The Most Dangerous Man In The World – Part IV

I wasn’t planning to publish this post just yet, but I  have prioritised it as a result of a number of recent requests. So by popular demand, I introduce – Alan Milburn and chums.

Alan Milburn was the New Labour politician who was always described as being politically closest to Blair, although it was dear old Tessa the paedophiles’ friend who memorably said that she would jump under a bus for him. Millburn is currently the ‘Social Mobility Tsar’, ie. Chair of the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, a position to which he was appointed under the ConDems Coalition Gov’t. Milburn’s Deputy Chair was Neil O’Brien, the Director of right wing think tank Policy Exchange, founded by paedophiles’ friends Francis Maude and Archie Norman (see post ‘Disgusting Of Tunbridge Wells And A Few Equally Disgusting Others’), but it is now Gillian Shepherd who was a Cabinet Minister in John Major’s Gov’t. Prior to this role, Milburn was the Chair of the Panel on Fair Access to the Professions which was set up by Gordon Brown and included senior Lib Dem strategist and advisor to Clegg, Neil Sherlock. Milburn was all over the media a couple of days ago expressing his deep distress that social mobility just wasn’t happening in the UK. Could that possibly be at all related to twenty years of you and your ilk dominating policy Alan? The ConDems didn’t even bother to get themselves new policy advisors, they used the left-overs from Blair and Brown – Cameron and Cleggy and then even Theresa May inherited loads of them. Alan Milburn and Louise Casey’s ideas didn’t work twenty years ago and they’re still not working. Nonetheless Louise – who’s mate from university memorably took part in a ‘profile’ programme for Radio 4 and remembered going inter-railing with Louise when they were undergrads and explained that they ‘ate cheese and onion crisp sandwiches and giggled’ – is now Dame Louise. I can only presume from what Louise passes off as policy reports – which contain such gems as observing that low income households often also suffer from associated issues such as mental health problems and incest (it’s those council house people again and I bet that Louise found coal in their baths as well) – that she still spends most of her time eating crisp sandwiches and giggling.

Milburn is not however best remembered for his laughable appointment as Social Mobility Tsar. Milburn became notorious as Secretary of State for Health, Oct 1999-June 2003. I will return to this part of Milburn’s glorious career later in this post.

Milburn was MP for Darlington, 1992-2010. Darlington was a safe Labour seat – and the neighbouring constituency to Blair’s. By the time that Milburn was elected, Blair had been the MP of the neighbouring constituency of Sedgefield for nine years, but wasn’t yet leader of the Labour Party. Milburn will have been selected for that seat on Neil Kinnock’s watch – Milburn was elected in April 1992, three months before John Smith became leader. By the time that Milburn won Darlington, what later became the New Labour machine was well-advanced – Mandelson was running the show and Alastair Campbell had been a advisor close to Kinnock  for years and even used to go on holiday with the Kinnocks. Numerous other future key figures in New Labour were playing leading roles. Although Milburn wasn’t elected until 1992, he’d been beavering away for a long time.

Milburn was born in County Durham and grew up in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. He graduated from Lancaster University in 1979 and according to his wiki entry, after graduation he ran a radical bookshop, ‘Days of Hope’. However a BBC News report from May 2002 features comments from trade unionist  Alec McFadden, one of Milburn’s mates from his youth. Alec met Milburn when Milburn was doing a PhD at Newcastle University which Milburn never completed. In those days Milburn was committed to CND and world peace and was a fierce opponent of private medicine. McFadden and Milburn both marched across the Tyne Bridge on the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the NHS wearing badges which read ‘public it’s ours, private it’s theirs’. McFadden met Milburn in 1979 when McFadden was the regional President of the TUC and Milburn went into his office looking for welfare advice. Within months Milburn had abandoned his PhD, had become involved in local activism and began working as the sales assistant in Days of Hope. Milburn was attending CND meetings around Tyneside and spent a lot of time in pubs debating revolutionary politics. When he was 23 yrs old Milburn married his first wife Mo O’Toole and McFadden was best man.

Mo O’Toole went to school in Newcastle and then on to Northumbria University. She split up with Milburn in the late 1980s – at the time she was a Labour Councillor in Newcastle. She did a PhD at Newcastle University, lectured at Bristol University and then at Newcastle University. Between 1999-2004 Mo was a Labour MEP for the North East of England.

Mo’s LinkedIn profile tells us that she was Stakeholder Partnerships Manager, English Regions, 2005-08; Co-Owner and Managing Partner of Carruthers and Kent Wine Company, Shop and Deli, 2010-present day; Visiting Professor of Culture, Creativity and Innovation at Newcastle University, 2008-present day.

Mo is someone else who has remained silent about a great deal. She made it onto the all-women shortlist for the safe Labour seat of Bishop Aukland for the 2005 General Election but wasn’t selected. Helen Goodman was the lucky winner and was subsequently elected.

Goodman is an Oxford graduate who began her career in HM Treasury. She is a member of the GMB and was Head of Strategy at The Children’s Society. Goodman worked as a researcher for Philip Whitehead who was Labour MP for Derby North, 1970-83. A number of those who abused children in care in north Wales throughout the 70s and 80s had previously worked in Derbyshire. John Jillings who led the 1993-96  Jillings Investigation into the abuse of children in care in north Wales was the former Director of Derbyshire Social Services. The Jillings Report was so damning that it was pulped and even the Councillors of the Council who had commissioned the Report were not given access to it (see post ‘It’s A Piece of Cake’), but one thing that was widely suspected was that even Jillings had sanitised the situation in north Wales. Jillings was frank that the most terrible abuse had gone on, but he certainly pussy-footed around the question of whether a paedophile ring was in operation and in the end he just decided that it was best not to comment about that particular possibility. He was probably bearing in mind that the year before he was commissioned to conduct that investigation five witnesses to the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal were killed in an arson attack.  Philip Whitehead also served as an MEP, 1999-2005, first for Staffordshire East and Derby and then for the East Midlands. Staffordshire was host to the ‘pin-down’ child abuse scandal in the mid-80s and whistleblowers found themselves fitted up for child abuse themselves (see post ‘The Most Dangerous Man In The World – Part I). Staffordshire also of course had a lethal NHS which wiped out the local population for years. Before Philip Whitehead was a politician he was a documentary producer – he worked independently as well as for the BBC and ITV, 1967-70, as an editor. After he lost his Commons seat in 1983, Whitehead returned to TV work.

Some of Helen Goodman’s work was funded by the Runnymede Trust, through which a number of the paedophiles’ friends named on this blog have passed. One of the founders of the Runnymede Trust was barrister Anthony Lester. Lester was Chair of the Runnymede Trust, 1990-93. Anthony Lester had been special advisor to Roy Jenkins when he was in the Home Office in the 1970s concealing organised child abuse (see post ‘The Most Dangerous Man In The World – Part I’). In 1981 Anthony Lester joined Roy Jenkins in establishing the SDP. Jenkins was later a mentor to Blair. In June 2007 Gordon Brown appointed Lester special advisor on constitutional reform to the Secretary of State for Justice Jack Straw – Straw had been appointed to that role the day before.

McFadden notes that Milburn’s skill with the media was apparent even back then. In 1983 Milburn joined the Labour Party after becoming involved in the unsuccessful campaign to oust the Conservative MP for Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Central, Piers Merchant. Merchant was elected in 1983, so that campaign must have kicked off virtually as soon as he became the MP. Merchant lost Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Central in 1987 but was elected as Conservative MP for Beckenham in 1992.

Piers Merchant was someone who found himself embroiled in a number of sex scandals. Prior to the 1997 General Election he was caught by a photographer from the Sun having some sort of sex in a public park in south east London with a ’17 year old Soho nightclub hostess’. Piers was married and his side of the story was that the ‘hostess’ was simply a friend and that there was no question of a sexual relationship with her. He and his wife were photographed doing the usual canoodling bit in order to demonstrate that there was no truth in the allegations, although the Sun had provided some rather damning evidence. Nonetheless Piers was re-elected. Not long after he was returned as MP however, there was another tabloid story about Piers and the hostess – Piers’ explanation was that the hostess was now his research assistant, they were writing a book together and that the teenager was a family friend. Piers’s wife was photographed hugging the teenager and told the press that she had no problem with the teenager being in the family home. However, the Sunday Mirror had secretly filmed footage inside what was described as Piers’ and the teenager’s ‘love nest’. Piers claimed that he had set up this whole sting himself, with the help of his friend who had received £25k from the Sunday Mirror – the explanation being that it was Piers who was trying to entrap the newspaper, presumably to expose their techniques. Later still, Piers stated that although he was having an affair with the former hostess, he hadn’t been previously. The teenaged hostess subsequently returned to live with her parents and they expressed the opinion that she had been ruthlessly used by Piers and that he had wrecked her life. Piers stood down from Parliament when the scandal refused to die down. Piers was caught up in another scandal as well, concerning his extra-marital affair with a 41 year old woman.

After Piers left Parliament, he joined UKIP and in 2004 stood as a candidate in the European election. Robert Kilroy-Silk, a fellow UKIPPER, sent Piers a note saying ‘please do not stand within 10 yards of me because I am sure you’ll understand that I do not wish to be photographed with you’. In the mid-1990s Robert Kilroy-Silk invited Dr Dafydd Alun Jones onto his TV show as an ‘expert’. At that time Dafydd was facilitating a paedophile gang, was lying in Court and was handing over whatever drugs his addict patients requested – some of them were selling those drugs onto local school children. Dafydd had been sued for unlawfully imprisoning Mary Wynch, had unlawfully imprisoned other people, was known to be having sexual relationships with patients and had threatened and then tried to bribe me into withdrawing my complaint about him. Kilroy – you’d have been better off with Piers.

As far as I am concerned, whether Piers was having extra-marital affairs or not was a matter for him and his wife. It is very difficult to actually get to the bottom of what Piers was up to and who was entrapping who, but I’m interested that tabloid newspapers were vigorously pursuing Piers. The reference to a Soho nightclub ‘hostess’ is an obvious suggestion that Piers’ friend was a sex worker – she was a young one at that. Piers was elected for Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in 1983 but lost his seat to the Labour candidate Jim Cousins in 1987. At that time the Cleveland Child Abuse Scandal – that useful distraction from the activities of the paedophiles and their friends in north Wales – was at its peak. Piers was then re-elected as Tory MP for Beckenham in Kent in April 1992, which was where he encountered the problems with tabloid nespapers. I knew Beckenham vaguely. You’ve guessed it – I worked on an MSc project with the Wellcome Laboratories at Beckenham in Kent in 1987, during those years when unbeknown to me the paedophiles’ friends of north Wales were stalking me and contacting everybody that I was working with. Piers will have been selected as the candidate for Beckenham sometime after losing his Newcastle seat in 1987 but before April 1992. During that time, Alison Taylor, Mary Wynch and I were all raising concerns about the criminal activity in north Wales and police investigations into a possible paedophile ring had begun. There were repeated attempts to frame me for serious offences and I had been hounded out of my career. Days after Piers was elected, five other witnesses were killed by a petrol bomb. I absolutely accept that Piers being selected to stand for that constituency may have been totally unrelated to the activities of the paedophiles’ friends in north Wales, but a few things are worth mentioning.

There was a campaign to remove Merchant from office in the early 80s in which Milburn was active and it was as a result of this that Milburn joined the Labour Party. I can find no information as to WHY there was a campaign to remove Merchant – Milburn knows but doesn’t ever seem to have spoken publicly about it, even when Marchant became embroiled in high profile sex scandals. Merchant – and Milburn – lived and were active in politics in a region of paedophile activity, to which the paedophiles in north Wales had very strong links. Matt Arnold and Peter Howarth worked at Bryn Estyn when the most serious abuse of boys in that home took place – Arnold was Head and Howarth later went to prison for molesting the boys at Bryn Estyn – after they had both relocated from the Axwell Park Approved School in Gateshead where it seems that they were known about and were very likely to have been afforded protection by Ernest Armstrong, the MP for North West Durham and father of Blair’s big mate Hilary Armstrong (see post ‘The Most Dangerous Man In The World – Part III’). Hilary Armstrong succeeded her father’s seat in 1987.

Merchant was up to something which had brought him to the attention of tabloid newspapers and whatever it was his wife was colluding with, or at least tolerating, it. Tabloid newspapers don’t usually get that excited about MPs having heterosexual affairs with women to whom they are not married – they’ll run a story, but all is usually forgiven and forgotten after a photo-call featuring the MP and his family and a few contrite words from the shagger himself along the lines of how lucky he is that his wife is standing by him and how of course she’s always really been the only one for him, a la John Major, Cecil Parkinson, John Prescott, Paddy Ashdown and many more. Tim Yeo had five mistresses at once and Alan Clark wanted to have sex with anything that was female and alive, none of it was considered that horrifying. What if Piers Merchant’s tastes had run to rather more than adult consenting women? The tabloids won’t have dared to have publish it in the same way that they didn’t publish a word about Sir Peter Morrison, Cyril Smith or even Jimmy Savile, but they will have known and will have been interested in him.

A few more interesting things about Piers – he graduated from Durham University in the early 1970s and then spent nine years working as a journalist in Newcastle. So Piers began his career as a local journo just before Matt Arnold and Peter Howarth relocated from Gateshead to Bryn Estyn. Piers then went into PR work. After Piers was elected for Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, he worked as PPS for Peter Lilley when Lilley was Secretary of State for Social Security, 1992-97. As well as being remembered for singing nasty vindictive songs about people with less money than him at the Tory Conference, Lilley is also remembered for being the centre of allegations that he was gay but didn’t dare admit it. Merchant was a Tory MP when Sir Peter Morrison, MP for Chester, was at the heart of Thatcher’s Gov’t. Morrison was Lord Commissioner of the Treasury, 1979-81; Minister of State for Employment, 1983-85; Minister of State for the DTI, 1985-86; Deputy Chairman of the Party, 1986; Minister of State for Energy, 1987-90; PPS to Thatcher, July-Nov 1990. Throughout this time Morrison was molesting children, including children in care in north Wales.

I really cannot work out what Merchant was up to himself but he’ll have known about Morrison because they all did and I bet that he knew about Arnold and Howarth when they were in Gateshead.

The man who replaced Piers Merchant as MP for Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Central in 1987, Jim Cousins, was a product of New College, Oxford, an institution that educated quite a few of the paedophiles’ friends (see post ‘A Study In Tyranny’). Cousins was considered a member of the awkward squad in the Labour Party – he rebelled on matters such as the Iraq War. However he was fully behind New Labour’s NHS Reforms. Before he was elected to Parliament he was a lecturer at Sunderland Poly, 1982-87. So he’ll have had local knowledge. Cousins had been a leading member of the Liberal Club when he was at Oxford in the mid-60s – so it’s very likely that he knew the sort of things that Jeremy Thorpe was doing (see post ‘My How Things Haven’t Changed’).

Jim Cousins was selected as a Labour candidate and then voted into Parliament in the midst of the then biggest child abuse scandal that the UK had experienced. He doesn’t seem to have said much about it – but then most of the other local MPs didn’t either. Cousins, like most of the other New Labour stalwarts featured in this post, was selected by Kinnock’s Labour Party machine – the Kinnock who knew about the paedophiles’ friends in north Wales, who along with his wife Glenys was a long-standing personal friend of Lord Cledwyn who concealed the wrongdoing of the paedophiles and their friends for years (see post ‘The Cradle of Filth’), who had recently selected Blair for the safe seat of Sedgefield next door to the Armstrong’s fortress. Blair – a barrister from London who had worked as a junior for the crooked barrister George Carman who knew about the paedophile gang in north Wales/Cheshire and who was married to Cherie – who worked in the same chambers as Carman and was ‘mentor’ to scores of other young barristers who were ignoring organised child abuse. Lest anyone think that I’m on the Grassy Knoll, I’ll just remind them that by this time Kinnock had embarked upon his ‘modernisation’ of the Labour Party and Mandelson was the man orchestrating it. It was for the 1987 General Election campaign that Mandy produced the infamous ‘Kinnock – the movie’ film, in which the elderly of south Wales were filmed saying what a nice boy Kinnock was and which featured shots of Kinnock and Glenys walking along the Great Orme, where neither of them lived or had ever lived. Mandy could have dug up just as many people from Wales who would have frothed at the mouth about Kinnock’s opposition to devolution, or people with whom he went to university who viewed him as a thick wally. Mandy could even have wheeled out Dr Tony Francis (Dr X)- a paedophiles’ friend from north Wales who was busy perjuring himself and telling others to do so as well in attempts to frame me after I complained about him, Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and Gwynedd Social Services breaking the law and threatening me – who told a number of students in north Wales who had also complained about the mental health services that he knew Kinnock from his time at Cardiff University.

In 1987 Mary Wych, Alison Taylor and I were all shouting as loudly as we could that something terrible was happening in north Wales. Alison was a Gwynedd social worker who blew the whistle on the abuse of children in care and alleged that a paedophile gang was at work.

 

So Milburn joined the Labour Party in 1983 for some unpublicised reason related to the failure of the campaign to have Piers Merchant removed from office. Alec McFadden remembers that Milburn enhanced his standing in Labour Party circles in the north east by editing a trade union sponsored tabloid called Rostrum. It was at this time that McFadden claimed that Milburn began to change his image – he lost his beard and long hair. In the mid-80s Milburn landed a job as co-ordinator of the Trade Union Studies Information Unit, an organisation that we are told was ‘County Council based’, although which County Council is not made clear. The problem of the abuse of children in the north east will have been located in the Local Authorities.

