A Secret And Forbidding Place To Work?

I wrote my earlier post ‘Their Trade Is Fuckwittery’ after reading Greg Dyke’s book ‘Inside Story’. I mentioned in that post that Greg’s book was so full of gems and leads that I’d never have time to blog about it all, so I was just going to write about a few of the highlights. In ‘Their Trade Is Fuckwittery’ I concentrated on the shambles that was TV-am and the questionable conduct of those who were running that company, as well as providing a few details about ITV and Yorkshire Television, two very big players in independent TV. People tend to believe that Gov’ts always have the BBC over a barrel because of the existence of the licence fee and the Charter, which are of course completely in the hands of the Westminster Gov’t, but as I made clear in ‘Their Trade Is Fuckwittery’, other media folk not involved with the BBC didn’t dare fall out with the Gov’t – during the 80s, the Thatcher administrations – because the Gov’t was busy drawing up the legislation relating to broadcasting. There is a very close symbiotic relationship between all broadcasters and Gov’t – Dyke’s book makes the extent of this very obvious.

This blog has previously named towering figures in broadcasting – such as Huw Wheldon of the BBC – who had direct links to those who were overseeing the abuse of kids in care and mental health patients, which might explain why investigative documentaries about such matters rarely got to see the light of day. It wasn’t just the fault of a few individuals like Huw Wheldon though. Senior figures from right across the political spectrum have been identified as being involved with such abuses, so it’s not just a matter of waiting for a change of Gov’t before receiving the all-clear for a documentary – the next Gov’t coming along will be just as compromised. Virtually every other page of Dyke’s book names a senior political figure who is best mates with an influential figure in broadcasting, there are hundreds of close connections between the two sectors. The media world is also small and incestuous, nearly as bad as the world of health and social care – it is just one big game of musical chairs, with people jumping between organisations in ever more senior roles, where they become ever more closer to but at the same time more beholden to politicians. Remember the case of James Purnell, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport until he resigned in 2009 – he managed to leave a job in Gordon Brown’s Gov’t, spend four years as Chair of the IPPR and then walked into a job as Director of Strategy at the BBC on a salary of £295k pa.

Since Jimmy Savile’s death it has become clear that an awful lot of people at the BBC and elsewhere knew that he was sexually assaulting children and young people, despite the official silence. What really struck me as I was reading Dyke’s book though is how many very senior people in TV will definitely have known about organised child sexual abuse and its ramifications. I tend to just perceive people on TV as being obsessed with issues that don’t really matter, people who appear on prime time and talk asinine nonsense. I forget that a great many of these people started their careers as journalists or researchers, either on newspapers or on regional TV or radio. Local journalists do know what goes on – they will freely admit this, but then explain that they couldn’t publish because the editor wouldn’t allow it. That will be true – but their editors will be the local journalists of yesteryear, who are now dining with politicians and don’t want to upset the Gov’t…. This is how a complete silence surrounding certain subjects is maintained.

Dyke names powerful figure after powerful figure in the media whom he worked with years ago when they were local journos or researchers on news programmes or investigative projects who undoubtedly came across the matters discussed on this blog but who never broadcast them, even when they were in a position to do so. A glaring example is Janet Street-Porter, whom Dyke worked with back in the dark ages in the current affairs dept of LWT on a local London programme. Janet was one of the journos going out and about. Street-Porter has latterly reached the dizzying heights of ‘Loose Women’, where matters Jimmy Savile and sexual exploitation by media figures have recently been discussed, as they have on other TV programmes. I watched a clip of someone angrily interrogating Janet and asking her why she had never said a word previously. Janet squawked away in a very vexed manner, maintained that she ‘couldn’t’, because she was a ‘woman’ and women get ‘harassed’. The interrogation continued and Janet then stated that when she was ten she was molested and when she told her mum her mum slapped her. Janet Street-Porter as traumatised victim. An interesting notion – yet Street-Porter went through a phase not so long ago of writing articles denouncing her mother as the most vile old cow and even maintained that she loathed everything Welsh because her mother was Welsh. She may well have been quite right about her mother but EVERYTHING about Street-Porter’s life and career from her teens onwards suggests that she is pretty tough – it is far more likely that she didn’t publish or broadcast because she wanted promotion. By the time that Street-Porter was being interrogated by an angry viewer she wasn’t ten, she was a wealthy senior media executive in late middle-age who scared the knickers off many of her colleagues.

If Street-Porter had really wanted to expose Savile or others like him, she could have – but she knew that the dinner invitations and commissions would dry up if she did. Street-Porter did most admirably have a go at the NHS when her sister died in truly appalling conditions – Street-Porter was editor of the Indie on Sunday at the time and published some very damning articles despite the squealing of the NHS and I was most grateful that she did this. Yet the Indie on Sunday was one of the papers that Gordon Anglesea sued for libel in 1994 after they and others named him as abusing kids in care in north Wales. Last year Anglesea was jailed – for abusing kids in care in north Wales. Did the Indie on Sunday – or anyone else – put the boot in? No. Anglesea had been demonstrated to be a child molester, a liar, a perjurer and someone who trousered nearly £400,000 in libel damages as a result of his criminal activities. Anglesea had also enjoyed the full support of the Police Federation throughout. One of his accusers was found dead shortly after Anglesea won his libel case. Er – fancy a follow up investigation or even an article then Janet? No? Never mind – it’s why I started this blog…

There is only one reason why I am not even ruder about Janet and the others regarding their extended silence – and that is that some very unfortunate things tend to happen to people who merely bump into and spill the pints of those involved with the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal. Like the young man who dared appear on TV and name Gordon Anglesea as one of his abusers whilst he was a kid in care in north Wales, they tend to be found dead. Janet and her mates are far safer than the former residents of children’s homes or the mental health patients of north Wales, but Greg’s book does mention something similarly very worrying. That Richard Dunn, the head of Thames TV who were responsible for making and broadcasting ‘Death On The Rock’ the documentary about the shooting of the three members of the IRA by the SAS in Gibraltor in 1988 – that so enraged Thatcher and her Gov’t – was in Aug 1998 found dead at the bottom of his swimming pool. The reason given for the cause of his death doesn’t quite add up and anyway don’t bodies float?

Dyke’s book teams with evidence of the favours that people in the media do for politicians whilst they are all on their way up. The earlier part of Dyke’s career as a media big-hitter took place under Tory Govt’s – first Thatcher’s administrations, then Major’s – but the latter half was under New Labour. It was Dyke’s almighty ding dong with Blair’s Gov’t that saw him resign as Director-General of the BBC. Greg caused havoc, but he also got rid of Alistair Campbell as Blair’s Rottweiler in Chief, so we have that to be grateful for.

Dyke’s account nicely illustrates how favours and feuds going back decades and indeed generations influence present day decisions. Greg himself goes back a long way in terms of his friendships with people who later became very powerful. Although as a manager Greg took a very Thatcheresque view of the trade unions in TV and delighted in thwarting them, he admits that a few years previously when he was of them, he too screwed the management over and fleeced them – it’s how he knew the techniques that the unions would employ when he joined management.

Greg’s early power base was at LWT, which certainly seemed to serve him well. At LWT he worked with a John Birt, a Peter Mandelson and a Michael Grade. When Dyke was applying for what seems to be his first go at a worthwhile job at LWT, he was told by a colleague at LWT that John Birt was the most important person on the Board – Birt was then head of features and current affairs at LWT and had been described to Greg as ‘all powerful’. Greg did his best to toady to John Birt in the interview but unfortunately he didn’t actually manage to identify who John Birt was and ingratiated himself to the wrong person. Greg didn’t get the job, but he did get another job with LWT soon afterwards. Greg observed that as Birt became very powerful within LWT, Mandelson – who was a producer – became his best friend.

Birt left LWT in 1987 to become Deputy DG of the BBC – Birt was valued for his expertise in current affairs and was responsible for news and current affairs as Deputy DG. Birt will have certainly have been party to a lot of information by this stage in his career. He had worked at Granada between 1966-71 where he’d been part of the World In Action team, becoming joint editor in 1969. He joined LWT in 1971 and was founding editor and executive producer of Weekend World. Birt then became head of current affairs, then controller of features and current affairs. He worked on Weekend World with Peter Jay.

Peter Jay was the son of two Labour politicians who then married Margaret, the daughter of Jim Callaghan, who later became PM. When Callaghan became PM in 1977 Peter Jay was appointed Ambassador to the US by his friend, Foreign Secretary Dr David Owen. Jay had never held public office and was not a diplomat. Jay did well out of his friends though – he landed a job as Economics Editor of the BBC courtesy of his mate John Birt. At one point Jay was Chief of Staff to Robert Maxwell. Jay was founding Chairman of TV-am (see post ‘Their Trade Is Fuckwittery). Between 2003-09 he was a non-executive director of the Bank of England.

Birt took a break from LWT in the mid-70s to work with David Frost producing The Nixon Interviews, in which they famously managed to get Tricky Dicky to fess up to serious wrongdoing. Birt returned to LWT in 1982 as Director of Programmes. It was in this capacity that he revived the career of a singer with whom he had been friends many years ago when they were young – this is the lady whom I have mentioned in previous posts and comments who was a patient of and a friend of the Professor in the Dept at St Georges Hospital Medical School in which I worked between 1989-91. The Dept which was chaotic, riddled with workplace bullying and which sometime after I left became embroiled in a research fraud scandal, then another scandal in which a fertility consultant was accused of pressurising NHS patients into donating eggs to private patients, then yet another scandal before the Dept was closed down (see post ‘St George’s Hospital Medical School, 1989/1990’). This was also the Dept which employed an MSF rep, David Hole, who as far as I could see was corrupt. Only a few years previously, the Professor of Paediatrics at St Georges, Oliver Brooke, had been jailed for the possession of child porn. At the same time, the Dept of Psychiatry, along with the associated psychiatric unit Springfield Hospital, were as corrupt as fuck and were colluding with the criminal activities of NHS staff and social workers in north Wales, including the concealing of abuse of children in care and of mental health patients (see post ‘Some Very Eminent Psychiatrists From London…’). The occupational health physician at St Georges, Dr Nicky Mitchell-Heggs, was also on board with all this.

I am sure that John Birt’s showbiz friend knew nothing about the shenanigans behind the scenes at St George’s at all, all she saw were Top Doctors grovelling to her as their highest profile private patient, but I have been told that it was substantially as a result of this lady’s very good relationship with St George’s that the lid was kept on the wrongdoing there. She thought that they were great and used to occasionally mention them when interviewed. By the time that I worked at St George’s this lady was LWT’s biggest star – the two light entertainment shows that she hosted were the root of LWT’s success and profits in the 1980s/90s and she was the highest paid female presenter on UK TV. Her fame was used to conceal some real horrors at St George’s.

Birt’s friend won’t have known what St George’s were concealing, but it’s very likely that Birt with his background in current affairs and extensive network did. Not only was Birt big mates with Mandelson – who was Director of Communications for the Labour Party – but Birt was also a member of the Labour Party at the time of his appointment to the BBC, although this was only revealed later. Which was certainly ironic because Birt had been recruited by Thatcher’s old mate Duke Hussey, who had been appointed as Chairman of the BBC Governors because Thatcher and Tebbit et al were fuming at what they believed were the pinkos working on the Today programme and the broadcasting of a few other things that had upset them, such as ‘Maggie’s Militant Tendency’ (see post ‘Wheels Within Wheels Or Flies Drawn To The Same Incestuously Corrupt Shithouse?’).

Birt was appointed as DG in 1992 and remained in post until 2000. His tenure was certainly controversial. He – along with Hussey – was loathed by many and numerous people became very alienated. Birt was perceived to be Thatcher’s lap dog and he also really liked Management. So much so that as well as all the highly paid managers already in the BBC, Birt spent huge quantities of money on management consultants McKinseys and Co – who had also been sent into the NHS by Gov’t in a vain attempt to address the entrenched corruption and bad practice. Although Hussey and Birt were both hated by much of the media world, they didn’t like each other very much either. Dyke maintains that months used to pass without them even speaking to each other and the final straw came in 1995 when Panorama broadcast the infamous Tell All interview with Diana, Princess of Wales. Hussey was mates with members of the Royal Family and was horrified that he hadn’t been told about the programme until he wasn’t in a position to stop it.

When Birt became DG of the BBC, he fell out with another person with whom he’d been big mates with in LWT as long ago as the 1970s – Michael Grade. Grade got so pissed off with Birt that Grade left his senior post at the BBC and went to Channel 4. Grade later described Birt’s BBC as a ‘secret and forbidding place to work’ in the McTaggart lecture in Edinburgh. The following year the McTaggart lecture was given by Dennis Potter, who put the boot into Birt’s groin even harder and described him and Hussey as ‘croak-voiced daleks’.

It was Birt who was behind the expansion of the BBC into online services, which enraged many people because it squeezed out virtually all other competitors – Birt created a whole New Media Division.

