So Who Was Angry About What?

The recent flurry of media allegations and counter-allegations concerning Ted Heath have quietened down over the past two weeks or so. I have mentioned previously that although I have never received information suggesting that Heath did abuse children, some of the people whom he appointed to senior positions did some pretty appalling things and were involved in concealing the abuse of children and/or mental health patients. Some of those responsible for the unlawful arrest and imprisonment of Mary Wynch were appointed by Heath (see posts ‘The Mary Wynch Case – Details’, ‘Those Lawyers And Judges Involved In The Mary Wynch Case’ and ‘A Few Of The Relevant Politicians Re Mary Wynch’s Case’). Willie Whitelaw, Heath’s friend, was a key figure in concealing the wrongdoing in north Wales (see posts ‘The Cradle Of Filth’ and ‘A Bit More Paleontology’) and it was whilst Willie was banging on about giving young offenders a ‘short sharp shock’ that youngsters in Bryn Estyn – which until 1973 was an approved school under the direct control of the Home Office – were beaten, buggered, injured and used to provide sex to various bigwigs.

I’ve been reading a bit more about Heath’s advisors and confidents. Of course the brilliant thing about the suppression of political scandals is that because civil servants and advisors usually work for successive Prime Ministers, the scandals can continue to be very effectively concealed in the event of a change of Gov’t.

One person who worked for successive administrations was Sir Tom McCaffrey, a civil servant who served under both Labour and Tory Gov’ts and who eventually became Jim Callaghan’s Chief of Staff.

In 1966 McCaffrey was appointed Chief Information Officer for the Home Office under Home Secretary Roy Jenkins. In 1971 McCaffrey was appointed deputy to Heath’s spokesman in Number 10, Sir Donald Maitland. By 1972, Heath’s Home Secretary Robert Carr had secured McCaffrey’s return to the Home Office as Director of Information Services. In 1974, Jim Callaghan, Wilson’s Foreign Secretary, asked Sir Tom to lead the Foreign Office news department. Jim Callaghan appointed him to a Committee to examine the presentation of Gov’t policies in 1975.

In 1976 when Wilson resigned, McCaffrey moved to Number 10 with Callaghan. McCaffrey’s ‘official’ biography tells us that he became Callaghan’s Chief of Staff when Thatcher was elected, but Jon Snow in his book ‘Shooting History, A Personal Journey’ mentions meeting Sir Tom McCaffrey, ‘Jim Callaghan’s Chief of Staff’ in 1977. When Michael Foot became leader of the Labour Party, Sir Tom stayed on as his Chief Assistant. Sir Tom stood down in 1983 with Kinnock’s arrival as Labour leader, on the grounds that he was fed up with the battles between the Bennite left and the leadership.

However McCaffrey was clearly not really a man who wanted a quiet life. He then accepted a job from Robert Maxwell to head the office at Cap’n Bob’s British Printing and Communication Corporation. The official remit was that of ‘interior reorganisation’, but in reality McCaffrey served as someone whose excellent Labour contacts were useful to Cap’n Bob. No doubt the Labour Party also hoped to benefit from Sir Tom’s close association with Maxwell. Sir Tom resigned after six months of industrial disputes and Cap’n Bob’s attempts to take over football clubs and the Observer. Sir Tom was obviously a glutton for punishment – he returned to work for Cap’n Bob as Public Affairs Advisor when Maxwell took over the Mirror Group, but resigned six months later.

McCaffrey died in 2016. One of his sons followed him into the Gov’t Information Services.

McCaffrey will have known about Bryn Estyn and he’ll have known that the abuse of boys there continued throughout different Gov’t administrations. This knowledge and McCaffrey’s ability to control it will have been invaluable. He’ll have known a lot about Maxwell as well – he might even have known that he was dipping into the pension fund. McCaffrey was obviously highly valued which was why Robert Carr wanted him back at the Home Office in 1972.

I mentioned that Tom McCaffrey was briefly deputy to Sir Donald Maitland, Heath’s spokesman in Number 10.

Sir Donald Maitland was a diplomat and Heath’s Chief Press Secretary, 1970-73. In Maitland’s obituary in the Daily Telegraph Maitland was described as one of Heath’s ‘most trusted advisors’, especially in relation to N Ireland and industrial relations. It was noted in his obituary that Maitland briefed and misled journalists and that he was also very successful on securing Heath appearances on current affairs programmes – this was a great frustration to the Labour Party because they had no right of reply to such broadcasts.

Maitland was an Arab specialist who joined the Foreign Office in 1947. He became Private Secretary to Minister of State Lord Reading at some point prior to 1956 (please see post ’95 Glorious Years!’ for information on Lord Reading, one of the old Imperialists whom Trumpers’ and her parents were friends with). Maitland won Heath’s confidence when he worked in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s news dept and was seconded to work as Heath’s Press Officer, 1960-61, whilst Heath was Lord Privy Seal in Harold Macmillan’s Gov’t. Between 1965-67 Maitland worked as Head of News for the Foreign Office, first under Foreign Secretary Michael Stewart, then under Foreign Secretary George Brown. Maitland headed George Brown’s Private Office, but was known to dislike Brown intensely – but then a lot of people did. Maitland was appointed as Ambassador to Libya just as Colonel Gadaffi seized power in 1969.

In the early 1970s Donald Maitland had a key role in the propaganda campaign that the British security services operated in relation to the IRA. In a letter to the PM (Heath) dated 4 Nov 1971, Maitland confirms that he’d Chaired a meeting with Clifford Hill and had decided, along with Sir Dick White and Norman Reddaway, to place anti-IRA propaganda in the British press and media, the first task being to counter the effects of the Compton Report. The Compton Report was the result of the Inquiry into the physical abuse of IRA suspects held under the policy of internment. Hill, White and Reddaway were all members of the security services who are known to have been involved in spreading propaganda and misinformation for various purposes. Maitland confirms in his letter that the machinery for the propaganda campaign was already in place. Maitland was Heath’s spokesman in Number 10 in 1971.

In March 1974 Maitland was recalled from his post with the UN as Britain’s Permanent Representative – a post to which he had been appointed in March 1973 – after Ivor Richard’s shock defeat in the previously safe Labour seat of Blythe and Wilson’s unexpected return to power. Ivor Richard lost the seat to Eddie Milne, who had stood as the Independent Labour candidate. Eddie Milne had been the sitting Labour MP but had dared raise concerns about the corruption in north east England including the Poulson Affair, which had involved a number of big Labour figures and resulted in a number of prison sentences as well as the resignation of Reginald Maudling, the Conservative Home  Secretary. Milne had been deselected by the Labour Party but won the election nonetheless. Not that anyone need have worried – a vendetta against him ensued, the political careers of Milne and his supporters were destroyed and at the Oct 1974 General Election Milne lost the seat to Labour’s John Ryman, a con man who swindled wealthy women. Maitland  was obviously recalled for some purpose, although there was no job for him – so a post was created especially for Maitland, that of Deputy Under-Secretary at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. In 1975 Maitland became Britain’s Permanent Representative to the EEC in Brussels.

At the end of 1979 Maitland was appointed Deputy to Sir Michael Palliser, the Permanent Under-Secretary in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Head of the Diplomatic Service. Palliser later became Thatcher’s Special Advisor in the Cabinet Office, April-July 1982, during the Falklands campaign.

Between June 1980 and his retirement from the civil service in Dec 1982, Maitland was Permanent Secretary at the Dept of Energy, under Secretary of State Nigel Lawson – he who does not accept that climate change is happening. Maitland’s role at the Dept of Energy was described as strengthening relations with the Arab members of OPEC. I note that Dr David Owen was Shadow Secretary of State for Energy for the year preceding the time that Maitland was Permanent Secretary and for the first six months of his incumbency. Which might explain why Dr Death was Chair of Yukos International UK BV, a division of the former Russian petroleum company Yukos, 2002-05 and was a Director of the Texas-based Hyperdynamics Corporation, ‘an oil concern with an exclusive lease to an offshore area of the Republic of Guinea’, 2009-14.

Donald Maitland didn’t put his feet up when he retired. He was a Director of Britoil; Deputy Chair of the IBA; Chair of the Independent Commission On the Worldwide Telecommunications Dept.

In 1989 Maitland was appointed Chair of the Public Health Education Authority. My post ‘Socio-Political Context Of The North Wales Mental Health Services In The 1980s’ explains how at this time, the very highest echelons in the Dept of Health were concealing the abuse of patients in special hospitals – including that carried out by Jimmy Savile who had by then been appointed general manager of Broadmoor by Jean Trumpington (see post ’95 Glorious Years!’), as well as the criminal activities of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) in north Wales as they facilitated and concealed the paedophile ring in north Wales which was supplying children to the Westminster Paedophile Ring. A new problem facing those who participated in promiscuous gay sex, particularly with intravenous drug users had emerged – HIV AIDS. My post ‘Professor Prestigious And His Associates’ describes how dear old Dr Donald Acheson the Chief Medical Officer really pushed the boat out at this time, when he and others realised that public figures – including those in Westminster – were at very great risk indeed if they were having sex with rent boys. The threat was real and was demonstrated by the death from AIDS in 1993 of Thomas Tyrell-Kenyon, son of Lord Lloyd Tyrell-Kenyon. Thomas Tyrell-Kenyon was known to be sexually using boys in care in north Wales. The social services knew about it and had even documented it. The North Wales Police knew about it and even managed to have one of Tyrell-Kenyon’s under-aged sexual partners convicted of theft – after he had spent the night with Tyrell-Kenyon in the Crest Hotel in Wrexham – and sent to a detention centre whereas Tyrell-Kenyon faced no charges himself. Lord Lloyd Tyrell-Kenyon was a Conservative peer, a member of the North Wales Police Authority, Chairman of Clwyd Health Authority, a Councillor for Flintshire County Council, a magistrate and the Master Of The North Wales Province Of Freemasonry.

One of Donald Acheson’s biggest problems regarding the public education campaign concerning AIDS was persuading Thatcher and some of her Ministers that it was necessary to talk frankly about gay sex. Acheson eventually overcame their resistance – presumably by explaining that a few of their number stood to die unpleasant and drawn out deaths if they didn’t change their behaviour. However it seems that Maitland was part of the resistance, or if he wasn’t, he was taking orders from them – it was Maitland who ordered the suspension of the HEA’s programme on HIV and sexual health in 1992 after the newly appointed Health Minister, Dr Brian Mawhinney, banned a ‘smutty’ pocket guide produced by the HEA . Mawhinney is rather more well-known for his role as Chairman of the Conservative Party, 1995-97. Mawhinney’s brother is married to barrister Patricia Scotland. Scotland acted for the Welsh Office at the Waterhouse Inquiry, the cover-up orchestrated by Secretary of State for Wales William Hague under John Major’s Gov’t, whilst Patsy’s brother-in-law was Party Chairman – the Welsh Office which had completely failed to protect children in care in north Wales from the paedophile gang. The Welsh Office which had failed to respond to complaints of child abuse or even convictions of social workers in north Wales for assaults on children and which had concealed the criminal activities of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones, Tony Francis and Gwynedd Social Services by using their own corrupt lawyer Andrew Park and their corrupt Medical Ombudsman, Professor Robert Owen. Patricia Scotland was given a peerage shortly after the Waterhouse Inquiry opened, at . Readers can find details of Patricia’s interesting networks and activities in my posts ‘Baroness Patricia Scotland QC Was On Board As Well!’, ‘More On Baroness Patricia Scotland QC – And Her Very Sleazy Friends’ and ‘Even More About Baroness Patricia Scotland QC’.

Donald Maitland’s term at the HEA ended in 1994. By which time scores of witnesses to the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal had been found dead – including five who had died when a petrol bomb had been thrown into the building in which they were attending a party (see post ‘The Silence Of The Welsh Lambs’) – and the careers of a number of my friends who knew what had happened to me in north Wales as well as my own career had been wrecked. By the time that Maitland had finished his stint at the HEA, Gordon Anglesea, a senior police officer in north Wales, had either won – or was well on the way to winning – his libel case against media outlets who had named him as abusing children in care in north Wales (see posts ‘Y Gwir Yn Erbyn Y Byd’ and ‘Y Gwir Yn Erbyn Y Byd – A Few Additional Comments’). One of the people who gave evidence that Anglesea had molested him when he was in Bryn Estyn was found dead a few weeks later. Last year Gordon Anglesea  was imprisoned for the historical abuse of boys in care in north Wales. As Maitland departed from the HEA, the deal which allowed Dr Dafydd Alun Jones to ‘retire’ without any of the many serious complaints about him being investigated and which allowed Dafydd to walk away clutching the contract to provide ‘substance abuse services’ for north Wales (see post ‘The Evolution Of A Drugs Baron?’) was virtually in place…

Maitland was Pro-Chancellor of Bath University, 1997-2000.

Maitland’s obituaries all commented on how intimidating he was for such a small posh man. The Guardian observed that ‘he was sometimes thought to be too ruthless in pursuit of his goals’ and that ‘his goals were…[the] public interest…it was patriotism that inspired him’.

The public interest would never have been served if it had been revealed that some politicians and Whitehall figures had been molesting children, that children who complained and other witnesses were illegally banged up in mental hospitals, framed for serious offences, denied NHS treatment, unlawfully dismissed from their jobs and if they still wouldn’t shut up would be found dead. Neither would the public interest have been served if it had been demonstrated that numerous Top Doctors, lawyers, judges, civil servants, police officers, politicians and members of the security services colluded with all of this and that the media wasn’t reporting it.

Maitland won’t only have known about the wrongdoing in north Wales. He’ll have known about the abuse of boys in the Kincora Boys Home in Belfast by civil servants and members of the British Army and he’ll have known about his fellow diplomat Sir Peter Hayman who was known to be a paedophile, was a founding member of PIE but wasn’t prosecuted even after he left a package containing child porn and other indecent material on a bus (see post ‘Close Your Eyes And Make A WISH’).

I don’t know where we’d be without patriots who act in the public interest. Long before I knew that a whole army of people like Donald Maitland existed, in 2005 I had the public interest defence pulled on me by Adam Peat, the Ombudsman for Wales. I had written to Peat to tell him that I had evidence that staff in the Hergest Unit at Ysbyty Gwynedd had perjured themselves in an attempt to have me convicted of serious offences and that I and other patients had been assaulted by staff and then denied NHS treatment when we had made complaint. Peat’s sidekick threatened me on the phone – as did someone from the NMC after I had made a complaint about Sian Ruth Lloyd, one of the lying, assaultive nurses – and I then received a letter from Peat telling me that it would not be in the public interest to investigate my complaint (see post ‘Yet More Crime And Punishment’). At the time, the catchment area for the Hergest Unit had the highest suicide rate for women in Wales and the second highest suicide rate for women in the whole of England and Wales. There were also a high number of patients prosecuted for ‘attacking staff’. My complaint about Dr Tony Roberts, the particularly unhinged Top Doctor who was behind the co-ordinated attempt to frame me, went uninvestigated by the GMC and last year my lawyer forwarded me the documents relating to my complaint. One of those documents was a copy of a forged letter purporting to be from me concerning my complaint about Tony Roberts that had been found in the possession of the GMC (see post ‘The General Medical Council – And Yet Another Forged Document’).

 

So what of Robert Carr, who as Home Secretary under Heath had brought Tom McCaffrey back into the Home Office by 1972 – after McCaffrey had been Maitland’s deputy whilst Maitland was doing his Lord Haw-Haw bit for Heath and the security services in N Ireland in 1971?

Robert Carr was the Tory MP for Mitcham, 1950-74 and then for Carshalton, 1974-76. He had been PPS to Anthony Eden, 1951-55, when Eden was Foreign Secretary and then PM. Carr was Secretary of State for Employment, 1970-72 and for a few months in 1972 was Lord President of the Council and Leader of the Commons. After his time as Home Secretary, 1972-74, when Heath was defeated in the first ballot of the Conservative leadership battle, Carr became the temporary leader of the Tory Party at Heath’s request. Carr received a peerage after the Tories lost office. He was a Director of Cadburys-Schweppes, 1979-87 and Securicor, 1974-85. He was Chairman of Prudential Assurance, 1976-85 and Business in the Community, 1984-97. Carr was President of Surrey Cricket Club, 1985-86.

Carr’s time as Home Secretary was marked by the IRA’s mainland bombing campaign and the problems caused by Idi Amin expelling 40,000 Ugandan Asians and the arrival in the UK of many of them. However the matter which really caused Carr a problem and which prevented him being considered for the leadership of the Conservative Party himself was the saga of the Industrial Relations Act of 1971. This was an Act which had been written by Geoffrey Howe who was then Solicitor General in an attempt to severely curb the power of the unions. It faced massive opposition and also proved to be unworkable. It led to the jailing of a group of dockers from the TGWU – who had to be hastily released from prison by Geoffrey Howe himself.

It was the fall-out from the Industrial Relations Act which led to the one thing involving Carr which still causes interest – the prosecution and imprisonment of a number of members of the Angry Brigade, after they planted a bomb at Carr’s house in Jan 1971 which blew up his kitchen but didn’t result in injury to people.

The Angry Brigade were the epitome of everything that was loathed and feared by the early 1970s petit bourgeoisie. They were a group of young people described as ‘university drop outs’ and ‘Trotskyists’ who were dossing down in a house in north London. The Angry Brigade actually seemed to have been comprised of a variety of people. Although most of them did have a middle class background, one, Jake Prescott, was a heroin addict and burglar who had grown up in care and experienced the sort of disadvantage and abuse that the others had little knowledge of. Years later Jake Prescott claimed to have been ruthlessly used by the other members of the Angry Brigade whom he maintains duped him into sending out envelopes containing explosives. Jake has observed that whereas he really was angry and had a lot to be angry about, the others in the Angry Brigade were ‘mildly cross’ middle class Trots.

People have written about the Angry Brigade but nothing is very clear about them even now. Jake claims to have been conned by a bunch of posers who were playing at being revolutionaries, another member who was imprisoned for planting the bomb at Carr’s house maintains that they were completely innocent and were stitched up by the police and the Courts and yet another woman told of how she was a fairly benign activist who was monstered by the legal system and the press, developed serious mental health problems in prison and was threatened with transfer to a secure hospital without limit of time. It is now decades since the trial of the Stoke Newington Eight as they were known, but most of them have shunned virtually all publicity ever since. A number of them did rebuild their lives but they changed their names and/or emigrated and most of them just won’t discuss the Angry Brigade no matter how many journos try to persuade them to do so.

There were allegations at the time that the bomb squad had planted evidence. The police found the most extraordinary arsenal of explosives, guns and weaponry in the house that was the base of the Angry Brigade – it does seem incredible that such a cache would have been quietly sitting in a house in north London and I haven’t read any explanations as to how the young people concerned would ever have got their hands on such weapons. Some years ago one of the police officers involved in the case was interviewed by the Guardian and he did sound rather like a ham actor off Dixon of Dock Green, explaining that the Angry Brigade were a ‘cunning lot’. So are police officers who frame innocent people, but they don’t claim to be revoltionaries, so people aren’t so rattled by them.

There is one member of the Angry Brigade who has fared very much better than the others though. She wasn’t convicted although she did stand trial for conspiracy to cause explosions, she didn’t have her life destroyed, she didn’t become ill and she didn’t emigrate – she became an advisor to the New Labour Gov’t. She did change her name – although she needn’t have bothered because everyone knows who she is. The person concerned is Angela Mason (formerly Angela Weir).

Angela has one hell of a CV. She has a BA from Bedford College, University of London and an MSc from the LSE. Angela at some point lectured at the LSE and was a lecturer at the Rachel McMillan College of Education, London, 1968-70. She was also: Community Worker, Camden Law Centre, 1970-74; Articled Clerk and Solicitor, Battersea Law Centre and West Hampstead Law Centre, 1975-83; Welfare Rights Advisor, Camden Social Services, 1984-85; Solicitor, Social Services, London Borough of Camden, 1985-86; Executive Director of Stonewall, 1992-2000; Head of the Women and Equalities Unit (now the Gov’t Equalities Office), 2003-07; National Advisor for IDeA (Improvement and Development Agency), a body providing regulations and guidelines on equalities to Local Authorities in England. In 2010 Angela was appointed Chair of the Fawcett Society and in the same year she became a Councillor for Camden. Angela was soon Deputy Leader of Camden Council and Cabinet Member for Sustainability, but was dismissed from these roles in May 2011 – although I haven’t found out why. Angela didn’t spend long in the wilderness though, she was reappointed to Camden Council’s Cabinet the following year, as the Cabinet Member for Children. Angela has also been a member of the Equal Opportunities Commission, was an advisor to Ken Livingstone when he was Mayor of London, picked up an OBE in 1999 and a CBE in 2007.

Angela’s rise has not been without controversy. There was quite a row when she was appointed Director of Stonewall. Angela was appointed by Michael Cashman, the founder of Stonewall and former EastEnders actor (ie. ‘Colin’, who participated in TV’s first gay kiss). Cashman was a Labour MEP, 1999-2014 and in 2014 was given a peerage. (Cashman’s late partner Paul Cottingham worked for Cashman as a researcher and Cashman became embroiled in a scandal regarding the amount of money that he was claiming on expenses and paying Cottingham. Cottingham also worked as a High-Value fundraiser for the Labour Party.) A group of horrified people confronted Cashman who asked him if he realised who Angela actually was and the damage that Stonewall could sustain if Angela was at the helm, but Cashman explained to the Guardian some years later that he told one of the protestors that he knew for a fact that one of them ‘had just travelled to Berlin for a good flogging and they soon shut up about Angela’. Cashman wasn’t able to blackmail everyone into silence however – people continued to bellyache, with some claiming that Stonewall no longer represented grassroots activists and had aligned itself far too closely with New Labour. People were angered when Angela in her capacity as Director of Stonewall urged everyone to vote for Frank Dobson when he stood for election as Labour’s candidate for London Mayor in 2000, shortly after Dobbo had made it clear that he wasn’t going to taint himself by defending gays. It was pointed out that by 2000, Blair’s Gov’t had actually vetoed gay equality legislation on 15 separate occasions. There was further criticism of Angela in 2002 when it was felt that she didn’t give enough support to senior police officer Brian Paddick when he was removed from his position as Commander for the London Borough of Lambeth in 2002 after libellous allegations were published about him.

In Nov 2002, when Angela’s appointment as Head of the Women and Equalities Unit was announced, Steve Doughty wrote an article for the Daily Mail identifying Angela as one of Tony’s cronies and revealing that her salary was going to be £80k pa. Doughty observed that ‘the gay lobby has become increasingly influential under Tony Blair’.

Angela is a lesbian and had built up a reputation as a gay rights activist, but I don’t think that it was her gayness or indeed her fighting for gay rights that endeared her to Tony Blair. Indeed a lot of gay activists were very critical of Angela, including Peter Tatchell – who was busy being a gay rights activist long before anyone else was – who denounced Angela as ‘establishment’ and a ‘safe pair of hands’. As children’s comics used to ask when I was young, ‘can you see anything hidden in the picture’? I can – Camden fucking Council. Home of paedophiles’ friend Tessa Jowell (see posts ‘The London Connection’ and ‘Tower Hamlets, Paul Boateng and Tessa Jowell’) and her brother-in-law John Mills – one of the biggest donors to the Labour Party and husband of former DPP Dame Barbara Mills who also did a lot of favours for the paedophiles’ friends and indeed the paedophiles themselves (see posts ‘A Future Leader Of The Labour Party’). I note that Angela was already under the wing of Camden when the trial of the Stoke Newington Eight took place – she was working for Camden Law Centre. Angela was acquitted. It is possible that she was indeed innocent – but there were serious concerns that some of the others had been as well but they were convicted and went to prison for years. Is it possible that her association with Camden Law Centre might have afforded Angela some protection?

Once she’d done that stint with Camden Law Centre, there was no stopping Angela, she went from strength to strength. It is not – as the Daily Mail believes – that it was the ‘gay lobby’ who became so influential under Blair, it was the paedophiles’ friends who were so influential. As for Michael Cashman and the way in which he dealt with people who objected to Angela’s appointment of Director of Stonewall – travelling to Berlin for a good flogging Michael is neither here nor there if everyone involved is a consenting adult. A flogging between friends really is completely irrelevant, but organised child sexual abuse most definitely is not.

Angela’s £80k pa – at 2003 rates – job with the Women and Equalities Unit was with the DTI and involved working with Patricia Hewitt, the Secretary of State for the DTI and President of the Board of Trade. The Patricia Hewitt who was General Secretary of the NCCL when it was affiliated to PIE and championing paedophiles’ rights – the Patricia Hewitt who succeeded the Leicester seat of Greville Janner when Janner was elevated to the Lords. The Greville Janner who was never charged with child molestation because a number of DPPs  – one of which was Dame Barbara Mills – for reasons which they have never explained just didn’t get it together to bring charges against him despite files of evidence being sent to the CPS.

Angela lives in Camden. Along with many others who were leading lights in New Labour.

A 2007 Guardian interview with Angela mentions that she won’t talk about her time with the Angry Brigade, but it is a gushing article which described Angela has having ‘a twinkle in her eye’. My eyes would be twinkling if I’d duped a bunch of idiots who had protected a paedophile gang – I suspect that Angela’s bank account has a twinkle in it as well after that stint with Patricia Hewitt.

An ingratiating article about Angela published in the Guardian in 2002 mentioned that one of her former tutors from Bedford College had ‘forged a strong bond’ with her. The implication seemed to be that this bond had been forged once Angela had developed a name for herself as a gay rights champ, rather than when Angela was an undergrad at Bedford College. The tutor with the late-developing bond remembered how Angela as a student had always seemed so unhappy and he now realised that she was struggling with her sexual orientation. Who was this clairvoyant after the crisis? It was Lib Dem peer the late Conrad Russell.

Conrad Russell doubled up as the 5th Earl Russell, the son of Bertrand Russell and his third wife Patricia, who had been his children’s governess. Conrad’s wiki entry states that he inherited the title after his older half-brother John pre-deceased him. My antennae started twitching when I saw Russell’s name. Bertrand Russell lived at Penrhyndeudraeth in Gwynedd for many years and was a key figure in the hub of a group of intellectuals and peace activists in the area. There are however a few people in the region who maintain that Russell was not quite what many people imagine him to have been. Back in the summer I read an excellent in-depth 2001 biography of Bertrand Russell by Ray Monk.

