News Round Up, August 20 2017

There’s been a number of high profile Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board failures over the last two days.

David Roberts, a man of 70 from Amlwch, is in severe pain and waiting for a knee replacement. Mr Roberts has been on the waiting list since August 2016 and has been told by the Betsi that the waiting time for the relevant operation is now 98+ weeks… Mr Roberts is remarkably understanding and has commented that ‘I understand that it’s all down to funding, low staff and cut backs’. No Mr Roberts, sadly that is not true – it is down to incompetence and corruption. The Betsi has plenty of money and Vaughan Gething and the Welsh Gov’t keep giving it more as well, it is being wasted. They are short of staff but that’s because no-one will work in north Wales because the NHS there has such an atrocious reputation. People do know that abusive staff are catered for and protected whilst whistleblowers are sacked. That is not the way to attract good staff but it’s what Martin Jones and Peter Higson have done for years, which is why the Betsi is in this state.

Another Betsi story in the news at the moment concerns Brooke Cheatle. Brooke is eight years old and had her leg amputated when she was younger. She wears a prosthetic leg but the Betsi is involved so things are not going smoothly. Brooke is now using a wheelchair whilst her mum battles with ‘Betsi chiefs’ in a desperate attempt to secure decent treatment for Brooke. Brooke has had a number of prosthetic legs which have been faulty. The foot of the last one actually fell off, so Brooke’s mother returned it to the Betsi. It was sent back through the post with the foot crudely glued on at the wrong angle. Furthermore it was returned to Brooke without a fitting, so it didn’t fit properly, cut into Brooke’s skin and caused pressure sores and blisters. Medical professionals have now deemed the prosthetic leg ‘unsafe to use’. Who has been providing this splendid service? The Artificial Limb and Appliance Centre at Wrexham. Brooke’s mother made a written complaint to the Betsi and attempted to transfer Brooke’s care to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. This necessitated writing to their GP for funding – the Betsi refused the funding without any explanation, so the transfer has not happened. Brooke’s mum has been told that Brooke’s care must remain with the Wrexham centre. She has now stated that she ‘has lost all faith’ in the Betsi and wants Brooke treated in England. Well good luck with that Brooke’s mum – I know of a number of mental health patients, including me, who after the most dreadful negligence and sometimes all out abuse tried to transfer elsewhere. The dear old Hergest Unit refused to let us go. They made it quite clear that they loathed us and were waiting for us to drop dead, but no, every time we tried to get care from elsewhere the Hergest threw a hissy fit and stated that we were ‘their’ patients. I realised that the Hergest was going to end up either killing me or imprisoning me for something that I hadn’t done after yet more attempts to frame me, so in the end I walked away. I know a number of other people who sought private care in other parts of the UK and one man who went abroad.

The Daily Post Online is reporting yet another bizarre mental health services story. Judge Niclas Parry has given James Harland an 18 month suspended prison sentence and a restraining order after Harland  told a number of people that he was planning to kill himself and his wife. Harland made it quite clear why he was making these threats – it was because he wanted help for mental health problems and couldn’t get it. He told the local mental health team who failed to respond, so he put two knives in his vehicle and showed them to the mental health team, telling them that this was how desperate he felt. No response. So he then rang the office of the Labour MP for Alyn and Deeside Mark Tami to complain about the mental health services. Mr Harland repeated his threat – and a member of Mr Tami’s staff called the police and Mr Harland was arrested. Niclas Parry has described it as a ‘seriously worrying case’ – because ‘a professional person’ (ie. the mental health social worker) saw the knives and ‘did not call the police’. They didn’t offer him any help with psychiatric care either. Neither did Mr Tami’s lot – they did call the police but did that rather than respond to Mr Harland’s complaints about the mental health services. Niclas Parry told Mr Harland in Court that ‘you are now going to be offered help’. What a pity that didn’t happen before – when Mr Harland asked for it. Parry also stated that a ‘robust risk management plan…to protect the public’ would be put in place. Which there is no need for – Mr Harland isn’t a risk to anyone. He was showing social workers’ knives because nothing he did resulted in an offer of mental health care, so he tried to demonstrate to people how desperate he was. Niclas Parry also sentenced Mr Harland to 40 days rehabilitation. What a bizarre, traumatic and very expensive way of getting Mr Harland the help that he needed. Except that he’s got a criminal record now as well, for carrying a blade and threatening behaviour. So when he’s recovered he’s not going to be able to get a job is he. Ooh it’s the stigma you see…there’s so much stigma against people with mental health problems, that’s why they don’t get jobs.

Niclas Parry said that he was ‘alarmed’ at this case. So am I, but for rather different reasons than Niclas Parry. But then I’m alarmed at Niclas Parry’s presence as a Crown Court judge. Back in 1996 when he was just a whippersnapper, Niclas Parry appeared at the Waterhouse Inquiry as Solicitor-Advocate to a particularly nasty paedophile (see post ‘This Is What Happened To Nicola, Niclas, Merfyn, Joan and Kathryn’). Niclas’s biography also demonstrates that he has close personal and professional links to many others who concealed the paedophile ring in north Wales. Niclas’s career has gone from strength to strength and now he’s on the Circuit in Wales regularly making the most bizarre decisions and comments.

 

BBC News Wales online today ran a report about how ‘job sharing’ might be a possibility for future AMs. The Assembly Commission said that a change of electoral rules might be possible under the forthcoming Wales Act 2017 which will give new powers to the Assembly and that it might be possible to introduce a system of job sharing which at the moment isn’t permissible. It was stated that this might increase the proportion of women and disabled people willing to stand for election to the Assembly. Sarah Rees of the Women’s Equality Party spoke in favour of the idea and said that Wales should lead on this. Sarah has two young children and stood as a candidate in the last election. I know Sarah, she’s very committed and a very hard worker – she’d be an excellent candidate whether she chose to job share or not. Sarah was speaking for women’s interests. Who spoke for ‘the disabled?’ A former candidate with a disability perhaps? Of course not. It was Rhian Davies, Chief Exec of Disability Wales, who stated that ‘more creative solutions are needed to encourage disabled people into politics’. I think she said something about stigma as well.

The most creative solution would be to get rid of Disability Wales and to stop Rhian Davies mouthing off lame clichés on behalf of disabled people. Rhian Davies has been Chief Exec of Disability Wales since 2001 and has achieved bugger all for disabled people. A look at the Disability Wales website shows the hundreds of thousands of pounds pouring into the coffers of Disability Wales from the Welsh Government but this blog alone – indeed this post – shows how grim things are for people with health problems or disabilities in Wales (and indeed in the wider UK). It is nothing to do with ‘stigma’ or the need for ‘creative solutions’ – a functioning health and care system would work wonders. Or for Theresa May to stop butchering disability benefits to such an extent that disabled people are being made destitute. I’ve never heard Rhian Davies utter a word on these topics. Guess who’s building up a nice little career for herself on the back of ‘disability issues’ though? Rhian Davies!

Rhian is Chair of the Coalition on Changing Cymru; a member of the Welsh Gov’ts Tackling Poverty External Advisory Group; between 2007-12 she was a member of EHRC’s Statutory Wales Committee; and she played an active role in the Inquiry Into Disability Harassment. In 2010 she completed an MSc in Equality and Diversity from Cardiff University!

I don’t think that there’s going to be many creative solutions coming from Rhian. However I know what will happen if the Welsh Government introduces any sort of initiative at all in order to help people with disabilities stand for election. A sharp elbowed person – who will probably have followed a career of the sort that Rhian Davies has – will flag up an inconvenience as a ‘disability’ and use that to demand special consideration. In the way that Theresa May suddenly announced that she had a ‘disability’ – she’s a diabetic – after she was accused of shafting disabled people with the welfare reforms. Diane Abbott developed a disability – again diabetes, but Diane Abbott has type 2 diabetes which means she doesn’t have to inject herself with insulin, she just has to watch her diet. Diane declared her own disability after a dismal media performance during which she couldn’t answer questions. But that is a regular occurrence with Diane Abbott and she’s never mentioned diabetes before. She usually just accuses whoever has put her on the spot of sexism and racism. That is the danger of ‘initiatives’ – if they are not very carefully thought out they are just used by the same old culprits to ruthlessly elbow everybody else out of the way.

My post ‘It’s The Sun Wot Won It’ reported on the inexplicable twitter storm that followed a recent innocuous tweet sent out by Leanne Wood. The appalling Katie Hopkins has now joined the fray and tweeted ‘What is Welsh for ‘get back down the mines’?’ If you want to know that Katie, enrol in a Welsh class and bloody well learn instead of spitting poison at the rest of the world via Mail Online or LBC. And in case you hadn’t noticed, there aren’t any mines left in Wales – the Tory Party that you so robustly support closed every one of them down. That’s why Leanne’s dad became unemployed you total ignoramus. By the way, despite coming from a region of Wales wrecked by Thatcher and Heseltine and despite having a dad who was shoved onto a dole queue whilst she was growing up, Leanne has become the leader of a political party. Which is more than you’ve achieved – all you managed to do was to lie to get into Sandhurst and then get caught out.

Update On ‘Tainted Blood’ Scandal – The Culprit

In my posts ‘News Round Up, May 10 2017’ and ‘Dr Death’, I discussed the ‘tainted blood’ scandal that is currently causing so much distress to so many in the UK. It has been admitted by the Gov’t that the NHS gave thousands of haemophiliacs, as well as a number of other people, blood products derived from blood donated in the U.S. and that many people were infected with HIV or Hepatitis C as a result. Approx 2000 people have died as a result and many more are living restricted lives. The major catastrophe occurred on Margaret Thatcher’s watch when her Gov’t closed down the MRC lab in the UK, which left the UK entirely dependent on imports from the U.S. Thatcher’s Gov’t were told that this would put NHS patients at serious risk because U.S. blood products frequently originated from drug users or other groups with a high rate of blood borne infections. Thatcher’s Gov’t ploughed ahead nonetheless on the grounds that purchasing blood products from the U.S. would be a cheaper option. Scientific advisors have come forward to confirm that they knew about the risk and that they did tell the Dept of Health at the time. The Minister responsible at the time was Ken Clarke. He is denying that he was ever warned about the possibility of catastrophe. Both David Cameron and Theresa May have refused a public inquiry into the matter.

There is a further twist. Some scientists have claimed that they warned the Dept of Health back in the 70s of the dangers of using unscreened blood products – the danger then was perceived to be what is now termed Hepatitis C because no-one knew about HIV. Dr David Owen has been telling anyone who will listen that in 1976 he warned that Britain should be aiming to be self-sufficient in blood products. Yet Dr Death claims that the archived files that he kept concerning this matter have ‘disappeared’ and he suspects a Civil Service cover-up – and poor old Dr Death’s memory is a bit shaky and now he can’t remember the relevant details. Yet Anita Roddick’s daughter Sam has told the press that her mum contracted Hepatitis C (from which she died many years later) during a blood transfusion at the time of Sam’s birth – in 1970. So the NHS has been lethally infecting people for a long time.

Well I’m delighted to say that once more ‘Service Shenanigans’ can shed light where it seems that nobody else can. Although I have to fess up to gaining my information from none other but Ken Clarke, the Minister of State for Health in Thatcher’s Gov’t when the ‘advice’ from the scientists regarding the safety or otherwise of U.S. blood products was given. I have found this out from Ken Clarke’s autobiography ‘Kind of Blue’, which I am currently reading. Ken makes it quite clear. In chapter nine he states that the matter of blood products was ‘regarded as a small specialist area of activity and was handled by Simon Glenarthur, Parliamentary Under-Secretary in the Lords. Simon behaved impeccably throughout the crisis but unfortunately he acted on the medical and scientific advice given to him which was not based on full knowledge of the dangers’. Ken tells us that there has now been a number of investigations and ‘Simon’s reputation has always emerged unscathed as he quite correctly acted conscientiously in the light of the scientific advice available to him’.

So the man responsible is Lord Simon Glenarthur. Now Ken is blaming it all on unidentified medical and scientific advisors to Simon. Which is seriously weird because those scientific advisors themselves maintain that they warned the DoH of the dangers. Glenarthur was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary in 1983. Dr Death in 1976 admitted that NHS patients were being put at risk. The world knew all about blood borne infections in 1983 – I was an undergrad then and I knew about them, so I’m absolutely sure that Simon’s medical and scientific advisors did. So either the medical and scientific advisors are telling porkies and they didn’t warn Simon, or Simon and/or Ken are telling porkies – or Simon ignored the advice and now won’t fess up.

Ken refers to Simon’s ‘unscathed’ reputation. How unscathed is Simon Glenarthur’s reputation? Well he ended up in a bit of bother in 2012, but blamed that on someone else as well. Since 2010 Simon Glenarthur has been a Governor and Trustee of King Edward VII’s Hospital Sister Agnes. Readers might remember that in 2012 when pregnant with Prince George, Princess Middleton suffered from very severe pregnancy-induced sickness and spent some time in King Edward VII Hospital. Whilst she was a patient there, two Australian shock-jocks rang the hospital pretending to be ringing from Buck House, imitated a corgi barking in the background and asked after Princess Middleton’s health. The nurse who took the call, Jacintha Saldanha, didn’t cotton on to what was happening and passed on some fairly benign information. The shock-jocks broadcast the call, a major diplomatic incident followed and Jacintha killed herself. At some point during all this, a pompous man stood outside of the hospital and faced the TV cameras. Next to the pompous man was another even more pompous man who remained silent but who glowered in an intimidating manner at the camera. The pompous man with the speaking part said ‘This is Lord Glenarthur. He is our Chairman’ and then read out a prepared statement. The message was clear – I’ve got a Lord with me and no-one is going to touch us for this.

Lord Glenarthur subsequently wrote a letter to the Australian radio station involved stating that it was ‘truly appalling’ that the call had been approved by the station’s management before broadcast. But there were a number of other truly appalling things as well. It was truly appalling that one of London’s allegedly most elite hospitals didn’t employ anyone to answer telephone calls and that this was left to the nurse on duty who was actually looking after Princess Middleton at the same time. How much did Princess Middleton pay for her care there I wonder? What is Simon Glenarthur’s remuneration as a Trustee and Governor? I note that when the hospital management wanted to intimidate everyone they referred to Simon as their Chairman, although that doesn’t appear on his wiki page. Is he still the Chairman? Indeed was he then, or was that a porkie? Other appalling things were revealed in the press following Jacintha’s suicide – that she was working very long hours for little pay; that she lived in Bristol and was commuting to London and was exhausted; that she was terrified of the hospital’s management. Then a news story appeared claiming that Jacintha had suffered from depression and had attempted suicide previously. Her family denied this. Nothing was ever clarified. One thing is fairly obvious though – that Lord and his mates were too busy covering their own arses to provide sufficient support and reassurance to Jacintha. And when she became so distressed that she killed herself, rather than address her working conditions Lord simply made it public that he’d given the radio station a bollocking.

For a man whose decision regarding blood products resulted in the death of thousands of people, Lord hasn’t done too badly for himself. Since 2002 he has been Director of the MDU (Medical Defence Union). That is the MDU that refused to compensate the victims of Ian Paterson, the rogue breast surgeon who was recently imprisoned for wounding hundreds of patients – after of course it failed to stop his criminal activity in the first place. It is also the MDU who provided Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) with free legal advice from Ann Ball, a solicitor from Hempsons and Sir Robert Francis QC, a barrister, in order to bring a court case against me, although they knew that Francis was perjuring himself and that he and his colleague Dr Dafydd Alun Jones were involved in criminal activity themselves (see post ‘The Sordid Role Of Sir Robert Francis QC’).

But Lord has many strings to his bow. Here’s a resume:

Simon Glenarthur is one of 90 hereditary peers in the Lords. He sits as a Conservative. He went to Eton, then joined The Royal Hussars, then served in the Territorial Army. He was a Captain for British Airways Helicopters 1976-82; a Government Whip in 1982; appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health in 1983. After this he worked in the Home Office, he was then Minister of State for Scotland in 1986 and then Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs 1987-89.

He was a Director of Aberdeen and Texas Corporate Finance Ltd 1977-82; a Director of ABTEX Computer Systems Ltd 1979-82; Senior Executive of Hanson plc 1989-96; Deputy Chair of Hanson Pacific Ltd 1994-98; a Director of Whirly Bird Services Ltd 1995-2004; Consultant for British Aerospace 1989-99; President of the National Council for Civil Protection 1991-03; Chair, British Helicopter Advisory Board 1992-2004 and President since 2004; a Director of the Lewis Group 1993-94; Consultant for Chevron UK Ltd 1994-97; a Director of Millennium Chemicals 1996-2004; Consultant for Imperial Tobacco 1996-98; Chair of the European Helicopter Association 1996-2003; Chair of the International Federation of the Helicopter Association 1997-2004; a Governor of Nuffield Hospitals since 2000; since 2002 Honorary Colonel of 306 Field Hospital; since 2004 Honorary Air Commodore of 612 Squadron, Royal Auxilliary Air Force; in 1992 he was made a Freeman of the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators; in 1996 he became a Liveryman; in 1978 he became a member of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport Service and then became a Fellow in 1999; since 1992 he has been a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society; since 1996 a Freeman of the City of London; Consultant to Audax Trading Ltd 2001-02 and a Director 2003-05; in 2001 he became a Commissioner of the Royal Chelsea Hospital; in 2005 a Director of Audax Global; since 1994 a Council Member of the Air League; a Member of the National Employers Liaison Committee for Her Majesty’s Reserve Forces 1996-02; in 2002 appointed Chair of the National Employer Advisory Board for Britain’s Reserve Forces. Simon is also a Lieutenant of the Royal Company of Archers.

That’s quite a CV for someone whose rash decision led to the deaths of 2000 people at an early point in his career. I’m not at all sure that he should be trusted with all those flying machines.

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.

I Want Serious Money Now Please

I switched on the radio earlier but immediately switched it off again, because Gyles Brandreth was on there. I didn’t need to hear him tell the world how brilliant he is or bang on about how he established a Teddy Bear museum, which seems to be mostly what he does during his many appearances on light entertainment shows on TV and radio. Although I am not interested in listening to Brandreth, it did remind me that I need to blog about him, because his former career is relevant to this blog.

Most people know that Brandreth is a former Tory MP, but fewer people know that he was the Tory MP for Chester between 1992-97. In fact Gyles took over the seat from the former MP for Chester Sir Peter Morrison. Regular readers will know that Peter Morrison molested children in care in north Wales. Some of Morrison’s Tory colleagues have admitted that they knew that he was abusing boys and at least one of them has maintained that Thatcher was told about this but she appointed Morrison Deputy Chair of the Conservative Party nonetheless. Brandreth himself is very reluctant to talk about Morrison but has indicated that he knew nothing of Morrison’s activities. How likely is this?

The north Wales paedophile ring was known to extend into Cheshire – even Ronnie Waterhouse admitted that in the Waterhouse Report. John Allen, who owned the Bryn Alyn Community and trafficked the boys in his ‘care’ to brothels in London and Brighton and is currently in prison after being convicted of abusing children in north Wales, owned a children’s home in Cheshire as well. A witness at the Waterhouse Inquiry talked about being taken to a big house near Chester where he was molested. By the time that Brandreth had been elected for Chester, allegations of terrible child abuse in north Wales and Cheshire had recently appeared in the London based media. Brandreth was an author, journalist and broadcaster. His wife was a writer and publisher.  They will not have missed the stories about the paedophile ring in north Wales and Cheshire.

Brandreth will have no doubt heard the stories from other sources as well. Although Brandreth didn’t stand for election until 1992, he is on record as having said that he had always wanted a political career. He was President of the Oxford Union in 1970 and his contemporaries there were Ann Widdecombe and Edwina Currie, who by 1992 had both worked closely with the people who had concealed the activities of the paedophile ring. Brandreth has spoken publicly about the good friendship that he enjoyed with Widdecombe at Oxford. He is a gregarious man who remained friendly with many people active in the Conservative Party – I’m sure that something will have been said to him, particularly when it got around that he was standing for Chester.

Of course, whilst Gyles was MP for Chester, John Jillings and his team conducted their inquiry into the north Wales paedophile ring and then in 1996 all hell broke out when it was announced that the Jillings Report would never be made available because the contents were so incendiary that Clwyd County Council’s insurers’ legal advisors had threatened to withdraw insurance cover if the contents of the Report were made available, even to members of the Council (see post ‘It’s A Piece Of Cake…’). There had also been a police investigation into child abuse in the region and in 1996 William Hague announced that Sir Ronald Waterhouse would be holding a public inquiry into the matter. Just as Brandreth got elected, five people with connections to the north Wales child abuse scandal were killed in an arson attack (see post ‘The Silence of the Welsh Lambs’).

Brandreth never heard any of this discussed????

