A Solicitor’s Letter From North East Wales MIND

Some weeks ago I wrote a blog post giving an account of the experiences of a former employee of North East Wales MIND (formerly known as Flintshire MIND), Karen Hughes. Karen alleged workplace bullying, financial irregularities, loss of client’s data, breaches of clients’ confidentiality and the suicide of one client after he was told by a counsellor at North East Wales MIND that she could do no more for him. Karen had contacted Paul Farmer, the CEO of national MIND and Sara Moseley, the Director of MIND Cymru and informed them of her experiences and allegations but they failed to reply.

Karen provided me with extensive documentation to back up her allegations.

Karen was not the first employee/former employee of MIND to contact me – I had previously received correspondence from other people alleging that there are massive problems in MIND and that a regime of terror leaves people far too frightened to speak out publicly. All these people asked me not to publish anything on my blog that could lead to their identities being revealed. However Karen told me that she was happy to be named as a whistleblower.

 

On Friday afternoon I received a message from my hoster, forwarding a solicitor’s letter that they had received from a David Mann from Aaron and Partners (who are based in Chester). Mr Mann is acting for North East Wales MIND. Mr Mann alleged that virtually every one of Karen’s allegations was ‘untrue’ and that my post about North East Wales MIND was ‘libellous’, ‘defamatory’ and ‘offensive’. David Mann is demanding that I delete the original post about North East Wales MIND.

I have always made it clear on this blog that if anybody believes that I have published anything as fact that is not true, I am happy to edit it. I rang Mr Mann to discuss the documentary evidence in my possession which supports Karen’s allegations, but I was told that he was out of the office. I rang again sometime later and was told that he ‘wasn’t picking up the phone’. So I e mailed David Mann. I have not yet heard back from him. I also e mailed my hoster but I have not heard back from them either.

The problem that I have is that my hoster is located in the Philippines and I can only communicate with them about this problem by e mail. I am happy to do this but I suspect that because it is the weekend I will not be able to communicate with them about Mr Mann’s allegations until tomorrow. Unfortunately, the misuse procedure with my hoster has an automatic element to it – if a solution isn’t found to a complaint within a certain time limit, the website is automatically suspended. Because of the timing of David Mann’s complaint to my hoster, there is a chance that my blog could be suspended later tonight automatically. Furthermore I am going away for Easter and will not have access to wifi, so I really do not want anything going pear-shaped with my blog this week.

So after a conversation with Karen, it was agreed that I should delete the previous post concerning North East Wales MIND which will enable my hoster’s automatic process to pick up that I have responded to their concern – thus safeguarding the blog – and replace it with an updated post about MIND.

Despite David Mann’s accusations that Karen’s allegations are simply ‘untrue’, Karen has provided me with documentary evidence that every part of her complaint about North East Wales MIND was upheld by Parabl, the agency which works in partnership with MIND and runs the counselling courses with them. It was North East Wales MIND’s practices regarding their work with Parabl that Karen raised concerns about.

There was another investigation into Karen’s complaints which resulted in none of them being upheld. This was an ‘independent’ investigation – carried out by Tony Bochenski, the Chair of North East Wales MIND, who was one of the people whom Karen named in her complaints.

So Tony has cleared himself and his colleagues, but they have all been found guilty by Parabl…

Tony Bochenski is a solicitor himself so I’m wondering why his organisation has employed another solicitor to write to my hoster.

Karen and I take the view that David Mann’s letter is simply an attempt to silence us.

Karen has also told me that since I published the post about North East Wales MIND, her immediate line manager – about whom Karen had no complaints at all and maintained was the one person in North East Wales MIND who conducted herself professionally at all times – has been forced by North East Wales MIND to sign an agreement stating that she will have no more contact with Karen. Karen doubts the legality of this agreement but presumes that her former line manager feared losing her job if she did not sign on the dotted line.

 

Whilst I am blogging about MIND in north Wales, I will take this opportunity to discuss some more of the documents that are in my medical files which the NHS illegally witheld from me for years and which were only released after my lawyers took the CEO of the North West Wales NHS Trust to the High Court in Cardiff where he was threatened with imprisonment.

In my post ‘The Most Dangerous Man In The World – The Scottish Play’ I discussed an attempt in 1997 by the north Wales mental health services to frame me for a criminal offence in order to have me deemed a dangerous patient, banned from NHS premises and transferred to a forensic psychiatry team. Immediately after my arrest I received a letter telling me that I had been banned from seeing any member of staff except for members of the forensic team or Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) and if I entered any NHS property managed by Gwynedd Community Health Trust unless it was to see Tony Francis or the forensic team, I would be arrested – again. The other patient who was arrested and jointly charged with me was subject to the same conditions. The case circulated around the courts for a few months until the trial. We were both acquitted. The Trust refused to apologise, stating that as far as they were concerned we were guilty no matter what the verdict of the court had been. We also discovered that Tony Francis had prepared a Report for the court before the trial explaining what was to be done with us WHEN we were found guilty. I was to be ‘assessed’ with a view to banging me up in a secure unit and my co-accused was to have been put on probation.

I now have in my possession a document written by the person whom it was alleged that we had harassed and threatened – a CPN with the Arfon Community Mental Health Team called Bridget Lloyd – in which she states that she had only ever met me once, that it was many years ago and that she didn’t think that I’d recognise her if I saw her. This document had been circulated among managers at the Trust and had been sent to Tony Francis. Yet the court was told that Lloyd had made a statement explaining that she was ‘absolutely terrified’ of me, that she had ‘young children’ who were deemed to be at risk of attack from me as well and that the Trust had issued her with a personal alarm to carry at all times lest she bumped into me and I attacked her. The magistrates were also told that the Trust were looking into the possibility of providing Lloyd and her family with a safe house if I was acquitted, such was the danger that they were all in.

After my acquittal, my complaints about the whole matter were ignored – numerous previous other complaints made by me regarding the abuses of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones et al were still uninvestigated.

I and the other person who was charged with me were arrested in Nov 1997. We were kept in the cells at Caernarfon Police Station for most of the day but no-one would explain why. The person who was arrested with me was deprived of essential medication for a number of hours despite him making repeated requests for it. We were released at the end of the day with no transport or money to pay for public transport home although we lived a number of miles from Caernarfon. We hitch-hiked back home.

After I received the letter from Gwynedd Community Health Trust banning me from contacting anyone but the forensic team or entering Trust premises, I rang the Hergest Unit to try to find out what on earth was going on. I spoke to a man who refused to identify himself but who obviously knew all about me. I only found out who this man was years later when my lawyers obtained copies of my files and there was an account of my telephone call among the documents.

The man with whom I spoke was Robin Holden, the then Head of Mental Health Nursing/Lead Manager for Acute Mental Illness at Gwynedd Community Health Trust. On 11/11/97 Holden completed a ‘note for file’ after I rang him.

Holden’s note states that I repeated my complaints about Dr Dafydd Alun Jones’s conduct towards female patients and I stated that there had been ‘numerous complaints of this nature’ made by me and others about Dafydd.

Holdren wrote on his file note that he told me that my complaints had been investigated and that if I had any ‘further comments’ I could ‘make them in writing to me’. Holden then wrote that ‘when I advised her that I did not see this telephone conversation as being very helpful, she hung up after telling me to fuck off’. Holden goes on to say that ‘her demeanour was excitable and unreasonable, demanding answers to closed questions and not allowing me to engage in meaningful dialogue’.

I remember the conversation well. I did tell Holden to fuck off, because in response to every question of mine, including ‘who am I speaking to please?’, ‘who was responsible for having me arrested?’ and ‘on what legal basis have I been banned from speaking to my own key worker and banned from NHS property?’ Holden simply replied ‘I do not want to share that with you’.

Holden was speaking to someone who had recently spent a day in the cells, had been charged for an offence that she had not committed and had now received a letter threatening her with arrest again if she walked into the local hospital or rang her key worker – and he found it unreasonable that she was asking ‘closed questions’. Is there any other way of asking someone who they are or who has had them arrested?

As for Holden’s observation that I was ‘excitable and unreasonable’ – Holden had trained and worked as a nurse at the North Wales Hospital, Denbigh. A quick perusal of the notes of any patient in that institution will reveal that they were all ‘excitable and unreasonable’, all the time, under all circumstances, even when they were catatonically depressed. I suspect that the reason why everyone in Denbigh was ‘excitable and unreasonable’ is that there was only a very limited repertoire of treatments there – lobotomy, ECT or huge quantities of chlorpromazine. Everybody got the chlorpromazine even if they subsequently also got the lobotomy and/or ECT – and the only justification for giving the doses that were dispensed was to describe someone as ‘excitable and unreasonable’. I did not meet one ‘excitable and unreasonable’ patient whilst I was in Denbigh, not even the man who was manic. He was manic, but no, he wasn’t actually unreasonable, I had some good chats with him.

But I wasn’t Trained, which must have been why I didn’t notice all the excitable, unreasonable folk who surrounded me.

As for Holden’s insistence that my previous complaints had been investigated – the documentation compiled at the time by his colleagues demonstrates very clearly that my complaints had not been investigated. There are copies of letters that managers had sent to Dafydd begging him to address my complaints – Dafydd simply ignored all such requests. After a few months of being ignored, a senior manager would then write back to me saying that Dafydd ‘refutes all your allegations’. I doubt if Dafydd even got as far as refuting anything, there was no evidence that they’d even spoken to him and certainly no evidence of any investigation into any of the numerous matters of very serious misconduct that I raised over a period of years. There is a copy of one letter written by senior manager Dr Peter Higson which states that Dafydd is ‘not compliant’ with the complaints investigation process. Higson does not make any suggestions as to what should be done in the face of Dafydd’s non-compliance.

Peter Higson is now the Chair of the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.

Robin Holden has now retired from the NHS. Psychiatric nurses of Holden’s vintage were allowed to retire at 55 years old, because everyone knew that the strain of looking after excitable, unreasonable people who are prone to attacking one and insist on asking closed questions really takes it out of a fit healthy 55 year old. Which was why many of the retired Angels then returned to work for the NHS in their former roles at a much higher pay rate after signing up for agency work. One former Denbigh nurse was still working shifts in the Heddfan Unit at the Wrexham Maelor Hospital in 2013 – he owned a second home in the Florida Keys. Another retired Denbigh nurse continued to work on Ynys Mon until about 10 years ago – where he also kept his yacht.

Duw, it’s hard, as Max Boyce used to sing.

So what did Robin Holden do after he retired? He set up a consultancy and flogged his expertise to the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board! As the patient and staff suicides at the Hergest Unit could no longer be explained away using the usual techniques, Peter Higson commissioned Holden to write a report on Hergest. Holden observed that Hergest ‘was in serious trouble’ and very sensitive mediation would be required because the staff were alienated and demoralised. I expect that Robin’s consultancy provided the mediation for the worthless bastards who used to work for him when he was their senior manager and was refusing to answer closed questions from patients whom they had had arrested.

Robin has a new role now. He’s a MIND executive! In Aberconwy I understand. He is involved with Parabl…

Robin also owns a few properties which he lets out as holiday cottages.

Duw, Duw, Duw, the poverty, the stress, the long hours, how do any of them cope?

On behalf of all the patients in north Wales – Jesus Christ!

 

After I had been acquitted of threatening Bridget Lloyd, Jackie Ehlen, the forensic psychiatric nurse to whom I had been referred as a result of being so phenomenally dangerous, wrote on my notes in 1998 that I and the other patient who was charged and acquitted along with me knew that we’d harassed Bridget and ‘had only got off on a technicality’. The technicality being that I had not actually spoken to Bridget but had been charged because I was in the same building as the person who did make the ‘harassing’ call. Not that he had spoken to Bridget either – he had been rude about Bridget to a third party over the telephone. Because Bridget had previously tried to have him arrested…

So that was the technicality on which we got off – the fact that we didn’t actually do it.

So who else knew about this idiocy in 1997 involving Robin the MIND executive? Well, it went right to the top of the Trust. John Mullen the CEO of Gwynedd Community Health Trust knew. Because Robin faxed him about 10 mins after my phone call during which I asked closed questions! Robin didn’t fax John Mullen because of me being excitable and unreasonable, he faxed John Mullen because after Robin refused to share anything with me – including his name – another patient rang Robin and asked Robin ‘if you are part of the cover-up regarding the allegations of abuse against Dafydd involving John Mullen, Nerys Owen, Alun Davies and the Freemasons’. Robin faxed John Mullen immediately. Robin noted that patient was asking closed questions as well.

The Chairman of Gwynedd Community Health Trust at the time was Hefin Davies. Who was/is a Freemason. The Provincial Grand Master of North Wales in 1997 was one Ian Lawrie Mackeson-Sandbach.

Ian’s mother Geraldine – who died in 2001 – was President of the Denbigh branch of the Royal College of Midwives 1955-75, a Magistrate on the Llanwrst Bench 1942-79 and was President of the Juvenile Bench. The Sandbach family estate is located near Llanwrst. Dr Peter Higson comes from Llanwrst and his sister is Dr Ruth Hussey, the former Chief Medical Officer for Wales! Ian Mackeson-Sandbach has a daughter, Antoinette. She’s the Tory MP for Eddisbury in Cheshire. Antoinette used to be the Tory AM for Delyn. Prior to pursuing a career in politics, Antoniette was working as a criminal barrister in London, but she felt a sudden urge to return to north Wales just when people started demanding a re-investigation into the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal on the grounds that the Waterhouse Report had been a massive cover-up. Within weeks of arriving in north Wales, Antoinette was working for David Jones, the Tory MP for Clwyd West. David Jones worked as a solicitor in Bangor and looked on as the victims of the paedophiles’ friends were stitched up in court (see post ‘The Right Honourable David Jones MP’). The son of David Jones’s boss in the Bangor law firm, Elwyn Jones, was also a solicitor and – along with Gwynedd Social Services, the North Wales Police, the North Wales Housing Association, Dafydd Orwig a Gwynedd County Councillor, Bethesda GPs surgery and the mental health services – stitched up an innocent man for allegedly being a danger to his own baby, whilst protecting two other people who had abused children, as described in my post ‘It’s All About Protecting Children’. David Jones is a Freemason.

David Jones’s constituency office is in Colwyn Bay. Which is the location of the HQ of the North Wales Police. The Gwynfa Unit was also in Colwyn Bay. Gwynfa Unit was a residential child and adolescent mental health unit. It was revealed at the Waterhouse Inquiry that numerous young patients had been severely abused, sexually and physically. One member of staff was imprisoned for raping a 14 year old girl and another male patient was buggered on two occasions (see post ‘Don’t Be Silly, He’s Nice’). From 1993 Gwynfa was run by the Clwydian Community Care NHS Trust. Prior to that it had been run by Clwyd Health Authority – the old name for the Clwydian Community Care NHS Trust. Both organisations employed Dafydd and Peter Higson in senior roles and both organisations failed to investigate my complaints. Gwynfa was shut down in 1997 – I rather suspect because of what was going to be revealed about it in the Waterhouse Inquiry.

The nurse in charge of Gwynfa, 1972-90 was Nigel Mannering Berry, one of Robin Holden’s former nurse colleagues from the North Wales Hospital. Between 1993-94, Nigel Berry was a Director of Colwyn Bay Masonic Hall. Berry lives in Colwyn Bay. As did Professor Robert Owen, the Medical Ombudsman appointed by the Welsh Office who co-ordinated the cover-up of the criminal activities of Dafydd et al in 1988 after my complaint (see post ‘In Memoriam – Professor Robert Owen’). Gordon Anglesea, the former retired North Wales Police officer who was imprisoned in 2016 for historical sex offences against boys in care in north Wales, also lived in Colwyn Bay.

Dr Barry Kiehn lives in Colwyn Bay as well. Kiehn is a retired Top Doctor who for many years was the psychiatrist for Gwynfa, although he was employed by Gwynedd Health Authority. Barry Kiehn also compiled a document which turned up in my medical notes. Back in 1987 when I began to realise just how extensive Dafydd’s wrongdoing was and how many people knew about it, I placed an advert in ‘Private Eye’ for info about Dafydd. It caused a stir and although I wasn’t living in north Wales at the time, I received a few phone calls from people there saying ‘ooh was that advert placed by you?’ I know that Dafydd himself saw it because he was one of the people who phoned me up. He was more friendly than I ever would have thought was possible and was chuckling away saying ‘ooh dear you have found out a lot about my private life haven’t you heh heh heh’ – not that it was private, Dafydd’s sexual exploitation of patients and criminality wasn’t at all private – and it was shortly after seeing that advert that Dafydd tried to bribe me. How did Dafydd know about the advert? Because Barry Kiehn told him. There is a copy of the letter that Kiehn wrote to Dafydd in my file. Kiehn was obviously good mates with Dafydd, they were on first name terms – ‘Dear Dafydd’. Kiehn sent Dafydd a copy of my advert saying that ‘a colleague’ had seen it and although Barry had no idea what it was all about, he thought that Dafydd should know about it…

 

Other people who knew about the fuckwittery of Robin Holden et al in 1997 included Nerys Owen, the Director of Nursing for Gwynedd Community Health Trust and Liz Brown, PA to Nerys Owen. Also Bruce Stephens, the manager of the Hergest Unit at that time and Amanda Lloyd, the Trust HQ ‘services manager’. All these people were CC’d into letters with regard to the trumped up charges brought against me in 1997. The usual suspect was involved as well of course – Alun Davies. Davies even turned up at our trial and sat in the front row of the spectators gallery hoping to see us taken away in the Black Maria. I was delighted to note that Davies looked as though someone had emptied a bucket of slops over his head when we were acquitted. Davies seemed so certain that we were going to be found guilty as well. Presumably a magistrate wasn’t following orders somewhere along the line.

Alun Davies owns property in Colwyn Bay which he lets out to other crooks employed by the NHS.

The Gwynedd Community Health Trust’s solicitor, Tony Lane, also knew what was happening. Tony Lane’s advice had been sought by the Trust because they didn’t know what to do about my complaints… My documents show that by 1997 the Trust had been seeking Lane’s advice regarding me for a number of years because they thought that Dafydd had done a number of things that they could not defend. They must have been in a real pickle to have been using Tony Lane as well, because the NHS routinely utilised the services of the corrupt lawyer employed by the Welsh Office, Andrew Park, to threaten me with court action.

Tony Lane’s firm was Jones, Evans and Lane and was based at 32 Y Maes, Caernarfon. His partners were R. Meirion Jones and Merfyn Jones-Evans and the associates were Wyn Trefor Jones and Mandy Maria Williams.

 

One the wider UK stage, whilst this perjury and unlawful withdrawal of NHS care was happening, the Waterhouse Inquiry had just begun taking evidence from witnesses. Ah, so that was why there was such an effort being made to label me as one who was Dangerous and Unreasonable and Who Could Not Be Believed. Blair was PM and the Secretary of State for Wales was dear old Ron Davies. The MP for the constituency in which I and the person arrested with me lived was the paedophiles’ friend Lord Wyn Roberts (see post ‘The Cradle Of Filth’). Ysbyty Gwynedd and Bangor Magistrates Court where we were tried was also in Wyn Roberts’s constituency. Caernarfon Police Station in which I was detained for hours without good reason and in which my co-accused was deprived of essential medication was located in the constituency of Dafydd Wigley, as was the company of Tony Lane the solicitor who knew that the Trust had broken – and continued to break – the law.

 

Have any of you got anything to say about it all having said so much about me at the time?

 

 

 

 

Reports Of Death Were Greatly Exaggerated

The stream of people appearing in the media to pledge their loyalty to Top Doctors who tell them that they have cancer when they might well not continues. This supply of eager folk seems to have been given an extra boost since I wrote my post about the massive scams at the heart of cancer research (see post ‘Oh Lordy, It’s CR UK’). The latest person to share his troubles re prostate cancer is a man called Bill Turnbull. He’s someone who is on the TV, but I don’t have a TV and when I have access to one I don’t watch the programmes starring Bill Turnbull, so I only have a rather hazy grasp of who he is. Bill has announced that not only does he have prostate cancer but it has spread to his bones and how he wishes that he’d consulted his Top Doctor four years ago. I do not envy Bill having cancer which has metastasised and I am genuinely sympathetic to his plight, but the harsh reality is that even if he had taken medical advice four years ago, that cancer might well have been missed – as it was in the case of Jade Goody. There is nothing that the Top Doctors like more than a celeb who has developed cancer because they are ruthlessly used to Send A Message.