I had wondered about Bertrand Russell ever since I found out that after T.S Eliot had his wife Viv institutionalised, Russell visited Viv in the asylum over a considerable period of time to have sex with her. I don’t know how consenting the relationship was, but Viv was banged up for many years – mainly it seems because she pissed her husband and his mates off – in the sort of mid-twentieth century asylum in which the sexes were segregated, mass surveillance was constant and in which it would be damn near impossible for a patient to have sex with anyone. Unless of course it was as a result of the staff abusing their positions, as in the case of the North Wales Hospital Denbigh, in which case patients would find it very difficult to avoid have sex with the Dafydd or Gwynne preying on them. I always wondered how Russell managed to get into that asylum and have sex with Viv Eliot on a regular basis.

Monk’s book provides a few clues. Far from being an benign man who only wanted world peace, Russell – at least as far his relationship with his family was concerned – was a total control-freak, if not a tyrant. It is well documented that Russell had many extra-marital relationships, but his letters make it quite clear that when his second wife Dora finally found herself a partner after years of Russell shagging other women and generally neglecting and undermining her, Russell was absolutely livid and became even more difficult. Russell’s eldest son John Conrad Russell was famously diagnosed with schizophrenia. Accounts of the Russell family usually paint John as inexplicably mad and suggest that this must have caused poor old Bertrand a great deal of heart-ache. Perhaps John would have developed serious mental health problems regardless, but what does not get mentioned so often is that from when he was a baby, throughout his childhood, Russell constantly carried out cruel bizarre experiments on John which would not have been a barrel of laughs. As John began to buckle under the stress of his father’s cruelty, Russell simply experimented a bit more. By the time John was a young man he wasn’t functioning well – which resulted in Russell expressing his deep disappointment and confusion as how one so hopeless could have sprung from his loins. Conrad Russell became the 5th Earl Russell because John Conrad died before him, although Monk’s biography of Russell explains how Russell moved heaven and earth in his attempts to prevent John Conrad from inheriting his title, what with John being so inferior and not worthy of bearing the title of the Earl Russell.

Although Russell remained angry and disappointed with John throughout John’s life – unsurprisingly the two of them really did not hit it off – Russell exerted the most extraordinary degree of control over John even when John was well into middle age. Parents with adult children who suffer from serious mental health problems often do end up in controlling mode as a result of witnessing their child not being able to look after themselves. However Russell was controlling in a way in which no-one, even fifty years ago, could ever have interpreted as helpful. As John got older Russell conducted an all out war with John’s mother Dora – who became Russell’s ex-wife. John and Dora did get on well but Russell did all he could to ensure that Dora had little influence on John’s life. Although history has labelled John mad, he managed to go to university, marry and have children before he developed very severe mental health problems. John believed that Russell was having a relationship with his wife. This was used by some people at the time as evidence of just how mad John was. It is now accepted that it was highly probable that Russell did indeed have a sexual relationship with his daughter-in-law. At one point John seemed to have a Top Doctor whom he found very helpful. He expressed the view to the Top Doctor that his mental health had been disastrously effected by his father’s behaviour. The Top Doctor agreed with John’s analysis. At various times, when John and the Top Doctor felt that John was coping very well and recovering, Russell demanded that John be certified. On at least one occasion, it was only the Top Doctor’s very robust defence of John that prevented Russell from having John banged up.

John’s daughter Lucy was very fond of her dad and he of her. Russell took legal steps to ensure that John and Lucy did not see each other and that John lost his parental rights over Lucy. Russell supplied the solution to the loss of Lucy’s father – he should have parental rights over Lucy himself! Indeed Lucy for a long while lived with Russell. When Lucy was a teenager she started telling people that she felt very uneasy about the way that her grandfather kissed her. Wiki entries state that Lucy was Russell’s favourite granddaughter, but sadly she developed schizophrenia, like her father. Russell did something very unpleasant to his favourite granddaughter after she left for university and acquired a boyfriend. Russell told her to break off the relationship, although there are no accounts of the relationship being an abusive or exploitative one – from what I can work out, Russell hardly knew Lucy’s boyfriend anyway. Lucy didn’t dump her boyfriend so Russell cut her off. He also withdrew her allowance, which left Lucy in very severe financial hardship. Lucy entered young adulthood incredibly distressed, ended up in the hands of the Top Doctors and received a diagnosis of schizophrenia. She set fire to herself at the age of 26 and died. Russell told everyone that Lucy set fire to herself whilst protesting about world peace. People who were close to Lucy at the time were very angry about this – they maintained that Lucy was deeply distressed, had been in a bad way for a long time and had committed suicide. Wiki tells us that Lucy died from self-immolation whilst protesting about world peace.

When Bertrand Russell wrote to most people on a formal basis he would sign the letters in the way that most holders of the title ‘Earl’ would, by just writing his name, ie. ‘Russell’. When he was writing letters demanding that John be certified or that he be given power over John’s family, he signed the letters ‘Earl Russell’.

Ray Monk’s book mentions that the solicitors whom Bertrand Russell employed in his efforts to have various members of his family disinherited, certified, prevented from living with their own children or generally shafted were the London solicitors Theodore Goddard. I had only ever heard of this company once before, a very, very long time ago when I was told a story by a farmer’s wife who had lived on an isolated farm in the west country in the early 1960s when she and her husband had encountered serious financial difficulties . She told me that after they had advertised their farm for sale they received a letter from a London solicitor of whom they had never heard and certainly never had any dealings with inviting them to a meeting where they would ‘hear something which would be of benefit’ to them. The farmers didn’t quite know what to do about this, they were very suspicious indeed and decided to ignore the letter. They then received a visit from representatives of the London solicitors who told them that they knew exactly how serious their financial problems were – although the farmers certainly hadn’t told them anything, these men knew an awful lot about them – and that they had ‘clients’ who didn’t want to buy their farm off them, but wanted them to move out of the farm for a number of months, not visit the farm at all, but then return and carry on life as normal. In return for doing this, they would receive the full asking price of the farm. By now the farmers had concluded that they were dealing with crooks and refused the wonderful deal. The representatives arrived in the west country several more times over the next few weeks to tell the farmers what idiots they were in an attempt to persuade them to change their minds. The farmers sold up as planned and days before the sale went through, the men from London arrived with used notes in cases and started yelling at the farmers that they were a pair of fools, all they had to do was lend them their farm for a few months and they’d never have to give up farming. A few months later, after the Great Train Robbery, the farmers had the fright of their lives when it was revealed that the robbers had found a remote farm remarkably similar to theirs to hole up in. The farmers that I knew of course never had any proof that the spivs who had been pressurising them were anything to do with Mr Biggs and co but they never forgot about it. Or the name of the London solicitors who had written to them out of the blue, who knew all about them and turned up in a flash car with cases of used notes. It was a firm called Theodore Goddard.

The wiki entry for Bertrand Russell mentions that many of his family suffered from severe mental illness and that on one occasion John – who did become the 4th Earl Russell despite Bertrand’s best efforts – gave a speech in the Lords that was so ‘outlandish’ that Hansard refused to record it, the only time that this has ever happened. Sounds like those letters that John used to write about his father – alleging that his father was having sex with his wife, was trying to purloin his children and was doing terrible things but no-one would touch him because he was a famous philosopher, mathematician, Nobel laureate and an Earl.

So that is the story of Bertrand Russell and his barking mad relatives who could never be believed on any matter. I have been trying to find out whether Bertrand Russell had any connections to anyone at the North Wales Hospital Denbigh but so far I have drawn a blank. Perhaps Dafydd would like to enlighten us.

It has occurred to me – a highly promiscuous man who wasn’t too concerned about other people’s welfare and who felt able to use anyone including members of his family in any way that he wanted subsequently finds himself surrounded by family members who suffer from unfathomable serious health and mental health problems which worsen with time. Anyone heard of neurosyphilis?

Conrad Russell, supporter of Angela, fared somewhat better than his elder brother, although Conrad did admit to becoming so depressed when younger that he attempted suicide twice. After Conrad died, his son Nicholas became the 6th Earl Russell. Nicholas was a Labour politician. He was a member of CND, active in the Co-Operative Party, campaigns officer for the RNIB and Chair of Disability Labour, the representative on the NEC’s equalities sub-committee. In 2010 Nicholas was elected a Labour Councillor for Waltham Forest Borough Council. He died in 2014 and his son John Francis Russell became the 7th Earl. John Francis Russell was a Lib Dem Councillor for Lewisham Borough Council, 2006-10. He is the Chair of Trustees for the charity Wide Horizons.

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No Ordinary Methods – Supplementary Post

My post ‘No Ordinary Methods’ detailed some of the practices and connections of George Carman – and how so many parts of his life and career touched on those who concealed the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal. I have more information concerning Carman’s network, so I’m writing this post for readers interested in how Carman came to be so powerful, who else assisted him and indeed how many people knew about his violent, abusive conduct towards many people but kept silent.

George Carman was a member of the Garrick, a club favoured by lawyers, actors, politicians, newspaper editors and High Court judges. Carman was friends with a fellow member of the Garrick, Sir Robin Day – they had been barristers together in the early 1950s. Sir Ronnie Waterhouse was also a member, as were a number of others who concealed wrongdoing in north Wales. Joshua Rozenberg the legal journalist and broadcaster was a regular at the Garrick in the 1990s – Rozenberg maintains that by then Carman had pretty much stopped visiting the Garrick.

The drinking holes, clubs and gambling dens in Manchester frequented by George Carman included the Embassy Club, where he drank with journalists.

His favourite watering holes in London included:

El Vinos – Carman was often seen at this Fleet Street favourite for lawyers and journos, accompanied by Mungo Fitzpatrick and James Crespi QC. Crespi managed to marry a ‘young nightclub hostess’ who left him after three weeks.

Dalys Wine Bar – this was opposite the Royal Courts of Justice and from the mid-80s was Carman’s regular starting point for a night out.

Wine Press – a regular haunt of Carman’s. He used to drink here with Paul Callan, a feature writer for the Mirror and Express.

Jimmy’z Bar, Sloane Avenue. Carman socialised here with his friend Christopher Moran, a property tycoon. Also with Aidan Barclay – the Chairman of Press Holdings, the owner of the Ritz, Carman’s client and friend.

Blondes, a Dover Street club – a popular haunt of sex workers and gangsters. Carman hung out here with George Best, as well as viscious criminal Frankie Fraser.

Carman was a regular at Le Rififi, Hay Hill, Mayfair. John Obertelli, the owner of Le Rififi, was a friend of Carman. Carman also frequented other ‘gentlemen’s clubs’ such as Bruton Suite, Toppers, Chaplins and L’Hirondelle.

In 1988 Carman visited Amsterdam with his son Dominic. George took the opportunity to tour the sex clubs.

Carman’s favourite casinos in London included Aspinalls, Curzon Street and the Playboy Club. He knew the Manchester casino located next to the Midland Hotel because in the 1970s Carman had applied for their licence on behalf of Cyril Stein, the Chairman of Ladbrookes.

At various stages in his career George Carman lived in Sale, Hale, Wilmslow, Altrincham (until 1980), Huntingdon, Evelyn Gardens Chelsea (1987-93), Wimbledon (both in Marryat Road and in Wimbledon Village) (1993 onwards).

Carman’s close colleagues in chambers will have known much of what he got up to. They included his junior counsel in London, Hugh Tomlinson, who lived in Islington -presumably near to two other junior barristers who had worked in Carman’s chambers, Tony Blair and Cherie Booth.

Frederic Reynold QC was Carman’s London chambers colleague for 29 yrs. Reynold specialises in employment law and has advised both the Equal Opportunities Commission and the BMA.

Fred Turner was a junior clerk in Carman’s chambers. Carman’s senior clerk when Carman was working both in Manchester and London was Ronnie Lynch- he had homes in Weybridge and Salford and commuted between the two.

Another solicitor that Carman knew well was Fabian Williams of James Chapman and Co in Manchester – Williams sent many briefs to Carman and Carman was godfather to Williams’s son.

Carman worked as a Recorder at Knightsbridge Crown Court but resigned in Dec 1983 – so he’ll have been very well known there.

‘No Ordinary Methods’ named many of the high profile clients of Carman, but there were more besides.

After he successfully defended Jeremy Thorpe, Carman acted for the engineering company William Press after a dawn raid upon them by the Inland Revenue – shortly after this William Press became AMEC following a merger.

In 1986 Carman acted for the Chief Constable of South Yorkshire, Peter Wright, after Arthur Scargill sued him for false imprisonment. Wright had Scargill’s activities monitored using officers from South Yorkshire. Carman won the case. Peter Wright may well have been an old buddy of Carman’s anyway, because Wright joined the Manchester Police in 1954 and by 1975 was a Chief Superintendent in the Greater Manchester Police. In 1979 Wright was Deputy Chief Constable of Merseyside Police and was in that role at the time of the Toxteth riots. He was Chief Constable of South Yorkshire 1983-90. So Wright was at the helm during the glorious days of South Yorkshire Police officers removing their numbers and covering their faces whilst they beat up striking miners at Orgreave as well as screwing up at Hillsborough and then falsifying statements to back up their untruthful version of events. Wright himself amended reports in an attempt to deflect blame away from the South Yorkshire Police even after the grim truth became known. But the only way was up for Peter Wright – he was President of ACPO, a member of the Parole Review Committee 1987-89 and after retirement an advisor to the MoD police 1991-94.

Carman acted for Joan Collins in 1986 and for Liz Hurley in 1996. He won damages from the Sun for Jason Connery and Stefanie Powers.

Carman won a case for M&S against Granada after they alleged that M&S were involved with the use of child labour.

He represented the Observer after Edwina Currie sued them – Richard Hartley QC appeared for Currie and Carman’s old friend Justice Drake presided. Currie won but it was observed after she published her diaries some years later that the information in them was sufficient for the Observer to have appealed the decision. They never did. Currie also admitted in her diaries that she and other Tories – as well as Thatcher – knew that Sir Peter Morrison, Thatcher’s aide, was molesting under-aged boys. Some of those boys were living in children’s homes in north Wales. Morrison was MP for Chester – not a million miles away from where Carman lived when he worked in Manchester.

Another case of Carman’s also saw him up against Richard Hartley QC with Justice Drake (Sir Maurice Drake) presiding – that was when Carman acted for the People after Mona Bauwens and David Mellor sued them. That case led to the end of David Mellor’s political career.

‘No Ordinary Methods’ explains why I suspect that Carman may have been throwing cases or doing undeclared deals behind closed doors – I explained that I suspected that something along these lines may have happened when Carman acted for the Guardian in 1997 after Jonathan Aitken sued them for libel. Although Aitken was supposedly thrashed at the hands of Carman, Aitken remained on remarkably good terms with him and escaped comparatively unscathed from both losing the libel case and being convicted of perjury. There were a few other aspects to the Aitken case as well. When Alan Rusbridger (the editor of the Guardian)heard that Aitken was going to sue, he stated that the Guardian needed to retain George Carman before Aitken did. Aitken’s side attempted to settle before Court – Lord Saatchi acting on behalf of Aitken had lunch with Rusbridger before the trial but obviously no settlement was thrashed out.

The judge who presided over Aitken’s libel case was Justice Oliver Popplewell. Popplewell ruled that the case should be tried by a judge without a jury. Carman took the decision to Appeal – the Appeal was heard by Tom Bingham, the Lord Chief Justice, who upheld Popplewell’s decision. Popplewell, Rusbridger and Carman were all members of the Garrick.

In 1975 Popplewell, in his capacity as a barrister, defended his 18 year old godson at his trial for credit card fraud – a young man called Stephen Fry. Popplewell and his wife had been friends with Fry’s parents for many years. The Garrick contains many actors as members. At one point Popplewell was Vice-Chair of the Parole Board.

In 1990 Carman acted for businessman Rolf Schild in a libel case against Express Newspapers. Carman lost against Robert Alexander QC who was representing the Express. Presiding judge William Mars-Jones upheld an Appeal against Carman. Nevertheless, Carman continued to enjoy good relations with Sir John Junor the editor of the Sunday Express and they had a very jolly lunch together not long afterwards.

Robert Alexander QC became a Tory peer and was Chair of the Bar Council 1985-86. He represented Jeffrey Archer in his libel case against the Star in 1987 – the case that the Star later took to appeal when new evidence emerged… Alexander retired from the Bar in 1989 and was Chair of Nat West bank 1989-99. He was Chair of JUSTICE, 1990-05 and was Chancellor of the University of Exeter, 1998-05.

William Mars-Jones grew up in north Wales and retained many connections there. He was President of UCNW (now known as Bangor University) whilst Gwynne the lobotomist and paedophiles’ friend was employed in the Student Health Centre. Mars-Jones was a member of the Garrick.

Carman won libel actions for Philip Oppenheimer and Norman Tebbit against David Bookbinder, the Labour leader of Derbyshire County Council.

Celebrity friends of Carman’s included David Tang – who was friends with Sarah Ferguson and Diana -and Conrad Black and Barbara Amiel (Carman was a regular at their dinner parties). Piers Morgan was an admirer of Carman.

Carman acted in many cases involving sport. Benetton were charged with interfering with the refuelling equipment on Formula One driver Michael Schumacher’s car before the German Grand Prix in July 1994 – a second Benetton car had gone up in flames. Benetton were also charged with a lesser offence involving cheating as well. Benetton Chairman Flavio Briatore hired Carman to defend the company and the driver when they were due to appear before a hearing of the World Motor Sports Council of the FIA in Paris. The day before the hearing in Sept 1997 Carman met with Max Moseley. Bernie Ecclestone, the Chairman of Formula One, was also present. Carman succeeded in getting the charges against Benetton dropped.

Carman appeared for the Mirror Group when Graham Souness sued the People after they published allegations that Souness had mistreated his wife and about his divorce settlement. Lord Gareth Williams QC represented Souness and Justice Morland presided. Williams and Morland were old pals of Carman. Souness won, although damages were reduced on appeal.

Many of the cases that Carman lost resulted in people being accused of deeply unpleasant things being exonerated – as in the cases of Gordon Anglesea and Peter Adamson. Carman lost when he represented the Mail after they published allegations of sexual abuse involving Indian boys by former charity head Joe Homan. He lost when he represented the Mirror Group over three articles that they published concerning Dr Doolittle aka Dr Anthony Percy, after it was alleged that he failed to attend a seriously injured patient. Carman also lost for the Sunday Express regarding their allegations concerning Peter Bottomley sharing a platform with Martin McGuiness.

In 1996 Carman represented cricketer Imran Khan after Khan was sued by Ian Botham and Allan Lamb. Botham and Lamb were represented by Charles Gray QC and Justice French presided. Carman won the case despite the production in Court of a letter of apology to Botham written by Kahn after the incident concerned.

Carman represented the Sun in 1999 when Bruce Grobbelaar sued them after they accused him of match-fixing. Grobbelaar was represented by a man well acquainted with Carman, Richard Hartley QC. Justice Gray presided. Carman lost the case. After Carman died, the Sun appealed and won.

In 1999 the News Of The World alleged that Lawrence Dallaglio dealt in coke and ecstasy during the 1997 Lions tour of South Africa. Dallaglio resigned as captain and pulled out of a planned Australian tour. Twenty four hours later he held a press conference, denying any drug taking in 1997. The RFU appointed a panel to examine the allegations. The Chair was Sir John Kay, a judge known to Carman – also the judge who issued a High Court injunction against me upon the affidavits of two Gwynedd social workers who both perjured themselves. One had never met me, one had met me at most three times. The injunction was granted because I had written too many letters of complaint about Gwynedd Social Services, Gwynedd Health Authority and Clwyd Health Authority re the misconduct of their mental health staff.

After Sir John Kay’s panel considered Dallaglio’s  case, charges were laid against Dallaglio, who then met with Carman. The tribunal was due to be Chaired by retired High Court judge Oliver Popplewell – who had presided over Jonathan Aitken’s libel case in which Carman had acted for the Guardian and won. Carman persuaded the prosecutor Richard Lissack QC to drop the drugs charges in a ‘behind the scenes’ deal – Carman then got Dallaglio off the charge of bringing the game into disrepute.

Charles Kennedy once asked Carman at a party if he’d like to be a Lib Dem peer – Kennedy asked Carman to speak to Lord Razzall about it. Yet Carman never appeared on the Lib Dem peers list, although no reason was ever given.

A reader has sent me a link to an article that Carman’s son Dominic penned for the Guardian in Oct 2012, in which he explains his fears that his father may have covered-up for Jimmy Savile. Paul Connew the editor of the Sunday Mirror in 1994 maintained that at the time, the Sunday Mirror had ‘credible and convincing evidence’ that Savile had abused two women whilst they were in a children’s home years previously. Connew explained that the in-house lawyers at the Mirror Group plc didn’t dare risk publishing because they feared that Savile would sue them, using George Carman. Dominic explains that in 1992, Savile’s lawyers retained Carman ‘over a different matter’ – he does not say what. Although Carman had previously been very good mates with the Mirror Group and had acted for them himself many times, in Oct 1993 he acted against them – successfully – on behalf of Elton John, winning substantial damages. Dominic alleges that it was this that terrified the Mirror Group when they were faced with the decision as to whether to publish the Savile story.

Dominic has missed something here. By 1994, Maxwell was dead and David Montgomery had become Chief Exec of Mirror Group plc – Montgomery had been appointed in 2002. In his capacity as Chief Exec, Montgomery had purchased sizeable portions of the Independent and the Independent On Sunday. In 1994 Gordon Anglesea sued the Independent On Sunday – as well as Private Eye and HTV – for alleging that he had sexually abused boys in care in north Wales. Carman acted for the defence. Carman lost – as I explained in my post ‘Y Gwir Yn Y Byd – Additional Comments’, I really do believe that Carman threw that case. A matter of weeks later, one of the young men who gave evidence that he had been abused by Anglesea was found hanging from the stairwell of his block of flats in Wrexham. A verdict of suicide was returned. If one was going to hang oneself it would be more usual to do so in one’s own flat, not in the stairwell. In 1992 five witnesses to the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal were killed in an arson attack on a building after being invited to a party there. One survivor who publicly stated that witnesses were being murdered was found dead himself shortly afterwards. (For the full story regarding this mass murder, see post ‘The Silence Of The Welsh Lambs’). In 2016 Gordon Anglesea was imprisoned for the historical sexual abuse of boys in care in north Wales. HTV, Private Eye or the Indie On Sunday did not take a case to appeal, although they were forced to pay Anglesea huge damages in 1994.

Dominic mentions in his article that after the Coronation Street actor Peter Adamson aka Len Fairclough had used Carman to get him off an indecent assault charge, no action was taken even when some years later Adamson sold a story to the Sun admitting that he had been guilty exactly as charged.

Carman had that effect on people. They were very, very frightened of him.

 

No Ordinary Methods

My most recent reading material has been Dominic Carman’s biography of his father George the much feared Rottweiler of a barrister, ‘No Ordinary Man’. George Carman has featured on this blog in posts such as ‘Y Gwir Yn Erbyn Y Byd’, ‘Y Gwir Yn Y Byd – A Few Additional Comments’ and ‘My How Things Haven’t Changed’, in which I discuss Carman’s role in the 1994 libel action brought by Gordon Anglesea after Private Eye and others named Anglesea as having sexually abused boys in care in north Wales and Carman’s role in Jeremy Thorpe’s trial in 1979. Successfully defending Thorpe after he stood trial for conspiracy and incitement to murder Norman Scott was what made Carman’s name and took him to London from Manchester where he had previously been based.

I speculated in ‘Y Gwir Yn Erbyn Y Byd – A Few Additional Comments’ that Carman had deliberately thrown the case when he defended Private Eye et al against Anglesea’s accusation of libel. By the time that Carman took that case he was known as the best libel barrister in the UK. He had built up an international reputation and the mention of his name was enough to cause people to settle actions out of Court. Anglesea had indeed abused boys in care in north Wales, he later went to prison for it – Carman was famed for trawling through people’s knicker drawers if he was facing them in Court and north Wales was heaving with evidence of and witnesses to the crimes of Anglesea and co. Carman losing that case was inexplicable.

I knew that Carman was a massively heavy drinker, was addicted to gambling, was violent to all of his partners and was so feared by the police and others that his partners could find no help even when they were visibly broken and bleeding. I knew that certainly when he worked in Manchester Carman spent his time socialising with what are euphemistically known as figures from the ‘underworld’, as well as with prostitutes, with bent police officers, ‘celebrities’, journalists and numerous other people. I also knew that when Carman was acting in a trial, crucial damning ‘evidence’ would be delivered to his team, literally during the trial, at a crucial point which would frequently win him the case.

The most famous example of this occurred when the South African journalist Jani Allan faced Carman in Court in 1992 after bringing a libel action against Channel 4. A crucial part of the case rested on Allan’s denial of an affair with a married man. Just after Allan swore on oath that she would not have such a relationship, a package arrived at the Court addressed to Carman. He refused to open it, but Jan Tomalin – the in-house lawyer for Channel 4 – seemed to know that this package was good news and she opened it. Inside was a notebook which Jani Allan had used as a diary in 1984-85 and in which she had recorded her sexual fantasies whilst undergoing psychiatric care. She was finished. If I was Jani Allan I’d want to know how anyone – let alone Carman’s team – got their hands on that, but I have found no references to any such investigation.

Dominic’s book however makes it clear that Carman was far more unpleasant, ruthless and questionable than anyone ever previously dared suggest. There are indications that he had been badly damaged when young by incredibly harsh treatment at St Joseph’s School in Blackpool run by the Irish Christian Brothers – years later a number of former pupils alleged abuse during their time there. Carman simply didn’t speak about his experiences at St Joseph’s.

Carman was very, very well networked. He would have been in a position to thrash out deals behind the scenes with a whole variety of people.

Carman enjoyed being seen in the company of women and even cultivated the image of a womaniser. I had heard rumours that he was bisexual, but one thing that I learnt from Dominic’s book is that Carman’s first wife maintained that Carman was never interested in her sexually, that their marriage was unconsummated, that he received postcards which were obviously from men rather than women and that she believed that he was gay, but he kept what she believed were sexual relationships with other men very quiet indeed. This marriage only lasted three years and Carman failed to mention it in his Who’s Who entry. Indeed, the lady concerned claims that Carman worked very hard to ensure that her account of a truly dreadful relationship never made it into the public domain.

Carman’s second wife, Dominic’s mother, stated that after the children were born Carman stopped having sex with her. Her story is remarkably similar to that told by his first wife – excessive drinking, huge gambling debts and a very high level of physical and mental abuse. Dominic remembers witnessing his father’s violent attacks on his mother.

Carman had a third wife. Guess what – he undermined and belittled her, forced her to give up her career and spend her days watching his performances in Court instead and didn’t have a sexual relationship with her either.

As well as these three marriages, Carman had numerous other close friendships with women and was regularly seen hanging out with teenage ‘hostesses’ in ‘gentlemen’s clubs’ and women who were known to be working as prostitutes (not only those considered to be ‘high class call girls’).