Milburn became Chair of the Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Central Constituency Labour Party.

In 1990 Milburn became the Business Development Officer for North Tyneside Borough Council and President of the North East Region of MSF. MSF was the union which represented many of the non-clinical staff in the NHS and in universities. In 1990 I was working at St George’s Hospital Medical School and gradually being hounded out of my job – one of the those involved was the Departmental rep for MSF, David Hole, who as far as I could work out was corrupt, as were some of his fellow MSF reps.

In 1990 Milburn secured the Labour nomination for the Tory marginal  seat of Darlington – the neighbouring constituency to Blair’s constituency Sedgefield. In April 1992 Milburn won the seat off Tory Michael Fallon – he who recently resigned from Theresa May’s Cabinet because he had touched a friend of many years standing on the knee whilst having a meal with her. No-one has yet found out the real reason why Fallon scarpered, but I notice that Fallon was PPS to dear old Cecil Parkinson in 1987. Whilst Sir Peter Morrison was busy with boys in north Wales and Cheshire as well as in other parts of the UK. On one occasion Morrison was seen driving away from Bryn Estyn with one of the boys in his car. The Bryn Estyn which was employing Matt Arnold and Peter Howarth who had relocated there from the Axwell Park Approved School in Gateshead – where there had been allegations that Howarth had molested youngsters.

Milburn was elected as MP for Darlington in April 1992 – at the same General Election which saw Piers Merchant elected for Beckenham, at the General Election in which Sir Peter Morrison stood down as an MP. Another very well-known figure was elected to a constituency in the north east of England at the same General Election – Mandelson. He was elected for Hartlepool. Just days after that election, five witnesses to the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal were killed in an arson attack started by a petrol bomb thrown into the building after they had all been invited to a party (see post ‘The Silence of the Welsh Lambs’). The man who allegedly confessed to starting the fire was hit by a lorry and killed a few days later and one of the survivors of the fire who had also been in care in north Wales as a child was found dead in questionable circumstances at a later point after he told people that victims of the paedophile gang in north Wales were being murdered because they had knowledge of sexual liaisons involving politicians. At the time of the fire, police investigations into a possible paedophile ring in north Wales and Cheshire involving public figures had begun.

Milburn became good mates with Blair, Hilary Armstrong, Mandy and the in-crowd. Alec McFadden told the BBC that he and Milburn drifted apart after Milburn became an MP. Milburn has denounced his own beliefs from his days in the Marxist book shop as ‘crackers’. McFadden also stated that ‘Alan has said it would be foolhardy to be in total opposition to Mr Blair’ and that Milburn ‘doesn’t have the right to choose for himself and decide policy’. Yes but when witnesses to a paedophile ring are being murdered Milburn it’s time to speak up or at least disentangle yourself from the people who are either doing it, concealing it or keeping a lid on it in order to become PM.

McFadden mentioned that Steven Byers was another ‘old mate’  who had effectively sold out. Byers was another ally of Blair who was based in the north east of England. He was elected as MP for Wallsend in 1992 and when that constituency was abolished was elected for the safe seat of North Tyneside, 1997-2010. Byers first stood for Parliament – for Hexham – in 1983. So he was someone else selected to stand for Labour whilst Kinnock was leader. Byers has a Chester connection – he went to Chester City Grammar School, then Chester College of Further Education. He read law at Liverpool Poly – as did the former leader of Plaid, that great friend to the paedophiles’ of north Wales, Ieuan Wyn Jones, although Jones is four years older than Byers. Byers then became a law lecturer at Newcastle University. He was elected a Councillor for North Tyneside District Council in 1980 and became Deputy leader of the Council in 1985 – someone else who will have heard about child abuse on his patch and who was on the doorstep when the Cleveland Child Abuse Scandal occurred.

In 1993 Byers became an ally of Blair when Byers became a member of the Home Affairs Select Committee. Byers subsequently identified himself as an ‘outrider’ for the New Labour project.

When Blair became Labour leader he appointed Byers as a Whip and when Blair became PM Byers was appointed Minister of State in the Department of Education and Employment under Secretary of State Estelle Morris. Morris famously resigned from that post saying that she realised that she wasn’t up to the job, was becoming unwell with the stress of it and would be much happier out of Gov’t. This resulted in Morris being widely derided for her honesty – but what if Morris had found herself surrounded by ruthless unscrupulous people who were building their careers on the back of their knowledge of something terrible which they were concealing?

When Byers was appointed as Chief Secretary to the Treasury in July 1998 he also became a member of the Privy Council. Stephen Byers was, variously: Minister of State for Education; Chief Secretary to the Treasury; Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and President of the Board of Trade; Secretary of State for Transport, Local Gov’t and the Regions. In 2010 Byers was caught in a lobbying scandal by journalists from the Sunday Times boasting of his access to Andrew Adonis and Mandelson and describing himself as a ‘cab for hire’. He did not resign from the Labour Party but was subsequently banned from Parliament for two years.

 

When Blair won the election in 1997 Milburn was appointed Minister of State for Health under Secretary of State Frank Dobson. Dobson was known to be completely opposed to any sort of privatisation of the NHS and is known for not having the sort of allegiance to Blair and New Labour that Milburn had. Dobson is generally portrayed as a genial Father Christmas character – he didn’t thrive under Blair’s regime but he was wheeled out by Blair in 2000 in an unsuccessful attempt to stop Ken Livingstone becoming London Mayor. However I note that Dobbo was elected as a Labour Councillor for Camden London Borough Council in 1971 and very soon became leader of the Labour Group on the Council and therefore Leader of the Council. He resigned in 1975 when he was appointed to the impartial role of Assistant Secretary of the Office of the Local Ombudsman, a job he retained until 1979.

Dobbo was MP for Holborn and St Pancras 1979-2015 – so he was around a very, very long time, particularly when one takes into his account his years on Camden Council. Dobbo was present throughout the paedophile years and involved with a Council choc full of future New Labour stars who were up to their necks in wrongdoing, including their silence regarding the organised abuse of children – including Tessa, David and John Mills (see posts ‘The London Connection’ and ‘Tower Hamlets, Paul Boateng and Tessa Jowell’).

I have mentioned many times on this blog that in the first few years after the new millennium figures were released which showed that Conwy in north west Wales had the second highest suicide rate for women in England and Wales. No-one could understand why because Conwy is a rural area, wealthy by north Wales standards and very desirable. There was never an investigation – which probably was no coincidence because an awful lot of people believed the problem was almost certainly related to the presence of the lethal Dr Tony Roberts as the psychiatrist leading the mental health team for Conwy, who’s goal in life seemed to be to cause as many patients as possible to commit suicide by refusing to believe that anyone was ill no matter how ill they were. In 2002 Tony Roberts did his best to kill me – he ordered an on-call GP to ‘do nothing’ on the grounds that I was a ‘known troublemaker’ after the GP contacted him and described me as ‘suicidal ++++’. Roberts then ordered every other doctor not to treat me, ignored letters from my lawyers telling him that I had a legal right to a second opinion and tried to have me framed for ‘threatening to kill’ Alun Davies, the manager of the Hergest Unit, after I had called Davies a fat idiot. The case subsequently fell apart and it was clear that the Angels and Top Doctors had perjured themselves but as ever there was no investigation into this. Neither has there yet been a resolution to a problem which I only uncovered last year – after that case collapsed, someone unlawfully altered the PNC to record a conviction of ‘violent disorder’ against my name and someone also forged a certificate of indictment stating that I had been convicted of ‘violent disorder’ (see post ‘Even More Confusion Regarding Those Legal Conundrums’). The former Chief Executive of the North West Wales NHS Trust Martin Jones somehow knew about all this when I didn’t. The North West Wales NHS Trust ran the Hergest Unit and employed both Tony Roberts and Alun Davies at the time, as well as the Angels who happily joined in with the perjury. I made a complaint to the GMC about Roberts but they took no action. Last year my lawyer forwarded me a copy of a document that had been found in the possession of the GMC – it was a forged letter, purporting to be from me, relating to my complaint about Roberts (see post ‘ The General Medical Council – And Yet Another Forged Document’).

My problems with Tony Roberts occurred in 2002 . When it was admitted that the suicide rate for women in Conwy was second only to the suicide rate for women in – Camden! We know that the problem in Conwy was Tony Roberts – Roberts was also a wider problem because somebody appointed this madman as clinical director of the Hergest Unit and then the fun really began.

But who or what was the problem in Camden? I don’t know much about Camden but I do know that although it contains an affluent area where Blair’s mates no doubt lived, one area – St Pancras – was the location of sex workers, including sex workers who were children in the care of the local authority. I say ‘was’ because I haven’t been there for years – I know that the railway station has been redeveloped and is now very grand – but when I lived in London in the late 80s/early 90s, I used to go through St Pancras and I saw those kids flogging their services. Many of them had very obvious serious mental health problems, as did a few other folk, including a man who seemed to be suffering from a serious psychotic condition who lived in that station and was sustained by the Mars Bars that the people who manned one of the stalls selling sweets gave him.

I was not the only person to notice what was going on in St Pancras Station. After I left London I watched a TV documentary about young homeless kids in London and it was revealed that many of them had left local authority ‘care’. At one point in the documentary, a group of young people were interviewed and angrily told the journo of the total disrespect with which they were treated by wider society, of the hassle that they received from the police and of the assaults that they received from thugs. One boy then yelled that everyone knew what was happening to them and that ‘the MP for [constituency bleeped out] is picking up young boys’.

It all happened on your patch Dobbo. Anything to declare whilst you tell us all how great the NHS is?

After a survey of his constituents in 2008 Frank Dobson was named as being one of the very worst MPs in terms of their responses to constituents’ correspondence. Out of 269 of constituents letters sent to Dobbo via WriteToThem.com, Dobbo had replied to just 69. Let me guess -if you were an Angel or Top Doctor who wrote to Dobbo about The Cuts, you’d get a reply by return of post. Concerned constituent asking Dobbo to help because of the terrible problems that you’re having with the mental health services or writing because you’re a resident who has discovered that the kids in the care of Camden Council are being abused or neglected? You’ll have been ignored.

 

Milburn was responsible for driving through PFI deals for hospitals. The PFI deals that are now costing the NHS a great deal of money, far more money than those bastard patients missing appointments or turning up at A&E making a nuisance of themselves because they are unwell, anxious and unable to get an appointment with their GP for three weeks.

Milburn obviously felt that he didn’t make much headway under Dobbo and it is said that Milburn drove through the desired NHS reforms later when he became Secretary of State for Health himself. Meanwhile, whilst Dobbo was Secretary of State for Health, before devolution made the NHS in Wales the responsibility of the National Assembly, the criminality and corruption in the NHS in north Wales continued unhindered. Whilst Dobbo the stooge sat there in office, all hell was unleashed where I lived because the Waterhouse Inquiry had begun and was taking evidence from the former kids in care who had been so seriously abused. The Hergest Unit very obviously started falling apart, the better staff left in droves, Dr Tony Francis had a nervous breakdown and took early retirement after publicly declaring that he loathed all of his colleagues, the consultants were all at each others throats anyway and the care of the patients – which was always very mediocre – basically stopped. The Hergest Unit had a day centre which was about the only part of the Unit which functioned properly and was led by a nurse who I think really did try her best to look after patients with serious long term illnesses against the backdrop of a paedophile gang and their protectors. The day centre was closed down and the nurse who ran it was redeployed as a travelling CBT therapist ‘in the community’. The nurse didn’t drive so spent nearly all of her time sitting on the bus travelling the long distances between the rural locations which she had to visit. Everyone could see that it was farcical, particularly as she was probably the most capable member of staff that the mental health service in Gwynedd had. She wasn’t nuts, she wasn’t a paedophile and she actually knew how to conduct CBT. So Alun Davies and Tony Roberts had her spending her days on a bus. Following the closure of the day centre, patients could be seen destitute around the local towns and a number of them died. The ones who died interestingly enough were those who could remember what went on in the North Wales Hospital Denbigh when Dafydd used to illegally bang up anyone who had complained about him or the paedophiles or who were the patients who had been the former residents of the children’s homes in north Wales. All care and support for them was withdrawn and the pleas of neighbours and other horrified onlookers were ignored. One patient who was left for dead was a close relative of a man whom Alan Milburn knows. She didn’t actually die – by some miracle – but she did become destitute. Her close relative who knows Milburn won’t have afforded her any protection – a family rift when they were young meant that he will not have felt any obligation to her and he’s a famous man in the public spotlight who would only feel embarrassment because of his seriously ill relative. But the patient concerned is someone who can remember the North Wales Hospital and what Dafydd did out there and is also someone who was sexually used by the staff herself. She’s ill but she’s not stupid, there’s no telling who she might name if someone looks after her and asks the right questions.

Another patient who became destitute although neighbours rang Gwynedd Social Services and the Top Doctors repeatedly begging for someone to take care of her as she visibly lost weight through severe malnourishment, lived in derelict buildings, ran out into the road in Bethesda and yelled abuse at the traffic etc used to entertain people who did talk to her by maintaining that she was a prostitute and a groupie. When she first told me all this, to my shame I presumed that it was just the ramblings of a very distressed person. Then I noticed that the rest of her observations were spot-on – and I learned that a paedophile ring had operated in the region for years, a ring which took kids in care and mental health patients to London, Brighton and Manchester and sold them for sex, including to well-known people. This woman’s particular claim to fame was that she had had sex with Mick Jagger. People would listen politely and she would simply repeat that honestly she had, when she was young, because she had been a groupie. She was the right vintage to have been a groupie in the 60s/70s, but I always presumed that she had probably had sex with some rather less high profile people but not actually Murdoch’s wife’s leftovers. Until the day that I saw a collection of photos of Jagger with some of his mates taken in the late 60s – and one of those in the photos was someone who’s network had definitely extended as far as the dispossessed of north Wales.

I also found out today that Jimmy Savile visited Bryn Estyn. I had heard rumours but I thought that they were no more than that. Apparently not – Savile was there and he whilst he was there he was entertained by watching Peter Howarth and others gang rape the boys in their care.

You don’t have to worry Dobbo/Milburn/Blair, nearly all those patients are now dead. They were systematically exterminated in full public view whilst you all spouted rubbish about ‘service user involvement’ and ‘rights and responsibilities’. Not forgetting ‘tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime’ of course.

As Minister of State under Dobbo, Milburn will have known what was going on in the NHS in north Wales, it did not pass unnoticed, there were letters to politicians from many people.

Milburn was moved from the post of Minister of State in the Dept of Health in Dec 1998 to the role of Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

By Dec 1998 the Waterhouse Inquiry had stopped hearing the witnesses evidence and had set about the process of discrediting them as much as possible in their Report which was subsequently published in Feb 2000. In Oct 1998 had Blair appointed Alun Michael as Secretary of State for Wales after Ron Davies’s moment of madness on Clapham Common, which resulted in Alun Michael subsequently becoming First Secretary (now known as First Minister) of the newly created National Assembly for Wales, an appointment that just about no-one supported but Blair. Alun Michael resigned as First Secretary and as Leader of Welsh Labour in Feb 2000. The month in which the Waterhouse Report was published. William Hague, who as Secretary of State for Wales under John Major had orchestrated the cover-up which was Waterhouse, by this time was leader of the Tory Party in Opposition – he’d been appointed to that role in June 1997, having done everyone a massive favour re Waterhouse.

The reason that Milburn was moved to the Treasury however was because Mandy had been forced to resign as Secretary of State for the DTI after the business of the huge undeclared loan from Paymaster General Geoffrey Robinson. Stephen Byers was appointed Secretary of State for DTI in Mandy’s place and Milburn replaced Byers as Chief Secretary to the Treasury. Milburn was Chief Secretary to the Treasury under Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown.

In Oct 1999 – four months before the Waterhouse Report was published – Milburn replaced Dobbo as Secretary of State for Health. Whilst Secretary of State, Milburn battled with Gordon over NHS funding  and the establishment of NHS foundation hospitals. Gordon famously did release the purse strings for the NHS and it received a great deal of money, as did the Top Doctors personally. Concerns were raised within the Labour Party that foundation hospitals would lead to a two-tier NHS. No-one mentioned the possibility that patient harm and deaths would be concealed by Trusts in their efforts to achieve foundation status. Meanwhile at Mid-Staffs things were going dreadfully wrong – and everybody in the Dept of Health lied through their teeth, fiddled the stats and concealed thousands of deaths.

Milburn resigned as Secretary of State unexpectedly in June 2003 and no-one quite understood why, particularly as he had been identified for promotion. He trotted out the usual lame excuses of the exhaustion and stress with all the commuting between London and the north east and wanting to spend more time with his partner and two children. When Milburn resigned Peter Cordy, the Chief Exec of Macmillan Cancer Relief, said that Milburn had ‘played a pivotal role’ in developing and introducing the NHS cancer plan. UNISON General Secretary Dave Prentis ‘praised Mr Milburn’s dedication’ regarding the ‘difficult job that he had to do in turning around our NHS after 20 years of neglect’. That’s the Dave Prentis who represented thousands of NHS workers, including those employed in the north Wales mental health services at the time who were neglecting and abusing their patients and committing perjury in attempts to frame them. A leading light in COHSE, one of the unions that eventually merged to form UNISON, was David Williams, a ‘nurse’ from the North Wales Hospital Denbigh, who had worked there whilst Gwynne the lobotomist was still incapacitating people for life if they dared to complain about the Top Doctors or paedophiles assaulting them (see post ‘A Very COHSE Relationship With Some Very Nasty People’).

