A Few More Who Might Be Able To Answer Questions

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

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

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 Craig was of course famously withdrawn from his post in Uzbekistan and was subjected to much Gov’t criticism because he drank, partied and had some relationships with local women.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

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

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

So was Jack always frank about difficult issues?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Y Gwir Yn Erbyn Y Byd – A Few Additional Comments

Yesterday’s post ‘Y Gwir Yn Erbyn Y Byd’ discussed the libel case brought against the ‘Independent On Sunday’, the ‘Observer’, ‘Private Eye’ and HTV by Gordon Anglesea, after they had accused him of abusing former residents of Bryn Estyn. Anglesea won the case, although the barrister representing him, Lord Williams of Mostyn, did not have anything like the reputation that George Carman, the defending barrister had. Much has been made of the presiding judge Sir Maurice Drake being a freemason, as was Anglesea. However I’m just as interested in the barrister who lost the case, George Carman.

By the time that Carman acted in this case in 1994, he was the highest profile barrister in the UK and was considered by far the best libel lawyer. People really did fear coming up against him in Court – he was known as ‘Killer Carman’. He had won cases that were considered nearly unwinnable, such as Ken Dodd’s when he stood trial for tax evasion. Some witnesses found Carman’s cross-examinations so distressing that they collapsed in Court and needed medical treatment, such as Gillian Taylforth. Some of the people he represented who were acquitted later admitted that they were guilty, such as the actor in Coronation Street who played Len Fairclough who indecently assaulted two young girls. Carman became famous after he defended Jeremy Thorpe when Thorpe stood trial for conspiracy to murder and was acquitted. This verdict was viewed as so unjust by many that the Thorpe case became a source of ridicule for satirists. Carman’s wiki entry states that he gained a reputation ‘for winning difficult cases against seemingly insurmountable odds’. A profile of him in the ‘Independent’ in 1992 described him as ‘the ultimate inquisitor’ and possessed of a ‘forensic intelligence’. It was observed that his ‘skills with the jury had become a legend in the wine bars of The Strand’. His obituary in the ‘Telegraph’ in 2001 stated that he had ‘such a fearsome reputation that whenever the rich and famous faced a libel action they hurried to send for him – before the other side did’.

Carman was no gentleman in Court. His ‘Telegraph’ obituary stated that ‘he did not feel bound by chivalry’. When he was criticised for dwelling on litigants’ sex lives he defended himself thus: ‘if there is something that touches on untruthfulness or credibility, then it becomes important and necessary to go into it. All of us might be vulnerable to that sort of examination but that is not a reason why an advocate should refrain from embarking on it if it is proper and relevant’. When South African journalist Jani Allan sued Channel 4 for libel for suggesting that she had had a sexual relationship with the neo-Nazi Eugene Terre Blanche, she lost after Carman carried out a character assassination of her, holding her sex life up to ridicule and referring to the entries that she had made in a notebook outlining her sexual fantasies. Carman had acquired this notebook during the trial but no-one really understood how – Jani Allan certainly didn’t give it to him. Carman’s obituary in the ‘Guardian’ made reference to ‘dark suggestions of skulduggery concerning the way in which last-minute pieces of evidence would suddenly appear’. Furthermore, the ‘Telegraph’ tells us that his ‘performances in Court invariably followed extensive research’.

However did Carman manage to lose this case for his clients? He was up against a much less formidable barrister – and furthermore Anglesea did molest boys at Bryn Estyn, many years later he was imprisoned for it. Carman was known to be brutal, he delved into every aspect of witnesses’ backgrounds and took a particular interest in their sexual habits. He also was renowned for uncovering skeletons in cupboards. North Wales was heaving with people who, whilst they were in care, had been abused by Anglesea and others. By the time that this case was heard, many care workers in north Wales had been imprisoned for abusing children in their care and a number of former residents of the children’s homes had died in questionable circumstances. The north Wales child abuse scandal had received huge public attention and Alison Taylor, the whistleblowing social worker, had written to numerous people including Margaret Thatcher. And just to confirm that all was far from well in the mental health services treating so many of the former children’s homes residents, Mary Wynch and I had made representations to scores of people regarding the mental health services – and Mary had successfully sued them. Yet Carman missed it all.