Perhaps after he was elected, Gyles simply never rubbed noses with anyone who might have known Peter Morrison or who knew about the concerns over his activities? Unlikely – one thing that Brandreth did successfully do whilst he was MP for Chester was campaign for University status for Chester College. Chester were most grateful and in Dec 2016 appointed Brandreth Chancellor of the University of Chester. Campaigning for your local college to acquire University status involves a lot of hobnobbing with precisely the sort of people whose hair will have been standing on end in the wake of the rumours swirling regarding the activities of the recently departed MP.

Brandreth served in John Major’s Gov’t as a Whip and as Lord Commissioner in the Treasury. He’ll have been particularly well-briefed as a Whip – they are notorious for digging up dirt on MPs and using it to coerce people. Brandreth was interviewed by Lynn Barber for the ‘Guardian’ in 2005 and he discussed his ‘exciting’ time as a Whip with her. He stated that as a Whip ‘you often have to smooth people, you have to take them aside and say “you know the PM really loves you.” Then with other people you have to say “Do you know what the message from No 10 is? Fuck off. We’ve had enough. Five years ago we advanced you £10,000 – do you remember that? Just remember that, because we need you in the lobby tonight”‘.

So Gyles didn’t spend all his time talking about Teddy Bears and Scrabble and woolly jumpers then. Imagine what this intimidating shit would be saying if he had knowledge of child sexual abuse among colleagues past and present and he wanted them in the lobby. Of course, John Major’s Gov’t was often on very shaky ground which is why they will have often needed a Whip to carry on in the way in which Gyles boasted of.

Elsewhere in the ‘Guardian’ interview Barber states ‘he says…that everything he does…is a performance’. He explains that his work as an after-dinner speaker is lucrative – the money is good ‘though not as good as Cherie’s’. Indeed money seems very important to Brandreth, or more precisely having a great deal of it is. His wife grumbled about him being a backbench MP on £50,000 pa and when he lost his seat she decided that she’d had enough of the penury that comes with a salary of 50k in a household with other sources of income at the same time and told him ‘I want serious money now please’.

Mrs Brandreth got serious money as well. Brandreth boasts that he lost his seat on the Thursday and started work on LBC on the Saturday. Of course since then the bumptious vacuous bastard has never been off the radio and TV, although he never says anything of substance.  Gyles also decided to try his hand at interviewing, his first try being an interview with the Duke of Edinburgh! It brought him into close proximity with the Royals and associated Courtiers, but Gyles wasn’t at all daunted because he had ‘sat on committees with the Prime Minister’. His interview with Phil the Greek was so successful that it led to a five year contract with the ‘Sunday Telegraph’! At this time of course, Amanda Platell was the press manager for Conservative Central Office and was keeping all the crap relating to the paedophile ring and the Waterhouse Inquiry out of the media (see post ‘Did Glenda Occupy A Key Role In Keeping It All Out Of The Media?’).

Brandreth’s media career really took off after he left Parliament, in the way that the careers of so many of the lawyers who defended the paedophile gang at the Waterhouse Inquiry did after the Waterhouse Report was published (see post ‘This Is What Happened To Nicola, Niclas, Merfyn, Joan and Kathryn’). Was somebody grateful to him for something perhaps? For such a tosser his social occasions really draw in the big names as well. Gyles is President of the Oscar Wilde Society and hosts an annual Oscar Wilde Party – guests have included Camilla Duchess of Cornwall, Stephen Fry, Derek Jacobi, Joanna Lumley and Julian Fellowes.

Toadying interviews conducted with Gyles have remarked on how successful his three children are – one is a barrister, one is a journalist and one is a Gov’t economist. Their paths in life probably wouldn’t have been the same if they had been kids in care being molested by Peter Morrison whilst corrupt lawyers on the Chester and Wales Circuit along with powerful figures in the media and Gov’t concealed it all, but if their dad had information about such matters that could have helped them considerably.

These days Brandreth lives in Barnes in south west London and his name appears on a website listing notable people who live in Richmond-Upon-Thames. Barnes was the location of the brothel the Elm Guest House which was staffed by children in care and where high profile people, including Westminster figures, were alleged to have abused them. At least one boy from the children’s homes in north Wales has stated that he was trafficked to the Elm Guest House and in 2015 the ‘Daily Telegraph’ reported allegations that Peter Morrison had raped a 14 year old boy there. There was also a paedophile ring operating in Richmond-Upon-Thames involving children in local authority care. Dr Alice Levinson, one of the Top Doctors from Springfield Hospital who concealed the criminal activities of the Top Doctors in north Wales whilst they facilitated the paedophile ring, now lives in Richmond-Upon-Thames and has a psychotherapy practice there. Although Alice knew that Dr Dafydd Alun Jones was sexually exploiting patients and that I was suicidal because of Dafydd and Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) constantly having me arrested, she recommended that I be referred to forensic services for ‘containment’. Alice consulted Lucille Hughes for evidence of my ‘dangerousness’ – Lucille was named in the Waterhouse Report as knowing that a paedophile ring was operating in the social services whilst Lucille was Director of Gwynedd Social Services but failed to act. Alice might be a neighbour of Gyles’s!

Brandreth has written a book about his time as an MP. I haven’t read it, but I think that I ought to. However I do know that he has prefaced that book with a quote from PM Arthur Balfour: ‘nothing matters very much and very few things matter at all’.

Some things do matter Gyles. Admittedly not Teddy Bears or woolly jumpers or being the world’s best Scrabble player or getting in the Guinness Book of Records for making the longest after-dinner speech or even your wife’s naked greed – but a vicious paedophile ring with a side-line in pornography and drug dealing and connections in Parliament who are framing innocent people who stumble across them matters very much. Particularly when people who have dared give evidence against them keep being found dead.

Gyles – it’s your turn to speak for one minute without hesitation, repetition or deviation on the subject of ‘Organised Crime – How I’ve Become Very Rich By Keeping Quiet About It’.

 

Someone else who was in need of Serious Money and who certainly got it is a Lord Crickhowell, who features on an item on BBC News Wales today. The item is entitled ‘Cardiff Bay: What Has Thirty Years of Development Achieved?’ and follows on with a few pearls from Lord Crickhowell who ‘hailed the regeneration of the former docklands as a success’ but stressed that to ensure even more success, a ‘more co-ordinated approach’ to further development is needed. Lord Crickhowell certainly knows all about co-ordinated approaches and the ‘success’ of the Cardiff Bay development. Cardiff Bay is lovely, but there is much grief about it in Wales because the benefits of the successful regeneration of Cardiff Bay have not spread to the rest of south Wales yet alone to west, mid or north Wales. Many people in those regions are still living in cardboard box in’t middle of road despite the luxury down in Cardiff Bay. One person who has done very well indeed out of the regeneration of Cardiff Bay though since he co-ordinated the redevelopment there is a man called Lord Crickhowell.

The Welsh blogger Jac O The North has written an excellent account of the raw corruption that was involved in the development of Cardiff Bay. Jac has compiled a ‘factsheet’ with the history and details of the dodgy deals, sleights of hand and conflicts of interest involved which can be downloaded from his blog. I know that ‘factsheets’ are usually laughable documents produced by the NHS or MIND which fail to explain that the ‘medication’ that you have just been prescribed could well kill you, but Jac’s factsheet regarding Corruption Bay is in a league of it’s own. I highly recommend it. I will provide a summary of Jac’s research here – and pose a few questions and possibilities that Jac hasn’t raised, almost certainly because Jac’s research into corruption doesn’t usually involve delving into the wrongdoing of the health and welfare services.

Jac’s factsheet describes ‘how political power and influence was blatantly and systematically abused for almost twenty years so that vast sums of public money could be used for corporate and private gain and how the Welsh establishment and the Welsh media either acquiesced, turned a blind eye or was simply too scared of the culprits to defend the public interest’.

Cardiff Bay is built on the site of the former docklands. When the coal industry ended, the owner of Cardiff docks, Associated British Ports (ABP), was left with an eyesore and a financial liability. ABP was privatised by Thatcher’s Gov’t in 1982/3 whilst Nicholas Edwardes aka Lord Crickhowell was Secretary of State for Wales. Edwardes was the MP for Pembrokeshire and was Secretary of State for Wales between 1979-87. He had extensive shipping interests and through these business contacts and personal links with ABP.

Following the privatisation of the docks, Edwardes spent a few years working to set up a publicly funded body to regenerate the privately owned docklands. This led to the creation of a quango, the Cardiff Bay Development Corporation (CBDC) in 1987. The chair of CBDC was Geoffrey Inkin, a failed Tory candidate and friend of Edwardes. Inkin was also Chairman of the Land Authority for Wales (LAW) which acquired land for development. LAW had the power of no-appeal compulsory purchase, could smooth out difficulties with planning regulations and could get priority treatment from utilities. The key to the commercial success of Cardiff Bay was the £200 million+ barrage across the estuary, which created a lagoon across the ‘unsightly’ mud flats therefore making the Bay more attractive to investors and those buying, leasing or renting land and property from ABP.

Thus ABP had it’s own private quango pouring public money into the company from which ABP would reap profits. Although ‘the largest waterfront regeneration scheme in Europe’ was paid for by public money, ABP still owned the existing buildings and land as well as everything built on it. The amount of public money that was admitted to have been spent on Cardiff Bay was £500 million – there are suspicions that it was actually much more.

In 1987 Edwardes stood down as an MP and in order to receive his share of the bonanza that he’d engineered, he joined ABP as a Director in 1988. In May 1988 Edwardes was also appointed Chairman of the National Rivers Authority (NRA) – that was the body that was adjudicating on the barrage.

Edwardes and Inkins’s influence via the Cardiff and County Club, the Welsh media and other agencies ensured that any Welsh institution or body that might add to the Bay’s prestige or boost ABP’s profits was approached to locate there. The Welsh media uncritically plugged the project.

So Edwardes, the father of the whole scheme, was a Director of the company reaping the benefits and head of the environmental agency that theoretically had the power to sink the whole project.

A Gov’t Bill getting the barrage through Parliament was passed in 1993 and ABP and CBDC effectively became one entity. However it transpired that no-one wanted to rent, lease or buy Crickhowell House, a huge office block on the development. In 1993, the Welsh Office, headed by Secretary of State for Wales David Hunt, took out a 20 year lease at a total cost said to be in excess of £20 million. As Crickhowell House only cost £11 million to build, that resulted in a very healthy profit for ABP-CBDC. The building was allocated to the Welsh Health Service’s Authority, although they never occupied more than about 1/3 of the building.

In the mid-1990s Wales experienced the saga of the Opera House which was proposed for Cardiff Bay. The leading light in this plan was none other than Nicholas Edwardes, in his capacity as a Trustee (or equivalent) of the Welsh National Opera Company. A competition was held to design the Opera House which was won by Zaha Hadid, but it was never built. There was a lot of squabbling over Hadid’s design, but many people also wanted a new rugby stadium for Cardiff. The dosh was coming from the Gov’t in London who wouldn’t fund both and in the end a new rugby stadium proved a much more popular choice, so that went ahead. Edwardes and Inkin tried to get the rugby stadium sited in the Bay, but that plan failed.

After the devolution referendum in 1997, Ron Davies, the new Secretary of State for Wales, started negotiations with the leader of Cardiff Council for Cardiff City Hall, the building earmarked for housing the new National Assembly of Wales. The negotiations broke down – there have been allegations of skulduggery – and nominations for other sites for the National Assembly began. It was decided to locate the National Assembly in Cardiff Bay, in a new building. Blair’s friend Richard Rogers was the architect who had the winning design for the new building – I’d love to know how that happened, Rogers’s claim to fame was designing the Millennium Dome which was a national joke.

At about this time, Grosvenor Waterside Developments became visible – this was the property arm of ABP, used to disguise ABP involvement.

Ron Davies announced that until the new Assembly building was completed, the temporary home for the Assembly would be in Crickhowell House. Rhodri Morgan, at that time a Labour MP, described Crickhowell House as ‘the very embodiment of that corruption-ridden, semi-colonial, Tory past…’ Rhodri was opposed to the barrage and preferred City Hall as the location for the Assembly. Jac wonders whether it was this that caused London to prevent Rhodri from leading the Labour Party in Wales – Blair famously did all he could to prevent Rhodri Morgan becoming First Minister although it backfired on Blair and Rhodri did end up eventually becoming First Minister. Jac speculates that perhaps Blair et al feared that Rhodri would have taken the Assembly to City Hall.

Jac describes powerful influences at work to keep the location of the Assembly in the Bay. He notes that although there had been much Tory sleaze behind this – Edwardes et al were desperate to have a big prestigious building located in the Bay – the incoming New Labour Gov’t showed no sign of exposing or even undoing the sleaze. Jac speculates that Blair’s 1997 administration allowed the scam because the greed of the ABP-CBDC and the cliques and cabals in Cardiff resulted in Welsh political life being sucked into Cardiff – which suited the control freakery of the New Labour Gov’t, who viewed Wales as dangerously red and dangerously insubordinate and it would be easier for London Labour to manage the sheepshaggers if they were reduced to one city. Jac wonders whether Edwardes told the holders of the purse strings in London that the Cardiff Bay project was too far gone to call back and that the project would fail without a prestigious centrepiece to attract investors. If Cardiff Bay failed, London Labour would look as bad as the Tories. Who would benefit? Plaid – whom London Labour and the Tories perceived to be beyond the pale.

Jac supplies details of an HTV ‘Wales this Week’ episode from July 1999. The programme exposed a secret deal involving extending the lease of Crickhowell House and Alun Michael AM who was then First Secretary (First Minister) – Blair’s choice of First Secretary who had been forced upon a Wales that did not want him as First Secretary – denying the deal, but then admitting it. The programme also exposed the lies that were told regarding the cost of the land that was allocated for the Assembly building. Jac believes that the programme was designed to embarrass the Labour Party, as many questions relating to the Tories’ part in the corruption and the cock-ups went unasked. The Chairman of the HTV Group was one Nicholas Edwardes – who, along with the Tories, was not mentioned during the programme.

The Civil Service mandarin who was instrumental in the machinations to locate the Assembly in Cardiff Bay was Rachel Lomax. Lomax left a prestigious job with the World Bank in 1996 to take up her appointment as Permanent Secretary in the Welsh Office. Jac questions the machinations engineered by Lomax and suspects that the ‘official’ version of events is untrue. Lomax was moved to the DSS (DWP) in Feb 1999.

Jac sums up by mentioning that Alun Michael was the MP for Cardiff South and Penarth, that his constituency included Cardiff Bay and that prior to becoming an MP Michael was a Councillor in Cardiff. So he wanted the Assembly in the Bay. Cynog Dafis (Plaid) also supported the location of the Assembly in the Bay, although Dafis’s own constituency in west Wales didn’t benefit from the Cardiff Bay development. Jac notes that the Welsh media were also robustly in support of the Assembly being in the Bay. At one point Rhodri Morgan announced that the building of the new Assembly had been put on hold – in response to this announcement, Grosvenor Waterside sent a letter threatening legal action if building was not commenced. Jac wonders why Rhodri didn’t call their bluff, as the grounds for legal action was shaky and the threatened exposure of what that company had actually done would have soon shut them up – Jac believes that although Edwardes and his Tory friends weren’t at all supportive of devolution, they were desperate for the Assembly to be located in the Bay to ensure that the development was a success.

Jac has researched and published all of this because he is outraged that millions of pounds of public money has made Nicholas Edwardes and his mates very rich through bank-rolling a project that has been of very little benefit to the rest of Wales, much of which is still desperately poor.

Jac’s research re the details of Edwardes’s massive scam cannot be faulted. However, with regard to Jac’s speculation as to why politicians who would have benefited greatly from exposing Edwardes kept quiet – Jac has missed something of major importance that tied Edwardes and the Tories, Blair and co, Rhodri and even Plaid all up together, although they hated each other. That was the paedophile ring in north Wales and the associated cover-up.

As explained in previous posts, Nicholas Edwardes was Secretary of State for Wales during the years covering Mary Wynch’s unlawful arrest and incarceration by the paedophiles’ friends, he was in post when the paedophile ring was running riot and when Alison Taylor first started blowing the whistle on what was going on, he was in post when Geoffrey Dickens was running his campaign to expose the Westminster Paedophile Ring and named Sir Peter Hayman in the House, he was in post when child care staff in north Wales were being convicted in court of serious offences against children yet the Welsh Office was failing to inspect the children’s homes and he was in post when Geoffrey Dickens handed his dossier with details and names of Westminster paedophiles to Home Secretary Leon Brittan – who then ‘lost’ the dossier. He was in post when Margaret Thatcher was told that Sir Peter Morrison was molesting boys. And on a minor note, he was in post when I first made representation about the criminal activities of the paedophiles’ friends as well. Under Edwardes, the Welsh Office concealed the whole lot.

As detailed in previous posts, the cover-up at the Welsh Office continued under successive Secretaries of State for Wales – including David Hunt, who was also named in Jac’s account. Jac mentions the arrival of Rachel Lomax at the Welsh Office in 1996, after her removal from a high-flying job with the World Bank after just a few months. Rachel Lomax was mentioned in my post ‘So Who Was It Exactly Who Appointed The Corrupt Old Bastard?’. She was the Permanent Secretary in the Welsh Office once the Waterhouse Report got underway and she remained there until Ronnie Waterhouse had heard the evidence and discredited the witnesses. Lomax then buggered off when that had all been dealt with, whilst Ronnie set about writing the Report and reassuring everyone that no political figures had been involved in the abuse of children. Lomax was a very big hitter – she had been dragged back from the World Bank, obviously for something important.

Lomax began her career with the Civil Service in 1968 in the Treasury. She was Principal Private Secretary to Nigel Lawson when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer 1985-86. She was Deputy Chief Economic Advisor in the early 1990s. In 1994-95 she was Head of the Economic and Domestic Secretariat at the Cabinet Office. Then she was Vice-President and Chief of Staff to the President of the World Bank.

This was a woman who was part of the Tories’ inner circle and who was completely trusted by them. She got them out of one hell of a tight spot – and not just one that resulted from the development of Corruption Bay. Remember, by the time that Lomax had arrived in the Welsh Office, scores of victims of and witnesses to the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal had been found dead. There was no danger of Blair’s lot saying a word either, because as explained previously scores of Blair’s buddies in the New Labour Gov’t had been running the London Councils who had sent children in their care to north Wales where they were abused or whose own children’s homes had been infiltrated by paedophiles (see post ‘The London Connection’). Alun Michael was born and went to school in north Wales and had previously been employed as a ‘youth worker’. He was one of the people who signed the Early Day Motion opposing the proposed closure of Garth Angharad, a hospital for ‘mentally ill criminals’ where a number of those who had been victims of the paedophile gang had ended up. Neither were Plaid going to blow the gaffe – Dr Dafydd Alun Jones had been a Plaid candidate and other Plaid politicians, especially in north Wales, were representing constituencies where the paedophile ring was operating in the local social services, who were loudly proclaiming their defence of all things Welsh eg. in Gwynedd. Cynog Dafis had previously participated in some fancy footwork with the Green Party in order to successfully unseat a Lib Dem who signed an Early Day Motion calling for an investigation into the case of Mary Wynch (see post ‘A Few of the Relevant Politicians Re Mary Wynch’s Case’).

The whole lot of them were over a barrel. They must have all begged Lomax to help them out of that mess, not one of them could have exposed Edwardes’s money-making scheme because they’d all helpfully not asked any awkward questions whilst he and his successors at the Welsh Office had covered up a paedophile ring and the associated serious corruption in medicine and the law. As for Rhodri – well when the Jillings Report was withheld he had made furious comments about Welsh politicians not being allowed to know the details of a paedophile ring operating on their own patch. But I suspect that Rhodri knew what would happen if he exposed Edwardes and Corruption Bay – the whole thing would explode and the presence of a gang of murdering paedophiles on Welsh soil would be blamed on the Welsh sheepshaggers in the Assembly. So he went and appointed Brian fucking Gibbons as Health Minister who did his bit by covering up the criminality of the paedophiles’ friends the Top Doctors.

One further point. Edwardes was MP for Pembrokeshire. Long after reports of the paedophile gang in north Wales became public, there was a huge trial in Swansea – of a long-standing paedophile gang in Pembrokeshire.

So what became of the lovely Rachel Lomax, who allowed Nicholas Edwardes to get away with milking the taxpayer of millions and kept the lid on child rapes, prostitution, trafficking and a few murders, as well as institutional corruption in medicine and the law? Well after leaving Wales completely wrecked in the wake of all that, Rachel became Permanent Secretary at the DWP (formerly the DSS). In 2002 she moved to the post of Permanent Secretary at the Dept of Transport,along with her Secretary of State Alistair Darling. She then joined the Bank of England – and left there in 2008, just before the collapse of Lehman Brothers, to ‘pursue other interests’. So unlike her dozy git of a boss Alistair Darling, Lomax knew that she had assisted in crashing the global economy and got the hell out of there. Regarding her ‘other interests’ – in Dec 2008 Lomax became a non-executive director of HSBC holdings and a member of their audit and risk committees and in Dec 2010 she joined BAA (now Heathrow Airport Holdings) as a non-executive director.