Milburn made a brief return to Gov’t in 2004 when he was appointed Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster to enable him to lead the campaign for the 2005 General Election, but it got off to a bad start and Milburn stood back from the campaign.

In 2007 Milburn launched the 20:20 website with Charles Clarke. Clarke was a researcher for Kinnock and then became Chief of Staff of Kinnock’s office. Lady Margaret Jay, the daughter of former Labour PM Jim Callaghan Chaired the launch. That’s the Jim Callaghan who visited Glenys Kinnock’s parents’ at their house in Holyhead with Lord Cledwyn, who concealed the paedophile gang in north Wales (see post ‘The Cradle Of Filth’).

After resigning as Secretary of State to spend more time with his partner and children, Milburn remained a busy man. He took a £30k pa job as an advisor with Bridgepoint Capital, a venture capitalist company with investments in private medical companies. Bridgepoint was involved with a group of care homes which were named and shamed as neglecting their patients. I also remember seeing the name of Chris Patten in connection with Bridgepoint.

Whilst Secretary of State for Health, Milburn made strident attacks on the junk food industry and claimed that the biggest world health problem is chronic illness caused by junk food, including fizzy drinks. After he resigned he called on Ministers to ban snack vending machines from schools.

In May 2007 Milburn accepted a £27k pa post with PepsiCo to assist in building a healthier image for the company. Milburn sat on the nutritional advisory board which was set up by the UK arm of PepsiCo. Philip Gould, another good mate of Blair’s and a key figure in New Labour, sat on the board as well. PepsiCo stated that they hoped that Milburn’s Ministerial track record ‘would be of enormous value’. That’s why this December that huge red juggernaut going under the name of the Coca Cola Truck will be arriving at a town near you to flog sugary fizz with no nutritional value at all to kids gearing up for Christmas.

Milburn is Chair of Global Advisors for Mars Incorporated, is also on the Board of Bridgepoint’s ‘portfolio company’ Diaverum AB and is a Board member of Apos Therapy. Dear old Stuart Rose sits on Bridgepoint’s European Advisory Board, along with Milburn. Milburn is also a member of the Strategic Advisory Board at WellDoc and Vice-Chair, Lloyds Pharmacy Advisory Board.

In Jan 2015 the Guardian reported that Bridgepoint were the major shareholders in Care UK, which is involved in outsourcing NHS services.

Milburn is Chair of iwantgreatcare Ltd.

Milburn also works for PwC. He is the Chair of their Health Industries Oversight Board.

Milburn co-authored an opinion piece for the Financial Times with John Hutton, another Blair ally and a Cabinet Minister between 2005-09. Their article urged the current Labour leadership to embrace the records of the Gov’ts of which they were a part. Hutton is a consultant to Lockhead Martin, an advisor to the Bechtel Corporation and a non-executive Director of Circle Holdings plc. Circle was the firm which failed to deliver and actually pulled out after receiving a contract to manage Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Cambridgeshire.

Milburn was a member of Ed Miliband’s ‘top team’, along with Mandy and Alistair Campbell.

Milburn became Chancellor of Lancaster University in 2014 and the University’s website states that Milburn is involved in charitable projects as diverse as working with Blair in Africa to acting as a Trustee for Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

In Nov 2017 the Telegraph reported that A.M. Strategy, a private company set up by Milburn after leaving Gov’t, had made more than £500k in the past year and had accumulated over £1 million in profits since its establishment. Milburn directs this company with his long-term girlfriend Ruth Briel, the person whom he resigned from Gov’t to spend more time with.

In much the same way that Milburn didn’t slow down at all after his resignation from Gov’t, I’m not sure that Ruth has much spare time herself to spend with Milburn. As well as being a Director of A.M. Strategy, Ruth is Dr Ruth Briel, a Top Doctor – an NHS consultant psychiatrist and clinical director at the Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust. She is a member of the Academic Health Sciences Network for the North East and North Cumbria as well as Chief Operating Officer for the NHS Leadership Academy.

Briel is involved with NHS Improvement who have been completely unable to improve the NHS at all. She sits on the Senior Advisory Group ‘to advise and enable the creation of an improvement movement across the NHS in England’. Many Board members of NHS Improvement are known to this blog and include: Chris Hopson of NHS Providers; Dr Matthew Patrick of the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust; Jim Mackey of NHS Improvement; Prof Chris Ham of the Kings Fund; Roy Lilley of the Academy of Fab NHS Stuff; Will Warburton of The Health Foundation; Prof Maxine Power of Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust; Nigel Edwards of the Nuffield Trust; Lord Ara Darzi; Prof Sir John Burn of Newcastle University.

John Burn is Professor of Clinical Genetics as Newcastle University. At least some of his research is or has been funded by Cancer Research UK, the leading lights of which are those people whom I witnessed behaving so badly in 1987 (see post ‘A cause Close To Our Hearts’). Burn studied at Newcastle Medical School, 1976-80 and led the regional NHS Genetics Society for 20 years. He helped to create the Centre for Life in Newcastle which houses the regions Fertility and Genetics Services. Burn launched ID testing company Northgene Ltd in 1995; Chairs DNA device company QuantuMDx; is a non-executive Director of NHS England; Executive Chair of Global Varione Ltd. He was genetics lead for the UK NIHR (National Institute of Health Research); the previous lead clinician for UK NHS (North East); was Director of the Institute of Genetic Medicine at Newcastle University (2005-10); President of the European Society for Human Genetics (2007).

Presumably Professor Sir John Burn is well-acquainted with Milburn, Ruth and their mates.

Just a couple of days ago it was announced that Ian Dalton CBE is to be the new Chief Exec of NHS Improvement. Dalton is currently the CEO of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, a collection of teaching hospitals, some of which have been involved in research fraud and very questionable practices for decades (see posts ‘A Cause Close To Our Hearts’ and ‘I Don’t Believe It!’). He was President, Global Gov’t and Health, BT Global Services, April 2014-Sept 2016; President, Global Heath, BT Global Services, May 2013-April 2014; Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Chief Executive, NHS England, 2012-13; Chief Executive, NHS North of England, 2011-12; MD, Provider Development, UK Dept of Health, 2010-12; Chief Executive, NHS North East, 2007-11; National Director, NHS Flu Resilience, UK Dept of Health, May 2009-10; Chief Exec, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust, 2005-07; Chief Exec, North Cheshire Hospitals NHS Trust, 2003-05.

So there we are – Dalton has presided over a long and glorious history of NHS failure, catastrophe and cover-up in regions of the country where child abuse connected to organised crime has caused havoc but luckily Ian Dalton was at the heart of the network of Blair and his mates, so he just carried on climbing upwards.

 

Ruth Briel is also listed as a Director of North East Transformation System Ltd and her address was given as Gateshead Health Trust HQ.

Briel has had a very long association with the NHS in the north east, particularly the mental health services. She qualified from Newcastle University Medical School in 1988. In the aftermath of the Cleveland Child Abuse Scandal, just as Butler-Sloss’s Inquiry into it all was underway. There is no way that Ruth and her peers will not have been discussing that and indeed hearing some of what really went on. It is highly likely that Briel personally knows some of those who were key players in that scandal – a scandal which resulted in hundreds of children being removed from the care of their parents, most of whom Butler-Sloss quietly later admitted had not been abused. More recently authorities in Cleveland admitted that ‘mistakes were made’. The biggest mistake was the complete concealment by all agencies of the en masse abuse of children in care by a series of paedophile gangs with links to each other across the UK which operated through the social services.

The information provided in this blog post does of course back up the information in my post ‘The Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Connection’.

 

So those are some of the people who led the NHS during those years following the Waterhouse Inquiry whilst the surviving witnesses to the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal were systematically exterminated. It’s a rather different story to the one that launched Milburn’s political career – the story of the son of a single mother who worked as an NHS secretary and who was brought up on a council estate and never recovered from the Council painting his front door the same colour as everyone else’s on the estate. I know that was a bit of a liberty Alan, but it couldn’t have been that traumatic – it’s not as if you were murdered when you were fire-bombed because you had information about politicians molesting children.

 

 

 

The Most Dangerous Man In The World – Part III

I’m kicking off this third post in the Tony Blair series with yet another person who was PPS to Blair, a man who was appointed PPS to Blair just as David Hanson (see post ‘The Most Dangerous Man In The World – Part II) moved upward and onward. I am talking about Keith Hill, who was PPS to Blair from 2005 until Blair resigned in 2007.

Keith Hill was the Labour MP for Streatham, 1992-2010. So he was another one who was selected as a candidate before Blair got his hands on the controls of the Labour Party machine. In fact Hill was the Labour candidate for Blaby (Nigel Lawson’s constituency in Leicestershire) in 1979, so Hill had been around for a very long time.

Keith Hill was born and went to school in Leicester. He then went to Oxford – and after graduating completed a Diploma in Education at that hive of activity of the paedophiles’ friends whose stronghold was/is in Wales, Aberystwyth University. Hill then lectured at Leicester University and at Strathclyde University, 1969-73.

The fact that Keith Hill both taught at Leicester University and some ten years later stood for Blaby suggests that he retained links to his place of origin. Could Keith Hill have been someone else who knew about the activities of Greville Janner and his friend Frank Beck with children in care and that Leicester City Council, the Social Services and people in Leicester University were concealing child abuse?

Hill worked as a research officer for the Labour Party’s International Dept, 1974-76 and was then the political officer with the NUR (National Union of Railwaymen), which subsequently amalgamated with the NUS (National Union of Seamen) – with which John Prescott had a long association – to form the RMT (National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers) in 1990. The RMT became a very powerful union – it is a big supporter of Jeremy Corbyn – thanks to the efforts of Bob Crow, it’s General Secretary, 2002-14. Crow was loathed by many for claiming to speak for the working class whilst he drew a salary of approx. £150k pa, dined in Mayfair restaurants and went on luxury cruises. However many of those who loathed Crow were dreadful themselves and certainly didn’t live modestly – Crow’s critics included Blair, Priti Patel, Max Hastings and Richard Littlejohn. In 1997 Bob Crow briefly joined the Socialist Labour Party, which was established by his mate Arthur Scargill. Michael Mansfield – who studiously ignored anything to do with the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal, as well as other child abuse cases and worked with a number of people who had colluded with child abuse (see post ‘Workers’ Play Time’) – was also a mate of Scargills and co-founded the Socialist Labour Party. I saw Arthur Scargill speak at Bangor University about six years ago – the person who seemed to have arranged his visit to Bangor was a paedophiles’ friend (see post ‘It’s All About Protecting Children’).

In 1992 Keith Hill took the seat of Streatham from the sitting Conservative MP Sir William Shelton, who had occupied the seat since 1974. Prior to that, Shelton had been the Tory MP for Clapham.

William Shelton had been one of the key people who ensured that Thatcher became leader of the Conservative Party in 1975. Airey Neave managed Thatcher’s campaign, with Shelton as his second in command. Shelton was responsible for mobilising the right wing of the Party behind Thatcher and also sent out misinformation to the media in order to manipulate the campaign outcome. Shelton would have been good at that – before entering politics he had pursued a career in advertising and he remained in that business whilst he was an MP. He was the MD for Grosvenor Advertising in 1969, the Chairman of Washer, Fox, Coughlin and in 1983 set up Shelton Consultants. He was appointed a Director of Saracen Consultants in 1987. Shelton undertook a lot of international work and at times had been based in Colombia and Venezuela.

Shelton was politically active in south London for years. In 1964 he was President of Wandsworth Young Conservatives; he sat on the GLC representing Wandsworth in 1967; in 1968 he was Chief Whip for the Conservative majority on ILEA. Whilst he was MP for Streatham, he clashed with the leadership of Lambeth Borough Council whilst the Council was under the control of Ted Knight. That will have been when Peter Mandelson was a member of the Council, along with Paul Boateng, Linda Bellos and many other friends of this blog. Whilst Lambeth Council’s children’s homes were rife with paedophiles and when the Council were sending some of the kids in its care to north Wales – where they were abused by paedophiles. I can’t find any references to Shelton speaking out about that though – or about the abuse of children in Wandsworth or about the corruption and malpractice at St George’s Hospital Medical School which from 1980 onwards was located just down the road and covered the population of Streatham. The wrongdoing that I witnessed and experienced at St George’s and the associated mental health unit Springfield Hospital took place between 1989-91, whilst Shelton was MP. As did the bizarre behaviour of the corrupt detectives in Streatham Police Station in 1990/91 when the mental health services in north Wales perjured themselves and demanded that I be arrested (see post ‘Some Very Eminent Psychiatrists From London’) – detectives which included a man who boasted about having worked for the North Wales Police and whilst he was stationed there had, with his mates in the police, beaten up and framed local young men from Bethesda and thrown them in Llyn Ogwen. He had got away with it every time thanks to his friendship with a local corrupt magistrate Geoff, who was the landlord of the Douglas Arms Hotel in Bethesda. I remember those days well – on occasions, young men were found drowned in that lake, after having ‘gone swimming whilst drunk’.

Geoff and his wife Sheila had a son who, like Aled Jones and Catrin Finch, was a bit of a child star. Geoff’s son was a very talented organist and succeeded in winning a scholarship to Eton. As with Aled and Catrin, TV programmes and media articles appeared regarding the genius that was Geoff’s son. I think that he went on to either Oxford or Cambridge and after that returned to north Wales, to St Asaph Cathedral. There was a problem at that Cathedral – in 2015 Hugh Davies, the man who had been the choirmaster and organist at St Asaph, 1985-98, was imprisoned for the possession of child porn. Even more worryingly, a former music pupil of Davies’s who had alleged that Davies had abused him whilst he was a teenager killed himself.

Sir William Shelton was also MP for Streatham when Oliver Brooke, Professor of Paediatrics at St George’s, was jailed in 1986 for the possession of huge quantities of child porn – which he had stored in offices at St George’s…

There was another notorious establishment in Shelton’s constituency – Cynthia Payne’s brothel at Ambleside Avenue. Cynthia’s brothel came to national prominence in 1978 when the police raided it and found a sex party in full swing attended by over 50 men, including a peer, a number of solicitors and a vicar. What was not published in the press was that a number of consultants from St George’s availed themselves of the services of Cynthia’s brothel – she was also known to have judges on her guest list. After the trial in 1980, Cynthia ended up in Holloway, but none of the brothel’s customers were named let alone prosecuted. The police raided Cynthia again in 1986, whilst another party was underway but at her trial in 1987 Cynthia was acquitted.

I do not mind if Cynthia held sex parties for consenting adults and I certainly don’t think that she should have been imprisoned for doing so, but the worrying thing about Cynthia’s brothel was the allegations that men with a taste for sexual activities which did not involve consenting adults were using it as a networking base. Friendships between judges, Top Doctors, solicitors, policemen etc made in the brothel could have proved very useful in the events of people being charged for sex offences.

The detectives who worked on the Oliver Brooke case were livid when Brooke was released early on appeal after the judge compared Brooke’s collection of child porn to a collection of cigarette cards. The police who had investigated Brooke maintained that he was Mr Big in a pan-European child porn ring.

Cynthia Payne was very friendly with Screaming Lord Sutch, the leader of the Official Monster Raving Loony Party and at one point Sutch shared the house/brothel at Ambleside Avenue with her. Sutch was famous for polling more votes than Dr Death’s continuing SDP in the 1990 Bootle election, but what was less well-known was that David Sutch suffered from manic-depression and at times became very ill. I think the arrangement with Cynthia was that they were looking after each other, having both been through a bad time. Sutch hung himself in 1999 after a long period of severe depression. He had been under medical care for years and was known to have been in a very bad way.  So like all those former kids in care and mental health patients in north Wales who knew the names of the guilty and the details of their crimes, it would seem that David Sutch too wasn’t given the care that he needed when he was seriously ill and WHOOPS he killed himself. And his memories will have died with him – the memories of all those people who were visiting the brothel, those doctors and judges and peers and politicians who would have had a lot to lose if ever they were to be named in say, a child abuse scandal and David Sutch recognised their names.

David Sutch hung himself just before the Waterhouse Report was published. So he was not receiving appropriate help for severe depression whilst the Waterhouse Inquiry was underway and taking evidence.

Why do I remember so much about the brothel at Ambleside Avenue? Because at the time when I was being hounded out of my job at St George’s and arrested on trumped up charges at the behest of the mental health services in north Wales, I lived in Streatham. Not a million miles away from Ambleside Avenue. No I didn’t ever pop across for a cup of tea with Cynthia and Lord Sutch, but that’s because I didn’t at the time know that St George’s and their associates had links with and were concealing the criminal activities of the paedophiles’ friends in north Wales – I only found out about that years later, when my lawyer obtained documentation from St George’s and Springfield.