Whilst reading the details of Anglesea’s libel case, I could only conclude that Carman had not tried very hard to win it. By 1994, the paedophile ring and their associates in north Wales had a nationwide network of legal and medical professionals protecting them. It is highly likely that Carman knew some of these people. Before moving to London, for twenty five years Carman was part of the Northern Circuit. As was Sir John Kay, the man who issued Gwynedd Social Services with a High Court injunction against me on the basis of the statements of two social workers who perjured themselves, one of whom had never met me and the other who had met me two or three times. That’s the Gwynedd Social Services through which the paedophile ring was operating. Carman was a member of the Garrick Club, which contained numerous lawyers and judges as members. Including Sir William Mars-Jones – who came from the region of Wales where the paedophile ring was operating, who still had many connections there and who was President of Bangor University, the institution which at the time was protecting two psychiatrists who were banging up the victims of the paedophile ring in the North Wales Hospital (see post ‘A Big Umbrella’). Carman may well have known some of the people who in turn protected those psychiatrists as well. Carman lived in Wimbledon. That is on the patch of St Georges Hospital Medical School – which employed a number of forensic psychiatrists who, three years before Anglesea’s trial, had really pushed the boat out to collude with psychiatrists in north Wales, although they most certainly were aware of the extent of their wrongdoing (please see post ‘Some Very Eminent Psychiatrists From London’).

Would Carman be capable of stuffing his own clients over, ensuring that he lost the case?  Well, he didn’t seem to have that much integrity. The ‘Telegraph’ obituary noted that ‘he sometimes gained acquittals for clients he suspected were guilty’. After Carman died, after the respectful and admiring obituaries were published, Carman’s son Dominic published a book. It told a very worrying story. Dominic alleged that his father was a vicious drunk who tortured and beat up his mother in front of him. He claimed that Carman had such a fearsome reputation that no police officer would assist his mother. But Dominic alleges something else as well – that the reason why it took so long for Carman’s career to take off was that when he was on the Northern Circuit and living in Manchester, Carman spent an awful lot of time getting bladdered in pubs and nightclubs. Dominic states that his father’s drinking companions included ‘villains’ and ‘prostitutes’. What’s the betting that there were a few bent coppers among them as well? Some officers in the North Wales Police who were known to be corrupt had links with officers in the Greater Manchester Police.

The most obvious reason for a barrister to be persuaded to deliberately lose a case would I presume be if he had been bribed. However by the time that he represented Anglesea, Carman was a rich man and commanded some of the highest fees among his profession. So even if he spent a lot of money, he could pretty soon replace it. But what if he was threatened? Or simply knew how very nasty some of those involved with child abuse in north Wales might be? After all, by 1994 numerous people who had formerly been in care in north Wales had died and there had been that rather unpleasant business of the building in Brighton where a number of them had been attending a party going up in flames, killing five people (see post ‘The Silence Of The Welsh Lambs’). Carman probably didn’t need to be told that getting on the wrong side of that lot wasn’t a good idea. Or what if, as my co-researcher has suggested, they had something on him?

In the light of what has emerged concerning the north Wales child abuse scandal since 1994, it is not entirely improbable that those we know and love adopted both the belt and braces approach – someone could have had a word with both the judge and Carman just to be on the safe side. And a few members of the jury as well. After all, there were a great many people’s jobs and reputations on the line should Anglesea be found guilty.

There is something else that I wondered after finishing yesterday’s post – how many boys in care did Thomas Tyrell-Kenyon infect with HIV?

‘Y Gwir Yn Erbyn Y Byd’

For those of you who don’t speak Welsh, the title of this blog post translates as ‘The Truth Against The World’. It was the motto of Baron Williams of Mostyn, who, before he was ennobled and acquired a coat of arms on the recommendation of that other esteemed Welsh peer, one Lord Kinnock (he who never won an election but did his best to destroy Jeremy Corbyn on the grounds that Jeremy wouldn’t be able to win an election), was Gareth Wyn Williams who hailed from Prestatyn and attended Rhyl Grammar School. Lord Mostyn is described in his wiki entry as a Welsh barrister and Labour politician. He became a Deputy High Court judge and was part of the Chester and Wales Circuit, like so many named on this blog. Lord Mostyn was Leader of the Circuit between 1987-1989 and was made a life peer in July 1992. He died suddenly in 2003.