From 1986 Carman had a long term relationship with a barrister called Karen Phillips who hung out with showbiz folk including Julia Morley, Russ Abbott and Bruce Forsyth’s wife Winnie. She was also friends with Dr Veronica Varney and Martin Landau. Elton John’s wife Renate was co-director of one of Phillips’s companies and Carman acted with Karen for Renate in her divorce from Elton. A number of Carman’s clients were friends with Karen including Norman Lamont, Richard Branson, Aidan Barclay and Marco Pierre White.

Between 1980-93 Karen  was also in a relationship with David Green. Carman formed an alliance with Green’s wife whom Carman had traced through ‘detective work’. Interestingly enough although Green was a wealthy man who was able to supply Phillips with a flat in an expensive part of London and a BMW, his company ended up going into liquidation – although Karen succeeded in keeping possession of the valuable flat and even the car. Phillips gave up law in the early 1990s and became involved with Charity Work, evolving into a lady who lunches. At one point she lent her flat to Sarah Ferguson – one of Karen’s mates was a friend of Fergie’s.

Towards the end of Carman’s life he became very angry when photos of Phillips in the company of boxing promoter Jarvis Astaire began appearing in glossy magazines and gossip columns. Carman watched Phillips, followed her and discussed her activities with another lawyer who worked with her. Phillips was someone else who maintained that throughout her very long relationship with Carman they never had sex.

Carman’s very first relationship with a woman was with Anne Meuller whilst they were both at Oxford. Anne Meuller ended up breaking their engagement off because she was unable to cope with Carman’s bisexuality – one presumes that Carman ended up making a nuisance of himself because Anne engaged the services of solicitors to threaten legal action against him. Anne later became Dame Anne and was the most successful civil servant of her generation, being appointed as the Second Permanent Secretary in the Cabinet Office (1984-87) and then moving to the Treasury (1987-90). She was Chancellor of De Montfort University (1991-95), a Director of BSkyB as well as CARE International and was associated with Manchester Business School. Dame Anne died in 2000 so like Carman is no longer able to answer questions.

For a man who never or rarely had sex with his wives/partners and who spent much of his spare time getting bladdered in clubs with other women whom everyone presumed that he was having sex with, Carman reacted very strongly on the occasions that he suspected his female partners of infidelity. At one point when he (wrongly) believed that one of his wives was having an affair with another man, he violently assaulted the man in question cracking his ribs.

Carman’s whole existence was one of behaving appalling towards other people but this rarely becoming public and Carman rarely facing any consequences. When he was older and famous, various gossip columnists – including Nigel Dempster – encountered him ripped to the tits in clubs in dubious company but not a word was ever printed about it.

After Jeremy Thorpe had been charged but before Carman had relocated to London, Carman crashed his car whilst drunk – until this incident Carman regularly drove whilst well over the limit. He was arrested and taken to Platt Lane Police Station. He declined the breathalyser and called his solicitor Ian Burton. Carman did the ‘don’t you know who I am’ bit. The plods in the station didn’t know who he was, so Carman told them that he was ‘standing Counsel to the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester’, ie. James Anderton. Even the plods knew who he was and Carman demanded that the police phone Anderton. They rang Anderton’s home and his wife answered – she contacted Anderton who was at the time out at a dinner. When Anderton heard that Carman was in police custody, a Superintendent in uniform was despatched to Platt Lane Police Station. Whilst waiting for the cavalry, Carman was busy telling the plods in the station what to do and raising points of law, which the plods would be in no position to know actually existed or not. Carman was actually charged and Burton represented him in Court, although Carman wrote the mitigation speech. He received a mild slap – a £150 fine and a one year ban. Dominic Carman commented that the ‘press comment was fairly modest’ – even though the barrister who had been retained for one of the most high profile criminal trials of the 20 century had crashed his car whilst pissed and been arrested. Carman’s punishment on a professional level was to be restricted to working in Altrincham County Court for a year, issuing judgement summons’s.

John Anderton was of course the notoriously unhinged Chief Constable who had a bee in his bonnet about ‘immorality’, hated prostitutes so much that some of his own officers speculated that he might have been the person carrying out the murders for which Peter Sutcliffe was later convicted, stated that people who contracted AIDS were ‘swirling in a human cesspit of their own making’ and maintained that he was a prophet. Anderton was famous for stating that he would ‘clean up’ Manchester, especially in terms of porn, sex work and police corruption. An account of Anderton’s colleagues and their relationships with the paedophiles’ friends can be found in my post ‘Top Of The Cops’ and ‘A Stalker’s Network’.

Carman will have known a few other people as well as Anderton. In previous posts, I speculated that Carman will have known about the North Wales Paedophile Ring and may have even known some of the paedophiles’ friends from the north Wales/Cheshire ring as a result of his boozing and clubbing with bent police officers, gangsters and journos in Manchester. Dominic’s book mentions some of the locations at which Carman lived – Carman lived in Wilmslow and Altrincham. Those areas covered the location of the Cheshire paedophile ring and were not a million miles away from Chester, the constituency of Sir Peter Morrison the MP who was abusing boys in care in north Wales. Carman will also have found out a great deal by being marooned working in Altrincham County Court – although he’ll have known a great deal anyway, because before and after that his duties as a barrister took him to Courts in Cheshire. John Stalker, the Greater Manchester Police Officer featured in my posts ‘Top Of The Cops’ and ‘A Stalker’s Network’, also lived in Cheshire – as did great swathes of the professional classes who worked in Manchester.

Carman didn’t move to London until 1980, but he was already very well-networked by the time that he acted for Thorpe.

Carman read law at Balliol College, Oxford. Whilst there he was friends with Dick Taverne (who later became a Labour MP, but then defected to the SDP – he is now in the Lords). Patrick Mayhew read law with him – the Patrick Mayhew who later was the legal assessor for the GMC when Dr Morris Fraser was allowed to continue working as a psychiatrist despite convictions for paedophilia, the Patrick Mayhew who in his capacity as Attorney General authorised contempt of Court proceedings against me on the basis of Dr Tony Francis’s (Dr X’s) perjury, after I alleged that serious abuses were happening in the north Wales psychiatric services. Carman also knew barrister Stanley Brodie at Oxford and shared a room with George Carver, who later became Deputy Director of the CIA. He knew Sir Robin Day – who was also big mates with Sir Ronnie Waterhouse – and William Rees-Mogg. Carman was also friends with Vivian Price – who was the best man at Carman’s first wedding – and later became one of Carman’s clients as well. Oh – and Carman was friends with a man called Jeremy Thorpe. Nicolas Browne-Wilkinson who later became a Lord Justice of Appeal was at Oxford with Carman.

After graduation, Carman spent a short time in London and worked as a libel reader for the News of the World. He tried his hand at business – he set a girl up as a masseuse in a flat in Great Portland Street (the GMC offices are in Great Portland Street), but the girl disappeared after she was faced with a client who expected rather more than a massage. Carman had paid rent on the flat in advance, so was left out of pocket.

Carman looked for a pupillage in London and used the connections of his former tutor at Balliol to do this. He was taken on as the pupil of Neil Lawson who later became Chairman of the Law Commission and a High Court judge.

However Carman discovered that he was far too poor to afford to continue with a pupillage in London – particularly in those days, one really needed a private income to sustain oneself as a pupil barrister – and he returned to Blackpool (by now his mother was dying). Carman took up a pupillage in Manchester with Godfrey Heilpern – who acted for Myra Hindley in her 1966 trial. Readers may remember how many of the corrupt lawyers on the Chester and Wales Circuit who assisted the paedophiles’ friends were involved in that trial – Heilpern will have known all of them, including Ronnie Waterhouse. Joseph Cantley was working in chambers in Manchester at this time – Cantley later presided over the trial of Jeremy Thorpe – as was Fenton Atkinson, who presided over the trial of Myra Hindley and Ian Brady. Carman became friendly with Sir Basil Nield, a Recorder of Manchester and was also popular with Sir Robertson Crichton, who was a Recorder of Manchester. Carman was mates with solicitor John Budd and was also admired by Gerald (Lord) Gardiner, Leonard Kaplan, Robert McCrindle and Jack Nahum QC.

Carman’s first wife was the daughter of a local Tory grandee. Carman was persuaded to put himself forward as a Parliamentary candidate and he got as far as being shortlisted for Salford for the Tories. (Whilst Carman was at Oxford his tutor Richard Crossman – who held a series of Ministerial posts in Harold Wilson’s Gov’t – had asked him to consider standing for Parliament.)

Between 1966-71 Carman worked on a great many personal injury cases. These frequently involved industrial injury and Carman was often instructed by the trade union solicitors Thompsons. Thompsons were brothers Brian and Robin, two champagne socialists from Hampstead with close links to trade union leaders. Nic Carter, who set up the Thompsons Manchester office, socialised with Carman.

Carman had begun to land High Court work in London whilst he was still in Manchester. He was helped by John Gorna, a well connected solicitor who was described by his daughter as a member of the ‘Catholic mafia’. Gorna was godfather to Dominic Carman.

John Gorna was a Director of Manchester United and gave Carman work for the club. Carman advised the club’s Chairman Louis Edwards and his son Martin. Carman acted for George Best when Best was sued by a girlfriend – it was Gorna and Sir Matt Busby who retained Carman. The case was unexpectedly settled quickly. Carman also successfully defended George Best’s mate, Pat Crerand – another Man United player – when he broke someone’s jaw and was charged with GBH. Carman became good mates with George Best but the friendship ended abruptly after Best had an affair with Carman’s wife. When Carman lived in Altrincham his next door neighbour was Willy Morgan, the recently retired captain of Man Utd. Another neighbour was solicitor John Elliot, the son of Charles Elliot QC.

Carman worked with celebs and legal bigwigs in Manchester but he also slummed it in some well-known dives, including the Nile Club on Moss Side and Russian Dave’s which was known for prostitution. During this time Carman was regularly hiring prostitutes but was also having gay relationships.

Carman was turned down for silk in 1970 by the office of the Labour Lord Chancellor Lord Gardiner. Distraught, he went to chat to his old Oxford mate Dick Taverne, who was then Finance Secretary to the Treasury – Taverne had worked with Gardiner on the Family Law Reform Committee.

The following year not only was Carman made a QC, but he was also offered a place in the chambers of Sir Peter Rawlinson who had recently been appointed as Ted Heath’s Attorney General. Carman turned it down because he lacked the money to move to London. Carman was certainly very tempted by the offer – but if you’re going to lose thousands every month in casinos you’re going to be seriously short of money.

Carman stopped driving after the car crash that caused him to call on the services of James Anderton, after that he depended upon taxis and lifts. He was ably assisted by a retired Manchester police sergeant John Cooper who worked at the Manchester courts – after bouts of all night drinking Carman would summon Cooper who would drive him home.

As well as personal injury work resulting from industrial accidents, Carman built up quite a name for himself in personal injury cases as a result of what Dominic Carman quaintly terms ‘health authority blunders’. Carman’s adversary in the High Court in Manchester in many such cases was Patrick Russell QC, who later became an Appeal Court judge. As with so many of Carman’s ‘court room adversaries’, Russell and Carman seemed to get on very well and they were good at negotiating deals when they encountered each other in personal injury cases. One of Carman’s notable successes after a ‘health authority blunder’ secured a settlement of £310k after someone was left a paraplegic – so that was one hell of a blunder. Carman’s last case of this nature was in 1987 – by which time he was in London. He secured a settlement of £550k from Berkshire Health Authority for a 14 year old girl who suffered permanent injury after falling out of her parents car in the grounds of Eton College. How falling out of one’s parents car on the premises of the country’s most elite public school could ever be the fault of Berkshire Health Authority I cannot imagine, but then I’m not George Carman.

Although it was Carman’s success in defending Thorpe that made him a household name and took him to London in 1980, Sir David Napley – Thorpe’s solicitor who retained Carman to act for Thorpe – was alleged to have spotted Carman’s genius in 1973 when Carman acted for James Hogan, the manager of Battersea funfair. Carman had been instructed by John Gorna after Hogan was charged with the manslaughter of five children as a result of gross negligence, when an accident that should never have happened did. The case was heard at the Old Bailey – Roger Lane-Smith, a solicitor from Gorna’s firm, stayed in London with Carman for the duration of the case. Carman’s defence of Hogan was actually predicated on the argument that Hogan was so utterly incompetent that he should never have been given responsibility for managing the funfair. The strategy worked, Carman won. Napley had been involved in the trial himself, he had represented the engineer Frank Etches.

It was after this that Napley started instructing Carman.

Thorpe was not the only politician in deep shit whom Napley represented – Napley was Greville Janner’s solicitor when Janner was interviewed over child sex offences in the early 1990s. Napley was so certain that Janner would be charged that he retained Carman – but of course charges were dropped although the CPS later admitted that a prosecution should have gone ahead.

My post ‘My How Things Haven’t Changed’ discusses Thorpe’s career and his trial which I did know quite a lot about already having lived in west Somerset whilst Thorpe was busy in north Devon, but Dominic’s book supplies a few more details of which I was unaware.

Thorpe’s solicitor was initially Lord Goodman – someone else who was able to extract people from rather difficult situations – but he then hired Napley. Napley instructed Carman – but Napley had quoted a staggeringly low fee to Thorpe. Furthermore, James Goldsmith was footing the bill for a substantial chunk of it – but Carman allegedly didn’t know this. Carman did meet Thorpe for dinner on more than one occasion at Thorpe’s house at Orme Square and noticed the treasures within. Thorpe’s wife Marion had been left a wealthy woman after her divorce from the Earl of Harewood. Carman was representing Thorpe for a very low fee – he was told that the reward would be his reputation. So presumably Napley, Carman and co were pretty sure that they would be winning that case – a bit of an assumption in view of the enormous amount of evidence against Thorpe. But the tarot’s proved to be accurate – they did win.

The committal hearing for Thorpe and his co-defendants was held at Minehead Magistrates Court and Napley turned up at Minehead in his Rolls. I remember much over-awing of the bumpkins happening at the time, so this sort of grandiosity won’t have been accidental.

Kingsley Napley partner Christopher Murray later described Gareth Williams QC – later Lord Williams – as ‘very cunning’. Williams acted for one of Thorpe’s co-defendants George Deakin, a man from south Wales. Gareth Williams was from north Wales and was acquainted with many of the paedophiles’ friends. On the first day of the committal hearing Williams applied for reporting restrictions to be lifted, arguing that the interests of his client were different from his co-defendants. This derailed Norman Scott and his team who had to cope with reporting and publicity that they had not expected.

Over the next three weeks, Napley phoned Carman daily to review tactics. He was phoning Carman because Carman wasn’t at the committal hearing – Napley had insisted on doing that himself, although no-one was ever told why Napley followed this rather unusual path.

‘No Ordinary Man’ reproduces parts of the transcript of the Thorpe trial, particularly Cantley’s hectoring and downright abuse of Norman Scott both during cross-examination and in the summing up. One is reminded of how accurate Peter Cook’s satire on the bent old git was. Dominic observes that Norman Scott was ‘problematic’ because he was a ‘tough witness’ and put up a ‘good performance’, even recalling distinguishing marks on Thorpe’s body when it was suggested that Thorpe had never had a relationship with him. Yes Dominic – as I’ve mentioned previously on this blog, most of the west country put Norman’s ‘good performance’ down to the fact that he was telling the truth.

Dominic reveals that it was Lord Widgery, the Lord Chief Justice, who agreed to change the date of the trial after Callaghan announced the date of the forthcoming General Election, in which Thorpe would be standing. Dominic also reveals that Carman attempted to have Auberon Waugh, the Private Eye journo who stood against Thorpe in north Devon at the General Election, jailed if he didn’t ‘tone down’ his ‘election rhetoric’. Carman actually obtained an injunction against Waugh preventing him from distributing an election address leaflet – Carman’s original request to the Lord Chief Justice was refused, so Carman literally went straight down the corridor to the Court of Appeal and dear old Lord Denning the Master of the Rolls overturned the Lord Chief Justice’s decision and granted the injunction.

The prosecuting counsel at Thorpe’s trial was Peter Taylor QC, the son of a Top Doctor from Newcastle. Taylor had handled many personal injury cases on the North Eastern Circuit. Dominic’s book reveals that Taylor was most helpful to Thorpe’s defence barrister Carman. Taylor disclosed privately to Carman that there was ‘significant evidence’ proving that Thorpe was gay, which included a sexually explicit postcard that Thorpe had sent to a man whom he had had a relationship with. Thus Carman ensured that Thorpe was never directly questioned about his homosexuality. And of course Carman famously didn’t call Thorpe to give evidence. Dominic believes that in disclosing the info to Carman ‘Taylor’s honourable gesture reflected his strong commitment to fairness and objectivity’ and that Carman was ‘relieved’ ‘for the integrity of the Bar’ that Taylor acted as he did – it means that there  was no additional evidence of homosexuality in the prosecution case, so it was ‘a good deal for Thorpe’.

Not only that, but Taylor ‘avoided going for Thorpe’s jugular throughout the case and the closing speech was no exception’ – it was interpreted by the press as sympathetic to Thorpe. Indeed Taylor explained that Thorpe’s career had been ‘blighted by the Scott affair’, it was ‘a tragedy of truly Greek or Shakespearian proportions – the slow but inevitable destruction of a man by the stamp of one defect’.

Carman of course did go for the jugular – in his closing speech he maintained that Thorpe’s life ‘had more than its fair share of grief and agony…he had the misfortune to meet Norman Scott’. As for Norman, according to Carman he was ‘sad, mad or bad or a combination of all three, I care not’.

Whilst they were awaiting the verdict, Thorpe and his co-defendants lunched in a private room at the Old Bailey on smoked salmon, beef and Chablis – the grub was provided by Thorpe’s Liberal Party friend and colleague the molester Clement Freud.

The Carmans stayed in touch with Thorpe and Dominic recalls that in 2001 he was lunching with him when it was revealed that Thorpe had ‘joked’ to Carman that if he got him off he’d make him a High Court judge. In reality though even after Carman did do as required, it was many months before Thorpe even wrote to thank Carman and when he did, Thorpe simply observed that ‘as for the Bench, I am sure that it will only be a matter of time’.

So what became of the esteemed lawyers after the trial? Carman’s fees rocketed and work flooded in. Peter Taylor became a judge, Chaired the Hillsborough Disaster Inquiry and between 1992-96 was Lord Chief Justice. Judge Joseph Cantley disappeared into oblivion – as Peter Cook quipped when he was playing the part of the Biased Judge summing up for the jury ‘and now you must retire – as must I – and consider your verdict of not guilty’. Dominic reveals that at the time of the trial Carman had known Cantley for 20 years. Cantley had been the Presiding judge on the Northern Circuit where Carman had practised. Cantley was the son of a Top Doctor, a product of Manchester Grammar School and Manchester University who unusually had married the widow of his pupil master.

So had there been ‘a strong commitment to fairness and objectivity’? Or the most disgraceful crucifixion of a man who had been the target of a murder plot by a bunch of corrupt lawyers and politicians who were all connected with each other and realised that goodies would come their way as long as they let a potential murderer – who was connected to them – walk free?

The official story is that Carman was plucked from obscurity in the north to a glittering life in London after working miracles at Thorpe’s trial. But what if someone in London knew that there was a barrister in the north who boozed excessively, who had huge gambling debts, who was close to scores of crooked people from all walks of life but who was also well-connected with ‘respectable’ members of society – someone who not only needed a barrister for the Thorpe trial but who thought that such a barrister might prove very useful if they were based in London rather than Manchester?

A theme one constantly encounters when reading about George Carman and his excesses is that people ‘liked him’. But people were also very, very frightened of him. Probably far too frightened to admit that they didn’t like him at all.

After the Thorpe trial, Carman acted in two more high profile trials before he moved to London.

In 1980 in Leeds Carman represented Lord Kagan in the Kagan Textiles Case – Kagan’s manufactured the famous Gannex raincoats as sported by Harold Wilson and Prince Philip even after the shit hit the fan. Kagan was found guilty of theft and false accounting and went to prison. He kept his seat in the Lords and whilst he was in prison he negotiated a business deal to supply the prison service with uniforms.

In Carman’s last big case in Manchester he acted for the Police Federation on behalf of four police officers who ‘had been involved’ in the death of Jimmy Kelley in Liverpool. The officers received support from the local MP – a Harold Wilson. A verdict of ‘death by misadventure’ was returned.

The Police Federation supported North Wales Police’s senior officer Gordon Anglesea throughout his trial for abusing children, supported him in his plans to appeal after he was convicted and offered to pay his legal costs and turned out in force at his funeral to give him a good send off.

When Carman sold his house in Altrincham to move to London, the money that he received from the sale went to pay his gambling debts to the Manchester Playboy Club. Carman had a symbiotic relationship with casinos and clubs – he ran up huge debts with them but they also frequently used him for legal advice when they were applying for licences.

After moving to London Carman became head of New Court Chambers. Throughout the 1980s his supporting juniors in New Court were Michael Brompton and Tony Clover. Brompton knew Carman very well because he shared a room in Chambers with him.

It was in London that Carman developed his reputation as a libel lawyer, particularly for celebs.

Carman handled two libel cases for Richard Branson – Hugh Tomlinson was Carman’s junior for those. Charles Howard QC was his junior when he acted for Phil Lynott and Maria Aitken (in drugs cases rather than libel). Charles Howard married Rosie Boycott, who was editor of the Indie and the Express and who was a friend of Carman – Carman was best man at their wedding.

Carman picked up international work and was involved in cases in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Washington and New York. By the early 1980s he had come to the attention of Sir Denys Roberts, Hong Kong’s Chief Justice and was offered a position as a High Court judge in Hong Kong. Carman really wanted such a position in England – so off he trotted for a chat with his mate Lord Denning, Master of the Rolls. Denning had a word with the Lord Chief Justice, Geoffrey Lane – it is the Lord Chief Justice who makes the recommendations for High Court appointments to the Lord Chancellor. Denning had previously worked with Lord Lane. Sadly Lane told Denning that Carman was not on his list. Carman decided to take up the offer from Hong Kong. However for some reason he changed his mind during a stay in Leicester of all places.

Carman was in Leicester in 1981 for the trial of Dr Leonard Arthur at Leicester Crown Court. Leonard Arthur was on trial after he had ordered nursing staff to provide no care or treatment to a newly born baby with Down’s syndrome. Arthur also prescribed doses of dihydrocodeine. Unsurprisingly the baby died. I can remember this case well and although the prosecution was brought by the anti-abortion group LIFE – and this is what Dominic has recorded in his book – the only reason why anyone at all got to hear about the baby’s death was because a nurse who witnessed what had happened was appalled at the deliberate killing of a disabled, but very much alive, baby. At the time that nurse was constructed as an interfering know nothing who was well above her station. These days she would be called a whistleblower.

Douglas Draycott QC acted for the prosecution, Carman for the defence. Carman did not put Leonard Arthur into the witness box. However he did call a nurse, a Margaret Slater – who casually mentioned in her evidence that her own baby would not be here today if it wasn’t for Dr Arthur. I don’t know how she managed to be in Court on that day, it is all rather reminiscent of the way that Jani Allan’s old diaries turned up in Court at a crucial moment. The nurse saved Dr Arthur’s neck and he was found not guilty. The nurse was assisted by Carman who ‘destroyed’ Prof Alan Usher, the Home office pathologist who was ready with evidence about the damage to the baby’s brain. The Presiding judge was Justice Farquarson.

History records that Leonard Arthur was not someone who didn’t think that disabled people were worth keeping alive, but someone who was a caring Top Doctor, selflessly devoted to children, worked night and day for the greater good of the nation’s infants – you get the picture.

So what happened in Leicester to persuade Carman to turn down the job of a High Court judge in Hong Kong and remain in England working as a barrister instead? Who knows.

Leicester County Council of course had a problem with a paedophile ring in its children’s services, a ring that Lord Greville Janner was alleged to have been involved with. Frank Beck, the notorious social worker who devised whacky therapies which served as a cover for his abuse of children, was given five life sentences for sexually abusing hundreds of children in 1991. Beck had been involved with the Liberal Party.

One lawyer was particularly impressed by George Carman’s successful defence of a doctor who finished off a baby with learning disabilities – that was a Cherie Booth who praised Carman for ensuring that ‘justice’ prevailed. In the 1980s Cherie Booth was a barrister in New Court Chambers! There was another barrister in New Court as well, who was Carman’s junior – Cherie knew him well, he was a Tony Blair!

Now the Blairs have kept THAT quiet – I’ve been trying to find out in which chambers old Blair worked before he became an MP and it’s not a piece of info that appears in any of the obvious places. But now I know. Blair never forgot the talents of his former boss. Within six months of Blair becoming Prime Minister, Carman found himself at a reception in Downing Street along with Richard Branson when Blair told Branson that Carman was the best lawyer that he could have found.

In Nov 1982 Carman defended Geoffrey Prime who worked for GCHQ but also spied for the KGB. Prime was a paedophile and a member of PIE who had been involved with under-aged girls in the Cheltenham/Gloucester area. Carman’s junior in that case was Tony Clover and the Presiding judge was Lord Chief Justice Lane. Prime was convicted, so Carman took the case to appeal – it was dismissed by Lord Justice Lawton.

Carman was involved in the case involving the grisly death of Roberto Calvi who in 1982 was found hanging under Blackfriars Bridge in London. Calvi had been President of the ‘Vatican’s Bank’, Banco Ambrosiano and was believed many, including his family, to have been murdered. Lurid stories of Masonic corruption and involvement with Opus Dei circulated – and all the money was missing from the bank. David Napley represented Calvi’s family at the inquest which was held by Dr David Paul, the coroner for the City of London – Paul rushed the inquiry. The autopsy was carried out by Prof Keith Simpson. A suicide verdict was returned – which was widely ridiculed because there were numerous aspects of the case which suggested that Calvi had been the victim of a bizarre crime. His underpants were full of bricks which was a bit weird and his hands were clean and well-manicured, which if he’d been crawling around under Blackfriars Bridge hanging himself they would not have been. Carman wanted a fresh inquest in front of Lord Geoffrey Lane. In March 1983 the Lord Chief Justice agreed to overturn the verdict. A new coroner was appointed, Dr Graham Davies and an open verdict was returned in June 1983.

In 1983 in Burnley Carman defended Peter Adamson aka Len Fairclough from Coronation Street after he was charged with indecently assaulting two eight year old girls in a swimming pool. Adamson was cleared although it was alleged that Carman believed that he had been guilty. In 1988 Adamson flogged a story to the Sun admitting that he had been guilty.

Following the Adamson revelations, in 1989 Prof George Steiner joked about Carman’s ability to get anyone off just about anything. It increased Carman’s business.

