had possession of the most incriminating documents and that I would be calling for a Pubic Inquiry into the conduct of the mental health services. The Top Doctors and paedophiles’ friends were going apeshit with regard to the arrival at the Betsi Board of a CEO and a number of other senior managers who were challenging their reign of terror. Furthermore, the biggest sex offender and Top Doctors’ friend of the lot, Jimmy Savile, was very obviously on his last legs. Once he was dead, it was inevitable that someone would go public on what he had done, because in UK law one cannot libel the dead. Savile had visited Bryn Estyn and been involved with abuse there.

Now just consider some of the new faces in the Assembly in 2011, along with the senior officer from the Met:

Julie Morgan. Former social worker and Deputy Director of Barnardo’s who kept quiet about child abuse. Wife of Rhodri, whose whole career was predicated on concealing the paedophiles – and who had by now left the Assembly himself.

Antoinette Sandbach – a London barrister who’s father was a key figure in covering up the activities of Dafydd and the paedophiles and whose grandmother also knew what was going on (see post ‘News Round Up, 19 January 2018). Sandbach – like the man from the Met – took the opportunity to bag a seat at Westminster before too long.

Mick Antinow. A lawyer and senior partner in Thompsons, a company that represents trade unions. Antinow began training in 1980. He worked at Thompsons throughout the years that trade unions afforded full protection to abusers. In north Wales some of the abusers were union reps. David Williams, who ‘trained’ at the North Wales Hospital and its dungeon, became the General Secretary for COHSE (see post ‘A Very COHSE Relationship With Some Very Nasty People’).

John Dixon. Had been a Cardiff Councillor for twelve years, whilst abuse had occurred in Cardiff and was a member of the Care Council for Wales – which was packed with paedophiles’ friends and completely failed to protect children and other clients (see post ‘Still Lost In Care’). Dixon was disqualified from office shortly after election because AMs are not permitted to sit on the Care Council for Wales.

Aled Roberts. A solicitor from Wrexham throughout the years that the children in care in Wrexham – primarily in Bryn Estyn and nearby Bryn Alyn – were horrifically abused and everyone in the legal profession and criminal justice system ignored it. Aled had also been a Wrexham Councillor, Leader of Wrexham Council and Mayor of Wrexham. Wrexham Council ran Bryn Estyn. One of my friends went to Aled after he had been unlawfully refused treatment by the mental health services and had ended up paying for private treatment abroad. Aled took three months to reply and said that there was nothing he could do.

Aled was also disqualified from office shortly after he was elected. The rest of the Assembly voted to reinstate him.

Gwyn Price. The former Deputy Leader of Caerphilly County Borough Council – he’d been in post throughout those glorious years when Ron Davies with his moments of madness and hobby of looking for badgers was MP and AM for Caerphilly.

Mike Hedges. Graduate of both Swansea and Cardiff Universities. Councillor on Swansea City Council from 1989 and Councillor on City and County of Swansea Council from 1995. Vice-Chair of Council’s Scrutiny Committee. WLGA spokesman for Social Services. Swansea Social Services were reputed to be dreadful for years but it was denied. Until baby Aaron Gilbert was murdered in 2005. Hedges was non-exec Director of Swansea NHS Trust, 1999-05.

Keith Davies. A teacher, schools inspector and Director of Education in Mid-Glamorgan and Carmarthenshire – paedophile rings operated in both areas. In May 2012, Davies was the centre of a scandal and was investigated for bringing the Assembly into disrepute. He had crawled into the St David’s Hotel at 4-45am pissed, in the company of his ‘female guest’ who was also pissed. Keith’s friend was described as ‘foul mouthed’ and hurled abuse at and threatened hotel staff. Keith attempted to scarper without paying the hotel bill. That was one hell of a night out for a 71 year old man who was married to someone else.

David Rees. Succeeded paedophiles’ friend and corrupt Top Doctor Brian Gibbons. Rees is a member of UNITE and convenor of the UNITE Group of AMs. The UNITE that supported and provided free legal advice to abusers.

Simon Thomas. Aber graduate and was Assistant Curator at the National Library of Wales – so well connected to the old fossils (see post ‘A Bit More Paleontology’). Simon’s father-in-law’s father was the Rev T. Alban Davies, a Welsh preacher and early member of Plaid, so he will have personally known the old fossils J.E. Daniel and Dafydd’s mate Saunders Lewis. Thomas was Policy and Research Officer for Taff-Ely Borough Council, 1992-94. So Thomas arrived there in the aftermath of the Ely Bread Riots.

Lindsay Whittle. Councillor on Caerphilly County Borough Council from 1976 and Council leader 1999-04 and 2008-11. He remained a Councillor after he became an AM. Well the more fingers in the more pies that Ron Davies’s mates have, the better. Caerphilly Council have recently been under investigation for financial misconduct dating back years.

Mark Drakeford. Need I say more?