Lord Mostyn gained a lot of media coverage in Dec 1994. That was because he was the barrister who acted for the former North Wales Police officer Superintendent Gordon Anglesea when Anglesea sued the ‘Independent On Sunday’, the ‘Observer’, ‘Private Eye’ and HTV for libel, after they accused him of abusing children in care in north Wales children’s homes. (Gordon Anglesea died in prison last year, a few months after being sentenced for abusing children in care in north Wales.) The Police Federation underwrote Anglesea’s legal costs for the libel action. The jury found in favour of Anglesea by a majority of a 10:2 and Anglesea received £375,000 damages.

The articles that Anglesea sued over were published in Dec 1991 (‘Independent On Sunday’), Sept 1992 (‘Observer’) and Jan 1993 (‘Private Eye’). The HTV ‘Wales This Week’ programme concerned was broadcast in Sept 1992. The two former residents of children’s home Bryn Estyn who accused Anglesea of abusing them on HTV, Mark Humphreys and Steven Messham, were seen by another former Bryn Estyn resident, Carl Holden, as he was watching the programme at home. Carl Holden then rang the BBC and told them that Anglesea had abused him. The ‘Private Eye’ article alleged that Anglesea had investigated claims against the son of Lord Lloyd Tyrell-Kenyon – the article in the ‘Eye’ picked up on Lord Tyrell-Kenyon being a member of the North Wales Police Authority as well as being the Grand Master of the North Wales Province of Freemasonry. Gordon Anglesea was a freemason.

Lord Tyrell-Kenyon however had many other links to people and to institutions that were involved with concealing child abuse in north Wales. He was a member of the House of Lords, he was the Chairman of Clwyd Health Authority between 1974-1978 and he was President of UCNW (later Bangor University) between 1947-1982. (He preceded Sir William Mars-Jones as President of UCNW – please see post ‘A Big Umbrella’.) So he’ll have known Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and Dr T. Gwynne Williams – who banged up the victims of the paedophile ring in the North Wales Hospital Denbigh! Lord Tyrell-Kenyon was also a Flintshire Councillor and had been Deputy Lieutenant of Flintshire. He will almost certainly have known Sir Ronald Waterhouse as well as Dafydd and Gwynne. Furthermore he was a magistrate. Lloyd Tyrell-Kenyon was numerous other things as well, including a Director of Lloyds Bank and, between 1952-1957, the President of the National Library of Wales. This man will have been phenomenally influential in mid-twentieth century rural north Wales. (The London-based press have always made much of the alleged masonic connections at play in the concealing of the North Wales Child Abuse scandal, but as this blog has shown there were other powerful networks involved as well.) Lloyd Tyrell-Kenyon died in 1993 and a wonderfully toadying obituary was published in the ‘Independent’, written by a Nicolas Baker. It praises Tyrell-Kenyon’s achievements in securing ‘the improvement of agriculture and the health service in Wales’ – what on earth did he do to make the health service so good, employ Dafydd and Gwynne? (I’m intrigued by the mention of agriculture as well. As detailed on my post ‘Not Seen Since The 80s – Carwyn’, UCNW used to have a truly appalling agriculture dept headed by a very vindictive unpopular man called J.B. Owen. I was told that J.B. Owen’s family founded that dept which was why he was given a Chair, although even the undergrads could see that this was a completely inappropriate appointment. Much more worryingly, Mary Wynch, the woman whom Dafydd illegally imprisoned for a year (please see post ‘The Mary Wynch Case – Details’), worked as a secretary in that dept. Mary became famous as a result of her battle with Dafydd et al, yet not one of her former colleagues uttered a word in sympathy let alone in her defence. I would love to know what was going on when Mary was employed in the agriculture dept.) Tyrell-Kenyon’s obituary waxes lyrical about his ‘troubles, which seemed to come to him unfairly often. He bore them without complaint…his cheerful smile never weakened….an end to a truly useful life, one spent doing good without seeking for a reward. The support that he gave will be remembered with gratitude by the many friends he made in giving it’. Which rather sounds as though he often ended up in the shit, but he had mates everywhere, mutual favours were being exchanged and he was one of the people running north Wales. I presume that the son of Tyrell-Kenyon’s who was referred to in the ‘Eye’ article will have been Thomas Tyrell-Kenyon. I don’t know which incident that article referred to, but in July 1979, Thomas Tyrell-Kenyon woke up in the Crest Hotel in Wrexham to find his property and clothes stolen – by the young man that he had been having sex with the previous night. That young man was two years below the legal age of consent at the time and was supposedly in the care of the Local Authority. (He later gave evidence to the Waterhouse Inquiry that Thomas ‘had used him for sex on numerous occasions’.) Tyrell-Kenyon reported the theft to the police and was quite frank about the reason why the boy had been sharing a room with him. The boy had also allegedly stolen some explicit Polaroid photos of them together, which were never recovered. The boy’s social worker recorded that the police were well aware of ‘homosexual activities’ between him and Tyrell-Kenyon. The boy was sent to a Detention Centre. Tyrell-Kenyon was never charged. Tyrell-Kenyon died of AIDS in 1993 when he was 37.