Bill has been supported by his colleague Fiona Phillips. Now I DO know who Fiona Phillips is – she is a self-centred narcissist who used to be on breakfast TV and she also wrote a column in one of the tabloids. Fiona was a laugh a minute – she took a hard right wing line on everything, was utterly unsympathetic to anyone and was sufficiently bothered by people who wore Birkenstock shoes that she devoted a whole column to the subject. Not that Fiona managed to explain why Birkenstock shoes were so offensive, her column simply repeated ‘they’re not fashionable, they’re ugly. Ugly, ugly, ugly’. A photo of the offending shoes were supplied. Another one of Fiona’s high points was her appearance on TV with Philip Schofield when they rolled around laughing at parents who did not smack their children and Philip proffered the opinion that fings ain’t been the same since they banned the cane in schools.

There is however one cause close to Fiona’s heart – Alzheimers. Although Fiona only became concerned about this when her mother developed the condition and it dawned on Fiona that her mum was soon going to need looking after. So Fiona started campaigning…

 

So in the face of all those who maintain that ‘Sally Baker is a nutter who is talking crap again’, I would like to remind everyone of the Chilvers Report which caused ructions in medicine in Sept 1990. The Chilvers Report was a paper which was published in The Lancet by Clair Chilvers and others who claimed to have demonstrated that cancer patients receiving ‘treatment’ at the Bristol Cancer Help Centre were very much more likely to develop secondary cancer and to die prematurely than patients receiving conventional treatment at the Royal Marsden. The Bristol Cancer Help Centre  was an ‘holistic’ centre which ‘treated’ cancer patients through the use of diets, meditation, relaxation, ‘visualisation’ etc. When the Chilvers paper was published I was a little confused because although I am someone who takes the view that cancer cannot be cured by altering one’s diet or listening to whale songs, I didn’t believe that such things are so detrimental that they finish you off within months. I took the view that they were ineffective rather than actively dangerous.

The Bristol Cancer Help Centre originated in 1979 after Penny Brohn, a cancer sufferer herself, took an interest in what she felt was a deficit in cancer treatment. Brohn initially worked as a child care officer in Bristol in the late 1960s – so she was another person who will have known what was happening to kids in care – then became a lecturer at Bristol Poly and then trained as an acupuncturist and in Chinese medicine. Penny Brohn was married to David Brohn, a civil engineering lecturer at Bristol Poly. Penny Brohn had no medical or scientific education – and her husband managed to acquire a PhD in engineering without having a first degree in engineering, which can be done but is unusual. Penny pooled her resources with Pat Pilkington and her husband Canon Chris Pilkington who were already running a healing clinic in Bristol and they established the Bristol Cancer Help Centre.

The Brohns and Pilkingtons seemed very successful at drumming up positive PR for their Centre. Penny Brohn’s obituary in the Indie in 1999 stated that a journalist was dispatched to ‘expose the flaws’ in complementary medicine, but was ‘so inspired’ by the Bristol Centre that a six part BBC TV series resulted showcasing the work of the Centre, entitled ‘The Gentle Way’. This led to an ‘overwhelming’ public response and the subsequent recruitment of paid staff and a newly acquired building for the Centre, Grove House, which was formally opened by Prince Charles in 1983. Charles really loved the Bristol Centre and Penny’s obituary tells us that in the wake of the Chilvers Report, Penny ‘took great comfort’ from Charles. In fact articles about Penny and the Bristol Centre read a little like Private Eye’s spoof stories penned by Silvie Krin about Charles  – Penny ‘provided hope and inspiration to cancer sufferers the world over’. Sadly for Penny, after the Chilvers Report row, her ‘personal healing journey’ involved her cancer returning with a vengeance and after conventional surgery she retired to Crete and ‘spent several blissful years renovating a mountainside cottage under the comforting rays of the Greek sunshine’.

There seems to be much regarding the establishment and initial success of the Bristol Centre that has gone unmentioned. It is not an easy thing to persuade the BBC to give one one’s own TV series to publicise one’s healing centre before it has even has its own building or paid staff. It doesn’t matter how inspirational one is or how much energy or passion or commitment one has, the BBC don’t usually turn up on one’s doorstep offering one a six part free advert. Penny or one of her mates will have known someone at the BBC.

As for The Gentle Way, there was nothing gentle about the way in which Prince Charles’s Private Secretary Sir Michael Peat pressurised Exeter University to destroy Professor Edzard Ernst’s career and dept after Edzard refused to collude with lies regarding the effectiveness or otherwise of various complementary/alternative therapies (see post ‘Tuppence And His Fragrant Wife’). As Prince Charles would have said had he not been behind it, ‘it really was appalling’.

Penny’s close friend Chris Pilkington was a member of the Pilkington Glass dynasty and for many years was Rector of the City Parish of St Stephen’s in Bristol.

Readers of this blog who follow my comments section might remember that recently someone posted a you tube link in a comment which referred to the alleged involvement of a former Chairman of Pilkington Glass in child abuse. I had never heard this allegation before and have seen no evidence at all to support it. Pilkington Glass was based at St Helen’s on Merseyside and for many years was the biggest employer in the town. Sir Alastair Pilkington was Chairman of Pilkington, 1973-80 and Sir Antony Pilkington – a distant cousin of Sir Alastair – was Chairman, 1980-95. Sir Antony’s uncle, Sir Richard Pilkington, was Tory MP for Widnes, 1935-45 and then Poole, 1951-64. Sir Richard was born on Merseyside and his father Arthur Pilkington was Chairman of Pilkington.

Sir Antony told an interviewe in 1990 that he wanted Pilkington’s to be ‘a good company in the best sense’, ‘not just a money machine’. His concern was reciprocated in much local support for Pilkington’s when it became the target in 1986 of a hostile takeover bid by BTR, an industrial conglomerate known for its ruthless approach to cost-cutting.

In response to the industrial recession of the early 1980s, Pilkington’s had reduced its workforce from 11,500 to 6,700. But they did so on generous terms and much effort – through the pioneering community of St Helen’s Trust, of which Antony Pilkington was founder Chairman in 1978 – to create small-business opportunities for those made redundant.

BTR was rumoured to have abruptly sacked many workers at Dunlop – one of its recent acquisitions – in the week before Christmas. Politicians and local Councillors joined the Pilkington’s workforce in rallying to the Pilkington Board’s support and after a nine week battle BTR was forced to withdraw.

Antony Pilkington was a very effective moderniser. He reformed Pilkington’s hierarchical management structure, reduced the size of its Board and placed new emphasis on salesmanship.

An attempt to diversify into spectacle and contact lenses through the takeover in 1987 of the American firm Visioncare was problematic, but Antony Pilkington continued to search for ways to reshape the group in response to market conditions. In 1992 – once again faced with a sharp recessionary fall in demand for glass – he was forced into another round of cost-cutting at St Helen’s and a rationalisation of its operations in Europe. Recovery was slow, but Pilkington’s remained a world leader in glass technology.

Antony Pilkington was also a Director of GKN, National Westminster Bank and ICI. He was a Governor of Liverpool John Moores University, a member of the Court of Manchester University, a Deputy Lieutenant for Merseyside and High Sheriff of Cheshire in 1996-97.

So Sir Antony was in the midst of many of those previously named on this blog as being involved with or concealing the paedophile ring in north Wales and the north west of England. He was Chairing a company facing serious difficulties on Merseyside in the 1980s. Sir Antony had the disastrous effects of Thatcher’s policies on Merseyside – and then the aftermath – to contend with and he was at the centre of the Liverpool branch of the empire of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and the paedophiles’ friends. He was a Governor of Liverpool John Moores – another Governor was John Hamilton, a very close friend of the paedophiles indeed. Cherie Booth was Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores. Then there was Eric Heffer, Derek Hatton and others on Sir Antony’s doorstep. The whole lot of them were at each others throats and concealing the serious criminality of Dafydd and co (see post ‘These Sharks Are Crap As Well’).

Sir Antony would have been in a very difficult position indeed.

A senior manager who spent many years with Pilkington’s optronics subsidiary in north Wales, Pilkington PE – which later became Thales Optics Ltd and was then divested from Thales in 2005 as Qioptiq Ltd – knew a great deal about serious organised crime and the abuse of children in north Wales. That is Trevor Jones, the Chancellor of Glyndwr University. Trevor Jones has alighted at every notorious stop during his journey as a paedophiles’ friend – including membership of Clwyd Health Authority whilst Dafydd illegally imprisoned the victims of the paedophile gang in the dungeon there. For full details of Trevor and his criminal associates, see post ‘A Vampire At Glyndwr University!’)

 

After the Chilvers Report was published the Bristol Centre received such bad publicity that it lost huge quantities of funding and nearly closed.

The work which resulted in the Chilvers Report was funded by the Imperial Cancer Research Fund and the Cancer Research Campaign. I had worked for the CRC by 1990 and had witnessed exactly how much fraud there was in cancer research, but I was also acutely aware that some of the claims of people providing ‘complementary’ or ‘alternative’ treatments were just as dishonest and misleading. What I desperately wanted was good science carried out by honest people – sadly there was and still is not much of that about.

Following the publication of the article by Chilvers et al, a group of patients and supporters of the Bristol Centre expressed disbelief regarding the results claimed by Chilvers et al and a review of the work was undertaken.

Then came the bombshell. Some major fundamental errors in terms of sampling and analysis had been made by Chilvers et al. Their conclusions were invalid because – as well as for a number of other reasons – the group of patients receiving treatment at Bristol whose progress was compared with those receiving treatment at the Royal Marsden all had cancers at a far more advanced stage and that was the most likely reason why the Bristol patients died so much more quickly than the Royal Marsden patients. Nothing to do with the lethal consequences of The Gentle Way. It was confirmed that where the outcomes of the Bristol patients were concerned, ‘reports of death were greatly exaggerated’.

Chilvers et al fessed up that they had got this badly wrong and Sir Walter Bodmer, the Director General of the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, issued an apology and published a near total retraction.

Now Walter Bodmer is worth taking a closer look at. Walter’s wiki entry describes him as a ‘German-born British human geneticist’. Walter’s web page on the Oxford University site tells us that ‘In 1996, Sir Walter Bodmer assumed his current position at the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine as Head of the Cancer and Immunogenetics laboratory and more recently within the Department of Oncology.  After obtaining a PhD in Genetics from Cambridge University, he moved to Stanford University in California where he rose to the position of Professor. In 1970, he returned to the UK as the first Professor of Genetics at Oxford University. He subsequently became the Director of Research, and finally the Director General, of the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and was knighted in 1986.’

Walter’s wiki states that Walter studied the Mathematical Tripos as a student of Clare College, Cambridge and was awarded his PhD in 1959 from Cambridge for research on population genetics in the house mouse and Primula vulgaris (primrose). So Walter began life as a population geneticist – so he will probably have known Prof Greig-Smith, the Cambridge-educated quantitative ecologist who dominated the School of Plant Biology at Bangor University for many years whilst Dafydd and the paedophiles’ friends ran Bangor University. Prof Greig-Smith was a colleague of Dr Chris Wood, the wife of the corrupt GP Dr DGE Wood who was playing a key role in facilitating the sex abuse ring. If Walter didn’t personally know Greig-Smith, he will definitely have known people in Greig-Smith’s circle. Greig-Smith was a colleague of Cambridge botanist Edred Henry Corner, who was the uncle of Douglas Hurd. Hurd was Home Secretary, 1985-89, whilst the Home Office ignored and concealed the criminality of Dafydd and the paedophiles and framed victims and witnesses for serious crimes if they made complaint. For further details of this sordid network and their skulduggery, see post ‘Additional Security Measures’.

After I wrote ‘Additional Security Measures’ Brown observed ‘a whole load of posh people who weren’t very bright and didn’t work too hard all getting jobs for their mates’. That’s just about the sum of it and it wasn’t only happening among natural scientists at Cambridge and Bangor Universities.

In 1985 Walter Chaired the Royal Society Committee which resulted in The Bodmer Report, credited with starting the movement for the public understanding of science. If the public really understood science, Walter would be out of a job and no-one would be running a marathon dressed in a pink bra to raise money for cancer research.  

Bodmer was one of the first to suggest the idea of the Human Genome Project. He was the Director of Research (1979–1991) and then Director General (1991–1996) of the Imperial Cancer Research Fund. So Walter was Director of Research whilst the deeply flawed comparative study involving the Bristol patients was carried out. Looks like that ball was firmly in Walter’s court.

Not that it held Walter back. He was Chancellor of the University of Salford, 1995-2005 and Principal of Hertford College, Oxford, 1996-05.

Whilst Walter was Chancellor of Salford, that institution hosted a rather troubled social work dept. Walter was succeeded as Chancellor of Salford by Sir Martin Harris, upon whose watch a Professor of Social Work Research was appointed, whose incompetence and dishonesty would have made Water proud. I and two colleagues at Bangor encountered the fuckwittery of this man over a period of months and at first we wondered if he was having some sort of breakdown in the light of his chaos, crazy e mails and outright lies. Then a colleague of mine met someone from Salford University who told him that an utterly mad Professor of Social Work had been appointed because Salford wanted to pretend that it was hot stuff in the research arena, but this Professor knew nothing about research, lied through his teeth to everyone about his experience and pompoused around the university in an expensive suit smarming to visitors. It all caused much resentment at Salford.

Martin Harris was born in Ruabon – at the heart of the north Wales paedophile gang.  Harris’s father William Harris was appointed City Librarian of Plymouth – so he’ll have known Michael Foot’s family who were lawyers in Plymouth and undoubtedly knew Michael Foot, Labour MP for Plymouth Sutton, 1945-52 and later leader of the Labour Party who spent years concealing sexual abuse in politics and other high places (see post ‘Oh, No! It’s The Pathetic Sharks…’).  Martin Harris will have also known the MP for Plymouth Devonport, 1966-92 – Dr Death! Dr Death knew some of the Top Doctors who were involved in criminal activities in Wales (see post ‘Dr Death’).

Martin Harris was educated at Devonport High School for Boys, Queen’s College, Cambridge and at SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies).  He began his academic career at the University of Leicester in 1967 – where a great many people were concealing the paedophile gang of which Greville Janner and Frank Beck were part of (see post ‘Radical Leicester And Some Other Free Radicals’).  Harris spent 15 years at the University of Salford as a Senior Lecturer, Professor of Linguistics, Dean and later, Pro-Vice-Chancellor. From 1984 to 1987 he was a member of the UGC (University Grants Committee). In 1984 the UGC and its hatchet man Sir Peter Swinnerton-Dyer imposed such a severe grant cut on Salford that the University very nearly didn’t survive. So Harris gave his own institution a real kicking.

As a member of the UGC, Martin Harris will have known how Alwyn Roberts, a PVC at UCNW (Bangor University) persuaded the UGC and Swinnerton-Dyer not to close Bangor down, which was what Swinnerton-Dyer planned to do. The negotiating had a great deal to do with so many staff at Bangor being involved with, concealing or at least knowing about the paedophile ring in north Wales of which a member was Sir Peter Morrison, Thatcher’s aide and friend. Morrison’s sister was Lady-in-Waiting to HM Lilibet – at the time Prince Charles was Chancellor of the University of Wales (until relatively recently, Bangor and most of the other Welsh colleges were constituent members of the University of Wales).

Harris’s first appointment as Vice-Chancellor was at the University of Essex in 1987. He was VC of the Victoria University of Manchester from 1992 until its dissolution and reformation as the University of Manchester in 2004. So Harris knew about Dafydd’s mates at Manchester who really pushed the boat out to conceal the paedophile gang in north Wales/Cheshire as well as the havoc that they caused in the mental health services in Manchester (see post ‘The Mentor’).

Martin Harris was a member of the CHI (Commission for Health Improvement) whilst it gave a glowing review of the mental health services in north west Wales at a time when so many patients committed suicide that it showed up as a statistical outlier and when a number of patients were framed for criminal offences after complaining about staff violence. At least two members of staff met the CHI and told them in no uncertain terms that the Hergest Unit was very troubled and unsafe for patients, but that glowing inspection report from Harris et al arrived a few weeks later nonetheless (see post ‘Discussions On The Minibus – And A Revealing Letter’).

Martin Harris’s appointments since retirement from the University of Manchester include that of Deputy Chairman of the North West Development Agency, 2002-2008 and Director of Fair Access at OFFA, 2004-2012. Harris was President of Clare Hall, Cambridge, 2008-13.

Martin will be awaiting his peerage at the moment.

 

To return to Walter. In 2005, Bodmer was appointed to lead a £2.3 million project by the Wellcome Trust at Oxford University to examine the genetic makeup of the UK , the People of the British Isles project.

The research interests of the Cancer and Immunogenetics Laboratory at Oxford of which Walter is currently head include the fundamental genetics and biology of colorectal cancer. So if older readers are wondering why cancer testing kits are arriving unsolicited through their letter boxes with a letter demanding that they send a sample of their turds by return of post, blame Walter. That cancer screening initiative – as with the PSA test for prostate cancer – has a high rate of false positives.

Walter has quite a fitting name for someone involved in cancer screening cons. I remember a 1970s TV sitcom in which most of the humour centred around an elderly man called Walter of whom people constantly enquired ‘have you been Walter?’, the implication being that Walter need to pee on quite a regular basis. Because of course he suffered from benign prostatic hypertrophy – as do nearly all older men – so needed to go for a widdle fairly frequently. As I bet does Walter Bodmer and I very much doubt that Bodmer will have his own prostate removed on the basis of a PSA test result, because he will have heard about the concerns over the accuracy of that test.

The deeply flawed study concerning the clinical outcomes of the Bristol patients began in 1985. Walter was given his knighthood in 1986.

Walter’s wife Lady Julia Bodmer was a Distinguished Geneticist as well, although she didn’t have a science degree. What she did have was a husband.

The Royal College of Physicians ‘Lives of the Fellows Online’ tells us that Lady Julia ‘played an important role in discovering and defining the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) system, the system of inherited differences which accounts for graft rejection and for susceptibility to autoimmune diseases’. Lady Julia was born Julia Pilkington (whether she was any relation of the Pilkington’s mentioned above I do not know) but the Royal College reminds us that at school she was Head Prefect. Julia then went to Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, PPE – just like David Cameron and so many other politicians! Immediately after graduating, Julia tied the knot with Walter. She followed him to Cambridge and worked as an assistant economist.

Julia moved to Stanford University with Walter and began her family. She began working with Walter on tissue typing. In her first projects, she identified two new tissue types and laid the basis of the first two genes of the HLA system. She went on to find many new types and analyse their distribution in populations. David Cameron never did that with his PPE degree, but then he wasn’t married to Walter.

In 1970, Julia moved back to Oxford, to the new genetics laboratory – guess who had just been appointed Professor of Genetics there? This enabled the genius which was Julia to expand her work to include associations between HLA types and disease. She highlighted the association between HLA type and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis, helping to establish the immunological basis of these diseases.

In 1979, Julia transferred to the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London – when her husband was appointed Research Director there. She extended her work to include analyses of Hodgkin’s disease, Burkitt’s lymphoma and testicular cancer. Through her analysis and collection of families with a history of testicular cancer, she was able to identify the first testicular cancer susceptibility gene.

When Walter became Principal of Hertford College, Julia moved back to Oxford to establish – with Walter – a new laboratory, working on genetic variation in human populations.

Julia helped found the European Federation for Immunogenetics and was President in 1999. She was an honorary Fellow of Hertford College and a fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. She was awarded a DSc by Oxford University. Well as Julia still didn’t have a science degree, it must have been getting a bit embarrassing and the postdocs were probably fuming at the way in which Walter’s missus was parachuted into senior positions whenever he bagged a new job, so Oxford gave her a science degree to tidy it up.

Walter and Helen had three children – Mark, Helen and Charles.

A Dr Mark Bodmer is Chief Scientific Officer and President of R&D at Evelo Biosciences, Inc.

A Dr Helen Bodmer is featured on the Cambridge University Centre for Science and Policy website and is described as being ‘Head, MRC and Health Research Team, Research Funding Unit, Department for Business Innovation & Skills’. The website tells us that ‘Helen’s role as Head of the MRC and Health Research Team includes being the Departmental lead for policy on academic medical research and matters relating to the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Office for Strategic Coordination of Health Research with high level strategic overview of publicly funded medical research in the UK. She also has responsibility for sponsorship and performance management of the MRC. She works closely with colleagues in her unit which covers all areas of scientific research as well as with the Office for Life Sciences in BIS and other Government Departments, especially the Department of Health and the Home Office. In addition to this she is the UK Delegate for the IDEAS programme (FP7) for the European Research Council.’

So Helen decides who’s going to get the dosh. Now I wonder what Helen might prioritise?