I described in my post ‘Some Very Eminent Psychiatrists From London’ how those esteemed experts at St George’s all agreed with Dafydd and the paedophiles’ friends that I was Most Dangerous and was probably planning to murder Dafydd et al in their beds, yet Professor Nigel Eastman – one of the corrupt Top Doctors at St George’s who is a mate of Helena Kennedy (see post ‘Eve Was Framed – As Were A Lot Of Other People’) – told me that he thought that I ought to go back to live in north Wales. This was my desire as well, because I hated London and presumed that they were simply all quite mad down there and although there was also a bunch of mad, corrupt Top Doctors constantly having me arrested when I was in north Wales as well, I reckoned that if I was going to be threatened and harassed constantly I’d rather be living in nice surroundings. However I did think it a little odd that Eastman had recommended this – did he want me to murder Jones and the paedophiles in cold blood and that’s why he recommended that I go back and live on their patch?? But what if Eastman et al had been concerned about who I might meet if I remained living in Streatham? They knew that I had researched Jones and the paedophiles’ friends, they knew that I was identifying their associates and they knew that I was beginning to find out the extent of their criminal activities. Just imagine if I continued to live in Streatham and started comparing notes with Cynthia Payne or David Sutch…

It is interesting to note that at her second trial Cynthia was acquitted. In 1987. By which time, Mary Wynch, Alison Taylor and I were making a lot of noise about the criminal activities of Dafydd Alun Jones and Lucille Hughes in north Wales. The Dafydd and Lucille who were facilitating a paedophile ring in north Wales which was trafficking children to London – the Dafydd and Lucille who were on very good terms with all those Top Doctors and social workers based at St George’s.

 

I was interested to read that William Shelton was ‘a traditionalist on moral issues’, in the light of what was happening in his constituency.

Dafydd Alun Jones was a traditionalist on moral issues as well – at least when he was giving talks to the members of various Churches in north Wales (see post ‘A Serious Moral Collapse?’). Then when he’d finished his lecture he would return to base to facilitate a paedophile gang, sexually exploit the patients, lie in Court and sell drugs to addicts.

 

After Thatcher became leader of the Tory Party, William Shelton worked as her PPS for a year. Shelton was Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Dept of Education and Science, 1981-83. The Secretary of State for Education and the Science at the time was Sir Keith Joseph. Brown and me wrote to Keith Joseph when we were undergrads – about student funding – and Keith Joseph wrote us a very rude letter back. Thatcher probably put us on her hit list then and subsequently escalated our names to the very top when we complained about Gwynne the lobotomist and Dafydd and the paedophiles a few years later.

As befits someone who was a traditionalist on moral issues, William Shelton was banned from being a company director for five years in 1997, after an investigation into ‘financial irregularities’ in his company Access To Justice. Shelton had set up Access To Justice in 1995 to provide free legal advice for people on low incomes. Which sounds an interesting company for a hard right Thatcherite to have established. I wonder who was receiving the free legal advice and for what. Or indeed who was providing it.

After Thatcher became leader of the Conservative Party in 1975, the victory party was held at Shelton’s house in Pimlico – Thatch and Denis attended the celebration.

Sir Peter Morrison – the Tory MP elected for Chester in 1974 and who supported Thatcher’s 1975 leadership campaign – was known to be abusing children in care in north Wales. One boy from London alleged that Sir Peter Morrison abused him and some children in care from Wrexham maintained that they were taken to London and supplied to men for sex. Morrison was Deputy Chair of the Tory Party, 1986-87 and Thatcher’s PPS in 1990. When Thatcher was challenged for the leadership of the Tory Party by ‘stalking horse’ Sir Anthony Meyer in 1989, it was William Shelton who led her campaign. Anthony Meyer didn’t manage to depose Thatcher on that occasion but she was sufficiently weakened by him to crumble in 1990 when there was another leadership challenge. The organiser of Thatcher’s leadership campaign in 1990 was Sir Peter Morrison.

I told the story of Sir Anthony Meyer and his leadership challenge in my post ‘The Celtic Iron Lady And Yet More Recent History’. Anthony Meyer died a real unsung hero. Not only did he know how bloody dangerous Thatcher was and how dysfunctional and corrupt the Tories in Clwyd – and their leaderene Beata Brookes – were, but I think that Anthony Meyer knew about the paedophile ring as well and was trying to chuck a spanner in their works. Meyer was constructed as a deluded old bugger with grandiose ambitions – he wasn’t, he was a very brave man who did north Wales a very big favour and I only wish that there had been more politicians like Meyer, instead of hordes of weak greedy little people who ignored something horrific in order to bag a seat in Parliament.

 

To return to Keith Hill, the mate of Blair’s who was MP for Streatham after Shelton. Years before he was appointed PPS to Blair, in 1997 Hill was appointed PPS to a big buddy of Blair, Hilary Armstrong. Armstrong was one of Blair’s inner circle and Blair repeatedly praises her loyalty and commitment to New Labour in his autobiography.

Hilary Armstrong was Labour MP for North West Durham, 1987-10 and is now in the Lords. She was a student at the University of East London (then West Ham Technical Institute) and then went to the University of Birmingham to do a Diploma in Social Work. Hilary describes herself as a ‘former social worker and lecturer’ – she lectured in Community and Youth Work at Sunderland Poly and was a community worker at Southwick Neighbourhood Action Project, Sunderland. Hilary also did a stint with VSO in Kenya.

So Hilary was yet another social worker selected as a candidate for Labour during those years when it was evident that there was one hell of a problem with children in the care of social workers being sexually abused. Just to add to the suspicion in Hilary’s case, there could have been a great degree of control exercised by the Labour Party machine regarding the choice of Hilary as a candidate and indeed when it was decided that Hilary might be needed in the Commons – because Hilary took over her dad’s Parliamentary seat when he retired! I’ll return to Hilary’s dad soon.

Hilary was a Durham County Councillor, for Crook North Division, 1985-88. She was PPS to John Smith when he was leader of the Labour Party 1992-94 and Hilary played a major part in ensuring that the Labour Party adopted the policy of OMOV. Hilary was a member of AMICUS, the union which was formed from a merger between the AEUU and MSF. At least one of the MSF reps at St George’s Hospital Medical School in the late 80s/early 90s was corrupt and was concealing serious misconduct and criminal activity. AMICUS later merged with the TGWU to form UNITE. Hilary used her union links to drum up support within the Labour Party to rewrite Clause IV.

In the 1992 General Election, both Tim Farron and Theresa May stood against Hilary.

Hilary Armstrong spent four years as Minister for Local Gov’t in the DETR (Dept for the Environment, Transport and the Regions) and then the DTLR (Dept for Transport, Local Gov’t and the Regions). Hilary’s boss during these years was none other than John Prescott.

After the 2001 General Election Blair appointed Hilary Chief Whip. In May 2006 she became Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster; she was Minister for Social Exclusion, 2006-07. Hilary resigned from the Gov’t in June 2007 when Blair resigned as PM. Gordon subsequently appointed her as Chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party’s Manifesto Committee regarding policy ideas covering children…

In 2010 Hilary was given her peerage. She is Chair of Changing Lives, a charity in the North East which provides services for people with complex needs – Changing Lives is commissioned to provide some services for the NHS.

Hilary is married to Paul Corrigan, who was a senior advisor to Blair and his Health Secretaries Alan Milburn and John Reid, 2001-07. Between 2007-09 Corrigan was Director of Strategy and Commissioning at London Strategic Health Authority.

Corrigan ticks every box that someone should who has been involved with our institutionally corrupt NHS which has concealed neglect, poor care, patient deaths and has ruined the lives of whistleblowers. He is or has been: a non-executive Director of the CQC, as well as of the Kings Fund and Nuffield Trust; adjunct Professor of Health Policy at Imperial College; adjunct Professor of Health Policy at the Chinese University of Hong Kong; involved with Public Private Ltd (a consultancy firm based at Queen Elizabeth Street); a member of the Strategic Committee of Guys and Tommys Charity; a Trustee of the Ways To Wellness Foundation in Newcastle;  a Trustee of the English Touring Theatre.

Corrigan also works for NHS Providers, teaching on induction courses for non-executive and executive directors. He also describes himself as ‘a consultant and a coach’.

 

I have previously speculated that the Cleveland Child Abuse Scandal which blew up between Feb and July 1987 in the North East of England provided a useful distraction and muddied the waters in a most convenient way at a time when Mary Wynch, Alison Taylor and I were all screaming loudly about the criminal activities in north Wales. My post ‘The Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Connection?’ details some of the links between the paedophiles’ friends in north Wales and the North East of England.

Now to the man whose retirement enabled Hilary, his only child, to bag a seat in Parliament – Ernest Armstrong, Labour MP for North West Durham, 1964-87.

In 1983 one Tony Blair, a barrister living in London, was elected as Labour MP for the newly created constituency of Sedgefield, just next door to Ernest’s constituency. Just like that.

Ernest Armstrong went to Leeds Teacher Training College and became a primary school headmaster. He was elected as a Councillor on Sunderland Borough Council and Chaired the Sunderland Education Committee, 1960-65. Ernest was elected to Parliament in 1964. In 1965 he was appointed PPS to Tony Greenwood (who had been Deputy Leader of the Labour Party under Clement Attlee) and then PPS to Merlyn Rees.

Merlyn Rees was Labour MP for Leeds South (which changed its name to Morley and Leeds South in 1983), 1963-92. We now know that a paedophile ring was in operation in the Leeds area whilst Merlyn Rees was MP for that constituency. Furthermore there was serious police corruption in the region and it was also the stamping ground of Jimmy Savile. Savile was molesting patients in the local hospitals and Yorkshire was also host to the Kerr Haslam scandal. William Kerr and Michael Haslam were two psychiatrists in York who were known to be sexually assaulting and raping their female patients between the 1960s and 90s. They were not stopped until they had almost hit retirement age, never faced any action from the GMC and were not put on trial until the early years of the millennium – the trials were at Leeds Crown Court. Even then, only one of them went to prison and only for a short while. See post ‘All The Ingredients Of A Scandal…’ for details of the Kerr Haslam scandal.

Merlyn Rees was born in Pontypridd in south Wales but moved to London and went to school at Harrow. He was Secretary of State for N Ireland 1974-76, when the sexual abuse of children at the Kincora Boys Home in Belfast by Whitehall civil servants and members of the British Army was concealed. Rees then served as Home Secretary under Jim Callaghan between 1974-79. Bryn Estyn had been an approved school managed directly by the Home Office until just before Merlyn Rees was appointed Home Secretary. He will have known about the sexual assaults and brutality on the boys there. The Home Office was responsible for running Risley Remand Centre. Mary Wynch had been unlawfully arrested and imprisoned in Risley Remand Centre by Dafydd and the paedophiles’ friends whilst Merlyn Rees was Home Secretary. Dafydd and the paedophiles’ friends were using that place as their personal prison which was why Mary ended up in there – along with the kids in care from north Wales who complained about being sexually abused or beaten up.

Merlyn Rees retired from the Commons at the 1992 General Election. Just as it was all going off in North Wales, with police investigations into a suspected paedophile ring, former residents of children’s homes naming Gordon Anglesea – a senior officer with the North Wales Police – as having been one of the people who molested them and reports of the abuse of children in care in north Wales appearing in the London media. Then days before the General Election, five possible witnesses with information about the paedophile gang in north Wales were killed in a fire started by a petrol bomb  – the man who was alleged to have confessed to starting the fire was found dead days later having been hit by a lorry on a country road and one survivor of the fire died in mysterious circumstances after he alleged that victims of the paedophile gang were being murdered (see post ‘The Silence of the Welsh Lambs).

As soon as Merlyn Rees stepped down from the Commons he was given a peerage and became Lord Merlyn-Rees.

 

Ernest Armstrong was Assistant Gov’t Whip, 1967-69 and Lord Commissioner of the Treasury, 1969-70.

Ernest was a junior Minister in the Dept of Education and Science under Secretary of State Reg Prentice, 1974-75. Reg Prentice was a Minister in both Labour and Conservative Gov’ts. He was Labour MP for East Ham North (which later became Newham North East) from 1957 until 1977 when he defected to the Tories. Before he defected he was Minister of State at the Dept of Education and Science, 1964-66 – under Secretary of State Tony Crosland – then Secretary of State for Education and Science 1974-75.

Prentice left the Labour Party in 1977 after local activists deselected him. The local party had been infiltrated by Militant and in an attempt to ensure that Prentice wasn’t deselected, a Julian Lewis posed as a Labour moderate and joined the constituency party. It was later revealed that Julian Lewis had been backed by the far right Freedom Association. Lewis’s attempts to shore up Prentice’s position in the Labour Party were unsuccessful although he did gain control of the Newham Labour Party for a short time in 1976, but Lewis himself was elected as Tory MP for the New Forest in 1997, a seat he still occupies. Throughout the 80s Julian Lewis took part in covert activities to oppose left wing causes, particularly the anti-nuclear movement. He used Ann Widdecombe for this purpose (see post ‘Doris Karloff – Honest About Her Expenses But Not Much Else’).

After being deselected in Newham, Prentice became Tory MP for Daventry in 1979, after receiving considerable help from Lady Kisty Hesketh, Chair of the Daventry Conservative Association. Daventry is in Northamptonshire. The county contains St Andrews Hospital, a psychiatric hospital which for decades has been the centre of allegations of abuse and neglect and played a role in the case of Jeremy Bamber, a suspected serious miscarriage of justice (see post ‘Family Annihilation’). Much more recently there has been great concern at the number of learning disabled people being detained at St Andrews against the wishes of both they and their families. At least one such patient has died as a result of ‘restraint’ and ‘medication’.

After being elected as a Tory MP Prentice enjoyed a new lease of life and became a junior Minister for Social Security in the DHSS between 1979-81 in Thatcher’s Gov’t. The Secretary of State for Social Security at the time was Patrick Jenkin, who was best remembered for stating that if God had wanted us to have equal opportunities he wouldn’t have created men and women.  Which is almost as good as the old joke about the vicar who wrote a letter to the Times saying that if God had wanted us to run around naked we’d have been born with no clothes on.

There was of course organised abuse of children in Newham in the 70s and 80s – it was yet another Borough which was sending children in care to children’s homes in north Wales…

In 1992 John Major gave Prentice a peerage. In his later years, Prentice was President of the Conservative Association at Devizes. The local MP was Michael Ancram, Chairman of the Conservative Party.

 

After his stint with Reg Prenctice, Ernest Armstrong then became a junior Minister in the Dept of the Environment, 1975-79 – he served under two Secretaries of State there, initially under his friend Tony Crosland and then under Peter Shore. Peter Shore was MP for Stepney, 1964-97. Shortly after he was elected, he was appointed PPS to Harold Wilson the PM. Denis Healey referred to Shore as ‘Harold’s lapdog’. Stepney is in the Borough of Tower Hamlets. Tower Hamlets was yet another Borough that sent kids in its care into the arms of the paedophiles in north Wales (see post ‘Tower Hamlets, Paul Boateng and Tessa Jowell’). In 1994 Blair nominated Shore as his representative on the Commission On Standards in Public Life. Peter Shore received a peerage in 1997.

Ernest Armstrong’s obituary in the ‘Indie’ states that Ernest was very influential on Tony Crosland and civil servant Toby Weaver, whilst Crosland was Secretary of State for Education and Science, 1965-67. For more details about the bisexual Tony Crosland and the swinger whom he had an affair with, Roy Jenkins – whom Blair described as his ‘mentor’ – see post ‘The Most Dangerous Man In The World – Part I’.

Between 1981-87 Ernest was Deputy Speaker. He was Deputy to George Thomas aka Lord Tonypandy  – who concealed corruption and abuse of children whilst he was in the Welsh Office (see post ‘The Cradle of Filth’) and was posthumously investigated for historical child abuse himself, as was his friend Leo Abse.

George Thomas said of Armstrong that he was ‘a man whose reliability was as solid as Durham Cathedral’. Betty Boothroyd – who became Speaker herself and in that capacity prevented Ann Clwyd from asking questions in the House regarding the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal at the time of the investigations in the early 1990s – stated that Armstrong ‘helped to steer my early Parliamentary career’.

The good thing about Ernest was that he was a devout Christian – like his daughter’s bosom buddy Tony Blair and Tony’s wife Cherie. Ernest was to be precise a Methodist and was Vice-Chair of the Methodist Conference, 1974-75. Ernest was active in the UNA (United Nations Association).

Dafydd Alun Jones was invited to speak at Bangor University by the UNA some years ago – Dafydd was billed as an expert on drug abuse and was going to be speaking about that subject. Dafydd’s event was cancelled after I offered to attend and distribute information about Dafydd’s previous.

Like William Shelton, Ernest took a firm line on morality and he seconded Tim Sainsbury’s Private Members Indecent Displays (Control) Bill, 1980-81. I wonder if Ernest knew that Hilary’s and Blair’s friend Alastair Campbell used to write pornographic stories for Forum magazine? Although to be fair Forum didn’t have pictures in, just letters and stories and medical advice provided by Dr Philip Cauthery, who doubled up as the student doctor at Aston University whilst Aston had one of the highest rates of student suicides among UK universities. Cauthery also ran a sex therapy business with Dr Martin Cole in Birmingham, whom Mary Whitehouse tried to have prosecuted for running a brothel.

Ernest Armstrong was political advisor for the TV drama House of Cards. I never saw this, but I did hear a lot about it – I understand that the storyline centred around a particularly unpleasant scheming politician who was prepared to ruin and kill people in order to become PM.