 

So for what should Rachel Lomax stand trial first then? Concealing a massive swindle on the part of a Gov’t Minister, concealing a paedophile gang who killed a number of people or crashing the economy? If you’re reading this Rachel, Inspector Knacker would no doubt like to hear from you.

 

 

The ‘Celtic Iron Lady’ And Yet More Recent History

The press in north Wales is currently publishing tributes to someone who has just died who was described as a farmer from Denbighshire and a ‘leading figure’ in country life in the region. It was mentioned that the man in question purchased a large pig farm he was younger, was keen on racehorses and was a leading light in the NFU as well as in the Conservative Party. Intriguingly the article in the Daily Post Online stated that this farmer was a freemason. Details of his family were supplied and it seems that his family were actually a local wealthy family with multiple business interests. Of course my antennae started twitching when I saw the words ‘Denbighshire’, ‘leading figure’ and ‘freemason’ in close proximity. A mate of Dafydd and Gwynne’s perhaps?  The ‘farmer’ would be about the right age to be a mate of theirs. But then I noticed something even more interesting – at the end of the article, it named the siblings of this farmer who had predeceased him. One was his sister – Beata Brookes, a Conservative politician.

Beata Brookes is a name from the past. When I arrived in Bangor in 1981 most people whom I came across supported Plaid, but every so often Bangor would be covered in blue Vote Conservative posters with the name of Beata Brookes emblazoned across them. I learned that Beata Brookes was the MEP for north Wales. I also soon found out that she was hated by many people, truly loathed, but no-one ever explained why – although to be fair, I never asked. In much the same way that in parts of the UK in the 1980s one would overhear people using the phrase ‘it’s that bloody woman’ and know that they were talking about Margaret Thatcher, in north Wales it was often a phrase used about Beata Brookes. Last night I did a bit of research. As is so often the case these days, I wish that I had done this research years ago – and I also wished that when I was young I had stopped to enquire further when local people had told me how much they hated Beata Brookes.

Beata Brookes was born in 1931, the daughter of a wealthy family in Denbighshire. So she’s about the same age as Dafydd and Lucille, the paedophiles’ friends then. Beata studied at UCNW (now Bangor University) and became a social worker – just like Lucille! Of course, Beata was about the same age as Dafydd and Lucille. Readers familiar with north Wales will already understand that with the region having the networks that it does, Beata will definitely have known Lucille. She therefore probably knew Dafydd as well. For readers in England who  might need more convincing, not knowing how north Wales works – and certainly worked in the mid-twentieth century – here’s the clincher. Beata worked as a social worker for Denbighshire County Council, although it is documented that she also worked as a ‘director for a north Wales company’ and as a ‘farmer’. I can’t find a record of the name of the company, I presume that it was a family business – and presumably, as with her brother, ‘farmer’ meant landowner. So Beata was from an affluent local Tory family (Beata joined the Young Conservatives at fifteen and ended up as the national vice-chairman), the male members of whom were freemasons and she worked as a social worker for the Council which collaborated with and concealed the wrongdoing of Gwynne the lobotomist and Dafydd. Beata will have known what was going on in the North Wales Hospital Denbigh. I bet she’ll have known about something else as well – the physical and sexual abuse of children, which had been going on in the region for decades. Scores of those who were named in the Jillings Report and Waterhouse Report as senior managers of the children’s ‘services’ which by the 1970s were known to be rife with paedophiles had worked for Denbighshire County Council as far back as the 1950s, as detailed in previous blog posts.

Was it possible that Beata was one of those who knew about the beatings, the buggery, the rapes, the lobotomies of awkward customers, the incarceration of anyone who crossed Gwynne or Dafydd’s path, the sexual abuse of psychiatric patients as well as of children, the financial abuse of vulnerable adults, the incarceration of homosexuals, the deaths and disappearances, but felt completely overwhelmed and helpless? Er, no – as Beata progressed in her career, she acquired positions which point to her being one of the key figures who ensured that the lid was kept on all of it. In 1963 the Conservative Government appointed her to the Welsh Hospitals Board, the authority directly responsible for the North Wales Hospital Denbigh. She remained in that post for eleven years. Whereupon she became a member of the new Clwyd Health Authority – which took over the running of the North Wales Hospital! And nothing changed at all – homosexuals were still tortured in the name of ‘aversion therapy’ although homosexuality had been decriminalised, women who had given birth outside of marriage were still incarcerated in there, Gwynne the lobotomist was still employed there (and I bet that he was still carrying out lobotomies as well, they were breaking every other law out there, they won’t have given up on their most effective weapon), young people who had been abused were being banged up in Denbigh in the 70s, Dafydd was shagging his way around the institution – life carried on in that place as it had for the previous decades. Of course by 1974, John Allen had established the Bryn Alyn Community and business was booming – children in care from across the UK were being ‘placed’ there, to be sexually abused and trafficked into prostitution. As were the boys at Bryn Estyn at that time. Jillings and Waterhouse admit that by 1974, children in care right across north Wales were being starved, used as free labour, violently assaulted and sexually abused. Some ended up in London and Brighton being abused by the Westminster Paedophile Ring. Dissenters found themselves in the North Wales Hospital or Risley Remand Centre.

So Beata was up to her eyes in it as a member of Clwyd Health Authority. But Beata was a member of a few other things as well – including Clwyd County Council Social Services Committee! So she definitely knew about the kids who were being abused in the ‘care’ of the social services then. Beata played a blinder though – like Dafydd and Lucille, she ensured that she was involved in so many organisations that she remained in control of all outlets. She sat on the Family Practitioners Committee for Clwyd and she was a member of the Council for Professions Supplementary to Medicine – that will have kept any GPs or others who were unhappy with what was going on silent – and she also held ‘several voluntary sector posts in north Wales relating to the disabled and mentally handicapped’. Beata was even President of the North Wales Association for the Disabled! There was no escape for complaining patients or relatives – or indeed other healthcare professionals – from Beata, Gwynne, Dafydd and Lucille. They had the whole region completely stitched up. Although Beata and Lucille couldn’t join the masons because they were women, Dafydd, Beata’s brother and no doubt Gwynne were able to do that bit to gain dominance there.

Not only was Beata occupying influential positions in the local authority and voluntary sector, but she began her political climb at an early age too. After her stint with the Young Conservatives, she joined the grown-ups clubs. She was elected to the National Union of Conservatives and Unionist Associates. In 1955 she was elected as a Conservative Councillor for Rhyl Urban District Council. In the same year she fought Widnes for the Tories in the General Election. In 1961 Beata was the Tory candidate in the Warrington by-election. In 1964 she stood for the Tories for Manchester Exchange in the General Election. In 1970 she threw her hat in the ring for the West Flintshire nomination for the Tories but was beaten by Sir Anthony Myers. My God Beata was desperate to get into Parliament. I don’t think she wanted to do that to help the poor sods whom Dafydd and Gwynne were abusing and killing or the kids that Lucille – and indeed Beata’s colleagues in Clwyd Social Services – were prostituting either.

In 1979 Beata was elected to the European Parliament as MEP for north Wales! Did she use her power to try and assist those in the clutches of Dafydd, Gwynne and Lucille? Of course not – Beata ended up on a number of committees and is remembered as feistily fighting for agricultural and industrial interests in north Wales, but no, she didn’t give a stuff about the welfare or indeed the lives of those who had fallen into the hands of a bunch of pimps and gangsters. It was of course in 1979 that Mary Wynch was unlawfully arrested and incarcerated in Risley Remand Centre and the North Wales Hospital – for a year (see post ‘The Mary Wynch Case – Details’). That hit the London based media. Of course Beata knew about it.

Beata remained an MEP for ten years. Throughout the Mary Wynch scandal and the aftermath – and during those years in the mid and late 80s when Alison Taylor went public on the paedophile ring that was operating in the social services in north Wales. Beata remained silent throughout. Yet every account of Beata’s political career stresses how effective she was, what a ‘fighter’ she was, how she was ‘formidable’ (which in politics usually translates as ‘vile’) and how she was known as the ‘Celtic Iron Lady’. (Brookes was a hard-right Thatcherite.)

In 1983 Brookes’s desperation to bag a seat in the Commons – although she was a sitting MEP – caused a crisis in the Conservative Party. What is now described as a ‘bitter feud’ broke out which centred around Brookes. Boundary changes resulted in the creation of a new constituency, Clwyd North West, a seat that was centred on Colwyn Bay, the location of the HQ of the North Wales Police which was mired in corruption and concealing the paedophile ring. Gordon Anglesea, an Inspector at Colwyn Bay, was actually a member of the paedophile ring. Colwyn Bay also housed a few other bent professionals, including Professor Robert Owen, the Medical Ombudsman for the Welsh Office, who concealed Dafydd’s criminal activities in the late 1980s. Denbigh was a town virtually entirely populated by staff or the relatives of staff of the North Wales Hospital, but people occupying the more senior positions in Clwyd County Council and it’s services frequently lived in the Colwyn Bay area or in the Conwy Valley. They’re the posh bits of that region.

The natural candidates for the Tory nomination for Clwyd North West were the sitting Conservative MP for West Flintshire, Sir Anthony Meyer and the sitting Conservative MP for Denbigh, Geraint Morgan. Some people were grumbling about Geraint Morgan who was perceived to be rather more committed to his work as a barrister than his duties as an MP and although Anthony Meyer was very popular in some quarters, he was dangerously civilised for Thatcher’s Conservative Party and kept disgracing himself by doing things like making positive noises about the EU, not wanting to hang people and not wanting to kill the Argies. It didn’t go down very well at all with some. A group of local Tory activists urged Brookes to put her name forward for the nomination. Meanwhile, Conservative Central Office produced a list of 65 possible names – Brookes’s was not among them. A huge row followed and complaints were made to the 1922 Committee. The Chairman of that Committee, Edward Du Cann, even discussed postponing the selection meeting with the Conservative Party Chairman Cecil Parkinson, such was the rumpus. In the end the selection meeting went ahead.

Brookes, Meyers and Morgan all attended the meeting, at which Brookes made a speech praising Thatcher. Brookes won the selection vote among the Clwyd North East Conservative Executive. Meyers alleged that the meeting was a fix, that Brookes had set out to oust him by stealth by using EU funds to promote her candidacy and ‘usurp the functions’ of the House and that Conservative Central Office were in on the conspiracy. Morgan observed that speaking at the meeting was like ‘speaking to a nobbled jury’. Meyers maintained that the local members were ‘resigning in droves’ and threatened to run as an Independent. He then discovered that he had not been invited to the adoption meeting. Myers challenged this in the High Court and won – they ruled that he should have been invited. Some 800 members turned up to the meeting where the decision not to invite Myers was reversed. Sir Anthony Myers was subsequently nominated and then won the seat for the Tories by a long way.

Whilst I was reading about all this, I couldn’t help noticing the year in which the Tories in Clwyd tore themselves apart – it was 1983. We know that Beata was ruthlessly ambitious, was a woman who bludgeoned people into submission and was sitting on a paedophile ring supplying under-aged boys to Westminster figures and was keeping a lid on the criminal activities of a mental health service that was concealing the paedophile ring. It has been admitted by member of the Conservative Party that Sir Peter Morrison, the Tory MP for Chester, was abusing boys in care in north Wales. Between 1981 and 1985 the Conservative MP Geoffrey Dickens held his campaign to expose ‘VIPs’ that he maintained were sexually abusing children. Dickens maintained that this abuse was associated with a trade in child pornography worth a great deal of money. This was exactly the business that John Allen ran. Dickens began his campaign in 1981 when he named Sir Peter Hayman in the House using Parliamentary privilege. In 1983 Geoffrey Dickens handed the then Home Secretary Leon Brittan a dossier with the names and details of VIPs, including Westminster figures, that Dickens maintained were paedophiles. Brittan ‘lost’ that dossier. Since then of course, there have been allegations that Brittan was one of those paedophiles himself. Before he died Geoffrey Dickens talked about the serious unpleasantness and threats that he received after he spoke out.

So Beata herself and a group of ‘local activists’ were very keen for Beata to get into Parliament – so keen that some unlawful dirty tricks were employed, which Meyers alleged had involved Conservative Central Office. The constituency involved in the bun-fight was home to numerous police officers, local officials and professionals who were concealing the paedophile ring that Dickens was trying to expose. I wonder if they were among the ‘local activists’ who were doing pretty much anything to get Brookes into that seat? What if they were worried that Dickens’s campaign was going to gain traction and the whole bloody lot of them would be caught? Sir Anthony Myers sounds the sort of person who would not be complicit with such serious criminal activity, but Beata had been already, for years. The ideal candidate!

The cunning plan didn’t work, but Beata continued as an MEP until 1989 when she was ousted by the Labour candidate. Beata continued to mouth off if she felt like it – in 1983 she protested after the BBC held an interview with John Jenkins, a Welsh activist who had been imprisoned for a bombing campaign at the time of the Investiture. Oh the irony – in his younger day, Dafydd made links with Irish Republican activists after declaring his commitment to the nationalist cause (see post ‘A Network Stretching Back Decades…’). He also participated in the Tryweryn campaign. Like Dafydd, Beata had some media connections – she had worked as an ‘occasional television interviewer’ when she was younger.

Even being voted out didn’t stop Brookes. In 1993 she became Chair of the Welsh Conservative Party and supported John Major whilst he was under fire. She was also Chair of the Welsh Consumer Council and was re-appointed in 1994, despite criticism of her potential conflict of interest by the National Consumer Council and by Rhodri Morgan, who told John Major that the appointment ‘undermined an already disreputable system of patronage’.

The evil cow was awarded a CBE in 1996. In her old age there were still indications of the deals that she was doing on a local level. Brookes hit the media in 2003 regarding a dispute over car boot sales that she was holding on her land in Rhuddlan. In 2000 she had managed to gain permission to hold car boot sales on 28 Sundays every year and then in 2003 she gained permission to hold car boot sales on 14 Saturdays every year. She offered the land on which the car boots were held for the use of the National Eisteddfod. Helping out the National Eisteddfod can work wonders, particularly as Dafydd and many of the paedophiles’ friends are involved with it. (A true but horrible story – some years ago there was an awful shock for a lot of people when it was revealed that one of the people who had been appointed to run something for the children at the Eisteddfod, a nursery I think, was someone from the south of England with convictions for paedophilia. Any ideas how he got in there then Dafydd?) Beata won the day, but the dispute cost the local council many thousands of pounds. What Brookes’s passion for car boot sales was all about I don’t know, but it does remind me of a quip from ‘Private Eye’ years ago, when they were still publishing the imaginary letters from Denis Thatcher, ‘Dear Bill’. One of the letters made a reference to a ‘friend of Maurice’s’ who ran car boot sales – Denis commented that ‘I had no idea that he was a member of the Mafia’.

Readers may remember that in my post ‘Doris Karloff – Honest About Her Expenses But Not Much Else’, I described how Anglesey Conservative Association were desperate to snare a then unknown Ann Widdecombe as their candidate despite Doris knowing absolutely nothing about Wales or Anglesey and not showing much interest either. I speculated that back in those days of the St David’s Laundry in Bangor (see post ‘The BMA And It’s Ethics’), it may very well have been Widdecombe’s uncompromising anti-abortion stance that was the attraction. I wonder if Brookes was involved with that selection panel. Welsh Tories are a bit thin on the ground, it is highly likely that they either roped Brookes in or that she insisted on being part of the process.

There is an outstanding conundrum. Brookes’s obituaries mention that she married a fellow Tory activist Anthony Arnold, but that they divorced in 1963 and Brookes then insisted on being addressed by her maiden name and title, Miss Beata Brookes. It was highly unusual to be a divorcee in 1963 – although dispensing with an unwanted husband was very much easier if you were a woman with money as was Brookes – and divorced women routinely still referred to themselves as Mrs whatever their married name was. The only divorced women who persisted in calling themselves Miss were ageing starlets like Miss Diana Dors or Miss Zsa Zsa Gabor who still called themselves Miss no matter how many times they had been married and divorced. (Miss Joan Collins still does.) So Brookes really broke the mould there – if any readers know what that was all about, please do tell, Beata would hardly be the first to be flying the feminist flag.

In 2013 Brookes joined UKIP. She became very angry with Tories like Cameron calling UKIP ‘fruitcakes’ and ‘clowns’ and stated that ‘you don’t behave like that in politics’. No, what you do is take part in a conspiracy to conceal a vicious paedophile ring and remain silent even when the victims who have been brave enough to give evidence against that ring start turning up dead. Lest anyone needs reminding of just what the Celtic Iron Lady was party to, here’s another quick resume – witnesses were found hanging from trees, hanging from stairwells, dead from overdoses although they’d given up drugs years previously, were found inexplicably dead in cars, some were run over and killed on roads and one teenaged boy was found in a local town with unexplained injuries so serious that he died from them a few hours later. This doesn’t include the people who ‘committed suicide’ after being ‘helped’ by Dafydd and his colleagues. Neither does it include the five people with connections to the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal who were killed in an arson attack at a party in Brighton, to which they had all been invited. The partygoers variously died from smoke inhalation or burns and some people escaped by jumping out of windows and were impaled on the railings below. A man who was alleged to have ‘confessed’ to starting the fire was hit by a lorry and killed himself a few days later.

Beata Brookes died in her eighties in the comfort of the Spire Yale Hospital (a private hospital in Wrexham) in 2015. So she didn’t risk her neck with the NHS that she had helped poison or in one of Dafydd’s ‘nursing homes’. Upon hearing of her death, Andrew R.T. Davies, the leader of the Welsh Conservatives, described Beata as an ‘incredibly talented politician who will be sorely missed’ whose ‘career was varied and hugely successful and I pay tribute to everything she did within public life, the voluntary sector and for the Welsh Conservative Party’.

Victorian Values anyone? Or shall we just go Back To Basics?

 

What of Beata’s rivals from the 1983 campaign whom she had so ruthlessly tried to shaft?

 

Geraint Morgan was the Conservative MP for Denbigh between 1959-83. So he spanned the Years of Brutality and Lobotomies then. He cannot possibly been have been as bad as Beata Brookes, but like others who have held political ambitions in the direction of the Denbigh area such as Ieuan Wyn Jones and Paul Flynn, Geraint wasn’t going to even whisper in protest – he was after the votes of all the Denbigh staff, the patients didn’t have votes to cast. Although Geraint was appreciated for being a Welsh speaker and was known to dutifully reply to constituents when they raised issues with him, Geraint had other interests. He was a barrister and busied himself with that. After the 1983 dust-up, Morgan resigned from the Conservative Party and supported Plaid, although he never became a member. That’s the Plaid who embraced Dafydd as an activist and candidate and included so many other people who said nothing about the paedophile gang or the abuses at the North Wales Hospital, although they all knew about it. Geraint Morgan was eventually appointed a Crown Court Recorder. He worked on the Northern Circuit. As did Sir John Kay, who issued a High Court injunction against me on the basis of Jackie Brandt and Keith Fearns perjuring themselves, Keith Fearns never having met me and Brandt having met me two or three times. At the time Fearns and Brandt were employed as social workers by Gwynedd Social Services and I now have copies of the letters exchanged between Lucille Hughes (Director of Gwynedd Social Services), Ron Evans (the lawyer employed by Gwynedd County Council), Jackie and Fearns, in which Evans and Lucille instruct Fearns and Brandt to make statements about me. John Kay issued that injunction just before Geraint Morgan was appointed a judge. Like so many featured on this blog, Geraint was a law graduate from Aberystwyth University and a member of the Gorsedd of the Bards.

 

The one person who does not seem to have been dwelling in the same cesspool as everyone else was Sir Anthony Meyer. He had previously had a career as a diplomat in the Foreign Office and served in the British Embassies in Paris and Moscow. He was elected as the Conservative MP for Eton and Slough in 1964 but lost the seat to the Labour MP Joan Lestor in 1966. His defeat was attributed to his refusal to play the ‘race card’ in what had become a heated debate about immigration. He sought another Tory seat, but had great difficulty, being on the very liberal wing of the Tory party and being a very enthusiastic European. An old Etonian contact, Nigel Birch, who was the MP for West Flintshire, then asked Sir Anthony if he would replace him as the candidate as he was standing down. Sir Anthony was elected for West Flintshire in 1970. He was popular but very critical of Thatcher. After surviving the bunfight in 1983, in 1989 he famously stood as the stalking horse against Thatcher in a leadership challenge. He knew that he didn’t have a hope of winning, but it did the trick – it encouraged a few other people to challenge her soon afterwards. He was deselected by the Conservative Party for his ‘treachery’ in 1992 and later joined the Lib Dems. So although it was Geoffrey Howe who delivered the killer blow, we have Sir Anthony to thank for kick-starting Thatcher’s demise. We also have him to thank for keeping a bloody monster out of Parliament when he mounted a High Court challenge to her and her henchmen in 1983.