Jenny Rathbone. Former Islington Councillor, journalist and member of the family who established a charity that supplied the paedophiles with help when some of them were actually caught (see post ‘The Mentor’).

Julie James. Barrister and former civil servant. Worked as a policy lawyer for the London Borough of Camden – Tessa Jowell’s manor and the site of much abuse and neglect of kids in care and psych patients. Also was Assistant Chief Exec of the City and County of Swansea Council.

Llyr Huws Gruffydd. Described one of Dafydd’s dodgy ‘nursing homes’ for people ‘with PTSD’ as a ‘beacon of excellence’. Stated that a psych patient complaining of mistreatment when in the Heddfan Unit was ‘in the right place’ after having a word with the abusive Angel on duty. Days later the patient was discharged and refused further care and support. He ended up suicidal and sleeping rough. Llyr stopped replying to e mails about this patient’s case.

Suzy Davies. Solicitor who had mentored young offenders and worked on children’s and community projects.

There were two other AMs in the 2011 intake who were too young to have been assisting the paedophile gang of north Wales in its hayday, but who definitely have worked with people who did help them – Vaughan Gething, another solicitor who worked for Thompsons and Ken Skates from Wrexham, who has spent his whole life and career surrounded by lying criminals and people in denial.

The arrival of that crew in the Assembly as the anxiety levels of the paedophiles’ friends was going through the roof and when another high level cover-up might have  been called for was not a coincidence.

 

 

 

 

News Round Up, August 15 2017

There’s been quite a few stories in the news over the past few days which have touched on matters previously discussed on this blog. There  was a lot of publicity given to a ‘modern slavery’ case in Lincolnshire, in which eighteen ‘vulnerable people’ were found to have been kept as slaves, some of them having been there for many years. Guess what? It was revealed that they included people who were homeless or destitute, with mental health problems or drug or alcohol problems – in other words Empowered Service Users. Somebody from the Red Cross was given air time to comment on one news bulletin, then someone from the Salvation Army was given air-time later in the day to make a few more observations on the case. Both banged on about vulnerable people who hadn’t asked for help. Can we be sure of that? Could the slaves possibly have been like those residents of Prestwood Homes – which was also a trafficking organisation – (see post ‘A Convenient Arrangement With The Private Sector) and had actually tried to run away or told people what was happening, but were simply ignored, as the Prestwood residents were when they told MIND what was going on? Both the Red Cross and Salvation Army have spent years working with the groups of people from whom the Lincolnshire slaves were drawn – have they been asleep? I’ve worked with those groups of people too and I have been telling people for years that they are being abused in multiple ways. Furthermore the Red Cross have known about something very worrying in north Wales for a long time – they have known that Gwynedd Social Services has been refusing to discharge it’s duties. Because about ten years ago the Red Cross were doing what Gwynedd Social Services should have been doing re providing support for vulnerable people. I was told that the Red Cross were actually doing a very good job and that those on the receiving end of their ‘services’ were most grateful. But I was also told that people were being left virtually destitute and the Red Cross were not always able to plug the very big gaps. Why didn’t they publicise what was going on – that Gwynedd Social Services were breaking the law and leaving people destitute? Surely the Red Cross had a duty to flag this up, behind the scenes if necessary. Did no-one think to write to Carwyn? Or did they, only to be ignored like I was when I brought the criminal activities of the mental health services in north Wales to the attention of the Welsh Gov’t? If this is the case Red Cross, get blogging now and let everyone know what is happening.

Another news story also demonstrated the way in which the Third sector has colluded with institutional neglect and abuse. Action for Children released frightening statistics relating to the numbers of children and families who are being turned away after they have asked for help from social services. The Action for Children report confirmed what I already knew – that children are being constantly put at risk by social services depts across the UK. It has been happening for years and it is how scandals like those which involved Baby P or Aaron Gilbert arise – the death of a child, the aftermath of which sees the social services robustly defending their lack of action, stating that the death was ‘unforeseeable and unpreventable’ and that the people directly responsible for the death (usually some very inadequate parents known to social services) are the only people responsible and that social workers really cannot be blamed in any way. Much as I applaud Action for Children for coming clean about the degree of neglect and indifference that is prevalent, I wish that they’d gone public on this years ago. Furthermore, where are the other children’s charities who also knew that this was happening? Barnardos? The NSPCC? Dear old Childline and Esther? Anyone there?