Carman’s close female friends in London included Sue Cook from BBC’s Crimewatch, Pippa Jessel the former wife of Tory MP Toby Jessel, Frances Heggarty/Hyfield the barrister/crime writer and Lady Annunziata Asquith.

Dominic relates a very worrying story when read in the light of Carman’s conduct towards his female partners and his links with questionable people in high places. Dominic tells us that in 1984 Carman had a ‘close relationship’ with a 30 year old woman but the ’10 month relationship ended with disastrous consequences’. The lady moved to London and into Carman’s Lincoln’s Inn flat and was ‘surprised when he showed no physical interest in her’. I think that we’ve been here before. This woman was ’emotionally volatile’ and Carman’s ‘subsequent humiliation of her precipitated a nervous breakdown’. According to Dominic, George was terrified of anything to do with mental illness – he asked Dominic ‘to accompany him as he registered her as a psychiatric inpatient, before telling her mother to come and pick up the pieces’.

Now there’s a story. So what did Carman do to the ’emotionally volatile’ lady whom he had invited to move in with him? Or what had she witnessed or found out? Which hospital so obligingly admitted her as an in-patient and how did they repackage the horror? I think we should be told…

One of Carman’s most famous triumphs was successfully defending Ken Dodd after Dodd was charged with tax evasion. The presiding judge was none other than our old friend – and indeed Carman’s old friend – Ronnie Waterhouse, the prosecuting counsel was Brian Leveson and the trial was held at Liverpool Crown Court. Waterhouse was a member of the Garrick – as was Carman and indeed their mutual friend Robin Day. Waterhouse also knew Thorpe through their Liberal Party activities.

Ken Dodd was a much-loved son of Liverpool. Waterhouse was born just a few miles away from Ken Dodd’s birthplace. The not guilty verdict caused much entertainment because of the overwhelming amount of evidence against Dodd – Dodd himself joked about not paying his taxes. The Inland Revenue had discovered accounts of Dodd’s in Jersey and the Isle of Man, there was thousands of pounds in used notes secreted about his house, there were references to wheelbarrows of money being moved around, it was ridiculous. A neighbour commented to me at the time that it looked as though the only questions would be ‘which prison and for how many years?’

At the opening of the trial Carman claimed that Dodd was suffering from ventricular tachycardia, a potentially fatal condition, that Dodd was in imminent danger of death and that the trial would almost certainly kill him. Carman tried to get the trial stopped on medical grounds – two weeks before the trial Carman had sent Dodd to a heart specialist, although the date for the trial had been set many months previously. The trial did go ahead and Dodd is still alive – and performing – today, nearly twenty years later.

The Top Doctor who gave evidence that Dodd was about to drop dead was Dr Rhys Williams from Manchester Royal Infirmary. However another Top Doctor, Prof John Camm, testified that Dodd was fit for trial. Camm worked at St Georges Hospital Medical School, so God only knows how anyone persuaded him to give evidence against a dodgy lawyer. Er – yes, I’ve just realised the significance of that quip – dear old St George’s had an awful lot to hide and had participated in some terrible things at the time of Dodd’s trial.

There also seem to have been some porkies told about Dodd’s age at his trial. Dodd’s Who’s Who entries for years have stated that he is four years younger than the age given when he stood trial.

Carman read out letters from Harold Wilson, Ted Heath and Margaret Thatcher at Dodd’s trial, all supportive of Dodd. Character evidence was supplied by Roy Hudd, Eric Sykes, Michael Billington, John Fisher (the head of Variety at Thames Television) and Shelia Murray (the Secretary of Clatterbridge Hospital’s Cancer Research Trust – Dodd had helped them raise £10 million).

It was revealed at the trial that in 1984 Reginald Hunter – Dodd’s accountant between 1972-82 – had been prosecuted at Mold Crown Court for false accounting to enable other clients to avoid tax. Waterhouse grew up in Flintshire and retained close links there. Mold is the legal/administrative centre of Flintshire.

The barrister on the losing side of the Dodd case, Brian Leveson, did OK for himself. He became a High Court judge and Lord Leveson found fame and fortune when he Chaired the 2011-12 public inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the British press. Like Dodd, Leveson was a local boy made big from Liverpool.

Carman got into libel work via Oscar Beuselinck, whom Carman knew as the in-house lawyer for the Mirror News Group. Back in the 50s Oscar had represented entertainers, including John Osborne. He had become a Director of Woodfall Films with Osborne and acted for Hollywood clients. In the 70s Oscar began taking defamation work. He sued Private Eye in the 60s but then became their principal solicitor, representing them against Robert Maxwell in 1986. Maxwell himself then recruited Oscar in 1989, although Oscar resigned after a damning Panorama documentary on Maxwell was screened in 1991 – however he did remain as a consultant to Maxwell.

Carman’s juniors in libel cases were Adrienne Page, Victoria Sharp, Andrew Caldecott, James Price, Heather Rogers and Hugh Tomlinson.

Not only do the same names keep cropping up in terms of barristers whom Carman worked with or faced as opponents in Court, but the same judges keep popping up as well. Carman appeared many times in the Court of Mr Justice Drake. We know that judges are impartial of course but in one case Drake made it clear after the case that he was delighted that Carman had won the case. That case in question was the 1989 libel action against the News of the World – owned by the News Group, Murdoch’s empire – brought by Sonia Sutcliffe, the wife of Peter Sutcliffe. The News of the Screws admitted that they HAD defamed Sonia Sutcliffe, they had even paid £50k into Court, but Sutcliffe wanted more. Barbara Jones, a journo for the Mail on Sunday was named as a co-defendant – if Sonia won, Jones would have been liable for the News of the Screws’ indemnity damages and costs, which would have left Jones financially ruined. The potential for this had led to total hostility between Jones and News Group. Now Jones had previously been on holiday with Sonia and they had been pretty good friends – they had been planning to write a book together. But it was Jones’s evidence in Court that completely shafted Sonia Sutcliffe – evidence that Jones had gained regarding Sonia’s alleged attitude towards her husbands crimes during their holiday. Jones defended herself in Court – but she much appreciated Carman’s ‘quiet support and encouragement’. He advised her and told her what to do and say in Court, including telling her to ‘rile’ Sonia.

Sonia Sutcliffe lost the case and was left with a bill for 1/4 of a million quid.

There was little public sympathy for Sonia Sutcliffe at the time – she was the wife of a serial killer, there were allegations flying that she knew that her husband had been attacking women and she’d already won a number of big settlements from newspapers in libel cases.

Something else was happening at the time. The press were desperate to stem the tide of libel awards. The settlements were getting bigger and bigger and it was costing them a great deal of money. One man in particular was costing them a fortune – George Carman.

The more that I find out about the Sonia Sutcliffe case the more that it looks as though the sort of deal that seems to have happened in the Thorpe trial had occurred. A group of very greedy, very unscrupulous, very powerful people could well have got together behind the scenes and come to a convenient arrangement. The only person who didn’t benefit was Sonia Sutcliffe. But she wasn’t a press baron, or a journo or a lawyer. She was the wife of a murderer. Carman was hailed as a hero in the press and Tom Crone, News Group’s lawyer – a barrister who had previously worked for the Mirror Group – made a triumphalist speech outside of the Court. Crone was a close friend of Carman. In 2011 Crone resigned from his job as News International’s legal affairs manager during the phone hacking scandal, after it was revealed that the phone of the murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler had been hacked.

Not only did Justice Drake announce his satisfaction with the verdict – the Justice Drake who later presided over the libel case brought by Gordon Anglesea in which Carman represented Private Eye and others against Anglesea but lost – but the Private Eye lot were so pleased that they held a party which Carman attended. Sonia had successfully sued them previously…

The Jani Allan case that I mentioned earlier also occurred at the time that newspapers were worried about spiralling libel costs. Like Sonia Sutcliffe, Jani Allan had won a number of libel cases. It was Carman who finished Jani Allan off – but her counsel was Charles Howard QC, Carman’s mate.

I mentioned that Carman produced some interesting medical evidence in the Ken Dodd trial. Carman seemed to know some very helpful Top Doctors. In 1987 Carman’s former best man and good friend from Oxford Vivian Price QC was charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice and driving twice whilst disqualified. Price was a senior barrister and a High Court judge. Carman obtained medical evidence at the 11th hour stating that Price had a brain tumour. It got Price off a prison sentence. The very understanding judge was Justice Farquarson – who had presided over the trial of Dr Leonard Arthur in which Carman had triumphed.

Carman also produced a helpful medical expert when he defended the Sun in 1994 after Gillian Taylforth the Eastenders actress brought a libel case against them. Taylforth and her partner Geoff Knights had been stopped on a motorway and Knights had been arrested and charged with driving offences. A policeman then sold a story to the Sun claiming that Gillian Taylforth had been giving Knights oral sex in the car. Taylforth and Knights denied it and their story was that Knights suffered from pancreatitis, had been in pain, so Taylforth undid his trousers to rub his belly. Carman produced Dr Iain Murray Lyon, a pancreatitis specialist, who testified that Knights could have been faking the pancreatitis attack by describing the symptoms. Well yes he could, but Dr Lyon was not there at the time so had no idea at all whether Knights was making it up or not. Not only did Carman produce a Top Doctor out of the hat, but at the beginning of the second week of the trial a video arrived at court. It was a film six years old of a drunken party attended by the Eastenders cast. Taylforth could be seen messing around with a sausage joking about oral sex and gesticulating with a bottle between her legs. She was fully clothed, it was daylight and there were many people present – it was hardly an orgy and wasn’t that shocking. But Carman made it sound like Sodom and Gomorrah. Taylforth lost the case and became so distressed that she collapsed and had to be wheeled out of the court on a stretcher attached to a supply of oxygen. Everyone had a real laugh and once again Tom Crone appeared outside the Court to crow. Michael Beloff QC acted for Taylforth but no-one asked what a policeman was doing selling a story to the Sun or how an ancient video of a party long-forgotten had found its way into Carman’s hands at a most convenient time.

As for the Top Doctor – Dr Iain Murray-Lyon works at Harley Street and at the Edward VII Hospital. That hospital was featured in my post ‘Update On ‘Tainted Blood’ Scandal’. It was the hospital which employed the nurse who looked after the Duchess of Cambridge when she suffered from severe pregnancy-induced vomiting who committed suicide when some Australian shock jocks rang up pretending to be the Queen. The Chairman of the hospital was Lord Simon Glenarthur – who is also the Director of the MDU and was the Health Minister responsible for the NHS ‘tainted blood’ scandal (see post ‘Running The Country – And All That Jazz…’).

Figures from the whole spectrum of the press loved Carman and utilised his talents. Yet he threatened and crapped on them as well. In 1982 Carman had Sir David English the editor of the Daily Mail fined for contempt for a prejudicial article about the Leonard Arthur case. Ten years later when Carman discovered that his ex-wife had given an interview to the Daily Mail he leant on English – who was still the editor – to tone down the article. It was published two days after the verdict following Carman’s savaging of Jani Allan in Court.

In July 1993 Carman was retained by Ian Burton to defend John Jermyn Hervey, the Marquis of Bristol, on drugs charges. The trial was at Snaresbrook Crown Court and the judge was Owen Stable QC. During the trial – and in his consultations with Carman before the trial – Hervey took both coke and heroin (he was even consuming drugs in the bogs in Court). The sentence was deferred on the grounds that Hervey was receiving treatment in the Charter Clinic, Chelsea. Before sentencing Hervey discharged himself from the clinic and went to France on a massive drugs binge. Carman put in a plea for mitigation based on Hervey’s deprived childhood no less, but he was jailed nonetheless. Hervey died from an AIDS related illness in 1999. He was a wildly promiscuous user of rent boys and by his own estimation had sex with thousands of them. Presumably infecting more than a few.

In Nov 1993 Elton John retained Carman to take on Carman’s own friends at Mirror Group Newspapers – Carman had secured a settlement of £1 million for Elton in 1988 after the Sun alleged that Elton John had suffered from an eating disorder which resulted in him spitting food out. The ever dependable Justice Drake presided and awarded exemplary damages to Elton. However in 1995 the Court of Appeal reduced the damages and laid out recommendations for future damages – just when the press really needed it. This bought an end to juries imposing punitive damages on newspapers and also resulted in the settlement of a libel action brought by Michael Jackson agains Mirror Group Newspapers.

Whoever could tell who was dealing with who behind the scenes and who was stuffing who over? Although the press barons got bigger and bigger and Carman became richer and richer and even more feared.

In 1998 the Times speculated that Carman’s earnings had dropped off – Carman was so cross that he phoned Clare Dyer, the Guardian’s legal correspondent and Frances Gibb, the Times’ legal editor and ensured that Gibb was au fait with his present success and recent work. Gibb duly obliged by running a big article the following week that flattered Carman.

Carman revelled in his Hollywood clients, including Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. He was retained by them in 1997 after a Sunday Express article made allegations about their involvement with Scientology, Cruise’s alleged infertility and the couple’s unhappy marriage. Carman sent ‘compelling medical evidence’ to the Express Group and in Oct 1998 the Express Group paid Cruise and Kidman damages and costs. They divorced some two years later amid allegations of Scientology and marital distress.

In 2000 the celebrity chef Marco Pierre White sued the New York Times and International Herald Tribune. Geoffrey Ripon QC acted for the newspapers and Carman acted for White. Carman won and the day after the damages were awarded White got married – Michael Winner was the best man and George Carman was a guest.

I remember hearing about Marco Pierre White in the early 1990s, from a young woman who had worked for him in London. This young woman had some very interesting stories – stories of drug use, of sexual exploitation and chaos in the business. She claimed to have had sex with White herself – in fact she told me that she had been in some sort of relationship with him whilst his ‘official’ partner was somebody else. Not that the young woman in question will ever be able to flog a story to anyone about it all – because she was an in-patient at the Hergest Unit, with ‘paranoid schizophrenia’ of course. She had grown up in north Wales, gone to university in London and met Marco Pierre White down there. Her parents confirmed that. But after a rather wild time in London she had a breakdown and was brought back to Wales – by a Top Doctor – and sectioned at Ysbyty Gwynedd. By exactly the same social workers and Top Doctors who unlawfully imprisoned me, pretty much at the same time that I was unlawfully detained. Her parents also told me that the law had been repeatedly broken and when they complained about it Gwynedd Social Services and Ysbyty Gwynedd lied constantly. I got to know this young woman quite well over the following years. Her one desire was to ‘get better’ and go back to London. The mental health services were very keen for her not to do this. I and her other friends used to notice that on a number of occasions she seemed to recover from her distress and enrol for courses, find jobs etc. But every time that she began to improve, the Top Doctors at Hergest – usually Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) – would alter her ‘medication’ and within three weeks she would be back in hospital, usually sectioned. It makes me wonder what goes on in Marco Pierre White’s world.

Carman took to hosting parties in the 1990s. He held a bash in the summer of 1993. Guests included the Lord Chief Justice, Sue Lawley, Ian Hislop, Norman Lamont, Sir David English (Chair of Associated Newspapers, which was the major shareholder of Euromoney Publications, Dominic Carman’s employers). Carman held another knees-up in 1998 at the Ritz, but a lot of people seemed to be unavailable, including Tom Bingham the Lord Chief Justice, David Frost, Elton John, Ian Hislop, Mo Mowlam, Imran Khan and his wife Jemima, Richard Branson and Jeffrey Archer. Those who did attend included  Dominic Lawson, Robin Day, Sue Cook, P.D. James, Freddie Forsythe, Lord Robert Alexander QC, Lord Gareth Williams, Lord Grabiner, Aidan Barclay and the Blairs, who dropped in on their way to Tuscany! Conrad Black turned up after the party had ended.

In 1998 Sir Ronnie Waterhouse had just finished taking evidence about the most appalling abuse of children in care in north Wales at the public inquiry which he was Chairing. A lot of people were very shocked at what witnessed said about their time in north Wales children’s homes in the 70s and 80s – it was far worse than anyone expected. A number of male  witnesses talked about being taken to Cheshire and London to be sexually abused by older men.

In 1993 George Carman purchased a house in Wimbledon and lived there until 1999. Wimbledon is just down the road from St George’s Hospital Medical School and is the preferred location for the residences of the senior staff of that institution. In 1999 Carman moved to another house in Wimbledon. He held a party there after winning the case for Al Fayed against Neil Hamilton.

Blair was not the only Prime Minister who had reason to be grateful to Carman. In April 1994 he acted for Thatcher in a copyright dispute involving her memoirs. In 1995 he was retained by John Major after the New Statesman published allegations about Clare Latimer. Major stopped the retention of Carman after the Observer published a comment about Carman offering free advice to Major – an apology to Carman was published and somehow John Major’s action was settled shortly afterwards.

Aspiring Prime Ministers sought Carman’s help as well. Portillo retained Carman with regard to the allegations of past homosexual activity on the part of Portillo – until Portillo decided to admit publicly that in the past he had participated in gay sex.

Very rich people whose funding is vital to Prime Ministers also beat a path to Carman’s door. In 1999 Carman advised Michael Ashcroft when he sued the Times after they published allegations of money laundering and drugs related crimes. Ashcroft met with Carman and that afternoon met with Murdoch after Jeff Randall acted as the broker to get them together. A deal was struck with a settlement. In the mid 1990s I knew someone who responded to the TV adverts that were being screened in Wales at the time urging people to report crime to Crimestoppers. This person reported the suspicious death of an elderly lady in one of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones’s ‘nursing homes’ and also reported one of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones’s ‘substance abuse patients’ who was openly seeling Class A drugs to schoolchildren in Bangor. No action was taken, so this person rang Crimestoppers again a few weeks later and repeated their allegations. They were told that Crimestoppers would not be taking any action because Crimestoppers were treating these calls as hoaxes.

Lord Michael Ashcroft funded and established Crimestoppers.

I suppose that it was inevitable that Jeffrey Archer crossed Carman’s path. In Oct 1999 Carman was retained by Eversheds to act for Archer in libel procedings against the Times. The matter was settled, an apology was issued and damages paid. In Dec 1999, new evidence emerged regarding a libel trial involving Archer and the Star twelve years previously. Carman was asked by Lovells – solicitors for Express Newspapers – to act against Archer in appealing the Star libel decision. Carman had been advising Archer eight weeks earlier. Carman held a conference at Lovells with David Pannick QC to discuss strategy. The civil action was abandoned in April 2000 when Archer faced criminal charges. Archer wrote to Carman in Oct 2000 regarding his impending trial for perjury and attempting to pervert the course of justice, requesting lunch with Carman in order to ‘discuss matters’.

Another crook of impressive proportions who had dealings wirth Carman was Robert Maxwell. Between 1990-91 Maxwell was a regular client of Carman’s. Carman almost got into charity work through Maxwell. Carman supported Shelter and Maxwell promised to run a Mirror campaign for the homeless but it never happened. Carman parted company  with Shelter soon afterwards stating that he was fed up of giving them money. Carman had been acting for Maxwell in a libel case against the BBC but Maxwell went overboard before the case was heard. After Maxwell’s death Kevin Maxwell took over the Maxwell Communication Group and Ian Maxwell took over the Mirror Group. There  was of course the matter of the missing £426 million fron two pension funds at the Mirror Group. In Jan 1992 Carman appeared for Kevin in front of the Commons Select Committee – John Jarvis QC appeared for Ian and the Chair of the Committee was Frank Field. David Pannick QC was a member of the Maxwell’s advisory team. Carman visited Kevin’s wife Pandora at home to chat with her about the deep shit that the Maxwells were in. However Carman declined to defend Kevin at his subsequent trial – Carman told Clare Dyer of the Gyardian that he didn’t want to be committed to a long legal aid defence. Carman was therefore in breach of Bar Council rules but who cares about that, the Maxwells had no dosh anymore…

In 1993 Carman represented Branson in a libel claim against British Airways and secured a settlement of £610k. The settlement was somehow leaked to the Sun and was a scoop for David Yelland, the then City editor. Five years later Murdoch made Yelland the editor. In 1998 Carman represented Branson again, in a libel case against Guy Snowden, a major lottery operator. The presiding judge was Justice Morland – who also presided over the trial of the two ten year olds who killed James Bulger – who had known Carman for 50 years. They had been contemporaries at Oxford and both worked on the Northern  Circuit.

In the late 1990s Al Fayed was a regular client of Carman’s – numerous cases of Al Fayed’s were settled out of court or dropped. In 1999 Carman represented Al Fayed against Neil Hamilton – Desmond Browne QC acted for Hamilton and Justice Morland presided. One of Al Fayed’s many accusations against Hamilton was that Hamilton had procured rent boys. Hamilton was the MP for the Cheshire constituency that bordered on Sir Peter Morrison constituency and Hamilton and his wife attended social functions with Morrison. Carman won that case. Prior to that in 1995 Hamilton had sued the Guardian for libel – Carman succeeded in getting the case stopped on a point of law. Hamilton enlisted the help of Thatcher who had the law changed in Hamilton’s favour.

Carman did of course advise members of the Royal Family – including Diana, Prince Michael of Kent and Sarah Ferguson.

In 2000 Carman dissolved New Court Chambers and joined Elizabeth Appleby QC in her chambers – Carman took the room vacated by Cherie Booth, who had left to form Matrix. The former joint head of the chambers Michael Beloff QC left shortly after Carman joined.

Not only did Carman have access to helpful Top Doctors for his work as a barrister but he had his very own helpful Top Doctor on tap for his own medical needs – Dr Annie Coxon, a Harley street physician and neurologist. Annie Coxon was always on hand to deal with Carman’s ‘crises’ – which were nearly always a result of Carman drinking so much that he needed medical attention. On one occasion he collapsed in Court as a result of intoxication and Coxon even set up a drip for him as she attended. Coxon was known to take calls from Carman regularly in the early hours of the morning, she made sure that she was always available. There seems to have been major discord between Coxon and the Top Doctors who treated Carman at the end of his life when he developed cancer. He was of course treated privately by other Harley Street Top Doctors at the London Clinic but they seemed to freeze Coxon out of his care and she was not happy about this.

Coxon was a Catholic but converted to Islam over twenty years ago. She was introduced to Islam by the mother of the Sultan of Oman who was one of her patients. She was also the personal doctor of Al Fayed. Coxon was also the doctor of Jade Goody and was most critical of the NHS after Goody’s death from cancer.

Carman died of cancer in Jan 2001. Before he died he was courted by many cancer charities – he settled on supporting the Cancer Research Campaign (CRCUK) after Prof Gordon McVie visited him at home. His memorial service was attended by a number of people including Cherie Blair and Jeremy Thorpe.

George Carman seems to have touched the lives of a great many people who were involved in concealing the North Wales Child Abuse Ring. Carman’s mycelia reached everywhere. I was particularly surprised to find out that Carman’s senior clerk in New Court Chambers Bill Conner – Carman’s right hand man after Carman moved to London – was a keen birder. Enthusiastic birders get to know each other and travel across the UK regularly – the wealthier ones travel internationally. I have mentioned that my group of friends whilst I was at university in the early/mid-80s were birders – our house on Anglesey was the centre of much Bangor Bird Group activity. In 1985 just before we were all due to leave north Wales, my closest friend at university and house mate was killed in a car crash. My friend’s former boyfriend, also a well-known birder, was left brain-damaged and paralysed. My friend knew all about the problems that I was having with the north Wales mental health services. She was killed when a TR7 crashed into her head on whilst it was travelling on her side of the road. The driver of the TR7 was unscathed except for a broken arm. There was no investigation into the crash. A few weeks later Dr DGE Wood, the corrupt GP whom I now know was working very hard to conceal the criminal activities in north Wales and who ran the Student Health Centre at Bangor University, had a huge row with me when once more I raised the question of the misconduct of his colleagues. He finished by yelling at me that there was nothing for me in north Wales anymore and that I ought to leave the area and forget about everything that had happened there. A few days after my friend’s death, Wood’s colleague, the nurse who worked in the Student Health Centre, took my friend’s file out of the records locker and wrote ‘DEAD’ across the front of it in front of me. I wonder whether that was supposed to have been some sort of warning.

Ooh, nearly forgot – Sir John Kay, the High Court judge who issued Gwynedd Social Services with an injunction against me on the basis of affidavits from two social workers who perjured themselves (one of whom had never met me and the other one who had met me at most on three occasions) was a judge on the Northern Circuit. I could not work out at the time why a bunch of crooked social workers from Caernarfon had gone all the way to Leeds High Court to seek out a judge.

Sir John Kay knew George Carman.

Nasty business, organised child sexual abuse.

He Knows Where The Bodies Are Buried

My post ‘My How Things Haven’t Changed’ named a number of those close to Jeremy Thorpe as well as a few others who weren’t necessarily very fond of him but who concealed his wrongdoing, even that which was involved with allegedly trying to have his former gay lover Norman Scott assassinated. I mentioned that I suspected that some of those who covered for Jeremy were the same people who probably covered for Dafydd and Gwynne when they were younger. I’ve been doing a bit more research – it looks as though my suspicions were correct. Those around Jeremy had some very close links to members of the shithouse already named on this blog. So here’s a few details.

The Top Doctor at St George’s Hospital who treated Norman, Dr Brian O’Connell, will have been a key player – I covered him and his network in my post ‘The Case Of The King’s Sperm’. But many more people and networks supported and protected Jeremy.

Not a word appeared in the media about Thorpe’s activities until Andrew Newton, the man who maintained at Thorpe’s trial that he had been hired to kill Norman, shot Norman’s Great Dane Rinka dead on Exmoor and then tried to murder Norman. Yet Jeremy’s activities with Norman as well as others were widely known and discussed.

As described in ‘My How Things Haven’t Changed’, some builders carrying out work on the former office of Jeremy’s friend Peter Bessell discovered a briefcase concealed in a false ceiling. The briefcase was full of incriminating material relating to Jeremy, including documents concerning Norman. The builders took it to the Sunday Mirror. Not only did the Sunday Mirror not publish a word but the Editor Bob Edwards personally returned the documents to Jeremy at Westminster.

Bob Edwards edited the Sunday Mirror between 1972-84. He knew how to keep powerful people onside.

Edwards joined the Labour Party when he was young and knew Ian Mikardo when Mikardo was the Labour MP for Reading. Mikardo alerted Edwards to a vacancy on Tribune and sent him along to meet the Editor, Michael Foot. Edwards edited Tribune between 1951-54. He then became the leader writer for the Evening Standard 1954-57. In 1955 Edwards stood as the Labour candidate for Merton and Morden. He became the Deputy Editor of the Sunday Express 1957-59, the Managing Editor of the Sunday Express 1959-61 and the Editor of the Daily Express in 1961.