Peter Howarth, one of the paedophiles who worked at Bryn Estyn who eventually went to prison for the serious sexual abuse of boys there, had between 1966-73 been employed at Axwell School in Gateshead. Matt Arnold had been the headmaster at Axwell whilst Howarth worked there. In May 1973 Arnold was appointed Head of Bryn Estyn. In November 1973 Howarth was appointed to a senior position in Bryn Estyn.

Just to remind readers – Ernest Armstrong was a teacher whose main interest was in education and he Chaired the Sunderland Education Committee between 1960-65. He also influenced and was friends with Tony Crosland, whilst Crosland was the Secretary of State for Education – whilst Howarth and Arnold worked at Gateshead.

Howarth and Arnold were not the only abusers of children in the North East of England. There was an approved school in Durham run by an ‘expert’ in ‘troubled children’ where children were being sexually and physically assaulted and whilst Blair was MP for Sedgefield one of the activists in his local Labour Party was convicted of child abuse.

 

After Keith Hill had finished being PPS to Hilary Armstrong, in 1998 he was appointed Assistant Gov’t Whip and then in 1999 Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (and Minister for London) at the DETR. Hill was responsible for local transport and transport in London. Hill also prepared the way for the London Mayoral elections and was Minister for the national joke that was the Millennium Dome.

After the 2001 General Election, Hill was appointed Deputy Chief Whip by Blair.

In 2003 Hill joined the many paedophiles’ friends in the Privy Council. (He was offered a knighthood in 2010 but turned it down.)

Until the 2005 General Election, Hill was Minister for Housing and Planning in the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, ie. Prescott. It was after the 2005 reshuffle that Keith Hill became PPS to Blair. Hill returned to the backbenches when Gordon Brown became PM in 2007.

After leaving Parliament, Hill became Chair of Lambeth Living, an ALMO (arms-length management organisation) which administers most of Lambeth’s  social housing stock. In 2012 he was appointed as the independent regulator for ARMA (the Association of Managing Agents). ARMA is described as a trade association for firms managing private residential leasehold blocks of flats in England and Wales. It is a ‘self-regulating regime’. I cannot help wondering why, if the firms managing the accommodation are abiding by the law and adhering to health and safety regulations, they need Keith Hill to allow them to do what they want in the name of ‘self-regulation’ and ‘arms length management’.

Grenfell Tower anyone?

In Feb 1915 Keith became Chair of  the Residents Commission On Council Housing for Hammersmith and Fulham Council. We are told that ‘the Commission is working with council house tenants to explore how they can be given more control and safeguards over their homes, rents and service charges’. Sounds like service userdom for tenants to me – consult them and hold them responsible for things which they have no control over. It will then be their fault when their houses go up in flames a la Grenfell Tower.

When Keith Hill stood down from the Commons, Chuka Umunna took over the seat of Streatham. A feature in a local paper looked back on Keith Hill’s time as MP for the constituency and mentioned that in the late 1980s Keith Hill shared a flat with the transgender cross-dressing comedian, major Labour Party donor and aspiring Labour MP Eddie Izzard. Eddie is a big supporter of Jeremy Corbyn – who was one of the many people politically involved in Islington when Islington Council’s children’s homes had been infiltrated by a paedophile gang with links to organised crime. The paper reported that Hill and Izzard shared a flat in Ambleside Gardens in Streatham. From what I can work out there is no Ambleside Gardens in Streatham – but there is most definitely an Ambleside Avenue. It was where Cynthia and Lord Sutch lived – Cynthia’s brothel.

Until Keith Hill won Streatham for Labour, for many years Streatham had been a Tory constituency. Hill’s win was attributed to a boundary change, which resulted in a sizeable part of Brixton, including the town hall, being relocated to the constituency of Streatham. I do not know who will have been responsible for the boundary change – but it certainly presented an opportunity for yet more concealing of the organised abuse of children and associated serious crime.

 

Whilst searching the internet for info about Keith Hill, an unrelated but topical news report popped up. It mentioned a Baroness Julia Cumberlege who had Chaired the ‘Better Births’ National Maternity Review in 2015. The report featured a nice photo of Cumberlege with some new mums who had all stated that they were delighted with Cumberlege’s recommendations for natural births. Over the last few months there has been an admission that there has been far too much dogma regarding ‘natural birth’ and whilst it is absolutely fine for some women, a number of women have suffered serious injury or have lost their babies because of a reluctance of midwives to intervene. In some cases mothers have died. It was the dogmatic insistence on natural births by a group of aggressive – and incompetent -midwives at Furness General Hospital Cumbria that led to a spate of deaths of babies. The deaths were concealed by the NHS and the sordid truth was only discovered by James Titcombe after his own baby died at the hospital in 2008. James was subsequently invited to contribute to the CQC’s work re patient safety but resigned after facing relentless hostility and rudeness from the midwives associated with the CQC. Cumberlege’s review didn’t take the Cumbria experience into account then.

Julia Cumberlege was given a peerage in 1990 – she sits as a Tory. I don’t know WHY Cumberlege was given a peerage, her wiki simply intriguingly refers to her coming ‘from a medical family’. That usually translates as ‘my dad’s a Top Doctor’.

In 1986 Cumberlege was involved with producing a report which recommended allowing Angels to prescribe certain drugs. In mental health that has been interpreted as giving Angels carte blanche to forcibly drug any patient they feel like – a patient who may for example be questioning them or even complaining about being ‘restrained’ – without seeking another opinion.

After arriving in the Lords, Cumberlege was in 1992 appointed a junior Health Minister. Until 1997 she covered all health and social services matters in the Lords. So she’ll have covered the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal, the associated criminality in the mental health services and the commissioning of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones to provide ‘substance abuse services’ for north Wales (see post ‘The Evolution Of A Drugs Baron?’).

Cumberlege was the ‘sponsor Minister’ for Plymouth, responsible for the regeneration and a budget of £45 million pa. Why she was let loose with that sort of money I do not know.

Speaking in the Lords in 2000 Cumberlege recommended replacing the NHS with an insurance premium. She has also promoted the use of private provision within the NHS and suggested that Gov’t should put hospitals under private practice. Note to Cumberlege: Cygnet Healthcare and the Priory are now being commissioned to provide huge swathes of mental health care for NHS patients. There has been scandal after scandal and numerous patient deaths. That is because Cygnet and the Priory are run by the same shite, unscrupulous Top Doctors who previously neglected their NHS patients and concealed criminal misconduct eg. Robert Kehoe, Adrienne Key and Robin Jacobson. Paula Yates and Michael Hutchence paid good money for treatment from the Priory Roehampton. They are both dead, having killed themselves.

In 2010 Cumberlege was awarded an honorary Fellowship by the RCN.
Cumberlege is, among other things: a Trustee of Cancer Research UK; a Senior Associate of the Kings Fund; Secretary of the Dying Well Parliamentary Group; Vice-President of the Royal Society for Public Health; honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians; Vice-President of the Royal College of Nursing and Midwifery; President of Age UK, East Sussex.

Cumberlege is a Roman Catholic. In 2006-07 she Chaired the Commission reviewing the approach of the Catholic Church in England and Wales to child protection. She also spoke at the Catholic Medical Association in Bristol in 2009 – the meeting was officiated by Catholic prelate Archbishop Peter Smith.

Peter Smith is the Metropolitan Archbishop of Southwark. He was Bishop of East Anglia (1995-01) and the Metropolitan Archbishop of Cardiff (2001-10). Peter Smith has a law degree from Exeter University.

Smith was named as Archbishop of Cardiff in the wake of a controversy regarding paedophile priests in the archdiocese.  Smith stated that he wanted ‘to help people bind up the wounds and bring healing’.

In 2010 Smith was appointed Metropolitan Archbishop of Southwark. In 2015 Southwark Crown Court heard that Peter Smith was one of two bishops responsible for allowing Father Antony McSweeney to be appointed a priest in the Roman Catholic Diocese of East Anglia following an incident in 1998 when a housekeeper found porn at McSweeney’s home. Peter Smith treated the matter as one for the church to deal with alone and did not involve the police. Since Smith made that decision, McSweeney was imprisoned for abusing boys at Grafton House children’s home between 1978-81.

Peter Smith has Chaired the Catholic Truth Society since 1993, Chaired the Dept for Christian Responsibility and Citizenship within the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales since 1998 and Chaired the Central Religious Advisory Committee of the BBC and ITC between 2001-04. He was made an honorary Fellow of the University of Wales Lampeter in 2004 and an honorary Fellow of Cardiff University in 2006.

In 2001 Cumberlege set up her own company, Cumberlege Connections Ltd. Her husband Patrick Cumberlege is a Director.

The Cumberleges were in the Courts earlier this year. They are opposing the development of affordable homes in East Sussex, in the village of Newick. The Cumberleges explained to the Court that they are residents of Newick and members of Newick Village Society. Patrick is the former Chairman of Newick Village Society and the Baroness has been a parish, district and County Councillor, ‘representing the village’. And they certainly don’t want riff-raff moving in near them.

 

News Updates, Additional Comments and Observations

We’ve had a temporary reprieve from the squealing of the Top Doctors – presumably the continued bad publicity surrounding Ian Paterson, the rogue surgeon who carried out unnecessary operations for non-existent breast cancers, has taken the wind out of their sails for a few hours. However, the pressure continues from their associates. I have recently reported on the demands from the ‘life sciences industry’ for billions more to be handed over to the NHS – now it’s the turn of a few others to announce the end of the world if the Top Doctors are not given a large amount of dosh very soon. On Saturday the ‘Guardian’ ran an article penned by one Niall Dickson, Chief Exec of the ‘NHS Confederation’. Who are the ‘NHS Confederation’? Well according to their website, they are ‘the authentic voice of NHS leadership’, comprising the ‘NHS Employers Organisation’, who it is claimed are ‘the voice of employers in the NHS, supporting them to put patients first’. This translates as the voice of NHS senior managers – the Peter Higsons, the Martin Jones’s, the Katrina Percys, the ‘senior managers’ at Mid-Staffordshire etc etc ie. that collection of liars and charlatans who have constantly concealed scandals and who never ever resign no matter how many patients die. They do not have a history of ‘putting patients first’. But then neither does Niall Dickson – for a number of years Niall was the Chief Exec of the GMC and received numerous e mails from me regarding the criminal activities of doctors employed in the north Wales mental health service. No, Niall did not investigate – of course I did not know at the time that the GMC themselves presented a forged document purporting to be a letter from me some years earlier when I complained about the dreadful Dr Tony Roberts at the Hergest Unit. (Please see post ‘The General Medical Council And Yet Another Forged Document’.) Niall’s article in the ‘Guardian’ did not touch on forging letters from patients, or on psychiatrists with such high death rates among their patients that they showed up as statistical outliers though. No, Niall banged on at length about the necessity of NHS staff being paid more. Not of course the poorly paid staff, such as the cleaners, porters or healthcare assistants, just the Top Doctors and nurses. Dickson mentioned the crisis in staffing in the mental health services. There is a crisis Dickson because these services are so bad – and are run by people like Higson and Katrina Percy who then appoint ‘clinical directors’ such as Tony Roberts – that absolutely no-one wants to work in them. ‘Pay restraint’ doesn’t enter into the equation. Dysfunction, workplace bullying and having to witness one’s patients being neglected and abused does. Dickson states that ‘parts of the country are finding it almost impossible to entice GPs’. Like north Wales perhaps? I know GPs who wouldn’t work in north Wales but, as with the staffing crisis in the mental health services, that was because they didn’t want to work with negligent, abusive crooks. Furthermore, GPs are paid so well and have such generous pension pots that many of them choose to work only three days a week and retire in their mid-50s – hardly surprising that there’s a ‘shortage’. Of course there was one north Wales GP who waxed lyrical about the crisis in north Wales – one Dr Eamonn Jessup, Chairman of the North Wales Local Medical Committee. He ran a Facebook group entitled ‘higher pay for doctors’ and announced his retirement recently, yet even more recently cropped up in a clinic in Cyprus selling his services, along with another north Wales GP, the dreadful Dr DGE Wood, who coerced me into seeing Gwynne Williams the lobotomist and then spent the next few years telling anyone who would listen that I was ‘dangerous’ and that they mustn’t listen to a word that I said about Gwynne the lobotomist because I really couldn’t be believed. DGE Wood also had a very chummy relationship with Dr Dafydd Alun Jones, he who was concealing and facilitating the north Wales paedophile ring. Along with Jessup, Wood was a leading light in the North Wales Local Medical Committee. The Secretary of the North Wales Local Medical Committee was one Dr Phil White, BMA representative, who at one point mouthed off regularly in the local media. However he went silent for a while after his son was imprisoned for drug dealing. He soon bounced back though and last year appeared in the Daily Post stating that parents who allow their children to become obese should have their children taken into care because they aren’t looking after them properly. Unlike proud dad Phil, who reared a drug dealer. Furthermore, anyone who has ever encountered Phil White will have noticed one thing – that he is absolutely enormous. But then I’ve known for a long time that Phil has a sense of the ridiculous. Many years ago he had a patient who was a rather chaotic 17 year old girl who consumed vast quantities of prescription painkillers. She had a particular affinity for distalgesic and she was also a very heavy drinker. She was obtaining the distalgesic from one Phil White. At the time there was much publicity regarding distalgesic, because there had been a number of deaths of patients who had taken it whilst drinking. Brown’s brother speculated that perhaps Phil White was trying to finish her off: ‘wash ’em down with a couple of whiskies…’ Oh and dear old DGE Wood knew about Phil’s lethal prescribing habits as well… But they all stand together on the Local Medical Committee! To return to the dire warnings from the ‘NHS Confederation’. Perhaps someone else in a ‘leadership role’ with them can be relied upon to be a bit more patient-friendly than Niall Dickson? Such as their Chairman? Their Chairman is a Stephen Dorrell. That’s the Stephen Dorrell who was for many years a Tory MP and who was in 1995, under John Major, appointed the Secretary of State for Health. In 1995 there were requests in the House of Commons for an inquiry into the problems at the Foundation Trust Stafford. An investigation was refused. And look what was revealed some years later… Between 2010 and 2014 Dorrell was Chair of the House of Commons Health Select Committee. In 2012 he was reported to IPSA (Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority) after he arranged to sell his London flat to ‘friends’ who owned a chain of nursing homes and subsequently rented the flat back to Dorrell for £1,400/month (funded by the taxpayer). The Health Select Committee at the time was investigating social care – the chain of nursing homes owned by Dorrell’s ‘friends’ had been criticised by the CQC. The other Committee members did not know of Dorrell’s financial connection. Cameron refused to intervene. In 2014 Dorrell announced his intention to stand down from Parliament to take up a ‘senior role’ with consultants KPMG, ‘supporting their health and public service practice’. For six months he worked both for KPMG and as an MP, whilst KPMG considered bidding for a £1 billion NHS contract. At one point a group of pensioners arrived at Dorrell’s office with a petition signed by more than 2000 people demanding his resignation. The police were called on the grounds that the penioners were ‘trespassing’. In 2016, Dorrell was appointed Chair of healthcare consultant LaingBuisson. Nicky Morgan, that not very bright stooge of Cameron’s who doubled up as ‘Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women and Equalities’, is on record as saying that Dorrell has been ‘a really important political figure in Leicestershire since 1979’. That’s the Leicestershire that, like north Wales, had a paedophile ring operating in it’s children’s services. The Leicestershire that had another MP, Greville Janner, who, it is now acknowledged, should have stood trial for child abuse. (Of course there is another Leicestershire MP of note, one Keith Vaz. The Keith Vaz that ends up in scandal after scandal, the most recent involving male prostitutes and cocaine, but somehow just bounces back after every resignation.) Dorrell’s role as Secretary of State for Health was taken over by Frank Dobson when Blair was elected in 1997. So the ‘NHS Confederation’ is led by one man with a long track record of ignoring the serious wrongdoing of the Top Doctors and another man who has his nose deep in the trough of privatised healthcare. ‘Putting patients first’ really is not on the radar of either of them.