Despite the high levels of dissatisfaction all around at the BBC with Birt’s activities when he was DG, when he left the BBC he picked up a peerage and was appointed as strategy advisor to Blair. Of course Birt already knew Blair – they had known each other since the 1980s. It was Birt who in his capacity as DG at the BBC in 1998 had ordered a blackout on any references to Mandelson being gay, after Matthew Parris let it slip on Newsnight. Mandy had also been a Councillor in Lambeth Borough Council in the late 1990s – Lambeth children’s homes had been choc full of paedophiles for years, but whether Birt was censoring that piece of info as well I do not know. Blair also knew Greg Dyke and Greg’s mate Barry Cox from LWT. Greg first met Blair in 1980 at Barry Cox’s – Greg was a producer with LWT and Blair was working as a barrister, presumably as George Carman’s junior, but told Dyke that he wanted to be a Labour MP. Barry Cox and his wife Fiona Hillary (who was Dyke’s PA for many years) were neighbours and friends of Blair and according to Dyke, when Cox was Director of Corporate Affairs at LWT in the early 1990s (by which time Dyke was Chair of LWT), Cox warned Blair of Murdoch’s dominance and ambitions to achieve further dominance of British TV. Blair knew about the danger that Murdoch posed, but maintained that Labour could do a deal with Murdoch. So that’s how Murdoch ended up taking over the world and telling UK PMs what to do, blackmailing a twelve year old Charlotte Church into singing at a private event of his by threatening to publish stories about her mum who had mental health problems if she didn’t – although Murdoch published the stories anyway a few years later – whilst his staff hacked into the mobile phones of murdered teenagers and purchased stories from police officers, prison officers and NHS staff.

Birt had already begun advising Blair before he was appointed his strategic advisor – Birt had previously dispensed pearls of wisdom regarding criminal justice. Birt – the man who had been DG at the BBC whilst everyone kept schtum about Savile.  Once he became strategy advisor, Birt also advised Blair on drugs, health and crime reduction, as well as other matters. Since then Birt has picked up numerous other advisory roles and directorships, including a consultancy at McKinsey and Co.

In 2005 Birt began a relationship with Eithne Wallis, the former head of the National Probation Service, whom he later married. The wedding was attended by, among others, Mandelson and Trevor Phillips, Chair of the Commission for Equalities and Human Rights. Phillips had worked at LWT along with Birt and Mandy.

Although most people are very rude about Birt’s legacy at the BBC – producer Tony Garnett stated that Birt’s regime of ‘totalitarian micromanagement’ remained even after Birt himself had departed – James Purnell believes that Birt’s ‘boldness’ saved the BBC. It certainly ensured that a lot of things were never broadcast, including a lot of things about Mandelson et al.

The Chair of the Governors who appointed Birt, Duke Hussey, later said that he should not have done so. I mentioned previously that Hussey was a political appointment, made by Thatcher et al. No matter how keen Thatcher was to give the Guardianistas at the BBC a kicking, Hussey didn’t seem to be a good choice for Chairman, although he was there for ten years, 1986-96. Hussey had previously worked for Fleet Street, but not as a journalist – all his experience had been as a manager, but he hadn’t had a great deal of success. He had nearly succeeded in destroying the Daily Mail when he had management responsibility for Associated Newspapers. Hussey then became Chief Exec and MD of the Times Newspapers in 1971. He entered into a disastrous war with the unions in the late 1970s during which he decided to lock them out – the lock-out lasted so long that the papers went out of production for the best part of a year, without the unions conceding anything. The proprietors sold out to Murdoch after sustaining substantial losses. The world was astonished that Hussey remained in place after Murdoch took over, but it was speculated that Murdoch only wanted Hussey in place for the shin dig that he was soon to be holding to celebrate the bicentenary of the Times at Hampton Court. Hussey was able to rope Prince Charles in as a guest which afforded Murdoch some good PR.

Hussey was able to secure a high profile Royal because he had close links to the Royal Family. Hussey’s wife Susan had when young been appointed as Woman to the Bedchamber of Elizabeth II, a position that she retained for the rest of her life. Susan was also godmother to the Duke of Cambridge and the Queen occasionally dined at the Husseys’ home. Hussey’s wife also provided close links to the Tory Cabinet – Susan was the elder sister of William Waldegrave, who held a number of Cabinet posts, including that of Secretary of State for Health, 1990-92. Yes, Waldegrave was in office whilst the paedophile ring which involved Thatcher’s aide Sir Peter Morrison raged in north Wales and the mental health services resorted to criminal activities in order to conceal it, whilst they busied themselves with perjury and perverting the course of justice in an attempt to imprison me, whilst five witnesses were killed in an arson attack and whilst the associated corruption at St George’s was in full swing. Waldegrave had also worked in the Conservative Research Dept in 1971 – Matthew Parris worked in that Dept in the 70s and alleged that not only were there many gay men employed there, but at least one senior member of staff was very predatory and was known to go out seeking younger men. Staff in that Dept also holidayed in a destination in Italy at a place known as the Villa of Shame where ‘boys’ were supplied.

Hussey was Chairman of the Royal Marsden Hospital, 1985-98.

Hussey was offered the position of Chairman of the BBC over the telephone by Douglas Hurd, the then Home Secretary. Hussey cheerily admitted that he knew nothing about the BBC – he didn’t even know where it was. When Hurd offered him the Chairmanship Hussey had to look up the location of the building where he would be working. Alisdair Milne was the DG in place when Hussey was appointed but was forced out by Hussey and the Governors within months. Sir Michael Checkland, an accountant, was appointed DG by the Governors as the ‘compromise candidate’, with Birt as Deputy DG. Checkland remained as DG until 1992 and did the bidding of Thatcher’s Gov’t. After his retirement, Checkland was involved in NCH (the National Children’s Home) – which had links to the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal. Checkland also sits on the Board of the Wales Millennium Centre. Checkland was Vice-President of the Royal Television Society between 1985-94. So he was in post when my friend who worked at the Royal Television Society and who wanted to make a documentary about what had happened to me in north Wales was bullied out of her job and later won a case against them for unfair dismissal. I think that it’s about time that I named the foot soldiers who did the dirty deed where my friend was concerned – they were Tony Pilgrim and Claire Price. Price still works at the RTS. Hey Claire, did you know about that employee of yours who was convicted of indecently assaulting a ten year old boy? And did you know that one of your colleagues told my friend – whom you unlawfully hounded out of her job – that it was ‘a pity’ about him being caught?

Hussey’s Vice-Chair at the BBC was Lord Joel Barnett, the Labour MP who had been Chief Secretary to the Treasury when Denis Healey had been Chancellor of the Exchequer under Jim Callaghan. Barnett was Vice-Chair between 1986-93 – he had succeeded William Rees-Mogg.

Hussey was given a peerage in 1996. His obituaries mention that it was uncertain why he was ever offered the position of Chairman of the BBC above other people with links to the Conservative Party – there was speculation that it could have been as a result of his Royal connections or that perhaps William Rees-Mogg suggested his name, Rees-Mogg having been the editor of the Times and supportive of Hussey whilst he was Chief Exec and MD of the Times Newspapers. Greg Dyke suggests that it was Murdoch who recommended that Thatcher appoint him.

Dyke maintains that Hussey assisted Murdoch’s business interests by carrying out negotiations involving the Premier League and thus licence payers money was used to help Murdoch.

Hussey stood down as Chair of the BBC in 1996 – Sir Christopher Bland was then appointed and remained Chair until 2001. Bland had been Deputy Chair of the ITA – which then became the IBA – in 1972 and Chair of LWT in 1984. Bland had been involved with the Conservative Party – he had been a member of the GLC for Lewisham, 1976-70. Lewisham was yet another Council which had a problem with the abuse of children in care – a reader of this blog sent me a link recently concerning a number of cases of abuse that were of course concealed by Lewisham Council when they were brought to their attention. Bland had been Chair of the Tory think tank the Bow Group, 1969-70.

Bland was a Director of ITN, sat on the GMTV Board and was also Chair of LWT. He joined the Board of LWT (Holdings) in 1984 and after the 1993 franchise renewal when LWT was taken over by Granada, Bland was one of the people – along with Dyke – who made a great deal of money. Dyke states that he made £7 million and Bland made much more. According to Dyke this bonanza was engineered by Neil Canetty-Clarke, a merchant banker on placement with LWT, who later became financial director. The huge profits resulted from a clause that had been added to the relevant Parliamentary Bill by David Mellor, who was at the time a junior Home Office Minister.

Christopher Bland was Chair of Hammersmith and Queen Charlotte’s Hospitals NHS Special Health Authority, 1982-94 and Chaired Hammersmith Hospitals NHS Trust including Charing Cross Hospital, 1994-97. So Bland presided over the research fraud and bad behaviour that was occurring in Hammersmith Hospital in the mid-late 1980s, as detailed in my post ‘A Cause Close To Our Hearts’. He will also have been Chair when Lord Robert Winston employed a gynaecologist who was a serial sexual harasser, but passed him onto St George’s Hospital Medical School rather than ensure that he was removed from circulation. Bland was a member of the PM’s advisory panel on the Citizens Charter and co-owned Leith’s School of Food and Wine, with Caroline Waldegrave, wife of Tory Cabinet Minister and Secretary of State for Health 1990-92, William Waldegrave.

Christopher has a son, Archie. The ability to land plum jobs in the media is obviously a genetically inheritable trait – in 2004 Archie was named ‘Guardian Student Columnist of the Year’. In 2012 he became Deputy Editor of the Independent – the youngest Deputy Editor in the paper’s history and possibly the youngest ever on Fleet Street! In 2013 Archie was appointed a senior writer at the Indie and Indie on Sunday and he is at present Deputy National Editor at the Guardian. Perhaps we can expect Archie soon to be given responsibility for some major London teaching hospitals pervaded with corruption carrying out some questionable animal experiments.

Greg Dyke was appointed DG of the BBC shortly before Bland stepped down. Greg’s book describes considerable opposition to his appointment. He believes that the Editor of the Times Peter Stothard led the fight against his appointment. Pauline Neville-Jones, a BBC Governor and a Tory, opposed Dyke’s appointment. William Hague, then the leader of the opposition, wrote to the Chair of the BBC stating that Dyke was unsuitable on the grounds of his Labour Party membership and donations to the Party – Dyke had donated to Blair’s leadership campaign in 1994. Alan Yentob – who later achieved infamy through his involvement with Kids Company – also wanted the job as DG.

Like Bland, Dyke was a media executive who had been asked for his remedy for the NHS. In the summer of 1997, Dyke met Margaret Jay – Minister of State for Health, daughter of former PM James Callaghan and wife of Dyke’s media colleague Peter Jay – at David Frost’s garden party (Greg was a regular at Frost’s garden parties, he bumped into Alistair Campbell at one of them a few years after the huge scrap between the BBC and Campbell). Margaret Jay, Minister of Health under Frank Dobson, subsequently asked Dyke for new ideas regarding the Patients Charter – Dyke was helped in this by Alison Nield, an Angel who became an NHS manager. Dyke’s report was published in Nov 1998, whilst Margaret Jay was leader of the Labour Party in the Lords.

At the time that Margaret Jay was tapping Greg for his wisdom, havoc had broken out in the mental health services in north Wales – this was before devolution, so the NHS in Wales was still run from Westminster. The Hergest Unit had really hit the buffers. The corrupt manager Alun Davies was in the process of closing down the day centre – which was the only part of the Hergest that functioned properly and was overwhelmingly popular with the patients – on the orders of the dreadful Dr Terry Maxwell, the Medical Director of Ysbyty Gwynedd. Maxwell had been given a merit award in return for cutting the mental health services and I suspect that Davies will also have received a ‘performance related bonus’ for his role in the dirty deed. At this time the better staff at the Hergest Unit were very obviously voting with their feet and leaving and the unit was unable to recruit replacements. Patient care began to suffer greatly and a number of patients killed themselves – others became destitute. One consultant, Dr Tony Francis (Dr X), went into meltdown – he was having huge rows with his colleagues in public, patients were told by Angels that Francis was ‘mentally ill’ (which was true, but the information should not have been communicated and certainly not in that manner) and Francis took (very) early retirement soon after. What was happening in north Wales at this time? The Waterhouse Inquiry. By 1998, the witnesses had given evidence and the most appalling catalogue of abuse in the children’s homes in north Wales had been revealed – abuse that had been concealed by the education system, the NHS and many others. Sir Ronnie Waterhouse famously did his best to discredit the witnesses, but it was crystal clear that something very, very grim had gone on over many years and Ronnie did have to fess up to that. Tony Francis killed himself a few years ago – just as Operation Pallial re-opened the investigation into the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal. I was told recently that he was under investigation himself, but I do not have documentary evidence of this.

So what were Greg’s suggestions for turning around an institutionally corrupt sclerotic NHS which for years has colluded with the abuse of vulnerable people? I haven’t read the report that he compiled for Margaret Jay, but Greg outlines his views in his book. He bangs on about leadership – the NHS has a surfeit of leadership, they’re all fucking leaders in the NHS, I think that they’ve got quite enough leadership – and states that the senior managers in the NHS should be doctors. That is the opinion of many people and one can see the logic, but there are problems with that idea. Good doctors very rarely want to be managers – they want to be doctors. Traditionally in the NHS, there were doctors who became managers (they were called administrators in those days) – it was usually what was done with doctors who were so bad that letting them loose on patients was not a good idea. The documents that my lawyers obtained pertaining to my own case contain numerous references to these doctor-managers that worked in north Wales in the 80s and 90s – for example, Dr Cedric Davies and Dr David Jones. It is quite clear from my documents that these two people had only one function – their status as clinicians was used to further conceal the criminal activities of their colleagues. The lethal lobotomist Dr T. Gwynne Williams had also been given a managerial role – unsurprisingly it compounded the problems. What the NHS desperately needs is high calibre, honest managers who are able to genuinely facilitate the work of the practitioners in the NHS. The NHS has such a rotten culture that managers like that really don’t want to work in the NHS. If they are tempted in, they leave again very quickly.