Edwards’s move from working on the left-supporting Tribune to the Express prompted accusations that he was no more than a paid hack without principles. Edwards was sacked from the Express and (mistakenly) believing that his son was worried about him reassured his son by telling him that a ‘mysterious freemasonry’ existed known as the Editors Club and that famille Edwards wouldn’t even lose their yacht because he would soon get another job.

Edwards purchased Christine Keeler’s memoirs for 2k in 1963 – but not material relating to Jeremy some ten years later…

Between 1966-72, Edwards edited the People. By this time he was seriously wealthy and was living in a castle in Oxfordshire.

In the case of the People, Edwards ‘inherited a fiercely campaigning newspaper…[which] largely cleaned up the protection rackets and brothels of Soho’. It is claimed that under Edwards the People ‘continued in much the same spirit, exposing bent detectives on the take from pornographers and ‘vice-kings’.

Edwards was considered a fearless man who had crossed so many nasty characters that he worked behind bullet proof glass after alleged threats to his life.

Although Edwards wouldn’t touch Jeremy Thorpe, in 1980 he had a go at the Royal Family. He discovered that the Royal Train with Charles on board had been shunted into a siding in Wiltshire where it stayed for several hours – whilst a young woman called Diana Spencer boarded it to spend time with Prince Charles… Edwards published the story and later maintained that it cost him a knighthood.

Edwards was Director of Mirror Group Newspapers 1976-88. Maxwell acquired the Mirror Group in July 1984 and under him Edwards became Deputy Chair.

Joe Haines, Harold Wilson’s Press Secretary who maintained that it wasn’t known whether Wilson had blackmailed Thorpe over Norman, also worked for Maxwell. Haines was a Mirror journalist who was initially completely hostile to Maxwell when Maxwell acquired the Mirror Group, but soon came under his influence and ended up writing the authorised biography of Maxwell.

Edwards wasn’t the only person involved with the Sunday Mirror who wielded influence at the time that the documents discovered by the builders were returned to Jeremy. The Chairman of IPC, the company which owned the Mirror at that time, was Sydney Jacobson. He was made a life peer a couple of years or so after Jeremy’s documents were returned to him. In 1974 – when the Mirror supported Labour in the General Election and at about the time that the documents were given to the Sunday Mirror – Jacobson was the Deputy Chair of IPC, working under his friend and colleague Hugh Cudlipp.

Cudlipp was Welsh, from Cardiff and was Chair of Mirror Group Newspapers between 1963-67. Cudlipp was given a peerage in 1974.

Cudlipp was a very big figure and in 2005 dear old Michael Grade – who excels at grovelling to powerful people – stated in a lecture that Cudlipp was ‘one of the giants of British journalism and one of it’s greatest editors’.

After Thorpe resigned following the media reporting the whole dreadful mess including Andrew Newton killing Norman Scott’s dog, then trying to shoot Norman and subsequently being charged with possession of a firearm with intent to danger life, Sir Harold Evans, the Editor of the Sunday Times, showed a considerable degree of sympathy towards Jeremy, met him and subsequently published supportive articles.

Evans edited the Sunday Times between 1967-81. In 1984 he moved to the US. Since 2005 he has contributed to the Guardian and Radio 4 and in 2011 he was appointed Editor at large of Rueters.

Like Edwards, Harold Evans was considered a fearless journalist who was not afraid to expose the truth. He was responsible for the crusading style of investigative journalism for which the Sunday Times was known at one point and it was under his editorship that Marjorie Wallace – see previous blog posts for the dirt on Marjorie and the horrors of psychiatry and child abuse that she kept her mouth firmly shut about – revealed the Thalidomide scandal. It was also Harold Evans who exposed Kim Philby.

In 1981 when Murdoch acquired Times Newspapers Ltd, Evans was appointed as Editor of the Times. He only stayed for one year. Fifty journalists resigned within the first six months of Murdoch’s take-over – some of those journos disliked Evans. In March 1982 a group of journos called upon Evans to resign as a result of the ‘erosion of editorial standards’.

In 1981 Evans married yet another journalist who was constructed as scary and fearless – Tina Brown. I’ve always just considered Tina Brown to be someone who writes vacuous rubbish about Diana and other celebs, but I’ve discovered that when she was younger Brown did write intelligent material and she knew some capable people who also wrote intelligent material critiquing powerful vested interests.

So no-one among this network of journos who would take on anyone and any topic, who rooted out injustice and who struck fear into the heart of everyone ever challenged Jeremy…

‘My How Things Haven’t Changed’ described how two BBC reporters who began researching for a book about the Jeremy and Norman story after everything became public and Jeremy had stood down as leader, were ‘supported’ in this by Sir Charles Curran, the Director-General of the BBC between 1969-77. However the reporters then found that they were issued with new contracts from the BBC that ensured that they would lose control over their own material. They resigned from the BBC as a result.

Charles Curran was someone whom it seems could be pressurised. After complaints from Mary Whitehouse that Dr Who contained far too much sex n violence or something similar, Curran replaced the series producer in 1976. The BBC online site ‘History of the BBC’ aka Pravda, profiles Charles Curran and boasts about his Huge Contribution to the Golden Years of TV. I remember that Golden Age well – utter rubbish, ‘light entertainment’ involving sitcoms dependent upon crude stereotyping. I think that Curran must have been responsible for ‘It Ain’t Half Racist Mum’ actually, but that’s not mentioned on ‘The History of the BBC’, probably because it’s indefensible. What is boasted about however is Curran’s tenure overseeing ‘Parkinson’. So Curran was the person who thought that Parkinson’s crude sexual harassment of the young Helen Mirren was OK – Helen obviously thought that Parkinson was a sad old git but was far too polite to knee him in the groin, although that episode still became infamous.

‘The History of the BBC’ also intriguingly tells us that Curran was ‘somewhat in the shadow of Huw Wheldon’. So Huw Wheldon who – as detailed in the comments after ‘Wheels Within Wheels Or Flies Drawn To The Same Incestuously Corrupt Shithouse?’ – had a hotline to the paedophiles’ friends in north Wales, was obviously Mr Big at the BBC.

Jeremy Thorpe was a member of two London clubs, the Reform Club and the National Liberal Club. Thorpe spent a lot of time in these places and was obviously not unwelcome.

Charles and Camilla are honorary members of the Reform Club and in 2011 guest speakers there included Nick Clegg and Theresa May. Members include: Ruth Lea, Martin Sorrell, Stella Rimmington, Charlie Falconer, Menzies Campbell, former Tory MP Michael Brown, Betty Boothroyd, Roy Hattersley and Michael Howard.

The National Liberal Club’s current President is Alan Beith, a man who was much mentioned in Michael Bloch’s biography of Thorpe. In the 1970s Cyril Smith actually lived at the National Liberal Club. David Belloti, the MP who tried to help Mary Wynch and who within two years of doing so was finished in national politics, was a member of the Club. In 2006, Chris Huhne – the Liberal MP who was later jailed, along with his former wife Vicky Pryce and her mate the barrister Constance Briscoe – launched his leadership campaign from the club, as did Nick Clegg in 2007. The Club played a crucial part in Thorpe’s own election campaign in 1974, by which time the scandal involving him and Norman was common knowledge among the Liberal Party as well as their political opponents, as were the fears that Norman and his friends had for his life.

Presumably Thorpe held a key position in the National Liberal Club, because it was Thorpe who in 1976 handed the Club over to be managed by George Marks, a Canadian ‘businessman’ who was in reality a confidence trickster – he also used the name George de Chabris. Thorpe maintained that he knew nothing about Chabris being dodgy. Chabris and his family lived rent free at the Club, he ran fraudulent businesses from there, he embezzled and fleeced thousands from the Club and flogged the Club’s library to Bristol University at a knock-down price. Chabris was given the boot in 1977 and the Club was rescued by a generous donor.

From a young age Thorpe was good friends with Jeremy Fry, a member of the famous chocolate-making family – it was Fry’s conviction for ‘importuning for immoral purposes’ that prompted an investigation by the police into Thorpe’s suitability for a role at the wedding of Princess Margaret. Fry had been considered for the role of best man but that idea went out of the window after his conviction. Fry’s excesses were well-known but there seems to have been a great deal of hypocrisy over the business of banning him from the Royal Wedding. He was on such good terms with Princess Margaret and Anthony Armstrong-Jones that there were allegations of a menage a trois. Fry continued his friendship with the Royal couple after his own marriage and Princess Margaret and Armstrong-Jones stayed at the Fry’s house near Bath.

In recent years the biological father of Polly Fry, Jeremy’s daughter, has been revealed to be Armstrong-Jones aka Lord Snowdon. Like the Jeremys Fry and Thorpe, it is now admitted that Lord Snowdon put himself about a bit. He was bisexual and fathered Polly shortly before he married Princess Margaret. Marjorie Wallace was one of Snowdon’s mistresses (see post ‘One Dangerous Fucker’). Now that both Princess Margaret and Snowdon are dead, more and more is being revealed about the boozing, the drugs and the shagging and I suspect that there is yet more to come. I cannot help noticing how often people very close to Lord Snowdon have popped up among people who had connections to or concealed the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal/Paedophile Ring and the associated wrongdoing in the mental health services. It took me a while to realise the significance of this because I never thought that Snowdon had much to do with north Wales. In recent years he didn’t. But when he was younger he did. Snowdon was born in Belgravia but the family also had a country house in north Wales. Snowdon’s father was a barrister, his paternal grandfather was a psychiatrist and physician and his paternal grandmother was the daughter of Sir Owen Roberts, the famous Welsh educationalist. Snowdon used to visit north Wales with Princess Margaret and interestingly enough although he died in London, he is buried at Llanfaglan near Caernarfon in the family plot of the ‘celebrities graveyard’.

During my battles with Dafydd and the paedophiles’ friends, again and again people sympathetic to – but feaful for – me mentioned ‘very powerful people’ having connections with Dafydd. Other people seemed to be grossly affronted by me having the temerity to ask questions. The dreadful Dr Cathy Wilson at St George’s once yelled intriguingly at me that I needed to understand about ‘important people’. I now know that St George’s knew all about Dafydd et al and were also involved in concealing their wrongdoing. My post ‘I Want Serious Money Now Please’ explained how the Duke of Westminster knew about Sir Peter Morrison abusing under-aged boys. Morrison preyed on boys in care in north Wales. ‘Running The Country – And All That Jazz’ detailed the links between the Duke of Westminster and St George’s Hospital.

Snowdon was bisexual, promiscuous, had strong connections to north Wales and indeed Top Doctors and lawyers in north Wales, visited the region and was directly connected to the Royal Family. As the years pass, it becomes increasingly obvious that much about the activities of Princess Margaret and Snowdon were actively concealed. Are you thinking what I’m thinking as Michael Howard used to ask.

As for ‘important people’ – I am not a vacuous social climber and the difference between Cathy Wilson and me is that although I really don’t mind with whom Lord Snowdon and others like him had sex and took drugs if everyone involved was consenting adults, Dafydd et al were facilitating and concealing the abuse of kids in care. Many of whom were found dead, as were other witnesses. As very nearly was Norman Scott. It’s not very nice is it Wilson, even if you do think that the people involved are worth toadying to. Is it really worth colluding with such matters just to get oneself invited to yet another dinner party? Were you perhaps hoping to hit the jackpot and receive an invite to the Athenaeum to join Marjorie, Snowdon and Savile?

Jeremy Fry is also noted for having been James Dyson’s mentor and is credited with being responsible for Dyson starting out on his own.

 

Even after the rest of the Liberal Party finally decided that Jeremy Thorpe had become far too embarrassing to be seen with in public, Thorpe remained good friends with Clement Freud. Eric Lubbock (Lord Avebury) and David Steel remained supportive of Thorpe long after everyone else had given up on him, although even Steel wanted him to go after Andrew Newton tried to kill Norman.

Clement Freud has in recent years been revealed to have been a sexual predator who raped at least one person and molested many other girls and young women.

Eric Lubbock was the Liberal MP for Orpington between 1962-70. In 1971 he inherited the title of Lord Avebury and remained in the Lords until his death in 2016 – after Blair abolished the right of many hereditary peers to sit in the Lords, the Lib Dems elected Lubbock as being one of the Lords to remain.

Lubbock was Chief Whip for the Liberals between 1963-70.

It was Lubbock who stood bail for Thorpe when he was charged in 1978 with conspiracy to kill and incitement to murder Norman. Norman’s allegation that Andrew Newton had tried to shoot him after shooting Rinka was made in Oct 1975 – Newton was subsequently charged. Lubbock sat on the Royal Commission for Standards of Conduct in Public Life 1974-76. In 1976 Lubbock founded the Parliamentary Human Rights Group, which he chaired for the next 21 years – he then became the Vice-Chair.

Lubbock was a patron of the British Humanist Association, an honorary associate of the National Secular Society, a patron of Prisoners Abroad and a member of the All Party Parliamentary Humanist Group.

In Sept 2010 Lubbock signed an open letter for the British Humanist Association to the Guardian, opposing the state visit to the UK by Benedict XVI.

Lubbock became a Buddhist in the 1970s and in a June 2012 interview published on the website Liberal Democrat Voice, he states that he is a patron of a Buddhist chaplaincy and is contemplating ordination in a Buddhist monastery.

Whilst he was in the Commons, Lubbock had been the Secretary and Chair of the Parliamentary Group on Civil Liberties, which was serviced by the NCCL – the Secretary of the NCCL at the time was Martin Ennals (he acted as Secretary until 1966).

Ennals features on my post ‘MIND Are Out For Mental Health – Never For Themselves Of Course…’. After leaving NCCL he worked for the Commission for Racial Equality and was Secretary of Amnesty International, 1968-80. During Ennals’s time at Amnesty he was awarded the Nobel Peace prize.

Martin Ennals was a founding member of the Anti-Apartheid Movement in 1959. Thorpe was active in that movement.

Martin Ennals’s older brother David was the Secretary of State for Social Security when in 1969 Norman Scott rang Ennals’s Private Secretary and told him about Thorpe’s activities (see post ‘My How Things Haven’t Changed’).

David Ennals was heavily involved with MIND for years and his son Paul is the former Chief Exec of the National Children’s Bureau and Chair of a number of a number of Safeguarding Boards, including in Haringey (see post ‘MIND Are Out For Mental Health – Never For Themselves Of Course…’ for full details of the Ennals’s clan’s connections to MIND and other organisations).

David Steel was Liberal MP for Ross & Cromarty between 1965-97 and then an MSP between 1999-2003. He was also Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament. In 1997 Steel was given a life peerage.

Steel became leader of the Liberal Party in 1976 when Thorpe stepped down and remained leader until 1988 when the Party merged with the SDP. Between 1970-76 he was the Liberals Chief Whip. It was Steel who led the Liberals into the Lib-Lab pact in March 1977. It lasted until 1978 but was widely perceived to have been a very poor deal for the Liberals – in the light of the weakness of the Labour Party at that time, there was a degree of confusion over why Steel couldn’t land a better deal.

Steel was Thorpe’s protégé, became his PPS and was campaign manager when Thorpe ran for the leadership. Like Thorpe, Steel was in the Anti-Apartheid Movement and was it’s President between 1966-70.

When the Liberal activist from Wales who was so concerned at what had happened to Norman Scott at the hands of Jeremy Thorpe contacted Emlyn Hooson and asked for a meeting (see post ‘My How Things Haven’t Changed’), it was actually Steel that she met initially, because Hooson (who also worked as a barrister) had been called away to a murder trial. Steel was also shown documentary evidence of Thorpe’s payments to Norman and was given a frank account of what had gone on.

Before Steel was elected he worked for the BBC.

David Steel also knew about Cyril Smith of course…

 

Jeremy Thorpe was known to have taken a leaf out of the book of his hero David Lloyd George – the father of Gwilym and Megan, two friends of Thorpe – and offered people peerages in return for various favours. Thorpe came up with the goods for Gerran Lloyd, a Liberal Party donor who received a peerage in 1973 and became Lord Lloyd of Kilgerran. After Thorpe was charged with conspiracy to murder and incitement to kill in 1978, Lord Kilgerran set up a Defence Fund to pay Thorpe’s legal costs.

Gerran Lloyd was a barrister who stood for the Liberals on Anglesey in the 1959 General Election. He was President of the Welsh Liberal Party, 1971-74 and President of the British Liberal Party, 1973-74.

 

Megan Lloyd George was older than Jeremy, but they were very close. As a boy Jeremy used to visit Megan in the Commons for tea and Megan encouraged his political ambitions.

Megan was the first female MP for a Welsh constituency – she was the Liberal MP for Anglesey between 1929-51 and became Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party. In 1955 Megan defected to the Labour Party. In 1957 she was elected as the Labour MP for Carmarthen and held the seat until her death in 1966.

Between 1936-56 Megan was the mistress of the Labour politician Philip Noel-Baker, a campaigner for disarmament who won the Nobel Peace prize in 1959 and who’s wife was a friend of Virginia Woolf.

 

My post ‘My How Things Haven’t Changed’ described how in 1971 a Liberal Party secret inquiry into Thorpe’s conduct invited Norman Scott to speak, but ended with Lord Frank Byers, a member of the inquiry, shouting and hurling insults at Norman. It was Byers’s behaviour that motivated Norman to contact the police yet again about Thorpe and make a 33 page statement.

Byers was the Liberal MP for north Dorset between 1945-50. He was made a life peer in 1964 and became the Liberals Leader in the Lords in 1967.

Byers was a Director of Rio Tinto Zinc, 1962-73.

Although Byers was a Liberal, he knew Harold Wilson from their time at Oxford, when they were both members of the Oxford Liberal Club.

 

Lord Byers has a famous granddaughter who has followed him into politics – Lisa Nandy, who has been the Labour MP for Wigan since 2010. Lisa’s friends were keen for her to challenge Jeremy Corbyn for the Labour Party leadership. She hasn’t yet done this – although her supporters such as Owen Jones live in hope that the day will come when she does. Lisa herself supported Andy Burnham for the leadership, he who concealed the thousands of deaths at Mid-Staffs for so long.

Lisa worked as a researcher for Centrepoint, the homeless charity between 2003-05. She was a senior policy advisor to the Children’s Society from 2005 and an advisor to the Children’s Commissioner for England.

So Lisa will be one of the many people who will have known about the endemic abuse and trafficking of children in care but who has been strangely silent on this topic. Lisa also found one of those people at a senior level to work for once she entered Parliament – Lisa was PPS to Tessa Jowell.

Is Lisa a bit like her granddad perhaps, knowing about truly appalling matters but keeping them under wraps?

Lisa and her followers like to describe her as being on the ‘soft left’ of the Labour Party. Lisa has been inexplicably vigorously promoted as a wonder and potential leader virtually from the day that she was elected. I cannot help wondering if Lisa’s partner Andy Collis might have had something to do with this – he’s a PR consultant.

In fact Lisa’s supporters were so busy touting her around that some four years ago even I was invited to hear her speak. I was a member of the Compass group at the time and I used to receive notification of various events, but as they were always in London and I was in north Wales I didn’t take much notice. But on one occasion, an e mail virtually begged me to go to an event at a well-known location in London with a radical history, where a certain Lisa Nandy was going to be speaking. The event was promoted as being the one to attend even if you were unable to attend others and I had been bombarded with e mails telling me that Compass were keen to enlist the help and support of folk outside London. So for once I made the effort and went to London for the event. Because of the timing of Lisa’s lecture I was assured that I didn’t need to arrange to stay in London overnight, I could get there in time for the lecture, meet people and then get an evening train back to north Wales. So off I went.

What a surprise I had. Although maybe I shouldn’t have actually been that surprised, what with Lisa being a descendant of Frank, but I didn’t know that then.

Until about three years ago I suffered from very serious migraines – not just bad headaches, these were real bastards, when I got one I couldn’t see properly or balance. They were related to a neck injury that I suffered when I was young and of course because I’d dared complain about the paedophiles’ friends I was effectively refused all treatment for them (I have detailed all this elsewhere on the blog). For years I went without effective medication and the only thing that I could do if I developed a migraine was to lie flat in the dark – to take any physical strain off my neck and to minimise the amount of light that I was exposed to. When this happened I used to explain to people around me what was going on. When I was around sane normal people I was always met with a great deal of understanding – unfortunately however I wasn’t always around sane normal people.

About half an hour after arriving at the venue to hear Lisa speak, I developed a migraine. A real killer. Compass had BEGGED me to go to Lisa’s lecture. Not only did not one person even bother to speak to me – although there were only about ten people at the event and Lisa herself stuck like glue to the three stooges who seemed to be at her side throughout – but when I started to feel very, very bad and tried to tell the people sitting immediately next to me, I was completely blanked. I could feel myself losing my balance so I thought that I’d better get out of the audience quick before I fell on the floor. I was about three rows away from the front. Lisa SAW ME almost keeling over. She SAW ME trying to ask for help. Lisa did not bat an eye-lid. On and on she droned, ploughing through her speech – which even I could hear wasn’t very good and she was having to read it pretty much word for word. In the end I managed to make my way to the back of the hall and escaped through a door, which led to a cloakroom place outside of the entrance to the bogs. I did the only thing that I could and I lay down flat with my eyes shielded. Some 45 mins later a load of people came through on their way to the bogs – Lisa’s lecture had ended and they were having a break before the Q and A session. They walked over me. Every one of those nice middle class London radicals who had come to hear Lisa – some of whom obviously knew her – walked over me. No-one even asked me what I was doing and if I was OK. One woman gave me a frosty look so I explained that I was experiencing a very bad migraine. She then walked out of the door.

I remained on the floor shielded from the light throughout Lisa’s Q and A session. When the event ended everyone buggered off. As did Lisa. They all knew that I was crashed out in the back room with a migraine. I stayed there for the next couple of hours until I was just about able to walk without keeling over. By this time I realised that I’d not be able to catch the train from Euston back to Bangor. Because I was in London rather than on the doorstep of the Top Doctors in north Wales, I decided that I’d try and make my way to a London hospital for help – I ended up at UCL. Christ that was not a good idea, but that is another story. I failed to elicit any help at UCL and was ‘discharged’ ie. chucked out, into the middle of London at 3am. By this time my migraine was gradually beginning to pass. I spent the next few hours dossing outside Euston station waiting for it to open (I didn’t realise that Euston shuts for the small hours). I got the first train back to Bangor – which meant buying another ticket, because the one that I’d purchased was no longer valid.

The whole trip cost me a bloody fortune but it taught me a lot about Lisa Nandy and her supporters.

I continue to receive e mails from Compass asking me for dosh, asking me if I’d like to start up a local Compass group and inviting me to more events in London. I’m never giving them another penny and I’ll never risk my neck at another Lisa Nandy related event in my life.

Lisa is on record as saying that she has received ‘abuse’ from Corbyn’s supporters and that she was ‘genuinely frightened’. So was I Lisa, I was in the middle of London where I knew no-one, in agony, unable to walk or see properly and worried that I was going to start throwing up. But at least you got to read – literally – your speech. What I find even more ‘genuinely frightening’ Lisa is that your grandfather ignored the witness testimony and the pleas for help from someone who had already been by that time the target of a murder plot, according to evidence given at the Old Bailey many years later.

Lisa was selected as a Labour party candidate on an all women shortlist. Her wiki entry boasts that she is the fist female MP for the constituency – as there was an all-women shortlist imposed that is not really much of an achievement – and that she was born into a ‘Bengali family’ no less and that she was ‘one of the first six Asian MPs elected’.

As far as I understand, Lisa’s mother – Frank Byers’s daughter – was not Bengali. It was only Lisa’s father who was Bengali. So in terms of ethnicity, Lisa is as much white (presumably British) as she is Bengali. Is Lisa perhaps being somewhat selective in which boxes she chooses to tick?

The one box that Lisa does tick however is ‘one quarter composed of the genetic material of Lord Frank Byers’.

How about that for your wife’s next election campaign slogan then Andy?

 

Emlyn Hooson sat on the secret inquiry into Thorpe, alongside Lisa’s granddad and David Steel.

Emlyn Hooson was the Liberal MP for Montgomeryshire, between 1962-79. He was then elevated to the Lords where he sat until his death in 2012. Hooson sat as a Liberal and then as a Liberal Democrat.

Hooson was born in 1925, the son of a Denbighshire hill farmer and attended Denbigh Grammar School – like a few others we know and love. After that, Hooson read law at Aberystwyth University….He served in the Royal Navy – just like Gwynne the lobotomist…

Hooson became a barrister in 1949. He was Chairman of the Flint Quarter Sessions from 1960 and the Merioneth Quarter Sessions from 1962. He was a member of the Bar Council from 1965.

Like so many of the paedophiles’ friends, Hooson played a role in the trial of the Moors Murderers – he was Ian Brady’s QC.

Emlyn was appointed Recorder at Methyr Tydfil and Swansea in 1971 and was Leader of the Chester and Wales Circuit when the corruption on that Circuit was in full swing between 1971-74. He was appointed Recorder of Crown Courts 1972-91. Hooson also became a Deputy High Court judge. He was President of the Cambrian Law Review and an honorary professorial fellow at Aberystwyth University.

Hooson stood as the Liberal candidate for Conwy in the 1950 General Election and again in 1951.

Emlyn Hooson was Chair of the Liberal Party of Wales in 1955 and appointed to the Liberal Party Executive in 1965.

As Chair of the Liberal Party of Wales, he led it’s merger with the North and South Wales Liberal Federation, forming the Welsh Liberal Party.

Hooson introduced the Government of Wales Bill  1967 which eventually led to the establishment of the National Assembly for Wales.

In 1979 Hooson became a life peer. The year that his mates ignored the activities of Dafydd, as he unlawfully had Mary Wynch arrested, imprisoned and relieved of her property.

Emlyn Hooson’s biography tells us that in the Lords he was active in ‘improving the Mental Health Act’. Would he perhaps have made a contribution to the 1983 Act, which was drafted by Robert Bluglass and accompanied by a Code of Practice drafted by William Bingley, whilst both of them covered-up for Dafydd? Not that Emlyn needed to have even bothered – Dafydd just broke the law under the new Act as he had done so under the old one. Emlyn also spoke in the Lords on the necessity for police reform and drugs trafficking. He’ll have known an awful lot about both…

In 1980 Lord Hooson became a member of the ITV advisory council and in 1985 he was appointed a non-executive director of Laura Ashley. He became Chair of Laura Ashley in 1995. So Emlyn could have told everyone why that company went seriously pear-shaped after the death of Laura Ashley and whether the allegations about Bernard Ashley were true…

In 1980 Hooson also Chaired the consortium that bid for the Wales and West TV franchise.

Between 1991-2000 Lord Hooson was Chair of Severn River Crossing PLC.