 

Whilst I was reading about Beata, I saw across another name that I’d previously come across as well – Tom Ellis. Brookes was re-elected as MEP for north Wales after defeating Ellis in 1984, when he stood for the SDP.

Tom Ellis went to Ruabon Grammar School and studied chemistry at UCNW (Bangor University). In 1957 he became manager of Bersham Colliery. He was President of Wrexham Fabian Society and in 1970 was elected the Labour MP for Wrexham. In 1981 he defected to the SDP – Ellis was one of the founder members. He became President of the Welsh Social Democrats. After boundary changes in 1983 he stood for the SDP in Clwyd South West but lost. As MP for Wrexham, Tom Ellis is someone else who will have heard about the paedophile ring – Bryn Alyn and Bryn Estyn were located just outside Wrexham. He’ll have known about the horrors of the North Wales Hospital Denbigh as well. But as I detailed in my post ‘Dr Death’, the Top Doctors of north Wales were attracted to David Owen like flies around a honeypot. And their support was just so much more valued than the support of people who ended up dying so that the Top Doctors and the paedophiles’ friends could continue with their noses in the proverbial trough. Dafydd, Gwynne and Lucille really did have it all sewn up nicely – although virtually everyone knew what they were doing.

 

 

 

 

 

More Summer Reading!

I’ve been digging around in book shops recently and I managed to pick up a second hand book which might be of interest to readers of this blog.

‘NHS plc’ was published in 2004 and was written by Allyson Pollock. I read quite a lot of Pollock’s work some years ago and what always struck me was that although Pollock undoubtedly knows exactly what goes on in the NHS, she was rather mealy mouthed when it came to admitting the full horror of it all. I always attributed this to Pollock being a policy advisor and therefore maintaining a discreet silence regarding patients’ being maimed and killed – I also was under the impression that Pollock had a background in social policy and such researchers very often do have trouble admitting just how much blood there is on the carpet. But I discovered yesterday that Pollock is actually a Top Doctor – she’s a Consultant in Public Health Medicine and has been since 1986. Since Jan 2017, Pollock has been Director of the Institute of Health and Society at Newcastle University. Prior to that she was Head of the Public Health Policy Unit at UCL and Director of Research and Development at UCL Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Pollock set up and directed the Centre for International Public Health Policy at Edinburgh University (2005-11). Before then she was Professor of Public Health Research and Policy at Barts and London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary, University of London. Her earlier career is not mentioned on her wiki entry – but guess what can be discovered if one reads ‘NHS plc’? That Allyson previously worked at Sin City – St George’s Hospital Medical School! She mentions that she worked there ‘before’ New Labour’s 1997 election victory. As she has been a consultant since 1986, presumably she was a consultant at St George’s. So she was there at some point in the 90s then – when the madness and malpractice that I have detailed on this blog prevailed there (see post ‘St George’s Hospital Medical School, 1989/1990’), under the ‘leadership’ of the dreadful Sir William Asscher…

Allyson Pollock is best known for her work on the gradual privatisation of the NHS with the associated imposition of a ‘business culture’ and the introduction of ‘new public management’ techniques. Her work on this is very, very good. I have never been able to fault her analysis of what this process has resulted in or her historical detail of the steps by which it has taken place. But reading ‘NHS plc’, it is clear why Pollock’s work never details the chaos and tragedy that is happening in the NHS, although she obviously loathes the privatisation agenda and could add considerable weight to her argument if she was prepared to go public on the excesses of the NHS. It is because Pollock is only telling half the story. The bit that Allyson Pollock just won’t mention is the contribution of the Top Doctors themselves to the mess.

Throughout ‘NHS plc’, Pollock paints a picture of a medical establishment that always does and has always done the best for NHS patients and which has been forced off course by the privatisation agenda – an agenda which Pollock suggests that nearly all Top Doctors have fought against for noble reasons. She does name the occasional sinner, the odd Top Doctor who has encouraged and personally benefited from privatisation, such as the odious Dr Chai Patel. Pollock describes Patel as a ‘millionaire doctor’. He is far from the only one Allyson as you well know. Patel of course notoriously ran a huge chain of private ‘care homes’ which were eventually exposed as being riddled with the most dreadful abuse and neglect of patients – it was this that forced him to step down from his role as a Dept of Health advisor on the care of the elderly. Among Patel’s business interests was his acquisition and expansion of the ‘Priory Group’. That is the Priory Group that currently employs two of Allyson’s former colleagues from St George’s and the associated psychiatric unit Springfield Hospital, Dr Robin Jacobson and Dr Adrienne Key! Likewise Allyson names a few of the biggest scandals that there have been in the NHS – scandals so big that she can’t avoid naming them, such as the Bristol Children’s Heart Surgery Scandal or Harold Shipman. There is not a mention of the fact that actually the NHS for a very long time has been dogged by scandals in which patients suffered greatly and were known to be suffering but no-one acted. According to ‘NHS plc’ the problems only began when Thatcher’s administration began privatising the NHS, a process which escalated under New Labour. It is New Labour into whom Allyson really puts the boot – she hates them.

Whilst Allyson highlights the idiocies that that Tories imposed upon the NHS in the name of the ‘internal market’, she makes no mention of why they were able to convince voters at the time that this might be a good idea. It was actually because there was a great deal of dissatisfaction with the NHS. I can remember the debates very well – the allegations made again and again were of Top Doctors who were so fucking arrogant that they would not listen to patients or respond to their needs. It wasn’t simply a case of affluent patients wanting a private room or special treatment, although that was indeed Margaret Thatcher’s personal interpretation. There had been for example massive dissatisfaction among women concerning the way in which many of them had been treated whilst giving birth, which led to practitioners like Michele Odent establishing private practices to which middle class women swarmed. There was the emergence of ME and the Top Doctors’ complete refusal to accept that this might have a physical cause – seriously ill people were dismissed as suffering from ‘Yuppie Flu’. People with an interest in alternative medicine also fumed at the way in which they were mocked and belittled by Top Doctors. I’m of the opinion that much ‘alternative medicine’ is indeed ineffective, but if one is a Top Doctor faced with anxious patients enquiring about such matters, taking the piss out of them to their faces is not the best way to proceed. The London surgeon Michael Baum was interviewed on TV regarding alternative medicine and he explained that patients enquiring about this were usually middle aged women wearing ethnic weave clothes who read the ‘Guardian’. That’s the sort of observation that is best made to one’s friends in private, not made on prime time TV – it caused massive offence and actually did him a lot of damage (which was unfortunate, because some of Baum’s opinions are worth listening to). I remember an episode of ‘Any Questions’ in which the biggest cheer from the audience was given to a Tory MP who when talking about the Tories reforms of the NHS, had robustly said of hospital consultants ‘they’re not God, they’re just guys doing a job’. People had really had a bellyful of the Top Doctors by the mid to late 1980s and that feeling was exactly what the Tories utilised to sell the voters their agenda for the NHS. Allyson mentions that ‘some’ hospital consultants were ‘downright arrogant’, that they were not ‘directly accountable to anyone’ and that team working was ‘often poor’, but she does not get anywhere near to admitting the extend of the greed, the bullying, the autocracy, the abuse of their positions and the overall preservation of their own vested interests that did – and still does – go on.

The attitude of the Top Doctors to patients was exemplified by the ‘reviews’ that the Top Doctors who fancied themselves as thespians used to put on themselves in medical schools at Christmas. Those stage shows were essentially a series of sketches in which the Top Doctors patted themselves on the back and sneered at patients for all being a bit ignorant or neurotic. I attended two such Christmas Reviews whilst I worked at St Georges – they were virtually identical and basically served to consolidate what someone the other day termed the ‘professional superglue’ that causes NHS staff to close ranks in the face of malpractice or patient harm.

Allyson mentions the concession to accept ‘pay beds’ that Bevan made when establishing the NHS. Bevan of course admitted that he was forced into doing this in order to get the Top Doctors to accept the idea of the NHS. (The Top Doctors REALLY objected to the idea of the NHS.) Pollock I note doesn’t quote Bevan’s most famous words – that in order to overcome the Top Doctors’ objections to the NHS he would ‘stuff their mouths with gold’. Allyson tactfully states that Bevan had accepted the existence of pay beds ‘in order to secure consultants’ participation in the new free health care system’. Pollock mentions that in 1975 Barbara Castle abolished pay beds – and my God wasn’t that one of her biggest battles – but her decision was later reversed and ‘by the 1980s pay beds were justified as an income earner for hospitals’. I don’t remember the Top Doctors objecting to their re-introduction Allyson – in fact when you and I were working at St George’s there was plenty of private practice going on. To be fair, some of the Top Doctors doing it were re-investing their earnings into their research programmes and of course there was a limit placed on the amount that medical academics were allowed to earn through private practice. Which was why so many Top Doctors didn’t want academic posts… Some of Allyson’s non-academic colleagues at St George’s were known to be very rich indeed as a result of their private practices.

Again and again Allyson portrays these very wealthy people with interests in private practice who ignored the wrongdoing of their colleagues as selfless barefoot doctors. She maintains that when ‘concerned NHS staff’ critiqued public-private partnerships they were dismissed by Gov’t as ‘self-interested’. However did anyone come to that conclusion? So who were the concerned NHS staff that Allyson was talking about? The cleaners? The canteen staff or the porters? The Angels perhaps? No, it was the BMA and the NHS Consultants’ Association.

There are plenty of clues in Allyson’s book as to what the beef of the Top Doctors really was. It was not that the Top Doctors were taking a principled stand against privatisation. It was a power battle. The Tories wanted to flatten the BMA in the way that they had flattened the NUM because the BMA were causing havoc behind the scenes and that’s what much of the obsession with imposing a business culture and managerialist practices on the NHS was all about. Unfortunately the Tories tried to fight the Top Doctors by giving huge power to an equally toxic group of people – NHS senior managers. The Tories were well aware of the damage that the likes of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and Gwynne the lobotomist were inflicting upon the NHS and it’s patients, but their solution was to give as much power to the likes of Alun Davies and Martin Jones. It was not a good idea and for years now a full-on battle has raged between these two groups who are substantially made up of shites. Top Doctors who do have integrity are not going to be told what to do by Martin which is why so many of them are now leaving the NHS and good managers aren’t attracted to working in the NHS because most of the other managers there are like Martin. A few years ago I was friends with a newly qualified law graduate who landed himself a job in the management offices of Ysbyty Gwynedd. He memorably described Martin and co as ‘corrupt as fuck and thick as shit’. Of course, when the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board was first established, they had an excellent CEO, Mary Burrows, who was very bright and genuinely committed to improving the dire state of the NHS in north Wales. Mary was effectively hounded out by the Top Doctors and Martin et al. The last thing that a bunch of unscrupulous, abusive Top Doctors lining their own pockets want is a high calibre senior manager. Which is why you don’t tend to find such creatures in the NHS.

Allyson writes of the battle that the BMA had with Ken Clarke regarding GP fundholding and describes how the BMA were ‘defeated’ and ‘would never again challenge the Gov’t on matters of principle’. Allyson is being somewhat economical with the truth here. The BMA continued to fight Gov’ts tooth and nail, but they adopted a new tactic. Instead of presenting themselves as Top Doctors Who Knew Best overtly confronting the Gov’t, they constructed themselves as People Who Cared About The Disadvantaged – which is exactly the way in which Allyson presents herself! ‘NHS plc’ is full of warm words for the BMA – except towards the end of the book, in which Allyson accuses them of selling out, upon the appointment of a particular Chief Exec. Allyson wrote that book in 2004. In 2007 the BMA famously screwed the Gov’t over regarding the negotiation of the GP out of hours contract which was so favourable to the Top Doctors that one of the BMA negotiators described it as ‘a bit of a laugh’. It was this that led to enormous problems concerning GP out of hours provision. But Allyson’s heart must have melted at some point because in 2014 she was appointed as a Member of the BMA’s Council! She is still there.

Pollock’s own attempts to categorise herself as a barefoot doctor are interesting. She mentions going to dinner with a merchant banker before the election of New Labour to discuss PFIs (I wonder why Allyson was doing that?) and describes how the dinner was held in the ‘bank’s private dining room’ with ‘black coated waiters’ who ‘served lunch that lasted almost three hours’. Allyson compares that dining room with the ‘hospital canteen’ at St Georges and how she ‘could not help thinking of the rows of terraced houses in the impoverished community of Tooting from which St George’s mainly female, mainly black ancillary workforce was drawn’.

I remember those rows of terraces in Tooting as well – I lived in one of them. As indeed did many of the female, black workers of St Georges. So what did the Top Doctors of St Georges think about those workers and the other people who lived in those terraces? Well, one Top Doctor described the midwives as being ‘really thick especially the black ones’. Another Top Doctor told one of the researchers about a ‘really scummy family who live in Garrett Lane’ (Garrett Lane was one of the most deprived parts of Tooting.) A medical student was ostracised because he lived in a shared house in Garrett Lane. It wasn’t only living in Garrett Lane that made one persona non-grata – I attended a departmental meal in a restaurant in Wimbledon during which the wife of a senior registrar refused to speak to a junior doctor after she was told that the junior doctor lived in Brixton. Many of the Top Doctors at St Georges lived in Wimbledon or Clapham or further afield in affluent areas. I only knew of one Top Doctor who lived in Tooting who, as a result of having a number of young children from a series of broken relationships, didn’t have the sort of disposable income that his colleagues had and could only afford to buy in Tooting. He resented living there – although his house was a good deal better than everyone else’s – and he complained at length about the lifestyle enjoyed by another Top Doctor from Kings, who was sufficiently loaded that she was having a house built to her own specifications with a matching bathroom for each bedroom. That was Professor Linda Cardosa – I didn’t ever see her house which caused so much envy, but if any readers did do e mail me and tell me all about it. Should anyone ever see Prof Cardosa on a BMA protest supporting a pay claim I suggest that they ignore her.

As for merchant bankers – the brother of one of the researchers in the dept in which I worked at St Georges was a merchant banker. One of his bonuses was bigger than the annual salary of his sister’s boss. This caused much gnashing of teeth, but no-one used it as evidence that merchant bankers should be paid less – they used it as evidence that they should be paid as much as merchant bankers. As for the merchant banker’s sister – she grumbled at length about her own salary although it later emerged that some sort of ‘special arrangement’ had been made for her so she was earning much more than all the other researchers anyway. Not that she needed a higher salary than everyone else – she drove a Mercedes, but ‘only an old one’ which her father had given her and when she had enough of living in the inner city her parents allowed her to live rent free in the cottage on their estate in Surrey which had previously been inhabited by the gardener. I’m only surprised that mum and dad didn’t supply her with a butler as well.

Not all of my former colleagues at St Georges were as spoiled, as fuckwitted, as snobbish and as shallow as this, but one didn’t have to work too hard to find people who were. There were a lot of them cluttering up the place. The source of their discontent was the fact that so many of them did come privileged backgrounds and they had friends and family who were earning even more than Top Doctors did. So many Top Doctors, despite being among the most highly paid people in the UK, managed to convince themselves that they were very hard done by indeed. It is this phenomenon that propels the BMA and it’s campaigns. The notion of ‘public service’ does not enter into the equation.

In ‘NHS plc’ Pollock is also very critical of NHS organisations selling off buildings and land – the ‘NHS estate’ – to raise money. Such sales are often a very bad deal for the NHS and are effectively fleecing the tax-payer, but the example which Pollock provides is yet another reflection of Pollock’s sleight of hand. She refers to the proposed sale of Springfield Hospital and the accompanying proposed deal with a private care company. Springfield Hospital was an appalling place, in a dreadful state of repair with completely inadequate facilities. It was in no way suitable to be housing mental health patients in the late 20th century. The care was dreadful, abuses of patients were rampant (see post ‘Some Very Eminent Psychiatrists From London…’) and eventually there was a public inquiry after a series of murders there. I do not know what the facilities and care standards at the establishment where it was proposed to transfer the patents to were like, but no-one could defend Springfield Hospital. This example reminded me of the articles that ‘New Statesman’ ran back in the 80s concerning the closure of institutions like the North Wales Hospital Denbigh. Those articles accused Thatcher of selling off the ‘homes’ of patients – I really don’t think that the readers of the ‘New Statesman’ would have wanted a home like Denbigh. Of course, the first Health Minister to propose closing the asylums was Enoch Powell – after visiting Denbigh, which appalled him. Pollock compliments Powell for his ‘political inspiration’ behind the 1962 Hospital Building Plan, but she doesn’t mention a word about him wanting to close institutions like Denbigh and Springfield.

Again and again Pollock lays the blame for notorious NHS shortcomings on privatisation. She rightly mocks the deals that were done with celebrities like Lloyd Grossman which resulted in private companies being contracted to provide hospital food that turned out to be awful. But hospital food was known to be awful before privatisation – it was, like British Rail sandwiches, a byword for dreadful food. Whilst I was imprisoned in the North Wales Hospital Denbigh by Dafydd Alun Jones Brown worried about my diet – because he knew how bad the food was in institutions like that. In Denbigh most patients lived on chips – the fare was so grim that chips were usually the most edible thing on the ‘menu’. One patient at Denbigh who was actually receiving regular visitors – unlike most people who had simply been illegally imprisoned and abandoned in there – got her daughter to bring her meals in. Things were no better in Springfield in 1991 where Pollock’s fellow Top Doctors worked. One inpatient was a young South Asian woman who, for religious reasons, was being given meals that differed from everyone else’s (they certainly couldn’t have managed that at Denbigh). So Springfield could therefore tick the ‘catering for a multicultural community’ box – but this young woman was delivered a meal each day which no choice offered or no say in what it was. On one occasion a meal was delivered which for dietary reasons she could not eat (one of the ingredients upset her stomach). She explained this to the vile abusive ward manager – an Australian called Stephanie whose standard method of communication was to shout and swear at patients – and was simply told ‘you’ve got to have it, these meals are costing us a fortune’. The young Asian woman went without dinner that day. This was before there had been any implementation of the idea of privatising NHS catering.

Pollock writes some scathing passages about the dreadful neglect of the elderly in the private sector – again this is endemic and she is quite right to draw attention to what is going on. But this was happening before NHS privatisation was on the agenda. As far back as the 1970s I knew of a notorious nursing home in the Somerset town in which I went to school. It was owned and run by a nurse who had been sacked from Taunton hospital and it employed schoolgirls as ‘nurses’ (my friend worked there – at 15 years of age she was passed off as a ‘nurse’). Every Top Doctor in Bridgwater knew about that home – they’d have never allowed their own relatives to end up there but no-one put a stop to it. When I went to university in Bangor in 1981 I found out about a very similar establishment in Menai Bridge. The man who owned the nursing home was a drunk and the ‘matron’ in charge was a nurse who had been sacked by the C&A Hospital in Bangor – after she was found having sex with a male patient in his bed on the ward. This was common knowledge, as was the neglect to which the residents were subjected – Dr D.G.E. Wood had some patients there and visited regularly. No-one had the place closed down. Furthermore Chai Patel is not to the only Top Doctor who owned care homes with questionable standards. Brig-y-Nant in Bethesda was owned by Top Doctor Dr K. Shah, a mate of Dafydd’s (see post ‘Hippocratic Oath or Hypocritic Oaf?’ for details of my encounter with Shah). Shah’s wife ‘managed’ Brig y Nant and I heard allegations from one former care assistant that not only were ‘difficult’ elderly residents dumped in baths of cold water, but when injuries were sustained, one doctor would always be called to deal with the problem – a Dr K. Shah.

Something else that Allyson attributes to NHS privatisation is the silencing of whistleblowers and the appearance of dodgy publications in the BMJ. I can kill two birds with one stone here. Back in the 1980s I remember reading an article that a particularly courageous doctor had penned for the BMJ. He was a GP from Devon and he wrote an account of how he had been called out to visit a patient in a nursing home and had arrived to find residents tied to their chairs with pairs of nylon tights and what he described as a ‘sloppy’ young woman on duty. He attended to his patient and as he prepared to leave he was stopped by an old lady who asked him if he was a doctor. When he said yes, the old lady pulled her skirt up and showed him severe, extensive scalding over her thighs. The old lady told him that someone had poured a kettle of hot water over her legs. This nursing home was owned by a local Top Doctor. A few days later the GP heard that the old lady who had been scalded had died. He was so worried about standards at this home that he contacted the coroner regarding his concerns. The coroner told him that there were no concerns at all regarding the home. The GP discovered that the coroner was a business partner of the Top Doctor who owned the home. The GP contacted the GMC and was told to take a running jump. So he penned an article for the BMJ to let the world now exactly what was possible on Planet Care Home. Was this caring and diligent GP supported in his efforts to expose this scandal? Not at all. In the next issue of the BMJ there were a number of letters published from other Top Doctors, all pompously declaring that the BMJ was not the place to air allegations about one’s colleagues. But that was not the worst thing that appeared in the BMJ in the 80s. On one occasion they debated Homosexuality. One old bigot wrote in and stated quite categorically that homosexuality does not exist ‘in the animal kingdom’ and that it is most definitely a perversion of Man. I’ve got news for that particular high-flier – homosexuality DOES exist in the animal kingdom as any zoologist will confirm. Such was the shite that the BMJ felt able to publish in days gone by.