Greg does of course mention the necessity of ‘culture change’. Everyone who is asked to give their opinion on the NHS mentions this. It is obviously the polite response from people who can barely believe what they have discovered going on in the NHS. But because it’s the NHS no-one dares state what has been uncovered, so it’s all breached in terms of the need for a ‘culture change’. We need HSE prosecutions and indeed even corporate manslaughter charges in certain cases before the ‘culture change’ can begin to happen. Not that the general public have any idea of the state that the NHS is in – because the media won’t report it will they Greg…

Greg mentions in ‘Inside Story’ that Mal Young, who was responsible for drama series at the BBC, was concerned that Holby City and Casualty didn’t reflect real hospitals. Was Mal referring to the fact that in these dramas there are very rarely staff portrayed who are vindictive and abusive to patients or who regularly make mistakes so serious that patients are harmed? Or that these dramas never show staff lying at inquests or in Court, or altering medical records to conceal cock-ups? No, Mal was concerned because he believed that the ‘BBC hospitals’ didn’t show the same racial mix as NHS hospitals – Mal wanted more ethnic minority actors in these dramas, so he sent the producers into some real hospitals to see what they were like. In which case, the producers will have actually noticed that ethnic minority staff in NHS hospitals are disproportionately represented in cleaning, cooking and portering jobs and that if they are practitioners they overwhelmingly tend to be working in the more junior roles or in the less prestigious specialities where recruitment is difficult.

Now I don’t see that on the dramas that Mal was responsible for. Holby City has a consultant neurosurgeon who is Afro-Caribbean and hailed from the ghetto. That would be a very rare thing alone, but Holby City has also managed to find a consultant cardiac surgeon who I think has now been given a Chair as well – one who leads the unit furthermore and is a world expert on experimental cutting edge procedures – who grew up in a children’s home and was sexually abused whilst she was there. The same cardiac unit has yet another surgeon who is Afro-Caribbean and the first in her family to go to university. That’s one hell of a hospital and it’s certainly nothing like any UK NHS hospital that I’ve ever come across – it is a hub of upward social mobility that simply does not exist in UK medicine. Casualty did its bit by having a romance – and then a wedding, albeit one that went badly wrong – between an Asian female doctor and a white male porter. There is a great deal of social snobbery in hospitals and the nearest to the Casualty scenario that I ever came across was a porter at Ysbyty Gwynedd who was caught serially having sex with people on hospital premises. Was he sacked? No – because he actually had a place to read medicine at Guys and Tommy’s and he was working at Ysbyty Gwynedd for a few months before taking up his place. There were similar incidents whilst he was a medical student. He qualified – and returned to work at the Hergest Unit as a psychiatrist. There were a number of concerns raised about him – including by me. I wrote to the GMC, only to find that Keith Thomson, the CEO of the North West Wales NHS Trust, also wrote to the GMC stating that I had made ‘outrageous allegations’. There was no investigation. Some four years later I heard that this man had attacked his wife so violently that she was sectioned such was her distress and that his two children had been taken into care as a result of severe neglect. It was only then that he was stopped from working as a doctor. How did I know all this? Because he was one of my neighbours and I knew him well for about ten years. As did the rest of the village. We saw him attack his dog so ferociously that the dog nearly died and the vet threatened to prosecute him, we saw him kick a neighbour’s cat across the garden because he ‘didn’t like cats’ and we saw a previous partner of his leave with her child and refuse this man access because she was so frightened of his violence. The Rev Wynne Roberts, the hospital chaplain at Ysbyty Gwynedd, was friends with this doctor, knew about his violence and said nothing. Wynne Roberts sat on the Bangor University School of Healthcare Sciences Ethics Committee and was also a member of the Mental Health Act Commission. Wynne had previously worked as a priest in the Church in Wales but had been obliged to leave after he had a sexual relationship with a parishioner – whilst Wynne was married to somebody else as I think was the parishioner concerned – whereupon the North West Wales NHS Trust employed him as their hospital chaplain and later gave him a management role (see post ‘Music Therapy Anyone?’).

Beat that Mal.

Greg states in his book that Foundation Hospitals are the way forward because they ‘give power to local managers’. The local managers in the NHS are like Martin Jones and Keith Thomson – they are mini versions of the corrupt ferocious bullies that are the regional managers and the most senior directors. It is the NHS model of management. Mid-Staffs occurred because a bunch of lying callous dickwits wanted to achieve foundation status – if the managers are both thick and corrupt, no model of management is going to be successful. The mortality rates at Mid-Staffs were known throughout the NHS hierarchy, right up to the level of Secretary of State. The problems had begun under the Tory administrations of the 80s and 90s and became worse and worse and worse, because the response of everyone was to conceal the serious problems. Mid-Staffs was in crisis at the time that Margaret Jay was bollocking on to Greg about the Patients Charter. Whilst patients drank water out of vases, were told to crap in their beds by Angels who couldn’t be bothered to walk across the ward with a bed-pan and were ‘assessed’ by receptionists – and died unnecessarily in great numbers.

Dyke’s observations on the culture and management at the BBC include that there is much inbreeding at the BBC – that is, people working in the BBC being married to each other or being in relationships with each other (just like the prevailing situation in the NHS). What Greg doesn’t mention is that this sort of inbreeding at the BBC is also often the basis for securing jobs or promotion – as is sexual relationships between staff. Neither does Dyke mention the number of BBC staff who are the children of media executives/professionals, often specifically those who have worked for the BBC.

Dyke mentions that in the 80s the BBC was ‘very white, very male’, but with initiatives pushed through by John Birt ‘who felt passionately’ about gender equality this has all now changed – the glass ceiling has been well and truly broken. Dyke also mentions the efforts that the BBC have made towards better representation of ethnic minorities in the workforce. Greg wrote his book some ten years ago. A few weeks ago, a huge rumpus followed the revelations that women at the BBC earned far, far less than their male colleagues – even when sitting in the same studio, presenting the same programme – and that very few people from ethnic minorities were in senior positions or on higher salaries. Because the debate pivoted around gender inequality, the many other injustices barely received a mention. Although women were paid less than men at the BBC, women doing jobs needing a high level of education, knowledge and competence were paid a pittance compared to the airheads presenting light entertainment programmes. Claudia and Tess from Strictly Come Dancing were earning twice as much as Laura Kuenssberg or the women journalists on the Today programme. And everyone was grossly overpaid anyway.

The BBC does now have many senior female executives. They behave pretty much as the senior male executives always have – they are ruthless and obsessed with their status and money. Many of them achieved their positions via relationships with their male senior colleagues and have evolved into cougars continuing this fine tradition with their more junior colleagues. Greg observes that in the BBC, the upper echelons consist of ‘competing individuals in a climate of fear’. Yes – and the women carry on just like the men. Greg doesn’t mention social class – the BBC still draws it’s staff – particularly the senior staff – from the middle classes who have been educated at Oxbridge or Russell group universities. Of course there will be plenty of excellent graduates coming out of those institutions but this phenomenon definitely squeezes out everybody else – it is also closely linked with the nepotism that is so obvious at the BBC. My mum/dad went to Oxbridge/Durham/St Andrews/Bristol, read humanities and spent their careers in the BBC and now I’m doing exactly the same…It’s because we’re all so talented! Unless my mum is Eve Pollard who has edited most of the nation’s biggest circulation newspapers, in which case I’ve evolved into Claudia Winkleman which is why I get paid nearly £500k for wearing too much eyeliner and wiggling my bum once a week on Strictly Come Dancing.

Dyke’s book mentions a few of these women who have broken the glass ceiling at the BBC. One is Jenny Abramsky – now Dame Jenny – who when Dyke was DG was Director of BBC Radio. Abramsky was responsible for digital radio – she ‘persuaded, threatened, cajoled’ everyone at the BBC to push this through; the BBC spent £18 million/yr on new digital services and then had to spend many more millions on the transmission system. There is still a proportion of the population who cannot receive digital radio. When Abramsky strong-armed the BBC into the switch- over to digital radio, it was actually the TV audience which was expanding at the time – radio listeners were dwindling. According to Dyke however, everyone was ‘too scared of incurring Jenny’s wrath’ to oppose the idea. It was commercial radio which really benefited – they wanted the switch to digital because they wanted the new radio stations which would result and they knew that only the BBC was big enough to push the switch-over through.

Jenny Abramsky was married to Alasdair Liddell. Liddell went to Fettes College – the same school that Blair attended and the school at which Blair’s father taught. Liddell was an NHS manager! In the 80s he was involved in the creation of the University College Hospitals Trust – so Alasdair will have known about the dodgy research practices there then. He then went on to manage the East Anglian Regional Health Authority between 1988-94, where he experimented with many of the structures that were later introduced into the NHS – structures which failed. So it was hardly surprising that in 1994 Liddell was appointed Director of Planning for the NHS in the Dept of Health. Liddell went on from success to success – he was the brains behind NHS Direct, another disaster and also worked on various IT projects for the NHS. The ones which cost millions but never got off the ground. In 2000 Liddell left the NHS and joined the PR firm Bell Pottinger – which has just imploded as a result of some very foolish decisions that they made in South Africa. Liddell also joined a company called Healthcare Locums. Now I wonder how they make their money?? Liddell was of course a Senior Associate of the Kings Fund. Liddell is now dead.

Another woman who broke the glass ceiling at the BBC was Carolyn Fairbairn, who when Greg was there was Director of Strategy. Fairbairn had previously worked for the World Bank, as a journo on the Economist, as a consultant at McKinsey and Co and in John Major’s Policy Unit in 10 Downing Street, developing policy on health and social care no less. It was Fairbairn who led the BBC team to secure the DTT licence. According to Greg, Andy Duncan – who later became CEO of Channel 4 – and Emma Scott ‘sold’ the idea of Freeview. The beauty of which was that because the customers have to buy the box, if the box doesn’t work or goes wrong, it’s the customer’s problem not the BBC’s.

Dyke maintains that the BBC wanted people to go digital – the Gov’t planned to switch the analogue signal off because if it wasn’t switched off the BBC couldn’t defend the range of digital services. Freeview also sustains the licence fee – the more Freeview boxes there are, the harder it is for the BBC to switch to subscription services and most boxes can’t be adapted for pay TV. In 1998 the BBC agreed to pay £5 million to BSkyB to put TV services on the BSkyB digital platform – although BSkyB wanted the BBC to do this anyway.

Since her involvement in this scam, Fairbairn has been a Director the FSA, a Director of Capita, a non-executive director of the Competition and Marketing Authority, Lloyds Banking Group and the UK Statistics Authority. In 2015 Fairbairn was appointed Director General of the CBI – the first woman to hold the post! Woman’s Hour had better add her to their Power List. Fairbairn’s husband is described as a ‘multi-millionaire property developer’. So she can afford to be ripped off over her Freeview box – however at least she doesn’t have to run the risk of Crapita screwing up their assessment for her disability benefits, as they have done for thousands of other people.

Dyke was well-known for claiming that he would dispense with the managerialist insanity that John Birt imposed upon the BBC and for subsequently coining the slogan ‘cut the crap’. Cutting the crap sounds an excellent idea, but Greg did seem to introduce quite a lot of crap of his own. He lists numerous initiatives that he introduced – ‘Just Imagine’, ‘Leading The Way’, ‘The Big Conversation’. Why the staff of the BBC just can’t go into work and do their jobs he doesn’t explain, but Greg did all sorts of bizarre things to demonstrate to the staff that a new style of management had arrived, such as ‘allowing the staff to busk in the foyer of Bush House in London at lunchtime’. Presumably Claudia’s 500 grand a year isn’t enough for her to make ends meet, she’s got to play the penny whistle and pass the hat around as well. For ‘The Big Conversation’, Greg boasts of having 17,000 staff in a ‘huge live discussion’ – this meant that £250k had to be spent on extending part of the BBC building to cram in an additional 8000 staff in order that they could ‘watch and participate’. Greg maintains that a ‘party atmosphere’ prevailed and in all 400 events were held, including in Delhi, Moscow, Cairo, Nairobi, as well as across the UK. At TV Centre in White City, Cerys Matthews entertained everyone and food and booze was supplied.

Anyone still up for paying their licence fee?

Greg observes that the only people who didn’t take part in all this idiocy were the Governors – they probably thought that they had better things to do with their time. Like go to Glyndebourne, on BBC expenses obviously. There was one exception – Gavyn Davies, the Chair of Governors who was appointed after Bland, did participate in the crap that hadn’t been cut. But then Gavyn Davies had previously been a partner at Goldman Sachs. Gavyn had also worked in Harold Wilson’s Policy Unit, 1974-76; had been economic advisor to James Callaghan 1976-79 and was one of the ‘wise men’ to the Chancellor of the Exchequer during the 1992-97 Parliament. Gavyn was recommended for the post of Chair of the BBC by Tessa Jowell.

An ‘inspirational leader’, Susan Spindler, was Director of the crap known as ‘Making It Happen’ in 2002. I presume that this is the same Susan Spindler who was involved with making the documentary series ‘Doctors To Be’ which followed the careers of a group of medical students at St Mary’s Hospital Medical School some ten years before ‘Making It Happen’ – which left out a great many things…

More money was wasted on leadership. The BBC used Ashridge Business School for their ‘leadership training programme’. Ashridge Business School was originally a trust established by Bonar Law, the former PM. In 1929 it became a ‘College of Citizenship’ which was established to help the Conservative Party develop it’s intellectual forces in the struggle with left-wing organisations such as the Fabian Society – it was a cross between a think tank and a training centre. It was then re-launched in 1959 as a College providing ‘management training’.

Greg himself was sent to Harvard Business School at a cost of $30,000 which Christopher Bland was happy to sign off. Not only does Greg make it clear that anyone who paid the fee would pass the course – which sounds very familiar – but for some reason it was Greg’s course at Harvard that prompted him to rejoin the Labour Party. Perhaps because Miliband, Yvette et al had all done a stint at Harvard – what with them being so very radical and Yvette being a Woman who’s first job was driving a tractor in Yorkshire, or so she claimed when she thought that she was a dead cert to become Labour leader.