Helen’s background is as an immunologist and rheumatologist and she spent four and a half years as an Inspector in the Home Office Animals (Scientific Procedures) Inspectorate. So Helen inherited Walter and Julia’s tendency to be an immunologist – Walter could no doubt draw us a nice diagram explaining the transmission of the gene responsible or indeed build us a model of the DNA involved and can no doubt also trace the trait back to the time when the Bodmers were nitrogen in the atmosphere before they had actually evolved into scientific giants. Helen was also one of those responsible for allowing questionable animal research to continue without letting the general public know what was being permitted.

A Dr Charles Bodmer is an endocrinologist at Colchester General Hospital. He has some rave online reviews from his patients who compliment him on listening to them, having a sense of humour and also supporting them in their decisions to try alternative therapies. So if he is Walter’s son, he’s obviously learnt something from his father’s mistakes. Dr Charles Bodmer has an interest in diabetes. Perhaps he could do something about all the scaremongering over the allegations that fat bastards with diabetes have brought the NHS to its knees, because he will know that it is more complicated than that.

 

The ensuing row after Walter Bodmer’s apology re the Bristol study was enormous. The Bristol Cancer Help Centre and their supporters declared that this was all a dirty tricks attack from the Top Doctors – it might have been, I wouldn’t have put it past them, but it might just have been more shite, sloppy, dishonest research of the sort that I had witnessed so often. At the time there was a huge war taking place between alternative practitioners and Top Doctors and lies and misinformation were being spread by both sides. Patients’ interests were completely lost in the face of all this and they were left confused and in a very vulnerable position.

The supporters of alternative therapy at the time particularly hated Professor Michael Baum, because he made comments about people who use alternative therapy being middle aged female Guardian readers in ethnic weave clothes. Baum should have acknowledged that the reason why so many people were consulting alternative therapists was because they were having such bad experiences with Top Doctors. However Baum did write an interesting article not so long ago about the obsession with prostate screening and what a waste of time it all is, which culminated in the words ‘keep your fingers out of my anus’. I feel very much the same way myself – indeed it was my resistance to the groping suggestions of the sex traffickers of north Wales which brought the venom of the Top Doctors down upon my head for the next 35 years – but Michael Baum theorised that the obsession with other people’s prostates was an attempt to ‘turn men into women’. I think it is more complex than that – it is certainly an attempt to render men as docile and as obedient as many women have been rendered as they are terrified by horror stories of the many cancers from which they will suffer if they do not Get Screened, but it is also part of growing state authoritarianism in the style of Foucault’s ‘Birth of the Clinic’, ‘Discipline and Punish’ etc. It is of course substantially fuelled by the great Top Doctors’ medical research con.  Michael Baum knows as well as I do that bad practice and research fraud have been endemic in medicine for many years and have never been tackled.

Following the confessions that the Chilvers Report was deeply flawed, in Nov 1990 one of the co-authors of the Chilvers paper – Prof Tim McElwain – was found dead. It was assumed that he had committed suicide. Everyone sobered up and it finally dawned on the world exactly how very nasty all this was. Tim McElwain trained at Barts, then worked at Hammersmith Hospital and Great Ormond Street. He became a Consultant at the Royal Marsden in 1972 and was appointed CRC Professor of Medical Oncology at the Royal Marsden and Institute of Cancer Research in 1983. Tim McElwain will have known that research fraud in medicine was extensive.

I was still working in biomedical research when all this happened and I can remember it well, but when I was searching the internet earlier for some of the crucial details about the matter, I notice that certain things seem to have disappeared. I can’t find details of the circumstances under which Prof Tim McElwain died – although ‘pressure of work’ was blamed – so I can’t even do what I usually do and try and work out if there was anything suspicious about his death. Tim McElwain wasn’t the leading author of the paper but he was described as being ‘the most outspoken’ – I have no idea why he felt so bad about it all that he ended up killing himself. Although the Chilvers article was absolutely panned, patients of the Bristol Centre were subsequently very critical of the Bristol Centre as well. In 1993 one angry patient spoke to the Indie claiming that the Bristol Centre had made claims that they could not substantiate and had abandoned patients.

Who could ever tell what had happened behind the scenes.

I also cannot find the original paper by Chilvers et al – I don’t have access to a university library at the moment, so I haven’t been able to search very extensively – but I suspect that like the paper which resulted from the research fraud perpetrated by my old bosses Malcolm Pearce and Geoffrey Chamberlain at St George’s Hospital Medical School (see posts ‘I Don’t Believe It!’ and ‘Oh Lordy, It’s CR UK’), The Lancet has ensured that the testament to the wrongdoing of the Top Doctors can no longer be accessed. After all, the show must go on – there are celebs queuing up to appear on TV telling us that they have cancer and how they wished that they had consulted the Top Doctors and Got Tested, there are highly paid CEOs of cancer research charities and all those fundraisers whose bread and butter (or rather truffles and lobster) is dependent upon anxious people being convinced that they’re about to drop dead if they don’t Get Tested and then there are the thousands of women who need to be encouraged to participate in fun runs whilst wearing pink bras to raise money for the often fraudulent research upon which some Top Doctors have built their reputation. Furthermore where would the nation’s politicians be if they could not take part in photocalls with Top Doctors whilst wearing coloured ribbons and Pledging Their Support? It detracts attention from the abuse of the Parliamentary expenses system, the round the clock troughing and the lucrative company directorships.

The Chilvers affair did not bring an end to the merry-go-round – not only did the Pearce-Chamberlain scandal occur three years later, but Mark Williams and his Mindfulness scam (see post ‘The Biggest Expert Of The Lot’) conquered the world and the people whom I knew thirty years ago who were behaving appallingly started landing knighthoods and peerages for their ‘pioneering work’. Photos of their grinning mugs litter the websites of the charities asking people on modest incomes who have no idea of the scale of the con to hand over dosh.

 

Clair Chilvers, the leader of the team which carried out the flawed research and who was the lead author of the article didn’t seem to suffer many negative consequences at all.

At the time of the research, Chilvers was Professor of Epidemiology working in cancer research at the Queen’s Medical Centre, University of Nottingham. So Clair was was one of those people who worked in the building just over the footbridge from the international disgrace which was Robert Baldwin’s Cancer Research Campaign Laboratories. Clair will have definitely heard about Baldwin’s chamber of horrors (see post ‘Oh Lordy, It’s CR UK’), Queen’s Medical Centre knew about Baldwin.

So what did Clair do after the shit hit the fan and Tim was found dead? She went to work for the Department of Health of course. Clair was subsequently Chair of Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust and Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Clair is now Chair of the charity that she founded in 2008 – Mental Health Research UK! A nice photo of Clair can be found on the MIRCYL (Mental Illness Research In Children And Young Lives) website explaining that her organisation ‘has made grants for PhDs to a number of different universities in the UK. Her research background is in breast cancer research and so she is very well versed in best practice when commissioning new research’.

Clair is fighting stigma and is committed to achieving equality.

Er – OK. Clair – lest you have forgotten, a member of your research team died as a result of a huge scandal of which you were the key mover and shaker. Do you think that the world of mental health research actually needs you? Or has it got you because cancer research wouldn’t have you back?

Others involved with Mental Health Research UK include: Lord David Neuberger, former President of the Supreme Court – David is well connected with the paedophiles’ friends (see post ‘The Most Dangerous Man In The World – The Scottish Play’); Professor Nick Rawlins, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, University of Oxford and Professorial Fellow of Wolfson College. Rawlins is Professor of Behavioural Neuroscience and has worked on schizophrenia. He became Associate Head of Oxford’s Medical Sciences Division in 2008.  Rawlins is responsible for leading the development of the University’s external fundraising strategy. His most cited paper is ‘Place navigation impaired in rats with hippocampal lesions’, published in Nature in 1982.  That’ll knock ’em dead  when it comes to fighting stigma. Chilvers’ co-founder of Mental Health Research UK was the late John Grace QC. Early in his career, Grace defended a group of Hell’s Angels in a ‘turf war’ involving shotguns and pick-axes. Later on he specialised in medical negligence and healthcare law. Did John Grace represent patients who had been harmed? No. Grace represented Top Doctors who were facing disciplinary action and Health Authorities in some of the UK’s highest profile cases in which patients had died or been harmed or who had murdered other people when severely mentally ill and not in receipt of the care that they needed.

John Grace was involved in the case of Christopher Clunis, the mentally ill man who in 1992 killed a complete stranger on Finsbury Park tube station. It transpired that Clunis was extremely ill, had been for a long while, was known to the mental health services in north London and had been scandalously neglected. The Health Authority involved was Camden and Islington Health Authority. Tessa Jowell, Frank Dobson and Jeremy Corbyn have all been involved with the social services and health authorities in Camden and Islington. Any of you like to comment?

John Grace QC was bitten on the bum by the Top Doctors in the same way that Tessa has been – he developed a brain tumour with a poor prognosis. All those years of research fraud and lying to the patients about the excellence of care does have consequences…

Clair Chilvers is also a Trustee of the Barnwood Trust, whose ‘vision is to create the best possible environment in Gloucestershire for disabled people and people with mental health problems to make the most of their lives’. In addition, Clair is a Director of the Churchill Lodge Management Company – and the dear old McPin Foundation. The McPin Foundation is committed to service user led research – except when I and another service user with a PhD and postdoc experience applied for jobs with them they explained that the roles for service users were only very junior and they couldn’t possibly give Real Academics like us jobs with McPin. Probably because we’d have seen straight through Clair Chilvers and might even have known who she was…

The Chilvers Report scandal of course was discussed in the Commons. The aftermath was still rumbling on five years after Chilvers et al had published their paper. Hansard, June 14 1995, records Jean Corston, the Labour MP for Bristol East, becoming very irate.

Corston was uncritically supportive of the Bristol Centre, as were many other MPs. I note that Corston praised the Centre for using massage – whereas nearly everything that the Bristol Centre was doing was benign (although some patients had ended up with malnutrition after taking the dietary advice to extremes), it is now accepted that massaging patients with cancer is most definitely not a good idea because it encourages metastases. Corston reminded the House that in 1985, an agreement was reached that the Imperial Cancer Research Fund and Cancer Research Campaign would finance two research projects on breast cancer, to be conducted under the auspices of the Institute of Cancer Research. The project was set up under the directorship of Clair Chilvers. After two years of a five-year study, the interim findings claimed that the Bristol patients were faring very badly and it was these findings which caused the rumpus.

Corston told the House that a number of people questioned the findings including Professor Karol Sikora ‘a well-respected and internationally renowned oncologist’. Sikora worked at Hammersmith Hospital/Royal Postgraduate Medical School and was there when I was a postgrad there in 1987. He was every bit as unpleasant and dishonest as the rest of them there and was very unpopular. Sikora later fell out with everyone in a major way and latterly Imperial College – the institution with which Hammersmith/RPMS merged – made a point of stressing that Sikora was nothing to do with them when he continued to use the title Professor. Sikora has spent the last few years arguing for the dismantling of the NHS. He is a very rich man who wishes to become even richer and he has big interests in private medicine. Sikora established a group with an enlightening sounding name – Doctors for Reform – but this is a group which has been lobbying hard for the abolition of the NHS.

Corston mentioned the BBC Taking Liberties programme which was screened not long before she spoke in the Commons, which was sympathetic to the Bristol Centre. Corston was critical of Michael Baum and Gordon McVie (of the Cancer Research Campaign) who continued to repeat the allegations that the Bristol patients fared worse than the Royal Marsden patients.

Gordon McVie was the man who spent time with the dying George Carman QC and persuaded Carman to leave a legacy to the CRC. Carman was a violent, totally corrupt barrister who was close friends with crooked police officers and gangsters. He was retained by Jimmy Savile, he knew about the Westminster Paedophile Ring and its link to north Wales and he defended serious offenders whom he knew to be guilty. A lot of Top Doctors cultivated Carman’s company as did many politicians and media figures (see posts ‘No Ordinary Methods’ and ‘ No Ordinary Methods – Supplementary Post’).

Corston called for a review of the data from the Chilvers’ trial by a body such as the GMC. The GMC knew just how widespread medical research was and they’d spent years concealing the serious criminal activities of Dafydd and the paedophiles, so what joy Corston thought that she’d get out of the GMC I don’t know. Furthermore in June 1995 the GMC struck Malcolm Pearce off for his part in the St George’s research fraud, but they took no action against Geoffrey Chamberlain who was very much part of it and whose name was on the paper publishing the account of an operation which had never taken place. Malcom Pearce was struck off days before Corston made these comments in the House – she will have been aware of the case, it received widespread publicity (see posts ‘I Don’t Believe It!’ and ‘Oh Lordy, It’s CR UK’).

Corston mentioned Professor Peter Garland, Chief Executive of the Institute of Cancer Research. Garland was Chief Exec, 1989-99. Garland presided over the Institute when some of the people whom I worked with on a CRC project at the University of Surrey were working at the Institute. I never witnessed them taking part in research fraud, but they admitted to me that the knew that Robert Baldwin at Nottingham was not doing what he claimed to be doing – and I recently discovered that data from work carried out by me whilst I was at Surrey was given to Professor Nicola Curtin at Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Medical School without my knowledge or consent and Curtin subsequently published it under her name (see post ‘Oh Lordy, It’s CR UK’). Nicola Curtin was not one of the collaborators on the project at Surrey and I had never even heard of her until a couple of weeks ago when I found a 1989 paper with my name on it – and Curtin’s.

When Peter Garland retired, the Chairman of the Institute for Cancer Research gave him a warm send-off praising his enormous achievements and the expansion of the Institute under his leadership. Who was that Chairman? None other than Dame Stella Rimington, Director General of MI5, 1992-96.

The Dame was particularly impressed by Garland because it was under him that the Institute for Cancer Research identified the breast cancer gene BRCA2. It is because of that particular discovery that Angelina Jolie decided that a sensible course of action would be to have a double mastectomy and her ovaries removed. She may well have had a few other bits taken out as well. Because Angela was given much publicity for doing this and the media waxed lyrical about her Bravery in the face of Risk, many other women Got Tested, found that they too had the BRCA2 gene and had a great many organs removed lest they developed cancer. It has now been admitted that the chances of people with the BRCA2 gene developing cancer are less than feared and even if they do, the sort of drastic surgery pioneered by Angelina is not necessary.

Stella – the reason why somebody made you Chairman of that Institute is that they will have been very concerned as to what was going on in there. You were supposed to put a stop to it. But then as the security services are known to have concealed organised sexual abuse by Westminster and Whitehall figures and bugged, burgled and harassed the victims and witnesses rather than the criminals involved (see post ‘Oh Lordy, It’s CR UK’), perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised that the research fraud continued.

Stella studied archive administration at the University of Liverpool in the late 1950s. Which was just about when Dafydd was finishing his medical degree there. Lucille Hughes also studied at Liverpool University in the late 1950s. Perhaps they all spent many happy hours getting pissed together which was why MI5 was so helpful to Dafydd and Lucille when they ran the paedophile and sex trafficking ring.

Stella has since been a non-executive Director of M&S. They still aren’t capable of producing any worthwhile clothes.

 

Corston told the Commons that a group of irate patients from the Bristol Centre took the Imperial Cancer Research Fund and the Cancer Research Campaign to the Charity Commissioners and that the two charities were censured by the Commissioners in January 1994 for inadequate supervision of the research and that the Commissioners recommended guidelines on the responsibilities of charities that fund medical research.

So that’s why Chilvers is now leading a mental health research charity.

Whilst making reference to the Taking Liberties TV programme screened in May 1993, ‘Cancer Wars’, Corston spoke of the ‘barons’ of cancer research and treatment from the medical establishment and how this was a David and Goliath struggle. It wasn’t – it was a punch-up between two Goliaths and the patients were damaged by the battle.

Lady Olga Maitland – a ludicrous figure from a past era, then the Tory MP for Sutton and Cheam – chipped in to defend the cancer research establishment. The Royal Marsden and Institute for Cancer Research were in her constituency, so she wasn’t going to upset them. My post ‘Doris Karloff – Honest About Her Expenses But Not Much Else’ describes how Ann Widdecombe and Olga Maitland obtained covert funding, free labour and support for their insane campaigning group ‘Woman and Families for Defence’ from London University in the 1980s.

A junior Health Minister Tom Sackville also joined in the Commons debate. He didn’t say anything very original or enlightening, but I’m interested in Tom by dint of him being a junior health Minister at this time – June 1995. In June 1995 the world was told that the North Wales Hospital Denbigh and its dungeon had been virtually closed down and was told later that summer that the institution was shut and that the patients had all been transferred elsewhere. We now know that this was not true. Part of that hospital was still open and remained open for some time – but again, no-one has ever been transparent about for how long for and why. Someone e mailed me recently telling me that they had put in an FoI request about this and had received a rather cryptic answer that wasn’t very informative.

We know why that hospital couldn’t be closed down as planned – it was because people were illegally imprisoned out there, some of them had been there for years and questions would be asked if those people materialised. I have explained in previous posts how records at the North Wales Hospital – like the records of the kids in care in north Wales – were unlawfully amended, forged, written after the events that it was alleged they were documenting or simply disappeared. So there will have been people in that institution who perhaps – like the Queen’s cousins who were discovered in a long stay institution in Surrey in the 1980s – had been declared dead. (I have received an e mail from someone who told me that there were actually five children of that generation in the Royal Family who were locked up and written out of history.) There was the dungeon at Denbigh and whoever was still locked up in there. And then there were the bodies that are in the grounds or possibly concealed within the building.

People died out there Sackville and that’s why they couldn’t shut the place down and then had to tell a pack of lies.

Tom Sackville was the Tory MP for Bolton West, 1983-97. His first career was as a merchant banker. Between 1992-95 he was a junior Health Minister and then between 1995-97, a Home Office Minister. So Tom was in the Dept of Health throughout the chaos and the dirty dealing which preceded Dafydd’s retirement (see post ‘The Evolution of a Drugs Baron’) as well as when the public were lied to about the closure of Denbigh. Sackville will also have known about the paedophile ring and drug offences that were facilitated by St George’s Hospital Medical School whilst he was in the DoH (see post ‘A Galaxy Of Talent’). Sackville’s time in the Home Office will have meant that he was party to information regarding the investigation into the north Wales paedophile ring and events in the run up to the Waterhouse Inquiry. Which William Hague only agreed to hold once Sir Peter Morrison was found safely dead in July 1995. Sackville was transferred to the Home Office some time in 1995 after June.

Have you anything to declare Tom?

Tom is the CEO of the International Federation of Health Plans. The International Federation of Health Plans was founded in 1968 by a group of health insurance industry leaders. With 80 member companies in 25 countries, it is the ‘leading global network of the industry’. It states that it’s  aim is to ‘assist in the maintenance of high ethical and professional standards throughout the industry’. Then Tom’s your man!

Tom’s older brother is William Herbrand Sackville, 11th Earl De La Warr. William’s younger son Ed is married to Sophie – they are good mates with Prince William and Kate and their daughter Viola was born pretty much at the same time as Prince George.

I wonder how William and Kate’s mental health campaigning is going?

 

There are two big mental health stories on Guardian Online today. One reports that a Guardian investigation found that 271 ‘highly vulnerable’ patients died between 2012 and 2017 after 706 failings by NHS bodies. Coroners have been so alarmed at the lapses in care that emerged during inquests that they issued legal warnings to 136 NHS bodies, mainly providers of care, between 2012 and 2017. They included mental health trusts, acute hospitals, ambulance services and GP surgeries. From what I can work out, the figures apply to England only. Paul Farmer, the CEO of MIND, has dispensed his pearls of wisdom about every death being a ‘tragedy’. Farmer has led MIND for years whilst they closed their eyes very firmly in the face of patient abuse and harm and before he was CEO of MIND Farmer led Rethink – where he ignored exactly the same problems. I know because I wrote to Farmer whilst he was at Rethink supplying him with details of the serious criminality on the part of the mental health services in north Wales and I did not receive a response. Farmer sat on the Westminster Gov’ts Mental Health Task Force and has recently been met with protests following his involvement with the Westminster Gov’ts plan to coerce people with mental health problems into work that many of them are too unwell to undertake. Farmer is very much part of the problem – and nets a very big salary indeed in return for colluding with this holocaust.

One of the Trusts named and shamed by the Guardian was Camden and Islington – who have been destroying the lives of vulnerable people for decades now. Another one was the Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. Camden, Islington, Cheshire, Wirral – all the locations of the vicious paedophile gangs in the 1980s and 90s who were operating through the Social Services and mental health services. As in north Wales, a legacy has been left.