As for whistleblowing – Allyson’s off in fairyland regarding this: ‘formerly doctors could and did speak out in the interests of their patients’ and ‘in the past doctors were free to speak out – in fact they were under a moral obligation to do so – if they felt it was in the interests of their patients’. Of course Allyson – that is why, for many, many years pre-NHS privatisation, Dr Dafydd Alun Jones et al were able to break the law, sexually exploit patients, sell drugs to addicts, lie on oath, illegally imprison people in Denbigh, conceal a paedophile ring and threaten and bribe people with many, many people knowing and no-one blew the whistle on any of it. In fact your own colleagues at St Georges and Springfield knew of at least some of what was going on and documented it – but told each other that I was ‘extremely dangerous’ and should be referred to the forensic services ‘for containment’ after I spoke to them about it. Other people who knew what Dafydd and co were up to included Dr James Earp from Leicester (see post ‘An Expert From England’), Professor Robert Bluglass (see post ‘Enter Professor Robert Bluglass CBE…’), The Medical Ombudsman for Wales Professor Robert Owen, Dr Chris Mawson (see post ‘Doctors Who Disappeared From The Medical Register’) and Dr Chris Hunter (see post ‘The Night of the (Dr Chris) Hunter’). Dr Mawson and Dr Earp did not, unlike the others, suggest that I should be banged up without trial in a secure hospital, but not one of them raised the alarm regarding what was going on.

‘NHS plc’ also takes aim at the various inspection regimes that have been introduced in recent years, such as the CHI (Commission for Health Improvement). Pollock describes such inspectorates as ‘ineffectual’ and mentions that the review teams are ‘inevitably less qualified and less experienced than the hospital staff they were inspecting’. Which is true and it is insulting to good hospital staff. But those inspectorates have been a Godsend to Top Doctors who aren’t doing what they should be doing – such as in Mid-Staffs. Or indeed in north Wales. Dangerous troubled services have passed inspections with flying colours. But it has always been thus – the Mental Health Act Commission were actively colluding with Dafydd and Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) in north Wales to conceal their criminal activity before privatisation was underway.

There is a glaring contradiction in Pollock’s writing, in that among her attempts to portray Top Doctors as helpless pawns in the face of power-crazed Gov’ts there are actually plenty of indications that she knows just how powerful swathes of the medical establishment are, including her own colleagues and the institutions in which she herself has spent her career as a senior member of staff. She clearly explains how the London teaching hospitals and medical schools are invested with prestige and status enabling them to attract high calibre staff, which in turn gives them huge influence even over Gov’t policy – just like Allyson and her Public Policy Units based in those medical schools have sometimes enjoyed.

Allyson mentions the idea to close Guys and St Tommy’s that was put forward some years ago – but she admits that the notion pretty soon died a death because of course Tommy’s is the hospital that serves Parliament. No, no-one’s going to shut down the most elite joint in town with plenty of friends in the Palace of Westminster. Allyson also mentions the enormous power and influence that Great Ormond Street Hospital has, due it’s legacy from J.M. Barrie and it’s very successful fundraising arm. She explains that in 2000, Camden and Islington Health Authority along with the Medical Director at UCL Hospitals Trust, planned to integrate all paediatric services across the area, but that GOSH disagreed with this plan, ‘was in a powerful position to put it’s own priorities before patients needs or planning’ and was successful in ‘silencing debate’.

Yet elsewhere in her book, Pollock holds up GOSH and it’s satellite hospital Queen Elizabeth Hospital for Children as being all that is best about the NHS. Queen Elizabeth Hospital was linked to GOSH and a number of consultants at GOSH had shared appointments with Queen Elizabeth. Allyson explains how Queen Elizabeth served the severely disadvantaged area of Hackney where some of the poorest children in the UK lived. She states that Queen Elizabeth was a ‘model of how a hospital in a severely deprived inner city area should be run’, that it was ‘accessible, open and caring with exceptional expertise’ providing a ‘superb service to needy children’. My post ‘Ian Brockington’s Mischief’ mentions that Dr Robin Skynner, who had links with Top Doctors who were concealing child sexual abuse, was the Physician in Charge of the Dept of Psychiatry at Queen Elizabeth between 1965-70.

As for GOSH – that was the hospital that employed the negligent doctor who contributed to the death of Peter Connelly in the ‘Baby P’ case a few years. GOSH has also just been at the centre of the Charlie Gard storm. And I doubt that either of those cases had much to do with privatisation.

Another inconsistency in Pollock’s book concerns Richard Smith, the former editor of the BMJ. He’s mentioned in Pollock’s acknowledgements section as one of the people who have ‘inspired’ her. Yet Smith is named elsewhere in the book as a baddie who jumped ship in 2004 and joined United Healthcare as CEO.

There are clues in the text as to what irks Pollock so much about New Labour as well as the root of some of her inconsistencies. Pollock seems to get to meet some very grand people. Not only did she dine with a merchant banker whilst her heart remained with the St Georges canteen in downtown Tooting, but she had an audience with Geoffrey Robinson in his capacity as Blair’s Paymaster General who afterwards invited her for a drink on the terrace of the House of Commons – although obviously she really wished that she was having a cup of char at a cleaner’s house in Garrett Lane – and she even met Gordon Brown when he was Chancellor. She described them as being on a ‘charm offensive’ and wanted to be ‘seen to be listening’. Pollock also thought very highly of Blair’s first Secretary of State for Health (1997-99) Frank Dobson – ‘a well-liked and competent Minister’. Not many other people shared that opinion – Dobson was widely perceived to be well-meaning but a bit gullible and dim (‘Private Eye’ named him ‘Dobbo’). The NHS continued to go pear-shaped and Dobbo’s scalp was demanded. There was another perceived problem with Dobbo as well – he rolled over for the Top Doctors…

Now although the Top Doctors are a very conservative bunch, they really didn’t like Thatcher and she didn’t like them. Thatcher loathed the professions (as well as academics) and very much saw them as being conspiracies against the layman. So the Top Doctors were most glad to see the back of Thatcher – I remember loud cheering breaking out in St George’s when she resigned. But the Top Doctors are not a bunch of lefties no matter what the Daily Mail says about them. However I suspect that when Blair was elected, Allyson and her fellow Public Policy/Public Health specialists may well have thought that their boat had come in. A Labour Gov’t that wasn’t socialist, with an authoritarian streak, wedded to the notion that Policy Experts should tell the plebs how to live. Which is probably why Allyson broke a leg in her efforts to meet Blair’s Ministers. A similar phenomenon occurred among HE specialists committed to widening participation – Blair maintained that he was going to pursue this policy and educational sociologists all got very excited, but of course he didn’t listen to any of them and a lot of them ended up very miffed. I suspect that Allyson fell into the same trap. Indeed, she makes it clear in her book that she feels that New Labour discredited and intimidated it’s critics, including her. Which they probably did – but then the Top Doctors discredited and intimidated those of us who discovered that their colleagues in north Wales were concealing a paedophile ring. At least Blair didn’t try to frame Allyson for serious crimes or state that she would end up in an institution for the ‘criminally insane’ as dear old Dafydd and Bluglass did with respect to me.

For all her griping though, Allyson knows that the Top Doctors can pack a punch if they are able to successfully construct themselves as the defenders of the NHS in the face of Bastards In Government. She reminds us of the lesson that no politician has ever forgotten – the election of Top Doctor Dr Richard Taylor in Kidderminster, who unseated the Labour MP David Locke. Taylor of course did this by running on a ticket of opposing hospital closures. Pollock mentions another similar event as well – the election of retired Top Doctor Dr Jean Turner in Glasgow in the wake of plans to close Stobhill Hospital. Pollock states that the Gov’ts announcement in 2003 that there would be no closures of smaller local hospitals after the election of Taylor and Turner was ‘a notable acknowledgement of the power of popular mobilisation’.

No Allyson, it was an acknowledgement of how bloody-minded the BMA are – they were fighting ALL hospital closures, including hospitals which were unsafe and harming or killing patients. They didn’t admit that any hospitals were doing this and they didn’t even work behind the scenes to raise standards – they did what they have always done and told the Gov’t ‘touch us and we’ll brain you’. Which indeed they did.

As all good Top Doctors do when they wish to ram home their arguments, Allyson makes references to popular media images of Top Doctors. We are told that the ‘frantic atmosphere in ‘Holby City’ is quite typical of the acute hospital today’. Which is rather like saying that the ‘Carry On’ films with Hattie Jacques giving terrified weedy men bed-baths and Barbara Windsor wearing an Anne Summers style nurse’s uniform whilst her bra flies off were an accurate depiction of life in an NHS hospital in the 60s. There is one big difference between Holby City and ‘an acute hospital today’ – in Holby City the staff never make mistakes and the complex cutting edge surgery is always successful, unless it’s an utterly hopeless case and the patient’s chance of life was unfathomably slim anyway. And from the episodes that I’ve seen, a lot of the surgeons are proud of their upwardly mobile journey from their disadvantaged childhoods – in one episode a female surgeon called Jac even revealed that she’d grown up in care and had been sexually abused. Er, no, as we know from the fate of the kids who grew up in care in north Wales, Jac would not be a heart surgeon, she’d be banged up in Denbigh with everyone calling her a dangerous liar. That is if she hadn’t actually been found dead in suspicious circumstances after having given evidence against the paedophiles that were employed in her children’s home.

Pollock also makes reference to a film called ‘As Good As It Gets’, which she appreciates because it makes some barbed points about US privatised healthcare. It stars Jack Nicholson. As of course did ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest’. Which was a film that one of Pollock’s colleagues at St George’s, the occupational health physician Nicky Mitchell-Heggs, had a real problem with. Mitchell-Heggs had previously been a psychiatrist and maintained that ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest’ set out to deceive because it was modelled on an asylum from the 50s but pretended that such places were still in existence. Which of course they weren’t. Indeed not Nicky – at Denbigh the patients didn’t wear uniforms and there was no piped music. But all the other ingredients were there – a lobotomist, Nurse Rached aka Janice Davies, sane people imprisoned and drugged up because they had dared challenge corrupt Top Doctors and staff terrorising and blackmailing vulnerable people by threatening to release confidential info about them. Except that Denbigh also had a psychopathic psychiatrist sexually abusing the patients who was also concealing the paedophile ring that his mistress facilitated. And those were the two people from whom Mitchell-Heggs and her colleagues were taking evidence regarding my ‘dangerousness’ so she must have known that they were there…. Mitchell-Heggs’s online profile describes her interests as theatre, opera and ski-ing! It’s those self-sacrificing Top Doctors again who fight tooth and nail for the NHS. I also seem to remember reading that both Mitchell-Heggs and her husband now run private practices.

In the initial pages of ‘NHS plc’ Pollock explains that she isn’t able to cover everything in a volume of that length, so there are some areas that she hasn’t commented upon. Such as mental health and learning disability services. Which is just as well considering how bloody shameful these ‘services’ are and were when she wrote that book. She also mentions that she doesn’t cover groups of staff such as cleaners, canteen workers, security officers and porters. In other words those staff who are treated and paid appallingly, whose presence is generally ignored by the Top Doctors and who are actually the very staff who have suffered most as a result of NHS privatisation.

At the beginning of her book, Pollock gives a long list of acknowledgments and names the people who have ‘inspired’ her. They include Dr Richard Taylor, ‘all members of the NHS Consultants Association’, ‘members of the Medical Practitioners Union’, ‘Brian Potter formerly of the Scottish BMA’, ‘Sir Sandy Macara at the BMA’ and Richard Horton of the ‘Lancet’. She mentions ‘many others’ to have come ‘to the aid’ of the Public Policy Unit which she was directing when she wrote ‘NHS plc’. Pollock pays tribute to the ‘special stalwarts of the NHS including Charles Webster, the former official historian of the NHS’. I mention on the front page of this blog that a number of people have written ‘histories’ of psychiatry in north Wales. These histories are at their best highly sanitised and at their worst have about as much historical accuracy as a Barbara Cartland novel. One of those ‘histories’ was written by a Bangor University lecturer called David Hirst and I’m fairly sure that it was his book that was co-authored or assisted in some way by an ‘NHS historian’ called Charles someone. I’m fairly sure that it was Charles Webster. I’ve been googling to try and clarify this but all traces of that book have vanished from the internet. I wonder why – after all it was proudly on display in Bangor University for years, so it definitely exists….However I note that David has co-authored with a number of the Top Doctors from the Hergest Unit! He arrived in Bangor to begin his work in ‘social policy’ in 1973 – Christ almighty, Gwynne and Dafydd were in full swing then, they will have been lobotomising and subjecting people to ‘aversion therapy’ if they dared to be gay til the cows came home. And of course Bryn Estyn was still under the direct management of the Home Office and the systematic sexual abuse of the boys there will have been well-embedded by then. Fancy publishing anything about that lot then David?

Pollock makes several mentions in her book of a man who has acquired superhero status in the eyes of any Top Doctor who wants to pledge their commitment to the NHS – Julian Tudor Hart. Tudor Hart is very elderly now, but he is one of the few Top Doctors still practising who was practising before the establishment of the NHS. He has written about just how grim things were in those days – Tudor Hart worked in south Wales among people experiencing very great poverty and hardship. I am interested in Tudor Hart, because although I do completely accept his account of how dreadful it was to fall ill or have an accident before the establishment of the NHS, he does seem somewhat blind to some of what goes on in the NHS. He is an intelligent man and a keen scholar, so like Allyson Pollock he will know. And being a man of his age from Wales, he will know what Gwynne the lobotomist and Dafydd got up to as well. Tudor Hart has been very rude about Ivan Illich and sees Illich as someone who simply plays to an audience of privileged middle class rebels, which is pretty much what the psychiatric establishment used to say about Thomas Szasz. There is truth in that argument – one had to be affluent to afford sessions with Thomas Szasz – but it ignores why the work of people like Illich and Szasz caught the imagination of so many. It was because of what folk like Gwynne the lobotomist and Dafydd were actually doing to them – people didn’t find it very helpful. There is also another factor about Tudor Hart that I cannot forget. He worked in the same practice as Dr Brian Gibbons, the former Health Minister for Wales. Who when I told him that I had evidence of the Top Doctors and managers in the Hergest Unit participating in criminal activities wrote me a letter saying ‘this correspondence is closed’. At the time the Hergest Unit had the second highest suicide rate for women in England and Wales.

I can only conclude that Allyson Pollock is one of the most articulate, useful PR mouthpieces that the Top Doctors possess and that she, along with the rest of the Top Doctors, are not very happy that Gov’ts are no longer commissioning their ‘research’ and seeking their ‘opinion’ on which to base policy.

As Corporal Jones of ‘Dad’s Army’ fame might have said – ‘It’s the Top Doctors. They don’t like it up ’em’.

 

There is one Top Doctor in particular who certainly doesn’t like it up ‘im – David Healy. I’ve been interested to note that since I reviewed his appearance on ‘Panorama’ the other day and observed that the voices of patients were noticeably absent from that programme and that whilst the Top Doctors scrap amongst themselves global capitalism continues to screw up healthcare, Healy has retweeted a couple of things. One was from a patient claiming to have ‘lived experience’ – the use of that phrase alone suggests that he falls into the category of a ‘professional service user’ (my neighbours don’t talk about ‘lived experience’ when they discuss their the local health services). Another retweet was from someone whom I have corresponded with, Finola Moss. Finola is a blogger who is doing some brilliant work exposing just how much money the Top Doctors who are involved with private psychiatric provision are now making. One company very much in Finola’s sight is Cygnet Healthcare and it was info relating to the billions that Cygnet is now raking in that Healy retweeted. The Medical Director of Cygnet is Robert Kehoe. Kehoe was the ‘expert witness’ who lied in a report about me, Brown, my PhD supervisor and even my lawyer after we had all made representation regarding the criminal activities and negligence of the Hergest Unit. David Healy was one of those named on the documents submitted to Kehoe in evidence. I later discovered that Kehoe’s business partner had a personal connection to Healy’s colleague at the Hergest, Dr Tony Roberts.

Doris Karloff – Honest About Her Expenses But Not Much Else

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

News Update And A Few More Accessories

The story dominating the headlines since yesterday has of course been the revelation that there is an alleged ‘gender pay gap’ at the BBC. The fighting that has broken out between numerous overpaid male luvvies and numerous rather less overpaid female luvvies has eclipsed discussion of far more obvious injustices – and not just the BAME pay gap, which the ‘Guardian’ managed to mention. Firstly EVERYBODY involved is earning completely unjustifiable quantities of money. No I am not going to take up cudgels on the part of Claudia who ‘only’ gets £500k for doing sod all on a lame dancing show once a week. The use of the word ‘talent’ to describe this bunch of airheads is quite staggering. The elephant in the room is of course the way in which this lot secure jobs with the BBC in the first place – it is frequently through nepotism. Scores of them are married to each other or having relationships with each other – or indeed just having sex with each other – and were ‘introduced’ to the BBC in that way. Many of the others have parents working in the media or specifically at the BBC. Even many of the BBC’s ‘experts’ presenting the ‘science’ programmes are people who had parents or other family members who worked at the BBC – it is far too frequent to be coincidental. The oppressed Claudia is actually the daughter of Eve Pollard, who edited the ‘Sunday Express’. After splitting up from Claudia’s father, Eve remarried Sir Nicholas Lloyd, who was the former editor of the ‘Daily Express’. Claudia’s half-sister from her father’s second marriage is the wife of Lord Frederick Windsor, the son of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent. Will Claudia now seek legal advice because she has been discriminated against? Almost certainly. Meanwhile an army of very badly paid probably migrant women will be doing the cleaning, cooking and childcare for the extended Winkleman/Pollard clan and there won’t be any screaming headlines about their rates of pay.

There seems to be an obvious injustice within the ranks of the oppressed women anyway – the dipstick Claudia is pulling in many more thousands than the two women journalists who work on the ‘Today’ programme or Laura Keunssberg, who actually need brains and a degree of knowledge to do their jobs well. Furthermore, there will be many women beavering away at the BBC doing the cleaning – probably in the middle of the night as well – or working in the canteens etc. Like the servants who will be sustaining Claudia’s household, they’ll be paid a rate on which they’ll barely be able to exist and they’ll probably have migrated from a country where their quality of life was even worse than it is cleaning at the BBC at 2 am. You won’t hear them mentioned anywhere – and some of those very badly paid workers will of course be men. Male cleaners earn a lot less than the presenters of ‘Woman’s Hour’ – who are so badly paid that they are miffed about not making it into the ranks of those whose salaries caused the row.

Of course, no-one can actually expect anything other than grossly unfair practices from the BBC. It has been successively Chaired by twats like Michael Grade who only landed their own positions because they toadied to other unworthy powerful people, in Grade’s case the likes of Samuel Brittan, brother of the dreadful Leon. For details of Grade’s toadying and an account of his twattish, offensive, anti-Welsh conduct when he condescended to visit Cardiff on a ‘meet the Governors’ evening, please see posts ‘News Round Up, May 18 2017’ and ‘A Few Of The Relevant Politicians Re Mary Wynch’s Case’. Amongst this enormous BBC scrap, I’m still waiting for someone to explain an Historic BBC Injustice to me – the sacking of Frank Bough after the cocaine and prostitutes revelations, as opposed to the non-sacking of Savile, Stuart Hall, Rolf etc. Perhaps Richard Tait, mate of Michael Grade as well as Chair of journalism at Cardiff University and former King of ‘Nationwide’ which starred poor old Bough, could let us know.

I can only hope that the mainstream citizens of the UK getting by on salaries of £30k or less in return for their rather more useful contributions to society than that made by Lineker or Jeremy Vine or Tess or Claudia will stop stumping up for their TV licences now that we know what the licence fee is actually being used for. Bankrupting the BBC – or at least indicating to dear old Tony Hall that such an outcome is on the horizon – will be a far more effective remedy than squealing about gender pay gaps.