Dickson is not the only Top Doctors friend to be begging for more dosh for the NHS. Chris Hopson, CEO of ‘NHS Providers’ which ‘represents hospital trusts’ (in England), has stated that the mere £770 million overspend by English NHS Trusts last year – despite an extra £2 billion bailout funding from the Westminster Gov’t – represents ‘genuine success at cutting costs’. Hopson has featured on this blog previously – begging for more money for NHS staff salaries (see post ‘Those Who Care Are Concerned’). Two ‘health thinktanks’ have also joined in. Sally Gainsbury, senior policy analyst at the Nuffield Trust, has commented that ‘£770 million is a very poor measure of how much the NHS is actually overspending by…[it] overspent by significantly more that £770 million’. However both the Nuffield Trust and the Kings Fund maintain that nonetheless the NHS is performing the most magnificent job, is underfunded and Must Be Given More. The present Chief Exec of the Kings Fund is Prof Chris Ham. The former Chief Exec is a Niall Dickson! And the Kings Fund have just jointly published a report on ‘future models of care’ with my old friends the Royal College of Psychiatrists… The Nuffield Trust, like the Kings Fund, is very much part of the medical establishment. I know the Nuffield Trust as a funder of research. Some years ago I and a senior colleague at Bangor University applied to the Nuffield Trust for funding to explore the experiences of mental health patients, including those who had been prosecuted by the NHS. Our bid was peer-reviewed and it came back with many compliments regarding our methodology, our research design and our background knowledge. However we were turned down for funding because ‘it is a great pity that a project claiming to research service users experiences does not contain a service user researcher’. I was named as the person who would be managing the day to day work of the project – but I wasn’t wearing my yellow star… So my senior colleague wrote to the Nuffield Trust explaining my background but commenting that it was intrusive and unethical to expect researchers to provide confidential details concerning their personal medical histories as part of their funding applications. He also observed that the Nuffield Trust seemed to be allocating research funding for reasons other than research-related criteria. He did not receive a reply to his letter. (If any member of the Nuffield Trust is reading this blog: you will now realise that I have more ‘lived experience’ of the mental health services than either Peter Beresford or Rachel Perkins. Furthermore, they have never been harassed, threatened, abused and framed for serious offences by the mental health services. I think that my yellow star is bigger and better than theirs even if I have a habit of not wearing it at all times as required. In the light of this, would you now like to give me some funding?) Just in case Niall Dickson, Chris Hopson, the Nuffield Trust and the Kings Fund weren’t providing enough muscle for the Top Doctors, I noticed that it was also reported that a number of unidentified NHS ‘finance experts’ all maintained that none of the three major political parties manifestos were pledging enough extra money for the NHS during the next Parliament. Not even Jeremy and John McDonnell, who as far as I can see have promised to give the NHS everything, including the shirts off their backs.

Now for a bit of news from north Wales. Daily Post online excitedly reported that a Zoe Davies of Wrexham has been given a community award from the esteemed Arfon Jones, North Wales’s Police and Crime Commissioner. It was explained that Zoe, 39, is a former drug addict but has been clean for two years. Zoe started using cannabis and ecstasy at 13, sold LSD at 14 (Zoe maintains that this wasn’t very profitable, she only made enough to buy more drugs), was onto methadone reefers at 17 and also ‘got really good at blagging doctors for prescription drugs’ and was an addict at 18. She explained that the doctors in the Wrexham area stopped prescribing methadone but because she was addicted she experienced serious withdrawal symptoms. She moved away from Wrexham believing that would enable her to move away from drugs, but although she was away from north Wales she still ended up in prison for dealing, once in 2008 and again in 2013. Zoe now volunteers with CAIS and works as a healthcare support worker at Hafan Wen ‘detox centre’ in Wrexham. Zoe commented that she wants to ‘repay the people and community of Wrexham’ ‘for all the trouble’ that she caused. I’m not sure that Zoe was the one causing the trouble. Let’s look at this story closely. Zoe, a teenage drug addict, managed to ‘blag’ prescription drugs out of doctors. There was one doctor in north Wales who was notorious for, as one former addict told me, giving you ‘anything that you wanted, anything at all’. That was one Dr Dafydd Alun Jones – Chair of CAIS. CAIS runs the Hafan Wen detox unit. Furthermore, it was Jones who was the mover and the shaker behind the campaign to stop doctors prescribing methadone – Jones was taking patients who had stabilised on methadone off it and loading them up with benzodiazepines instead. Indeed, in the 1990s Jones appeared on ‘The Kane Debates’ boasting about this practice. He was challenged by members of the audience who told him that benzodiazepines were highly addictive but Dafydd robustly defended his prescribing excesses, pompousing away about how ‘the profession’ understands the dangers and has regulated itself. So perhaps Dafydd can explain why in today’s Mail Online there’s a huge feature regarding the enormous numbers of people who have become hooked on benzodiazepines because of irresponsible prescribing by UK medical practitioners and how the BMA are spearheading a campaign to stop this. That would be the BMA that Dafydd and his colleagues were using for free advice and to back them up when they were perjuring themselves in an attempt to have me imprisoned when I complained about Dafydd’s criminal activities. The GMC are involved in the stop the benzodiazepines campaign as well – yes, the same GMC who failed to take any action against Dafydd despite the numerous very serious complaints against him. Regarding Zoe’s failed attempts to get away from the drug scene by moving to another region – this is standard advice given to people with drug problems. It is the advice given to the people from Liverpool with drug problems and it is why they are encouraged to move to north Wales – as Dafydd well knows, because some of those people end up as his patients. I note that Zoe tried selling drugs when she was young but didn’t make much money. She obviously wasn’t linked into the right distribution network then, because I have been told again and again that a lot of the CAIS ‘volunteers’ and ‘peer supporters’ are dealing in drugs and are doing very well out of this. The real winner has to be Dafydd though – CAIS are being paid millions by the Welsh Gov’t (as previously detailed on this blog) for their part in the battle against drugs in north Wales. By the way, a reader recently sent me more info regarding CAIS. Business must be booming, not only have they colonised mid-Wales but they’re now in south Wales as well. The same reader also wondered whether CAIS Chief Exec Clive Wolfendale is about to launch his own enterprise. This reader sent me a link about Clive and his ventures and I notice that before his time with the North Wales Police, Clive was a member of the Greater Manchester Police Force. That was another force alleged to be rife with corruption, the force that ignored the sexual exploitation of hundreds of children by criminal gangs in Rochdale recently, the force that violently assaulted the student demonstrators at Manchester University in 1984, one of the students being threatened and assaulted so seriously that he fled abroad to hide. Furthermore, when I was able to access the details of Elfed Roberts’s Facebook friends because he hadn’t set his privacy settings – Elfed being the former north Wales police officer who left the force under a very big cloud and was subsequently appointed as the Chair of the North West Wales NHS Trust, only to achieve notoriety by demanding that I be arrested because I had pink hair, had called his car a penismobile and he was sick of my complaints – some of them were former officers in the Greater Manchester Police Force. So Clive’s just the sort of man one wants involved with a drug charity then. On a pan-Wales level.

What of the man who presented Zoe with her award, Arfon Jones? Well it transpires that as well as presenting her with the award, he nominated her for it as well. Arfon is of course a regular on this blog, Arfon being the former police officer who used to drive Gordon Anglesea to the venues where he molested children and Arfon being the man whose ‘oversight’ led to Anglesea’s widow receiving 50% of a police pension, even though her husband died in prison a convicted child abuser. Arfon told the Post that Zoe was a ‘beacon of hope’ for the community. Just like Llyr Huws Gruffydd (Plaid) described Dafydd’s mediocre boarding house aka Ty Gwyn nursing home as a ‘beacon of excellence’. The beacon that charged patients more than a thousand a week for a shared room, that told patients to go into Llandudno and buy takeaways for meals, the beacon where patients received no face to face counselling or therapy from Dafydd or anyone else… There’s another person in the photo of Zoe receiving her award – Ann Griffiths, the Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for North Wales. Ann was ‘nominated’ for this role in July 2016. She trained as a psychiatric social worker! She has lived on Ynys Mon since 1984, when she took up a post as a social worker with a community mental health team. So that would be one of the local CMHTs who were complicit with the criminal activities of Dafydd and his colleagues at Ysbyty Gwynedd and the North Wales Hospital then. Who were banging up people who’d complained about being molested whilst they were residents of children’s homes in north Wales. Ann was later promoted to the position of line manager at Gwynedd County Council. So her manager would have been Lucille Hughes, the Director of Gwynedd Social Services (as well as Dafydd’s mistress), who was later named in the Waterhouse Report as knowing that a paedophile ring was operating in the social services but failing to act on this information. Ann was then team leader in the Arfon Duty Team responsible for the initial assessments and joint investigation of child abuse with the police (it’s just terrifying isn’t it – no wonder so few of the paedophiles were imprisoned until very recently and so many of the witnesses were found dead). Ann then spent 10 years working for NSPCC Cymru! Again her responsibilities related to children who had been abused – presumably whilst in the care of Ann’s previous employer – and she set up the NSPCC Cymru helpline (which was dogged by allegations that callers weren’t being helped…) Since 2002 Ann has been an Independent Social Care Consultant employed in a range of roles across north Wales – again largely concerned with children who’ve been abused… So a social worker employed whilst the paedophile ring was active in the social services was later used to ‘investigate’ the abuse, ‘counsel’ the victims, chair the child protection conferences and was employed in very senior roles in this very abusive ‘service’. Which has still not been cleaned up – I know one social work student who left north Wales as soon as they qualified because they maintained that children in care were still being abused and I know someone who grew up in foster care in north Wales who was violently abused by her foster mother. She ran away from the foster home and called ‘her’ social worker and told him what was happening to her. He drove her to the police station, rang the foster mother, summoned her to the police station and asked the girl ‘would you like to repeat your allegations to your foster mother?’ The girl was then returned to the foster mother. That social worker still works in north Wales as a social worker. The abusive foster mother was rewarded in an honours list for her ‘contribution’ to ‘looked after children’. But Ann Griffiths is now Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner. Furthermore in 2013 Ann was elected as a Plaid Councillor to Anglesey County Council. She has held the shadow portfolio for Social Services and Housing and Planning and was Vice-Chair of the fostering panel. She is currently chairperson of the Planning and Licensing Committee. Anglesey Council has appeared regularly in Private Eye’s ‘Rotten Boroughs’ column and some councillors have been imprisoned. There are constant allegations that the Planning Committee in particular is corrupt and one councillor is alleged to have become a millionaire through dodgy planning deals. In 2015 Ann stood in the general election as the Plaid candidate for Montgomeryshire and in 2016 she was the Plaid candidate for the National Assembly for Wales election. It can only be a matter of time before she joins that Strong Woman on her Independence Journey, Leanne, in the Senedd. ‘Jesus Christ’ as they used to say in Bethesda…

There has been a news report that someone called Matt Johnson is going to be starring in a film to be shot in the Brecon Beacons that will be ‘tackling mental health’. Johnson is described as being an ‘active ambassador for MIND’. The MIND that is colluding with abuse and criminal activity in the mental health services in north Wales and elsewhere and was recently outed on the Disability News Service as intending to bid for Gov’t contracts to assist the Tories in removing welfare benefits from people with mental health problems. Paul Farmer, the CEO of MIND, earns approx. £100,000pa. Other MIND ambassadors include those well-known underprivileged people Stephen Fry, Alistair Campbell and Melvyn Bragg.

A friend told me that they had heard Dr David Healy on Radio 4 and then another friend observed that Healy has positioned himself as a defender of ECT rather than anti-depressants. Which is interesting because there’s been an awful lot in the media recently about how ECT is actually really good and ooh its nothing like ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest’ and a nurse held my hand and it was lovely and I’m really glad that I had it. It may be coincidental but I wonder if David ‘you’ll never take me alive’ Healy has been doing a bit of PR? After all he has good media connections, he may well be gearing up for one of his summer appearances at Hay or somewhere in front of an audience who have no idea of what he has been complicit with at the Hergest Unit and Healy is of course the psychiatrist with responsibility for ECT at the Hergest Unit. I witnessed someone who was being ‘prepared’ for ECT at the Hergest Unit on one occasion – she had experienced it previously and I presume that it wasn’t a beautiful experience with a nurse holding her hand, because she was incredibly distressed, shouting at nurses ‘you’re not going to do that to me again’, tried to run away from them and then tried to hide. Three of them yelled at her ‘right if you won’t walk you’re going in a wheelchair’, picked her up and man-handled her into the said wheelchair and pinned her in there whilst they carted her off. This was a lady of about 70. I bet David Healy isn’t going to tell the Radio 4 listeners about that…

There has been some shock-horror figures released and discussed in the ‘Guardian’ regarding the number of students who are withdrawing from universities because of mental health problems. Brown and I published on this many years ago, but I see that the same problems exist now – students cannot get care and instead of the focus being on an NHS that is seriously letting them down, universities are being blamed. Universities are being told that they must provide more ‘support’ for students. Aren’t the Top Doctors paid to do this? University staff aren’t paid half what the Top Doctors are and anyway they are supposed to be teachers and researchers. Indeed the Top Doctors in north Wales were so bloody hopeless that other mental health professionals were actually advising local people to enrol for courses at the University because the University had a counselling service and counselling wasn’t available from the NHS mental health services. Furthermore I knew a number of students who were just completely unable to access any mental healthcare at all – they all told me that their tutors had been far more supportive to them than the bunch of thugs that constituted the Arfon Community Mental Health Team or the psychiatrists who refused to see them, telling them to ‘go home’ (ie. back to their parents) if they were ill. One of my friends is a retired academic and she told me that she regularly took distressed suicidal students to Ysbyty Gwynedd A&E for assessments, only to be kept waiting for hours and told ‘take them back to their parents, if they’re students we won’t treat them’. I knew of one member of staff who was allowing two seriously depressed students to stay over at her place on the grounds that she was not going to stand by and watch them kill themselves. The same member of staff told me that she had contacted the dreadful Keith Fearns, ‘leader’ of the Arfon Team, to tell him that one of ‘his’ clients was threatening to kill himself by jumping off the Menai Bridge, only to be told by Fearns to let him go on and do it then and that if ‘the little bastard’ bothered Fearns again, Fearns would section him. How on earth has anyone got the temerity to suggest that the deficit lies with universities when ‘mental health professionals’ behave like this? There are even some people making noises about the possibility of suing universities for lack of a duty of care – surely it is the NHS that has a duty of care? In my own case, whilst I was doing my PhD, my supervisor and his wife very kindly did what the mental health services were being paid to do but refused to – throughout my PhD they flatly refused to treat me, threatened and abused me when they saw me around the town and rang my supervisor and other members of staff to tell them that I was ‘dangerous’. And of course tried to frame me for a serious crime, only for the case to collapse when it became evidence that a number of ‘mental health professionals’ had committed perjury. Believe me, the problem of students being unable to get support for mental health problems does not lie with the universities.

Mail online reported that a nurse from Scotland confronted Nicola Sturgeon and told her that she was having to use foodbanks. There was then an accusation that the nurse in question was a Tory plant, which was robustly denied. Sturgeon apologised and ‘paid tribute’ to hard-working NHS staff. Photos were then found online of the nurse knocking back champagne and enjoying herself on holiday in New York. Of course if Nicola really wants to know what goes on in the Scottish NHS, instead of relying on nurses telling tall stories during an election campaign, she could just pay a visit to Parkhead Hospital in Glasgow, where I had the misfortune to spend a few weeks about three years ago, after a neurological problem was misdiagnosed. I was assaulted by nurses myself and witnessed this happening to other patients. Staff regularly swore at and insulted the patients. There were patients who had been sectioned there for months who didn’t even have a change of clothes. Myself and another patient caught staff altering drug sheets and stealing drugs – this wasn’t even for their own use, they were selling the drugs to another member of staff from another ward who arrived at about 5am each morning to collect the package. One young male patient was delighted to discover that he could access hard core porn on the ward TV – because someone on the hospital staff had subscribed to those channels and was obviously watching it whilst they were on duty. An elderly lady fell over in a corridor and injured herself whilst the staff looked on – it was other patients who helped her. As ever on such abusive wards, there were two or three staff doing their best – one encouraged me to document everything that I was witnessing and make a formal complaint. I did and there was of course never any investigation. When I finally got out of there I did a bit of research – there had been a number of deaths there, the hospital had been deemed unsafe and had been earmarked for closure some years ago. But somehow Sturgeon just hadn’t got round to that. Whilst I sat in there making field-notes, I watched the Scottish news where Scottish Ministers regularly made an appearance boasting about the fine state of the NHS Scotland. I discovered that one reason why Parkhead was in such a state was that all the resources were going into Southern General, the flagship hospital and neurological centre a few miles away. Southern General is one of the best hospitals in the western world and has had literally billions invested in it. So I thought that I’d find out a bit about it. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the clinical director was one Dr Gwen Jones-Edwards – I recognised that name. She used to work at the Hergest Unit of all places and disappeared in the mid to late 90s. If anyone knows how a mediocre jobbing psychiatrist from a dump like the Hergest Unit whose colleagues were concealing the presence of a paedophile ring ended up ten years later as clinical director of Southern General, please do let me know. It is so improbable that I know that there’ll be a story worth blogging about behind it.

In the aftermath of the terrorist attack yesterday in Manchester, both Andy Burnham and Tessa Jowell were interviewed on the ‘Today’ programme this morning. Burnham was his usual hideous self – but then he was someone who in his capacity an Secretary of State for Health, along with Alan Johnson, ignored 81 requests for an investigation into the very high death rates in Mid-Staffs. Andy had something far more important to think about – he wanted to become Prime Minister… He didn’t make it, so now he’s settled for Mayor of Manchester. Tessa was just wonderful – you could picture her taking the onion out of her pocket, as she put on her special social workers voice and kept referring to ‘loving’ and ‘caring’ for all the people in Manchester, oh and ‘connecting’ with them. She also kept mentioning ‘leadership’ as well for some reason and remembered Ken Livingstone’s wonderful ‘leadership’. That’s the Ken who signed the Early Day Motion to keep Garth Angaharad open, one of Dafydd’s prisons where the kids who were abused in the children’s homes ended up (please see ‘More On Those Who Signed That Early Day Motion’). The man who owned Garth  Angharad, Paul Hett, also owned ‘schools’ and ‘children’s homes’ which were the centre of allegations of cruelty and sexual abuse. Some of the children placed in those homes/schools came from London boroughs. Such as Lambeth – where Ken was a councillor. Tessa also had a connection to Lambeth – she was a children’s care officer there. Lambeth Council have now paid out several million pounds to children in their homes in the 70s and 80s who were abused by paedophile gangs – Lambeth admitted to knowing that the gangs were at work but failed to protect the children. Before working for a council that allowed paedophiles free reign Tessa was a psychiatric social worker. At the Maudsley. Where Dafydd trained! Tessa was also deputy director of MIND. At the same time as MIND was concealing criminal activity in the north Wales mental health services. And now Tessa is in the House of Lords talking about loving and caring. For more information on Tess and her appalling New Labour cronies, please see post ‘The London Connection’. (NB. Tessa – you need to be a bit careful with regard to talking about loving people. Dafydd used to tell his patients that he loved them, but what he meant was that he was sexually exploiting them. And Suzanne Hamlet of Prestwood Homes fame told the patients that she loved them and she was operating a people trafficking business. Of course, MIND knew about both Dafydd and Prestwood.)