In 1966 Hooson was President of the National Eisteddfod of Wales. In 1967 he was made an honorary White Bard of the Gorsedd. Between 1987-93 he was President of the International Eisteddfod at Llangollen.

Hooson has two daughters, the Hon Sioned and the Hon Lowri. They both attended the London Welsh School, where Emlyn was Chair of the Governors.

So Hooson had a foot firmly planted in the London Welsh contingent. Hooson died in 2012 which is a great pity, because I would have liked to have asked him why for no good reason some years ago the fraternity of twats in high society in London all wanted to join the London Welsh Society – David Frost was hammering at the door so hard that he nearly broke it down and was most irate when he wasn’t accepted. Lots of fatuous jokes were being made about how being Welsh had suddenly become the height of cool among the London elite. Nonsense -Frost et al had no interest in anything that did not personally advance them, they had no interest in Wales, if they had they’d have gone to live there. Something else was going on. It was nearly as odd as when David Frost died unexpectedly of a heart-attack on a cruise ship when most unusually he wasn’t accompanied by his wife, just as the ship was too far away from the shore to have summoned the help needed. And then Frost’s son was found dead after he’d gone out jogging – from heart problems that were ‘undiagnosed’. I seem to remember all this happened as Operation Pallial got underway. Which was when Dafydd’s partner in crime Tony Francis (Dr X) killed himself – in the light of the documents that I now possess I can understand why Francis might have felt like doing that…

Emlyn’s dad Hugh farmed in the Vale of Clwyd. After Emlyn died, Ieuan Wyn Jones, former leader of Plaid and former Deputy First Minister, commented that he had known Emlyn from Clwyd, where Ieuan Wyn Jones had also lived and that Emlyn ‘was extremely knowledgeable about the politics, history and culture of the Vale’. He certainly was and he knew Dafydd and Gwynne the lobotomist too – and I bet that he knew about the long standing paedophile activity towards the children in care.

Kirsty Williams waxed lyrical about Emlyn when he died, explaining that he was the founding father of the Welsh Liberal Party. Kirsty, I think that your foundations might be a little bit rotten…

In 1970, after the jailing of some Welsh students for invading the High Court in London, Hooson stated that ‘the Welsh were fed up with people who broke the law then whined about the consequences’. Indeed – after Mary Wynch sued Dafydd, everyone was fucking furious to see him given air time on the TV to maintain that ‘I found myself in this bizarre situation when I was only trying to help’. Ten years later when Dafydd was asked to explain why I had complained about him unlawfully arresting and detaining me, he came out with exactly the same phrase.

Emlyn was a close friend of Lord Alex Carlile, who succeeded him as Liberal MP for Montgomeryshire. Carlile had known him previously, he’d met Hooson when Carlile was training to be a barrister.

Even Emlyn Hooson’s most loyal fans agree that the path in life of this son of a Denbighshire hill farmer had been helped by his marriage to the daughter of Sir George Hamer, the Lord Lieutenant of Montgomeryshire.

 

Emlyn Hooson was not called as a witness at Thorpe’s Old Bailey trial. Peter Bessell, Thorpe’s friend and Liberal Party colleague, did give evidence and testified that Hooson knew of Thorpe’s payments to Norman Scott. The Court heard a recording of David Holmes, Thorpe’s friend and co-defendant, telling Bessell that Hooson had been ‘firmly sat on’ for trying to force Thorpe out. Someone somewhere will know who sat on Hooson, but they weren’t called to give evidence either.

 

David Freeman, Harold Wilson’s Press Solicitor, was someone who offered a helping hand to Thorpe’s friend and co-defendant, David Holmes.  When The Mirror revealed that it was Holmes who had purchased incriminating material about Jeremy which according to Norman Scott had been sold without his authorisation by Scott’s GP Roger Gleadle, Holmes met with the DPP and David Freeman subsequently prepared a statement on Holmes’s behalf. The statement was allegedly personally vetted by Harold Wilson.

Freeman was born in Cardiff and was involved in the Robert Maxwell DTI inquiry in 1970.

In 1974 Freeman advised Wilson on libel.

Freeman was a Trustee of Ravenswood (now Norwood) Children’s Home. In 2007 he built a children’s centre, The Freeman Family Centre, for Barnardos in Brent.

Freeman’s wife was an educational psychologist who then became a partner in his law firm in 1967 after she qualified as a solicitor. She wrote the authorised biography of Lord Denning.

 

Another character whose name appeared repeatedly in Michael Bloch’s book about Thorpe who seemed to be highly influential in the Liberal Party during the Jeremy Years was Trevor Jones – who in 1981 became Sir Trevor Jones.

Trevor Jones was for many years the Lib Dem leader of Liverpool City Council. Although he was constructed very much as Welsh and was nicknamed ‘Jones the Vote’, he grew up in Bootle. However his parents were Welsh – they were from Dyserth in Denbighshire and Jones was born in north Wales.

Trevor Jones was elected to Liverpool City Council in 1968 and to Liverpool Metropolitan District Council in 1973. He led his party to control Liverpool in 1973, was Council leader again between 1981-83 and then again in 1987. He remained a member of the Council until 1991. In 2003 he returned to the council when he was re-elected to Liverpool City Council and remained there until 2010. Jones also stood as the Liberal candidate for Liverpool Toxteth in the Feb 1974 General Election. In the General Election in the October of 1974, Jones was Liberal Candidate for Gillingham. Jones was President of the Liberal Party in 1972 for one year and in the early 70s campaigned for the Liberal Party in the south east of England.

Trevor Jones was heavily involved with David Alton’s election victory in 1979. Alton’s result was breath-taking, there was an enormous swing in his favour – which was a bit strange, because David Alton is really only a one-track pony. He is anti-abortion and that’s about it. Whilst there are many people who are quite genuine in their opposition to abortion – it’s rather ironic that in the past couple of weeks there have been howls of outrage about Jacob Rees-Mogg declaring himself to be anti-abortion because there are many more offensive indefensible things about Rees-Mogg than that – the tactics used by some MPs and their associates who have stood on an anti-abortion platform have been very unpleasant. One wonders what Trevor Jones and co did to achieve that impressive result.

Trevor Jones’s wife Doreen was a Liverpool City Councillor for 30 years and was Lord Mayor of Liverpool twice – Jones himself was also Lord Mayor of Liverpool.

Although flattering profiles of Trevor Jones stress his ‘public service’ and ‘success’, Liverpool local politics during his years were very fraught indeed. Derek Hatton was causing havoc – I was told in the 80s by someone who’s family were involved in local politics in Liverpool that Hatton was actually far worse than was ever publicly admitted and was no more than a thug – and Trevor Jones was one of those who opposed Militant. It was as a result of the expulsion of 47 Militant Councillors in March 1987 that Jones became Council leader. However I imagine that Jones has numerous skeletons in his own cupboard – he was leader of the Council at the time of the Toxteth riots and ‘worked in partnership with Heseltine’. Many interesting things were going on in Liverpool – this blog has already detailed some of the corruption in the NHS and medical school in Liverpool, but a number of people have told me that ‘community politics’ were absolutely poisonous and that some genuine people were very badly damaged and withdrew from such activities.

Trevor Jones’s style and contribution to politics can perhaps be assessed by the nature of his protégé – in Nov 2008, the Liverpool Echo mentioned a Chris Rennard, described as Jones’s ‘younger Lieutenant’.

Readers may recognise the name – Rennard, now Lord Rennard, became infamous a few years ago after numerous allegations surfaced that Rennard was attempting to extract sexual favours from women in return for their progress in the Party.

Chris Rennard was a Liberal Party activist in Liverpool in the late 70s – whilst at university he had Chaired the Liverpool University Liberals. Rennard is described as one of the ‘early pioneers of community politics in Liverpool’…. Rennard himself maintains that Trevor Jones was a ‘major influence’ on him.

Whilst Deputy Chair of Liverpool Labour Party, Rennard organised many campaigns in the 80s when the Liberals controlled the City Council. Rennard was David Alton’s agent in 1983 when Alton stood for the newly created seat of Liverpool Mossley Hill. In 1984 Rennard was one of the Party’s national Area Agents in Leicester. He’ll have heard about a Lord Greville Janner of the Labour Party then. Chris Rennard also assisted in the Eastbourne campaign in 1990 – so he’ll have known David Bellotti, the Liberal MP who tried to help Mary Wynch and disappeared from national politics afterwards never to resurface.

In 2011 ‘Total Politics’ described Rennard as ‘the most formidable and feared political campaigner of the last twenty years.

Rennard stood down as Chief Exec of the Lib Dems in 2009, after a number of truly hair-raising accounts from female Lib Dems regarding their experiences with him. There were allegations of serious sexual harassment and people were alleging that sexual favours were expected in return for advancement in the Lib Dems. There was an enormous hoo ha, with some Lib Dems maintaining that Rennard was the loveliest man that they had ever met (which was what the corrupt occupational health physician at St George’s, Nicky Mitchell-Heggs, said about Professor Tom Burns), whilst others claimed that he was a ruthless sexual predator who ruled by fear. Cleggy and the usual suspects all maintained that bullying wasn’t tolerated in the Lib Dems, neither sexual harassment etc etc. But then Cleggy dispensed kind words at Cyril Smith’s funeral. And probably at Jeremy Thorpe’s as well.

The aggro concerning Chris Rennard did not go away – the allegations of sexual harassment returned with a vengeance in 2013 after a number of women complainants were furious that so little action had been taken against him, although at one point there was a Metropolitan Police investigation as well as a Lib Dem investigation.

In 2014 after Rennard was suspended from the party, the Times reported that ‘friends’ of Rennards claimed that he would reveal two decades of sex scandal in the Party if he were to be expelled – it was overtly stated that ‘he knows where the bodies are buried’. I suspect that Rennard also knows about two decades of sex scandal in the Tory Party, in the Labour Party and in Plaid Cymru. Because I do as well.

I too suspect that I know where at least some bodies are buried. I think that some bodies are buried within the grounds of the now derelict North Wales Hospital Denbigh. Anyone want to start the excavations a la the Catholic institutions for the unfortunate?

 

Chris Rennard is a friend and legal advisor of Alex Carlile.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s The Sun Wot Won It

Readers of my vintage will recognise the title of this blog post – it was the headline that The Sun ran on 11 April 1992 as they crowed about their role in the unexpected Conservative victory at the General Election. The Tories had not expected to win, Norman Lamont’s handling of the economy was not proving very successful and they were expecting a thrashing at the polls. In the days leading up to the election, the right wing press had metamorphosed into vehicles of abuse against Neil Kinnock and the Labour Party, culminating in the The Sun’s notorious front page on the day of the election which screamed ‘If Kinnock wins today will the last person to leave Britain please turn out the lights?’

I’ve been reminded of that particular hate campaign because I’m currently reading Gyles Brandreth’s autobiography ‘Breaking The Code’ in which Brandreth details his selection as Tory candidate for Chester, his subsequent election as MP for Chester and his ‘political career’ – Brandreth and his chums spent much time chortling smugly as the UK media hurled abuse and not infrequently downright lies at the Labour Party. Interestingly enough though, even Brandreth didn’t expect a Tory victory.

In my post ‘I Want Serious Money Now Please’ I detailed the reasons which caused me to believe that Brandreth must have known that his predecessor as Conservative MP for Chester, Sir Peter Morrison, was molesting under-aged boys and why I thought that Brandreth must also have known about the allegations of a paedophile ring operating in north Wales and Cheshire. Morrison was of course known to be visiting children’s homes in north Wales and one person made a statement alleging that Morrison had raped him when he was 14, at the infamous Elm Guest House near Barnes Common, just around the corner from Gyles’s home. Boys from north Wales were known to have been trafficked to the Elm Guest House and to locations in Chester.

Gyles’s book, which is based on his diaries, begins the account in 1990 when he decides to embark on a political career. In between the constant name-dropping of members of the Royal Family and folk from showbiz and boasting about his performances as characters such as Baron Hardup in panto, Gyles describes how he ingratiates himself to leading lights in the Conservative Party and pretty much randomly sets his eyes on a few potential seats, one being Chester. As in the case of his Oxford Union contemporary Ann Widdecombe (see post ‘Doris Karloff – Honest About Her Expenses But Not Much Else’), Gyles knows nothing about the constituencies that he aspires to represent and just like Ann gains his knowledge from visiting the local public library just before meeting the selection panel. Gyles describes his visit to Chester library and how he soon understood the constituency, but he notes whilst leafing through copies of the local papers that the sitting MP Sir Peter Morrison – who is standing down at the next election, hence the vacancy – is never mentioned. However Gyles has looked up Peter Morrison as well and he likes what he discovers – an impeccable profile: Eton, Oxford, White’s, Pratt’s, the son of Lord Margdale, a brother who’s an MP and a sister who is Woman of the Bedchamber to the Queen no less! Gyles can’t wait to meet him – he soon does, he goes to visit Morrison at Morrison’s house, 81 Cambridge Street, London SW1.  Gyles is truly bowled over – not because Morrison is charming or witty or engaging, but because Morrison is really posh. When Gyles gets to meet the members of the City of Chester Conservative Association he finds that a lot of them are really wowed by the very poshness of Morrison too – they’re particularly impressed because Morrison has pictures of himself at Eton in his bog. There’s another reason why Gyles is starry eyed about Morrison – Morrison is PPS to Thatcher (Morrison occupied this role between 1990-92) and Gyles suspects that Morrison might even share an office with Thatcher! Gyles is one of those Tories who just loved her and would do anything to touch the hem of her cloak…

When he begins hobnobbing with the City of Chester Conservative Association, Gyles meets someone even more worth knowing than a Sir who’s sister’s vocation in life is toadying to HM the Queen. Gyles discovers that the Duke of Westminster is President of the Association! He’s so posh that the rest of the Association have to call him ‘Your Grace’. Gyles also knows that the Duke of Westminster is one of the richest men in the UK and is a close friend of the Royal Family. Unfortunately though Gyles oversteps the mark when he finds himself in the presence of the Duke and calls him ‘Gerald’ rather than ‘Your Grace’. It’s a black mark, but thanks to several hours of intensive toadying by Gyles’s wife Michele (the lady who wants Serious Money, as described in a previous post) who remembers to grovel in the right manner, the black mark against Gyles is forgiven. There is another budding Conservative candidate up against Gyles, a Jacqui Lait, who it is mentioned has been beavering away for the Tories for years and who Gyles and his wife have to admit is very good. In fact she’s so good that she even knows Things About Europe and Michele is sure that Jacqui will be selected. Another budding candidate, described as ‘Peter Morrison’s man’, is mentioned but not expanded upon – it is merely observed that he doesn’t seem to have a spouse. Amazingly enough though poor old Jacqui is blown out and the Association selects Gyles! I cannot help but wonder whether this might have something to do with Gyles having previously spent many months toadying to HRH the Duke of Edinburgh – Gyles was busy raising many thousands of pounds for the Royal Family in the guise of charity work – and of course all those letters that he’d written to senior figures in the Tories that he’d got to know from his time at Oxford or in showbiz. Gyles certainly gets around – parties at Jeffrey Archer’s, (parties at Robert Maxwell’s as well, Gyles isn’t fussy) and endless social engagements where he rubs noses with Royals. Well what does working your arse off for the Conservatives for years mean in comparison to Gyles’s ruthless networking? Jacqui Lait must have felt like voting Labour after that.

Once Gyles was selected did he relocate to Chester and get to know the constituency? Not exactly. He went straight ‘home’ to London, noting how much he’d missed it having to spend so much time in Chester telling everyone there how committed he was to them. People kept asking him difficult questions about whether he would be living in the constituency and sending his children to local schools. Poor old Gyles had to explain that although of course he would be living in the constituency, his children would remain at school in London. Gyles’s idea of ‘living in the constituency’ was actually to rent a very expensive house there whilst he pissed off around the rest of the UK appearing in panto or dining with influential Conservatives. He spent a lot of time in the early months of 1991 schmoozing with Peter Morrison as well as of course with the Royals. Gyles hobnobbed with David Hunt the Secretary of State for Wales, the Deputy Chief Whip Alistair Goodlad, Neil and Christine Hamilton – he really likes them, they’re as much fun as Peter Morrison! -Chris and Lavender Patten (Gyles didn’t know them, but a mate of his introduced him which was essential what with Patten being Chair of the Conservative Party) and numerous others.

Gyles ensures that his family are seen around Chester as well – although Michele hates the place and bellyaches about all the travelling between there and London as well as the cost of that travelling and of course his kids are still at school in London. The public schools of Chester might not have been good enough for Brandreth’s kids, but in June 1991 he does manage to tempt his daughter up to the Chester Regatta and Flower Show, where he makes sure that she ends up in all the photos. Gyles observes that it’s known that the Labour candidate – a dreadful little oik who Gyles can’t stand – is having marital problems, so there won’t be too many happy family snaps taken during his campaign.

In July Gyles is in serious need of a break, all the toadying and wining and dining having really taken it out of him, not to mention the bother of having to go to Chester on a regular basis although of course he does live in the constituency, so Gyles and Michele pop off to Venice! He has a lovely time and begins to plan his career as a Cabinet Minister and summarises by observing ‘Ain’t life grand!’.

In September, Gyles attends ‘a gala event in the Association’s calender’, Peter Morrison’s Annual Pimms Party. Gyles notes that the party workers fall into two camps – a group who believe that Morrison is past his sell-by date, has let himself go, is out of touch, gives out all the wrong signals and believe that he’s ‘let the seat slide’ and another group who ‘love the grandeur of the man’ and of course who also love the pictures of him at Eton in the bog. Also in September, Gyles watches the Granada drama ‘Thatcher: The Final Days’. Gyles is appalled at the ‘demonisation’ of Peter Morrison in this drama – Peter was blamed for Thatcher losing the leadership to John Major. Gyles observes that ‘in the papers the knives are out for him’, ‘this helps explain why he’s getting out’ and ‘it may explain the drinking’. However Gyles notes that ‘the programme didn’t portray him as either a lush or an old queen, though we can see he’s the one and we assume he’s the other’. Gyles remembers that it was a Jeremy Hanley who at the time of Morrison’s appointment as Thatcher’s PPS quipped that she’d ‘got herself an aide who knows how to carry a handbag’.

So there was a lot of ribaldry about Morrison’s homosexuality then. But just read what Gyles says next: ‘at Sunday’s do at Peter’s place one or two were whispering behind their hands about his alleged sexual preferences – but I don’t think they know that Michele and I have been told several times on the doorstep – in no uncertain terms – that the MP is a ‘disgusting pervert’ who is ‘into little boys’.

They couldn’t have made it much clearer Gyles.

Gyles is undeterred! In Oct 1991 he joins Peter Morrison at the NFU meeting and then Gyles busies himself preparing his speech for the Tory Party Conference. He’s impressed to find that the Conference is so stage-managed that Gyles actually describes it as ‘rigged’. Gyles’s own speech is on the subject of the Citizen’s Charter! Of course – being one as dedicated to the welfare of the citizens as Gyles is. Gyles is bowled over by the guest of honour at the Conference – it’s a man called William Hague, PPS to Norman Lamont, the Norman who at that time was screwing the economy. After the excitement of the Conference – Michele was so wowed by Thatcher that she had ‘tears in her eyes’ as Thatcher swept the stage -it was entertaining Judy Hurd, wife of Douglas the then Foreign Secretary, who was the guest of honour at Chester racecourse charity lunch. Then it was the State Opening of Parliament – to which Gyles had been invited by the Duke of Edinburgh! November 1991 also saw the death of Robert Maxwell. Gyles reminisces about going to parties at Maxwell’s house and admits that Maxwell was a ‘monster and a crook’. Gyles and Michele’s company did a lot of work for Maxwell nonetheless.

By Dec 1991 Michele is so pissed off with Chester and the boring tedious oiks to whom she constantly has to be civil that she berates Gyles for ever applying for the candidacy there. She had wanted him to wait for a suitable seat in London to come up, but tells him that he was just determined to become the candidate for Chester: ‘you’d have walked over your dying granny to get it. I know you.’ Gyles observes in response ‘She does’.

One presumes that Gyles’s granny didn’t actually die during the process of him pursuing his goal of becoming the Conservative MP for Chester. However quite a few other people died during that time who were not a million miles away from Chester. They were the victims of the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal. There had been premature deaths of those children for years, but things really started hotting up in 1991, the year that Gyles began to bust a gut in order to take over the seat of a man who was, he knew, a child molester. Let’s just look at a few things that happened in 1991 and a few of the events in the years before, which led to all the action in 1991.

In 1987 Alison Taylor, a social worker for Gwynedd Social Services, blew the whistle on serious child abuse in north Wales. Alison was dismissed after doing this. She refused to keep quiet however. She met with Councillors, representatives of the North Wales Police Authority and police officers themselves. In Jan 1987 she wrote to Margaret Thatcher the PM and described abuse that she had witnessed.

Something else happened in 1987 as well which involved the two of the people whom Brandreth found such good fun and whose company he cultivated in 1991, namely Peter Morrison and Neil Hamilton. In 1987 it was alleged that Morrison had joined a group of MPs including Michael Grylls, Neil Hamilton and Michael Brown, who took money from Ian Greer on behalf of third party clients. In the Cash for Questions Inquiry which was later held, Ian Greer Associates admitted that Morrison received payments after Morrison ceased to be an MP. Hansard quotes Greer as stating that he made two commission payments, perhaps three, ‘for client referrals’ to Morrison between 1993-94.

In Feb 1988 Alison Taylor wrote to Tony Newton, the Health Minister regarding the child abuse happening in north Wales.

In July 1991 a letter was sent to the Chief Constable of North Wales Police informing him that there were concerns being expressed that a paedophile ring was operating in north Wales. In August 1991 a police investigation began into the abuse of children in care in Clwyd. In Sept 1991 HTV broadcast a film about Alison Taylor’s allegations regarding abuse in the children’s homes in Gwynedd – the home manager featured in the film, Nefyn Dodd, was trafficking the children to Dolphin Square in London to a Tory lobbyist and speechwriter of Thatcher’s who had an apartment there, although this wasn’t revealed in the film. In Dec 1991 the Independent on Sunday published an article about child abuse in north Wales. In Dec 1991 the North Wales Police expanded their investigation to include abuse in children’s homes in Gwynedd.

Throughout the late 80s/early 90s there were a steady stream of young people who had grown up in care in north Wales found dead. There were also a number of convictions for abuse against child care workers in north Wales. A number of people were tried at Court in Chester. Gyles was not unaware of the existence of the British judicial system. On one of his many jollies, in Sept 1991 Gyles went to lunch at the Old Bailey ‘as a guest of the Sheriff’. Gyles accidentally walked into a Court in session and was very impressed with the barrister at work. He asked a Clerk who the barrister was and was told that it was Michael Mansfield who ‘looks after the IRA and that sort’. Sadly Mr Mansfield – nor any of his radical lawyer colleagues – looked after the people who were being abused by the social services and mental health services in north Wales. Whilst some of them were being molested by Peter Morrison.

Like Gyles I can remember 1991 very clearly, although I wasn’t keeping a diary. I remember it well because whilst Gyles and Michele were grovelling to the Duke of Westminster and being impressed by Peter Morrison in early 1991, I was hounded out of a job at St George’s Hospital Medical School after the network of the Top Doctors who were concealing the paedophile ring that Morrison was involved with stalked me (see posts ‘St George’s Hospital Medical School, 1989/1990’ and ‘A Network Stretching To London?’). There were also a number of attempts by the Top Doctors in north Wales to have me imprisoned for serious offences after they perjured themselves and to have me declared dangerous and banged up without trial (see posts ‘The Night Of The (Dr Chris) Hunter’ and ‘The Sordid Role Of Sir Robert Francis QC’). Top Doctors at St George’s Hospital Medical School and Springfield Hospital colluded with this, although they knew about the criminal activity and sexual abuse of patients by their colleagues in north Wales (see post ‘Some Very Eminent Psychiatrists From London…’).

Ain’t life grand!

 

In 1992, as it became clear that there would be an election before long, Gyles began an endless round of photo-opportunities with VIPs. He was well aware that a lot of people in the country were not faring very well because he kept meeting them, even in a place like Chester. It all became a bit of a pain in the bum for Gyles and Michele as they were obliged to meet the small potatoes who bored them and held meetings in dull little halls instead of the splendour of the Grosvenor Hotel and sometimes Gyles and Michele even found themselves wasting their time with people who weren’t going to vote Conservative.

There were high spots however – staying at Neil and Christine’s grand place in Nether Alderly (‘Mrs T is their goddess’) where Neil told Gyles that he expected to be a Minister soon because the ‘Whip’s Office look after their own, that’s their job’; drinks with Lord Waddington when he visited Chester; a visit from Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd who was told by Central Office that he could spend ‘forty-five minutes in Chester’; another visit from David Hunt the Secretary of State for Wales (who was of course at that time sitting in the Welsh Office along with the crooked lawyer Andrew Park and the corrupt Medical Ombudsman Professor Robert Owen concealing the barrel of shit in north Wales); Gyles dined with Shirley Porter (best remembered for her gerrymandering in Westminster Council as well as for the sale of those three cemeteries for literally pennies when they were worth millions and then departing to live in Israel to avoid paying the enormous fine after her conviction); had sherry with the Dean of the Cathedral; lunched with the Retired Masonic Fellowship (Masonic corruption did of course play a big role in the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal, particularly in terms of the Masonic connections between the North Wales Police and the corrupt lawyers and judges on the Chester and Wales Circuit); received a visit from Jeffrey Archer, then Michael Heseltine, then John Major, then Tony Newton, then Peter Lilley! The Tories brought all the big guns out for Chester in 1992 then – I wonder why there was such desperation over that particular seat?

Gyles decided to give his own campaign a little boost by writing letters to the local papers using pseudonyms, telling everyone what an impressive candidate that Gyles Brandreth was.

So what was happening in north Wales whilst Gyles did all this? The allegations that children in care had been sexually molested – particularly boys in the homes Bryn Estyn and Bryn Alyn near Wrexham, about 12 miles from Chester, came thick and fast. In Jan 1992, Dean Nelson, a journalist preparing a story for the Independent, returned to north Wales to look for evidence against Gordon Anglesea, a senior officer with the North Wales Police. (Anglesea was finally convicted and imprisoned for abusing boys in care in Wrexham last year.) In the same month that Gyles dined with the Retired Masonic Fellowship – March 1992 – police carried out dawn raids in Wrexham and arrested 16 men and one woman, all but one being former staff of Bryn Estyn. ‘No evidence’ of pornography or a paedophile ring was discovered and 16 of those arrested were released with no charges by the end of the day. (In the following years, a number of them were arrested again, convicted and imprisoned for the abuse of boys in care in north Wales.)