The Guardian article goes into some detail regarding the ‘NHS failings’ and attempts to unpick the problem using a breakdown of the ‘reasons why things are going wrong’. It’s simple – many of the staff really do not care if their patients remain alive or not and are dripping with contempt for them anyway. If the Guardian actually reported what was going on instead of using phrases like ‘staff underestimated the risk that patients posed of suicide’ they would admit that scenes in which Top Doctors and other staff snap at suicidal patients ‘well we can’t stop you if that’s what you want to do’ or ‘you’ve felt like this before and never done it’ or have distressed psychotic patients arrested for shouting or swearing are routine in some units. The other old favourite is to make the environment as distressing as possible for voluntary patients and then tell them that if they don’t like it they can leave. What is happening to patients is simply not encapsulated by the sanitised language that is used in these reports – it does not begin to capture the brutality and inhumanity with which patients are often met.

The whole process of mental health care for many years has been diabolical. The diagnoses don’t make sense and are frequently changed at psychiatrists’ convenience anyway and many people find that many of the treatments simply don’t help them. For people in serious distress the care is woefully inadequate. Mental health professionals often simply view their patients as ‘just being like that’, with no understanding that they might have once been very different – it’s called being seriously ill. I have recently been reading about the actress Emily Lloyd who went through years of a very bad time and had the usual spectrum of meaningless diagnoses applied to her – from what I read Emily showed all the signs of someone who had been subjected to the usual years of fuckwittery and had been written off. She’s made a comeback, has had a baby and seems to be having a much better time. I wonder whether she’ll ever look back and actually remember any of the ‘expertise’ as having been in the least bit helpful. After Emily Lloyd starred in ‘Wish You Were Here’, it was predicted that she’d be the next biggest actress on a global level. It wouldn’t actually surprise me if some of those treating her didn’t even know who she was.

The punk singer Poly Styrene really had her life wrecked by mental health professionals whilst she was still young as well. She was diagnosed with schizophrenia, dosed up and whoops, 15 years later they realised that they’d got it wrong…

Jeremy Hunt banged on about record spending, zero suicide rates and parity of esteem. Jeremy, nothing is going to change until staff are employed who actually take an interest in their patients and those who abuse them – or who send whistleblowers death threats – are led out of hospitals in handcuffs and charged with criminal offences. NHS managers who have presided over units where patient after patient after patient has died despite warnings concerning safety failures need to be prosecuted and dismissed as well.

The other mental health article in Guardian Online concerns an incident at St James’s University Hospital in Leeds in which an elderly mentally ill man murdered two other elderly frail patients in 2015. This has only come to light after someone went public on this incident and explained that there had been a major cover-up. Staff at St James’s allege more than 40 incidents of violent and aggressive behaviour on the same ward between April 2014 and March 2015. They included nurses being punched, a patient throwing a table across the room and another slamming a medicine cabinet lid on a staff member’s fingers. Much has been made of the ‘paranoid’ ‘aggressive’ mentally ill patients.

The ward in question seems to be an EMI ward – elderly mentally ill patients can be aggressive and violent, far more so than one might imagine someone of 80 to be. The staff at St James’s are placing much emphasis on patients not being given anti-psychotics as being the cause of some of the incidents – could this possibly be a backlash against the dreadful publicity that there has been recently regarding elderly patients being drugged up to the eye-balls in EMI units? EMI patients can be cared for without coshing them chemically – it just takes a bit more effort and it involves sometimes going along with foibles and seemingly irrational behaviour until the elderly person’s anxiety levels and distress have decreased. Every ‘violent incident’ that I have witnessed with EMI patients has resulted from staff rigidly demanding that a confused elderly person does something NOW when the elderly person is, basically, freaking out. People with much more experience than me have observed exactly the same phenomenon – wards with EMI patients cannot be run for the benefit of the ward staff adhering firmly to ward routine. If you’re caring for someone who has lost a few million neurones, life doesn’t work like that.

As for covering matters up, St James’s has a long and fine tradition of that. For years they allowed one Jimmy Savile free reign and he sexually assaulted child patients as well and, it is alleged, did dreadful things with corpses in the mortuary. None of that was the fault of violent mental health patients who weren’t sufficiently dosed up.

 

The Independent Inquiry Into Child Sexual Abuse continues and the Church of England is under fire from the Chair of the Inquiry, Professor of Social Work Alexis Jay. Alexis has given the Church a grade A bollocking, claiming that it was an ‘enabler of child abuse’ and that nothing could be more oppressive than an institution saying that it had the power of God behind it abusing children. Actually Alexis, I reckon that a whole group of Social Services Depts linked up together run by paedophile gangs declaring people who complained about them insane and illegally imprisoning them in a dungeon in an isolated building in the middle of a range of hills in north Wales must come a pretty close second. Alexis presided over the Orkney Child Abuse Scandal. Children from the Orkneys were removed in dawn raids by social workers and flown to the mainland where they were placed with foster families whom they had never met before. Social workers refused to believe the children when the children explained that they really had not been Satanically abused. Some of the kids were not returned to their homes for years. It was later admitted that ‘mistakes had been made’. See post ‘The Most Dangerous Man In The World – The Scottish Play’ for details of the havoc wreaked by Alexis on Orkney.

My post ‘Oh, No! It’s The Pathetic Sharks…’ featured Tal Michael, son of Alun Michael, the man whom in May 1999 Blair insisted must be Wales’s First Secretary, although no-one but Blair wanted him in the post. Alun Michael resigned as First Secretary as soon as the Waterhouse Report was handed in, having done the job required of him by Blair (see post ‘News From Sicily’). I mentioned how Tal arrived in north Wales without good reason a few years ago, at the time when the paedophiles’ friends were in need of reinforcements. Tal bagged himself a job as the Chief Executive of the North Wales Police Authority, then resigned to stand for election as North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner as soon as it was announced that Police Authorities would be dissolved and replaced with Commissioners. Tal was unsuccessful so consoled himself with trying to get elected as the Labour MP for Ynys Mon. He didn’t pull that off either.

I commented that Tal was no doubt seeking other opportunities in which he could assist the paedophiles and their friends in north Wales. Tal beat me to it – by the time that I wrote that, Tal was in post as Chief Exec of Gwynedd CAB. I only discovered this because Tal has appeared in Daily Post Online in the wake of a cash crisis at the Gwynedd CAB. The CAB in Wales is best known for being a refuge for the paedophiles’ friends – Lucille Hughes, Dafydd’s mistress who was named in the Waterhouse Report as knowing that a paedophile ring was operating in the social services in north Wales whilst she was Director of Gwynedd Social Services but failing to act, is one of the managers of CAB in Wales. So does Lucille employ Tal or does Tal employ Lucille? The loathed Fran Tate, another paedophiles’ friend, is also involved with the CAB in north west Wales (see posts ‘Disability Support’ and ‘Just A Language Divide?’)

 

Yesterday the ‘Today’ programme broadcast a report on the subject of serious organised crime in prisons – the Gov’t have set up a new unit to deal with this as it is considered such a problem. The Lord Chancellor David Gauke was interviewed but the one thing that was not mentioned by either Gauke or John Humphrys was that the criminal justice system is endemically corrupt which is why this problem has occurred. Gauke and Humphrys discussed matters such as drones flying across walls with goodies for the inmates. A quaint picture of old lags in stripey jumpers stringing the bed sheets together to climb the walls was conjured up. The real problem is corrupt Governors, corrupt prison officers, corrupt Top Doctors providing the medical opinions/care and bodies such as the Parole Board and Criminal Justice Review Commission being packed with corrupt people. Just take a look at how many such people have been named on this blog. The whole system has for years been run by dishonest members of the professional classes and indeed they are positively selected for. If the priority when making such appointments is to identify safe pairs of hands who have followed careers during which they have concealed serious crime if Important People were involved, this will be the result.

David Gauke stated that he wanted prisons to be ‘places of hope’. So that’s why they are bursting at the seams with seriously mentally ill people, people with drug problems, homeless people or indeed anyone who just can’t cope in our rather dysfunctional society. There was one prisoner who did find prison a place of hope though – Vicky Pryce, the Gov’t economist who some five years ago went to prison (but only for a short while) after she, her husband the Lib Dem MP Chris Huhne and their mate barrister and judge Constance Briscoe all lied their arses off on oath. Vicky constructed herself as a female victim of her husband, wrote a prison memoir and returned to her job as a Gov’t economist as soon as she came out, after dispensing a few words of advice about gender factors regarding the prison system. How about a volume on the social class factors then Vicky?

David Gauke is a lawyer who graduated from Chester College of Law in 1995. Where he was at the heart of the rotten to the core Chester and Wales Circuit which had spent years concealing the paedophile ring that operated in the area and whilst David was there was going into overdrive lest anyone announce a public inquiry into the matter.

 

The Westminster Gov’t are going to order food companies to reduce the calorie content of their grub and reduce the size of the portions. No doubt seconds will be outlawed as the next step. It’s really great to watch a load of affluent middle class people lecturing the plebs regarding what they eat.

In Llanberis in north Wales, the old quarry hospital has been turned into a museum. It’s well worth a visit as they used to say on Blue Peter and the records provide an interesting read. There’s a list of the patients in the hospital, what happened to them and what the outcome was – there’s quite a few accounts of ‘quarrymen’ of 14 or 15 yrs old who had accidents where the outcome listed was ‘died’ two or three days later. There is also information on the quarrymen’s diet. The Top Doctor at the quarry hospital used to get very angry that those ignorant buggers lived on a diet of strong stewed tea with much sugar, bread and jam and thin stew with lumps of fat rather than meat in it. It is otherwise known as ‘being very poor’. The present day version is someone on benefits – or of course very badly paid workers on less than full time hours – and with not very good kitchen facilities, trying to keep themselves and a couple of kids going if they live in a place without local shops selling fruit and veg at a good price. Multi-packs of crisps and pizza packs from Iceland start to look like a good option. Those sitting in Westminster will have faced problems as have the rest of the human race, but very few of them have actually had to survive the mum’s gone to Iceland experience to eke out the inadequate benefits for any great length of time.

There has been a bit of progress regarding the lecturing of the lower orders though. The dreadful Jamie Oliver has at least stopped calling women on low incomes ‘stupid cows’ and ‘daft bitches’ because he disapproves of the way in which they feed their kids – I wonder if any of the stupid cows have given their kids names as ridiculous as Jamie n Jules have? Jamie has finally made some sympathetic noises about healthy eating on a low income. The next step Jamie is that when you present a programme about eating on a budget, don’t helpfully recommend meals which need the sort of expensive kitchen equipment that you but hardly anybody else owns to prepare them. If you want street cred, take a leaf out of Jack Munroe’s book and invent some recipes which really can be made by people with very little money. Jack Munroe didn’t flog expensive coffee table books either, she took steps to ensure that many of her recipes could be accessed completely free of charge. Of course Jamie n Jules might not want to do that because it won’t provide them with enough dosh to send Buddy Bear et al to elite private schools.

 

There is much embarrassment over allegations that Bradley Wiggins, hero of Team Sky, might have indulged in a bit of doping when he won his medals. Bradley is robustly denying any wrongdoing, which if it did happen involved the co-operation of a helpful Top Doctor. The manager of Team Sky was Dave Brailsford who became Sir Dave Brailsford as a result of the success of Bradley and others. If Team Sky ends up disgraced, north west Wales is going to have to rename a lot of things – Dave Brailsford comes from Deiniolen near Llanberis and cycle paths, sports halls and all sorts have been named after him since the Team Sky success. Dave Brailsford’s dad was a lecturer at Bangor University during the era when that institution was crawling with paedophiles’ friends. I never heard any such allegations about Dave Brailsford’s dad but I have been told by at least three people that he was very hostile to women in sport – a climber whose ‘banter’ would send Harriet Harman into a 24 hour hissy fit described Brailsford senior as ‘the most sexist man that I have ever met’. When Dave was interviewed on the radio about hostility to women in sport a few months ago, Dave absolutely reassured the listeners that it didn’t exist. You just don’t notice it Dave because  you grew up with it – it was everyday practice for your dad.

 

Finally this blog’s friend Jane Hutt has ensured that Wales has another first. BBC News Wales reported that Wales has erected the UK’s ‘first purple plaque to mark notable women’. The purple plaque has been erected to one of Jane’s friends! The notable woman in question was Val Feld, Labour AM for Swansea East, 1999-01.

Hutt described her mate as ‘a passionate advocate of devolution, equalities and social justice’ and ‘a powerful force for women and minority groups’ and that ‘it is only right that her legacy of integrity, passion and commitment is permanently remembered as a ‘Champion of Equality’ with this plaque on the walls of the Senedd’.

Val was born in Bangor in 1947 and grew up in Caernarfon. Not that woman of the people Val went to school in Caernarfon – Val was the daughter of a dentist who went to boarding school in Malvern. Which by the standards of Caernarfon in the 1950s made Val pretty posh. Just like her mate Jane Hutt.

In 1967, Val started work in London as a production secretary at the BBC World Service and then become a researcher/secretary at ITN and a copywriter at the Radio and Television News Agency. In 1979, Val moved from to Chorley in Lancashire to work as a housing rights worker and then co-ordinator of the Chorley Rights Centre. After the breakdown of her marriage she became ‘increasingly involved in local community and self-help groups’. In Chorley, she was elected to the local council.

At the beginning of the 1980s, Val returned to Wales. In 1981 Val founded Shelter Cymru and was the Director of the EOC (Equal Opportunities Commission) for Wales, 1989-99. She was then elected as an AM.

Here’s the translation:

Val was a privileged woman who came from what was very much an elite in north Wales whilst she was growing up. She had a cushy job in journalism until she decided to Help The Poor. I have absolutely no problem with any of that – what I have a really big problem with is that like those other wimmin who Helped The Poor, Hutt and Julie Morgan, the Champion of Equality that was Val ignored the plight of some truly desperate people – the victims of the sex trafficking gang in north Wales. Of whom some were girls and women, so even if Val decided that male suffering didn’t matter, there was no excuse for her ignoring what Dafydd et al were up to. And she did ignore it – it would not have been possible to have led Shelter Cymru and the EOC in Wales without knowing what was going on. Psych patients in north Wales were dossing in empty buildings and living rough because they had been wilfully abandoned by the ‘services’ – where was Shelter? Did they publish a word about this or raise concerns about it? Everyone knew that it was happening – just as everyone knew that even if the psych patients and former kids in care actually had somewhere to live, the housing was terrible. Neither did the EOC mention a thing about the serious criminal activities in north Wales which led to such iniquity.

After achieving nothing but a comfortable life for herself, in 1999 Val did what many members of this cadre did – she bagged herself a seat in the newly created Welsh Assembly. Just in time for the publication of the Waterhouse Report – about which none of them asked ANY searching questions. They sat in the Bay of Plenty in the full knowledge that numerous people – including some of their friends and colleagues – had facilitated that paedophile gang.

In Val’s obituaries much was made of her challenging macho attitudes in Wales and how she was such a freedom fighter that she became seriously fed up with the ‘bastion of male chauvinism’ which was the Cardiff and County Club – a men only establishment where, it is widely believed, the great and the good from the media, business, academia and politics get together to discuss matters mutually advantageous. So Val ‘was instrumental in establishing a coalition of women’s organisations to interface with the Assembly’.

I am sure that the Cardiff and County Club does contain some dreadful old farts – but I know for a fact that the wimmins organisations that Val was involved with are just as excluding as the Cardiff and County Club. They are a female version of the Cardiff and County Club – a bunch of well connected privileged women who only let their mates join and then pull strings in the Assembly to ensure that matters go their way. I knew women who tried to get involved with Val and Jane’s wimmins organisations, as well as some of the ‘minority ethnic organisations’ with which Val was involved. They walked away in despair – everybody had the same experience of being told what to do or frozen out by Hutt and her clique. People who didn’t run away screaming were simply oppressed and explained that they couldn’t disagree because if they did ‘their funding’ would dry up.

Wales has had decades of Hutt and the gang log jamming every organisation and every committee concerned with wimmin, minorities and people generally having a hard time. Those people continue to have a hard time. Whilst Jane and the revolutionaries who were the daughters of the affluent middle classes of post-war Britain continue to dine at the trough.

You are a total embarrassment Hutt – and thanks to you someone who ignored a vicious paedophile gang who killed their victims is now honoured on the wall of the Senedd. What an insult to the dead and of course to the AMs who are not paedophiles’ friends.

Jane’s wimmins organisations keep wondering why young women don’t join them. I have witnessed them do this at various events at which I was present. Unusually for me, I didn’t bother to comment – some mountains are just far too big to climb. It was summed up by the comments of another woman whom I met who like so many had had the Jane Hutt/Julie Morgan/Breched Piette/Meri Huws experience – she pissed herself laughing at her memories of ‘the dinosaurs’. Paleontologists famously assumed that the Brontosaurus was very slow to react because of the structure of their nervous system – it was speculated that if they felt pain in one part of their body, it took a dangerously long while for the nerve signal to be transmitted, which is why the Brontosaurus had two brain-like structures. But Jane does not have the two brains – she just has the ultra-slow transmission system…

I’m wondering why Val Feld’s plaque is purple. Is it because this is considered to be a women’s suffrage colour? The thing that most people know about purple is that it’s a bishop’s colour. There is an impressive bishop in Wales – the new Bishop of St David’s. She’s doing a PhD in particle physics in her spare time because she likes that sort of thing. When she was ordained she was met with a group of people protesting about the fact that she is female. I don’t remember Hutt saying a word.

 

 

An E Mail From MIND in Haringey

I have received an e mail from ‘David Pascall CBE’, Chair of MIND in Haringey, who has told me that he ‘wishes to protest in the strongest possible terms’ about my ‘defamatory and unpleasant blog’ – he is cross about my post ‘In The News At Present’.  Mr Pascall and his CBE tell me that the Trustees of MIND in Haringey are ‘committed and passionate’, that many of them ‘have been or are service users’ and that ‘it is disgraceful’ that I chose to ‘distort their entries on our website’. He reminds me that they are ‘impressive people’ and also boasts of the wonders of ‘my Chief Executive’.

Mr Pascall and his CBE may not like my blog but it is not defamatory. I did not ‘distort’ anyone’s entries from their website – the information that I used for my post was taken directly from the website of MIND in Haringey. It is now obligatory to be committed and passionate if one works in any area of health and social care, but I didn’t suggest that the Trustees of MIND in Haringey weren’t. What I was pointing out in my blog post was that many of the Trustees had professional backgrounds in health and social care, that only one of them was not white British in an area of London with a highly diverse population in terms of ethnicity and that they all seemed to have been able to build careers for themselves – none of the Trustees were homeless or had spent years on benefits. Despite his fuming at my ‘defamatory’ blog, Mr Pascall CBE has not supplied me with any information at all that contradicts my observations. Indeed he praises the time that the Trustees are giving to MIND in Haringey whilst they are ‘trying to build careers’! Mr Pascall CBE reminding me that many of them were or are service users is pointless – I mentioned the ‘service users’ among the Trustees by name on my blog. He reminds me of his own bad experiences as a result of mental health problems – again, I did mention on my post that the Chairman had experienced mental health problems and I said nothing to invalidate his own experiences.

The only fact that I seem to have got wrong on my original post was that Madeleine McGivern is no longer a Trustee of MIND in Haringey. Madeleine has left to work with national MIND. I was relying on the website of MIND in Haringey for my information – and when I looked at that website before writing my post, it stated that Madeleine McGivern was a Trustee. This would seem to be an argument for MIND in Haringey updating their website rather than sending me a rude e mail. However I am happy to clarify that Madeleine McGivern is no longer a Trustee of MIND in Haringey and I do apologise for misleading readers with regard to this. Mr Pascall states that MIND in Haringey have 12 Trustees, a normal number for a charity in their position – I questioned whether MIND is Haringey was top heavy.

Mr Pascall CBE explains that MIND in Haringey is one of the local MINDs affiliated to national MIND and these are ‘all operating as independent charities for the benefit of our communities’. He states that ‘we have no involvement in national MIND’s campaigns regarding issues such as workplace capability assessments’ and informs me that MIND in Haringey receives no support for core costs from statutory services, Haringey Council or from national MIND.

I have told Mr Pascall that the activities of national MIND and their Chief Exec Paul Farmer are doing MIND in Haringey far more damage than my blog is. I received an e mail some months ago from someone appalled at the activities of national MIND who told me that some local MINDs were getting very upset about what was going on in national MIND. Surely it is time for local MINDs to either disaffiliate from national MIND or speak out against some of the questionable campaigns that national MIND are running. Until Mr Pascall CBE e mailed I did not realise that the local MINDs received no funding from national MIND. If this is the case, why are the local MINDs even bothering with them? They’re receiving no support but are suffering reputational damage as a result of Paul Farmer et al.