At the libel trial, Lord Williams made much of the ‘inconsistencies’ in the witnesses accounts. For example one of the former Bryn Estyn residents had made an early denial in a police interview that he’d been abused by Anglesea – although it would seem fairly obvious that it wouldn’t be that easy for one man to tell another man, who happened to be a police officer, that he had been repeatedly molested by one of the officer’s former colleagues. Lord Williams also made much of one of the witnesses having problems with drink and drugs. Williams might have been surprised to know that drink and drug problems were a regular outcome of those who grew up in care in north Wales, as was early death in suspicious circumstances. It doesn’t make them liars. One witness found giving evidence so stressful that he was prescribed tranquillisers during the trial. Not that they did the trick – he subsequently collapsed in the dock and proceedings had to be halted in order for him to receive medical treatment. Which just shows how easy it was for those three to stand up there and tell a pack of lies about Anglesea…

Part of Anglesea’s defence was that he was not a visitor to Bryn Estyn during the time that some of the offences were alleged to have happened. Yet Ian Kelman, a retired police Inspector who served in Wrexham at the same time as Anglesea, made a statement in which he claimed to have seen Anglesea at Bryn Estyn on at least two occasions during the years when Anglesea denied visiting the home. Yet Kelman didn’t give evidence at the trial – he told the Wales-based investigative journalist Paddy French’s Rebecca Television that he was ‘suffering from severe mental depression’ at the time. So his statement went unexamined. (Neither was Ian Kelman invited to give evidence at the Waterhouse Inquiry.)

I don’t know how confident Gareth Williams was that his client would win, because Williams was facing a most formidable adversary acting on behalf of those that Anglesea was suing – George Carman QC. Carman has featured on this blog before. George Carman was not used to losing cases, yet he lost this one, to a barrister that did not have half the reputation that Carman had. The judge who presided over the trial, Sir Maurice Drake, spoke about the trial later in his life as being a particularly memorable one. Drake had caused a bit of a stir himself at the beginning of the trial by confirming that like Anglesea, he was a freemason, but no-one raised an objection so no worries there then. Drake joined the Justinian lodge in 1948 and for approximately 20 years was President of the Masonic Court of Appeal. At the time of Anglesea’s trial, which was heard by a jury, Drake was the judge in charge of the jury list. He had a long pedigree where presiding over libel trials was concerned and sometimes rather surprising things happened when Maurice Drake was around. He presided over the trial between the MP Rupert Allason and Alistair Campbell, dismissing Allason’s claim yet stating ‘I did not find Mr Campbell by any means a wholly satisfactory or convincing witness’. Drake also presided when the ‘Eastenders’ actress Gillian Taylforth sued the ‘Sun’ for libel and lost. On that occasion George Carman was acting for the ‘Sun’ and Drake gave him permission to screen  what was euphemistically termed a ‘controversial’ video starring a German sausage. If I remember correctly, this was the video in which Taylforth featured at a knees up with the other actors from Eastenders, very drunk, simulating sex with the aforementioned sausage (but fully clothed). It wasn’t very different to what a lot of people have done when drunk at some point in their lives, but it lost her the case. She collapsed in Court as well and was filmed being stretchered out into a waiting ambulance with an oxygen mask over her face. It was obviously a hoot in Drake’s Court with witnesses on the losing side collapsing all over the place.