In the hours leading up to polling day, Gyles notes in his diary how deeply unsavoury Labour activists are – ‘ugly’, ‘red-faced’, ‘appallingly overweight’. He does concede however that they do a bit better than the Tory activists in meeting ‘the old dears’ during the campaign. Sadly for the Labour Party, meeting the old dears wasn’t enough and on 10 April 1992 Gyles was elected MP for Chester. How chuffed he was! The first person outside of his constituency to congratulate him seems to have been David Hunt, Secretary of State for Wales, who sent him a letter on official Welsh Office paper which even had the address of the Welsh Office printed in Welsh. Shortly after Gyles’s victory, his old mucker the Duke of Edinburgh and HM the Queen visit Chester to distribute Maundy money – the Chester Tories were delighted to see them. Letters of congratulation to Gyles then came thick and fast from John Major, Michael Portillo and Norman St John Stevas!

There is then a gap in Gyles’s account until 23 April 1992 when he notes that Frankie Howerd has died.

During the two weeks or so that Gyles keeps us guessing with regard to his own activities, an event in Brighton took place which no-one with an interest in the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal will ever forget. On 18 April 1992 a fire broke out in a flat at a party – a number of people attending the party had formerly been in care in north Wales or were close to people who had been. Five people were killed – two died from multiple injuries when they tried to jump to safety, one died after losing his grip whilst hanging onto the building at a height and two people died of smoke inhalation after being trapped in the flat. Seven people managed to escape by climbing down a drainpipe at the back of the building and several other people impaled themselves on railings after jumping to safety. A man called Trevor Carrington allegedly confessed to starting the fire – he was found dead days after his ‘confession’.

A verdict of unlawful killing was eventually returned regarding the arson attack. One witness has stated that John Allen, the owner of the Bryn Alyn Community where children were abused, told him that he would meet them at the party but Allen never turned up. John Allen is currently in prison after being convicted of abusing children in care in north Wales. John Allen also ran a business in child porn and owned a number of brothels in London and Brighton to which he trafficked boys who’d been in care in north Wales. One former resident of the children’s homes in north Wales who didn’t die in the fire but who was seriously injured alleged that the former residents of the children’s homes had been murdered and that they had knowledge of sexual liaisons involving politicians. This man later gave evidence against John Allen in Court. He was found dead days afterwards. For further details of the Brighton fire see posts ‘The Silence Of The Welsh Lambs’ and ‘Updates, Common Themes and News, May 5 2017’.

In the days and weeks that followed the murder of five people who might well have been able to act as witnesses against Peter Morrison and others, Gyles got down to business in his new role as MP for Chester. In his maiden speech in the Commons he mentioned that ‘Peter [Morrison] served the Prime Minister’s illustrious predecessor so ably and so loyally’. Michele had by now started bitching about the low salaries of MPs but Gyles notes that at least now that he’s been elected his train and air fares are paid for. He gloats about making an insulting speech directed at Neil Kinnock which he passes off as his own but has actually been scripted word for word by the Whips’ Office. He mentions the presence of Sir Nicholas Fairbairn in the House and describes him as ‘mad’ and ‘perpetually drunk’. Fairbairn has since been accused by a woman whose father was friends with him of molesting her when she was a child.

Not that the world had yet finished with anyone who was still alive who might be able to give evidence against the people who abused children in care in north Wales. In May 1992, an Early Day Motion was tabled by Plaid MP Elfyn Llwyd opposing the closure of Garth Angharad. Garth Angharad was described as a ‘hospital for mentally abnormal criminals’ and was owned by Paul Hett, a struck-off solicitor who was later condemned at the Waterhouse Inquiry and who also owned and ran a number of ‘residential schools’ in which children were abused. People who alleged that they’d been abused in care tended to find themselves in Garth Angharad. For the names and backgrounds of everyone who signed that EDM please see posts ‘Further Information On Garth Angharad Hospital’ and ‘More On Those Who Signed That Early Day Motion’.

Thus Gyles’s career in politics was launched. As well as the five people who died in the Brighton fire, in 1992 two other former residents in children’s homes in north Wales were found dead as well. In Sept 1992 The Observer ran a story on child abuse in north Wales children’s homes and two former residents appeared on TV accusing Gordon Anglesea of having abused them. After the programme was broadcast another former resident rang the BBC and made further allegations. Not that any of this is mentioned in Gyles’s book – although he does document other scandals such as David Mellor’s affair and the subsequent tabloid revelations.

 

So whilst Conservative Central Office flooded Chester with Tory bigwigs prior to the election and Tories in Chester discussed Morrison’s ‘sexual preferences’, the folk on the doorstep told Brandreth that Morrison was molesting under-aged boys. Which indeed he was. The whole of the City of Chester Conservative Association will have known what Morrison was doing yet no-one said a word to the police who were investigating an alleged paedophile ring a few miles down the road. Neither did any of them speak up after the Jillings Investigation (see post ‘It’s A Piece Of Cake’ for the details of the Jillings investigation and just how dreadful the abuse of children that had gone on was) or during or after the Waterhouse Inquiry, the cover-up organised by William Hague ie. the guest of honour at the Tories Conference who had so impressed Gyles four years previously. Chester is renowned as a centre of law. My documents are littered with the names of legal professionals and judges in Chester who were party to perjury. Gyles will have come across them – it would not be possible to be the MP for Chester and not encounter them. Gyles rubbed noses with other people who have been involved in the cover up or who knew what was going on and kept quiet, such as David Waddington, Matthew Parris and Edwina Currie. As for Norman St John Stevas, that devotee of the Queen Mother, who was another to congratulate Gyles on his election victory – well when I worked at St George’s, there was someone else who worked there who was a young gay man well-acquainted with the gay scene at the time. He told me then that there was a problem with some politicians abusing children. One name that he mentioned was that of Norman St John Stevas – he told me that it was common knowledge that ‘he is holding spanking parties with little boys’ and that ‘no-one knows how he is getting away with it’. Well in north Wales and Brighton someone got away with murdering the witnesses.

So what of the people who knew what Morrison was up to but remained silent, which is why he at least got away with it. The President of the City of Chester Conservative Association, Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor, the Duke of Westminster. A big mate of Prince Charles. A mentor to Prince William whilst William was growing up. Gerald Cavendish’s son is godfather to Prince George. Gerald’s wife is William’s godmother. Gerald died in August 2016 ‘suddenly’ when he was only 64. A statement was issued at the time saying curiously that there were no suspicious circumstances. It was later alleged that he’d had a heart attack. In 1998 Gerald Cavendish experienced severe depression which was attributed to the strain of running his business. He was the third richest man in the UK and owned swathes of Belgravia and Mayfair, as well as Scotland, so he can’t have been worried about money. In 2000 it was said that he had suffered a nervous breakdown.

Gerald Cavendish enjoyed field sports, was an enthusiastic member of the Territorial Army – he reached the rank of Major-General – and was involved with many charities. His charity work included benevolent work for services personnel and working with young offenders and drugs. Rather like Dr Dafydd Alun Jones, one of the Top Doctors who concealed the paedophile gang in north Wales! Gerald was a Committee Member of Nuffield Hospitals from 1995 until his death. There’s a Nuffield Hospital in Chester – Dafydd worked there! Gerald was a life Vice-President of the NSPCC from 1988 until his death. The NSPCC that said nothing about the child abuse in north Wales, the NSPCC which was ‘supported’ by Jimmy Savile, the NSPCC that worked with and then merged with Esther Rantzen’s Childline – which ignored calls from youngsters who were abused in care in north Wales. The NSPCC who – very inappropriately  – were involved in running the ‘helpline’ for adults who were giving evidence in the police investigation into the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal in the 1990s. The NSPCC helpline was managed and staffed by colleagues of the paedophiles. At least one of the people being ‘supported’ was found dead whilst they were being ‘supported’ by the helpline. Gerald was the President of Scope 1982-2005 and President of RNIB. He was Pro-Chancellor of Keele University 1986-93. Jane Tunstill, one of the members of Jillings’s team appointed to investigate child abuse in Clwyd in 1994, obtained a Chair at Keele University immediately upon finishing the investigation. The Jillings report maintained that there was widespread serious child abuse happening in Clwyd children’s homes but overtly stated that they would not speculate on whether a paedophile ring was in operation. Gerald was Chancellor of Manchester Metropolitan University 1992-2002 and Chancellor of the University of Chester 1995-2016. Then Gyles became Chancellor! Gerald was also a Committee Member for the Prince’s Trust and Patron for the Princes’s Trust for North West England from 2001. A number of other people named on this blog as concealing the paedophile gang in north Wales were members of the Prince’s Trust.

Gerald was the executor of Diana, Princess of Wales’s will.

Gerald was a very influential man. I suspect that if he had chosen not to back Morrison, Morrison would have been finished.

In 2007 Gerald Cavendish stepped down as Assistant Chief of Defence Staff (Reserves and Cadets) after prostitutes working for the very expensive U.S. escort agency Emperor’s Club named him as one of their clients. The most high profile scalp in the scandal was that of New York Governor Eliot Spitz who also resigned as a result of it. Mr Spitz had spent so many thousands of dollars with the Emperor’s Club that he had resorted to some creative accounting in order to try to cover his tracks but was found out. Gerald Cavendish was so rich that he won’t have needed to do that.

Gyles’s book mentions two other loyal members of the City of Chester Conservative Association – Gwyn Gough, the Secretary and Jill Everett, the Deputy Chairman. So they ‘managed’ the time bomb that was Peter Morrison as well then.

Jeremy Hanley, Gyles’s mate who cracked jokes about Morrison knowing how to carry a handbag is Sir Jeremy Hanley, who was Conservative MP for Richmond and Barnes 1983-97. So he was Brandreth’s local MP then before Gyles ever got a sniff of standing for Chester. Hanley was Conservative Party Chairman 1994-95. He was for a brief time PPS to Chris Patten – who was Party Chairman whilst Brandreth was crawling his way into the Commons. After he left politics, Hanley went in for being a company director, including a Director of the Arab-British Chamber of Commerce.

What about Morrison’s membership of those ‘exclusive’ clubs which so impressed Gyles, White’s and Pratt’s? There are an awful lot of members of White’s who, like the Duke of Westminster, could have finished Morrison off if they’d chosen to publicise what seemed to be an open secret among people who knew Morrison. Members of White’s include Prince Charles (he held his stag party there before marrying Diana), Prince William, Norman Lamont and Geordie Greig. Greig is at present the Editor of the Mail On Sunday. He previously worked on The Sunday Times and has also been the Editorial Director of The Independent On Sunday and the Independent. Greig’s sister was a Lady in Waiting to Diana. David Cameron was a member of White’s until 2008 when he resigned because White’s refused to admit women. Cameron’s father Ian had been a member for donkeys years and was the former Chairman. So who let Morrison in then?

 

So that, based on Gyles’s own account, is how It Was The Sun Wot Won It. Assisted by a Tory Party who knew that they had a child molester in their midst but were buggered if those ugly, red-faced, appallingly overweight Labour activists were going to win the day – and of course helped by someone who was prepared to murder the witnesses. At least Gyles’s greedy social climbing vile empty headed wife Michele now has Serious Money. How does it feel then Michele? Was it worth the brutalisation, rape and murder of a considerable number of young people who were drawn from the social class that you despise? Or do you manage to put that out of your tiny brain when you and Gyles are talking Teddy Bear Museums with the Royals?

 

Before finishing this post I just clicked on BBC News Wales online and I see that an enormous row has broken out over a fairly innocuous tweet sent out by Leanne Wood. In response to the Barcelona attack, Leanne tweeted ‘Ofnadwy/terrible. Is this more far-right terrorism? My thoughts are with all those affected’. The world and his wife have gone apeshit, particularly the Welsh Conservatives and UKIP. Janet Finch-Saunders, Conservative AM for Aberconwy, has said that Leanne’s tweet was ‘morally depraved’. No Janet, that was Peter Morrison, all those who kept quiet about him and whoever it was who killed the witnesses. UKIP have tweeted to Leanne ‘how dare you associate us with murderers?’ Er – I hate to draw this to your attention UKIP, but one of your leading lights in Wales is a man called Neil Hamilton. Who knew a man called Peter Morrison very well indeed – and someone killed a number of people who’s testimony could have put Peter Morrison behind bars. As if on cue, dear old Hamilton himself has waded into the fray and is quoted on BBC News Wales as saying that ‘Leanne Wood is clearly not fit for purpose. She is an embarrassment not only to Plaid Cymru but to the whole of Wales’.

This is the Neil Hamilton who lost his seat in Cheshire in 1997 after getting himself in the most appalling mess after some events involving cash in envelopes. Conservative Central Office begged him not to stand because he was far more of an embarrassment than Leanne could ever be, but Neil stood anyway. He was opposed by BBC journalist Martin Bell who stood on an anti-sleaze ticket. Neil’s wife Christine – who Gyles found to be such a delight, just like Peter Morrison – harangued Martin Bell in public and memorably asked who would vote for a man who wore a white suit. As it turned out, thousands of people would and they did, because they were desperate to see the back of the Hamiltons. Years later Neil Hamilton sneaked into the Senedd – I suspect because most of the people who voted for him didn’t know what he’d done in Tatton in the 1980s and 90s and they certainly won’t have known what he did when he was in the Federation of Conservative Students. But even the political geeks who did know probably weren’t aware that he was mates with a man who was known among the voters of Chester to be molesting children. Come off it Neil and Christine, you’ll have heard what Morrison was up to – and anyway Gyles has now admitted it to the world in his autobiography.

When ‘Breaking the Code’ was published, Brandreth was on record as saying that the Whips take a very harsh view of anyone who leaks their practices, but he thinks that they’ll probably forgive him. But is the wider world going to forgive you for keeping quiet about a child molester when witnesses to the gang that he was part of were murdered Gyles?

 

 

 

 

 

Did Glenda Occupy A Key Role In Keeping It All Out Of The Media?

I resorted to purchasing a copy of the ‘Times’ this morning, although I loathe encouraging Murdoch by doing this. I splashed out however because in today’s ‘Times’ magazine, Theresa May’s former press office manager Katie Perrior has written a tell-all piece about the chaos reigning at Number 10 as a result of May’s reliance on her two notorious Chiefs of Staff, Fiona Hill and Nick Timothy. Perrior’s revelations confirm what I have long suspected about May – that she’s not that bright, not that confident and relies on vacuous twats to advise her, which is how she ended up doing things like wittering on about her kitten heels and posing in a pair of not very nice overly expensive trousers which allowed her opponents to comment on the gulf between her lifestyle and that experienced by the rest of the nation. I was interested to watch this phenomenon damage May so badly because it is of course what all female politicians have subjected themselves to ever since the manufacture of Margaret Thatcher. Idiots like Hazel Blears purchased handbags costing hundreds of pounds and described such bags as ‘aspirational’ rather than ‘over-priced’ and politicians like Nicola Sturgeon and Leanne Wood have very obviously spent a lot more time taking advice on their hairstyles, shoes, the precise length of their skirts and the style of those boring little Young Margaret Thatcher jackets that are de rigueur for female politicians than they ever have reading economic or political theory. That’s why none of them ever make any intelligent comments about gender, health policy, social inequality, economic policy etc. Compare what comes out of their mouths when they’re busy on their way to smash glass ceilings and show the boys how to do it with what comes out of someone like Yanis Varoufakis and our lot are laughable. It’s not as if there aren’t any good female economists around to advise them as well if they wanted a testicle free zone.

Perrior does indeed drop a few pearls of wisdom whilst giving a resume of her career. Perrior’s career as a spin doctor for the Tories started in 2000 when she was interviewed for a junior role by William Hague’s Press Secretary. Perrior was taken on and describes the asinine tasks that she and her colleagues were given to do. She mentions that they were ‘doing jobs way above our pay grades but there simply wasn’t anyone else to do it’. Interestingly she notes that ‘more than 20’ of these rather air-headed young gofers are now ‘either MPs or lords’. Perrior went onto work for Theresa when she was Transport Secretary and Party Chair, but Perrior then left to join the ITN news department because of the allegedly low pay. She subsequently worked for Channel 4 News and as Press Secretary for David Davis. After that she established ‘The Research Shop’ with Nick Timothy. A Jo Tanner who worked with her is now Head of Press at the British Chamber of Commerce. Following this Perrior worked on Boris’s mayoral campaign with the appalling Lynton Crosby in 2008 for ten months, then on the lame ‘Women2Win’. After the successful Brexit campaign she ‘offered her services’ to Theresa during the leadership race and ended up as Director of Communications at Number 10. She’s now dished the dirt on them.

It is entertaining to have my suspicions about Theresa’s reliance on dipsticks confirmed, but unlike a lot of people I’m not that interested in Fiona Hill or Nick Timothy. It is well-established that they are a pair of shites who have damaged the Tories, but it was fairly clear that they were a liability when Theresa was Home Secretary because they were causing problems them.

The person that I am interested in is the woman who gave Katie her big break, Hague’s Press Secretary when he became Tory leader in 2000. It was Amanda Platell – the right wing hate filled scribbler for the ‘Daily Mail’ who is the ultimate example of the sort of female journo satirised by the ‘Private Eye’ Glenda Slagg column, although Platell has a deeper interest in politics. The ‘Eye’ has described Platell as being ‘one of the killer Bimbos of Fleet Street’. I’m interested in Platell because Hague became Tory leader after he assisted a lot of people out of a very tight spot by organising the whitewash of the organised child abuse in north Wales that was the Waterhouse Inquiry when he was Secretary of State for Wales. I have mentioned many times how Sir Peter Morrison, Thatcher’s aide and MP for Chester, was known to be abusing under-aged boys and was visiting children’s homes in north Wales. It is only relatively recently however that I learned that the kids being abused in Ty’r Felin, the children’s home in Bangor, were being trafficked to London where they were being used to provide sexual services after being introduced to a Tory lobbyist and businessman who was also one of Thatcher’s speechwriters (see post ‘Are You Local?’). This man occupied space in the notorious Dolphin Square apartments in Pimlico and Edwina Currie and William Hague claim to be friends of his.

Platell only met Hague ‘a few months’ before her appointment as his Press Secretary ie. Head of News and Media at Conservative Central Office, but she was described as ‘very much Hague’s appointment’. At the time she was described as being ‘a friend’ of Hague’s new wife Ffion and Ffion was said to be a ‘strong supporter’ of Platell’s appointment. Ffion has featured on this blog before (see post ‘A Few Of The Relevant Politicians Re Mary Wynch’s Case’). She met Hague when she was a senior civil servant in the Welsh Office. The Welsh Office that had concealed the paedophile ring for decades, the Welsh Office that employed a crooked solicitor Andrew Park, who concealed the criminal activities of the two psychiatrists Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and Dr Tony Francis (Dr X), who were associates of Lucille Hughes the Director of Gwynedd Social Services, who colluded with that paedophile ring. So people involved with the cover-up of a vicious paedophile ring, many of whose victims had been found dead in suspicious circumstances, ensured that Amanda Platell was appointed as Press Secretary at Conservative Central Office. The Waterhouse Report was published in 2000. Amanda was Hague’s Press Secretary between 1999-2001. Did Hague think that he might be particularly in need of a good Press Secretary sometime in 2000? In 1999 no-one knew how much of a cover-up Sir Ronald Waterhouse would publish, but they did know that hundreds of former children in care in north Wales had told the Waterhouse Inquiry how they were beaten, flogged, kicked, punched, starved, forced to do unpaid labour, sexually abused by the ‘care’ staff and other visitors, taken to other places where they were sexually abused by people whom they did not know, transferred to other even more abusive institutions if they complained about being abused or ended up in the mental health system. Everybody did know that even if Ronnie turned out to be a star performer, the shit was going to hit the fan when that Report was published and a bit of nifty work with the media would be needed.

Let’s look at why Hague might have thought that Amanda was the right woman for the job.

Amanda is an Aussie, from Perth, who arrived in London in 1985. Her father was a journalist too, on ‘The West Australian’. In London she worked as a freelancer for the ‘Observer’ and the ‘Sunday Express’. She was a member of the start-up team when Eddy Shah launched ‘Today’ in 1986. Murdoch’s News International purchased it in 1987, and as well as hosting Amanda, ‘Today’ employed Alastair Campbell as political editor and his partner Fiona Millar as news editor. Platell left ‘Today’ for a short while to work for Robert Maxwell’s short-lived ‘London Daily News’ but returned to ‘Today’ in 1987 when David Montgomery was deputy editor. In 1993 she became managing editor of the Mirror Group, but moved to the Independent in the same year, first as marketing director and then as managing director.

The allegations concerning dreadful wide scale child abuse in north Wales and a paedophile ring that possibly involved public figures and politicians emerged in the London media in the early 1990s. Amanda could not have missed those stories.

In 1996 Platell was acting editor of the ‘Sunday Mirror’ and was the senior colleague of Alastair Campbell. In 1998 she became acting editor of the ‘Sunday Express’ but was sacked by Rosie Boycott after Amanda published a story about Mandelson’s gay relationship with his Brazilian partner. The publication of this story followed a spat between Platell and Mandelson at the Labour Party conference. So Platell discovered what could happen if one published a story that embarrassed a high profile politician. She’ll also have worked out the power and advantages that one would enjoy if one suppressed such stories.

Following Hague’s lacklustre performance as leader, Platell left her job at Conservative Central Office and in 2002 became a freelancer for the ‘Daily Mail’. Her bile filled column goes under the title of ‘Platell’s People’. Well now the readers of this blog know who ‘Platell’s People’ actually are, let’s look at a few more of these people and their contacts in greater detail.

David Montgomery. Platell seems to have thrived whilst working under Montgomery – she worked with him on ‘Today’ and when he moved to head the Mirror Group in 1994, she became group managing editor with a place on the Board. David Montgomery was originally from Northern Ireland. In 1973 he worked for the ‘Mirror’, then in 1979 the ‘Sun’. Between 1985-1987 he was editor of the ‘News of the Screws’ and Director of News(UK)Ltd, a subsidiary of News International owned by Murdoch’s News Corporation. Between 1987-91 he edited ‘Today’ whilst it was owned by Murdoch. Following the death of Robert Maxwell in 1991, between 1992-1999 Montgomery was Chief Exec of Mirror Group PLC. During his tenure at Mirror Group PLC Montgomery took a stake in the ‘Independent’ and the ‘Independent on Sunday’. It was the ‘Independent On Sunday’ that former senior police officer Gordon Anglesea sued for libel in 1994 after they published allegations that he’d sexually abused boys at Bryn Estyn. For details of some of the puzzling aspects of the trial and the conduct of the judge and the lawyers involved see posts ‘Y Gwir Yn Erbyn Y Byd’ and ‘Y Gwir Yn Erbyn Y Byd – A Few Additional Comments’. In 2016 Anglesea was imprisoned after he was convicted of abusing boys at Bryn Estyn.

In 2000 Montgomery founded the Mecom Group, a London-based investment company, specialising in the mergers and acquisitions of newspaper and media companies in Europe. In 2005 they purchased Berliner Verlag – the purchase was made in partnership with an American private equity firm. A number of journalists employed by titles owned by Berliner Verlag were most unhappy at the direction in which they felt that the new owners would take the company.

So Amanda had a Big Mate in Montgomery and both of them were undoubtedly in a position to have received much information relating to the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal.

But Montgomery is related to a few interesting folk as well. He married Sophie, the daughter of the 3rd Baron Birdwood. The second wife of Sophie’s grandfather, Lady Jane Birdwood, is politely referred to as a ‘politician’ on the family’s wiki entry. Lady Jane Birdwood was a one-off as a politician, she was famously bonkers in that she was so anti-Semitic and right-wing that she denounced a leader of the National Front as a ‘socialist’, although at one point she was a member of the National Front herself. Presumably she became disillusioned when they moved to the left. She ended up in hot water legally on a number of occasions because of her penchant for distributing race hate literature and maintained that the Jews died in the Holocaust as a result of typhoid. Jane Birdwood was not the only notable relative of Montgomery’s wife. Sophie was the ex-wife of Simon Marquis (Sophie married three times, each time to a peer!), the 3rd Earl of Woolton. Simon’s mother married again to Owen Lloyd George, another British peer and became Countess Lloyd George of Dwyfor (in north Wales). Owen Lloyd George succeeded to the Lords in 1968 and was the Deputy Lieutenant of Dyfed – although he was from a family with their origins in Llanystumdwy, north Wales (he was the grandson of David Lloyd George ie. THE Lloyd George), he did not have a home in Wales until the mid 80s, when he purchased a house in Pembrokeshire. The family were of course a massively influential north Welsh political family and Owen Lloyd George carried the sword at the Investiture of Prince Charles in 1969 at Caernarfon. Owen’s mother was from the McAlpine family.

People familiar with the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal will recognise the name McAlpine. In 2012 Lord Alistair McAlpine was named on ‘Newsnight’ by a former resident of Bryn Estyn, Steve Messham, as having been the man who had sexually abused him whilst Messham was in care at the home. McAlpine denied this and successfully sued a number of people who repeated Messham’s claims, including George Monbiot and Sally Bercow, the wife of John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons. Steve Messham later stated that he’d been mistaken. McAlpine died in 2014 at his house in Italy. I can only presume that like Matthew Parris, the former Tory MP and ‘Times’ journo, McAlpine liked Italy. Parris has a house in Catalonia, but in his autobiography he wrote about holidaying at a place in Italy with his political friends that they named ‘the villa of shame’ – he noted that there were some good parties at the villa with ‘boys’ who were ‘always willing’.

Alistair McAlpine spent a lot of time in Perth, Western Australia during the 60s and 70s. That’s where Amanda Platell came from! He had business interests out there and in quite a big way as well. He was an advisor to Thatcher and raised millions for the Tory party. He raised money from Asil Nadir who featured in my post ‘A Stalker’s Network’. Nadir of course stole millions from his company Polly Peck and later was imprisoned, but not for very long and managed to escape even that for many years by fleeing to Cyprus. McAlpine was on record as saying that the funds that were received from Nadir should be given to Polly Peck’s creditors. McAlpine also cultivated the company of Mohamed Al-Fayed. McAlpine was Chairman of the Conservative Party between 1979-1983 but joined Goldsmith’s Referendum Party in 1996. It is recorded that McAlpine was ‘very critical of the Conservative Party under William Hague’. I don’t know why because I would have thought that everyone had a great deal to thank Hague for, after organising the cover-up by Ronnie Waterhouse. I suspect that some people were so grateful that they even felt like making him leader of the Party.