 

 

 

 

 

Those Who Care Are Concerned

Yesterday the Guardian reported that NHS staff were quitting ‘because pay was so poor’ – it was alleged that some NHS staff were using food banks and that some were working stacking shelves in supermarkets. This was attributed to the recent policy of limiting pay awards in the NHS to 1% and it was claimed that this was ‘damaging the NHS’. It was reported that in particular, people with mental health problems were experiencing delays and setbacks. This story emanated from claims made by an organisation called ‘NHS Providers’ which was described as representing almost all of England’s Hospitals, Mental Health Trusts and Ambulance Trusts, their spokesman being the Chief Executive, Chris Hopson. Hopson also turned up on Radio 4’s Today programme with his tale of woe, where again the alleged deleterious effect on mental health care in particular was commented upon. It was said that in recent months, the Medical Royal Colleges, the Health Trade Unions and health charities such as Cancer Research UK have all highlighted the effects on patient care of shortages of doctors, nurses, GPs and paramedics. Various representatives of the Medical Royal Colleges have previously been outed on this blog as having taken part in the neglect and abuse of patients – for example the delightful Professor Rob Poole of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. I have also provided details of very bad behaviour – and research fraud – among leading lights in the Cancer Research Campaign, now known as Cancer Research UK. One of the people who starred was Nicholas Wright, who has picked up a knighthood. Furthermore, if doctors and GPs are either stacking shelves in supermarkets or using food banks they will be doing this for reasons other than being short of money – consultants and GPs all hit about 100k pa and many of them earn an awful lot more. Junior doctors and nurses do not earn as much as that but do not actually fall within the category of the ‘low paid’ – now a lot of them are leaving the NHS but talk to them about their reasons for doing this. It is nothing to do with pay. As I have stated repeatedly on this blog it is nearly always because they have standards which they feel are being compromised by the dysfunction, chaos, bullying and poor patient care that pervades so much of the NHS. The traditional get out clause of junior doctors to avoid the bullying and bullshit that rained down upon them was of course to enter General Practice, where they would in the end be self-employed and have some degree of control over their lives. But there were still hazards to be negotiated – one of the most conscientious medical students that I knew when I was young was sacked from his first post in General Practice. He remarked wryly that the main priority of the senior partner in the practice was the state of the carpet tiles and that medicine was far too much of a conservative profession to allow any trainee to disagree. This man was no firebrand – his ambition at school was to practice medicine for a while and then become a Conservative MP. He is now a hospital consultant and interestingly enough a Conservative Councillor who enjoys writing to the Daily Telegraph and Private Eye. His patients also report that he is a very good doctor – but he managed to get sacked. As for nurses – for years, nurses have been leaving nursing for other jobs if they cannot stomach what they are witnessing at work. They frequently move into teaching or lecturing, but some are so desperate to not remain in nursing that they do take up roles outside of the professions. The first person in this category that I encountered was a nurse who in 1984 was working as a waitress – she preferred to do that than participate in what was happening at Ysbyty Gwynedd which was where she had previously been employed. I have since met many more like her. Not one left nursing because of the pay – indeed if you are a nurse it is quite possible to end up on a very high salary if you go into NHS management and many of them do, particularly those with absolutely no principles at all (I’m thinking of one Grace Lewis-Parry here…). There are some very poorly paid people working in the NHS who may well be using food banks or working in a second job as well, particularly if they are the only wage earner in a family with children, but they are healthcare assistants, porters, cleaners, canteen staff and receptionists. They are treated like dirt although they are often playing a key role and I really don’t think that Mr Hopson the CEO from NHS Providers was thinking of them – he certainly didn’t mention them. Another person contributed to the debate as well, declaring the 1% pay restraint policy ‘stupid’ – that was Norman Lamb, the LibDem MP. Norman Lamb in recent months became well-known for his support for Sara Ryan and her family – Sara is the mother of Connor Sparrowhawk, the young man with learning disabilities and epilepsy who died as a result of neglect, along with hundreds of other patients, whilst in the care of Southern Health. Blame was attributed to Katrina Percy, the CEO, along with the rest of a deceitful dysfunctional Trust Board and a lying psychiatrist who simply moved to Ireland to practice after her cock-ups resulted in Connor’s death. Come on Norman, you know damn well that the death of Connor – and all the other patients – were nothing at all to do with pay restraint. The whole bloody lot of those responsible were on enormous salaries. Connor’s mum was a modestly paid academic and on her twitter feed frequently commented that she would have been sacked long ago if she’d been as bad at her job as Katrina Percy and co were – furthermore Connor’s mum had managed to look after Connor herself for most of his life without him dying. That only happened when she left him in the care of ‘professionals’.

One of the final item’s on the Today programme was another mental health related report, featuring interviews with both the CEO of the Mental Health Foundation and a ‘service user’ called Kerry. The report centred around people sectioned under the Mental Health Act being detained in police cells and Kerry was introduced as someone who had endured that experience. Kerry was actually pretty brilliant, she was very articulate, very frank about the horrors and serious deficiencies of the mental health system – but Nick Robinson the interviewer cut her off mid-flow. Because she’d already spoken and they’d run out of time. But the reason that they’d run out of time was that Nick had allotted so much of the time to the CEO of the Mental Health Foundation – who obviously was going to speak for service users, rather than the one very competent service user being allowed to reveal to the nation just how bad the whole system is. I noticed that in the Mail Online yesterday the Mental Health Foundation was also expressing concern about the Serious Problem of Women Drinking Prosecco At Lunchtime. Now if an elderly male Methodist Minister who was temperance wrote an article expressing similar concerns, he’d be publicly pilloried at worst, a figure of fun at best. But if it’s a ‘mental health charity’ no-one comments on how ridiculous and condescending it is. The Mental Health Foundation also stated that ‘1 in 3’ people will suffer from mental health problems – my God, the figure has gone up, the dreadful Paul Farmer and MIND always claimed it was ‘1 in 4’! We’re all going mad, especially women – the only solution is for the Gov’t to part with millions in the direction of the Mental Health Foundation and MIND, appoint them all to Gov’t Advisory Committees and then give them gongs. Meanwhile they will remain completely silent about the serious neglect and abuse of people who really are mentally ill (far fewer than ‘1 in 4’, which is of course why they can be so shamefully treated without an outcry) by the mental health services themselves – people like Kerry, whose opinions mattered less than those of the CEO of the Mental Health Foundation…. And just to show how effective Radio 4 is at raising awareness and combatting stigma, directly after the Today programme Andrew Marr hosted Start The Week and one of his guests described how he’d written a book about a conman who had swindled him who was a ‘bipolar maniac’ who spent huge quantities of money shamelessly. It’s called acute mania, a serious illness which should not be conflated with criminality and a lot fewer than ‘1 in 4’ or ‘1 in 3’ experience it.

All these dire predictions of the consequences of the UK Gov’t not giving mental health professionals even more money than they get already (God knows what they’re doing with it, one look at the state of the nation’s mental health system makes it quite clear that it certainly isn’t being used to benefit patients) has come at a very opportune time. A few days ago I was sent an excellent PhD thesis written by Dr Vicky Long, completed some years ago whilst she was at the University of Warwick and I have been working my way through it. The thesis is entitled ‘Challenging The Public Representation of Mental Illness, 1870-1970’ and it provides much evidence for a number of things that I’ve noticed myself during my various encounters with the UK’s caring sharing mental health services. Particularly interesting is Chapter Two of Vicky’s thesis, which consists of a detailed analysis of how mental health patients were represented within the literature produced by the National Asylum Workers Union. This is a good deal more relevant to present day concerns than non-historical/sociological geeks might imagine. NAWU later evolved into MHIWU (Mental Hospital and Institutional Workers Union), which in turn evolved into COHSE (Confederation of Health Service Employees), whose successor was UNISON, one of the most powerful players in today’s trade union movement, let alone simply within the NHS arena.

Vicky’s analysis very clearly demonstrates that this Union skilfully controlled how ‘mental patients’ were represented in the wider media, which in turn dictated how they were perceived by the general public and that the union nearly always did this in order to improve the pay and conditions of the ‘attendants’ ie. mental health nurses, rather than to improve the care and treatment of patients. Vicky’s analysis and the material that she presents from the late 1920s onwards is striking – we think of this era as being ancient history where mental health care is concerned, but the attitudes and even some of the language still exists in mental health ‘care’ today. As I read Vicky’s chapter, memories of scenarios and phrases used by staff that I had witnessed and heard at the North Wales Hospital Denbigh and at Ysbyty Gwynedd came back to me.

Vicky analysed in detail the journal of the NAWU as this was the forum for representations of mental illness among asylum attendants. The NAWU was formed in 1910 as a reaction to the poor working conditions of the attendants and it focused on the gulf between the privileges and pay enjoyed by the asylum Medical Superintendents (Gwynne Williams the lobotomist and Dafydd Alun Jones in the case of the North Wales Hospital, although of course they were Medical Superintendents later on in the century) and the very poor pay and conditions of the attendants. Very early on in the NAWU’s history, it seems that the working conditions of the attendants were so bad that they did actually have a lot of fellow feeling for the ‘lunatics’. However this didn’t last. Vicky’s analysis highlights other phenomena that can still be seen among mental health professionals – battles between different unions, the influence of gender and fights over status between nurses and social workers. The NAWU journal was strongly socialist and working class and viewed membership of the rival Asylum Workers Union as an act of class betrayal. The whole thrust of Vicky’s argument is that the living conditions of the patients were only scrutinised when the situation of the staff improved.

The usual strategy of the NAWU to obtain improved pay and conditions was to focus on the unpleasantness of the patients. In 1912 there was a reference to the ‘antics of deluded and degraded ‘mental deficients’ and ‘moral perverts’ and nurses are frequently described as having to ‘manage’ difficult patients. Vicky notes that in the main text used for training asylum attendants, the terms ‘nursing’, ‘management’ and ‘control’ of patients are used interchangeably. (My actions in complaining about the north Wales mental health services are referred to on a number of occasions in my medical records as ‘antics’ and the records are dripping with references to the ‘management’ of me, as well as yes, the occasional reference to the need to ‘control’ me. Because I was writing letters of complaint – about criminal conduct on the part of mental health professionals.) In 1929, as part of the description of the job of a mental nurse, it is stated that ‘patients may be unpleasant, abusive, filthy in habits and language, or ungrateful, suspicious, unwilling and resistive….sympathy, kindliness and tact must be abundant to overflowing for the mental patient…’ Again, I have heard many of these words used by mental health professionals to describe patients. I was constantly viewed as a problem for being ‘suspicious’ and ‘unwilling’ – although the staff using such descriptions for me were detaining me illegally in the North Wales Hospital after Dr Dafydd Alun Jones had concocted a ‘deal’ with a corrupt police officer at Bangor Police Station – the nurses had documented all this in detail on my records and had also stated their unhappiness with being dragged into the ‘deal’. Yet I was pathologised for being suspicious of their motives and not wanting to waste my time in their prison. Again and again I have heard staff complain about patients who swear – indeed, at the ‘hearing’ held by Robert Bluglass into the investigation of my complaint about the North Wales Hospital (which didn’t actually cover most of my complaint or the most serious aspects of it), as part of his rationale for labelling me ‘mentally ill’, Jones maintained that I’d used ‘foul and abusive language’ in front of his young children and that anyone who does this is not mentally normal. (How I managed to swear in front of his children I do not know – I did not at the time know that he had children and had certainly never met them. But Jones was not required to provide evidence of any of it – he said that I did it, so obviously I did.) Bluglass agreed that my language was indeed shocking. Bluglass has a daughter Amanda, who fancies herself as an avant garde artist. A few years ago she took to displaying her creations on the internet. One of them was a sampler of a county cottage, below which was embroidered ‘Happy Fucking Holidays’. Interestingly enough, in his final report in which Bluglass avoided commenting on many of the gross things that had happened to me at the hands of Dafydd et al although there was documentary evidence of these things, Bluglass summed up by stating that ‘doctors and others are caring individuals’ – these were people who had illegally imprisoned me, assaulted me, repeatedly lied about me, threatened me and then when that didn’t work tried to bribe me. Oh and they were concealing the activities of a paedophile ring as well. But their goodwill and patience had no bounds…. Another reference from an early edition of the NAWU journal represents patients as ‘alien, foreign, devious and different from normal people’. The SEN in Denbigh who eventually assaulted me, Stephen Rose, at one point described me as ‘scheming and devious’ (it was never explained why) – and in another reference to my alleged ‘abnormality’, on one occasion Jones lost his temper with me (because I didn’t succumb to the threats and bribery) and he yelled at me ‘any normal woman would have some respect’.

Again and again in the NAWU journal severely ill patients are represented as anti-social and violent and this was repeatedly used to justify better wages and conditions In 1928, the journal dealt with allegations that patients were being brutally treated and abused by attendants by alleging that it was the patients who were violently attacking the staff. Arguments were mounted that attendants deserved better pay and conditions not because they were skilled and professional but because they were managing dangerous violent individuals. Accounts are based on conjecture – a ‘seemingly quiet patient’ may suddenly become ‘violent to themselves or others’, ‘another blow’ from a ‘violent patient’ ‘could well have been fatal’. On one occasion a patient less dishonoured than others – a soldier with shell-shock – published in another journal an account of the violence and abuse that he’d witnessed being dealt out by the staff in an asylum. The NAWU responded by stressing the unreliability of patients accounts. This is all very familiar. At the North Wales Hospital and at Ysbyty Gwynedd, again and again I and other patients made representations about staff assaults on ourselves and other patients that we had witnessed. Throughout the course of thirty years the response from the NHS authorities was the same – either it was the patients who had attacked the staff, or the patients ‘had misunderstood’ the situation, or the patients were all mates and were colluding with each other. On the occasion that staff injured me whilst I was a patient in the Hergest Unit, my injuries were not documented and I was not released from a locked ward until the injuries had healed. When I tried to telephone both the police and a friend to report the assault the telephone was disconnected. The assault upon me was never investigated. Despite all the allegations of ‘violent’ patients made by the north Wales mental health services and the constant stream of scare stories and confected statistics regarding ‘attacks’ on staff that the north Wales mental health services have placed in the local media, I have only ever witnessed one assault upon a member of staff, which was when a very psychotic disorientated man detained on a locked ward threw a book at a psychiatrist. That has been the sum of it. Staff are sometimes assaulted by patients, but it is not a regular occurrence. Furthermore, one of the more robust pieces of research that has been done into assaults on staff by patients in psychiatric units – there has been virtually no research conducted into abuse of patients by staff which is extraordinary really, it can only be that it just doesn’t happen! – concluded that in every case, the assault had been precipitated by staff being extremely aggressive or rude to patients. As for ‘quiet’ patients being suddenly ready to launch into terrifying violence – again, another allegation that was levelled at me. When people outside of the mental health services volubly stated that the lurid allegations made about me by mental health staff were inconsistent with what they knew of me, they were told that they ‘didn’t know’ what I was like, or that I had ‘fooled’ them or best of all that I was ‘charismatic’. Only the mental health services could see my black, black heart. But interestingly enough I have recently obtained documents from my lawyer which include letters from the lawyers that the mental health services were using themselves telling them that there was no evidence that I had ever assaulted anyone and that they had to stop saying this in affidavits. Not that it stopped the ludicrous allegations, the psychiatrists concerned then progressed to stating that they thought that I was going to kill them. No evidence at all, although a lot of evidence that they had repeatedly lied about me, even on oath – but nonetheless I could murder the whole lot of them in their beds, they just knew it.

The journal of the NAWU also contains information very reminiscent of the way that psychiatrists today describe patients who allegedly have ‘personality disorders’: ‘…cannot support themselves…cannot resist criminal impulses…not actively dangerous but are a menace to the community…no idea of…social obligations…a danger to women and children…anti-social tendencies and habits of this kind are not be cured…’ or indeed the ‘social failure’ of an individual. This could have all come from a present day psychiatric textbook.