Dyke discusses devolution of broadcasting and tells us that in 2003 he suggested to the Governors that some of the BBC services should be relocated to Manchester, in the wake of much feeling that the BBC was far too centred upon the south east of England and that Scotland and the north of England had become alienated from the BBC. Abramsky threatened to resign if Radio 5 Live moved to Manchester, Jana Bennett the Director of TV – another Strong Woman Who’s Broken The Glass Ceiling – wanted BBC 3 to stay in London and the children’s dept also refused to move. BBC did of course end up building a big centre at Salford – and there has been endless trouble because the staff refused to move out of London.

Even Gavyn Davies was savaged for suggesting that too much BBC money was spent on the southern middle classes, but Greg mentioned that whilst he was DG he sent ‘a signal’ by appointing Pat Loughrey from N Ireland as Director of Nations and Regions.

It wasn’t a signal that anyone noticed. In 2005 I was a member of the public at a ‘meet the BBC’ event in Cardiff. This was when Michael Grade had taken over as Chair and Mark Thompson was DG. Grade and the other Governors were there, as was Thompson and Mark Byford (Mark Byford’s dad played a role in concealing the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal – please see post ‘Top Of The Cops’). The audience were all from Wales – obviously – and Rhun ap Iorwerth, now Plaid AM for Ynys Mon, who used to work for the BBC, was the man with the microphone who went among the audience. Grade gave the best display of rude, anti-Welsh bigotry that I have ever witnessed. The big idiot sat there pompousing away bellowing at Rhun ‘you’re tall aren’t you’. It took me a few minutes to work out what it was all about – it was Grade’s idea of a joke, because as we all know, Welshmen are small, so that they can fit down the mines. Rhun’s height is within the normal parameters for an adult UK male. It didn’t stop there – the rudeness regarding everything Welsh and the lame stereotypes continued all evening. The only person who didn’t lapse into this was the Governor for Wales who had to share a platform with this bunch of twats. He did make a few comments that suggested that they were revealing themselves to be a bunch of racist bastards, but it was water off Grade’s back, the insults continued. When a member of the audience raised the question of Ann Robinson recently insulting the Welsh on TV, we were told that the Welsh had to know when to take a joke. Well I look forward to Ann Robinson blacking up and joining in a song and dance routine a la the Black and White Minstrels and we’ll see what happens. Further details of Grade and his colleagues’ appalling crassness at that event can be read in my post ‘News Round Up, May 18 2017’. Greg Dyke mentions in his book that in 2000 he gave a lecture to the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE). I presume that Grade, Ruth Deech and Richard Tait were not in the audience.

Greg observes that Michael Grade was ‘a good and brave Chief Exec of Channel 4, willing to stand up against bullying from politicians’. Well that’s interesting Greg, because the reason that I take an interest in Grade is that back in the 1980s when Grade was a nobody on the make most famous for simply being a relative of Lew Grade, one of my friends worked as the box officer manager for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival one summer. My friend received a very rude demanding letter from a Samuel Brittan, journo on the FT and brother of Leon – later the centre of child sexual abuse allegations. The letter demanded that my friend send Samuel a ticket for the Fringe and arrange hotel accommodation for him – it ended by saying that Samuel worked at the FT ‘and anyone at the Financial Times can vouch for me’. The letter arrived shortly before the Fringe was due to open, so of course the tickets had sold out and accommodation in Edinburgh is booked up months in advance for the duration of the Festival anyway. My friend wrote back to Samuel explaining that she wasn’t able to send him a ticket or arrange accommodation because both had sold out.

Shortly after, a diplomatic incident occurred. My friend was summoned by High Authorities at the Fringe and given copies of the rude letter that Samuel had written her – as well as a copy of a letter that Brittan had then written to Grade FUMING that my mate hadn’t pulled strings for him and a reply from Grade to Brittan, telling Brittan that he was ‘appalled’ at my friend’s ‘rudeness’ and that Grade would ensure that Brittan got a ticket for the Festival ‘even I have to give you mine’. Someone had demanded that my friend should be dismissed over all this – only that wasn’t really possible, because it was just a summer job. I wanted to send the correspondence to Private Eye – but my friend was then told by a well-wisher that Grade was about to become head of Channel 4 and her planned career in media would be wrecked if any of us publicised the letters.

Grade was given a peerage in 2011. He sits as a Conservative – his wiki entry states that Grade didn’t announce that he was a Tory until 2010. He didn’t need to, some of us had known for years…

A couple years after the BBC event in Cardiff I was chatting to some BBC folk from Cardiff who were all telling me how much ‘charisma’ Michael Grade had and how it was this that had taken him to the top. At the same time there were articles appearing in the UK liberal broadsheets about Grade’s winning ways and yes his ‘charisma’ and how he wears red braces and matching socks. Not a word about doing favours for people who’s brothers are Cabinet Ministers running a corrupt Home Office and who are widely believed to have been tangled up in a child sexual abuse scandal that was covered up by a corrupt Home Office whilst he was Home Secretary. If matching red braces and socks are the essential ingredient to being Chairman of the BBC, there are a great many other people who would be capable of doing that job without grovelling to the relatives of some very unsavoury politicians.

Dyke mentions in his book that Tessa Jowell was very keen for Blair to appoint Grade as Chair of the BBC. Tessa herself earlier in her career knew about the abuse of children in care and psychiatric patients, she worked for some of the organisations that were actually perpetuating and concealing this (see post ‘Tower Hamlets, Paul Boateng and Tessa Jowell’). However Dyke also observes that Tessa just went along with whatever Blair ordered her to do which is why she was such a pushover when she was at Secretary of State for Media, Culture and Sport. Dear old Tessa did once say that she’d jump under a bus for Blair – so one can’t tell if the driving force behind Grade’s appointment as Chair was Blair, Tessa or someone else. What is clear is that it is very likely that Grade knew something about the chaos and wrongdoing of the inner London boroughs where children were being abused in the 70s, 80s and 90s – run by Councillors like Tessa – and the wrongdoing at the Home Office, run at one point by his mate Samuel’s brother. Grade had spent donkeys years at LWT – he’ll have learnt something from all those current affairs and politics programmes about London that he was involved with making and he’d been toadying around enough politicians for a sufficiently long time to have heard a few things about them as well. Someone who was very much opposed to Grade’s appointment as Chair of the BBC though was John Birt. He tried to influence Tessa and then wrote to Blair telling him that Grade was the worst public appointment he’d made as PM.

It’s not just the Chairs of the BBC Governors who have chums in Gov’t, their relatives do as well. Gavyn Davies’s wife Sue was one of Gordon Brown’s inner circle. As for a few of the other Governors – at one point the Vice-Chair of the BBC was Richard Ryder. Ryder was a former Tory Whip and responsible for organising the revamp that Thatcher underwent in the late 70s. Ryder knew about Sir Peter Morrison’s activities (see post ‘I Want Serious Money Now Please’). Sarah Hogg, wife of Tory Cabinet Minister Douglas Hogg was a Governor – Hogg had previously been head of John Major’s Policy Unit at the time of Black Wednesday in 1992 (see post ‘Running The Country – And All That Jazz’). Although Sarah claims to be one of the UK’s leading economists and was head of the Policy Unit, Black Wednesday wasn’t her fault. So that’s why Sarah was given a life peerage in 1995, just three years after someone else crashed the economy. Sarah then became Baroness Hogg, although she was already Viscountess Hailsham. Hogg was the first women to Chair a FTSE 100 company. Sarah’s daughter Charlotte has inherited her mother’s talent for highly paid jobs – Charlotte Hogg was at one point the Deputy Governor of the Bank of England, but the Deputy Hogg had to resign when an unfortunate undeclared conflict of interest was discovered – Charlotte’s brother had his snout in the same trough but the Hoggs forgot to mention it. Another Governor was Heather Rabbatts, the former Chief Exec of Lambeth Borough Council between 1995-2000. So she was running Lambeth Council when Mandelson was a member. Heather was the youngest Council Chief Exec in the UK. She is a black female barrister who advertises her disadvantaged background. I wonder whose Chambers that she might have passed through? Would you happen to know anything about all those kids who were abused whilst in the care of Lambeth Heather? The kids to whom huge amounts of compensation was later paid, not just because they were molested but because Lambeth knew that it was happened but did nothing? Some of those kids were sent by Lambeth to children’s homes in north Wales…

Heather was a BBC Governor between 1999-01. Heather was on FIFA’s anti-discriminatory task force until she resigned in 2015 after Sepp Blatter was re-elected as President. So she was busy not discriminating there whilst he was President for his first innings at FIFA then – didn’t she notice what he was like? Heather was named in the Woman’s Hour Power List!

 

Greg’s time as DG ended notoriously as sparks flew between the BBC and Blair’s Gov’t – most obviously in the form of Alistair Campbell – which eventually resulted in the resignation of Dyke and Gavyn Davies and a number of other Governors. The row was precipitated by a report regarding Saddam Hussein’s WMD by Andrew Gilligan that was broadcast on the Today programme that Blair et al took umbrage over. The Gov’t tried to pressurise the BBC into saying that Gilligan’s story wasn’t true and when the BBC refused to do this, Mandelson rang his old friend Caroline Thomas who was Director of Policy at the BBC and told her that the BBC would get the full force of the Gov’t PR machine. Mandy was as good as his threat and Campbell et al mobilised against the BBC. In the cross-fire Dr David Kelly’s name was made public by the MoD and Downing Street’s Press Office. Dr Kelly was later found dead, supposedly as a result of suicide, although the injuries that were stated to have been found on Dr Kelly’s body and the quantity of drugs that were said to have been found in his blood would never have been enough to kill him. A group of medics did make this point in a letter to the press sometime afterwards, but nobody took any notice of them. If only they’d alleged that they were being attacked by dangerous mental health patients – their concerns would have been headline news then.

The uproar was such that it led to the Hutton Inquiry, which was about as honest and transparent as the Waterhouse Inquiry. Before Hutton published his exoneration of Blair, Dyke alleges that Philip Gould, a member of Blair’s clique, was asked if the Report could prove difficult for the Gov’t. Gould is alleged to have replied ‘don’t worry, we appointed the right judge’. When Rebekah Brooks ended up in deep shit after the serious wrongdoing of News International became public, it is alleged that she went to Blair for advice and was told ‘tough up and arrange an inquiry that will clear you’. Which is exactly what Brooks did – as well as ‘leaving to start a family’ (I think Rebekah had to resort to fertility treatment to do this, she was no spring chicken, so presumably starting a family had not been a priority previously), receiving at least one million from Murdoch – to pay for the pram and nappies obviously – only to return at a very senior level in Murdoch’s empire a few years later! A lot of people were of the opinion that Brooks should have gone to prison along with her staff. But she had advice from Blair and shared horses with David Cameron…

Grade himself departed from the BBC in a puff of smoke to move into the most senior position at ITV. The next Chair of the BBC was Chris Patten who angrily refused to shoulder any responsibility at all when Jimmy Savile and the Newsnight allegations regarding the abuse of children in north Wales exploded in his face. This is the Patten who was Chair of the Conservative Party when Sir Peter Morrison was busy with kids in care in north Wales, the Chris Patten who’s wife Lavender was the Patron of the Oxford Mindfulness Centre that was established and run by Professor Mark Williams. Not only was Patten himself Chancellor of Oxford University at the time, but Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy was based on a research fraud that Williams had carried out whilst he was working as a clinical psychologist in Bangor in the late 80s/early 90s (see post ‘The Biggest Expert Of The Lot’). Whilst patients killed themselves and were left destitute. Williams’s ‘fieldwork’ was carried out by the notoriously abusive Arfon Community Mental Health Team, whose colleagues were some of the social workers responsible for the abuse of children in care in north Wales. An early publication of Williams’s had an acknowledgement to Keith Fearns. Keith Fearns was the Gwynedd social worker who perjured himself in court on the orders of Lucille Hughes in order for Gwynedd County Council to obtain a High Court injunction against me to prevent me pursuing my complaints against Gwynedd Social Services. Fearns had never met me when he swore his affidavit. Lucille Hughes was named in the Waterhouse Report as knowing that a paedophile ring was operating in Gwynedd Social Services when she was Director, but she failed to act.

Like the NHS, the BBC seems to be a complete recidivist. One of my friends worked there in the late 80s and he spent the best part of a year watching the entrenched corruption, with commissions given out to friends of people at the BBC and the fuckwit children of bigwigs at the BBC turning up in plum jobs. He also noticed that a lot of the senior managers at the BBC were older gay men who had a rather worrying sexual interest in much younger boys. The BBC seems to have got away with a great deal in its time. Just before my friend worked there, Private Eye used to provide updates on the activities of a manager there whom they named ‘spanker’. I can’t remember Spanker’s name, but I do remember the Eye’s regular reports on him. Spanker was interested in women rather than men, but he made a habit of asking young women who had applied for jobs at the BBC whom he was allegedly interviewing if they’d let him spank them. Spanker continued to do this even after the Eye began publishing articles about him – he did eventually resign but it took a while. Neither do I remember hearing about Spanker from any other media outlet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Running The Country – And All That Jazz

I mentioned in a recent post that I was reading Ken Clarke’s autobiography ‘Kind of Blue’ and that it was revealing a few gems. Ken Clarke has been in a senior figure in the Conservative Party for many decades now and has spent much of that time in very senior roles (‘the great offices of state’ as politicians like to describe those positions). I have always felt that Ken Clarke was very much more palatable than many of his colleagues – he wasn’t unhinged, he didn’t want to imprison the lower orders for great lengths of time for minor transgressions and as regular readers know, I did admire him for taking on the BMA when nobody else would. But his book is probably rather more revealing than he realised.