The news story following hot on the heels of BBCgate this morning was yet another NHS England Mental Health Scandal. The CQC – who have spent years concealing malpractice, serious neglect and deaths in NHS England’s mental health system – have revealed that thousands of mental health patients are incarcerated in secure units when they shouldn’t be. The CQC has also revealed that many such units are unsafe and that the ones run by private providers are suspected of detaining patients longer than necessary in order to benefit financially. So why haven’t the CQC mentioned this before? I knew that it was going on, other bloggers like me knew that it was going on and so did the CQC. In fact one non-executive director of the CQC, Sir Robert Francis QC, knew as long ago as 1991 that patients in north Wales were being detained in secure units unlawfully after they complained about criminal conduct on the part of the mental health services. Robert Francis QC knew about this because he read a series of letters from me giving full details of such practices, including names, dates, etc. His solution was to ask a judge to imprison me for ‘harassment’ whilst acting for one of the psychiatrists who was involved in the criminal conduct himself. The case was funded by the MDU. You need to resign Robert, this blog has built up quite a big following and your activities of some 25 years ago are now quite widely known. Before you resign however, I suggest that you tell your colleagues on the CQC to conduct a review of the cases of all patients currently languishing in secure units and identify how many of them had a history of complaining about the mental health services or maintained that they were abused as children in local authority care. When you have identified them, let them out and help them rebuild their lives that the medical establishment destroyed. And then do us all a favour and fuck off into oblivion, because you’ve done more than enough damage. By the way, a reader of this blog e mailed me a couple of days ago to ask me if Robert Francis is related to a judge of a similar vintage with the same surname. She knew that loads of those in positions like Francis are from legal or medical families, but noted that there is no information at all available about Francis’s origins online. I had a search and I saw what she meant. Robert Francis QC seems to have been beamed down upon earth in that form during the 1970s. After attempting to imprison me in 1991, his career really took off and he was soon being called upon to Chair major NHS cover-ups! 1991 – the year in which folk investigating the Westminster Paedophile Ring maintain that the big cover-up took place. Witnesses to the activities of the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal were being found dead at about that time too. I’m lucky that I wasn’t because at that time there were a couple of attempts to set fire to my house (see post ‘I Know Nuzzing…’).

The member of the CQC fessing up is of course not Robert Francis – he’s been keeping a low profile recently. The man being wheeled out for media comment is Dr Paul Lelliott, the CQC Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals who leads on mental health. Of course, I googled Lelliott – but he’s even more of a mystery than Robert Francis is. There is virtually no info available about Lelliott and the CQC link to his biography has been disabled. Lelliott is a Top Doctor, he will have a biography – so why has it been hidden? The only info about this particular Top Doctor is that before he was appointed to the CQC in 2014, he had spent twenty years as a Consultant Psychiatrist and had worked for Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust. This Trust was formed in 1994 and has swallowed up part of the South London Healthcare NHS Trust. The South London Healthcare NHS Trust was described as having a ‘symbiotic relationship’ with the Oxleas Trust and was the centre of a major row a few years ago. In 2012 the Secretary of State for Health ordered an investigation after concerns were raised that the South London Healthcare NHS Trust ‘was not a viable concern’. In 2013 it was announced that the Trust was to be disbanded. However there was a High Court action – no doubt from Top Doctors – and questions in Parliament. The Trust limped on, led by a ‘Special Administrator’. It would seem that the troubles of the NHS in that part of the world continue – I can only imagine what was going on if it was felt that the Trust needed to be disbanded a la the North West Wales NHS Trust.

All has not always been well in the garden of the Oxleas Trust either. In 2011 a mental health patient murdered someone which resulted in litigation against the Trust. In 2013 the Trust faced another legal challenge after the suicide of a mental health patient. I’m glad to report though that the Health Services Journal named the Oxleas Trust as being the second best mental health Trust to work for in 2015! So the staff are having a great time in the face of patient catastrophe. Little wonder – in Aug 2015, the Trust broke the national pay agreement by awarding a pay rise to senior non-clinical staff who were earning above £57,000. Yes, the more highly paid pen-pushers were given a pay rise. So presumably if one is a Top Doctor or non-clinical manager, one can do very nicely out of the Oxleas Trust, even if no-one else does.

Of course the Voice Of The Service Users, MIND, have also Spoken Out about the latest NHS England mental health scandal. MIND have known about this even longer than Sir Robert Francis QC has – I first approached MIND about the criminal activities of the north Wales mental health services and their unlawful detention of people in 1987. Their legal director William Bingley admitted that he knew all about it and indeed he knew a great deal more than I did about the wrongdoing of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones et al. I approached MIND on many occasions regarding the north Wales mental health services, at no time did I ever receive an appropriate response. Furthermore MIND also kept completely schtum about an appallingly abusive chain of care homes in north Wales whose residents were being emotionally, physically and sexually abused (see previous posts). The person that MIND has wheeled out to provide media comment is Sophie Corlett. Sophie has been at MIND since 2002. Oh well she was there when I told them that patients were being assaulted by staff at the Hergest Unit and framed for serious offences then – they did not follow up my concerns. In fact when I was later interviewed by a newspaper regarding the activities of the Hergest Unit, Ruth Coombs from MIND Cymru then contacted me to ask if I would ‘help’ MIND. That was the same Ruth Coombs who had refused to help me a couple of years previously when I rang her about the Hergest Unit! Hard luck Ruth I do not work with corrupt people. I gave you repeated opportunities to expose what was going on in the mental health services in north Wales and you made it very clear that you were not interested in what was happening to me or to the other patients – or in the astronomical suicide rate. Furthermore, after I contacted you, MIND Cymru actually entered into a business arrangement with the Health Board in north Wales. I have blogged about this recently.

Sophie is also involved with something called the ‘Centre for Mental Health’. The ‘Centre for Mental Health’ states that ‘we’re here until people with mental health problems have a fair chance in life’. Alongside Sophie’s mugshot and profile is the mugshot and profile of Lady Elizabeth Vallance, the Chair of the ‘Centre For Mental Health’. Lady Elizabeth is described as a political theorist. She has been a magistrate in London for twenty years and in 2009 was the High Sheriff of Greater London. Lady Elizabeth has many strings to her bow. She was also the Chair of St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust. Which runs the criminally negligent Springfield Hospital, where a number of patients murdered each other as well as members of staff, as well as St George’s Hospital Medical School which employed a number of corrupt psychiatrists who knew that their peers in north Wales were abusing patients but colluded with them (see posts ‘St George’s Hospital Medical School, 1989/1990’ and ‘Some Very Eminent Psychiatrists From London…’). St George’s psychiatrists also consulted Lucille Hughes, the former Director of Gwynedd Social Services who was named in the Waterhouse Report as knowing that a paedophile ring was in operation in the social services but failed to act, for evidence of my ‘dangerousness’, after I complained about Dr Dafydd Alun Jones who was Lucille’s bedfellow and facilitating the paedophile ring in question. Lady Elizabeth was also Chair of the Institute of Education (part of the University of London), as well as of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Clinical Excellence Awards. Which might explain why St George’s kept being touted as a centre of clinical excellence despite the grim reality and scandals.

Lady Elizabeth was also Vice-Chair of the ‘Heath Foundation’. The ‘Health Foundation’ does of course only have one goal in life and that is to improve the nation’s health by awarding ‘significant grants to bring about better health and care’. It is a charity with very full coffers. It is so rich that it doesn’t have to fund raise. The ‘Health Foundation’ was established by an endowment – which currently stands at approx. £800 million – in 1998 from the sale of PPP Healthcare Group (a private medical insurance company). The ‘new organisation’ formed was known as the ‘PPP Foundation’ and in 2003 was renamed the ‘Health Foundation’. It deludes itself that it has a ‘completely independent status’. A quick look at the ‘Health Foundation’s’ website reveals that Anita Charlesworth, their Director of Research and Economics, was awarded a CBE on July 16 2017. The very next day Anita was appointed as an Honorary Professor at the University of Birmingham – the establishment that employed Professor Robert Bluglass who led the cover-up regarding the criminal activities of Dafydd and Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) at the invitation of the Welsh Office, whilst the whole lot of them were concealing the North Wales Paedophile Ring (see post ‘Enter Professor Robert Bluglass CBE’). Dr Tony Francis’s former boss, Professor Ian Brockington, was also employed by the University of Birmingham after Francis left Manchester (where Brockington had been employed before he landed the Chair at Birmingham) for north Wales (see post ‘Ian Brockington’s Mischief’). As an indication of their independence, the ‘Health Foundation’ co-owns the BMJ Quality and Safety Journal.

Lady Elizabeth is a Sloane Fellow of the London Business School, as well as a non-executive director of the Medical Protection Society.

There seems to be a number of conflicts of interest here.

So who is Lady Elizabeth Vallance married to? Lord Vallance of course! What with Lady Elizabeth being a Sloane Fellow, I wondered if Lord Vallance was what one of my friends calls a ‘posh Lord’, ie. someone with a hereditary peerage. No, Lady and Lord are not posh, Lord is a Lib Dem peer who has crawled his way up, as obviously has Lady. Lord is Iain Vallance, who is described as a ‘British businessman’. No he didn’t establish his own business and hit the big time through hard graft, Iain Vallance actually spent the first part of his career as an executive for the Post Office and then moved to BT in 1981, just before it was privatised! Which was certainly a smart move, because despite all that embarrassing hoo hah over the giveaway of public assets that was the privatisation of BT, by 1986 Iain Vallance was Chief Exec. He was appointed Chairman in 1987 and then held both roles until 1995. He resigned as Chairman in 2001 after numerous awkward bastards of investors demanded that he step down. So he became President Emeritus instead until 2002. In 2003 Iain was appointed to the Supervisory Board of Siemens and in 2004 he was rewarded for his contribution to British life with a peerage.

It’s not all bad news for NHS England though. In the wake of their colluding friends from the CQC biting them on the bum, ‘Mail Online’ reported that the Dept of Health stated that there are ‘many examples of excellent mental health care and nearly all services were rated as good or outstanding for having caring and compassionate staff’. They were rated thus because the CQC is completely dishonest about the conduct of NHS mental health staff – after all Robert Francis tried to have me imprisoned because I’d complained about some of them who were concealing a paedophile gang who were delivering children in care to the Westminster Paedophile Ring ( see post ‘Are You Local?’). Claire Murdoch, NHS England’s ‘mental health chief’, commented that ‘overall mental health funding is up by £1.4 billion in real terms’. That is irrelevant Claire if Top Doctors employed in the service are either criminals themselves or colluding with their colleagues who are criminals. Criminals behave even more badly if they are given a lot of money, it is not a good idea to do that.

So how naïve is Claire? Not at all I suspect. Claire’s CV boasts that she worked as a registered mental health nurse for 34 years. OK, she’ll have witnessed plenty of malpractice then. As a bog standard registered mental health nurse on the ward she won’t have been able to do much about that, if she whistleblew she would have just been sacked. But I don’t think that Claire spent 34 years at the coalface. I suspect that Claire was the sort of registered mental health nurse who went into management and made damn sure that no other registered mental health nurses blew the whistle, because in 2007 Claire was appointed Chief Exec of the Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust. She didn’t step into that role after 34 years of damp-dusting the shelves and doing nice hospital corners on the beds. Or even after 34 years of forcibly injecting sectioned patients with anti-psychotics and having them tasered by the police if they put up too much of a fight. Claire was not your common or garden registered mental health nurse and she obviously wasn’t one of the many who have become so sickened by what is going on that they’ve left the NHS. Not only is Claire Chief Exec of one of the biggest hitting Trusts in the UK, but she is also the Director of the Imperial College Academic Health Science Partnership.

For details of the research fraud and unethical conduct of a number of people who are part of Imperial College, please see post ‘A Cause Close To Our Hearts’. This is NHS England we’re talking about here, so I was not surprised to see a section of the Imperial College Academic Health Science Partnership’s website dedicated to ‘corporate’. Clicking on this reveals that one of their partnerships is with GSK and there is a quote saying that this arrangement is ‘a unique and bold industry-academia partnership, combining for the first time the diverse skills of engineers, medics and life-scientists’. This quote is attributed to Patrick Vallance, President, R&D, GSK.

I used to know Patrick Vallance. He worked at St George’s Hospital Medical School. In terms of his role as a Top Doctor, he was a general physician, but his real passion was his research interest in pharmacology. Patrick Vallance was a very good pharmacologist and unlike some of the Top Doctors at St George’s he was very bright and this was acknowledged by everyone. I think that Patrick Vallance had also been a student at St George’s as well. Either way, Patrick Vallance was far too clever not to have noticed and known about the shite that surrounded him at St George’s. He caused a real stir when he left academia to work for the pharmaceutical industry, because when he was younger he had published a book with his colleague Joe Collier called ‘The Health Conspiracy’. This book made a lot of people very angry because it was a devastating expose of the corrosive effect that the pharmaceutical industry and it’s practices were having on medicine. Vallance and Collier were considered to be a pair of lefties by the rest of St George’s and a lot of people considered them to be a pain. Vallance and Collier predicted that Thatcher’s onslaught upon the universities would leave them so weak that they would end up under the control of the pharmaceutical industry. That book was actually vey good and Collier and Vallance put up with a lot of grief for daring to publish it. So why some years later when he had become a very big name in pharmacology did Patrick Vallance join the industry that he had been so critical of? He was interviewed on ‘The Life Scientific’ on Radio 4 last year and he made a reference to the damage that his reputation might have suffered by leaving academia to join GSK, but he didn’t really explain why he made the move after establishing a name for himself by being so critical of that industry. Like Patrick Vallance, Joe Collier too will have known about the misconduct and malpractice of some of his colleagues but he never publicly spoke out. After I left St George’s the shit hit the fan when it was revealed that the computer programme that St George’s was using to shortlist students applying for medicine for interview was programmed to discriminate against candidates with non-British names. I was told that it was Joe Collier who had actually discovered this and brought it to public attention and that he had been subjected to great unpleasantness from his colleagues as a result. Sadly though Joe Collier was keeping quiet about far worse things than that.

I always presumed that Joe Collier and Patrick Vallance either knew that they would be destroyed if they did speak out about the many horrors at St George’s or that they were doing what David Healy has spent 25 years doing – colluding with the most atrocious malpractice whilst pretending to be a Top Doctor Who Takes On The Establishment. However I did not knew until this morning that a Lady Elizabeth Vallance had been the Chair of St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust, a Lady Vallance who was sitting on a midden. Could she possibly be related to the Patrick Vallance who also kept quiet about the midden there previously?

 

Now to Horrible Murders of an historical nature. Documents released by the National Archives from the Downing Street files show that in Feb 1985 Thatcher over-ruled Leon Brittan, who at that time was Home Secretary, regarding his plans to put in place the process of a Parole Board hearing regarding Myra Hindley and Ian Brady. It was Thatcher who stated that Brady and Hindley must never be released, although the whole life tariff for both of them wasn’t made official until 1990, when David Waddington was Home Secretary. I have blogged about the case of Hindley and Brady on a number of occasions previously, partly because of Brady being incarcerated in Ashworth Hospital, a place where Dafydd and the paedophiles’ friends had connections, but also because a number of the lawyers involved in that case – including Ronald Waterhouse – later played a role in assisting the paedophiles’ friends by concealing their wrongdoing. The trial of Brady and Hindley took place at Chester Assizes – at the heart of the legal and judicial corruption previously described on this blog. A number of readers have noticed a few odd things about Brady and Hindley’s trial. For one thing, that it was held at Chester. The crimes were not committed at or near Chester or in north Wales and Brady and Hindley didn’t live in Chester or in north Wales. Most people tried at Chester had some connection to Chester or north Wales. Furthermore, the barristers involved in that case were relatively young unknown lawyers. Yet that case was massive. One would have thought that the biggest legal guns in the country would have been rolled out. Previous posts have mentioned some of the many miscarriages of justice that seemed to have happened at Chester. A reader e mailed me some weeks ago and asked whether I thought that something dodgy might have been going on in that trial. Brady and Hindley did of course freely confess to killing and torturing children, so I’ve never questioned whether they were fitted up. However it seems that there were I think investigations into two of the murders that Brady ‘refused to assist’ with. Brady of course was famously as difficult as he could be, openly loathed the Top Doctors and the police and held them in extreme contempt. For their part, they fanned the flames with their constant ‘revelations’ in the media concerning their insights into the evil that was Ian Brady, his psychopathy, his ‘games’, his manipulation etc. Yet Myra Hindley, despite being regularly outed by the tabloids as ‘the most evil woman in Britain’ did co-operate with police and certainly when she was in middle age seems to have gone to considerable efforts to assist the police in trying to find the bodies of the murdered children that had not been recovered. Hindley however maintained that she had not been involved in those particular murders and she didn’t know where the bodies were – she was only let out of prison to assist with the search because she was able to show the police some of Brady’s favourite places on the moors when they had been young. The missing children’s bodies were never recovered.

So as one of my correspondents pointed out, Brady and Hindley had not actually confessed to those two murders, although they were convicted of them. And no bodies were ever found, despite much well-publicised searching of the moors where the bodies of the children that they did confess to killing had been buried. What if they did not kill the two children whose bodies were not found? It is now accepted that child abuse has been a problem for decades and until recently the extent of it wasn’t acknowledged. Paedophiles were known to be active in the region where Brady and Hindley lived and we now know that when professional people were involved in such activity, it was very effectively concealed. And Chester was a hotbed of police, legal and judicial corruption. If somebody else rather more well connected than Brady and Hindley had been under suspicion of attacking, indeed even of killing children, two unhinged young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who were known to have killed other children would have been a gift. Particularly if it could be arranged for their trial to take place at Chester with low profile inexperienced counsel where no-one would have to be persuaded too hard that they were guilty of all the murders with which they were charged…

 

A Tory politician who is also a Top Doctor has been in the news today and that is Liam Fox. Fox is of course one of the Chief Brexiteers and is currently carrying out some delicate ‘negotiations’ that a lot of people don’t trust him with. Like Dr Death aka David Owen, Liam Fox is not above reminding everyone that he is a doctor should we need reassuring about his integrity on any matter. I remember seeing Fox on a chat show a few years ago which also featured a former Spice Girl, who, as sometimes happens on chat shows featuring singers and/or dancers, at one point got out of her seat and started gyrating around the floor to one of her tracks. Somehow she ended up with her bum in the air in close proximity to Fox’s face and she apologised to him for this. He reassured her that there was no need to apologise because ‘I’m a doctor’. He is also a Conservative politician, known for being hard right and somewhat ruthless. So might Liam, like so many other Top Doctors close to the organs of Gov’t, have helped the Tories out of a tight spot at any point? Or indeed helped the Top Doctors out of a tight spot?

Liam originally came from Glasgow, went to school there and studied medicine at Glasgow. After graduating he worked as a GP. Fox began standing for Parliament in the late 80s in Scotland, but he ended up being elected for north Somerset in 1992. He was appointed PPS to Home Secretary Michael Howard in June 1993. At that time the Gov’t were still dealing with the very sticky problem that was Mary Wynch and the aftermath of her illegal arrest and incarceration in the North Wales Hospital Denbigh by Dafydd, which included Mary’s legal action against the Public Trustee. Mary was eventually left ruined after being finally stuffed over and kicked to one side in 1995 – the dirty deed happened on Michael Howard’s watch (see post ‘The Mary Wynch Case – Details’). Ann Widdecombe famously commented that there was ‘something of the night’ about Michael Howard. I suspect that there might also have been something of the concealing of the Westminster Paedophile Ring about him. Ann Widdecombe converted to Roman Catholicism in the wake of her fury at the Anglican Church ordaining women. I haven’t got time to expand on it here, but I’ve heard a few rumours about the Catholic Church and child abuse…

Someone was obviously grateful to Liam for something because in 1999 he was appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Health, a post he retained until 2003. In 2003 he was appointed co-chair of the Conservative Party and also led Howard’s leadership campaign. In 2005 Fox launched his own bid for the Party leadership, on a ‘broken society’ theme. One would have thought that a champion for the mending of a broken society would have been able to persuade his former boss Howard to have meted out fair treatment to an elderly lady who had been destroyed by the criminal actions of a Top Doctor and his associates who were concealing a paedophile ring. Obviously not. What Liam did claim would fix the allegedly broken society though would be a return to marriage and the reform of welfare. Rather than the prosecution of members of a paedophile gang with connections to Westminster. I’m glad to say that Liam did follow his own advice – he got married in 2005 himself, to another Top Doctor.

After the Coalition Gov’t was elected, Liam was appointed as Secretary of State for Defence (Fox had served as an Army medical officer), but it all unravelled when he had to resign from that post in 2011. Fox was forced to resign because his activities with a man called Adam Werritty had broken the Ministerial code. No-one was quite sure who Werritty actually was, but he was described as a ‘friend’ of Fox. It transpired that Werritty lived rent free in a flat owned by Fox and didn’t seem to have an identifiable source of income. Werritty had not only been introducing himself as Fox’s ‘advisor’, but he also had business cards created which described him as such. Furthermore Werritty had been accompanying Fox to official meetings – an awful lot of them. That was the straw that broke the Fox’s back and forced his resignation. There was much tabloid speculation about Werritty, particularly the nature of his friendship with Fox which Fox never really got around to clarifying.

In Jan 2014 Fox suggested ending ring-fenced funding for the NHS, citing poor health indicators despite the increasing investment in the NHS. If he’d been a little more honest he could have explained that one reason for those poor indicators is research fraud, malpractice, misconduct ad negligence in the NHS which is constantly concealed.