Mr Pascall CBE wanted me to publish his e mail on my blog. Because he is accusing me of something that I haven’t done I will not be doing this – I am always happy to correct factual errors on the blog but I’m not publishing silly rants from people who boast about their gongs. I have invited Mr Pascall CBE to use my comments section to detail the ways in which MIND in Haringey are benefiting the local community if he wishes.

Although I accept that MIND in Haringey are independent of national MIND I cannot help but note the tactics that Mr Pascall is using – he’s letting me know that he has a gong, he’s telling me that he represents and helps service users but he’s going to take steps to have my blog taken down. So the Voice of the Service Users is going to silence another Service User because she’s saying something that he doesn’t like. And anyway he’s got a gong. Mr Pascall CBE, something tells me that like Madeleine McGivern, you too could have a great future in national MIND…

In The News At Present

I’m following up a few research leads for the blog at the moment, so today’s post is just a resume of a few stories that are currently in the news, with a bit of background info on some of the people involved.

This morning the ‘Today’ programme broadcast a rather weak piece concerning the issue of men in the workplace and their mental health. Of course, MIND provided someone to comment  – not the odious Paul Farmer, who has kept a low profile for a few days, but a Madeleine McGivern. Madeleine is ‘head of programmes, workplace well-being’ for MIND. I’m taking more and more of an interest in the Third sector, as are a number of other bloggers, because it has become clear that MIND are not the only charity coining it in by pretending to be representing the oppressed whilst doing anything but. There are problems across the whole of the Third sector. Madeleine has a wealth of experience in this domain, having previously worked for Christian Aid and Water Aid for some years. She does actually seem to have a lot of experience in working in the Middle East and specialised in the Middle East whilst she was at university. Her CV in that field is very impressive. So one wonders how she ended up in her present post with MIND – the only clue is that prior to her extended stint concerning the Middle East, she was a charity junky, having worked in a number of roles in the Third sector after she graduated. But there are now many people who are building extended highly paid careers on the back of charity work. Madeleine has shown a bit of nous in terms of building a network to land such roles – she co-founded something called FIND, a network which connects women with professional interests similar to hers. Despite her lack of previous stated experience in mental health, Madeleine is also a Trustee of Haringey MIND. My post ‘MIND Are Out For Mental Health – Never For Themselves Of Course…’ mentions that the worryingly paedophile-friendly Tony Smythe, former Chief Exec of MIND, continued to be involved with Haringey MIND long after he stepped down as Chief Exec, as did his partner Jeanne. So I took a look at the present ‘Board of volunteer Trustees’ for Haringey MIND.

There’s an awful lot of them – so either Haringey MIND is a substantial concern or they are top heavy. The Trustees are described on the MIND In Haringey website thus:

David Pascall, Chair and Acting Treasurer. David states that he has personal experience of mental illness and that he lives in Haringey. Is he a long term service user, battling with the excesses of welfare reform? Probably not. He states that he has retired from full-time executive work and is seeking non-executive chairmanships and directorships. He’s not going to be making the tea at the drop in centre then. I completely accept that executives can experience mental illness but David’s CV suggests that he wasn’t clobbered that badly – and some of his previous posts are rather inconsistent with the image that MIND likes to project. David was a senior executive with BP for 25 years. That’s the BP that was responsible for the 2010 Deep Horizon oil spill, the biggest oil spill in marine waters in history, which resulted in BP pleading guilty to eleven counts of felony manslaughter, two misdemeanours, one felony count of lying to Congress and paying more than $4.5 billion pounds in fines and penalties. David was the MD of Terra Firma, a private equity group, for eight years. (Terra Firma’s record is so bad that I have not got time to detail it all here, I recommend interested readers to just google, you’ll find pages of unscrupulous practices.) David has also held Gov’t positions and has experience of a range of non-executive chairs and directors positions.

Marcus Yorke. Marcus doesn’t claim any service user credentials himself, but he previously worked as an occupational therapist in a 57 bedded unit for young males with psychotic illness, supporting them to find work and educational opportunities. Marcus may have been doing a very useful job there – or he may have been the sort of mental health professional described in a previous post, who coerced people into work and education when they were not capable of it, resulting in them hitting disaster after a few weeks and finding themselves back in the mental health system again, although the records of Marcus will have had lot of ticks in the boxes labelled ‘recovered’. I cannot help thinking that Marcus’s previous employment will have been very attractive to MIND, as they made it clear to Gov’t some time ago that they couldn’t wait to bid for those lucrative DWP contracts forcing claimants with mental health problems off benefits into work. Marcus has organised events challenging stigma!

Gemma Coleman, Secretary. Gemma spent five months volunteering at Haringey MIND and then joined the Board. She worked for the Dept of Education in SEN and disability research. She has also worked for Rethink Mental Illness and has a Masters in Mental Health Research from UCL.

Laura Aldridge. Has personal experience of mental health issues. Laura spent a year volunteering at Haringey MIND in the admin dept. She believes that ‘mental health charities are ever more important due to the lack of Gov’t funding for mental illness’. Not only is that the Official Paul Farmer Line, but the only reason why Farmer, in his £100k pa plus post, wants an increase in Gov’t funding ‘for mental illness’ is so that it is channelled in the direction of MIND. Laura has worked in academic publishing and is a graduate of UCL.

Oran Blackwood. Oran is a mental health survivor and is training as a counsellor and SEN co-ordinator. He has ten years of experience working with SEN and mental health issues in post-16 education. Oran also volunteers with a number of other charities.

Tricia Bohn. She has worked as a GP in Hackney for more than 20 years, in a practice with a strong commitment to mental health and local voluntary organisations. Prior to working as a GP Tricia was a Youth and Community worker in Haringey and Hackney.

Glynnis Joffe. Glynnis has over thirty years experience in working in social care, initially as a social worker and then as a social services senior manager for twenty years. She has experience of working with NHS CCGs and provider Trusts offering hospital and community services, including mental health. Glynnis believes in co-production between the voluntary sector and service users!

Helen Moulinos. Helen trots out the myth that ‘1 in 4’ people suffer from mental illness. Which is not true, but it’s what MIND tells people. She has twenty plus years of international commercial experience in charity and the financial services. She has skills in business and commercial strategy and creating new business models. She is a Trustee of an East London based mental health charity – which is helping people return to the workplace! Helen is also involved in restructuring three of the UKs largest public health and social care charities.

David Mosse. David has personal experience of bereavement due to suicide. He is the Professor and Head of the Anthropology Dept at SOAS (University of London). His career has been in community based approaches to poverty reduction and human development internationally eg. Oxfam in India. He is a Trustee for an NGO working in rural India and a Governor of SOAS.

Heather Pegrum. She is a Mental Health First Aider and a volunteer support recovery worker with a background in fine art/graphic design.

Richard Popple. Richard is a trainer and facilitator for the private and public sectors including the NHS. He is also an actor and writer.

 

What is striking about these Trustees is what a very limited sector of society they have been drawn from. Many of them work in or manage the mental health services or arms of Gov’t which have led to so many of the problems experienced by ‘service users’. Two of them were educated at UCL which has been involved in concealing abuses in the mental health services and a number of them have spent their careers working in the Third sector. There is not going to be much divergence in thought among these Trustees – with the exception of the two who have a background in academic/international NGO work and of course the oil executive/corporate capitalist, they will all have been completely inducted into thinking about mental health problems and ways of addressing them in the way that the mental health services and MIND do. Which has not got us very far. Furthermore, most of these Trustees are in positions which makes public dissent impossible.

The Voice of the Service Users? Hardly. Some of them claim to have personal experience of mental health problems, but they all seem to have been able to build careers. That is not to dismiss their own experiences, which will be valuable – but there is an obvious absence of the voices of people with severe enduring mental illness who have experienced long-term poverty. It is those people who are being left destitute by Theresa May’s welfare reforms – welfare reforms which MIND intends to benefit from by bidding for Gov’t contracts. Something else is clear about this Board as well. Whilst I am cynical about organisations hitting ‘diversity’ targets, there is only one Trustee who is not white British. Haringey has one of the most ethnically and culturally mixed populations in the country. There is a huge Cypriot community, a huge Black community and a Jewish community. Statistics tell us that the Black community in Haringey will be over-represented among people who have been diagnosed with psychosis and treated under the Mental Health Act. Where are they on this Board? Where are older people, many of whom will be in receipt of ‘services’ (or more probably will need to be in receipt of services but won’t be getting them)? The Service Users on this Board are professional people whom I suspect have experienced the milder types of mental health problems. Which is probably why one of them is quoting the misleading 1 in 4 statistic…

 

Another health news item on the ‘Today’ programme was a discussion concerning the Gov’ts plans to increase the number of medical student places in UK universities – it’s a bit too little too late. It was pointed out to the Health Minister being interviewed, Phillip Dunne, that those students won’t be arriving in the medical workforce for years, yet the increase in numbers is a response to the alleged shortage of doctors now. Dunne stated that medical students make a valuable contribution to the medical workforce whilst they are training. They are certainly used as cheap labour for menial tasks, but they are also kicked about and bullied – particularly by a certain sort of Angel actually. Angels get kicked about and bullied by Top Doctors themselves which causes some of them to get the retaliation into medical students on the grounds that in a few years time their salaries will be exceeding the Angels’ pay and they’ll be putting the boot into the Angels themselves. It’s all a case of Red In Tooth And Claw in the NHS. Medical students are also completely powerless – so if they’re witnessing mad or negligent Top Doctors in action they can do nothing about it at all, even if patients are being very obviously harmed. NHS whistleblowers are nearly always sacked even when they’re paid up members of the workforce – I’ve not yet actually encountered a medical student who’s ever tried to report malpractice or misconduct, although I know plenty who have witnessed it. I do know student nurses who have been forced off their course for reporting the abuse of patients.

Phillip Dunne also emphasised that more ‘diversity’ was needed among medical students and that the Gov’t will be giving universities incentives to accept students from underprivileged backgrounds or those who want to work in rural or coastal areas or psychiatry. No doubt the Gov’t will now implement some simplistic lame initiatives which will not result in what they want to achieve. This blog has previously commented that many Top Doctors are from privileged backgrounds. Younger Top Doctors however are often not quite so privileged – they still tend to be from the middle classes, but many more of them have attended state schools. The discussions concerning diversity in medicine that I’ve encountered are missing a crucial element. A greater variation in social backgrounds would be a positive move, but the problem with the Top Doctors isn’t so much that they are drawn from the more privileged sections of society – it is that so many of them are incredibly self-interested and no-one is acknowledging this. Their self-interest and sometimes sheer naked greed is what leads them to abuse or neglect patients, to demand bigger and bigger salaries, to mistreat their colleagues and to falsify research. There is little point in increasing diversity if the system still selects for people who’ll murder their grandmother – or indeed other people’s grandmothers – to advance themselves.

‘Today’ broadcast an interview with a Top Doctor who had been working in a rural GPs practice but who had returned to the city to work in a hospital. He explained in his interview that he had found general practice rather routine and boring and wanted ‘broader experience’. He was probably too tactful to admit that he had been stuck in a surgery with a group of old farts of senior partners who had ‘done things this way’ for years and weren’t going to take on board any suggestions from a whippersnapper. Of course, the image presented to aspiring medical students – including by medical schools themselves – is that of medicine as a glamorous career which involves endless heroics and life-saving, plus a healthy dose of brain surgery. If the students have been lured in on that basis, they will feel that it’s a bit of let-down when they find themselves spending most of their time treating frail elderly people with conditions that are not going to improve. As for tempting students into psychiatry – well Phillip Dunne needs to get rid of the Dafydds, the Marie Savages and the Tony Roberts’s if psychiatry is ever to become a popular speciality.

As is my current practice, I did a bit of research on the person being interviewed by ‘Today’, Phillip Dunne. His wiki entry describes him as a ‘farmer’ and a ‘banker’. I presume that he’s not the sort of farmer who has a flock of sheep on the side of a mountain in north Wales and is reliant on the agricultural subsidies to keep him from bankruptcy. Phillip I suspect is the sort of farmer who owns a few thousand acres and who also receives agricultural subsidies – but in his case they will ensure that he remains one of the wealthiest people in the UK. (I think that Lord Newborough of Rhug Farm Estate worked in the City before he returned to north Wales and took over the ‘family farm’.) I’m not sure that either of Dunne’s previous jobs leave him in a particularly good position to take up a role as Health Minister.

I was also interested to hear the former Chancellor Alistair Darling speaking on the radio – ‘Today’ were celebrating the 10th anniversary of the banking crash. Alistair reminisced about how it took him completely by surprise, he was actually on holiday and had gone out to buy some rolls when he heard that the French banks had collapsed. He didn’t worry but he then heard that banks were collapsing across the world and he thought gosh it might happened to the British banks. It did, a few hours later. Just like that. He subsequently had a phone conversation with the head of one of the biggest UK banks who told Alistair that the bank was probably going to run out of money later that afternoon and Alistair realised that he didn’t know what to do about any of it. Alistair, who had no idea that his running of the economy was going to lead to a banking crash and then didn’t know what to do when it did, has of course been rewarded with a seat in the Lords. Harriet Harman memorably stated that if only Lehman Brothers had been Lehman Sisters none of it would ever have happened (it was a problem of gender you see, not one of global capitalism) and the rest of them blamed the general public for spending like drunken sailors, although Gordon Brown had positively encouraged everyone to do this. Liam Byrne put the icing on the cake by leaving a witty note behind telling the incoming Coalition Gov’t that there was no money left.

 

BBC News Wales online has reported that the Welsh Gov’t has announced that it will be dispensing with the post of the Welsh Language Commissioner, who is of course a star of this blog – Meri Huws aka the Crack of Doom (see posts ‘Let Me Enlighten Lord Gnome… and ‘Local Accessories’ for background on Meri and the way in which she was alleged to have secured the numerous jobs that she could not do). Cymdeithas yr Iaith have got very angry about this, but then Meri is their former Chair, so they would wouldn’t they. Heledd Gwyndaf from Cymdeithas stated that the Welsh Gov’ts proposals were ‘aimed at making civil servants lives easier’. Their lives certainly will be easier once Meri is out of the door, when she was given that job a senior colleague of mine at Bangor University observed that she won’t know what she is doing, but at least the civil servants will. Alun Davies the Minister for the Welsh language made some eminently sensible comments, including that promoting and protecting the Welsh language involves ‘more than slogans and chanting on an Eisteddfod field’. But as I noted previously, Meri should never have been given that position, there was outrage among language scholars and researchers when the appointment was announced because she had no credibility with any of them.

Meri gave an interview stating that ‘change for change’s sake is not acceptable’ but ‘change is acceptable if it leads to improvement’. So Meri, who has received more than £100k pa for the last five years from the Welsh Gov’t, is now dictating the circumstances under which they can kick her out. Meri has demanded ‘evidence’ that change is needed. The evidence Meri is that you made such a hash of drawing up ‘standards’ a few years ago that Leighton Andrews had to publicly comment on the cock-up and that after five years of you being in post there is every indication that Welsh is still on the back foot. Furthermore, it was recently reported that ‘Sports Direct’ in Bangor had banned staff from speaking Welsh. Did you organise a boycott of ‘Sports Direct’ or send anyone in undercover to clock how many laws they were breaking – which they will be, they are after all ‘Sports Direct’? No, you were at the Eisteddfod, giving interviews explaining why it wasn’t ‘acceptable’ for the Welsh Gov’t to sack you.

There was however a protest in Bangor yesterday by another self-appointed guardian of the Welsh language. Hywel Williams, MP for Caernarfon, was photographed standing in the rain on a pavement in Bangor holding up a small piece of paper with a ‘No To Starbucks’ printed on it. It transpires that ‘Starbucks’ are planning to open a café in Bangor. Was Hywel protesting because this American tax-dodging giant might put other cafes out of business or disrespect the Welsh language (which it probably will)? No, Hywel was protesting because he thought that the road junction on which the proposed ‘Starbucks’ is to be sited is ‘dangerous’. Not that anyone has ever been killed or injured there.

Even the ‘Times’ yesterday, the Murdoch owned, Danny Finkelstein-employing, Tory-supporting ‘Times’, published a leader supporting the right of people to speak Welsh and condemned ‘Sports Direct’ in the strongest terms. So the ‘Times’ has been more pro-active in it’s support for Welsh than the Welsh Language Commissioner. Is anymore evidence needed to justify her dismissal?

BBC News Wales recently ran a story concerning a scandal in a Council in south Wales. A number of staff were disciplined for consuming cooked breakfasts whilst they were supposed to be working. New readers may not be aware that one of my first posts when I started this blog was an account of the practices of the Arfon Community Mental Health Team. Not only did they perjure themselves in an attempt to have me imprisoned and threaten to assault clients in their own homes, but the Arfon Team achieved notoriety for their consumption of cooked breakfasts. They’d all gather in Morrison’s café in Upper Bangor at about 9-30 every morning and enjoy a fry-up, finally returning to their offices at about 11-30. ‘Service users’ who were being refused ‘help’ from this team on the grounds that they were ‘too busy’ would watch this ritual daily. It went on for years – that ‘team’ was jointly managed by Gwynedd Social Services and the North West Wales NHS Trust. Disciplinary action was never mentioned.

To finish, some news about Bangor University. The Daily Post online is taking delight in reporting that the University has once more performed brilliantly in terms of student satisfaction. Bangor has done well on this measure for years – there are a lot of staff, including admin staff, who are very committed to student welfare and love working with the students. The irony is that the man who is basking in the glory and bragging about it to the Daily Post is none other than Professor Oliver Turnbull, PVC for Teaching and Learning. Turnbull is best known for being sent on extended gardening leave a few years ago when an e mail that he wrote was leaked to ‘Private Eye’. A female psychology student had complained about being sexually harassed by a teaching assistant. Turnbull had responded by asking whether her complaint should be taken seriously or whether she should just be viewed as a poorly performing student who was seeking excuses. Turnbull accidentally cc’d the e mail to the student herself. It remains a mystery why he was ever appointed as PVC for Teaching and Learning after his suspension. One thing is certain. Bangor excelling in it’s support for students will have sod all to do with Oliver Turnbull. For more details of Oliver Turnbull and the School of Psychology that he runs, see post ‘He’s Not The Messiah, He’s A Very Naughty Boy’.

The Great And The Good

As promised I’ll provide brief reviews of those Top Doctors and their associates who have popped up in the media today. The first one that I heard was Cathy Warwick, Chief Exec of the Royal College of Midwives on the ‘Today’ programme this morning. As well as awakening to the Mental Health Crisis which has been with us for years, the UK has now awoken from it’s slumber regarding the Maternity Care Crisis. It has been revealed that during 2016 nearly half of the maternity units in England temporarily shut down at some point as a result of a ‘bed shortage’. Some of the media reports have attributed the problems to ‘women choosing to give birth at a later age’ thus increasing the number of complex deliveries, or ‘a higher number of obese mothers’. So it’s the patients’ fault then, I thought that perhaps it might be, they’re all old and fat. Now and then the real reason for the problem has been mentioned – the NHS is short of thousands of midwives. Discussions have been held about the possible reasons – such as pay or the loss of training bursaries. The one factor not mentioned is that good midwives won’t work in an NHS where women and babies are regularly put at risk or where the midwives are scapegoated for cock-ups that are beyond their control – I actually know midwives who have left midwifery who have not hesitated to state that these were the reasons why they left their jobs.

So Cathy was wheeled out to comment on Radio 4. She didn’t admit the real reasons why midwives are fast becoming an endangered species either. But then she is very much part of the problem. Cathy Warwick has led the RCM since 2008 and knows exactly how dreadful some maternity care is. Not only has she never spoken out about this, but when James Titcombe, a former advisor to the CQC, was a little too critical of the state of maternity services for her liking, she wrote to the Chief Exec of the CQC and asked them if they could persuade James to be ‘less antagonistic’ on social media. James ended up resigning from his post as a result of the relentless pressure that he was subjected to by the midwifery establishment.

James Titcombe had good reason to be blunt about the danger that women and babies are regularly placed in – his own baby died as a result of negligence at Furness Hospital. Not only that, but after James was faced with a less than honest response following his son’s death, he did a bit of digging and found that many other babies had died at that hospital and that there had been a major cover-up regarding the dreadful conduct of a small number of midwives. James faced extreme hostility and efforts to silence him after he had been appointed to his role with the CQC and at one point a midwife even sent out a tweet about it being difficult to disagree with a ‘grieving and angry man’ who was blaming a whole profession for his loss. James had every right to be angry and of course he was grieving, his baby had died. Furthermore he wasn’t blaming a whole profession for his loss, he had simply very skilfully demonstrated that the ‘whole profession’ closes ranks and risks patient safety and that it is a considerably dishonest profession. In 2015 James commented that the National Review of Maternity Care failed to examine the current quality and variation in safety on maternity wards. Anyone want to admit that he was correct?