As more and more of Blair’s flagship policies unravel I have been entertained to listen to the New Labour Ministers who forced the policies through in the face of criticism who have now been wheeled out to tell everyone how badly things are going wrong. Lord Adonis has been absolutely everywhere in the media during the last few days, screaming blue murder about the state of UK universities, the problems being caused by high tuition fees and the enormous sums now being earned by Vice-Chancellors. Who started all this off? One Lord Adonis, back in the days when he was being robustly promoted as the Brains behind New Labour HE policy. He and his colleagues were told again and again by sociologists that this Was Not Going To Work, but they ignored everyone. I even received a letter from one of the HE Ministers – Bill Rammell – myself after I wrote to him. It was a very friendly letter, telling me that he wished me the best with my research and that he’d like to read the outputs, but that I would soon see how successful Labour’s HE policies are. No, I never did see that, instead I watched universities become increasingly chaotic, increasingly stretched and increasingly unable to do what they were supposed to do. No-one actually reversed any of the policies that weren’t working, instead universities were encouraged to become even more marketised and because successive Gov’ts couldn’t afford the policies that they were implementing, the only option was to charge the students a fortune in tuition fees. As for Vice-Chancellors’ salaries – VCs have been positively encouraged to think of themselves as businessmen rather than academics and universities have been encouraged to Compete For The Best Staff, so it is hardly surprising that some VCs have joined in the bonanza. Others feel justified in accepting high salaries because the institutions that they are running are actually so troubled that it is often quite a feat to keep the show on the road. These are your chickens coming home to roost Adonis and I don’t think that the world of HE needs any more advice from you.

Not that Adonis’s own colleagues dared tell him that his big idea was causing serious problems – they all toed the New Labour line. On one occasion I attended a debate re ‘education and employment’ with a few politicians on the panel, one of whom was Eluned Morgan, now Baroness Morgan, representing Labour. Firstly Eluned trotted out the myth that the country needed nearly all young people to go to university to fill all the highly skilled jobs in the Knowledge Economy. I told Eluned that I had not yet found the Knowledge Economy, although I’d been looking everywhere for it for quite a few years. What I did find were coffee shops and nail bars. Lots of them. Eluned gave me a very snotty look and simply repeated that the Knowledge Economy was with us and that all these highly paid jobs in it needed the graduates that were being produced en masse. Well Eluned, I’m still waiting to find the Knowledge Economy, it’s a bit like Saddam’s Weapons of Mass Destruction, we keep being told that it exists but no-one’s actually seen it. Graduates are now getting seriously pissed off that they are unable to find well-paid jobs, even after they’ve worked for no pay in ‘internships’, so perhaps you could let them know where the Knowledge Economy is hiding.

After Eluned explained all about the Knowledge Economy, she then went on to explain that she came from Ely and that she was about the only person in Ely to go to university and it will now be really great because everyone from Ely would soon be going to university. Of course it is true that in mine and Eluned’s day, getting into university was a minority activity and one that had much more to do with one’s social class than anything else, but all the HE policy that Eluned just couldn’t bring herself to criticise has done is to devalue graduate level qualifications and engender an enormous amount of snobbery between universities, as the Russell Group make it quite clear that they’re in a rather different league to everyone else. One might as well give everyone in Ely a PhD and tell them that this represents social mobility. In fact Eluned would probably support such a policy if it advanced her own interests.

I have long since wondered how someone as vacuous as Eluned and with so few achievements under her belt ended up being given a seat in the Lords in 2010. (A cynic suggested a few months ago that it was because she was friendly with the Kinnocks.) So I did a bit of googling. I was interested to discover that the Woman From Ely who made it to university against all odds actually attended Atlantic College, one of the most expensive public schools in Wales. She did come from the mean streets of Ely though – her dad Bob was a clergyman there (he’s a Rev’d Canon and he’s got an OBE). Bob was big in the Labour Party too – in 1974 he was elected to both Cardiff City and South Glamorgan County Councils and in 1977 he became Leader of the Labour Group. Readers might remember my two recent posts ‘I Want Serious Money Now’ and ‘Corruption Bay Special’, in which I explained how many millions of public money was spent on the development of Cardiff Bay, which benefited some very rich businessmen and their friends but very few other people. Bob was reported as being ‘firmly behind the £25 million scheme that led to the building of a new County Hall at the centre of the former Cardiff docks area’. Bob was of course one of the Councillors who was going to be sitting in that County Hall. Bob might well have known David Rowe-Beddoe, the Chair of the WDA that provided the dosh for the development of Corruption Bay – Rowe-Beddoe was for many years Chair of the Representative Body, the organisation that oversees the funds of the Church in Wales.

Eluned herself has obviously been seduced by some of those who made a fortune out of Corruption Bay – she is Chair of the Cardiff Business Partnership, which not so long ago carried out some ‘research’ that ‘showed’ that Wales would benefit from another agency just like the WDA. Cardiff Business Partnership made this claim at about the same time that Cardiff University’s School of Management maintained that abolishing the WDA was a decision that the Welsh Gov’t would regret (‘Fings might get broken if the WDA isn’t resurrected to give us millions’). Eluned is an Honorary Distinguished Professor at Cardiff University. The ‘overview’ of her on the University website states that a Professor David Boucher had observed that Eluned had been elevated to the Lords and that Cardiff University ‘look forward to a long and fruitful relationship with her’. Tribute was paid to Eluned’s previous activities in the European Parliament and her ‘vast experience in relation to specific policy sectors – such as energy’ [Morgan was] ‘Labour spokesperson on Energy, Industry and Science’ [she] ‘authored the European Parliament’s position on the Energy Green Paper and Electricity Directive’. The website goes on to note that Eluned is now employed by SWALEC (the former South Wales Electricity Board, which was of course privatised), ‘a company very keen to look at opportunities for closer collaboration in Innovation and Research and Development in Wales’. I clicked on the ‘teaching’ part of Eluned’s profile because I was curious to find out exactly what the Honorary Distinguished Professor taught, but there’s nothing listed.