Clarke went to Cambridge and became involved in the Cambridge University Conservative Union (CUCU). A number of his contemporaries there also became big names in the Tory Party under Margaret Thatcher, which led to them being described as the ‘Cambridge Mafia’. One thing that is obvious from Clarke’s book is his loyalty – at least in public – to colleagues in the Conservative Party. Ken Clarke is a famous ‘One Nation wet’ which actually put him at loggerheads with many others in the Party, but he unfailingly describes people who hated him (and whom he must have hated in return) as good friends and reassures readers that the screaming political rows with them that at times tore the Party apart didn’t affect their ‘friendships’.

It is clear from his autobiography that Ken Clarke is very gregarious, very matey and – although he believes that he is a ‘workaholic’ – spent a lot of time socialising, chatting, exchanging political gossip and drinking quite a lot. He enjoys going to curry houses with his mates, hanging out at jazz clubs, watching football matches and he was a member of a number of dining clubs in the Commons. Indeed he enjoyed the dining clubs so much that when promotion meant that he was no longer eligible for membership of his favourite dining club, he established a new one with his mates. None of this detracts from his character – I imagine that he’s good fun to have around if you’re a friend of his – but it did mean, as he admits early on in his book, that he knew pretty much everything about everyone in the Commons. ‘Are you thinking what I’m thinking?’ as his successor as Home Secretary Michael Howard used to ask – did Ken know what some of his colleagues were up to in terms of bad or even criminal behaviour? He keeps a discreet silence on the subject of Sir Peter Morrison – Ken simply states that he didn’t know him that well, although he seemed an ‘amiable fellow’ who did ‘little work’. Which is odd, because in the 1980s other Tory MPs were openly joking about Morrison’s ‘sexual preferences’, Thatcher was told that he was attending sex parties with under-aged boys and the citizens in his Chester constituency were scandalised by his conduct. Gyles Brandreth, who became the MP for Chester after Morrison stepped down, mentions in his own autobiography that he was told by people in Chester that it was known that Morrison had been caught by the police on a number of occasions in the late 80s in compromising positions with boys in their mid-teens in public places. But an arrangement was made between the police and the upper echelons which resulted in Morrison not being prosecuted and the incidents not appearing in the media. How did Ken, as he got bladdered with other Tories into the small hours, manage not to hear about all this?

Before entering politics Clarke was a barrister and practised at the Birmingham Bar. He seems to have kept in contact with folk in the legal world. In fact after he left Gov’t his old chambers asked him to come back and work as a barrister again, although he turned down this opportunity. I have mentioned previously on the blog that I know from experience that lawyers have a brilliant jungle drums system. Ken, as a wining, dining barrister in Birmingham, will no doubt have heard all about the notorious West Midlands Serious Crime Squad who fitted scores of people up – including the Birmingham Six – using time-honoured techniques such as beating up the suspect and drafting their statement for them. The West Midlands Serious Crime Squad who had connections to north Wales and fitted up a man from Caernarfon who was later awarded compensation. Who then, after winning his case against the West Midlands Serious Crime Squad, found himself arrested and imprisoned again – which he maintains was a punishment for daring to win against the West Midlands Serious Crime Squad…

Clarke’s first ministerial position was in 1982 when he was appointed Minister of State for Health. At that time Norman Fowler was Secretary of State for Health and Social Security and Tony Newton was the Minister in the DHSS working on welfare reforms. Clarke was considered the safe pair of hands needed to deal with the NHS and health unions. He describes himself as being effectively responsible for the day to day running of the NHS. In 1982 there was an NHS strike over pay which was only resolved after many months. The BMA and RCN didn’t join the strike – the strikers were from NUPE and COHSE. There were a number of nurses who were members of COHSE rather than the RCN – Ken describes how nurses had the strongest appeal to the public, so the Gov’t made a higher pay offer to the nurses in COHSE, dividing the union and undermining it’s appearance of reasonableness.

The civil servants didn’t want a confrontation with the NHS – the civil servants always advised Gov’t to concede to the BMA at least once a year with a deal to improve pay, terms and conditions. Well you don’t want the Top Doctors screaming and screaming until they’re sick do you. Ken also discovered that there was a longstanding agreement with the BMA that at every meeting with civil servants, one of the Dept of Health’s medical officers had to be present. Ken was frank that this was so that the medical officer could ‘act as the eyes and ears’ for the BMA and keep them informed of the Minister’s intentions. The first Chief Medical Officer with whom Ken had to work was Sir Henry Yellowlees. Ken describes him as useless and pompous whose main concern was exerting his patronage to decide which medics would be awarded knighthoods and other honours. Yellowlees retired in 1984 and Sir Donald Acheson took over as CMO.

Ken describes Acheson as ‘splendid’ and an absolutely dedicated public servant. Acheson was highly effective at keeping the lid on the most dreadful barrel of shit in the NHS in north Wales (see post ‘Professor Prestigious And His Associates’). Like a few others, Ken marvels at how Norman Fowler – Secretary of State at the DHSS at the time – was able to persuade a puritanical Thatcher and a few others in the Gov’t to agree to the fairly frank health education programme that was launched in the wake of HIV/AIDS. It was of course Donald Acheson who was instrumental in securing the agreement of the Gov’t where running that campaign was concerned (see post ‘Professor Prestigious And His Associates’). I think that you will find Ken that he was able to achieve this because some key figures in your party, along with Peter Morrison, were known to be promiscuously using rent boys in a very big way and they were told by Acheson in no uncertain terms how serious the fears of an HIV epidemic were. Should any readers accuse me of a flight of fancy here, as just one example, Thomas Tyrell-Kenyon, the son of Lord Lloyd Tyrell-Kenyon, was known to be sexually exploiting boys from children’s homes in north Wales. Tyrell-Kenyon even called the police himself on one occasion after he’d spent the night in a hotel with a boy in the care of Clwyd County Council and woke up to find that the boy had made off with his wallet and personal possessions. The boy involved was sent to a detention centre. His social worker had recorded on his records that he was known to be having sex with Tyrell-Kenyon. Tyrell-Kenyon never faced any charges himself. Tyrell-Kenyon died of AIDS in 1993. His father, Lord Lloyd Tyrell-Kenyon, was a member of the North Wales Police Authority.

Ken mentions that the leaders of the BMA that he had to deal with were the ‘left wing’ Dr John Marks and Dr Tony Grabham. Grabham was a consultant from Northampton and Ken was told that Grabham was so obnoxious that he’d managed to make Barbara Castle cry. Ken states that ‘the BMA was the most ruthless and determined opponent I ever faced in my whole career’. I absolutely believe him. But do you know how you could have dealt with the BMA Ken? Your colleagues could have actually responded to the communications that they were receiving from Mary Wynch, Alison Taylor and me telling them that terrible things were happening in the NHS and social services in north Wales and that doctors and social workers were involved in serious criminal activity. An investigation could have been held and it would have been revealed that what was happening in north Wales was an arm of organised crime involving an international trade in under-aged prostitutes, child porn and drugs, which the likes of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) et al were concealing, whilst they used the BMA to advise them on how to ‘deal with’ me. If you had blown that open and arrests of Top Doctors had followed, you can take it from me that you’d have never been troubled by the BMA again. Your colleague David Hunt in the Welsh Office knew that something dreadful was happening, because he’d had to send a hit squad into the bankrupt and dysfunctional Gwynedd Health Authority. Your colleague Tony Newton had been told by Alison Taylor that children in care in north Wales were being abused – as had Margaret Thatcher. And Dr John Marks of the BMA knew what was going on as well – because at that time I was employed in a research team led by his brother Professor Vincent Marks and they all knew what had happened to me in north Wales (see post ‘The BMA At The Root Of Another Mystery?’). It was the Welsh Office itself, by using the corrupt Medical Ombudsman Professor Robert Owen and the corrupt Professor Robert Bluglass (who was from Birmingham Ken, your neck of the woods), who whitewashed it all (see post ‘Enter Professor Robert Bluglass CBE’). The reason why no-one actually had that lot arrested was that leading figures in your party were using the services of the rent boys who had been trafficked from north Wales children’s homes. The BMA knew and they effectively blackmailed your Gov’t. Ken uses the phrase ‘self-interested clinicians’ in his book. They certainly are – and if they’d seen a few of their number prosecuted and imprisoned, they might have been less willing to protect unscrupulous practitioners.

It was grim Ken. I don’t know how much you knew, but you certainly knew something.

There’s another really big clue as to an understanding between the most senior figures in the Tory Party and those we know and love in Ken’s account of his time as Minister for Health in the 80s. It involves St Georges Hospital! Ken explains that the old St Georges Hospital at Hyde Park Corner (a new hospital and medical school was built at Tooting) was built on land originally owned by the Grosvenor family (they had donated it hundreds of years previously) and was a highly valuable piece of real estate. Ken decided to close the Hyde Park Corner building and flog the land. Readers may remember from my post ‘It’s The Sun Wot Won It’ that the President of the City of Chester Conservative Association whilst Sir Peter Morrison was their MP was one Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor, the Duke of Westminster. When the Duke of Westminster got wind that Ken was going to sell off the Hyde Park Corner site, he approached Thatcher and asked for the land donated by his ancestors to be returned to him. Ken refused to give the land over to the Duke gratis but wanted to sell it to him at the market rate. Thatcher ordered Ken to hand the land over to the Grosvenor estate for nothing. A row ensued. Ken just couldn’t work out why Thatch, who as we all know was the ultimate housewife and knew how to keep the pennies in her purse, was prepared to hand over millions of quids worth of land which was now part of the NHS estate to a very rich man when the NHS could use the dosh. Ken maintains that he was completely puzzled by this and perhaps Thatcher didn’t want to offend the aristocracy. Actually Ken, Thatcher was famously nouveau riche, she had no respect for the aristocracy at all and I suspect that her desire to give a few million to Gerald Grosvenor when he asked for it had an awful lot to do with the fact that her PPS Morrison was molesting children and Gerald and co were providing a massive gold-plated umbrella for him. Intriguingly, Ken tells us that he stuck to his guns and Thatcher gave in. WOW. So how did Ken et al get her out of that mess then? Come on Ken, write another book and explain how the Duke of Westminster was persuaded to back off. Whatever techniques were used, I guess they will have contributed to the blood on the carpet in north Wales. Or even to the death toll of the witnesses to the sordid crimes that Morrison and his mates were carrying out.

In the way that Ken never explains how he managed to persuade Thatcher not to give into the Duke of Westminster’s demands for dosh, he fails to explain something else that must have involved some fancy footwork. Whilst he was Minister of State for Health, one of his battles with the BMA was over prescribing policy. Ken wanted to prohibit certain items from being available on prescription and the BMA were objecting. For a man who somehow missed the nature of Peter Morrison and who couldn’t work out why Thatcher wasn’t prepared to stand up to the man who was instrumental in protecting Morrison, Ken is pretty sharp. He knows how business is done in the world and he was acutely aware that in the 1980s Top Doctors – and their families – were enjoying much hospitality from the pharmaceutical industry, hospitality which sometimes stretched as far as free holidays for Top Doctors and their spouses. Ken also knew that the BMA were trying to win the propaganda war against him by reconstructing themselves as a responsible caring organisation who only had the best interests of society at heart, rather than a stuffy, greedy, pompous union for doctors. I remember seeing this in action – the BMA started launching campaigns in the realm of health and safety. The one that I always remember was their attempt to ban boxing, which they very nearly succeeded in doing. I’d be very interested in why the BMA backed off on that one – boxing has made a comeback and is now promoted as a healthy ’empowering’ sport for young men and even young women. BMA spokespeople don’t often say things which are true, but I remember one of them at one point stating that ‘there is no safe level for being hit on the head’ when boxing promoters were trying to maintain that boxing is fine if you don’t get bashed that often. Yet the BMA have melted away over the one worthwhile issue that they pursued. During Ken’s battle with them over prescribing, a group of CEOs from Big Pharma met Thatcher and reminded her that they were major donors to the Tories. Thatcher responded by telling them that their donations were taken to be a gesture of ‘general support’ for her ‘reforming’ Gov’t. Ken subsequently implemented his prohibited prescribing list. So what deal was done to keep the donors sweet then? Big Pharma weren’t donating to the Tories out of the goodness of their hearts no matter what delusions about them Thatcher held.