After McAlpine sued the various people who repeated the claims that he had abused a boy who was in care in north Wales, he kindly donated the damages that he was paid to the BBC charity Children In Need. One of the many who presented Children In Need was Esther Rantzen, who claimed that she did not know that Jimmy Savile was a child abuser and could not remember being contacted by someone who later appeared in the media saying that she had told Esther that Savile was a child abuser. I contacted Esther in the 1980s when she maintained that she was campaigning for better mental healthcare and detailed the abuses happening at the hands of psychiatrists in north Wales – who were also concealing the paedophile ring. Esther didn’t write back and I expect that she’s forgotten about my letter as well. A number of children who had been abused in care claimed to have contacted Esther’s charity Childline but did not receive help. Childline’s first CEO was Valerie Howarth, the former Director of Social Services for Brent – four year old Jasmine Beckford was abused and murdered on her watch. Esther had got to know Valerie because Valerie had trained Esther’s sister when they both worked as social workers for Lambeth Council. Whilst Lambeth Council’s children’s homes were infiltrated by paedophiles.

I’m glad to say that there was one person with a bit of sense associated with Children In Need though and that was Sir Roger Jones, who at one point was Chairman of the charity. Sir Roger had made a point of keeping Jimmy Savile well away from Children In Need whilst he was Chairman because he had heard rumours about Savile’s interest in young children, thought that Savile was deeply unsavoury and was on record as saying that ‘the biggest thing to guard against was paedophiles – they were just like flies around the honey pot’. Before Sir Roger became Chairman, Savile had been involved with Children In Need in 1984, 1987 and 1989. Sir Roger was on the BBC Board of Governors between 1996-2002, so one wonders how the lowdown on Savile had escaped others in the BBC. Such as Esther. Sir Roger was the Governor from Wales. As a good proportion of those kids being abused by organised paedophiles had been trafficked from north Wales, perhaps Sir Roger took a rather more dim view of the activities of Savile and his ilk than the media twats in London who think that they’re the centre of the universe and will do pretty much anything to get what they want, including ignoring the serious abuse of sheepshaggers’ children.

Another one of Platell’s People was Rolf Harris, a friend of Jimmy Savile. Amanda was horrified when Rolf was convicted of sexual assaults on children and got himself imprisoned and she penned an article about her inner turmoil for the ‘Daily Mail’ in July 2014, which ran under the headline ‘My Old Friend Rolf Groomed Me Too’. Amanda was deeply traumatised: ‘It was inconceivable to me that the man I’d come to love and trust as a true friend had been serially assaulting girls for decades’. Amanda explains that she was ‘in denial’, because her and Rolf went back a long way. She blames herself for having being duped by Rolf by having been exposed to him on the TV when she was young. In fact Rolf was so successful at grooming the youthful Amanda over the airwaves all those years ago that as a special treat, Rolf turned up to her 40th birthday party in 1998, whilst ‘this star’ was ‘at the height of his fame’. He drew some cartoons for her and she sat on his knee and this was the beginning of a friendship that lasted for the next 16 years, but ended when she realised that she had been ‘conned by a cunning and manipulative paedophile’.

This is a woman who had worked in a senior capacity for Robert Maxwell, Rupert Murdoch and had been Alastair Campbell’s boss. Furthermore, everyone in their 50s was exposed to a good dose of Rolf if they had watched TV when they were kids. I saw Rolf on his lame TV show when he used to appear with someone dressed up as a Koala calling themselves Coojee Bear – presumably Amanda continues to think that was a real Koala. I had a particularly lethal dose of Rolf because my gran used to buy me a comic called ‘Teddy Bear’ which had a cartoon story featuring Rolf and a Koala in every issue. My friend Brown used to read ‘Teddy Bear’ as well when he was little, so he too was dangerously exposed to Rolf. Now we did not consider ourselves groomed by Rolf and even if we were London media twats and in a position to invite Rolf to our 40th birthday parties I don’t think that we would have bothered. And I certainly wouldn’t have sat on his knee. Because I would have been 40 not 4 and he was a complete idiot anyway.

Amanda  shared further insights with the readers of the ‘Daily Mail’: ‘pathological  offenders…the really clever ones, spend…99% of their time grooming people around them…Was Rolf always truly evil, a psychopathic monster, like Jimmy Savile, who gleefully manipulated all those around him? Looking at the picture of him published this week, posing with Savile on a trip to Broadmoor, the similarities are chillingly apparent. Could Rolf have been as dark, as sick, as twisted as that monster beside him?’

I’ve got an answer for Platell and her People. Rolf and Savile were probably about as dark, as sick and as twisted as the monsters that run the UK media, who failed to report on the activities of very serious criminals with links to public figures, including some in the Houses of Parliament, who were molesting children and even found it worth their while chucking a petrol bomb into a building where some of their victims were holding a party when those victims had finally started to talk about what had happened to them and it looked as though there might be a few prosecutions on the horizon. The very worst of those monsters in the media were personally employed by the politicians who were covering all of this up.

In Nov 2011 the infant who was groomed by Rolf was accused at the Leveson Inquiry by the actor Hugh Grant of performing a ‘hatchet job’ on him in the ‘Daily Mail’. This was a reference to a particularly poisonous article that Platell had written after Hugh Grant’s partner had given birth to their baby. I have read the statement that Grant submitted to the Inquiry and it makes for sober reading. One evening whilst Grant was appearing on ‘Question Time’ discussing the closure of the ‘News Of The World’, Murdoch and press standards, Grant’s partner received an anonymous phone call from someone who said ‘tell Hugh Grant to shut the fuck up’. Grant goes on to explain in his statement how he did not accompany the mother of his baby to hospital when she gave birth because they were trying to avoid a media scrum and he had ‘too many experiences of hospital staff being paid to leak information to the press’.

Yes, the Top Doctors and Angels do that.

Hugh Grant then goes on to state that nonetheless  that there was a leak to the ‘Daily Mail’ regarding the details of his visit the following day to his partner and their baby and the ‘Mail’ had also discovered the assumed name of Grant’s partner which they had used for the hospital booking. The ‘Daily Mail’ repeatedly rang Grant’s PR people in New York for a comment – they had somehow managed to obtain a number that wasn’t publicly known as well. The ‘Mail’ threatened to print the story, but Grant suspects that the reason that they did not was because they had obtained their information unethically and illegally from a hospital source. The ‘Mail’ had also acquired the mobile number of Grant’s partner and rang her on that. A story about the birth then appeared in ‘Us’ magazine in America. The UK tabloids subsequently printed ‘garbled/twisted’ version of the story. Grant’s partner’s home was then besieged by press and photographers, as was his own house. The mother of Grant’s partner was harassed by the press. Neighbours were doorstopped. Grant gives details of the extreme harassment that they all faced from the press, which included one incident of a car being driven at one of them. Grant noted that the ‘reporting’ on behalf of the ‘Daily Mail’ was done by Keith Gladdis, who had previously worked for the ‘News of the Screws’, which was of course closed down after the methods that were being used to obtain personal information about people for stories – including phone hacking – were revealed. It was at this time that Platell’s character assassination of Hugh Grant was published in the ‘Daily Mail’.

All this about London hospitals leaking info, Hugh Grant and Amanda working as the Press Manager for a politician who organised the cover-up of the paedophile ring in Wales brought back a few memories for me. Previous posts have described the grossly unethical conduct that I witnessed whilst I worked in London medical schools and how I now have documentation demonstrating that the psychiatrists who were concealing the paedophile ring in north Wales were in contact with people whom I was working with in London medical schools. I have mentioned how I was bullied out of a job at St George’s Hospital Medical School just at the time that the victims of the paedophile ring in north Wales had started speaking to the media and that a close friend of mine – whose parents knew what had happened to me in north Wales and who worked in the media herself and who wanted to make a documentary about it all – was bullied out of her job at the Royal Television Society at exactly the same time. That was in the spring of 1991. I came across a reference the other day to there having been a big scandal brewing involving a paedophile ring with connections to Westminster but it had ‘all been covered up in 1991’.

One of my more obnoxious colleagues at St George’s who did all that she could to make my life unbearable was a particularly vile and aggressive researcher, who seemed to hold a lot of influence with our supervisor Dr Cathy Wilson. This researcher wasn’t ever one for sensitive behaviour – she shagged one junior doctor in the laboratory – but she certainly had a real downer on me. I never found out what this researcher’s problem with me was, but she slammed doors in my face as I walked into laboratories and offices, she refused to allow me access to laboratory equipment and then told Wilson that I wasn’t doing any work, she never communicated with me in anything other than an angry shout and I understand that she told various people that it was going to be ensured that I ‘went back to Wales’. This woman came from quite a privileged background and used to spend much time name dropping to let the rest of us know how many aristos that she hung out with, but she also spent a lot of time ingratiating herself to luvvies. There was one young male luvvie that she was in hot pursuit of at the time – in 1990 – who was beginning to become very famous but was still based in London. I am pretty sure that it was Hugh Grant. Just before he became – HUGH GRANT????!!!!! I don’t know who exactly encouraged the dreadful Mandy Leigh to treat another researcher in the way that she did but I have a message for her: I was bullied out of that job and subsequently nearly framed for a very serious crime that I did not commit because I had crossed the paths of some Top Doctors who were facilitating a paedophile ring you obnoxious over-privileged sharp elbowed bullying cow. There are now a number of police investigations going on into the activities of the people who were determined to ensure that I ended up outside of polite company and back in the clutches of those who were colluding with organised crime. Would you like to contact whichever police station that you are now in close proximity to and make a statement naming the people who told you to behave in the way that you did?

Amanda Platell ironically suffered at the hands of the Top Doctors herself. In 2012 she penned a column for the ‘Daily Mail’ about the evils of the NHS offering IVF. Amanda reveals that she too had IVF but she Paid For It Herself, which is obviously a rather more worthy thing to do than access it on the NHS. The joke was on Amanda though – Amanda didn’t get pregnant despite handing over many thousands and then found out that in women over 40, IVF and associated interventions have a very low success rate but no-one told her. No Amanda, they won’t have. Because a lot of Top Doctors running IVF clinics are very unscrupulous (see post ‘The BMA And It’s Ethics’) and they see people like you coming a mile off – you have a lot more money than you do scientific knowledge and they will lie to you and milk you dry, whilst conning you that ‘going private’ will buy you something better than the plebs who are treated under the NHS get. Furthermore they know that if they keep their expensive smiles frozen on their faces and carry on lying to you, you’ll even write articles in publications like the ‘Daily Mail’ encouraging other mugs to part with their money as well.

Lest anyone think that I’m being somewhat unsympathetic to Amanda’s fleecing at the hands of the Top Doctors, I’m experiencing compassion fatigue because in a way Amanda brought this upon herself. Because Platell and her People won’t publish anything about one of the worst scandals that a lot of Top Doctors have been involved with – the concealing of the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal. I know this because before Amanda published poison about Hugh Grant and before she published her tale of woe about ripped off by the Top Doctors, two people with media links told me that the evidence that I had regarding the Top Doctors and the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal was so damning that I ought to go to the London-based media, because the Welsh media would be far too frightened to publish it. They both gave me the contact details of ‘Daily Mail’ journalists. I was very iffy – I didn’t feel that comfortable at the idea of getting into bed with the ‘Daily Mail’ – but I was told that what the Top Doctors were getting up to was so serious that I really should get it out in the public domain in any way that I could. I sent the story to two different ‘Daily Mail’ journos – I didn’t ask for any money. I received an enthusiastic e mail back immediately upon receipt of each e mail. Then a long silence…. never heard another word. Not even when three years ago or so Tom Watson unleashed the hounds of Hades when he went public on allegations that children had been sexually abused by people with links to Westminster. You’re quite right Tom, they had been. But Platell and her People worked for the very politician that covered it all up.

Of course Hague’s successor Theresa has now organised the Independent Inquiry Into Child Sexual Abuse – which is falling apart at the seams. I notice in today’s ‘Times’ dear old Murdoch has let the world know that the Home Office have now been fined £366,000 by the Treasury for breaching Whitehall rules regarding the salary of the latest Chair for that Inquiry, Professor Alexis Jay. Jay was the ‘choice’ of the current Home Secretary Amber Rudd. Rudd implied that the previous Chair – who has walked out and returned to New Zealand – Judge Lowell Goddard, had been up to no good. However it transpires that Lowell Goddard withdrew because Rudd was trying to force a team of Home Office officials onto her to run the ‘Independent’ Inquiry. Which would have not made it an Independent Inquiry led by Lowell Goddard. The Shirley Oaks Survivors Association, a group of former residents of children’s homes in Lambeth who suffered abuse whilst they were there, walked out of the Inquiry for the same reason. They also stated that Alexis Jay, a former social worker, was turning the Inquiry into a ‘social workers talking shop’. Yes, that’s exactly what she’ll do. Because it is the social work profession that was infiltrated by paedophiles that caused havoc and social work as a profession still has not come to terms with it and will not admit it. And to remain in that profession at any senior level one will just have to have turned a blind eye to some fairly sordid things. So when they are confronted with what went on, social workers start talking about the need to fight stigma and to safeguard children and to make sure that no other child ever suffers and how everyone must feel safe but no-one must be blamed. What they will not do is name the paedophiles or their colleagues who allowed those paedophiles to commit offences against children in care. The Shirley Oaks Survivors Association however have done exactly that on their website. They are still in touch with Lowell Goddard.

The Waterhouse Inquiry whitewashed what went on in north Wales because Hague appointed Ronald Waterhouse, a man who had personal connections with many of the people who actually facilitated the paedophile ring in north Wales, along with a team of lawyers and officials from the Welsh Office who knew what was going on at the time and colluded with it, to run the Inquiry.

I think that it’s about time that I did a bit of research on Amber Rudd and her connections to see if I can work out why she not only had such faith in Alexis Jay, but was prepared to break Whitehall rules in order to appoint her.

 

 

 

News Round Up, May 18 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let Me Enlighten Lord Gnome…

I have read Private Eye for many years and find it a useful source of information – it has always published things that the rest of the press won’t touch and even after losing some high-profile libel cases it has often later been shown to having been publishing truth to power. The Eye was memorably sued by Gordon Anglesea – because they had accused him of sexually abusing children. That was many years ago – last year Gordon Anglesea was finally jailed for the sexual abuse of children. The Eye also always maintained that Robert Maxwell was a crook – Captain Bob loathed them and at one point published a rather lame parody of Private Eye entitled ‘Private Lies’, at great cost to himself. That was before he went overboard at about the same time that an awful lot of money went missing from the Mirror’s Pension Fund. I still enjoy the Eye, but I have noticed that their coverage of matters Wales and Welsh often falls short of what could be possible.

The last issue of the Eye and the current issue which I have just picked up today once more has coverage of a Welsh story but is short on detail. The Eye has been grappling with some of the rows about Welsh medium education in Wales. The last issue ran a story concerning the dispute currently raging over Llangennech School and the current issue has coverage of the more recent eruption regarding the planned abolition of the Welsh medium stream in Brecon High School. There are also two letters on the ‘letters to the editor’ page regarding Welsh medium education, which the Eye had published under the sub-heading ‘Wails From Wales’. (The Eye does stand accused of being somewhat anti-Welsh, stemming from the time when it famously coined the term ‘the Welsh windbag’ for Neil Kinnock. This no doubt stemmed from the fact that they simply thought that he was a pillock, they certainly printed a lot of not very flattering things about him, but it has meant that anybody from Wales can now be charged with ‘windbaggery’. Indeed a friend of mine from Yorkshire made this very accusation against Owen Smith when he recently challenged Jeremy Corbyn for the Labour leadership, after Smith had told the ‘Today’ programme that he had been swaddled in the values of the NHS from the minute that he made his appearance on this earth, or something similar.) The Eye reports that the Welsh Gov’t is ‘grumbling’ regarding the poor progress being made towards their ambition of having 1 million Welsh speakers by 2050 and that Lib Dem Aled Roberts has been asked to ‘get at the root cause of why Welsh language planning is not as effective as we need it to be’.

The Eye – and indeed the Welsh Gov’t – do not need to look very far to answer that question. They need only to look at the person who some years ago was appointed as the Welsh Language Commissioner – Meri Huws. I remember this appointment well, because absolutely everybody I knew who was serious about matters Welsh was outraged about it. I was living in Y Fro Gymraeg at the time, in the area with the highest proportion of Welsh speakers in the country and I knew a lot of Welsh language campaigners. Meri had no credibility with any of them and was actually detested by a good many. There was very real anger with the Welsh Gov’t when they appointed Meri, with people demanding to know how she had ever landed that position and making allegations of Welsh Labour Party cronyism.

Wales is not known as ‘village Wales’ without good reason. Grapevines are very effective, networks are tight and an awful lot of people know an awful lot about an awful lot of other people. Meri was notorious, even English migrants like me knew much about Meri. I knew about Meri because I did a PhD and then was employed at Bangor University – where Meri was the much derided Head of the School of Lifelong Learning and then ‘PVC for Welsh language and cultural affairs’ no less. Meri’s tenure as Head of School of Lifelong Learning was not a success. She was described to me by the man who had built up much of that School in it’s previous incarnation as the ‘Centre For Learning and Development’ as having ‘run it into the ground’. And indeed it seemed that she had – she took over a School with many staff -I think in excess of one hundred – and by the time she’d finished she’d almost destroyed it.

There were two main allegations against Meri. One was that she was a ruthless, incompetent bully. There were legions of stories concerning Meri’s dreadful temper, her abusive outbursts (particularly when drunk at University functions) and allegations of unfair dismissals. One of these allegations was of disability discrimination against a young woman with learning difficulties and visual impairments. By the time that Meri had finished with – and indeed sacked – this young woman, she had no confidence left to apply for another job. She has not worked in paid employment since. This young woman did not take the University to an employment tribunal – I was told by close friends of hers that she was such a wreck after the Meri Experience that she couldn’t have coped with a tribunal – but I was also told that at least one other person, a man who worked as apsychotherapist in the area, did take his case to a tribunal. Whilst Meri was Head of Lifelong Learning I heard some other very worrying stories as well as those relating to abuse of staff. Meri was not actually an academic and was quite clueless where research was concerned. She was a former social worker who I understand worked in Caernarfon – which is not a good sign, because as followers of this blog know, Gwynedd Social Services employed some very nasty inappropriate people as social workers and the former Director of Gwynedd Social Services, Lucille Hughes, was named in the Waterhouse Report as knowing that a paedophile ring was operating in it’s children services but failed to respond. After her stint in social work, Meri decided that a career in education was for her. I was never able to clarify exactly what Meri’s qualifications were – she was very vague about them on her profile on the University website. She had a social work qualification which I was told she had acquired at an FE college and at one point she had studied something at Aberystwyth University. She had been a resident in the Welsh language hall whilst she was there and it was whilst she was a student at Aber that she became involved in Welsh language activism. She later became Chair of the Welsh Language Society and eventually Chair of the Welsh Language Board. However the Welsh language activitists that she had spent her youth with had since developed very big issues with Meri and a lot of the outrage at her later appointment as Welsh Language Commissioner stemmed from this. Meri also claimed to have ‘studied at Oxford’ and I heard tales that she occasionally wore an Oxford gown to pull rank on other people. However I never saw Meri show any signs of intelligence or erudition, even in the fields in which she claimed ‘expertise’, one of which was ‘social exclusion’. Another female member of staff who had been shafted by Meri commented that she certainly knew all about excluding people. I suspect that Meri’s Oxford education was the sort of Oxford education that Jeffrey Archer laid claim to having.

Meri very obviously did not know anything about social exclusion – or indeed inclusion -or her other claimed interests, feminism and ‘equality and diversity’, and she certainly didn’t practice such things. The ‘Women’s Studies’ MA that she presided over had great trouble recruiting students and Meri didn’t seem to understand that this was because it’s content had been preserved in aspic somewhere in the early 80s – it hadn’t even evolved into ‘gender studies’ – and a younger generation of women just did not want to do a course that their mums would have done. The constant accusation against Meri was that she was so incompetent that every piece of work that she was involved with had to be done by someone else, usually one of the bullied minions in the School, of which there were a number. At one point Meri managed to get herself named as a partner on a UK-wide equalities project called ‘Sequals’. Some of the other partners in Sequals, such as the University of Sussex, had excellent reputations in the field and everyone just knew that Meri would be out of her depth. Meri’s bit of Sequals was launched at the Eisteddfod and many people, including me, received an invitation. The invitation boasted of a ‘reception’. Now usually when people are invited to these sorts of events at the Eisteddfod, the invitation contains a free pass into the Eisteddfod. I noticed on Meri’s invitation that this wasn’t mentioned, so I rang the School of Lifelong Learning to clarify. ‘Oh no, you have to pay for your own Eisteddfod ticket’ – which wasn’t cheap, particularly if you weren’t planning to go on that particular day. So people had to pay to promote Meri’s project. Brown also suspected that the ‘refreshments’ would be very inadequate as well, probably a glass of lemonade and a sausage roll. I later heard that the Sequals launch had been a damp squib – hardly anyone went, partly because of all the bad feeling towards Meri and partly because they objected to having to pay to advertise Meri’s project. I also heard that yes, the refreshments had been pretty much as Brown had predicted as well. I did see a photo of the Sequals launch, which was a photo of a very small group of people huddled together very closely – taken at the appropriate angle to give the impression of a large crowd – letting off balloons. I decided that I hadn’t missed anything. I didn’t hear anything else about Sequals until a few years later after the project had ended – I was told that Meri’s arm of Sequals had gone badly wrong, there had been much discontent and there was even talk of the research grant having to be repaid in the wake of total non-delivery. The person who told me about the sad end to Sequals was a friend who was doing some part-time teaching at Lifelong Learning. She maintained that a lot of other things were going pear-shaped there as well. She claimed that Meri and her partner in crime Breched Piette – who took over as Head of School when Meri was elevated to PVC, although I was told that Meri still kept her oar in at Lifelong Learning – were asked to put on classes for ‘women returning to education’. A survey was undertaken in order to find out what classes such women might like and there were many requests for business studies and book-keeping. So Meri and Breched put on classes for Women’s Studies. Furthermore, these classes were held in the summer, that part of the summer during which the kids were on holiday from school. If Meri couldn’t supply a pass into the Eisteddfod she certainly wasn’t going to provide childcare. I was told that very few women returners enrolled. And just to put the final nail in the coffin of the hopes of the women returners, at the time that these classes were being run there was major building work taking place on the building that housed Lifelong Learning, which involved blocking up the main entrance. The women returners didn’t know the University and because no-one had put a notice up with directions of how to get in through another entrance they couldn’t get in and went away again.

Another example of Meri’s cluelessness was her idea of ‘disability awareness’. This was experienced by anyone registering for the Welsh for adults course that she used to run. When I did this I was astonished to receive, along with my registration form, another form to fill out, asking me not only if I had a disability but if I did what it was. There was then a long list of imagined ‘disabilities’, among them ‘mental health problems’ and ‘bowel problems’ no less. I can’t really imagine that many people would relish outing themselves as a nutter or explaining that they have IBS or a stoma, simply to register for a Welsh class.

Meri exerted an enormous influence over the culture of the School of Lifelong Learning and the woman who took over as Head when Meri was elevated, Breched Piette, was also very difficult. Breched had very odd social skills – if they could be described as that – and would do things like turn her back and walk away from visiting academics when she was being introduced to them. My first brush with Breched was as a post-doc. I was told that Lifelong Learning were embarking on a project involving work which had been central to my PhD and I’d also recently published two books in the field. The hard-pressed minion employed to actually do the work e mailed me so I emailed back. I then received an e mail from Breched telling me that when they wanted my help they’d ask for it. I heard later that the oppressed minion left the post before the project was completed. Breched’s finest hour however came after Brown and I had finished the first draft of book on the cultural history of women in rural Wales in the mid-twentieth century. It had been commissioned by the University of Wales Press as part of a series. Unfortunately Breched was given the draft to proof-read. She sent back her review which actually concluded with the sentences ‘This is a very scholarly well-written book. I recommend that it is not published’. I rang the editor of University of Wales Press who agreed that there was a problem with Breched only wanting them to publish dross and our book was published as a stand alone volume, rather than as part of the series that Breched was determined to dumb down.

I have mentioned that one allegation levelled against Meri was that she was a ruthless incompetent bully. There was another one too, that was talked about so openly in such a crude way and was the butt of so many jokes that when I first heard it I was quite shocked. It was constantly alleged that Meri had slept her way into many of her jobs. I remember when I mentioned to the people in an open plan office in Bangor University that I had just met a woman called Meri Huws who seemed a bit weird, half of the people in that office had a comment. The first person to speak commented that Meri was ‘permanently on heat’, someone else quipped that her Welsh was excellent particularly her ‘oral skills’, somebody else made a comment about her ‘closing the gender gap by opening her legs’, it was extraordinary. I presumed that I was in some sort of hot-bed of sex obsessed people and Brown memorably remarked that ‘the misogyny unleashed when Meri Huws’s name is mentioned is quite extraordinary’. However it soon became clear that there were many allegations that Meri had had a number of relationships with people well-placed in the Welsh Gov’t and this was said to be affording her protection as she screwed up big-time in every role. These allegations were so widespread that at one point somebody remarked to me that they actually felt very sorry for any male managers who had to work with Meri because it would always be assumed that she had slept with them to land her job.

Then a scandal erupted – involving Meri, who it transpired had indeed begun a relationship with a Minister in the Welsh Gov’t at that time, Andrew Davies. Once more a lot of people seemed ready and willing to stick the knife into Mary and there was even a piece about it in one of the local papers, describing how ‘Ms Huws’ had attended the Eisteddfod with her husband but had left him for Andrew Davies. The piece was accompanied by a photo of Meri looking, well, like a slapper. I was so gobsmacked that I showed the piece to Brown who cynically commented that ‘someone on that paper doesn’t like Meri’.

Meri’s relationship with Andrew Davies didn’t last but the rumours and gossip continued. In spite of Brown’s comments, it became fairly clear to me that misogyny wasn’t at the root of the ill-will towards Meri, it was the feeling that she was treating people very badly indeed – usually other women – and was ruthlessly using her relationships with well-connected men to advance herself. Interestingly enough, the male psychotherapist whom I was told had taken Meri to an employment tribunal described Meri to me as a ‘sexual predator’ who couldn’t sleep with him (he was gay) and couldn’t bully him in the way that she did the female staff so he was of ‘no use’ to her.

One of the last bits of information that I heard concerning Meri that would have undoubtedly have horrified Brown was that she had acquired a rather disrespectful moniker at the Welsh Assembly – ‘the crack of doom’. No-one knew who had come up with this very disrespectful term, but it was believed to have been a reference to the ‘unspoken blackmail’ that I was told that Meri was now indulging in. So when she was appointed Welsh Language Commissioner there was of course much speculation as to why that appointment had been made, because she certainly had no credibility with language activists or scholars in the field…