Eluned has another role in Cardiff University as well – she is a member of the External Advisory Body to the Welsh Governance Centre.

Eluned was elected to the European Parliament in 1994. She didn’t only busy herself there – she was a founding member of the Yes for Wales cross party group which campaigned for the establishment of the National Assembly for Wales. In which she now has a seat, after being elected in May 2016 as the AM for Mid and West Wales from the regional list. Whilst Eluned was an MEP she was successful in obtaining a great deal of convergence funding for Mid and West Wales, so presumably she reckoned that they owed her one. Before the National Assembly was established Eluned had been for many years sitting on the Welsh Labour Party Executive. As a result of this she was appointed to the Welsh Assembly Advisory Group responsible for developing the standing orders of the National Assembly for Wales.

Eluned has worked as a researcher for both S4C and the BBC.

After the Ely riots in 1991 Eluned’s dad Bob told the local populace that there was no excuse for rioting and that they were ‘excreting on their own doorstep’ (presumably if Bob was really Of Ely, he would have used the phrase ‘shitting on their own doorstep’). Bob did however observe that the conditions in which the rioters lived were dire. One wonders why Bob didn’t push for a £25 million investment in Ely like he did in order to get himself a new County Hall in Corruption Bay. Eluned didn’t Fight For Ely from the European Parliament after she was elected either, presumably because she was far too busy writing the position that the European Parliament were going to take on the Energy Green Paper and Electricity Directive before taking a job with SWALEC herself.

I have another observation regarding Eluned’s dad Bob and his commitment to the people of Ely. Many moons ago before Bob was the Rev’d Canon or had bagged an OBE or had become leader of the Labour Group in Cardiff or even had a daughter in the Lords, Bob trained as a social worker before entering the priesthood. In the late 60s Ely Hospital was the centre of one of the worst scandals that there has ever been in the UK regarding the abuse of patients. Bob was never tempted to get his teeth into that one then to help the folk of Ely…

There is an article in the Daily Post today speculating on an expected forthcoming Cabinet reshuffle by Carwyn. The Post mentions that an Eluned Morgan is ‘expecting promotion’. Well you know how it is Carwyn, Fings Break…

The Post also mentions that Jane Hutt is expected to leave the Welsh Gov’t soon. I think that the sooner Jane Hutt is out of Gov’t the better. I haven’t paid much attention to Jane Hutt on the blog, but I am certainly well aware of her presence on the planet. Jane Hutt was the first Health Minister appointed by Rhodri after the National Assembly was created. She was eventually forced to stand down in 2005 after NHS waiting lists just grew and grew and grew and people demanded her head on a platter. But there was of course something rather worse than the long NHS waiting lists on Jane’s watch – yes, it was the mental health services in north Wales. It was on Jane’s watch that the North West Wales NHS Trust were refusing to treat suicidal people who then killed themselves and when staff from the same Trust were perjuring themselves in order to have patients arrested and convicted of serious offences if they had dared complain. Jane was Health Minister when I was accused of ‘threatening to kill’ the manager of the Hergest Unit and e mails were sent out by Patricia Gaskill, Ysbyty Gwynedd’s solicitor, asking for ‘more nurses down the police station please’ to make fallacious statements about me. It was on Jane Hutt’s watch that I was violently assaulted by staff in the Hergest Unit and prevented from reporting the matter to the police, it was on Jane Hutt’s watch that it was documented upon my medical records that I had ‘set fire to the Hergest Unit’ (I hadn’t) and was refused all support. I of course was one of the lucky ones in as much as I actually stayed alive. It was on Jane Hutt’s watch that the Hergest Unit’s patch achieved the accolade of having the second highest suicide rate among women patients in England and Wales. Jane is a well-known feminist and before going into politics helped found Welsh Woman’s Aid and was Director of Chwarae Teg, a Third sector organisation dedicated to achieving gender equality!

Of course, Jane didn’t only have responsibility for Health – her full title was Minister for Health and Social Services. SOCIAL SERVICES. Jane was appointed to that role in 1999. The Waterhouse Report was published in 2000. One person mentioned in the Waterhouse Report was Glanville Owen. He was Deputy Director of Social Services whilst the paedophile gang raged and Glanville appointed a man known to be supervising the people abusing the children to a position as Head of Children’s Services. When Jane was Minister for Health and Social Services, Glanville Owen was Chief Exec of Gwynedd Community Health Council. The patients’ voice! Not only did Glanville lie to me in an effort not to investigate my complaint about Hergest but he lied again when I revisited him and then failed to investigate my complaint anyway.