Liam Fox is a member of the Royal College of Practitioners. The Royal College in which Dr D.G.E. Wood – one of the Top Doctors who was mates with Tony Francis and who told me that my career would be damaged if I didn’t drop my complaints about the Top Doctors – was a senior figure. Dr D.G.E. Wood comes from Bristol and did his medical degree there. Which is right next door to Liam Fox’s constituency of north Somerset. I have previously mentioned how useful Alumni networks are to Top Doctors when someone has to be rescued from a spot of bother or a favour is needed. Obviously Fox won’t have been a member of any Bristol University Alumni organisations, because Liam studied at Glasgow. Which will have actually given him a link to a far bigger name than D.G.E. Wood – that is Sir Kenneth Calman. Calman lectured at Glasgow medical school from 1969 onwards and in 1974 was awarded the Chair of Clinical Oncology there. In 1984 he became the Dean of Postgraduate Medicine at Glasgow. Subsequently Calman was appointed Chief Medical Officer of Scotland – and then in 1991, Chief Medical Officer of England. 1991 – the year that I had such problems at St George’s Hospital Medical School and Springfield Hospital, the year that Robert Francis QC attempted to have me imprisoned for complaining about the Top Doctors in north Wales, the year of the alleged high level cover-up of the Westminster Paedophile Ring. Whose victims were being supplied by Dafydd’s mistress and her associates in north Wales. Calman remained as Chief Medical Officer until 1998. It was whilst he was in that post that Dafydd was allowed to retire without any of the many very serious complaints about him being followed up – and with the contract to provide ‘substance abuse services’ for north Wales, funded by the NHS (please see post ‘The Evolution Of A Drugs Baron?’).

Calman will almost certainly have had knowledge of a few other things as well. He had been involved in cancer research in England. Between 1972-1974 he was Clinical Research Fellow at the Chester Beattie Research Institute, London, which was funded by the MRC. Between 2008-2011 Calman was Chair of the National Cancer Research Institute. He will have heard about the dodgy practices of the cancer researchers at Hammersmith Hospital (see post ‘A Cause Close To Our Hearts’). There was very little cross fertilisation between the Chester Beattie – which is linked to the Royal Marsden – and Hammersmith (which has now been merged with Imperial), although both are leading institutions in cancer research. I suspect that is because the two groups loathe each other, don’t trust each other and won’t work together. So although when Calman became CMO for England in 1991 he was almost certainly well aware of some of what was going on at Hammersmith, he did not put a stop to it. But Top Doctors don’t. Their loyalty to each other – even when they detest each other – is greater than their commitment to patient safety and well-being or usually the appropriate use of funds. Readers will be reassured to know that Calman was a Member of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics between 2000-08 and was a Member of the Working Party on Public Health, 2006-07. Calman is famous in another sphere as well as medicine – politics and his support for the SNP and devolution. He is the Calman of the Calman Commission.

Calman has a famous daughter – Susan Calman, the comedian who is a regular on Radio 4. Her salary was not revealed during yesterday’s bunfight.

 

Onto Welsh news now. A man has recently been jailed for the 1976 murder of the schoolgirl Janet Commins in north Wales. Another man was convicted and imprisoned for that crime many years ago, who it is now been admitted was innocent. There don’t seem to be many questions being asked as to how he ended up inside for years for a crime that he did not commit. But then he was far from the only person stitched up in the region.

The Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board’s traumas continue but still none of the Board have resigned. The ‘Daily Post online’ reported that more than 800 people have walked out of the A&E Units run by the Betsi before being treated because they have waited so long. This won’t just be people being a tad impatient. I was told by a nurse who worked in Ysbyty Gwynedd A&E – who eventually left because she was not prepared to be party to what was happening in that dept – that when mental health patients arrived at A&E requesting help, it was standard practice for the ‘on call psychiatrist’ to wait at least twelve hours and sometimes even longer before going over to A&E, because they knew damn well that by then the patient would have given up and left and they therefore wouldn’t have to assess or treat them. I knew a north Wales GP who used to be involved in A&E and on-call work who told me that he ‘liked’ a long waiting time because it meant that a lot of the patients would give up and go away.

The Welsh Gov’ts Health Minister Vaughan Gething has rejected the idea of establishing a medical school at Bangor University. Plaid are making a fuss, but I really don’t think that Vaughan Gething could have come to any other decision. The ‘healthcare sciences’ arm of Bangor University upon whose work the putative medical school would be based is one of the most troubled, dysfunctional parts of the University, rife with bullying between staff as well as bullying directed at students who have reported neglect and abuse that they have witnessed on placement at the Betsi. There is also ample evidence of research fraud, as detailed in previous posts. The ‘partners’ in establishing the medical school would be the Betsi – sinking in debt and scandal, in special measures and currently the subject of two investigations into the abuse of patients with mental health problems. Giving a medical school to that lot to play with really would not be a good idea. It is of course very sad for the citizens of north Wales who have been saddled with a shite NHS dominated by corrupt practitioners who have run the whole system for their own benefit for decades, but somebody needs to go in and clean up in a major way rather than allowing that bunch to establish what could only be the most corrupt, lethal medical school in the UK.

BBC News Wales reported that Parc Prison in Bridgend has seen an escalation in violent incidents and that this is thought to be related to the ban on smoking that was recently introduced there. The Gov’t were told most emphatically that this would happen if they introduced a ban on smoking in prisons, but they ignored it. Smoking is incredibly bad for one’s health but prisoners have nothing to do for most of their day but sit in a cell and smoke. They are bored, stressed and addicted to nicotine. Their living conditions need to be drastically improved if anyone wants to wean them all off tobacco. A similarly idiotic debate took place regarding banning smoking in secure mental health units – indeed I think that this has now happened. Patronising ignorant shite was spouted – including by Julie Morgan AM, the wife of the former First Minister – about how giving up smoking would be empowering for service users. (It would be rather more empowering not to lock them up in the first place.) By all means do all that is possible to stop mental health patients smoking – but begin by providing suitable care and treatment and suitable ward environments. Like prisoners, many psychiatric inpatients are detained against their will in appalling environments – as was admitted by the CQC today – with nothing to do but sit and puff away. Furthermore, smoking actually is one of the few things that facilitates interaction and socialising between patients – the staff certainly don’t go out of their way to encourage that.

Mental health staff know exactly how distressed inpatients become if they are nicotine addicts and the fags are removed. Another anecdote for readers. In Bryn Golau ward in the North Wales Hospital Denbigh I was the only person there who did not smoke. There was one other person who entered the ward a non-smoker, but after three days he was so distressed at the conditions and oppressive atmosphere that he actually started smoking after being offered fags by other patients. The more pleasant nurses had many conversations with me and admitted that conditions on that ward were so poor that most patients controlled their anger and distress by smoking. Nurses even commented that for the patients who had been in there a long time – and because Dafydd and Gwynne the lobotomist were using the institution as their own personal prison, some of those patients in Denbigh had been in there for more than forty years – ‘cigarettes are all that they’ve got’. Indeed at Christmas when the nurses bought little presents for everyone (there were some staff there who were trying to make life tolerable for the incarcerated, but they were all far too frightened of Dafydd et al to actually blow the whistle on what they were doing), many of the patients were given packets of fags for their present. The nurses discussed the ethics of this and their rationale was that they knew that the cancer sticks were lethal in the long term but these patients had nothing, could not really utilise any other presents and at least the fags would help them control their anxiety.

The worst nurse on Bryn Golau was a woman called Janice Davies, who was of course the person whom had been appointed in charge of the ward. She pretty much equated to Nurse Rached but with more lipstick. Davies used to ring up Dafydd whilst I was a patient there with untruthful accounts of my conduct. After I left, she was one of the people who was making contact with the police claiming that I’d threatened her – my documents show that she was being encouraged to do this and that even Andrew Park, the crooked lawyer from the Welsh Office, admitted that there was a ‘problem’ because Janice had no evidence that I was ringing her up and threatening her. Andrew Park solved that one easily enough – he told them all that the next time that they reported me to the police they had to remember to include in their statements comments indicating how they ‘knew’ that it was me. My documents show that within days of Park telling them to do this, the Denbigh staff were ringing the police with yet more porkies, including porkies as to how they had identified me. Janice was a sadistic piece of work, one of her favourite tricks was to refuse painkillers to patients with toothache. Dentistry was completely unavailable to patients in Denbigh and it was noticeable that the patients who had been in there a long time all had very bad teeth. Whilst I was in Bryn Golau, two patients developed tooth abscesses – no, Janice did not hand over painkillers, not even a paracetamol. But one day shortly after Christmas Janice excelled. She removed the fags from one of the patient’s well-addicted to nicotine and told him that he could only have one every few hours and that she’d give them out to him as necessary. She then began baiting him. He got increasingly distressed and started asking for a fag. She said no. She then baited him a bit more. The other patients watched it all and were all saying to the other nurses ‘all he wants is a cigarette, why won’t she give him one’. But she didn’t. Then this man shouted at her. So ‘restraint’ followed. He yelled a bit more and tried to hit the wall. He was dragged to a ‘seclusion room’ (effectively a padded cell) where he continued to be tormented by Janice and a few henchmen. He went absolutely beserk, although he didn’t hit any of them or even try to. He screamed, yelled, begged for a cigarette and bounced himself off the walls. Janice then smugly rang up Dafydd, told him that this man was now ‘uncontrollable’ and that she couldn’t ‘manage’ him anymore. He was carted off to Risley Remand Centre within the hour. After his departure, one of the nurses started crying, because she told me ‘I know what’s going to happen to him there’. This patient was a man with a diagnosis of schizophrenia who had been accused of a serious sexual assault. Sex offenders used to get beaten to a pulp in Risley and inmates were frequently found hanging – presumably as a result of suicide but with warders who were that violent, who could ever really be sure.

So would the crying Angel Iola Edwards and dear old Janice Davies herself now like to make contact with the police and dish the dirt on what Dafydd et al were up to? And why that man was manipulated into Risley Remand Centre?

Whilst we’re on the topic of Accessories, I’ll name a few more. Dr Delyth Morris, lately of Bangor University, an utter pain in the bum, a deceitful liar who regularly plagiarised other researchers’ work, bullied students, blamed everybody else for her own monumental cock-ups, provided such poor supervision for one PhD student that he was eaten alive in his viva and had to resubmit after another academic who actually knew what they were doing took over the supervision, was alleged to have had to step down from her role as a magistrate when she tried to nobble the police into dropping assault charges against her son and who spread crazed vindictive rumours about a senior sociologist in her dept because he had a good deal more ability than she did. Now those are all reasons why I detest her – I was one of the researchers whose work that she plagiarised (twice) so I have a vested interest in detesting her – but long before Delyth Morris was ever given a job that she very obviously should never have had and couldn’t do (it was rumoured that the appointment was as a result of blatant nepotism), Delyth Morris was a social worker in Gwynedd. When the paedophile ring was doing it’s worst. Now it may well be that Delyth was so thick that she never actually noticed what was happening under her nose, but if she did know she certainly would never ever have given a stuff. I did hear allegations of bribery and corruption on the part of Morris whilst she was a magistrate on Anglesey, so I’m sure that she would not have been averse to pocketing a few quid – or perish the thought bagging a job as a university lecturer – in return for keeping quiet about something no matter how serious that something was. Delyth’s son Phil Lewis worked as a research assistant to Hywel Williams MP, a former mental health social worker in north Wales himself. Hywel Williams also used to be responsible for social work education at Bangor University.

Another social work tutor at Bangor University who might have information of interest to Inspector Knacker is Fiona MacDonald. Like most of the social workers in north Wales, Fiona MacDonald seemed quite mad. I think that she must have taken a leaf out of Delyth Morris’s book because MacDonald’s main aim in life seemed to be to inflict grief on her colleagues and on the more capable students.

I stood accused at one point by MacDonald of discriminating against ‘service users’. Immediately after I finished my PhD, I started some unfunded research into students’ experiences of social work education and the experiences of the ‘service users group’ who were advising on the social work course. At that time I was not receiving a salary myself. MacDonald e mailed me and asked me if I had ‘funds’ for six service users to attend a service users conference at £300 a head. I hardly had funds for my own lunch at the time. I then faced a Grade A battle with MacDonald and indeed the service users themselves, who had been led to believe (I wonder by whom???) that I was in receipt of an enormous salary and was busy institutionally discriminating.

As with Delyth Morris, these were reasons for me not to like Fiona MacDonald or take her very seriously, but there was a Dark Past there as well.

Like the other social work tutors, Fiona MacDonald had worked as a social worker in north Wales – among the paedophiles’ friends. I suspect that MacDonald was a past master at behaving appallingly and then pointing the finger at other people. Not only had she worked as a social worker in north Wales but she’d worked as a social worker for Barnados on Anglesey. Read the Jillings Report and the Waterhouse Report – again and again it is stated that the abuse of children was taking place in the charity sector as well as in Local Authorities. Barnardos is mentioned.

On one occasion Fiona MacDonald admitted to me that the social work course was chaos and that students’ were constantly complaining and even threatening legal action. Did she wonder what she and her buddies were doing wrong? No, according to her it was all the fault of the Professor of Sociology. Who had nothing to do with the course at all, not the teaching, the management of it, or even the selection of the students. In fact the Professor of Sociology was generally acknowledged (but not by the social workers obviously) as being the sanest man in the dept who actually understood the meaning of the word ‘ethics’. He also knew that lot had worked in a ‘service’ hosting a paedophile ring as well, but he was actually far too polite to say so.

It was with some amusement that I read on yesterday’s ‘Daily Post online’ that Carwyn Jones was ‘supporting the lecturers at Bangor University faced with redundancy’. I won’t actually suggest that Carwyn should save his energy and find a more worthwhile cause, because there are loads of excellent people at Bangor University. You just don’t find them in the social work teaching team or working in health and social care ‘research’. But knowing the way of the world, if anyone is made compulsorily redundant, it won’t be insane social work tutors who learnt their skills among the paedophiles’ friends, or nursing tutors who ‘trained’ in a hopelessly corrupt NHS who now bully students if they try to blow the whistle on patient abuse that they’ve witnessed on placement, or Academic Leads For Service User Partnerships who’ve spent their careers ignoring the gross abuse of patients and who have done deals with Top Doctors whom they know are guilty of neglecting patients or even framing them for serious crimes, in order to become Academic Leads for Service User Partnerships, or indeed even clapped out Professors of Clinical Psychology who worked in a ‘service’ that discredited people who complained about the paedophile ring. No, it will probably be the more junior staff who are working their butts off on temporary contracts, doing all the teaching whilst trying to build up a good research profile as well. They’ll be the first out of the door because the paedophiles’ friends will continue to hog everything for themselves and ensure that no capable person is employed lest they show them up for what they are.

 

One final appeal. My post ‘The Right Honourable David Jones MP’ mentioned the craziness that prevailed in the Courts in north west Wales in the 1980s, when the paedophiles’ friends constantly prosecuted me for ludicrous reasons. I mentioned in that post that this was happening to a few other people as well. One of those people was a man called Leonard Ridyard. Mr Ridyard was up in Court as often as I was, on equally ridiculous charges. It was Mr Ridyard who first told me about the ‘north Wales mafia’. I was a bit wary of Mr Ridyard because he was always very angry – although I could see why. The mental health services and the police always maintained that Mr Ridyard was ‘bonkers’ and ‘violent’ – exactly the things that they said about me. I never saw Mr Ridyard get violent with anyone and he didn’t strike me as being bonkers either – he was obviously an intelligent man who was being driven to distraction. Mr Ridyard hit the ‘Daily Post’ in a big way a few years ago – he was in Court (yet again) on charges that he was denying. He had I think been imprisoned and released and there was yet another attempt to imprison him again. Mr Ridyard maintained that the witnesses were perjuring themselves. The jury believed Mr Ridyard and he was found not guilty. The ‘Daily Post’ really enjoyed themselves by reporting that when the not guilty verdict was announced, Mr Ridyard started crying with relief and shook hands with all the members of the jury. I’m not surprised – he’d been harassed and stitched up by those we know and love for decades. I don’t know much about Mr Ridyard but I do know that he had been a patient of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and it was then that his problems began.

Anyone fancy coming forward to tell us all why Mr Ridyard had his life destroyed? What did he know about whom?

Dr Death

Readers noticing the title of this post could be forgiven for wondering who exactly it is referring to as a number of Top Doctors featured on this blog are worthy of the name. I am however making reference to the Dr Death whose adventures so entertained ‘Private Eye’ readers in the 1980s, Dr David Owen, now Lord Owen.

I am of the generation who particularly loathed Dr Death and I was very glad to see the back of him when he finally admitted defeat after the SDP polled fewer votes than the Official Monster Raving Loony Party at the Bootle by-election in 1990. Dr Death had a well-established reputation as a complete bastard and he wrecked every organisation that he became involved with. When Dr Death was doing his best to become Prime Minister or should I say to ‘break the mould of politics’, I was just on the cusp of being seriously screwed over by the other Top Doctors who are the stars of this blog, Dr D.G.E. Wood and Dr Tony Francis (Dr X). Documents now in my possession demonstrate that these two used to engage me in conversation back in the mid 80s in order to acquire information regarding my network of friends and my activities because they were more than a little worried about what I might be saying to whom about the mental health services in north Wales. One thing that I was interested in was politics and I certainly chatted about that at length with Wood and Francis and the one thing that I remember was that they were both paid up members of the SDP and they idolised Dr Death. Brown observed at the time that they were ‘defending another shit in their own profession again’ – they had already done their best to get Gwynne the lobotomist off the hook by then but I was unaware of the extremes to which they were prepared to go to do this. Brown’s comment proved to be prescient.

Last week somebody suggested to me that either Francis or Wood knew Dr Death personally and that he may well have been part of the network protecting them as they protected the north Wales paedophile ring. I’d never previously suspected this, but it wouldn’t be completely beyond the bounds of possibility – some very high profile people indeed from the fields of both politics and medicine were concealing what was happening in north Wales and Dr Death was well-connected in both of these fields. Dr Death also had connections to Wales.

Like so many named in previous posts who concealed the criminal conduct of Wood, Francis, Dafydd Alun Jones, Gwynne the lobotomist et al, Dr Death began his career as a psychiatrist. Dr Death was born in Devon to Welsh parents and qualified as a doctor from St Thomas’s Hospital in 1962. He then worked as a neurologist and psychiatrist at Tommy’s for two years. Now Dr Death and his supporters always made much of Dr Death ‘being a doctor’ and took that as evidence that not only was he ethical, compassionate and intelligent, but that he had an insight into matters of mental health, psychology, personal motivation and of course the right way to run a health service. ‘Private Eye’ cartoons at the time used to frequently feature Dr Death as Dracula saying things like ‘but I’m a nice young doctor’, whilst someone else in the frame would be saying ‘no you’re not you’re a vampire’. So was Dr Death a nice young doctor?

Dr Death’s early career at Tommy’s is not actually detailed that often and there might be a good reason for that. Dr Death was the assistant – for two years – to a psychiatrist called William Sargant, whose track record is so grim that psychiatry really would rather that he had not ever existed. Contemporary psychiatry text books rarely cite him so discredited is he. Sargant was a very big name in his day and was what we would now call a media psychiatrist. Even at the time there were people gravely concerned about Sargant’s activities but as ever in psychiatry their concerns were ignored. When Dr Death worked for him, Sargant’s work was described as ‘research into Parkinsonian trauma and neuropharmacology’. William Sargant was wildly enthusiastic about every dangerous, completely discredited psychiatric treatment – psychosurgery, deep sleep therapy, ECT in massive bursts very frequently and insulin shock therapy. Lest readers just presume that he was a man of his time, Sargant was bad even by the standards of mid-twentieth century psychiatry, in much the same way that the north Wales contingent were bad by anyone’s standards.

Sargant did not begin his career as a psychiatrist, he wanted to be a physician. He conducted some research into pernicious anaemia which involved giving patients huge doses of iron and history simply tells us that this research was ‘not well received’, indeed it was ‘disasterous’, which led to Sargant suffering a mental breakdown and being institutionalised himself. He was unable to continue his career as a physician and embarked upon a career in psychiatry instead. Sargant is by no means the only doctor who has been diverted into psychiatry because no-one else will have them, that characteristic is very obviously written into the biographies of many of those we know and love. I also wonder what the gory details of the ‘research’ were. Sargant was not a sensitive flower, for the research to have been so disasterous that he had a breakdown, ended up hospitalised and was unable to continue in his chosen field, I suspect that a few patients may have died – as they did on a regular basis when Sargant worked a psychiatrist. But because they were psychiatric patients it was tolerated.