After his stint at the DHSS Ken moved to the Dept of Employment. The Secretary of State was Lord David Young, but Thatcher needed a Cabinet Minister from the Commons in place as well, so Ken was given that remit. At that time, unemployment was rocketing and the Gov’t devised a number of much derided ‘job creation’ and training schemes, many of which were notorious for leading nowhere but back to the dole queue after they’d finished. In Ken’s book, he talks a lot about the Manpower Services Commission (MSC) programmes and how good they were for young people because they inducted the youngsters into habits of work – they had to be in work by 9 am and there was no going home before 5 pm. Who was the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Dept of Employment at the time? None other than the dreadful Alan Clark, who Ken notes was ‘incredibly lazy, rarely coming into the department’. Well Clark had Saltwood Castle to live in and the fortune that his father left to sustain him, unlike the youths on the MSC scenes. Ken observes that Clark was so useless that they were actually quite happy for him not to show up. He knows why it was though – it was because poor old Clark was really after the job as Minister of Defence and couldn’t be arsed with the chores at the Dept of Employment. The Tories’ attitude to Clark was always very forgiving. He was a man who was frequently too pissed to perform his duties in Parliament – even when they gave him what he wanted ie. a job in the Ministry of Defence – and he rowed with and insulted colleagues on a regular basis. But of course it was the relentless shagging that Clark was notorious for. Had Clark confined his attentions to consenting adults, I’d agree that it would be no-one’s business but his, Jane Clarks and the third party, but Clark was never that concerned about the age of consent or indeed consent per se. He hit the media when it was revealed that at one stage he was having an affair with the wife of one of his friends and both of her daughters at the same time. Then one of the daughters let on that the affair with her had occurred when she was fifteen. There was a bit of a fuss – although one of the harpies in one of the right wing tabloids was kind enough to dismiss the women involved as ‘three old trollops’ – and a TV reporter asked Clark if he was going to deny having sex with a 15 year old. Clark smirked and responded by saying that he ‘had’ to deny it because it was illegal. Yes, as illegal as Peter Morrison’s activities with boys of the same age (and younger) were. Some years later Clark published his diaries which became a best seller. Alan Clark’s ‘Diaries’ are choc full of accounts of him not going into work because he couldn’t be arsed so instead he goes off to shag someone, of him wowing the teenage daughters of friends by telling them that he was now a Real Minister – and of him basically sexually harassing young women on a grand scale. He exposes himself to teenagers and follows young lone women around London whom he’s spotted on public transport and likes the look of. Naturally at no point does he even consider that the young women involved might not be that interested in glimpsing the genitals of a crazed old man or that they might be a bit anxious at being trailed all around London by a pervert. I wouldn’t expect Clark to ever question his conduct – but thousands of people read that book. It received glowing reviews in the press – and the conclusion was ‘one helluva guy’. No, an ageing, unscrupulous sexual harasser. Who was given a Ministerial position in the MoD because he didn’t turn up to work in the Dept of Employment.

Ken also provides an account of the Westland Crisis. He states that Leon Brittan, then Trade and Industry Secretary, was persuaded by Thatcher to leak the legal opinion of the Solicitor-General Patrick Mayhew regarding a letter that Heseltine had written and leaked himself about the consequences of an American take-over of the company. The Attorney General Michael Havers was greatly upset about the leaking of legal advice and said that he would resign if no-one was held to account. Brittan told Ken that he’d take the blame without exposing Thatcher, because the exposure of her role in this would have forced her from office. So Brittan resigned from his post and never sat in the Cabinet again. Thatcher had promised to bring him back, but broke her word. As a consolation prize he was given a job as a European Commissioner.

Leon Brittan in recent years has of course become well-known for another matter ie. numerous allegations that he was a paedophile himself. One man has made a statement claiming that he was abused by Brittan when he was a teenager. Brittan is alleged to have been a visitor to the Elm Guest House in London, a brothel staffed by children from children’s homes. One of the men who was in Bryn Estyn as a boy maintains that he was taken to the Elm Guest House to have sex with unidentified men. Supporters of Brittan have dismissed such allegations as wholly untrue. What is not in dispute however is that in the 1980s Geoffrey Dickens MP gave Leon Brittan – who was at the time Home Secretary – a dossier containing the names and details of political figures who Dickens’ maintained were involved in the abuse of children. Before he died, Brittan admitted receiving the dossier but claimed to have lost it. It has also been admitted that a huge number of files were ‘lost’ by the Home Office in the 80s – files containing details of politicians alleged to be sexually abusing children.

Ken mentions that Leon was a close friend of his – they’d been at Cambridge together.

Ken was appointed Minister for Trade and Industry as well as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. He became Inner Cities Minister. Once more Ken demonstrates a good knowledge of some of the problems that he was charged with tackling. He mentions that there was massive corruption within some councils and that the boroughs were dominated by criminal gangs. He gives Lambeth and Southwark as examples. That’s right Ken, one of the biggest businesses of those criminal gangs was the trafficking of young people in care into prostitution. This was often achieved by sending the kids in care on ‘placements’ to children’s homes in north Wales, such as the Bryn Alyn Community. Your Gov’t knew all about it.

In July 1988 Thatcher split the DHSS up. The previous Secretary of State, John Moore, according to Ken, ‘couldn’t cope’ with running the DHSS and became quite ill with the strain. Moore was moved to the newly created Dept of Social Security (DSS) and Ken was appointed Secretary of State for Health. Ken informs us that Thatcher did want to get rid of the NHS and introduce a U.S. style insurance system but Ken himself wanted to introduce an ‘internal market’ system in the NHS. I always wondered where on earth the Tories acquired this idea from – it was from Ken, who had read an article in The Economist by a fringe thinker at Stanford University, Prof Alain Enthoven. Ken was hooked and knew that this was the way forward. That was how the enormous quantity of meaningless administration that led to no improvement in the NHS at all arose. However it did provide promotions and power for the likes of Martin Jones and Alun Davies in Gwynedd Health Authority.

Whilst he was Secretary of State for Health, Ken’s Permanent Secretary was Christopher France and his Private Secretary was Andy McKean. Ken also utilised the services of Duncan Nichol, the former General Manager of Merseyside Regional Health Authority, who Ken tells us had been recommended to him by Don Wilson, Merseyside Regional Health Authority’s Chairman. So Ken somehow had a link with Merseyside. That’s the location of Liverpool University – the employer of Professor Robert Owen who organised the cover-up of the criminal activities of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) after I made complaint in 1987. Of course Dafydd himself was an alumnus of Liverpool and when he tried to bribe me into dropping my complaint about him in 1987, he made reference to a friend of his who was a Professor at Liverpool Medical School who would get me a place there if only I’d drop my complaint about him. Dafydd resorted to trying to bribe me because his threat to have me ‘detained in Risley Remand Centre’ if I didn’t drop my complaint about him hadn’t worked. When Dafydd tried to bribe me he stated that ‘some of my colleagues would rap me on the knuckles for this’. No they wouldn’t Dafydd, they knew that you were illegally imprisoning people, selling drugs, perjuring yourself and facilitating a paedophile ring and they didn’t even rap you on the knuckles for that. Instead they covered up for you and tried to frame me.

It was when Ken was Secretary of State for Health that he acquired a useful little helper called Tessa Keswick. I don’t know what she did for Ken, but they really got on well – he took Tessa with him when he was appointed to successive roles in the years that followed. He also had a Minister of State on his team, a David Mellor. Ken wanted someone in the Lords who would defend his reforms – that was to be a lawyer called Gloria Hooper who had been given a peerage in 1985. Ken’s Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State was Edwina Currie. The Edwina Currie who whilst she was in that role gave Jimmy Savile a job running Broadmoor. Edwina got herself into a public spat – not over a sexual abuser running a special hospital obviously, but because she damaged the business interests of some very wealthy factory farmers with some ill-advised comments about eggs and salmonella. After Edwina departed, Ken’s PUSS was a Roger Freeman.

Ken wasn’t exactly Alan Clark, he did actually make it into work and had some firm ideas concerning the management of the NHS, but throughout his book he displays a worryingly laissez faire attitude to the running of huge Gov’t Depts. He repeatedly tells us that he trusted people to get on with the job and that he didn’t really expect to be bothered by the people to whom he’d delegated work. Which is fine if you’ve delegated work to reliable people who know what they’re doing, but I’m not convinced that Ken did that. He was particularly impressed by a Minister of his called Virginia Bottomley – Ken gave her the responsibility for implementing community care once the big psychiatric hospitals began to be closed and Virginia was really brilliant because she didn’t ‘trouble’ Ken with anything. That was whilst people were discharged from long stay hospitals when there was no care in the community facilities in place – I remember it well, it was chaos. People became destitute and some of them died. It was on the back of these tragedies that the dreadful Marjorie Wallace was able to sell her desire to keep innocent people locked up in dreadful conditions at the mercy of Dafydd and his ilk (see post ‘One Dangerous Fucker’). Esther joined in as well. Presumably Ken didn’t notice that Virginia hadn’t actually organised any community care – never mind, she didn’t trouble him, so he could carry on eating curries, boozing with his mates and going to Ronnie Scotts. Virginia of course had in a previous life been a psychiatric social worker – so she knew exactly what the human cost of her failure to effectively carry out her ‘policy’ was. Although she probably didn’t give a stuff and the fact that after this disaster she became Secretary of State for Health suggests that no-one else gave a stuff either.

It was this merry crew who were responsible for the NHS when the madness in north Wales was at it’s zenith.

Again, as Ken details his battles with the BMA et al, there are plenty of indications that he knows what a sorry state everything is in. He talks about seriously dysfunctional Health Authorities and how many of these there were (I know Ken, I and many others were suffering at the hands of Gwynedd and Clwyd in north Wales). He mentions terrible problems in Solihull in Birmingham – where a leading figure was none other than one Professor Robert Bluglass. So that’s why they used Bluglass to head so many inquiries into disasters in the psychiatric services then! Being a man whose own area was in meltdown and being someone who blamed the patients and exonerated the Top Doctors – even when they were facilitating a paedophile gang – he was obviously the safest pair of hands that the Dept of Health had.

Ken discusses just how vulnerable politicians are in the face of Top Doctors’ campaigns. His perception was that the only medical body supportive of him was the newly formed Royal College of General Practitioners. Which is particularly interesting, because I know of a very deceitful obscure GP of no great ability from Bangor who nevertheless rose to high rank in that organisation very quickly and I never understood why. The GP in question was Dr D.G.E. Wood, a friend of Dr Tony Francis and Dafydd, who spent a number of years cultivating my company and extracting info about the jobs that Brown and me were applying for, where we were living etc etc. I now have documentation demonstrating that Wood was passing all this info onto Dafydd et al and how helpful it was for them that I trusted Wood. Wood also made it his business to communicate with Professor Robert Owen about me using Owen’s home address in Colwyn Bay whilst Owen was setting up the ‘investigation’ into my complaint about Dafydd. I had no idea that Wood was doing this and he was no longer my GP. Neither was he the subject of any part of my complaint. Wood was just providing a useful service for Dafydd et al in the way that he provided a useful service for Gwynne the lobotomist every time that Gwynne elicited a disaster.

In 1989 a by-election was held in the Vale of Glamorgan after the sitting MP Raymond Gower died. The Labour candidate John Smith (not the John Smith  who later became leader of the Labour Party) was elected, after forming a collaboration with the Top Doctors. Whilst the Top Doctors were completely screwing Wales…

Ken remembers that Thatcher lived in fear of the Top Doctors after Charles Haughey  told her that she wouldn’t win an election if she upset the Top Doctors. If the stupid old bat hadn’t have been employing a child molester she’d never have had that worry.

Ken makes a lot of references to the help of someone who also featured prominently in Gyles Brandreth’s book (see post ‘It’s The Sun Wot Won It’) – the Whip Tristan Garel-Jones. Political biographies of that time constantly refer to the ruthlessness of the Whips, of how they’d use any information against anyone in order to achieve what they wanted. Whips also boasted of accumulating dirt on MPs for this purpose – they also boasted of getting MPs out of trouble. Sometimes with regard to very serious trouble with the law – a hypothetical example given to Gyles Brandreth by a Whip was of an MP who had been misbehaving with ‘little boys’. Tristan Garel-Jones is now of course in the Lords. It is rumoured that Tristan Garel-Jones was the model for the character Francis Urquhart in the TV drama ‘House of Cards’. I never watched that, but I used to share a house with two people who were very big fans of that programme. One of my house-mates explained that Francis Urquhart was a total psychopath and a highlight of the series was the death of someone who could have damaged Urquhart in circumstances that could have been a murder but no-one was quite sure.

As opposed to the arson attack in April 1992 in which five people with connections to the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal died – which definitely was murder. Even the inquest was obliged to return a verdict of ‘unlawful killing’.

Ken’s battles with the Top Doctors eventually became too much and Thatcher moved him to the Dept of Education where he was again Secretary of State. It was Ken who abolished the binary divide in HE and converted all the polytechnics into universities. Which many former staff of polytechnics maintain did them a great deal of harm – they lost their previous status as institutions with industrial links which specialised in vocational technical degrees and just came to be seen as second class universities. Ken has no regrets. According to him, like everything else that he oversaw – or with regard to community care that he never oversaw – it was a rip-roaring success.

Ken then reaches the heights of Home Secretary. He takes his trusty side-kick Tessa Keswick with him to the Home Office. He has a major problem on his hands – the Prison Service, which had been wrecked by the POA. Edwina’s idea of dealing with the criminal activities of the POA members at Broadmoor had been to put Jimmy Savile in charge of the institution after he told her that he would use his media contacts to blackmail them. Edwina thought that was a great idea. It didn’t occur to her to investigate the numerous complaints from patients that they had been violently assaulted or sexually abused by members of the POA. She just recruited Savile who joined in the party.

Ken was glad to find another old mate of his from the CUCU  in place as Minister of State – Peter Lloyd, who had been Chairman of the CUCU whilst Ken was at Cambridge.

Although Ken was under no illusions about the parlous state of the prison service, once more he stressed his very hands-off style of management. However, he did get a little over-involved in the face of a prison riot and tried to go down to the command centre that was trying to control it to tell them all what to do. Fortunately for everyone Ken’s Private Secretary Colin Walters did his best to keep Ken out of it. As well as the prisons being a flashpoint, there was also massive problems with immigration. So Ken appointed his ‘friend and former PPS’ Charles Wardle to sort it all out. The Permanent Secretary at the time was Clive Whitemore. When Charles Wardle later moved to Australia, he was replaced by Joan MacNaughton.

Now Ken was clearly a man ahead of his time in terms of his manipulation and utilisation of the concept of ‘promoting women because they’re under-represented’. Ken wanted more women on his team, which was most convenient because his Private Secretary Joan – Charles’s replacement – was a ‘determined feminist’. Who I suspect had a determined boss. In Ken’s words ‘Joan assembled around me a very able and very supportive group of intellectual young women who acted as my eyes and ears in the Dept’. A gang of female spies! Thus Ken was the first Secretary of State who had an ‘all female Private Office’.