Jane hit the jackpot again in 2007 – once all that talk about a paedophile ring operating in the social services in north Wales causing havoc had died down, Jane became Minister for Children!

Er – Jane??? Any comments?

So what was Jane’s background before entering politics? Well her dad was a Top Doctor at Tommy’s, a Professor of Pathology to be precise. Jane didn’t study medicine herself – she instead ended up at the LSE and in 1972 completed a Certificate in Social Work! The official blurb about Jane tells us that she has ‘lived and worked in Wales since 1972′. But she doesn’t tell us what she worked AT, until she mentions that she was appointed as the co-ordinator of Welsh Women’s Aid in 1978. So what did you do in the missing six years then Jane? Did you perhaps work as a social worker? Jane’s biography does mention a few other things though. That she was a Councillor in South Glamorgan County Council and that she was the former Vice-Chair of the Social Services Committee! She was also a non-executive director of Cardiff Community Health Care Trust.

I can state with some certainty that Jane has knowledge of the paedophiles and the paedophiles’ friends. You find out a lot about that sort of thing if you’re involved with Women’s Aid – and you don’t find out what you are told by Councillors or social workers, you get it straight from the horses mouth. That is, from the mothers of the children who are being abused, or from the women who were abused themselves or from the women are being threatened or harassed by corrupt health and welfare professionals to keep them quiet. Jane would have known. But after Jane would have heard from the people on the receiving end, Jane probably hobnobbed with some of the paedophiles’ friends who concealed it all. Because as explained in previous posts, some of them had connections to Cardiff. Some of the paedophiles’ friends were graduates of Cardiff – and of the LSE.

Ioan Bowen Rees, the Chief Exec of Gwynedd County Council between 1980-91 who appointed Lucille Hughes as Director of Social Services – who then used her position to conceal and facilitate the paedophile gang – and who then did everything he could himself to conceal the gang when it’s activities were brought to his attention, had previously worked in local government in Cardiff. Ioan Bowen Rees was an authority on local government, his work in this area was known on a Europe-wide basis, he’d have been popping down to Cardiff all the time. Bowen Rees was later appointed a member of the working party that advised Ron Davies the then Secretary of State for Wales on matters regarding the National Assembly as it was brought to life. Of course Jane will have known him and I bet that Eluned Morgan did as well.  Ioan Bowen Rees’s successor as Chief Exec of Gwynedd County Council was Huw Vaughan Thomas who originally came from mid-Glamorgan. Huw continued Bowen Rees’s sterling work in concealing the paedophile gang and accepting legal advice from the Council’s own corrupt lawyers not to speak to Alison Taylor, the social worker who blew the whistle on the paedophile gang. In 1996 Gwynedd County Council was abolished once Wales could bear the embarrassment of it’s existence no longer. Huw busied himself with his other interests – many of which were in south Wales. Between 2002-04 Huw was a member of the Richards Commission into the powers and electoral arrangements of the National Assembly of Wales. In 2010 Huw was appointed Auditor General for Wales. Jane Hutt was Minister for Business and Budget 2009-11 and Minister for Finance 2011-16. She’ll probably maintain that she’s never met Huw Vaughan Thomas now that she’s been outed on this blog.

Full details of the atrocities that were happening in Gwynedd in the children’s services and mental health services whilst Bowen Rees and Vaughan Thomas ran the county and the very great lengths to which they and everyone who worked for them went in order to ensure that none of them were ever prosecuted or even dismissed can be read in my post ‘I Know Nuzzing…’ It all went on whilst Jane built her reputation on the back of Women’s Aid and Chwarae Teg. For readers in England, ‘Chwarae Teg’ translates as ‘Fair Play’.

The one thing that none of this has been is fair play.

As well as being Minister for Health and Social Services and Minister for Children, at one point Jane was Minister for Assembly Business and Chief Whip with responsibility for Openness in Gov’t, Communications Strategy and co-ordinating Gov’t Policy re Children and Equality of Opportunity.

You need to leave Gov’t quickly Jane – you should never have been there in the first place.

Jane’s online profile mentions that she was a very close friend of the former First Minister Rhodri Morgan.

Another sinner with a benevolent smile on his face mentioned in the Daily Post article is Mark Drakeford. The Post reports that because Drakeford supports Jeremy Corbyn, some would like to see him take over as leader of Welsh Labour when Carwyn stands down. In such circumstances I’d ask Carwyn to stay in his job until Mark Drakeford is pushing up the daisies and is in no danger of becoming First Minister.