Not only has Cathy Warwick failed to speak out regarding the many problems in NHS maternity services, but she’s kept very quiet about the systematic way in which independent midwives have been prevented from practicing. A number of them such as Beatrice Carla were subjected to high profile show trials at the hands of the NMC and were driven out of the profession in that way, but because a few dared to persist their insurance was then withdrawn and midwives are legally unable to practice without insurance, so it was curtains for them. It is unlawful for women to give birth unaided in the UK, so unless one is very wealthy indeed and books oneself into somewhere like the Portland Hospital – which provides lovely grub and rooms as good as the best hotels but has presided over some major clinical disasters itself – it’s off down to the local NHS Unit for everyone now, even if the one nearest to you is lethal. The only way around this is for a woman to lie about her delivery due date and give birth ‘accidentally’ at home. Which is actually what some women are resorting to if they’ve previously had a really bad experience in hospital.

This is no way to treat women is it. The biggest laugh of all is that whilst risking women’s and babies safety, Cathy Warwick maintained that as a feminist she would make an ‘executive decision’ on behalf of the RCM to support the abolition of any time limits on abortion – members were not balloted. Hundreds of furious RCM members who had conscientious objections to abortion protested but Cathy ignored them.

Cathy rakes in a good deal more than the average midwife – in excess of £100k pa. She was awarded an honorary doctorate by that hallowed institution St George’s Hospital Medical School in 2007.

 

Then Radio 4 inflicted a Top Doctor upon it’s listeners on ‘The World At One’ – John Ashton, who was fuming away about the health of ‘northerners’ and maintaining that what was needed was more funding for public health in the north. Ashton’s angry near-rant followed clips of interviews with a number of northern men who all showed a healthy disrespect towards the BBC journalist when he quizzed them about their smoking habits and diets. Ashton banged on about the sins of Public Health England in spending far more per head of population in the south than they do in the north and also got in a mention of the ‘male identity crisis’ as well. The male identity crisis is not something that is going to be solved by the Gov’t giving more money to bodies like Public Health England or indeed by Public Health England upping their budget for the north. There is massive inequality between the south and the north but Public Health England is not the sort of body which will address the sort of inequality that needs addressing. John Ashton sounded so furious that I thought that it would be worth googling him because I hadn’t come across his name before.

Professor John Ashton has passed through the hands of a few institutions that have been named on this blog as concealing the wrongdoing of the Top Doctors – the University of Southampton, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the University of Liverpool Medical School. Ashton is the former Director of Public Health for Cumbria – well the NHS had a few problems in Cumbria didn’t it John, which were of course concealed. Such as all those babies who died in Furness Hospital, one of whom was James Titcombe’s son. It was also the NHS in Cumbria which appointed William Bingley to a senior role in the regional Trust – the William Bingley who colluded with the criminal activities of the Top Doctors in north Wales whilst he held senior positions with MIND and the Mental Health Act Commission. Bingley ended up resigning from the Trust after his business activities and associated conflicts of interest were made embarrassingly public. He ended up with a Chair in Mental Health Law and Ethics at the University of Cumbria, so he didn’t go far.

John Ashton might have known about Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and the paedophiles’ friends in north Wales himself. In 1986 John Ashton was employed as a Senior Lecturer in Liverpool Medical School. It was in 1987 that Dafydd told me that if I dropped my complaint against him he’d have a word with his friend who was a Professor in Liverpool Medical School and he’d get me a place there. In the summer of 1984 I had been told by a friend of Sonia Maxwell, the daughter of Terry Maxwell the Clinical Director of Ysbyty Gwynedd, that Sonia had been offered a place to study medicine at Liverpool regardless of her A level results before she had even applied ‘because they know her dad’. Ashton himself whilst he worked in Liverpool in 1986 established a pioneering needle exchange scheme for addicts. So I presume that Ashton knew the pioneering psychiatrist Dr John Marks from Liverpool who achieved impressive results regarding the reduction of harm among drug users, who in the early 1990s wanted to go to north Wales to work. Whose appointment was blocked by Gwynedd Health Authority because they wanted to give the contract for ‘substance misuse services’ to Dafydd. Which indeed they did (see post ‘The Evolution Of A Drugs Baron?’)

John Ashton originally trained as a psychiatrist. He has also worked in family planning and reproductive medicine. He’ll know all about the fertility treatment scams which have been discussed on this blog then.

In Feb 2007 the Manchester Evening News reported that Ashton was quitting his NHS post because he was fed-up with Gov’t reorganisations of the NHS and ‘red tape’. He stated that he was contemplating a career in politics.

He obviously changed his mind because between 2013-2016 John Ashton was President of the Faculty of Public Health. He was suspended from his post at one point after sending out a tweet referring to a group of people as ‘cunts’. I think that they had disagreed with him over something.

In July 2014 Ashton pledged his support for a change in the law to allow doctors to act in cases of ‘assisted dying’. The suicide statistics for north Wales suggest that Dafydd et al have been helping people on their way for years.

John Ashton has been very robust in his support of some other Top Doctors. In 2012 he took on the UK media after an article appeared in the ‘Independent’ stating that Clare Gerada, the Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners, had a vested interest in opposing the Gov’ts NHS reforms. Ashton charged into battle on her behalf, robustly defending her and later accused the Dept of Health of trying to gag him, saying that he had felt ‘bullied’. He should have just sent them all a tweet calling them cunts.

Who was the oppressed woman whom Ashton valiantly defended? Clare Gerada was the Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners between 2010-2013. She is a London based GP with interests in mental health and substance abuse. So she’ll know how crap the mental health services are then. Not that she’ll have ever publicly admitted it – because she’s one of the lot who trained in psychiatry at the Maudsley! In the 1980s – when the Maudsley’s finest alumnus Dafydd was concealing the paedophile ring and illegally imprisoning people in the North Wales Hospital Denbigh. But Clare will already have been schooled in the art of keeping quiet in the face of people doing unscrupulous things – she studied medicine at UCL. In 1992 Clare began working as a GP in Lambeth – the Lambeth that, like north Wales, ran children’s services teaming with paedophiles. The Lambeth who – until the 1990s – was also sending children in it’s care to children’s homes in north Wales where they were abused. Did you really not ever notice any of this Clare?

In April 2016 Clare was elected to the Council of the BMA. Clare is also a member and honorary fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

In Sept 2016 Clare was named as one of the Lib Dems new ‘Beveridge’ group of advisors – although she had been a lifelong supporter of the Labour Party until the EU Referendum. Perhaps she was one of these people who threw a hissy fit because they thought that Jeremy Corbyn wasn’t enthusiastic enough about the bankers club which is the EU.

Clare is a convenor of the cross party political group ‘More United’. I suspect that the only unity that Clare shows is with that of other Top Doctors.

There is a nice photo of Clare on her wiki entry. She is carefully posed – in a similar position to that famous pose adopted by Helen Mirren when she was photographed a few years ago to demonstrate that the over-65s can still look wonderful in a bikini. Clare isn’t wearing a bikini though, she’s wearing a boring but very expensive dress and for some reason is clutching an equally boring designer handbag in such a way as to ensure that it is featured in the frame. Clare must have spent ages getting that photo right, it even looks as though it was professionally done in a studio. The caption above the photo reads ‘Lady Clare Wessely’. Because that’s who she is – she’s married to a Sir!

The Sir to whom Clare is married is another Top Doctor, Professor Sir Simon Wessely, the Professor of Psychological Medicine at Kings College London and the Director of the Kings Centre for Military Health Research. If I presented ‘Woman’s Hour’ I’d call Clare and Simon a ‘power couple’.

Sir Simon is also an Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist at Kings College Hospital and at the Maudsley! Indeed he studied at the Maudsley in the mid-1980s. And at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He is a Civilian Consultant Advisor in psychiatry to the British Army.

He was knighted in 2013 for his services to military healthcare and to psychological medicine. In 2014 Simon was appointed President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

Yet the mental health services are such a mess…

In an interview with the ‘Lancet’ in 2007 regarding the controversy over Wessely’s position concerning Gulf War syndrome and chronic fatigue syndrome, Wessely excused himself by saying that he was ‘keen to get published’. So what else did he publish in a hurry without thinking about it? He maintained however that regarding chronic fatigue syndrome, he was subjected to ‘a relentless, vicious, vile campaign designed to hurt and intimidate’. Never mind Simon, at least you weren’t illegally imprisoned, fitted up for crimes that you never committed, hounded out of jobs, subjected to an organised slander and discovered two attempts to set fire to your house, which is what happened to me after I complained about Dafydd and the Top Doctors. Of course most of the people who gave evidence against the paedophile ring that Dafydd et al concealed were found dead. That is what constitutes a relentless, vicious, vile campaign designed to hurt and intimidate, not a bit of criticism of some rather sub-standard research and ill-advised public comments.

Simon Wessely is a member of the Gov’ts Mental Health Taskforce, that one Chaired by Paul Farmer – who’s known all about the wrongdoing of Dafydd et al for at least ten years. Ever since I wrote to him about it.

Wessely was instrumental in setting up the Committee on Acute Psychiatric Care investigating out of area psychiatric placements which was Chaired by Lord Crisp, the man whom Blair put in charge of the NHS at one point. Crisp resigned from his position running the NHS when he realised that he (Crisp) didn’t actually know what was going on. Acute psychiatric care is now so bad that some NHS organisations have placed patients in France because they were unable to find placements anywhere in the UK.

When Wessely ascended the throne at the Royal College he stated that his priorities would include improving the image of psychiatry and psychiatrists, improving recruitment to the speciality and ensuring excellence in education and training. He’s done brilliantly there hadn’t he, no doubt he’ll be elevated to the peerage soon and Lady Clare can purchase a new outfit for the occasion.

Health Services Journal named Simon as one of the ‘Top 100 Clinicians’ in 2014. But then HSJ named Katrina Percy as CEO of the year. Katrina Percy was CEO of Southern Health which oversaw the deaths of hundreds of patients with mental health problems and learning difficulties, one of those deaths being of Connor Sparrowhawk. The Top Doctor responsible for Connor’s ‘care’ at Southern Health is currently facing a GMC tribunal. Yesterday she admitted 28 ‘failings’ in relation to Connor’s care.

In Feb 2017 BBC News online reported that had been a 50% increase in unexpected mental health deaths – including those due to suicide, neglect and misadventure – in three years. The Dept of Health maintained that the increase was due to ‘changes in recording and investigating deaths’. Perhaps that meant that the DoH had stopped lying about the situation. Simon announced that the ‘services are about to get worse’. The services were so bad by then that they couldn’t get much worse – perhaps Simon meant that the horrible truth could not be concealed any longer. Marjorie Wallace (see post ‘One Dangerous Fucker’) was gobsmacked that the DoH had started admitting the dire state of affairs as well – she  claimed to be ‘shocked’ by the figures.

 

Another guest on the ‘Today’ programme this morning was the barrister who is acting for the 17 year old girl who was the subject of Sir James Munby’s comments that society will have blood on it’s hands if a place in a suitable mental health unit cannot be found for her. The barrister described the girl’s current living conditions – alone in a cell, with only a mattress. As I have explained previously these are exactly the conditions to which some patients in mental health units are subjected – there is no guarantee that the treatment of that young woman is going to change in any way with a move from custody to ‘psychiatric care’. Her barrister also explained that at present, the way in which that young woman is restrained is by people ‘sitting on her’. The journalist conducting the interview was horrified. I’m sorry to burst her bubble, but ‘sitting on people’ in order to ‘restrain’ them happens in mental health care settings as well – and it is the Angels who do it. There was for many years a notorious dreadful building in Bangor called Neuadd Deiniol that was laughingly described as a home for people with mental health problems. The care was dreadful, one man choked to death in there and his body wasn’t discovered for a few hours – although he was being ‘observed’ every twenty minutes of course – and the only people who worked there for any length of time were people who couldn’t get a job anywhere else. At one point virtually all the patients there were Dafydd’s but after a while Neuadd Deiniol extended it’s welcome to patients of other Top Doctors as well. I got it straight from the horses mouth – I encountered a rather weird woman who was employed there as a nurse in charge and she cheerily recounted how they had to ‘sit on’ patients. A care assistant – who was no paragon of good practice herself – witnessed the conversation and challenged the Angel, saying that there were never any circumstances in which one should sit on a patient. The Angel was baffled and reiterated ooh no, you’ve got to.

 

As mentioned in previous posts I have suspected that once more the BMA are on a course of action in which they are going to scream and scream until they’re sick. It’s been confirmed by an article in Mail online today. The BMA have organised a ballot of ‘senior GPs’ across England regarding the possible suspension of new patient registrations. In other words, if the GPs vote yes, surgeries will refuse to take on any new patients. Which means that no-one will be able to change doctors, or register with a new practice when they move house or find a new doctor if their doctor retires or dies. Richard Vautrey of the BMA suggested a ban on new registrations as a form of industrial action in protest at ‘the lack of funding for surgeries’. It is reported that the Top Doctors are ‘angry’ at, among other things, the prospect of weekend opening. There is of course still quite a lot of funding for surgeries and for the salaries of Top Doctors. In fact GPs are still benefiting from the notorious out of hours contract that the BMA negotiated in 2004 which means that they can opt out of evening and weekend responsibilities but still earn in excess of £100k pa.

But did Top Doctors who worked as GPs offer a better service before they became as ‘angry’ as they are at present? This blog has posted much about a number of GPs who have conducted themselves appallingly, such as Dr D.G.E. Wood and Dr K. Shah who assisted Dafydd et al in their criminal activities. But even GPs in positions further removed from Dafydd and his mates were capable of some pretty dreadful things. My post ‘A Trade In People – Between London And North Wales’ described how a group of Top Doctors, assisted by some crooked lawyers, swindled a vulnerable brother and sister from London out of their inheritance and relocated them to north Wales after their mother had died in suspicious circumstances in Warlingham Park Hospital, although they had never even visited Wales previously. The financial swindle was perpetuated by Top Doctors in London, as was the most serious abuse and neglect to which these this family had been subjected, but the full details of their history was known to the GPs at Bethesda surgery. Those GPs also witnessed the serious poverty that they were living in and the dreadful neglect towards them by the Arfon Community Mental Health Team. They were not the only patients who were neglected by that surgery, the village was alive with anecdotes of very poor practice and not only with respect to vulnerable mental health patients. I attributed nearly all of this to the general level of poor care offered by that surgery, although there was one GP there who was noticeably better than the others.

There was one GP in that practice though who was quite competent when he wanted to be – when treating his friends for example – but who seemed to be incredibly negligent or ‘make mistakes’ in certain other circumstances. I witnessed him completely blank someone when they reported a case of sexual abuse to him for example – neither did he ever follow that report up. He also seemed to want to exert an astonishing level of control over the brother of the vulnerable family from London. He refused to refer this man for specialist care when he requested it, he told the man ‘not to bother’ when the man expressed an interest in voluntary work and intriguingly when this man had a short-lived sexual relationship with another woman who lived in the village, he virtually demanded full details of their sexual activity. His interest in the details of this man’s life were inexplicable – the GP wasn’t ever interested in providing him with a better level of care, or better living conditions and the sexual relationship that he was so interested in was consensual, between adults and non-exploitative. Neither was an unplanned pregnancy an issue because of the age of the woman involved. A couple of years after this, the same GP was involved in the death of a patient, a young man, S.

S had an older brother, J. J was notorious locally. He was in care as a child, developed drug and mental health problems by his mid-teens and ended up in the notorious Risley Remand Centre for burglary. I was friends with one of his foster parents who not only told me about the violence and abuse to which J had been subjected when he was young but also told me of the beatings and abuse that he and other young men suffered whilst in Risley Remand Centre. My friend did try and challenge the authorities regarding what was happening but she realised that the prison service was a law unto itself and she got nowhere. When J was released from Risley Remand Centre, he resumed his lifestyle of hard drug use, petty crime and dossing down in other peoples houses when they allowed him to. My friend continued to keep in contact with him. However S, his younger brother, was much more stable. He never became involved in crime or drug use and at the time that he died he was actually performing very well at a local FE college. Despite the differences between them S and J were on good terms and communicated regularly.

Then something happened to J that really concerned my friend. He was referred to Dr Dafydd Alun Jones. J began telling my friend some very bizarre things about his encounters with Dafydd. Dafydd told J that he loved him. (A number of other patients also reported that Dafydd had told them that he loved them.) J then appeared on a TV programme telling a few porkies in support of Dafydd when there was an attempt to force Dafydd into retirement in the mid 1990s. My friend asked J why he had gone on TV saying those things and he replied that he’d been paid to do so. Although J had a drug problem, Dafydd did what he was notorious for doing – he supplied J with any drugs that J requested. Whilst all this was happening J could be seen in Bangor openly selling hard drugs to school children. A number of people reported this to the police but no action was taken.

My friend then moved away from Bethesda and I didn’t hear any further details of J’s interactions with Dafydd although I was aware that J was still ‘Dafydd’s patient’. A few months after my friend left the village, there was a huge pubic scene in the GPs surgery. S and J’s mother was screaming abuse at one of the GPs and calling him a murderer. It transpired that S had died the night before – he was 18. He had been taken ill at home and the family were concerned that he had meningitis. They had rung Bethesda surgery and a GP had visited and stated that he ‘didn’t think’ that it was meningitis, it was just flu. S’s condition deteriorated and a few hours later they rang the surgery again. This time a different GP arrived – the GP who took such a close interest in the activities of the man from London. Again S’s parents expressed their concern that S might have meningitis. The GP told them quite categorically that S did not have meningitis, told them to give S paracetamol and not to call the GP again. Later that evening S started to lose his vision. His dad drove him to Ysbyty Gwynedd. By the time they had got out of the car S told his dad that he could no longer see. S died a few hours later. He had meningitis.

S’s death caused a huge amount of bad feeling in Bethesda, he was a popular young man. His mum made a complaint and attempted to have an investigation into her son’s case opened but got nowhere. The GP who had told her husband that S didn’t have meningitis, to give him paracetamol and not to call them out again told third parties that S’s mother’s distress was due to guilt ‘because the wrong son had died’. At the time I just put S’s death down to yet another monumental cock-up on the part of Bethesda surgery. But something was brought to my attention this morning. That is, that S was yet someone else who will have known what Dafydd was up to – because J will have told him – who would be a credible witness but who died as a result of a ‘mistake’ on the part of the NHS in north Wales. J is still alive. But J is like all those witnesses who gave evidence at the Waterhouse Inquiry – he has a history of drug abuse and mental health problems as well as a criminal record and people who didn’t know him would never believe a word that he said. The GP whose actions led to the death of his brother retired last year, although he’s only in his late 50s. He told some people that I know that he was fed up of working and could afford to retire so he would.

So was Dr Gareth Jones a truly incompetent GP who didn’t notice the terrible abuse and fleecing of a vulnerable family at the hands of a circle of crooked professional people and who just had an inexplicable desire to exercise control over this family – and a few years later made a disastrous mistake when someone who had been a witness to Dafydd’s wrongdoing developed the symptoms of meningitis? Or was something even more unpleasant happening?

 

The ‘Today’ programme doesn’t just provide Top Doctors with air-time, it does of course have a daily slot set aside for people with theological interests. So imagine my surprise when the person introduced as the presenter for Thought For The Day this morning was Rabbi Laura Janner-Krausner, Greville Janner’s daughter! This morning Laura was talking about ‘healthy holiness’, but of course the last time that I heard Laura on the ‘Today’ programme she was spitting blood in the direction of those people who claimed that her father had molested them when they were children in care in Leicestershire – Laura’s insistence that it is the easiest thing in the world to falsely convict an innocent peer for child sexual abuse prompted my post ‘It’s A Piece Of Cake’. Laura memorably said of Greville that ‘he was great and he was good’, which why she and the extended Janner clan were going to defend his name and silence those who had dared make allegations against him. (She didn’t manage to explain why the CPS admitted that there was enough evidence to prosecute Janner as long ago as the early 90s but for some reason they didn’t or that his own lawyer fully expected him to be charged with child abuse, which is why they had George Carman on speed dial.)