One Claude Bartlett was elected President of the NAWU in 1926 – and he stayed in that post until 1962 no less. Throughout this time he remained a mental charge nurse and with the exception of his time as Chairman of the TUC in 1959, he restricted his activities to the field of health care. Bartlett was one of the most vocal calling for the amalgamation of the health services trade union into COHSE and he was a member of the Royal Commission whose recommendations were incorporated into the Mental Health Act of 1959. In 1959 Bartlett was stating that he was pleased with the large advances made by the Union regarding the representation of mental nurses as professionals. He commented that ‘I often wonder whether some of my trade union colleagues are not trying to break down barriers which have long since ceased to exist. It is a far cry from the lunatic attendant of less than 50 years ago to the trained and qualified psychiatric nurse of today. I am naturally proud to have played some part, small perhaps, in raising a once lowly occupation into a skilled and honoured vocation’. That was in 1959. During the 1990s a nurse at the Hergest Unit who was one of the best staff there, who really was skilled and professional, was regularly ORDERED by Dr X and Dr David Healy to telephone the police to complain about distressed patients. On one of those occasions, it was because a patient had said that he was so suicidal that he felt like chopping a gas pipe. He ended up in Walton prison on remand, although all charges were eventually dropped against him. None of those grandiose, arrogant psychiatrists saw the nurse’s role as ‘a skilled and honoured vocation’. And that nurse did not feel able to challenge any of them, although she saw the consequences of their actions. Interestingly enough the same nurse, after she retired, told me that she never applied for a position as a lecturer in Bangor University’s School of Healthcare Sciences because in north Wales she witnessed the very nurses who did not have good skills with patients applying for jobs there – her perception was that they didn’t actually like looking after patients and weren’t actually very good at it, so they became nurse tutors instead.

In 1959 and the early 1960s, COHSE’s allegedly patient centred view was undermined, suggesting that once more, the main concern of psychiatric nurses was their working conditions. At the 1959 conference, the new Mental Health Bill was debated and a conference resolution expressed concerns that there was inadequate funding for the proposed measures and the hope that mental nurses skills would be utilised in the new community care system. Psychiatric nurses were well aware that other professions might usurp their roles and threaten their careers. COHSE tried to protect nurses by framing themselves as crusaders for the users of the mental health services and leaders of public opinion. Theresa May has of course announced that a new Mental Health Act is to be passed, which will lead to far fewer people being detained against their will and will also enable them to refuse ‘treatment’. This has of course come hot on the heels of scandal after scandal in the UK mental health services, of numerous accounts of neglect and abuse and of course deaths of patients in the care of the mental health services. Have perhaps the mental health professions realised that they are about to be cut out of the picture and made redundant – because patients certainly aren’t going to agree to the shite abusive treatment that is forced upon them at present if they are given a choice – and is that why they are all busy reminding us at the moment of how they only have the concerns of patients at heart? And that the patients are Suffering because mental health professionals aren’t being paid enough? Oh, by the way, in the late 50s/60s when COHSE were worried about their jobs and pay, they organised demonstrations and pickets. Stand by Theresa, there’ll be a March through central London to show us all how much they Care – all the usual culprits will be there, the BMA, the RCN, the Royal Colleges, MIND and Paul bloody Farmer, Peter Beresford and Rachel Perkins and poor old Jeremy Corbyn will be completely taken in by the whole lot of them and will join in, thinking that he’s helping people who Care. Meanwhile psychiatric patients will continue to be tasered whilst sectioned in hospital, suffocated to death whilst being ‘restrained’, prescribed ‘medication’ that harms or even kills them etc etc. In fact I think I heard on the Today programme that a National Health Action Party has been established to field candidates in the forthcoming election. The Top Doctors must be in trouble then, is there a scandal on the way? Has one of them been arrested for doing something that they shouldn’t have, perhaps removing perfectly healthy bits of the body after telling the unsuspecting patient that they had cancer a la Dr Ian Paterson? Or has another Harold Shipman been discovered?

As for Claude Bartlett’s claims in 1959 that asylums and the mental nursing profession had been transformed, well I think that needs to be taken with a very big pinch of salt. After a visit to the North Wales Hospital Denbigh, the Health Minister Enoch Powell was so appalled by what he saw that he is reputed to have told the assembled ‘professionals’ that he would not allow them to do this to people – Powell returned to London and announced the proposed closure of 75,000 psychiatric hospital beds over the next 15 years. (Of course when Powell witnessed something terrible, Gwynne the lobotomist was Medical Superintendent at Denbigh. Presumably Gwynne was so used to imprisoning, neglecting, abusing and indeed killing people that he had become complete immune to the idea that some people would not appreciate what was going on, hence he felt able to proudly throw open the doors of Denbigh to the Health Minster. Obviously the result of years of cap-doffing and toadying from small town society who could rely on the hideous Gwynne to deal with anyone who was a bit of a nuisance to them. COHSE really freaked out at Powell’s proposals and resurrected the spectre of the dangerous patient (they forgot their user-friendly bit) and wanted nurses paid danger money. COHSE were particularly irked with Powell’s proposals to only place psychiatric patients in Rampton, Broadmoor and Moss Side as a last resort. They also maintained that Powell’s policy of discharging patients on prescription would lead to a nation of drug addicts. Once more psychiatric patients were represented as violent criminals and Vicky Long suggests that this stemmed more out of the fear of the threat to the jobs, future and status of the mental nursing profession than any concern over more outpatient care. Again, I saw something similar when I was a patient at the North Wales Hospital in 1986/87. At the time the UK Gov’t were making much noise regarding closing down places like Denbigh and transferring patients into community care. All the nurses at Denbigh were raging about this, stating that the facilities in the community weren’t there (which was to be fair completely true) and that some of the very vulnerable patients would never cope (which again they didn’t). But the same nurses were concealing and colluding with the most appalling wrongdoing on the part of Dafydd Alun Jones et al – they KNEW that patients were in there illegally banged up, never having been assessed by anyone but had simply been arrested because they’d crossed the path of Jones or one of his mates. They KNEW that some of those patients were not ‘schizophrenic’ or ‘deluded’ as was being diligently documented. And one of those nurses, Iola Edwards – who was one of those who expressed such concern regarding the fate of the patients once Denbigh had shut down – actively stopped a young woman from telling me any more, when she heard the young woman begging me to help her and claiming that she had been abducted, held in an attic ‘by a doctor’ with a group of other men and molested. (Would you know anything about this perchance Dafydd, after all your mistress was named in the Waterhouse Report as having colluded with a paedophile ring whilst she was Director of Gwynedd Social Services). That young woman disappeared within hours – Iola Edwards obviously knew what had happened to her and must have been instrumental in flagging up to someone in authority that the young woman had told me what had happened to her, so they got her out of there quick. I bet they didn’t let her go though, or take her to the police. And of course the community care provided after Denbigh eventually shut was dreadful – because it was managed and staffed by the same people who ran and staffed Denbigh. Did anybody really imagine that their values and standards would suddenly change just because someone gave them offices and clinics in a different building?

The NAWU dwelt on some other familiar themes as well. In the 1930s their journal carried reports on the experimental use of leucotomies and ECT and the Government’s Athlone Report stated that ‘medical staff now require highly skilled mental health nurses to assist’. Although the historian of nursing Peter Nolan argues that physical treatments threatened to erode nursing skills by reducing nurses to doctors assistants, COHSE’s predecessor was enthusiastic about the ‘new therapies’. During the 1940s and 50s there was a reconceptualization of the image of the psychiatric patient as that of a client or guest. By 1961 glossy photos showing the luxurious aspects of public hospitals were displayed monthly in the journal and hospitals were described as if they were hotels. But when the Hergest Unit was built at Ysbyty Gwynedd there was much excitement and boasting about the new facilities – of course they were very much better than what had been on offer at Denbigh, but huge cracks soon appeared in the service, which still contained the former staff and managers from Denbigh.

The NAWU also reflected two other ideas concerning psychiatric patients that were expressed by some professionals – that either sterilisation or euthanasia would be a good idea. In 1929 the Gov’t considered sterilising ‘mental defectives’ and they were depicted as an economic threat to sane ratepayers. In 1934 Prof JA Berry, Director of Medical Services at Stoke Colney, Bristol, argued that some in his care should be killed, a ‘kindly euthanasia’ being the ‘only really kindly treatment’. A Dr EGL Goffe, a Kingston physician, suggested no other alternative for ‘idiots’ than the ‘lethal chamber’ as ‘such people should not be a drag on the community…a waste of money and energy keeping them alive…’ Many doctors wrote in favour of sterilisation – however one Dr Neil Montgomery showed an acute awareness of class power abuse issuing from doctor to patient, commenting that it tended to be the poor who should be recommended for sterilisation and at the same time expressed sentiments of duty to the patients which were not expressed by the working class members of the NAWU. (Remind anyone of the current Tory Govt’s new policy that people claiming tax credits for a third child can only do so if they can demonstrate that the child resulted from rape?) In July 1935, the cartoonist for the MHIWU journal (as it had then become) depicted the Board of Control Chairman’s view – a full page image of a physically deformed figure whose featureless ‘shadow’ fell menacingly over Britain. The figure was represented with palms outstretched, recalling the belief expressed in the journal by doctors, judges, Poor Law guardians and the Board of Control that ‘mental defectives’ were socially inefficient and an economic drain on the resources of the ‘normal’ population. Obviously a bunch of shirkers and skivers like all those people that George Osborne seemed to know of…

In 1963 an editorial in the journal commented that if the Lord Chancellor and Lunacy Commissioners were anxious for the welfare of the patients, the very first thing that they should turn their attention to is the conditions of asylum services to attract and retain the best types of men and women. Sounds familiar – here comes a nurses pay claim, just after revelations that patients were being treated dreadfully. By the end of the ‘60s, the situation of the patients had not improved. Barbara Robb’s famous expose of the appalling treatment of the mentally ill in hospitals, ‘Sans Everything: A Case To Answer’, elicited personal attacks on Robb and COHSE complained of a ‘witch-hunt’ atmosphere and parodied Robb’s expose as ‘Knock Everything’. COHSE was not the only body representing psychiatric nurses – the RCN did as well and in 1970 their conference attacked psychiatric nurses conditions of work. The Chairman of their Psychiatric Committee suggested the patients posed the main limitation to nurses work. Once more a dire representation of your average psychiatric patient was constructed, with it being claimed that being spat at, kicked, scratched and bitten was all in a day’s work and that nurses spent much of their times separating patients who were fighting or warding off assaults on themselves.

The journal of the NAWU also reflected the gender battle that took place within it’s own ranks. From the 1920s onwards there was much opposition from male asylum attendants to women nurses working on male wards. Sick patients were portrayed as violent anti-social misfits whose violent and sexually depraved behaviour would only increase at the hands of kindly female nurses – a similar argument was used at the Hergest Unit as the rationale for their callous treatment of those whom they labelled ‘personality disordered’. Indeed, a suicide attempt by one such patient was constructed by Dr Dafydd Alun Jones as being the result of ‘ire’ of all things. Yet Nursing Times, a journal dominated by women, opposed the NAWU, pointing out that ‘not a single complaint of any kind has been made by the female nurses’ – furthermore, a female nurse was quoted as commenting that constructing all ‘mental cases’ as ‘depraved’ was an ‘insult’ to many patients. This depiction of patients as violent and sexually perverted diminished when it was no longer in accordance with the image that the Union was trying to establish. This turnaround confused members – there is written evidence from one male nurse demonstrating that he was puzzled as to how the Union could have ‘forgotten’ what patients were like.

Throughout the twentieth century, the journal of the NAWU repeatedly published articles on themes that are still pursued at present. An article in the 1940s written by a patient, ‘David’, was the first time that the journal has offered any degree of respect to a patient’s account. David was completely uncritical of his treatment and maintained that it could only have been bettered if the asylum staff were paid more. This is startlingly reminiscent of much discourse from present day ‘service user involvement’. Two of the biggest figures in the UK in this field are Peter Beresford and Rachel Perkins. Beresford is a former social worker and this is very obviously still a major part of his identity and Perkins is the former clinical director of Springfield Hospital. Perkins oversaw a disaster, including a number of murders, and Springfield was subjected to damning comments at a subsequent public inquiry. Neither Beresford or Perkins have ever spoken out about serious abuse and neglect in the mental health services, criminal activity on the part of the ‘professionals’ or the problems of dishonest expert witnesses in psychiatry. Their concerns tend to revolve around ‘discrimination’, ‘stigma’ and the need for more funding and higher staff pay. Some years ago I received a series of very angry e mails from someone who had completed a PhD with Beresford, demanding to know why I would not ‘come out’ as an academic who was a ‘service user’, telling me that Peter Beresford could ‘help’ me. I have made it clear in my publications that I do not hide my involvement with the mental health services but I find the ‘service users movement’ for the most part strangely deradicalised, denatured and institutionalised and I explained this to the person who e mailed me. They became angrier and angrier and made it clear that I was some sort of traitor by not joining the merry band who remain silent about serious wrongdoing but who campaign for higher pay for the people involved in this.

Another article in the NAWU journal from the early middle years of the twentieth century concerned the activities of a charity dedicated to the after care of discharged asylum patients, supposedly committed to their economic and social reintegration. The charity’s President had commented that the work of the charity assisted the state by producing good citizens. Does this sound familiar to you Paul Farmer?

Another article published in the 20s stressed the important of asylum attendants completing the Certificate of the Medico-Psychological Association, in order that the work would be seen as highly skilled and professional. Nurses these days are encouraged to go for postgrad education, because nursing is ‘highly skilled’ and ‘professional’. Some years ago I was forwarded an e mail from a ward manager at the Hergest Unit which frankly declared that he didn’t want to do an Masters because he’d found completing a Bachelor’s degree very difficult, but his boss, the nursing manager Lena Henry, had told him that it would make the Hergest Unit look good if he did enrol for a Masters. Meanwhile patients died.

Again, as far back as the 1920s, the NAWU’s journal was maintaining that the general public only saw the worst side of mental hospitals and that if the public were allowed to enter such hospitals they would receive enlightenment. I witnessed two such Tours of North Korea myself, one in the North Wales Hospital Denbigh and one at the newly opened Hergest Unit. Local dignitaries were guided around the best parts of the building by the nicest members of staff. At Denbigh it occurred on Christmas morning when the Mayor and his entourage paid a visit. They were all very friendly, but of course patients clamoured to desperately tell the Mayor et al what was actually happening to them in there. The accompanying nurses used obviously tried and tested techniques to deflect the conversation onto other matters, such as the Christmas presents that the staff had given us that morning – they did give us thoughtful presents and they gave us a good spirited Christmas dinner as well – but a lot of the patients that the Mayor met had been detained illegally, although he wasn’t told that. The nurses did tell me that the Mayor visited the hospital every Christmas morning – ah, so they knew that he would be coming then! When the doors of the newly opened Hergest Unit were thrown open to some local councillors I took the opportunity to tell them that one of the psychiatrists there was having sex with the patients. A sharp-witted nurse interjected with ‘that man does not have any beds in this hospital’. No, but they let him in every Tuesday to hold outpatient’s clinics…

In 1969 COHSE’s journal concerned itself with the struggle for status between psychiatric nurses and psychiatric social workers. The social work profession made it very clear that they considered themselves superior and expressed concern that nurses would ‘muscle in’ on community work. Interestingly enough, I know a psychiatric nurse who trained in the 70s who considers that social work training is too political, concentrates too much on the identity and place in the world of the social worker and does not pay enough attention to the concept of duty to one’s clients. This nurse believed that this was what lay behind so many of the problems that patients experienced with the Arfon Community Mental Health Team – whether she knew that some members of that team were doing the bidding of people who were facilitating a paedophile gang I do not know. I note that Chapter Three of Dr Long’s thesis is concerned with the development of psychiatric social work. I look forward to reading her account of the evolution of the profession of which Hywel Williams was such a proud member.

Reading Chapter Two of Dr Long’s thesis one can only conclude that very little has changed – unions representing mental health staff in the UK have been very much more concerned with the pay and conditions of their members and have been prepared to denigrate the people that they are paid to care for to achieve this, ruthlessly manipulating public opinion. Was it really All A Very Long Time Ago and that Things Are Different Now? Well when I was in Denbigh a nurse called Bob reminisced about how he used to ‘manage’ the patients in his earlier years – he told me that the nurses had to make the patients more frightened of them than they were of their hallucinations. Bob told me that in 1987 – he may still be alive. As many of the older Denbigh nurses are. It is indeed informative to go on the website of the grandly titled North Wales Hospital Historical Society, which is actually a forum for former staff. There are a number of threads where staff have been chatting to each other – those poorly paid nurses who were constantly in danger from patients are certainly enjoying retirement. They discuss their exotic foreign holidays and one of them has a yacht that he talks about. Whilst I was in the Heddfan Unit a former Denbigh nurse who used to pop in there to do a bit of agency work told me that he owned a property in Florida and he spends his time between there and his place in north Wales. By the way, as mental health workers, all these people were entitled to retire at 55 yrs old with a full pension. Tory Cuts anyone? I know of someone else in north Wales who is both a psychiatric nurse and a psychiatric social worker. This man told me years ago that as a student, he was one of those who exposed the Ely Hospital Scandal – he claimed to have punched a nurse whom he saw assault an elderly man before he mobilised the students. Yet this man sectioned people in Denbigh, he knew about the horrors of Prestwood homes, he knows exactly how bad the mental health services are and he watched highly inappropriate people qualify as social workers when he worked in social work education at Coleg Menai. He has never spoken out about any of it. He now has a leading role in MIND in north Wales. Do you fancy punching a few other people Geoff? Starting with your senior colleagues at MIND who pay your salary and are doing such damage…

Bring on the protests then. Of those who are only protesting because they Care.