Like Jane, Drakeford was once a social worker – with Dyfed County Council, although that particular bit of info seems to have disappeared from the internet. Ever since I pointed out on this blog that not only was there a paedophile ring operating in Dyfed but that Ioan Bowen Rees invited a team of ‘senior officers’ from Dyfed to ‘investigate’ the children’s services in Gwynedd after complaints were made of abuse and neglect in a children’s home. Only a few years previously Ioan Bowen Rees had been County Secretary of Dyfed. However Mark Drakeford’s online biography is fessing up to him having been a probation officer, a youth justice worker and a Barnardos programme leader in Ely. What the fuck is it about Ely??? I shall have to get down there and see this place for myself. The probation service did of course know all about the paedophile gang in north Wales. Not only that, but some of the paedophiles and their friends had worked in the probation service themselves and some of them joined the probation service after they’d wreaked havoc with the kids in care. A number of the paedophiles and their friends had also worked with Barnardos.

What else did Mark do before he was elected as AM for Cardiff West in 2011? Well between 1985-93 he was a Labour Councillor with South Glamorgan County Council. He’ll have rubbed noses with the Rev Bob and Jane then. As well as a few of those involved with the development of Corruption Bay. Between 2000-10 he was the Cabinet’s Health and Social Policy Advisor – so he was in post throughout the reign of Queen Jane of Fair Play and the reign of the nakedly corrupt Dr Brian Gibbons of This Correspondence Is Closed fame. Drakeford took over Rhodri’s seat when he stood down. Shortly after his election Drakeford became Chair of the Assembly’s Health and Social Care Committee. So it was natural justice when the barrel of shit that is the NHS in north Wales that Drakeford et al had covered up for so long exploded in Drakeford’s face in 2013 in the form of Tawel Fan after he was appointed Health Minister. Between 2003-13 Mark Drakeford was Professor of Social Policy at Cardiff University, so presumably he understands how serious research fraud is. I wrote to Drakeford when he was Health Minister telling him of the research fraud involving the development of Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy carried out by Professor Mark Williams et al (see post ‘The Biggest Expert Of The Lot’). I did not receive a reply but about three weeks later I read a newspaper article about MBCT which included comments regarding the benefits of MBCT from Mark Drakeford accompanied by a nice photo of Drakeford with the researchers involved in this fraud.

More recently I came across an online advert for a conference in Cardiff concerning the undesirability of blaming social workers in the event of scandals in social work. Drakeford was a keynote speaker, along with Sharon Shoesmith. Shoesmith was of course the Director of Children’s Services in Haringey when the disaster which ended with the death of Baby P took place. Sharon was memorably interviewed by Eddie Mair on the radio and told him that the ‘service’ that she ran had been judged to be a four star service. Mair asked her how many stars she thought that she’d get for this. Shoesmith was famously sacked by Ed Balls but sadly Balls forgot to follow policy, Shoesmith sued and was awarded nearly one million in compensation. She gave a number of media interviews constructing herself as the victim, stating that her life had been destroyed. Unlike Baby P, Sharon made a Lazarus-like recovery and recently emerged from the LSE with a PhD – the subject of her thesis was her involvement with the Baby P case. She has now written a book based on her thesis. If Drakeford ever did become First Minister he’d probably appoint Sharon as Minister for Looked-After Babies. There won’t be any danger of Drakeford blaming any social workers for anything.

Note to Jane and Mark: People DIED at the hands of the paedophile gang you fucking idiots.

Someone else who will have known all about the paedophiles and their friends is Howard Thomas. Indeed some of them even worked for him – Howard Thomas was Chief Probation Officer for North Wales 1985-96. Howard is a keen writer of letters to newspapers (there’s a letter from him in today’s Daily Post). He’s been doing this for years. Howard writes really good letters too, describing the folly of imprisoning disadvantaged and dispossessed people with mental health problems. Latterly Howard has taken up the cause of Women – has he been talking to Jane? – and is arguing that far fewer of them should be imprisoned. Howard is clearly a man of some influence – Hansard records that in Sept 2012 Howard gave written evidence to the Justice Committee, again regarding the imprisonment of vulnerable people. Whenever I read one of Howard’s letters I agree with every word. I’d really like to meet Howard. Years ago I wanted to meet Howard to talk to him about penal policy. Now I’d like to meet him to ask him why he employed paedophiles as probation officers, and why he has never mentioned the paedophile gang during his many years of campaigning. I’d also like to remind him that whilst he was Chief Probation Officer, the paedophiles’ friends had me unlawfully arrested and illegally detained in the North Wales Hospital Denbigh and that numerous victims of the paedophile gang were found dead, including some who had dared give evidence against them and five who all died in one arson attack. The carnage on the ground whilst Howard ran the North Wales Probation Service is all very inconsistent with the letters that he’s been writing to newspapers since he retired. Or indeed with the evidence that he gave to Parliament.

Howard Thomas is a former member of the Parole Board. As is Huw Vaughan Thomas. Jane Hutt will probably turn up on there soon along with Dafydd and Lucille.

