News Round Up, May 18 2017

The Top Doctors have reached fever point, screaming at everyone who will listen that the GP service is on the verge of collapse, the Top Doctors just can’t cope anymore. We heard this from the Top Doctors about the GP service in north Wales, with misery memoirs assuring us all that they were all off to put their feet up and retire, having reached the point of near death through burn out. Which clearly explains why two Top Doctors from north Wales, Dr ‘Dave’ (DGE) Wood and Eamonn Jessup, are regularly nipping across to Cyprus to do a bit of doctoring over there (for details see post ‘I Think That We’ve Been Here Before’). The BMA are holding a conference in which they will explain how the world will end if they are not given even more money – I was hoping to report on the conference here, I’m sure that the Top Doctors can be relied upon to put their feet in their mouths – but I can’t find any conference reports yet. They must still be getting pissed post-lunch – I will report on the conference when I can.

A reader has sent me a link from Mail online – the Penrhos nursing home in Pwhelli has hit the headlines after a damning report from CSSIW. The criticisms include: residents found to be dehydrated with cracked lips, drinks out of reach and inadequate fluid records. There were also two nurses who could not speak English or Welsh. However the home in question is actually an establishment run by a charitable foundation formed in 1949 that provides accommodation for Polish ex-servicemen and women who remained in north Wales after World War Two. The first language of those residents is Polish, not English or Welsh – could the two nurses shamed in the report possibly have been Polish?  My posts ‘Are There Dark Forces At Work – Again?’ and ‘More On Those Dark Forces’ describe how the CSSIW has been happy to allow ‘care homes’ that I knew to have been seriously neglecting residents to remain in business – one of these establishments was actually using trafficked labour – yet they closed down one home (and brought in police to ‘investigate’) that was actually providing excellent care to an elderly relative of a close friend of mine, who is a retired health professional himself and knows how to judge a residential home. The inspector from CSSIW has commented that ‘people cannot always be assured that they will be protected from harm’. Not with the CSSIW responsible for inspections they can’t. If anyone has first hand experience of the Penrhos nursing home, please do get in touch.

The Welsh Ambulance Service has proudly declared that it has hit it’s best response times since new targets were set in October 2015 (those were the targets that effectively abolished reasonable response times). That’ll explain the recent spate of news reports concerning people who’ve called ambulances after being attacked with machetes, breaking their legs, experiencing bleeds on the brain and have either found that no ambulance ever arrived, or were left waiting hours or were dead by the time that they got to the hospital. One of these people was so pissed off with her treatment at the hands of the Welsh Ambulance Service that she’s recently announced that she’s standing for  election on the ‘put a boot up the arse of the NHS’ ticket.

A cache of ‘drugs and guns’ were discovered by the police at Conwy and the bus driver who broke the ‘Black Mamba crisis in Wrexham’ story to the media has claimed that he has received death threats from people angry that the supply of Mamba has declined since he went public. So CAIS and Dafydd are still doing a great job combatting drug use in north Wales then. Now that they have landed the contract for ‘service user involvement’ across the region after stitching up the commissioning process to form the laughable CANIAD (please see previous posts), we’ll expect the ‘services’ to remain as institutionally corrupt and even more shite than they have been for the last thirty years. ‘Lived experience’ of service users anyone? That’ll be difficult to document, the service users don’t tend to stay alive to enjoy ‘lived experience’, they’re dying at the hands of the mental health services, just like Michael Bryn Jones did – I reported on his inquest yesterday…

A reader has sent me a link to a story involving a private company who have been commissioned to fine people dropping litter on Anglesey. People are being fined for ludicrous ‘littering offences’ and my reader has done a few calculations and has worked out that this company is making substantial profits. I was interested to hear this, because this was one of the nightmare scenarios that Brown and I predicted in our 2012 book ‘Responsible Citizens’, along with much of the other insanity currently prevailing that is tarted up as ‘health screening’, ‘psychological therapies’ or ‘caring for vulnerable people’. Amazingly enough, for a rather nerdy academic tome, this book must have been selling well recently because I received a very welcome royalties cheque a couple of weeks ago. For those dodos in denial who are sound asleep in north Wales (please see post ‘News Round Up, May 17 2017’) – this is also the book in which Brown and I explained just how great the surveillance powers of the state with regard to the general public now are…

Virtually all news sites are reporting that the police are investigating the very high number of baby deaths at the Countess of Chester Hospital – I have mentioned in previous posts the unacknowledged rate of neonate deaths in UK hospitals.

It has been reported that Wales’s plan to ensure that there are 1 million Welsh speakers by 2050 ‘lacks clarity and detail’. The comments of Bethan Jenkins, the Chairwoman of the Assembly’s ‘Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee’ and of Alun Davies, the Welsh Language Minister, are foregrounded. Dear old Meri Huws, Wales’s Language Commissioner, is only mentioned as an afterthought and it seems that no-one has sought her opinion. In view of the fact that it was Meri who conjured up the plan that won’t work and the revelations that appeared on this blog about her (see ‘Let Me Enlighten Lord Gnome…’), this is entirely understandable.