As well as being a lawyer and a politician, when he was younger Greville wrote a few books. I found one in a second hand bookshop some weeks ago. It looked a rather boring book called ‘Janner’s Complete Letterwriter’, but in the light of Laura’s insistence that the author was ‘Great and Good’ in the face of many other people maintaining that he was a lying child molester who used his mates in high places to keep himself out of trouble, I thought that I’d buy the book and read Greville’s advice re writing letters.

Greville’s book isn’t simply a guide to correct grammar and style. The stated aim of ‘Janner’s Complete Letterwriter’ is to show the reader how to achieve want they want. Greville seems to have made an in-depth study in Getting What You Want. He dispenses advice on how to write letters that will enable one to maximise profits, to fire staff without any comeback, to insult and upset people without using insulting or abusive words, to ingratiate oneself to people who are in a position to do one favours, to flatter, to praise and to appeal for money from very rich people.

‘Janner’s Complete Letterwriter’ commiserates with the reader that one of the drawbacks of hurting someone by letter is that one isn’t there to watch the ‘enemy’ read it, although he does explain that if one later hears that the recipient of one’s letter has been seen moaning and groaning in the bankruptcy courts, the letter has obviously hit home. He helpfully supplies some examples of ‘final, rude, rebuffs’. He explains that if one is ‘attacked by a commercial loud mouth look for his business groin: take aim and fire hard’, that through ‘calculated coolness you can make the other man feel like a worm’, that ‘some lies are forgivable’, that ‘the letterwriter needs to know how best to disguise the truth’, that ‘sometimes the truth is just too horrible to tell’, that ‘courts of law are not courts of morals and justice is sometimes cruel’, that ‘if lies must be told at least tell them well’, that ‘the lying letter is as much a fact of business life as the lying witness is a regular occupant of the witness-box’, that ‘when the lie is a large one, you have two alternatives: you may either build up to it by a series of minor fibs, or you can shout the big fib from the start’ and that ‘the fact of course is fiction’. Greville chooses some interesting sub-headings for his chapters – ‘irony and sarcasm’, ‘at the expense of others’, ‘the sting in the tail’ are just a few examples.

‘Janner’s Complete Letterwriter’ is a masterclass into how to deceive, intimidate and manipulate without anyone being able to describe exactly how one is doing so. When branching off briefly into advice regarding how to conduct oneself in person, Janner explains that it’s most important to always smile, even if you are knowingly inflicting damage upon someone. One of the children who alleged that Janner had abused him made a reference to ‘the smiling man’.

In the introduction to his book Greville thanks his son ‘Daniel Janner, BA (Cantab), barrister’ for his help in preparing the book. That’s Laura’s brother, who since his father’s death has threatened to sue the arse of those who made allegations against his dad if they dare repeat them.

 

 

MIND Are Out For Mental Health – Never For Themselves Of Course…

MRegular followers of this blog will know that I – and some of those commenting on my posts – have been bringing to public attention the appalling hypocrisy of MIND, an organisation claiming to be the ‘voice of the service user’ whilst concealing serious abuses in the mental health services and even entering into ‘partnerships’ with abusive services and individuals  (see posts such as ‘The Mysterious Silence Of MIND’, ‘Newly Discovered – Parabl’ and ‘The Commissioning Of Parabl – And Yet More History’).

I have explained that I first became aware of the corruption of MIND when I went down to see William Bingley, their Legal Director, in 1987 regarding the criminal activities of the north Wales mental health services. Bingley admitted that he knew all about the wrongdoing of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and indeed he knew a lot more than I did. I gave Bingley yet more evidence re Jones et al but not only did Bingley continue to keep quiet regarding Dafydd and co but when Bingley later became Chief Exec of the Mental Health Act Commission, he and that organisation continued to collude with Dafydd and Dr Tony Francis (Dr X), although they knew about the continued illegal detention of people and abuse of the Mental Health Act in north Wales. I knew from my meeting with Bingley that he knew an awful lot about Dafydd – including the deaths in Dafydd’s ‘care homes’, the allegations that the wrongdoing in north Wales was linked to Freemasonry and the existence of Dafydd’s extensive ‘sex therapy’ practice and the possible purposes of that business. I have no idea whether Bingley knew that Dafydd et al were concealing the paedophile ring that was operating in north Wales at the time though – the paedophile ring that was concealed again at a higher level by Thatcher’s and Major’s Gov’ts. However before Bingley began working for MIND, he worked as a research assistant for Matthew Parris, A Tory MP who had previously worked as Thatcher’s correspondence secretary. A man whose autobiography told of his summer trips – in the company of friends – to a place in Italy that they named the ‘villa of shame’, where they would be visited by ‘boys’ whom Parris described as ‘always willing’. For more background on Parris and his connections, see post ‘A Pretty Classy Piece Of Operation’.

I had thought that I had previously dug up a substantial amount of shit and compromising info on MIND, but I’ve spent a bit of time doing more research on a few other key figures in that organisation and I’ve found much more worrying info – that organisation has been compromised for decades. Here are a few of the highlights that I have dug up.

The current Chief Exec is the disgusting Paul Farmer whom I have blogged about previously. Farmer’s reputation is plummeting fast as a result of his enthusiasm for MIND to land contracts from the Dept of Work and Pensions, contracts that are all about forcing ‘service users’ into employment that may well be unsuitable and for which they may well be too ill. Farmer’s enormous salary has also been made public by disability activists – he trousers in excess of £100k pa for his role as the Voice of the Service User – and I’m delighted to say that this unscrupulous git has been met with protests on his travels around the UK. I was expecting the BBC to wheel him out for him to give his comments regarding the latest round of bad news re the UK’s mental health services, but mercifully we were spared that for once. Had he done the rounds of the BBC studios perhaps somebody would have finally asked him why he and his lame organisation have kept so quiet about the crisis – which has been evident for many years. Of course Farmer also knew all about the criminal activities of the north Wales mental health services many years ago. When I wrote to Peter Hain in his capacity as Secretary of State for Wales in approx. 2005 giving him full details of what had happened to me t the hands of the mental health services, I cc’d the letter to the Chief Exec of Rethink (I didn’t cc it to MIND because I knew that they were ignoring what was happening in north Wales) – who at the time was one Paul Farmer. I never received a response, although a few months later Farmer then became Chief Exec of MIND!

But what of previous CEOs of MIND? Before Farmer, the CEO was Richard Brook, who was appointed in 2001. Brook was CEO when I e mailed MIND HQ about the assaults being carried out by Hergest Unit staff on patients – only to receive an e mail back written as though it was to a small child telling me that what I had to do was go to the yellow pages and look up ‘solicitors’ and go and talk to one of them…. At this time the ‘service user reps’ for the Hergest were heavily involved with MIND – those reps who wet themselves at the thought of confronting Hergest staff and managers concerning the gross abuses that were endemic. One of those ‘service user reps’ admitted to me that she knew that residents in Prestwood Homes were being abused – furthermore, Prestwood Homes were taking full advantage of free MIND facilities such as walking groups, drop in centres etc without paying MIND a penny, although Prestwood were charging thousands of quid a week for a ‘placement’. Somebody else involved with MIND knew about the abuse of residents at Prestwood as well – Geoff Lees, who is now Director of Vale of Clwyd MIND. I told him about it, whilst he was still working as a social work tutor at Coleg Menai in Bangor. I know that a number of other people told him what was going on at Prestwood as well. For details of the horrors at Prestwood and the unfortunate death of a young woman support worker there who witnessed even more that I did, see posts ‘A Convenient Arrangement With The Private Sector’ and ‘The Commissioning Of Parabl – And Yet More History’.

Richard Brook was able to publicise unacceptable practice if he felt like it though. In 2004 the ‘Daily Mail’ ran an article entitled ‘Why I Resigned Over This Disgraceful Happy Pill Cover-Up’. The article explained that Brook had resigned from the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulation Authority) after he discovered that they had known about the side effects of the anti-depressant Seroxat but had not publicised them. Brook claimed that he had been threatened with legal action by Prof Kent Woods, the CEO of the MHRA, if he revealed that the MHRA had been ‘sitting on’ it’s knowledge of Seroxat’s side effects. Brook stated that MIND had been ‘tracking Seroxat’ for a decade’. So MIND knew about Seroxat and it’s problems as well then – but then they’d known about the problems in north Wales since 1979 at least, when Mary Wynch was illegally arrested and imprisoned (see post ‘The Mary Wynch Case – Details’) and had done or said nothing. In this article, Brook mentions the ‘Panorama’ programme about Seroxat that had been screened the year before – that will be the programme that featured Dr David Healy, who worked at the Hergest Unit! So MIND had got into bed (so to speak) with two psychiatrists from north Wales – Dafydd, who years before had been involved with MIND and David, as he Bravely Spoke Out. Brook told the Mail that following the ‘Panorama’ programme, MIND held a demo outside the offices of the MHRA. As opposed to outside of the Hergest Unit, where patients were being assaulted, framed for serious crimes, refused treatment no matter how ill they were and were committing suicide.

Brook maintains that he went to see the Health Minister Lord Warner to tell him of his concerns regarding SSRIs and Warner told him that he would speak to the MHRA. Warner then simply issued a guide to doctors detailing the max recommended dose of Seroxat (that must have been why Dr Richard Tranter, Healy’s friend, protégé and PhD student prescribed a friend of mine three times the maximum recommended dose of Seroxat then). It was at this point that the man of principle Brook resigned from the MHRA. Brook told the Mail that there was an urgent need for an inquiry into the MHRA and stated that many people involved with the MHRA also have connections to the pharmaceutical industry. Which is true – but then MIND’s hands are as dirty as those of any advisor to the pharmaceutical industry.

In Jan 2006 Brook featured in a BBC News online report and commented on the mental health of people living in rural areas. He stated that ‘the extent of mental health problems in the countryside is likely to be hidden’ – it was in north Wales, it was hidden by MIND, they knew that huge numbers of people were being given a diagnosis of ‘borderline personality disorder’ and refused care after being told that they were ‘untreatable’. At the time the area served by the Hergest Unit had the second highest rate of suicide for women in England and Wales.

After defending people with mental health problems so successively, upon leaving MIND Brook was appointed CEO of the newly created Office of the Public Guardian! Just the sort of person that was needed in such a position obviously. After a year guarding the public, Brook then became CEO of the deaf-blind charity SENSE.

MIND’s CEO before Brook was Judi Clements, who was in post between 1992-2001. So she oversaw those crazy years in which I was repeatedly arrested by the mental health services for ludicrous reasons, in which Dafydd resisted efforts to shut down the North Wales Hospital Denbigh and for his pains walked away with the contract to provide ‘substance abuse services’ for North Wales (see post ‘The Evolution Of A Drugs Baron?’) – the years which also saw the massive cover-up of the paedophile ring in north Wales which was the Waterhouse Report, in the wake of which a lot of people who’d been victims of that gang as children were found dead after becoming ‘users’ of the mental health services. Judi’s tenure also spanned the years in which Prestwood Homes were established and became big business within just a few months, what with the constant supply of vulnerable people from secure hospitals available for Prestwood to traffic them…

Something must have happened on Judi’s watch, because there is virtually no info from MIND available about Judi, it’s as though she never passed through their doors. However, there is some info about her in an article in HSJ from 2010. HSJ told us that after being Chief Exec of MIND for nine years, she was leaving due to health related problems, namely diabetes and arthritis. A David Peryer, the Chair of Trustees of MIND, stated that Judi would be ‘sorely missed’ – so that’s why they subsequently air-brushed her out of history. Preyrer mentioned that MIND was currently undergoing restructuring to concentrate on ‘supporting local offices’. These were of course the ‘local offices’ which included those in north Wales who were so helpfully providing free services to Prestwood Homes and who then began entering ‘partnerships’ with CAIS to provide yet more ‘services’ after being handed contracts by the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board – many of whose former staff and their friends were now working with MIND.

Judi didn’t just leave MIND, she did a Richard Tranter and left the UK for New Zealand. Despite the diabetes and the arthritis, Judi seems to have bounced back and in 2005 when she relocated to New Zealand, she landed a job as Chief Exec of the Mental Health Foundation over there. She ‘moved on’ in 2015. In Feb 2015 Judi featured on the website of the New Zealand Law Society, promoting her forthcoming seminar on Mindfulness for the New Zealand Law Society Auckland Branch. On this website Judi was described as an ‘experienced Chief Exec in the NGO sector’ with a ‘background in law, social policy, housing, local government and management practice’. It was explained that ‘after a successful career in local government service management, policy and practice development, Judi moved to the NGO sector’. So which failing local authority did Judi work for prior to keeping the lid on the barrel of shit in MIND then? Judi has an LLB – so she will recognise serious crime when she sees it. Or indeed conceals it – or even facilitates it.

Judi has sat on ‘several Gov’t advisory groups covering mental health, social policy and NGO development’.

Between 1989 and 1992, Ros Hepplewhite was Chief Exec of MIND. Whose reign also spanned the Dafydd years, but then the Dafydd years have gone on for the last five decades so everyone’s implicated where Dafydd is concerned. So perhaps it’s more helpful to mention that Ros’s reign spanned the period of time during which St George’s Hospital Medical School and Springfield Hospital colluded with Dafydd – although they knew what he was up – to in his attempts to have me labelled dangerous and banged up. The early 1990s of course also saw allegations that a paedophile ring was active in north Wales involving political figures appear in the London based media. Dafydd and his mistress Lucille Hughes were concealing and facilitating this paedophile ring – it was Dafydd and Lucille to whom St George’s Hospital and Springfield turned for ‘evidence’ of my dangerousness. It was in 1992 that five people with connections to the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal were killed in an arson attack on a flat in Brighton (see post ‘The Silence of the Welsh Lambs). So Ros was pretty close to some serious action.

However I can’t find any references to Ros’s activities at MIND. Although Ros did hit the headlines after she left MIND. In 1993 Ros was appointed CEO of the Child Support Agency – which was a Gov’t disaster as big as the NHS IT system that had to be shelved after a few billion had been spent on it. Although unlike the CSA, the failed NHS IT system was not thought to have contributed to anyone’s suicide…Ros was famously removed from her post and the CSA metamorphosed into something else because Gov’t could not withstand the embarrassment any longer.

I have found a reference to Ros on the blog of the Labour MEP for London, Mary Honeyball. Mary’s post dated Jan 11 2010 discusses examples of what she believed was outrageous sexism. Honeyball believes that Ros was removed from her post as a result of such sexism – nothing to do with the suicides of distraught parents then, or the numerous parents who were never able to collect their maintenance payments, or the absent parents who used every trick in the book not to pay up leaving their former partners destitute whilst the CSA refused to listen to their pleas for help… Tragedies as a result of the chaos that was the CSA involved both men and women – and of course the children. Honeyball entertainingly stated that Dame Barbara Mills the DPP was also the victim of sexism. Babs has featured on this blog previously – she was the DPP whilst the CPS found excuse after excuse not to mount prosecutions against numerous paedophiles despite stacks of evidence being presented (see post ‘A Future Leader Of The Labour Party’). Mary Honeyball also extended her ‘sympathies’ to the former Home Secretary Jaqui Smith, who was ‘hounded’ for being a ‘high profile woman’. No, Jaqui Smith became a source of national entertainment when it was revealed that her husband had rented porn films, the cost of which Jaqui had then reclaimed on her Parliamentary expenses. In a desperate attempt to salvage herself in the eyes of a nation rolling around laughing, Jaqui then tried to construct herself as a latter day Mary Whitehouse and began speaking out about Porn and Sex, which culminated in her presenting a documentary about prostitution. Unfortunately she did this whilst wearing one of those brightly coloured plastic macs when she was filmed under street lamps, which caused one of the better Radio 4 comedians – it might have been Sue Perkins – to comment that Jaqui looked like something out of ‘Band of Gold’.

Mary Honeyball ends her post by explaining that she speaks as someone ‘who ran’ the Association of Chief Officers of Probation in the mid-90s – she mentions that she didn’t have a background in probation, but that she was appointed on the basis of her other talents. So that’s why at that time some of those accused of molesting children in north Wales or failing to act when their colleagues were molesting children found it possible to move into careers with the Probation Service.

Ros Hepplewhite was CEO of MIND whilst the most dreadful scandals involving the abuse and even murder of patients occurred at Ashworth and Broadmoor. Don’t remember the Voice of the Service Users saying much about all that at the time.

At the time of my initial encounters with Dafydd and the paedophiles’ friends in the mid-80s, the CEO of MIND was Christopher Heginbotham – he’d been appointed CEO in 1982. He was in post at the time that I had my meeting with William Bingley. I suspect that Chris and Bingley might have been chums – Heginbotham was appointed CEO in 1982. Bingley was working as lobbyist for MIND at that time and landed his plum full time post there in 1983. Bingley’s mother Lady Juliet Bingley was also a bigwig in MIND and was Chair 1978-84. Furthermore Heginbotham departed from MIND in 1989 – Bingley ‘moved on’ into the post as Chief Exec of the Mental Health Act Commission in 1990. Bingley eventually wound up in the Chair of Mental Health Law and Ethics at the University of Central Lancashire and then in a role at the University of Cumbria after resigning from his post as Chair of an NHS Trust when a few awkward questions were asked about his business interests. Heginbotham also eventually secured a position at the University of Cumbria. References to William Bingley seemed to have disappeared from the MIND website recently, but I know that MIND named a building after him in Lancashire, ‘William Bingley House’. I wonder if it’ll be a bit like the fall out after Jimmy Savile’s death and MIND will end up renaming the building in a desperate attempt to pretend that they’d never met Bingley? But guess what? Heginbotham ended up in Lancashire too – where I presume that he still is.

Bingley and Heginbotham were at MIND when Savile was appointed General Manager of Broadmoor. I do not remember them questioning the appointment. What’s the betting that there’s some photos somewhere of dear old Jim with folk from MIND that are now well hidden? Should anyone know of any, please do let me know…

Heginbotham is a Director of something called ‘Values Based Commissioning Ltd’ in Lancashire, which began life in 2011. The other Director is a Christine Heginbotham. It is described as ‘health and social care consultancy’. Christopher Heginbotham has also published a book on Values Based Commissioning of Health and Social Care. So what is this all about?

According to an article in HSJ from June 2013, ‘Values Based Commissioning’ (VbC) ‘aims to put users’ views at the heart of reshaping services’. The discussion concerns the commissioning of mental health services by CCGs (Clinical Commissioning Groups) and it is explained that ‘expertise’ in this area is ‘varied’. However, as readers may have guessed, a few aficionados are on hand to help! HSJ quotes words of wisdom from Rethink’s Associate Director of Policy, Research and Campaigning, Victoria Bleazard, as well as Sophie Corlett, Director of External Relations at MIND. A Joint Commissioning Panel on Mental Health (JCPMH) was established in 2011, which is co-chaired by the Royal Colleges of Psychiatrists and General Practitioners – this Panel produced ‘guidance’. VbC is ‘a new type of commissioning’ (which must be why it involves the same old people and institutions as the previous commissioning did), ‘prioritising service users’ values and experiences’ (the Royal Colleges mentioned, Rethink and MIND have such good track records in that area don’t they).

HSJ identifies a Dr Neil Deuchar as the architect and champion of VbC – he’s a psychiatrist from Birmingham, a specialist advisor on commissioning and JCPMH Co-Chair. The other Co-Chair is Liz England, a GP who is Mental Health Lead for a Locality Care Group within a CCG and National Institute for Health Research Clinical Lecturer at the University of Birmingham. Deuchar is quoted as saying that ‘patient power is the key’ and that ‘co-production between patient and carer groups, clinicians and commissioners is vital’. There then follows a bit of asinine text headed by the words ‘what do service users think?’

So Christopher Heginbotham saw an opportunity then – an insane system was devised by a Gov’t that had relied on the likes of Heginbotham and his mates at MIND for advice, this insane system was then explained to the world by HSJ and promoted by MIND and their friends, by which time Heginbotham had written his book and set up his company – presumably with Mrs Heginbotham – to serve the insane system. The insane system was entirely dependent at every stage on the involvement of the very same people and institutions that were colluding with the likes of Dafydd and the paedophiles’ friends.

Is it surprising that five years down the line we have Sir James Munby, the President of the Family Courts, hitting the roof because there is virtually no provision in the whole of the UK for a suicidal 17 year old girl who is due to be released from ‘secure custody’? Although no-one has explained why a girl in her state is IN secure custody, allegedly alone in a seclusion room from which everything has been removed except a mattress on the floor. That’s going to do her a power of good isn’t it. Furthermore I guarantee that I know how that barbaric regime will be described on that girl’s records – there will be a reference to her being ‘nursed’. I have heard mental health nurses taking about ‘nursing’ people in ‘seclusion’ or ‘nursing’ them ‘on a mattress on the floor’. The whole system is completely nuts and the people working within it have been sent nuts by it if they weren’t already nuts when they took up their employment.