Drake remembered that Gareth Williams ‘outshone’ George Carman, although Carman ‘displayed all his usual skills’. Drake stated that in his view ‘the evidence was finely balanced’ and that his summing up was ‘absolutely free of any indication of what I felt the verdict should be’ and that he ‘would not have been surprised’ if the jury had found for the defendants. Drake attributed Anglesea’s success to, would you believe, the love of a good woman: ‘I believe that it was the evidence of Mrs Anglesea which tipped the scales…many jurors would find it difficult to believe that a married man could have a full sexual relationship with his wife at the same time as he was committing buggery’. Not only was it not in Mrs Anglesea’s interests to stand up in court and admit that the man to whom she was married – and probably financially dependent upon – was a child molester, but Sir Maurice Drake obviously had some quaint ideas about child molesters. They do have ‘normal sexual relationships’ with wives and indeed all sorts of women whilst they are molesting children. Had this trial not resulted in a sex offender becoming nearly £400,000 richer, Drake’s comments would be a source of great entertainment. They bring to mind the summing up of the judge who presided over the trial of Jeffrey Archer when he made statement about Mary Archer being so ‘fragrant’ that no way would Jeffrey have been shagging a prostitute in ‘a green leatherette suit’. Jeffrey did of course go to prison for perjury some years after this and the unfortunate prostitute was killed in a car crash, a crash that was ‘not suspicious at all’, days before the trial at which Archer was eventually convicted had been scheduled to begin. Archer is a national joke, but the fragrant one continues to move in guilded circles and is particularly big in NHS England. She was made a Dame on the basis of her contribution to the NHS. Monica Coughlan, the prostitute who was so unfavourably compared with the Lady/Dame of Addenbrookes Hospital, was on record before she was killed as stating that Jeffrey Archer had completely ruined her life. One would have thought that judges would have stopped waxing lyrical about the attributes of criminal’s wives after Peter Cooke’s highly effective parody of the summing up at the trial of Jeremy Thorpe, in which he ‘pays tribute to Mr Thrope’s wife Miriam, who has stood by him throughout this long and unnecessary ordeal’. As for Sandra Anglesea, she must be the merriest widow in north Wales now – not only is she in receipt of 50% of a police pension thanks to an ‘oversight’ on the part of Arfon Jones, the Police and Crime Commissioner for North Wales, but her child abusing husband is dead.

There was something that neither the defendants nor even Sir Maurice Drake knew about at the time of Anglesea’s libel trial. That was that Gordon Anglesea was investigated by the North Wales Police when Detective Superintendent Ackerley led the investigation into child abuse in north Wales children’s in the early 1990s and that Ackerley sent a report to the CPS recommending that Anglesea should be charged. The CPS did not do this and no-one even knew that the recommendation had been made until years later.

Some two months after giving evidence against Gordon Anglesea at the libel trial, Mark Humphreys was found hanging from railings in the block of flats where he lived. Anglesea’s former colleagues in the North Wales Police declared it not to be a suspicious death. Three months later, Simon Birley, another former resident of Bryn Estyn, was found hanging from a tree. The previous year Simon had given evidence against Peter Howarth, an employee of Bryn Estyn, who was imprisoned for abusing the boys in his care. It was alleged at various trials that Anglesea knew Howarth. Anglesea denied this. Simon’s death was ‘not suspicious’ either.

As for dear old Lord Gareth Williams, in 1999 he was appointed Attorney General and remained in that post until 2001! He succeeded Lord Morris of Aberavon – another star of previous blog posts – and after an interlude by Lord Goldsmith our old friend Lady Patricia Scotland QC became Attorney General.

One day soon I really must carry out a statistical analysis of members of the House of Lords since 1970 and calculate the % of those who have been involved in concealing organised child abuse. Until then I’ll just remember Gareth’s motto…