There is another Welsh language story in the news as well, that of the possible imprisonment of 50 campaigners who are refusing to pay their TV licences unless broadcasting is devolved to Cardiff Bay. The protest is being led by Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg. They are campaigning for more Welsh language programmes and Heledd Gyndaf, Chair, commented: ‘we’ve had enough of media which ignores the Welsh language and Wales’s democracy’. Now I’m only a Welsh learner so I don’t make much use of Welsh language broadcasting and I’m not au fait with the details of the Cymdeithas campaign, but I have noticed that Wales and matters Welsh are basically ignored by broadcasters. I notice it most on the BBC, particularly Radio 4, because that’s what I listen to. Even on the more ‘intellectual’ programmes such as ‘Thinking Allowed’, if a voice-over is attempting to do a north Welsh accent, they will speak in a broad Valleys accent. Welsh names are just about the only names that Radio 4 newsreaders don’t bother to learn to pronounce properly – someone called Dafydd is still nearly always called Daffid and Sir Emyr Jones-Parry is always addressed as ‘Sir Emma’. Yet the same newsreaders obviously repeatedly rehearse other non-English names and often achieve near perfection. The reason that I spend so much time scanning Wales-based media is that there is bugger all news relating to Wales in the ‘UK media’, as far as they are concerned Wales does not exist. There is much intelligent coverage of the problems caused by second homes in places like Cornwall and Cumbria, where locals are squeezed out of the market, but if such matters are reported regarding Wales, it is usually accompanied by the spectre of the ‘Welsh extremists’, those bastards who’ll burn your house down because you’re English. I used to stand accused of being a bit oversensitive regarding the habits of the BBC with regard to such matters, but I realised that things were even worse than I had thought when some years ago I went to Cardiff to participate in a ‘meet the BBC Governors’ session as a member of the general public. That big idiot Michael Grade was Chair of the Governors at the time and the journalist allocated for the evening was Rhun ap Iowerth, who is now the Plaid AM for Ynys Mon. As the event opened, Rhun stood up with the microphone ready to take it around to anyone who wanted to speak, only to be faced with Grade repeatedly bellowing out ‘oh you’re tall aren’t you’. (Rhun’s height is not outside of the normal parameters.) I wondered what the fuck Grade was on about, until I clicked – Welshmen are all small! (That’s so that they can fit down the mines – they’ve probably got special evolved eyes that can see in the dark as well.) So that was Grade’s opening gambit to an audience in Wales. It just got worse and worse. Grade then introduced his fellow Governors – and didn’t know the name of the Governor for Wales. He made a great point of introducing one of the Governors as an esteemed academic, with the emphasis on his title, ‘Professor’. So who was this? Professor Richard Tait from Cardiff University’s School of Journalism. Best known of course for his towering achievement in ‘journalism’ – ‘Nationwide’! That lame, laughable programme from the 70s that propelled Michael Barrett and Frank Bough to stardom. That’s the Frank Bough who was later sacked by the BBC when it was revealed that he spent much of his free time snorting coke and frequenting brothels. (They never sacked Savile, Rolf or Stuart Hall though – at least Frank Bough’s activities involved consenting adults.) Anyway, the Grade show continued and one audience member dared to raise the subject of the constant offensive comments about Wales broadcast by the BBC – such as Ann Robinson’s racist insults. (Had she made the sort of comments that she made about Welsh people with reference to Black or Asian or Jewish people, she would have lost her job.) It’s OK though, Grade assured us that it was just a joke. And to show how non-stereotyping the BBC were, a particularly dreadful Governor called Ruth Deech explained that when she thought of Wales, she thought of choirs and chapels and valleys (and no doubt Welsh mams baking the bara brith in those tall black hats which no Welsh women ever actually wore). Deech is now unbelievably in the House of Lords – this is a woman who could not even answer my question regarding the constant portrayal of mentally ill people on the BBC as serial killers. Eventually she grabbed me by the hand, yelling ‘let me introduce you to Mark Thompson’, dragged me across the room to where Thompson was standing and told him to answer my question. Because she couldn’t. Most extraordinarily, Deech had stated earlier in the evening that she had ‘been on a course on how to answer difficult questions’. (Whoever goes on such a course? I didn’t know that such courses even existed.) Presumably the course told you to let Mark Thompson answer the difficult questions. Dunno how she copes in the Lords though because I think Thompson lives in New York now. The evening continued, with Grade joking about Welsh weather – and then a member of the audience asked a particularly difficult question involving demographic and technical knowledge. So who did Grade ask to answer the question? Deech, having been on her course? Or his mate, the intellectual giant behind ‘Nationwide’, Richard Tait? No. He asked the Governor of Wales because the rest of them were too dim to be even begin to be able to answer it. But then I’ve known for thirty years that the ‘independent’, ‘charismatic’, wearer of red braces and no doubt matching undies as well Grade is the King’s New Clothes who has ended up where he is by shamelessly toadying to unworthy but influential people – such as the brother of a man who is mired very deeply indeed in allegations of sexual abuse. Please see post ‘A Few Of The Relevant Politicians Re Mary Wynch’s Case’ for details of Grade’s fawning to Samuel Brittan.

Grade learned nothing from his visit to Cardiff or from the angry members of the audience who repeatedly yelled ‘Ann Robinson’ at him. Robinson continued to be wheeled out to host mindless programmes for the BBC and just to show us all that it’s not only the BBC who broadcast offensive tripe, Robinson then turned up on Channel 4 insulting anyone who dared come from Wales. I remember her boasting about a rather dull designer dress that she was wearing and it’s price tag, commenting to a girl from Wales that she won’t see many dresses like that in the Rhymney Valley. Presumably because people in the Rhymney Valley have got more taste and more sense than to waste their money in such a manner. So there’s the ‘brave’ Ann Robinson for you, the ‘Queen of Mean’ who’ll say anything to anyone. Except for when she used to work on the Mirror and the night after Maxwell went overboard after he’d nicked the money from the pension fund she was confronted by a journalist who yelled out ‘What do you think about Mr Maxwell’s disappearance then?’ and Ann simpered ‘oh it’s so worrying’ and fled into the Mirror building. Lest Captain Bob floated to the surface again… It’s OK Ann, Maxwell’s definitely not coming back, so you can be as offensive about the thieving, lying git who employed you as you are about Welsh people.