Ken had another source of intelligence as well – Roy Gibbons, the man who had been his driver since 1979: ‘Like all the experienced Gov’t drivers, he was well up to speed with all the political gossip and intrigue in Whitehall’.

I had that Sir Peter Morrison in the back of the cab once. Amiable fellow.

Ken noticed something whilst he was Home Secretary though, something that seriously pissed him off. His level of security was raised to such  an extent that he now had to have a police driver instead of Ron and had to be escorted by police security all the time. Ken is no fool and although he knows that being Home Secretary does involve tight security, he notices that his police escorts are taking the security to ridiculous lengths. They do not ever leave him and very noticeably ensure that one of them listens to absolutely everything that he says. He tries to escape but they’re having none of it. One downside is that he likes going out for curries but now that the police accompany him everywhere, they insist on him eating in posh restaurants for ‘security purposes’. The police of course have their meals paid for and Ken has enough nous to know that ‘security’ is being used an excuse to get a good dinner. Ken also notices that the police arranged things concerning his official residence in Belgravia that ensured that he was never without them, even when at home with his family.

Ken suspects that all this is being done to ensure that ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers) and other senior officers are kept well aware of the Home Secretary’s political intentions. After all, Ken is responsible for their pay, conditions of service etc. Ken describes his police protection as ‘very oppressive and extreme’. Ken is not the only one getting fed up of the police. Ken had intentions to reform the police and appointed Pat Sheehy as an advisor. Pat was the head of British Imperial Tobacco and had ‘loaned’ Ken a senior executive, Brian Hutchinson, to advise Ken when he formed his inner-city task force! Pat found that he was actively harassed by the police while he was ‘taking evidence and preparing his report’. Ken felt that he faced serious opposition from the police and that ACPO were a ‘huge club’. Ken did try to get along with them, they invited him to a few of their meetings and even Ken was gobsmacked at the amount of booze that was sunk. He got on much better with Her Majesty’s Inspectors of Constabularies who ‘always impressed’ him. He found the Police Federation a nightmare and they presented serious opposition to him. The Police Federation reps were allowed to retain their full police salaries and were ‘protecting their members against any disciplinary procedure or accountability for their performance’. The Police Federation drank so much that Ken discovered that he had to talk to them in the morning – after lunch they were too bladdered to engage.

Ken had ambitions to abolish the rank of Superintendent. Unsurprisingly, this was strongly opposed by the Superintendents’ Association. The Police Federation organised an enormous rally at Wembley Stadium against Ken. Another desire of Ken’s was to amalgamate forces.

Ken was not able to implement any of his reforms because he was removed from office. Although he and Tessa prepared a White Paper on police reform where they proposed that serious crime should be concentrated on, Ken’s successor as Home Secretary Michael Howard abandoned the proposed reforms.

Ken summarises by saying that he was less effective than he would have liked to have been as Home Secretary. He feels that the British justice system is hopeless at dealing with white collar crime, which is too complicated for the police and he admits is an ‘important part’ of the profitability of the banking and financial services. He admits that London ‘had undoubtedly become the safest and best place for any dictator, oligarch or corrupt political leader to place his or her ill-gotten gains’. Twenty five years later when Ken was Cabinet Minister and Justice Secretary in the Coalition Gov’t he observed that London had a ‘deserved reputation’ as the ‘money laundering capital of the world’.

Ken obviously knew pretty much what was happening in the Prison Service, in Immigration and the Police, although he didn’t make any headway in his attempts to deal with the enormous problems and indeed corruption that pervaded these ‘services’. There was one group of people who’s activities come under the Home Office however that Ken knew nothing about at all and indeed didn’t even try to unravel – the security services. He was simply told by older and wiser folk that ‘you will never know what they are up to at all’. Ken suspects that the security services may be utilising creative and somewhat unorthodox methods, but he asks no questions – probably because they deal with matters terrorism and that does frighten politicians. He had one meeting with someone from the security services whom he referred to as ‘Chief’ – but who knows whom he met…

I don’t doubt Ken’s account of the difficulties that he encountered from the police. They will have been as obstructive as possible – and it rather sounds as though they pressurised someone to remove him from office. I cannot help suspect though that there may have been another reason why the police watched and listened constantly and were as awkward as fuck and I suspect that Ken knows about this possible reason too, but he is never going to say a word about it.

Ken was Home Secretary between 10 April 1992 and 27 May 1993. During this time there was a police investigation into child abuse in children’s homes in north Wales and the existence of a possible paedophile ring in the region. Allegations had appeared in the London-based media that a paedophile ring was in operation in the children’s homes and that political figures were involved. A senior police officer in the North Wales Police, Gordon Anglesea, had been named by two men who claimed to have been abused by him when they were younger. A number of young people who were former residents of the children’s homes had been found dead. Eight days after Ken Clarke was appointed Home Secretary, the arson attack which killed the five people with connections to the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal occurred. The man who allegedly confessed to starting the fire was found dead himself days later. (For the full background on all this, see post ‘The Silence Of The Welsh Lambs’.) The Chief Constable of the North Wales Police refused to let a Chief Constable from another police force lead the investigation, although allegations had been made that officers from the North Wales Police had been abusing the children themselves. Gordon Anglesea was a Superintendent in the North Wales Police. Anglesea sued after being named as a child abuser in the media and won (see posts ‘Y Gwir Yn Erbyn Y Byd’ and ‘Y Gwir Erbyn Yn Y Byd – A Few Additional Comments’). In 2016 he was finally convicted and imprisoned for abusing boys in care in north Wales. The Police Federation supported Anglesea every step of the way and paid his legal costs. After he was convicted, the Police Federation continued to support him. He died in prison a few months after his conviction. The Police Federation turned out en masse at his funeral to give him a good send off.

The police will have been watching your every move Ken and they were never going to let you reform them, you are quite right about that. However your confidence in HM Inspectors of Constabulary was misplaced – they were up to their eyes in it as well (see post ‘Top Of The Cops’). No doubt someone had a word with Thatcher who then had you removed. In north Wales, Alison Taylor was the most vocal person raising concerns about the abuse of children and I was the most vocal person raising concerns about the criminal activities of the psychiatric services who were facilitating and concealing the paedophile ring. I had a close friend who knew what had happened to me in north Wales who worked in the media and who wanted to make a film about it.

I note Ken that you were removed from office in May 1993. By May 1993 Alison Taylor had been sacked and branded a liar. I had been hounded out of a career in medical research and had been dragged through the Courts by the mental health services for offences that I had not committed. My friend who worked in the media was unlawfully dismissed at the very same time that I was bullied out of my job at St George’s Hospital Medical School. By the way Ken, there were also two attempts to set fire to my house at this time.

So did Ken really simply believe that Peter Morrison was an ‘amiable fellow’ who did ‘little work’? Ken’s junior Minister was, as I have noted above, Edwina Currie. Edwina Currie published her memoirs a few years ago, ‘Diaries 1987-1992’. Here’s an extract from that book:

‘One appointment in the recent reshuffle has attracted a lot of gossip and could be very dangerous. Peter Morrison has become the PM’s PPS. Now he’s what they call a ‘noted pederast’, with a liking for young boys; he admitted as much to Norman Tebbit when he became deputy chairman of the party but added ‘However I’m very discreet – and he must be! She [Thatcher] either knows and is taking a chance or doesn’t, either way, it’s a really dumb move. Theresa Gorman told me this evening (in a taxi coming back from a drinks party at the BBC) that she inherited Morrison’s agent, who claimed to have been offered money to keep quiet about his activities. It scares me as all the press know and as we get closer to the election someone is going to make trouble, very close to her indeed’.

Do you know what else Ken? My friend who wanted to make the film and who was unlawfully dismissed from her job in the media was a Labour Party activist. She campaigned at every election. The Tories were aware of her existence as well because before she landed her media job, she worked as a temporary secretary for the Tory Minister Richard Luce and was security checked – she was asked about her Labour party activities. I had another close friend as well, an academic who, with me, wanted to publish what was happening in north Wales. In the early 1990s he received constant harassment at work, attempts were made to dismiss him and then one day he was subjected to an unprovoked attack in the street in the midlands by a man who was known to have serious mental health problems. The man attempted to fracture my friend’s skull. My friend escaped with a broken cheek bone and missing teeth. My friend was later accused of attacking this man himself and also accused of nobbling the witnesses who testified in Court that it was my friend who had been set upon for no reason. Fortunately the Court believed my friend. As for my friend whose career in the media was finished off, she then began working on a self-employed basis as a script-writer for films. She became pregnant with her first baby. The pregnancy had no problems at all and she was told to expect a problem free delivery. Her labour went well too – but by the time her baby daughter was born, the baby was almost dead. The baby died a few hours later. It transpired that my friend’s baby had become distressed in the womb and although my friend had been hooked up to a foetal heart monitor, the midwife hadn’t read the trace. My friend made enquiries about bringing a legal action against the hospital, but was frankly told by an expert witness whom she had hired on a private basis not to even bother to try because somehow he knew that the hospital staff intended to lie on oath. My friend became seriously depressed after her baby’s death and was unable to work for a long time.

But we’re back firing on all cylinders again Ken, all three of us. My only regret is that I wasn’t able to publish all this whilst that monster Thatcher was still alive – but I didn’t have the documentary evidence that I needed. I have now got it.

Ken continues his account of life at the top of Gov’t after his removal as Home Secretary. He gives a detailed account of Black Wednesday, Sept 16 1992, when the economy fell off the cliff. He recites all the names of the financial geniuses who were running the show when this happened – Norman Lamont, Douglas Hurd, Michael Heseltine, Robert Leigh-Pemberton (Governor of the Bank of England), Terry Burns (Permanent Secretary to the Treasury), Sarah Hogg (Head of PM’s Policy Unit), Chief Whip Richard Ryder and of course Ken himself. Ken describes the sheer panic at the Treasury and notes that Sarah Hogg was ‘scathing’ about the lack of overnight preparation by the Treasury and the Bank of England for the market opening in the morning – the run on the Bank had begun the afternoon before. So Sarah didn’t blame herself at all then – she was after all only the Head of the PM’s Policy Unit. So as one of the architects of the disaster, she was obviously in an excellent position to be appointed Deputy Governor of the Bank of England later on in her career. The Deputy Hogg wasn’t the only Name of the Future among that lot – the special advisor to the Chancellor of the Exchequer Norman Lamont was at the time a young toff called David Cameron. Who, judging from Ken’s account, was crapping himself. Ken discusses Black Wednesday and the days afterwards in some depth and the one feature that stands out is that among this bunch of arrogant, pompous people who had proudly forced through their ‘reforms’ and had spent years telling the world that the Labour Party was hopeless with the economy, there was no-one at all who had a clue what to do. They had for years relied entirely on the advice of their ‘economic advisors’ – the likes of Patrick Minford, who’s now at Cardiff Business School and currently mouthing off in the media once more; indeed the other day on Radio 4 Ruth Lea reminded the listeners that over 300 hundred economists disagreed with Minford, but he turned out to be right and they were all wrong. Oh so that’s why Black Wednesday happened then and why these clueless wonders didn’t know what to do. It’s obvious from Ken’s account that he and his colleagues didn’t actually understand what their ‘advisors’ were telling them and they didn’t try to either – most of the politicians involved were lawyers or graduates of disciplines entirely unrelated to economics and they did not know their arses from their elbows. I am reminded of Willie Rushton’s old joke that you cannot run a country like a grocer’s shop no matter how hard Mrs Thatcher tries.

They knew how to save the day though! One month later Heseltine announced that all the remaining pits would be closed – that was 31 pits, with 30,000 jobs lost. Ken admits that they feared that the Gov’t would collapse, so an emergency Cabinet meeting was held with Peter Lilley, Tristan Garel-Jones, John Gummer, David Hunt, Virginia Bottomley and William Waldegrave and of course with Ken. How many of that lot had concealed the shite involving Peter Morrison then? Presumably the Cabinet felt that the only employment that should be available in Wales was that involving the procuring of teenage boys for sex work.

Ken knows who to blame for Black Wednesday though – it was the fault of Thatcher, Lawson, John Major and Chris Patten. I’m sure that they did have rather a lot to do with it, but I think that smug ignorant tosser who was special advisor to Norman Lamont was involved as well. Ken was then appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer himself. The smug ignorant tosser who had helped crash the economy obviously wanted to do it all again because he went to see Ken to ask him for a job as a special advisor, but sadly Ken was only allowed two of those and he already had Tessa Keswick and David Ruffley, so Ken had to turn little Cameron away. Cameron went to work in the Home Office instead with Michael Howard. (Which meant that Cameron was one of the gofers there when Howard and the Home Office finally shafted Mary Wynch leaving her ruined – see post ‘The Mary Wynch Case – Details’.) Ken knew that Cameron had a bright future though. Yes, he led the country into a EU referendum that he never thought he would lose and when he did, within hours he resigned stating that he wasn’t going to do ‘all the hard shit’. The  Chief Secretary to the Treasury when Ken was Chancellor was Michael Portillo. His new PPS was Jeremy Heyward, who later became Cameron’s Cabinet Secretary. Portillo was succeeded in this role by Jonathan Aitken – who resigned within a year to enter battle after he had been horribly smeared. Except that he hadn’t, but he lied in Court anyway, was caught and ended up in prison.

Tessa Keswick, Ken’s right hand woman for so many years, left his side in 1995 to run a think tank.

Ken mentions a few more highlights, such as Boris Johnson causing no end of problems when he worked as the Daily Telegraph’s European correspondent by fabricating stories. Ken observes that Boris ‘fervently followed the desired policy line of his proprietor, which at that time was Conrad Black. A friend of many senior Tories who also found himself in prison.