 

On the subject of crime and punishment, the consequences of another New Labour flagship policy which everybody told them at the time was a stupid and dangerous idea has been widely discussed in the media over the last few days – indeterminate prison sentences for public protection. This was part of the Criminal Justice Act 2003, one of David Blunkett’s madder brainwaves whilst he was Home Secretary. He was told that it would lead to people who had committed trivial crimes as a result of mental health problems being incarcerated for years, but Blunkett ignored all advice. He was busy being Tough On Crime And The Causes Of Crime – although not with paedophile gangs with connections to Westminster obviously – and was ensuring that ASBOs were being handed out to teenagers with Tourettes syndrome, so nothing was going to stop Blunkett. It has now been revealed that although this disastrous policy was discontinued in 2012, there are still thousands of people with mental health problems banged up in prison who haven’t actually done very much. But the Parole Board knows that they’re Too Dangerous To Let Out. And we all know who sits on the Parole Board… The case being highlighted in the media is that of a suicidal man with mental health problems who has now been in prison for eleven years because he set fire to a mattress. His mother was interviewed and explained that people didn’t believe her when she told them this, they maintained that her son must have committed a serious crime to be banged up for thirteen years. I believe her. Particularly if he dared complain about Top Doctors who were concealing a paedophile ring. Who was Blunkett’s deputy at the Home Office, the Minister of State for the Criminal Justice System and Law Reform, who actually did the legwork on indeterminate sentences, pushing through such a controversial policy? It was none other than Baroness Patricia Scotland QC, who picked up her peerage whilst she was the barrister acting for the Welsh Office at the Waterhouse Inquiry – the Inquiry which covered up the extent of the activities of the paedophile gang that operated in north Wales for decades with the knowledge of the Welsh Office.

I’m hoping that someone will remind the media of someone else who is in prison as a direct result of David Blunkett wanting a bit of publicity for being Tough On Crime – Howard Hughes. Howard Hughes is currently in prison after being convicted in July 1996 of the rape and murder of Sophie Hook in Llandudno. There was absolutely no forensic evidence against him at all and a number of people involved with the case were those who also concealed the paedophile gang. Howard Hughes has learning disabilities and mental health problems and passed through both Bryn Estyn – where he claims that he was abused – and Garth Angharad, the ‘hospital for mentally abnormal criminals’ that was actually owned by Paul Hett, a struck off solicitor who was one of the paedophiles’ friends and which served as a prison for people who had complained about the paedophiles and their friends. David Blunkett personally intervened in the case of Howard Hughes and gave him a 50 year tariff. Full details of Hughes’s case can be read in my post ‘News Round Up – And Murder Most Foul’.

Of course Blunkett overhauled the legislation relating to sex offences in 2002, ‘tightening protection against rapists, paedophiles and other sex offenders’.

Yet more fall-out from another New Labour cock-up occurred after Denzil Lush, a retired senior judge in the Court of Protection, went public regarding his concerns over what is happening in situations involving the Power of Attorney. Denzil Lush is the leading authority on this legislation and is now publicly stating that he would not advise anyone to utilise it after a number of high profile cases of people who have been abused or fleeced by others to whom they have granted Power of Attorney. Lush maintains that there are not sufficient safeguards and he fears that there may be many more cases of vulnerable people who have been abused or swindled under this system. Again, when the legislation was passed, there were warnings that it would leave vulnerable people open to abuse.

The Power of Attorney system is administered by the Minister of Justice and the Office of the Public Guardian, which is an executive agency of the Minister of Justice. The Office of the Public Guardian replaced the Public Guardianship Officer (it’s a bit like the Judean Peoples’ Front and the Peoples’ Front of Judea) and came into being on 1 Oct 2007. Now one would have thought that with a new Office dealing with the most sensitive of cases involving the most vulnerable people losing control over their liberty, their money, their possessions and decisions concerning ALL aspects of their life because they have been deemed to lack capacity, the Gov’t would have been very careful indeed whom they appointed as Chief Exec of this Office. Particularly as they had been warned repeatedly that people with learning difficulties and mental health problems would be placed at risk. Did the Gov’t appoint a lawyer perhaps, someone with a track record in protecting the rights of people and with an understanding of legislation? No. They appointed a man called Richard Brook. Who had just stepped down from his role as Chief Exec of MIND no less.