If readers have been impressed by the calibre of MIND CEOs described so far, hold on to your hats whilst I tell you about Heginbotham’s predecessor, Tony Smythe, CEO from 1974-82.  Smythe’s incumbency pre-dated the internet, but Smythe was quite something and info about him is still available online. Smythe’s full name was Clifford Anthony Smythe. He categorised himself as a radical anarcho-pacifist until the day that he died in 2004 and was involved with a number of political causes. He was appointed General Secretary of the NCCL in 1966, a post that he held until 1971. It was in the 70s that it became clear that the NCCL had been infiltrated by paedophiles who had conflated their cause with gay liberation – paedophiles also infiltrated the Campaign for Homosexual Equality (CHE) at this time and a number of those guilty of abusing children in north Wales were active in CHE. Smythe was at one point Vice-President of CHE. In 1971 Smythe became involved with MIND. His obituary describes him as establishing an ‘executive committee’ which led to ‘service users becoming involved in management and policy decisions’ and that this ‘chimed with Tony’s anarchist belief’.

Now this talk of the active involvement of ‘service users’ also surrounds Bingley and his mother. Which ‘service users’ do people think that the Bingleys and Smythe liberated? Psychiatry was dreadful in the 70s and early 80s – it was particularly gross in north Wales but it was pretty grim everywhere else as well. There is no way that ‘service users’ had any voice anywhere in the 70s – who are MIND actually talking about? Radical ideas were bandied around by people like Laing et al but these ideas didn’t touch mainstream psychiatric practice – it is dishonest to pretend that they did.  I am wondering if all this guff about the active involvement of ‘service users’ in MIND is simply a glorified reference to one or two influential people in the organisation who may have had mental health problems themselves at some point. Of course Dr Dafydd Alun Jones told everyone that he suffered from a ‘nervous illness’ himself – it was a good excuse when he was challenged about his appalling conduct.

CHE was usually led by people who were gay themselves, so I was interested to read that Smythe had a ‘lifelong partner’ Jeanne and five daughters. Jeanne died in 2001.

Smythe and Jeanne were involved with Haringey MIND long after Smythe had stepped down from his post as CEO. Tony Smythe was listed as a Director of Haringey MIND between 1998-2000 and Jeanne between 1990-92 and between 1996-97.

I have mentioned previously that Dr Dafydd Alun Jones had a contact in Haringey Social Services – when I finally got out of the North Wales Hospital in Jan 1987, he told me that he had rung Haringey Social Services to ‘let them know’ that I would be living on their patch. This was not any sort of referral for aftercare – this was just the way that Dafydd conducted himself. I have also mentioned that I now have copies of letters between Alun Davies, the manager of the mental health services in Gwynedd and Laurie Wood, the manager of the North Wales Hospital Denbigh, in which they discuss their ‘friend’ at St George’s trying to find out which dept I was working in when I started working there in 1989 – there is also a reference to their friend accessing mail that was sent to me at St George’s in an attempt to discover my home address. There is no clue as to the identity of this friend in my documents, but whilst I was working at St George’s I was visited by a junior doctor called Jimmy Schroff who had come to find me because he’d heard that there was a girl from Bangor working there – Jimmy Schroff seemed to know everyone whom I had made a complaint about in north Wales and furthermore he had done his GP training in the practice of Dr D.G.E. Wood (see post ‘St George’s Hospital Medical School, 1989/1990’). Jimmy Schroff died some years ago – his widow works at the Betsi.

Tony Smythe was also a Director of an organisation on the Embankment called Reach Volunteering in 1990/91. In 1992 and again between 1995-2001 Jeanne was a Director of ‘an inclusive community hub’ called the Markfield Project.

Tony Smythe kept interesting company. He was acquainted with an actress called Adrienne Corri who died in 2016. Corri had a cult following and was noted for being rather excessive, sometimes swearing aggressively at her own audiences. She was friends with Ronnie and Reggie Kray. In the days before they were both banged up when it dawned upon everyone that despite hanging out with Barbara Windsor and Adrianne Corri they were a pair of vicious thugs. Who had also murdered people. Ronnie of course ended up in Broadmoor and there was a lot of huffing and puffing from some Tory MPs when it was revealed in the press that he had superstar status in Broadmoor, was politely called Mr Kray by the prison officers (who according to the likes of Professor Robert Bluglass were ‘nurses’) who generally pandered to him. What the Tories expected from an institution which Edwina Currie had appointed Jimmy Savile to run I do not know. Perhaps they should have taken a bit of notice of the other patients who complained that they were being beaten up and sexually abused by the ‘nurses’. As well as by Savile.

In 1968 whilst Tony Smythe was still leading the NCCL, they sponsored a production of Samuel Beckett’s play ‘Come and Go’ which starred Adrienne Corri. It was advertised as ‘gala entertainment concerning depravity and corruption’. The evening included other entertainment as well and was compered by George Melly. The George Melly who was famously promiscuous but whose wife was very tolerant of his desire for an open marriage. Much has been written about Melly’s bisexuality and his penchant for numerous extra-marital relationships, but his wife was I suspect much more tolerant than most people realised. Many years ago, George Melly came to do a gig at Theatre Gwynedd in Bangor. I know a man who was at the time of Melly’s performance in Bangor 16 yrs old. Melly paid to have sex with him. This was whilst the age of consent for gays was still 21. I have never seen Melly’s name included among the Rolfs or the Saviles or the Gary Glitters, which is extraordinary, particularly as some years before he died Melly gave an interview to a newspaper mentioning how much he enjoyed caressing the thighs of pre-pubescent boys. Yet no-one commented on this at all. Melly retired to Wales of course – to the Brecon Beacons.

Tony Smythe’s years as CEO of MIND covered the period of time which saw Mary Wynch unlawfully arrested and illegally detained in Denbigh for a year by Dafydd. Whilst she was in Denbigh Mary told me that she witnessed the patients in Dafydd’s ‘young people’s ward’ having sex with each other – after being encouraged to do so by Dafydd – whilst the nurses watched the show. Mary approached MIND for advice regarding her unlawful imprisonment. William Bingley admitted to me that MIND received grant funding from Gwynedd Health Authority and that Dafydd wrote to MIND telling them that he would block their dosh from Gwynedd if they advised Mary. Bingley told me that they didn’t succumb to Dafydd’s threats. However I now know that Bingley wasn’t in the least bit truthful regarding his stories of fighting for patients rights. What’s the betting that they slung Mary overboard lest they lost their dosh from Gwynedd Health Authority? Bingley also admitted to me that Dafydd had been a ‘leading light’ in MIND himself in the 1960s.

The General Secretary of MIND immediately prior to Smythe was Mary Appleby. She was CEO from 1951-74. Whilst Dafydd was a leading light in MIND! At the same time that Gwynne was lobotomising people and the paedophile ring was growing and growing, assisted by John Allen’s collection of children’s homes, the Bryn Alyn Community, which was doing a roaring trade in accepting children from across the UK but particularly from the London boroughs and the West Midlands…

Appleby died in 2013 and her obituary in the ‘Guardian’ mentioned that she became involved in MIND because there were mental health issues in her family. The ‘Guardian’ tells us that it was as a result of Mary’s efforts that MIND (then still called the National Association for Mental Health) became hugely influential, employing 200 people and was consulted by the Gov’t, the judiciary, the NHS and social workers’ organisations. In the early 70s a group of Scientologists tried to join MIND. Scientologists, although they are a rather eccentric group of people themselves, famously loathe psychiatry. They attempted to join MIND after alleging that psychiatrists were illegally imprisoning people, torturing people and were ‘carrying out perversions’. Mary fought the Scientologists in the High Court to keep them out of MIND. However, she allowed Dafydd to remain in.

Mary Appleby worked in both the War Office and the Foreign Office. She Chaired the Bench of Magistrates in an inner London juvenile Court for many years. She contributed to Gov’t Inquiries on mental health and social services. She sat on the appeals panel for the BBC and ITV and was a Member of the Immigration Appeals Tribunals. She also sat on the Selection Committee for the Civil Service. A pretty well-connected and influential lady then – even at Whitehall level.

Tony Smythe took over from Mary Appleby in 1974, but Appleby remained a Vice-President of MIND until her death in 2013. She will have not only had substantial influence regarding the appointment of Smythe, but she wielded considerable influence over that organisation for decades. She will have known exactly what sort of people were being appointed, what they were getting up to and indeed what they were concealing, ignoring or colluding with.

 

So what about those who have Chaired MIND? Let’s take a look at some of them….

Between 1969-78 Christopher Mayhew MP was Chair. Mayhew spent many years as a Labour MP but in 1974 he defected to the Liberals. In 1974 the Liberal MP Cyril Smith was busy abusing boys (and had been for some years) but it is now admitted that there was assistance from the security services in ensuring that he was never prosecuted (see post ‘Dr Death’). Mayhew is perhaps most famous however for taking part in a mescaline experiment in 1955 with Dr Humphrey Osmond. The plan was to film Mayhew on a mescaline trip for ‘Panorama’ but the programme was never broadcast. Humphrey Osmond was a psychiatrist who was well-known for his research into hallucinogens and schizophrenia – he was the man who administered mescaline to Aldous Huxley in the 50s which resulted in Aldous Huxley writing ‘The Doors of Perception’. Osmond also experimented with peyote when he went to stay with Native Americans.

So Mayhew was a man up for experimentation. He was given a peerage in 1981.

Between 1978 and 1984, William Bingley’s mother Lady Juliet Bingley was Chair. Juliet Bingley grew up in Harley Street – her father was a surgeon at Barts. She studied social administration at the LSE, during which time she undertook a placement in Liverpool at the Personal Services Society. In 1945 she qualified as a medical almoner (what we would now call a social worker). Her first job was at Barts. Juliet Bingley was married to Admiral Sir Alec Bingley who in 1959 was appointed NATO commander-in-chief of the Royal Navy’s Mediterranean fleet in Malta. The family only spent three years in Malta but Juliet got to work out there. She became involved in the development of health services for elderly people – but she was also good mates with the former Prime Minister of Malta, Dom Mintoff. Mintoff had just resigned as PM, which meant that Malta was under direct rule from London – Juliet became the ‘messenger’ between Mintoff and the London Gov’t and continued to play this role throughout the 70s and 80s during the various crises in Anglo-Maltese relations. Alec Bingley died in 1972 which was when Juliet became involved with MIND. She was initially Chair of the Local Associations Committee before becoming Chair of the whole organisation. In 1973 she also took up a post as medical social worker at St Marks, a hospital for gastro-intestinal disorders in London and was Chair of the Heads of Departments Committee there.

Juliet Bingley was busy with other charity work as well as MIND. In 1979 she founded the National Association for Colitis and Chrohns and she was also a founding Trustee of the Carr-Gomm Society, a charity now working for the homeless.

Well with a mum and dad with backgrounds and connections like that William Bingley was certainly not going to do anything to put Dafydd out of action whilst he and Lucille facilitated a paedophile ring supplying boys to Westminster figures and others in London who were enjoying the protection of the security services at the time. Come to think of it I don’t think that Juliet would have been particularly inclined to put a stop to Dafydd’s activities either – and she was incredibly well-connected among the very Top of the Top Doctors as well as the highest echelons of Gov’t should she need to protect him…

How did the Bingley clan ever manage to convince anyone that they were the Voice of the Service Users?

The person who succeeded Juliet as Chair of MIND was Lord David Ennals – he was Chair between 1984-89. Ennals was a Labour politician. In 1967 he was appointed Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Home Office under Jim Callaghan. The Home Office that was at that time directly managing Bryn Estyn, where a brutal regime overseeing the violent sexual abuse of teenaged boys was becoming established. Ennals became Minister of State for Social Services in 1969. He lost his seat in 1970 and it was then that he became the ‘Mind campaign’ Director for the National Association of Mental Health. This campaign was established to fundraise but also to clarify the policies and aims of the organisation – as a result of the campaign in 1972 the charity changed it’s name to MIND. It was whilst Ennals was Chair that Tony Smythe was appointed Chief Exec – supposedly on the basis of his ‘human rights’ experience. Ennals remained campaign director until 1973 and was re-elected to Parliament in 1974. He lost his seat again in 1983 and was elevated to the Lords – then he popped back to MIND again to become Chair.

Ennals has a few close relatives who are worth mentioning. His younger brother Martin was a human rights activist and Secretary-General of Amnesty International. His son Paul has fingers in numerous pies.

Sir Paul Ennals was Chief Exec of the National Children’s Bureau (NCB) between 1998-2011. That’s the NCB to whom Peter Righton, a social care expert and academic who was a founder member of PIE and a convicted paedophile, acted as a ‘consultant’ (see post ‘The Waterhouse Tribunal – Who Was Involved And What Happened To Them Subsequently?’). Despite such worrying connections, the NCB, being an umbrella organisation, has links with many other organisations, including Barnardos – some of those involved with child abuse in north Wales had worked for Barnardos. The NCB also collaborates with the NSPCC – which works with Esther Rantzen’s Childline (see post ‘Ian Brockington’s Mischief’ for the questionable background of Valerie Howarth, the first Chief Exec of Childline) – and works in partnership with the Department of Health.

Paul Ennals is Chair of Haringey Local Safeguarding Children Board; South Tyneside Local Safeguarding Children Board; Gateshead Local Safeguarding Children Board; Sunderland Local Safeguarding Children Board. I do not know why Ennals has interests in both Haringey and the north east of England but I presume that he does a lot of commuting. If anyone living in the north east hopes to escape Paul Ennals’s safeguarding when they hit 18, they’ll be disappointed – he also Chairs the Safeguarding Adults Board of Gateshead and South Tyneside.

Before Ennals was involved with the NCB he was Director of Employment at the RNIB. He has Chaired or played a leading role on numerous Gov’t taskforces, working groups etc concerned with SEN, disabled or very young children.

Between 1994-2001 David Peryer was Chair of MIND. Peryer had previously been Director of Humberside Social Services. On 23 April 1998 Peryer gave evidence to the Select Committee on Health, along with Liz Sayce (Policy Director of MIND), Peter Wilson and Dinah Morley. Wilson had been Director of Young Minds for six years, was a child psychotherapist and had ‘many’ many years ago’ been a social worker. He had also worked in child and adolescent mental health at another institution familiar to readers of this blog, the Maudsley. In addition Wilson stated that he had worked in ‘child guidance’ in London. Dinah Morley was the ‘professional services manager’ for Young Minds. She had previously been the Assistant Director of an unidentified London borough, responsible for mental health and children’s services. Before that she ran a multi-disciplinary mental health team. She is also a member of a Health Authority.

So these witnesses all had vast experience of working in organisations and fields that had screwed up badly. Indeed Peryer told the Committee that he began working the field of child protection in 1977 in East Sussex, ‘shortly after the Maria Colwell case’. Maria Colwell was the first high profile death of a child in recent decades that was attributed to the fuckwittery of the welfare services.

The Committee were happy to rely on the advice of this bunch nonetheless. Liz Sayce in particular had a lot to say to the Committee. She was keen to tell the Committee of the sort of problems that ‘service users bring to us’ – did they include abusive psychiatrists, mental health staff perjuring themselves in order to secure convictions against them or their illegal detention in secure units? No, the service users complained of being bored in day hospitals. So Liz recommended that day hospitals should be shut and service users encouraged to attend college. I remember the results of Sayce’s recommendations well. The day hospitals were indeed closed down – nothing replaced them, so service users had nowhere to go at all and lost touch with their friends whom they used to meet in the day hospitals. So service users ended up being bored at home, alone. In the two years following the closure of the day hospital at the Hergest Unit, service users could be seen hanging about in the local towns destitute. A number of them died. As for ‘going to college’ – well a very small number of ‘service users’ benefited greatly from this and it turned their lives around. However Sayce’s ‘encouragement’ of such activity was interpreted by mental health teams as ‘coercion’ and certainly in north Wales numerous ‘service users’ were frog marched into college courses – they were told that they would lose social services support if they didn’t ‘take responsibility for getting better’ and enrol. Many of them did not have the academic ability needed for the courses that they had been coerced into joining and even more of them were far too fragile emotionally to cope with a college course. I knew of one course in which at the beginning of term about 15 service users enrolled at the behest of their mental health teams – every one of them withdrew before the course was half-way through and two of them were so distressed that instead of handing in essays to their tutor they handed in suicide notes and accounts of how they had been sexually abused by members of their chapel when they were children. The college ‘counselling service’ was in no way equipped to deal with the difficulties that these students were encountering. Not that the mental health team cared – once the ‘service user’ had enrolled, the mental health team ticked a box marked ‘recovered’ and forgot about them. A lot of ‘service users’ paid a very high price as a result of Liz Sayce’s advice.

No-one noticed – Sayce fucked up peoples lives all over again a few years later once she had been appointed Chief Exec of the Disability Rights Commission and a leading light on the UK Commission for Employment and Skills. It was Sayce that advised the Gov’t – what with her unique insight and being the Voice of the Service User – to close the Remploy factories on the grounds that they were ghettoes. Hundreds of Remploy staff volubly protested that they loved working at Remploy, that their disabilities were such that they couldn’t hold down other jobs – Remploy staff came forward with the most harrowing accounts of their mistreatment in previous workplaces and begged for Remploy to be reprieved. But Nurse Liz knew best and in 2012 told anyone who would listen in no uncertain terms that Service Users must be Included, that Remploy was Old Fashioned and that the Gov’t proposed Access To Work Fund was far more Empowering (it was also much cheaper and merely involved chucking a few hundred quid at a few service users to pay for simple adaptions on things like cars). The Gov’t followed Sayce’s advice and shut the Remploy factories down. Many of the former Remploy staff never worked again and are now on benefits. Furthermore I think that Theresa May et al are now proposing to whittle away at the Access To Work Fund anyway.

The Gov’t is still grappling with the advice that Liz gave them in 1998 – she recommended that health care and social care should NOT be merged. That’s why there is still such extreme inequity in the treatment of those people classed as needing ‘social care’ as compared to those whose needs are categorised as ‘medical’. But somebody was stupid enough to allow Liz to ‘lead’ on creating the Disability Agenda forming the basis of policy for the next two decades….

In Jan 2017 Liz announced her retirement from the Disability Rights Commission – she’d been shortlisted for a post as a Disability Commissioner on the European Human Rights Commission! For fuckwittery, arrogance and sheer irresponsibility, Liz is only matched by Rachel Perkins.

In 2001 David Henry took over as Chair. I can find no info about David Henry at all other than that whilst he was Chair of MIND he was given two free tickets worth £1,500 for the opening ceremony to some grand event in his capacity as ‘leader’ of a UK charity.

The present Chair, Ryan Campbell, has been in post since 2012. He was formerly the CEO of a ‘drug, alcohol and mental health charity in the south east of England’ and is currently the CEO of Demelza Hospice Care in Hindhead, Surrey. Ryan was previously involved with Age Concern and has been an expert advisor to Gov’t on the development of health services; is the author of DoH guidance to commissioning in the Third Sector; has been an advisor and taskforce member to DoH guidance on High Impact Changes in Health and Social Care (2008); and was the UK rep to the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse.

Ryan is also a member of something called the ‘Association of Chairs’, which seems to be no more than a collection of freeloading dipsticks who become Chairs of outfits like MIND. Ryan explains on their website that he joined the Association ‘because I need a network’. Of course you do Ryan. To propel you onwards and upwards in the face of your dismal performance in order that one day you too can bag a seat in the Lords or a place on the EHRC alongside Rachel bloody Perkins.

 

It is because of people like this lot that so many other people are dying and suffering in the UK’s health and welfare system.

 

NB. BBC News Wales and the ‘Daily Post’ online are reporting that there is pressure on Wales to provide ‘fix rooms’ in which drug users can inject heroin. North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Arfon Jones – he who as a young PC chauffeured Gordon Anglesea to the venues at which Anglesea molested boys and who many years later as Police and Crime Commissioner ‘made a mistake’ which resulted in Anglesea’s widow receiving 50% of his police pension although Anglesea died in prison as a convicted child abuser – is fully in support of the idea. Well it’s another great business opportunity for Dafydd and Lucille at CAIS – they can provide shooting galleries in which the CAIS clients can inject the goodies which they have been sold by their ‘peer guides’ and draw down a grant from the Welsh Gov’t to fund it all! I used to know someone who always quipped that CAIS stood for ‘Come And Inject Some’.

Anyone for co-production?

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A Few More Who Might Be Able To Answer Questions

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

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

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

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

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

So was Jack always frank about difficult issues?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.