Ken mentions Brian Mawhinney, who by now had become Party Chairman. Brian was of course the brother-in-law of Patricia Scotland QC, who acted for the Welsh Office at the Waterhouse Inquiry. Patricia was given a peerage whilst she worked on that Inquiry (please see my three previous posts dedicated to Patricia and her network for details). Ken has the pleasure of meeting the Treasury Secretary of the U.S. at one point, Bob Rubin – Rubin and his wife were ‘old friends’ of Leon Brittan and his wife, they even took annual holidays together!

Christ Almighty no wonder my friends and I all got sacked and attempts were made to set fire to my house, there was an awful lot riding on the Westminster Paedophile Ring remaining under wraps.

Ken doesn’t mention the Waterhouse Inquiry, although he does mention the Tories losing the 1997 general election and William Hague becoming leader. Ken doesn’t seem to be that impressed with Hague. He should have been, because whilst Hague was Secretary of State for Wales he organised the mother of all cover-ups which was Waterhouse and saved a lot of people’s scalps.

After Ken left office, he went in for company directorships in a big way. He became Chair of Unichem (his mate Geoffrey Rippon had already done a stint as Chair) and he became Deputy Chair of British American Tobacco. Ken was Chair of their Corporate Responsibility Committee. He knew that their product was ‘controversial’, so he strove to ‘uphold impeccable business standards’. They were ‘trading in some of the corrupt markets’ and Ken found that  BAT were often told that they could only invest in a country if they paid a bribe. ‘BAT resisted those pressures completely’ – they initially turned down Vietnam because bribes were requested, but Ken was delighted to find that BAT later managed to invest successfully. He had a similar experience in Russia and Nigeria. Ken does not explain how BAT managed to persuade some of the most corrupt regimes in the world to tread a more honest path…

Ken’s wife Gillian was a Trustee of Oxfam and she accompanied him on all his business trips. Oxfam and BAT – strange bedfellows surely? Gillian busied herself with ‘tourism and visiting Oxfam projects’. BAT purchased Formula One and Ken became Chair of the subsidiary, British American Racing. He became good mates with Bernie Ecclestone. Ken also joined the Board of the Independent as a non-executive Director and became good friends with Helena Kennedy and Margaret Jay, who were both on the Board! That’s the Helena who starred on my post ‘Eve Was Framed – As Were A Lot Of Other People’, the Helena who relied upon the courtroom skills of Professor Nigel Eastman for so many of her cases. Nigel also used his talents to remain silent about the criminal activities of Dafydd and Dr Tony Francis when he was faced with them in 1991 (see post ‘Some Very Eminent Psychiatrists From London…’) Well having Ken and Helena on the Board was a smart move by the owner Tony O’ Reilly – the Indie certainly wasn’t going to publish any further allegations that there was a paedophile ring in operation in north Wales and that politicians were involved.

Ken joined an asset management company run by his old friend Christopher Saunders and a hedge fund and he advised the Japanese finance house Daiwa. Ken noted a plus side to his new career: ‘the income, which was on a scale that no politician could ever earn in Government’. He also observed that it taught him a lot about financial matters but ‘unfortunately’ he ‘only acquired this vital experience after I had been Chancellor’. Never mind Ken, it didn’t matter that you didn’t know anything about it – there was always Patrick Minford or Sarah Hogg or even David Cameron to advise you. What could possibly go wrong?

Ken’s skills were still required in politics though. He describes secret visits to Tony Blair, along with Paddy Ashdown, to prepare the UK to enter the single currency -Ken was needed to win over public opinion. Having just been voted OUT by the citizens of the UK I’m not sure that Ken would be a great asset there. Blair wanted all the campaigning on the issue done by Ashdown, Heseltine and Ken, with the support of the CBI and the rest of the business community. But wily old Gordon Brown blew their plans out of the water. Gordon had instructed their Press Officer Charlie Whelan to brief the press that he and Blair had agreed not to join the single currency until the Treasury had studied the project. The civil servants carried out a ‘long and academic study’ – and then fessed up to Ken that they were waiting for Gordon to tell them what to conclude from their study. Mandelson approached Ken in a panic and asked him what to do when he found out that Gordon was about to announce that the UK didn’t pass any of the ‘five tests’ needed to justify entry into the Eurozone. Gordon knew that the UK wouldn’t pass the five tests, because he’d carefully thought them up in a taxi at the start of the whole process. That, according to Ken, is why the UK never entered the single currency. Ken himself hated the ‘save the pound’ national campaign that took place during the 2001 general election campaign, but he didn’t admit this in public – because so many of his ‘friends’ were behind that campaign. He was so anxious not to slip up that he carefully avoided all journos during the campaign – although he did have a hotline to the Indie’s Don McIntyre. Well Ken was on the Board wasn’t he.

Ken helpfully explains that the real achievement of the Blair Gov’t 1997-01 was to ‘cement the Thatcher revolution permanently in place’. Ken’s a big fan of Blair, as of course are David Cameron and Osborne, referring to him as the Master.

Hague resigned as Tory leader after the 2001 general election and there was another leadership battle. Portillo fancied being leader but Ken notes that Portillo was ‘dogged by absurd and malicious media rumours about his private life’. Ken was ‘infuriated by this nonsense which I was sure was untrue and in any case irrelevant’. So which media rumours is Ken talking about? The media rumours that Portillo was gay – which Portillo later admitted were true? Or the media rumours that Portillo was friendly with some of the Tories who were alleged to be abusing under-aged boys? Or the rumours that Portillo was abusing under-aged boys himself? Years before Portillo admitted that he was gay, I knew a young gay man in north Wales who used to go to gay clubs in Manchester. He told me that he had seen Portillo in them. The gay clubs in Manchester were also some of the places where mental health patients in north Wales who were being trafficked into prostitution were taken. The people doing this were part of the same network of people who trafficked the kids in care, so perhaps the kids in care ended up selling sex in gay clubs in Manchester, along with the Empowered Service Users.

Ken reveals that David Cameron had been Michael Howard’s ‘right hand man in Parliament’, his special advisor 1993/94. Mary Wynch was finally paid a  pittance by the Home Office in 1995, after she was robbed of her money and property and illegally detained by Dafydd Alun Jones in the North Wales Hospital. The 1995 ‘settlement’ was ‘final’ with no admission of liability for anything. Mary was by then elderly. She was told to piss off and it was announced that that was the end of the case. It was never mentioned again. So David will have known that little arrangement was on the way then when he left the Home Office in 1994. David left the Home Office to work as a PR man for Carlton TV! He remained there until he won his seat in 2001.

Blair wasn’t the only New Labour bigwig with whom Ken got on famously. He really liked Peter Mandelson as well. In fact Ken met with Mandelson ‘almost weekly’ in Mandelson’s office in the Lords to ‘discuss the important issues he was considering and try to reach agreement’.

After the Coalition Gov’t was formed, Ken became Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice. His new Permanent Secretary was Suma Chakrabarti (see post ‘The Poisonous Tentacles Of The Home Office’) and David Hass moved from George Osborne’s office to Ken’s – Hass was a former BBC man and he became Ken’s media advisor. Kathryn Laing was Ken’s advisor on policy and political matters. His Private Secretary was Darren Tierney, who was succeeded by Mark Sweeney. Again, Ken knows where the problems lie – that prisons are unsuitable places for people with drug problems and mental illnesses and huge numbers of prisoners actually have these. Ken comments that women prisoners almost all had ‘distressing personal problems’. Ken mentions that the Home Office tried to ‘sell’ legal aid cuts to his predecessor Jack Straw – Ken himself reduced legal aid further for civil cases. So if for example one has fallen into the clutches of the social services or mental health services and they have broken the law and abused you in some way – hard luck, you’ll not be getting legal aid. Well, after Mary Wynch demonstrated that Dafydd had illegally banged her up for a year and fleeced her of her wealth and all those people who’d been abused whilst they were in care as kids in north Wales started bellyaching, what else could the Gov’t do…

Ken embarked on a major closure of under-used magistrates courts, but got into a bit of bother when he found that No 10 was objecting to his policy. What Ken hadn’t realised was that Cameron’s mother was a magistrate and her court had been ear-marked for closure! Ken handed the policy over to a junior Minister, Jonathon Djangol, for implementation. Mrs Cameron’s courthouse was saved from closure.

Cameron asked Ken to meet the notorious Rebekah Wade/Brooks, Murdoch’s right hand woman. Ken observed that Rebekah seemed accustomed to meeting Home Secretaries and Justice Secretaries ‘and having her advice taken seriously’. Rebekah wanted Ken to acquire some prison ships and military style boot camps. Ken noted that he had previously been given the same suggestions from No 10. Ken wasn’t impressed with Rebekah and didn’t meet her again. He had some entertaining observations though – that Rebekah was occupying Cameron’s luxury hotel suite, was dressed in riding gear and had a plate of ‘Marie-Antoinette cakes’. That Ken, was because she’s nuts – even though she advises Tory PMs.

Ken noted that Andy Coulson, Cameron’s Director of Communications (and Rebecca’s former bedfellow and the former editor of the News of the Screws) had ‘obviously been appointed as Rupert Murdoch’s representative in No 10’. Coulson later went to prison. Another person whom Ken had to deal with was Patrick Rock, who was Michael Howard’s former special advisor at the Home Office and now Cameron’s Deputy Director of Policy, with responsibility for criminal justice. Rock was subsequently imprisoned for the possession of child porn.

Ken mentions another old friend in a high place, Igor Judge, lately of the Midlands Circuit, now Lord Chief Justice.

Ken wanted to abolish those things much in the news at present, IPPs – indeterminate prison sentences for public protection. Although Blunkett – whose brainwave they had been – admitted that they hadn’t ‘worked’ as he’d hoped (you were warned that they’d result in people imprisoned for years for trivial offences Blunkett, which is exactly what has happened) – Ken was told that it would be too much of a struggle to abolish them. So a deal was done. If Ken introduced some new minimum mandatory sentences under certain conditions, he’d be allowed to abolish IPPs – this deal had to be entered into because Cameron wanted to be seen to be tough on law and order.

Ken also provides an insight into the working of the office of the Mayor of London. When Boris was seeking a second term as Mayor, he dreamt up a ‘sobriety scheme’, which would involve anyone being arrested for drunkenness to be directed into a sentence requiring regular checks to prove that they were remaining sober. It was evident to Ken that Boris was clueless as to how he’d ever run such a scheme and he couldn’t answer even the most basic questions about it. So Boris rang the Met Commissioner on his mobile to answer Ken’s questions, but although the Commissioner was a supporter of the scheme, he couldn’t answer any questions about it either. Ken had a second meeting with Boris, during which Boris put his phone on speaker and asked someone from his office to come and answer the questions.

 

So that’s Ken’s overview of his gloriously long career at the top of Gov’t. Despite the many disasters, Ken reassures himself that all the policies that he pushed through have worked brilliantly and on every occasion that something went tits-up, it was someone else’s fault. He blithely carries on, reassuring everybody that there’s no problems, even when he knows damn well that the problems are horrendous. Such as one (At LEAST) of his colleagues molesting children, which caused the whole of the Gov’t to ignore serious criminal conduct on the part of social services, Top Doctors, the police, accountants and businessmen and to engage with corrupt professionals in the media to keep it all quiet – even when witnesses start being found dead or are killed in a mass murder in an arson attack. Ken knows that organised crime has become so big that the police can’t tackle it and he’s noticed that London has become a magnet for criminals, money-launderers and despots from corrupt regimes. Ever wondered why Ken? Not that he worries about it that much – he’s got lunches to eat, curries to enjoy, jazz clubs to visit and all those lucrative company directorships which involve doing business in, by his own admission, ‘corrupt markets’. It’s not as if he and his colleagues will come unstuck even when catastrophe strikes – the rules are bent for them, whether it’s keeping Mrs Cameron’s courthouse open or ensuring that Peter Morrison never gets caught out, even if that involves murdering some of the witnesses, ruining a few careers and stitching innocent people up in Court.

Well I hope it was worth it Ken. All that to ensure another election victory for Thatcher, so that narrow minded, dim, philistine of a woman could carry on being PM and preach to the rest of us the merits of monetarism, a policy which she obviously didn’t understand. Wales got completely fucked in the process and we were then told that it was all our fault. Oh and my friend’s baby died – but at least Thatcher was spared a film about a gang of paedophiles wreaking havoc, one of which was her PPS and Deputy Party Chairman. Thatcher died alone – but in the Ritz. Carol complained that in her final years with dementia, Thatcher’s ‘friends’ abandoned her. I think that was probably a function of the sort of people whom she chose as friends Carol.

Peter Morrison didn’t last as long as Thatcher, in fact he died suddenly and unexpectedly at only 51 years old. Gyles Brandreth’s autobiography states that Morrison was found dead at home at the bottom of the stairs. Gyles wonders whether he threw himself down the stairs to kill himself. I wouldn’t be surprised Gyles if someone actually pushed him and then whacked him on the head afterwards to ensure that the deed was done. Morrison was found dead on 13 July 1995. By which time a major investigation was underway into the abuse of children in children’s homes in Clwyd and there were demands for a Public Inquiry. The North Wales Hospital Denbigh had virtually closed down and Dr Dafydd Alun Jones had ‘retired’ with the remit to provide ‘substance abuse services’ for north Wales (see post ‘The Evolution Of A Drugs Baron?’). Alison Taylor and I had lost our careers, my friend’s first born had died and another friend who wanted to publish the story had been unlawfully dismissed from his job as well. Presumably disposing of Peter Morrison would bury the matter for ever.

But now I’ve written this blog.