Sargant did his psychiatric training at the Maudsley of course. In 1945 he became Director of Psychological Medicine at Tommy’s, where he stayed until his retirement in 1972 and indeed after that as well. Like Dr Dafydd Alun Jones, Sargant held a part-time NHS contract, which meant that whilst he slaughtered NHS patients he was able to build up an enormous private practice, in Sargant’s case at Harley Street. Sargant held a distaste for all types of psychotherapy. He took amphetamines himself whilst he was studying for his Diploma in Psychological Medicine – he took a number of drugs for depression throughout his life. Whilst he was at the Maudsley, insulin shock therapy was introduced. Sargant enthusiastically embraced this and it became a staple of his at Tommy’s. In the late 1930s whilst he was in America, Sargant met the notorious Walter Freeman and saw the results of Freeman’s psychosurgery on three patients. The patients had suffered huge damage but nonetheless Sargant then introduced psychosurgery to Britain.

At one point after the war London County Council tried to curb Sargant’s experiments with ECT and psychosurgery, but Sargant boasted that ‘we generally got our own way in the end’. London County Council insisted that advisors were needed to approve every psychosurgery case. If the advisors opposed, Sargant simply sent the patient to Wylie McKissock at St George’s and he lobotomised the patient. Sargant described this as ‘doing good by stealth’. Sargant selected neurotic patients, especially those with neurotic ruminations, for psychosurgery. The ‘operation’ often  left them with severely impaired functioning, serious memory loss and/or incontinent. A number of them died. Sargant also experimented with ‘abreaction techniques’ using barbiturates, in military psychiatric casualties. More experiments of his involved methedrine injections and ‘deep sleep’ treatments. Indeed so ‘experimental’ was Sargant’s work that he combined all these treatments. He subjected patients to up to three months of combined ECT, continuous narcosis, insulin coma and drugs. Sargant found narcosis a particular blessing, because as he explained himself he often found that patients ‘dreaded’ further treatment after the first two or three sessions, but if they were treated whilst they were in an induced sleep, ECT could be administered without their knowledge. Sargant also found another way of treating patients who didn’t want to be treated as well – he increased the frequency of ECT for ‘resistant obsessional patients’ to produce ‘therapeutic confusion’ which had the magical effect of ‘removing the power of refusal’. In other words they were shocked into oblivion and didn’t know whether they were coming or going.

This is what Sargant said about the beneficial effects of narcosis treatment: ‘all sorts of treatment can be given whilst the patient is kept sleeping, including a variety of drugs and ECT together, generally induce considerable memory loss for period under narcosis…patient does not know how long he has been asleep, or what treatment…he has been given’. Sargant inspired the psychiatrist Harry Bailey in Australia, whose deep sleep treatment resulted in the death of 26 patients. Bailey and Sargant’s correspondence show that they were in competition with each other to see who could keep a patient in the deepest coma. Sargant’s patients died as well and it has been suggested that the only reason that his death rate wasn’t as high as Bailey’s was the attention that the Tommy’s nurses paid to the patients once Sargant had got his hands on them. The nurses were waking the patients up every fifteen minutes, taking them to the loo and feeding them, which it is assumed kept a few of them alive. Sargant wasn’t put off when his patients did die in his ‘care’. He attributed the poor outcomes to the lack of a ‘good previous personality’. Now where have we heard that before???

Critics of Sargant maintained that he had extreme views, was irresponsible, cruel and ignored advice. It was said that he relied ‘upon dogma rather than clinical evidence’, was autocratic, a danger, a disaster and some spoke of ‘the damage he did’. So a combination of Dr T. Gwynne Williams, Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and Dr Tony Roberts then.

In 2009 a Radio 4 documentary interviewed patients whose lives had been ruined by William Sargant. There was discussion of his routine violation of patient’s rights regarding consent and his admission to an Australian lawyer that patients had died under deep sleep. The records of patients treated by Sargant at Tommy’s and associated Health Authorities have been destroyed which prevented patients seeking redress through the Courts.

It has been revealed that William Sargant worked as a consultant for MI5.

So what was Dr Death’s opinion of this lethal maniac who shocked, drugged and lobotomised patients without their knowledge let alone consent? After all Dr Death assisted him for two years. Dr Death stated that Sargant was ‘a dominating personality with the therapeutic courage of a lion’ and ‘the sort of person of whom legends are made’.

In March 1974 Dr Death was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary for Health. In July 1974 he became Minister of State for Health and Social Security and remained in that post until Sept 1976.

Between 1977-1979 Dr Death was Foreign Secretary. I remember many allegations at the time that Dr Death was rude and arrogant, offended foreign statesmen and couldn’t get on with people. Dr Death has since stated that whilst he was Foreign Secretary he considered having Idi Amin assassinated. Like a troublesome psychiatric patient perhaps. In 1981 Dr Death left the Labour Party and with the infamous Gang of Four formed the SDP. He led the SDP between 1983-87 but when the SDP membership voted to merge with the Liberal Party Dr Death threw a hissy fit and announced that he would lead the ‘continuing SDP’. Dr Death is of course quite a one for hissy fits, his political career has been a sequence of resignations. He led the continuing SDP until 1990 when even he couldn’t pretend that it existed any longer. It was at this time that Dr Death made public statements about having wished that he’d stuck with a career in psychiatry. Presumably because lobotomised patients can’t vote for someone else. Dr Death wasn’t in the wilderness for long, in 1992 he became a member of the Lords. He sat as a cross bencher until 2014, but he now sits as an ‘independent social democrat’, after giving more than £7000 to the Labour Party when Ed Miliband announced his intentions to ‘reform’ the relationship between the Labour Party and the Trade Unions.

Many people have suspected that Dr Death is actually a Tory and did his best to inflict serious damage upon the Labour Party.  Thatcher was certainly very complimentary about his talents and a lot of people looked forward to him joining the Conservative Party and then destroying them. He never did though, despite John Major nominating him for a peerage and wanting him in his Cabinet. Blair also approached Dr Death, as did Gordon Brown, but he declined offers from both of them.

Dr Death has of course been back in the news over the past few days. He has been speaking a lot about the contaminated blood scandal and once more is exploiting his position as a nice doctor who wants the best. As a man who was once William Sargant’s assistant of course he does. Dr Death is not only telling anyone who’ll listen that he was demanding that Britain should become self-sufficient in blood products in the mid 70s rather than reply on imported products derived from the US, but he is also maintaining that the archived files of his containing all the documents that would shed light on who suggested and did what regarding blood products for use in the NHS in the 70s and 80s has been destroyed by an unidentified person. Dr Death is alleging a Civil Service cover up. I too believe that there has undoubtedly been a cover up at Gov’t level regarding the contaminated blood scandal and I’ve previously blogged about this. Substantial blame rests with Thatcher’s Gov’t who were told that patients would die because US blood was not screened, but who then shut down the UK MRC lab, ensuring that the NHS was completely dependent upon US imported products.

But it is becoming clear that blame does not just lie with Thatcher’s administrations. There is now information that administrations before Thatcher’s were being told of the grave dangers posed to NHS patients by the use of contaminated blood – although the threat in the 70s was considered to be Hepatitis C rather than HIV which only became a serious problem subsequently. I have found out that in 1974 the Dept of Health were explicitly warned by a specialist in the field that the products that they were using at that time could infect NHS patients. The Secretary of State for Health and Social Security was Dr Death. He had of course been a Minister in the same dept before that. Furthermore, Anita Roddick’s daughter Sam has now revealed that her mum – who died from complications arising from Hep C in 2007 – contracted Hep C from an infected blood transfusion at the time of Sam’s birth in 1971. Neither did anyone actually tell Anita Roddick that she was infected with Hep C until she had developed cirrhosis and it was too late for effective treatment. Of course no-one will have told Anita, because it was the NHS who had caused the damage and the NHS never informs people when it has harmed them. So by the time that Dr Death was making hay by making public statement in 1976 regarding the need for the NHS to become self-sufficient in blood products, people had already been infected and for a number of years as well. But no-one will ever find out exactly how much Dr Death knew and when and what his responses were because his files have been destroyed. By someone naughty in the Civil Service. Who did Dr Death a very big favour because he can now claim to be only relying on his memory when asked about the whole sorry business. This blog has previously described the rare variant of dementia which affects Top Doctors when they are faced with difficult questions regarding their role in patient harm – other sufferers include Dafydd, Robert Bluglass and Peter Higson. I suspect that Dr Death will be clobbered by a particularly serious form any day now.

Dr Death has spent his political career reminding everyone of his commitment to the NHS and has done this again very recently. So that is obviously why he was a member of the Board of the Abbott Laboratories, an American drug company between 1996-2011. In 2012 Abbott Labs were charged with a $500 million fine and $198.5 million forfeiture for illegal marketing, the second biggest fine in US history for a drug company. This was as a result of Abbott Labs unlawfully promoting the anti-psychotic Depakote for uses not approved by the FDA, including it’s use in children. Abbott Labs were also given a five year term of probation and court supervision. Which is more than William Sargant and his assistant ever got. Dr Death was Chairman of the Board of Yukos International UK BV, a division of a former Russian petroleum company, between 2002-2005. He was non-executive Chairman of European Steel until 2015. Between 2009-2014 Dr Death was on the Board of Texas-based Hyperdynamics Corporation, an oil concern.

Latterly Dr Death has expressed deep concern about ‘hubris syndrome’ among politicians. He became so worried about this that he established the Daedalus Trust. The Daedalus Trust exists to ‘promote and provide funds for the interdisciplinary study of how the intoxication of power in all walks of life affects personality and decision making’. Dr Death is Chair of the Trust. Well he would be wouldn’t he. He no doubt will remember this quote from his mentor William Sargant: ‘men…should humbly remember how much they resemble dogs in brain function and not boast themselves as demigods’. Other men that is, not Dr Death or William Sargant obviously.

As for Dr Death’s Welsh connections, I didn’t know about these until I heard him interviewed by Peter Hennesey on the radio in 2015. Dr Death explained that he grew up in Plymouth but was raised ‘in the Welsh radical tradition’. He spent his summers living with his grandparents in Tenby or Aberporth. Dr Death explained that his grandpa was a ‘clergyman’ ‘in the Welsh Church but was basically a Methodist’. Which is a bit confusing because historically Welsh chapels have been very keen to distinguish themselves from the Anglican Church in Wales and the Church in Wales doesn’t have a radical tradition. And Methodists call their Ministers Ministers rather than clergymen. The mystery deepened when Dr Death maintained that as a boy ‘I went to the local school everyday with him [his grandfather]…I learnt Welsh but I’ve forgotten every word of it’. Apart from a few specific locations which are noted for being bastions of Welsh speaking Welsh isn’t very widely spoken in south Wales, certainly by kids from Devon on their summer holidays. Dr Death is getting on a bit, when he was a schoolboy there won’t have been any Welsh medium schools in south Wales. The fight for Welsh medium education took place whilst Dr Death was an adult – when he was a boy Wales was still suffering from the notion that teaching kids through the medium of Welsh was not a good idea. Welsh was the language at home of many children in the north, but not where Dr Death was holidaying. Furthermore if Dr Death had learnt Welsh, how could his memory have become wiped clean completely? One’s second language can certainly become very rusty if one doesn’t stay immersed in it, but it’s not forgotten. Surely Dr Death could manage a ‘bore da’ or a ‘diolch’?

However Dr Death DOES have some Welsh connections via his extended family. In fact Dr Death is considered to be a bit of a celeb by some in south Wales, so much so that when the building that used to house a shop owned and run by one of his forebears was converted into a museum, Dr Death was invited to open it. Dr Death has also always clung to his identity as a Top Doctor and I bet Dr Death still networks with other Top Doctors as well – including Top Doctors in Wales. Both D.G.E. Wood and Tony Francis had good connections with other Top Doctors in south Wales. Wood worked for the Royal College of General Practitioners which took him to south Wales frequently and was also involved in training doctors, which again will have involved working with doctors in south Wales. Francis studied at Cardiff medical school and also spent a number of years working there. Furthermore when Francis wanted to have me declared dangerous and banged up, it was Dr Chris Hunter, his mate from south Wales, that he enlisted to help him (please see post ‘The Night of the (Dr Chris) Hunter’). Dafydd and a number of the other Top Doctors involved in wrongdoing in north Wales trained at Liverpool medical school. Dr Death was Chancellor of the University of Liverpool between 1996-2009. The Waterhouse Inquiry was announced in 1996.

I have blogged about a number of politicians involved in the cover-ups relating to child abuse and the associated wrongdoing in the mental health services, but I haven’t mentioned any figures whom I know to be politically close to Dr Death. There was an SDP MP who ended up in hot water after sexual impropriety, Mike Hancock, but that case involved him indecently assaulting an adult constituent with mental health problems. Hancock checked himself into the Priory after the constituent complained, where he probably received rather more care and attention that the woman that he assaulted did at the hands of the NHS.

There is of course one party which has been plagued by actual sex abuse scandals, rather than simply alleged sex abuse scandals and that is the party that Dr Death formed an alliance with, the Liberal Party. There was the Jeremy Thorpe business, although of course that involved adults rather than the abuse of under-aged children. But recently it has been admitted that two Liberal MPs were known to have abused children – Cyril Smith and Clement Freud.

The track record of Cyril Smith, who died in 2010, was appalling – as was the track record of the Liberals/Lib Dems in failing to deal with him In 2012 the Greater Manchester Police admitted that Smith should have been charged with sex offences against children. In April 2014 it was revealed that there had been 144 complaints against Smith, involving children as young as eight and that attempts to prosecute him had actively been blocked. Rochdale Council, the police and the social services were all implicated. In 2015 it was revealed that Smith had been arrested in the early 80s, but a high level cover up resulted in his release within hours. The investigating officers were bound by the Official Secrets Act. There were investigations into Smith in 1970, 1998 and 1999. He was a friend of Jimmy Savile and appeared on one of Savile’s TV shows in the early 70s. In 2012 a former Special Branch officer with the Lancashire Police stated that a dossier of sex abuse allegations against Smith which police claimed was lost had actually been seized by MI5. The Special Branch officer had been asked by MI5 to send this dossier, which was ‘thick’ with allegations that Smith had abused boys, to London.

Smith was alleged to have abused boys at the Knowl View residential school – there were allegations of a paedophile ring. Greater Manchester Police stated that there were 21 suspects, 14 of whom had been identified, one of these being Smith. In July 2014 Rochdale Council’s inquiry into child abuse at Knowl View was stopped at the request of the Greater Manchester Police, whilst detectives investigated a possible institutional cover up.

It is known that Smith put pressure on the BBC in 1976, asking them not to investigate the ‘private lives of certain MPs’ – the National Archives reveal that Smith wrote to the Director General Sir Charles Curran, ‘deeply concerned about the investigative activities of the BBC’.

In July 2014 the CPS admitted that in 1970 a police detective investigating Smith presented evidence to a superior concerning Smith’s abuse of boys at a care home in Rochdale but no action was taken. In Nov 2014 the former editor of the ‘Bury Messenger’, Don Hale, stated that he had been served with a D notice in the 80s the day after Cyril Smith had been ‘aggressive’ and threatened him with a D notice from the police.

In 2015 a retired police officer had said that he had been threatened with the Official Secrets Act after he found Smith in the home of a known sex offender with two drunk teenaged boys and a police sergeant in civilian clothes. The retired officer stated that he was then summoned to a meeting with a senior officer at Stockport Police Station and told ‘in no uncertain terms’ not to say anything. The alleged incident was in 1988 at a house in Stockport after a complaint that the occupier was committing a lewd act in the window in front of a newspaper boy.

BBC Newsnight has broadcast claims that Smith was arrested in the early 80s regarding his participation in a paedophile ring, but that there was a cover up using the Official Secrets Act. There were also reports of his arrest by Northamptonshire Police and his subsequent release in mysterious circumstances.

In 2013 a spokesman for the Met confirmed that Smith had visited the Elm Guest House, a brothel near Barnes Common in south west London where children in care alleged that they were abused by politicians and other high profile figures. Savile was alleged to have visited and some parties there were organised by Sydney Cooke, a paedophile who was imprisoned for the murder of Jason Swift. At least one former resident of a north Wales children’s home has alleged that he was taken there and molested. One man alleged that he had been raped at the Elm Guest House when he was 14 by Sir Peter Morrison, Conservative MP for Chester, who was also known to have visited children’s homes in north Wales. The manager of the Elm Guest House, Carole Kasir, was found dead in 1990 at the age of 47, from an insulin overdose. The death was categorised as suicide, although people who knew Carole at that time have disputed this.

Sexual abuse and grooming at the Elm Guest House was the focus of Operation Fairbank. Operation Fernbridge resulted from the Operation Fairbank allegations and Peter McKelvie, a retired child protection team manager, claimed that evidence of a powerful paedophile ring was covered up in 1991. 1991 – I remember it well. I was bullied out of my job at St George’s Hospital Medical School, told by psychiatrists there who knew about the criminal activities of their colleagues in north Wales to ‘go back to north Wales’, taken to Court on the basis of a statement in which Dr Tony Francis perjured himself to find that one Sir Robert Francis QC was requesting my imprisonment for ‘harassment’, the harassment being me writing letters maintaining that psychiatrists in north Wales were breaking the law (see post ‘The Sordid Role Of Sir Robert Francis QC’). In 1991 my friend who was interested in making a documentary about what had happened to me in north Wales was bullied out of her job at the Royal Television Society. We should count ourselves lucky, a number of people who were victims of the north Wales paedophile ring were found dead at that time.

Cabinet Office papers released in March 2015 confirmed that Margaret Thatcher was aware of the allegations concerning Smith before he was knighted in 1988.

Other members of the Liberal Party have not really come up smelling of roses with regard to Cyril Smith’s conduct. David Steel, the leader of the Liberal Party between 1976-1988 and Dr Death’s political partner during the years that the Liberals and SDP were in the Alliance together, recommended Smith for a knighthood. In 1979 ‘Private Eye’ published an article which was based on an investigation carried out by the ‘Rochdale Alternative Paper’ into Smith, which revealed that Smith was known to have spanked boys on their bare bums. After the publication of this, Smith admitted to David Steel that he’d carried out (presumably bogus because he wasn’t a Top Doctor) intimate medical examinations on boys at a residential establishment. Steel famously commented that all Smith had done was ‘spank a few bare bottoms’. Steel became very angry when he was reminded of this response after the extent of Smith’s abuse was revealed – however it is also known that after the ‘Rochdale Alternative Paper’ published their article, Steel’s Press Office commented to them that ‘it was not a very friendly gesture, publishing that’. In 2014 Steel stated that he confronted Smith about his ‘unusual’ behaviour with boys after the 1979 allegations. Steel has also commented that it was a ‘different era’ and that ‘corporal punishment was permitted’. Which does not really adequately explain what the local MP was doing administering the punishment in question. It may have been a different era but molesting children wasn’t acceptable in that era either which is probably why so many people were working so hard to ensure that the allegations about Smith didn’t find their way into the public domain.

In 2014 the Liberal leader Nick Clegg refused to hold an inquiry into Smith – Clegg maintained that the Party did not know about Smith’s actions.

Just to add to the Liberal Parties woes, in 2016 it was alleged that former Liberal MP Clement Freud, who died in 2009, had been a paedophile who had spent a lifetime molesting and harassing young women, including girls as young as ten. A number of people came forward with tales of Freud’s lechery and unusually in such situations, there was no attempt by anyone to deny the allegations. Freud’s widow made a public apology to his victims, although she hadn’t actually done the molesting. Freud had shared an office with Cyril Smith. Freud too was knighted, in 1987. Mourners at Freud’s funeral included David Steel, George Osborne and Gordon Brown. But then Cyril Smith had a good turn out and I think that Clegg even made a speech at his funeral. Freud was someone who was in a very good position where suppressing stories that he didn’t want to appear in the media was concerned. Freud had many media connections as he was himself a food and drink journalist and later a favourite on Radio 4. His daughter Emma is also a journalist and a regular star of Radio 4 – she is married to the producer/script writer Richard Curtis. But it is Freud’s son Matthew who truly excels in this arena. Matthew Freud has his own PR company which he established in 1985. He was formerly married to the second wife of Earl Spencer and after that married Elisabeth Murdoch, daughter of Rupert. A quick look at the website of Freud Communications revealed a photo of Sadiq Khan – presumably a client – and the logos of BBC Worldwide and Public Health England.

The Liberal Party, SDP and Lib Dems have often become excited in the face of notions that they are in situations whereby they can affect the balance of power and at such times there have been allegations that they have been very demanding of other parties. I can imagine a lot of wriggling if they not only had someone like Cyril Smith on their team but knew that there were people getting up to similar things with under-aged children in other parties. If Dr Death were to be introduced into those machinations – the Chair of the Daedalus Trust suffering from a very severe case of hubris himself at all times and under all circumstances – I can only imagine what might have gone on. Particularly if a few Top Doctors from Wales involved in the chain of supply of fresh meat for the Westminster Paedophile Ring had sent out a mayday call.