Brook was Chief Exec of MIND between 2001 and 2006. Brook was Chief Exec of MIND when I wrote and told them about the abuses and assaults being carried out by Hergest staff, as well as the staff perjuring themselves in an attempt to secure convictions against patients for serious offences if those patients had complained. I received an extraordinary letter back, written as if addressing a young child, telling me that I had to find a Yellow Pages telephone book, look under ‘solicitors’, choose one and go and tell them. Brook was also Chief Exec of MIND when Prestwood Homes – which was trafficking female residents into sex work and male residents into unpaid manual labour – were using the free facilities provided by MIND in north Wales such as drop-in centres, walking groups etc in order to claim that ‘clients’ had a full social programme of activities. Prestwood charged thousands of pounds a week for a ‘placement’, the MIND activities were provided completely free. Furthermore, Prestwood clients TOLD the staff at the MIND drop in centres that they were being abused. One female client of Prestwood who had been raped as a child was locked in a room whilst pornography was screened at high volume as ‘therapy’. This young woman was told that if she didn’t ‘co-operate’ at Prestwood she would be taken back to Liverpool, dumped on the street and refused further ‘services’. Those ‘clients’ were slaves and it was happening with the full knowledge of MIND. What happened to that young woman? She disappeared. She never showed up at MIND again after she blew the whistle and Prestwood announced that she was ‘no longer a client’. What did the MIND rep do? She told Robin Holden – who was at that time a manager of the Hergest Unit – who told her that ‘we know all about Prestwood’. Holden is now an ‘executive’ for MIND. Are these people completely stupid? They were told by a 19 year old girl that she was being held captive and abused – she then disappeared off the face of the earth. Another person knew about Prestwood – because I told him, as did a number of other people. That was Geoff Lees. Who is now Director of Vale of Clwyd MIND. Would the whole bloody lot of you – Sue Sayer, Robin Holden and Geoff Lees – now like to go to the police and tell them all that you knew about Prestwood? For details of the full horror that was Prestwood and for details of the untimely death of a support worker who had witnessed truly dreadful things there, see posts ‘A Convenient Arrangement With The Private Sector’ and ‘News Round Up And Crime Report, May 14 2017’.

So who was the Minister responsible for the Office of the Public Guardian when it was created and when Brook was appointed? The Minister concerned was the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice – a man called Charlie Falconer. A old friend of Tony Blair’s, Blair’s former flatmate when they were both junior barristers and the first person to be given a life peerage by Blair, whereupon he immediately joined the Gov’t as Solicitor-General. Falconer joined the Home Office in 2002 and in 2003 joined the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs and as Lord Chancellor ‘for an interim period’ – because Blair planned to abolish the office of Lord Chancellor without discussion. He was told that would not be possible without primary legislation so the plan was dropped. So instead the roles of Lord Chancellor were reorganised, the Secretary of State for Constitutional Affairs took over some of the responsibilities of Lord Chancellor and also became the sponsoring dept of the Secretary of State for Wales and the Secretary of State for Scotland. What a very tight stitch-up it all was.

Charlie Falconer is married to another lawyer – Marianna Hildyard QC. She specialises in cases involving children, sexual abuse, the placement of children for adoption and trafficking! In 2009 she was made a Deputy High Court Judge.

 

Should anyone accuse me of going into Grassy Knoll territory here, I would urge you to carefully read and digest the information that I’m posting on this blog. This CANNOT all be a coincidence. There has been a systematic promotion to high office of people who have played key roles in the cover-up of the North Wales Paedophile Ring. Once in office those people have implemented laws and policies that have either criminalised people who have been victims of or are witnesses to the activities of that ring, or made it nigh-on impossible for they or other vulnerable people to have their complaints heard and investigated. Yet all this has been very cleverly designed in the name of equity, ‘protection’ of the vulnerable or human rights. Charlie Falconer himself boasted to an audience in Bangor a few years ago that the Human Rights Act that his Gov’t had passed would mean that no-one would now suffer indignities in care settings – they could sue under the Human Rights Act. What he didn’t mention was at the same time, his Gov’t had virtually abolished Legal Aid, so in reality no-one could sue for anything, no matter how gross the abuse. Along with me in that audience were two lawyers who were fighting cases on behalf of people who had been abused by the Hergest Unit and/or Gwynedd Social Services. Those lawyers were nearly put out of business when Falconer et al withdrew Legal Aid. But that was no doubt most convenient – because those lawyers were of course fighting the Top Doctors and Social Service managers who had concealed the fucking paedophile ring. I and the two lawyers wanted to question Charlie. He wouldn’t take questions from anyone though, he said that he had to dash off for another important engagement. I found out the next day that he’d actually gone to a reception with a carefully selected group of senior academics who could be relied upon not to ask Charlie any difficult questions.

As for the appointment of Richard Brook from MIND as the first Chief Exec of the Office of the Public Guardian – Charlie knew that he’d be onto a winner there. Which was the most high profile case which involved the former Public Guardianship Officer abusing their position? It was the case of Mary Wynch in north Wales. Who had been illegally arrested, imprisoned in Risley Remand Centre and then in the North Wales Hospital Denbigh for a year by Dr Dafydd Alun Jones. Dafydd declared Mary insane and Mary’s money and property was removed from her by the Public Guardianship Officer. When Mary finally got out of Denbigh she successfully sued Dafydd et al and it was admitted that she was not and had never been mentally ill. She was awarded damages but Dafydd and co never paid up. Mary never recovered her money or her property. MIND knew about all of it and did nothing. As ever. But then Dafydd’s mistress Lucille Hughes was trafficking boys to the Westminster Paedophile Ring and Dafydd was banging up anybody who complained or asked questions in the North Wales Hospital. The full details of Mary’s story can be read in my post ‘The Mary Wynch Case – Details’.

 

 

 

Corruption Bay Special

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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