To Raise Winds For The Destruction Of Ships…

I mentioned in my post ‘The Most Dangerous Man In The World – The Scottish Play’ that two of my friends were at Stirling University with Jack McConnell, who later became First Minister of Scotland. Thee was someone else at Stirling with my friends who also became a big figure in Scottish politics  – Tommy Sheridan.

Tommy Sheridan joined Militant in about 1983 whilst at Stirling University and became Scotland’s highest profile member of Militant. He was expelled from the Labour Party in 1989 and formed Scottish Militant Labour. By 1993 Scottish Militant Labour had six Councillors in Glasgow, including Tommy Sheridan. In 1996 Sheridan and others formed the Scottish Socialist Alliance which in 1998 evolved into the Scottish Socialist Party. In 1999 Tommy Sheridan was elected to the Scottish Parliament as a Glasgow MSP and was re-elected in 2003.

Tommy Sheridan had a cult following – he led a campaign against the Community Charge in Scotland, was active in the protests at the Faslane Naval Base where the nuclear fleet is held and he went to prison in the course of his activism. Tommy Sheridan was remarkably effective and acquired some powerful enemies. He was really hated by everyone on the right but also by huge swathes of those on the left as well. Obviously Sheridan was loathed and feared by the Scottish (and the rest of the) Labour Party, but he also had enemies within the hard left as a result of factionalism and infighting.

Sheridan is undoubtedly a very tough politician, but he came unstuck as a result of a bizarre series of almost unfathomable events after he took on Rupert Murdoch and the News of the World.

In July 2006 Tommy Sheridan sued the News of the World at the Court of Session in Edinburgh for defamation after they published allegations that he frequented a swingers club in Manchester – Cupid’s – where they alleged that he partook of champagne, cocaine and group sex. In Aug 2006 Tommy won the case and was awarded £200k in damages – which is when his problems really began.

The News of the World immediately stated that it would appeal.

Two days after Sheridan won his case a letter was published in the Scottish Socialist Voice signed by six leading members of the SSP (Scottish Socialist Party) alleging that Tommy Sheridan had admitted at an SSP Executive Committee meeting to attending Cupids.

There was some indications that Sheridan was going to be in for a rough ride anyway when the day after his victory over Murdoch the Daily Mail published a florid article with a reference in the headline to ‘ranting Sheridan’.

Allegations and counter-allegations flew. People began emerging from the woodwork claiming that Tommy Sheridan had perjured himself during the trial – his wife Gail, who hosted a radio show, came under fierce attack from the media and her image as a loyal wife was questioned. There was much hostility towards Sheridan because of his cross-examination of one woman, Kristine Trolle, at the News of the World defamation trial.  Trolle had claimed that she had actually gone to Cupid’s in the company of Sheridan.

Sheridan and his supporters were subsequently to claim that he was under massive attack from News International as pay-back for daring to win a case against Murdoch.

It was clear that people had been prepared to lie on oath in the wake of a meeting of the Executive Committee of the SSP on 9 Nov 2004. Sheridan stepped down as convenor of the SSP after this meeting but his resignation was steeped in controversy. It transpired that the SSP’s Executive Committee had forced Sheridan to resign. Stories had appeared in the media about a then unnamed MSP – Sheridan confirmed at the meeting that the stories were about him and stated that he would take legal action against the newspaper concerned. After Sheridan resigned, the News of the World named him as the MSP in the stories.

There are differing accounts of what happened at the Executive Committee meeting on 9 Nov 2004. Eleven members at the meeting stated that Sheridan admitted at the meeting that he had visited Cupid’s. Three other members of the Executive Committee maintained that he had made no such admission.

What is agreed was that Sheridan later had a row with the SSP and called them ‘scabs’ because they would not support him in his proposed action against Murdoch.

The minutes of the 9 Nov 2004 meeting contained a record of Sheridan admitting that he had attended Cupid’s. In 2006 the News of the World subpoenaed the SSP to force them to hand over the minutes. Alan McCombes of the SSP refused to hand them over and in May 2006 was imprisoned by judge Lady Anne Smith. Other members of the SSP then handed the minutes over in order to have McCombes released from prison. Sheridan claimed that the minutes weren’t accurate.

At the SSP Conference in March 2006, Sheridan had been elected as the Party Co-Chair. However he left the SSP in August 2006 declaring that the ‘mother of all stitch ups’ had occurred, involving the leadership of the SSP, MI5 and News International. In Sept 2006 Sheridan launched another party, Solidarity, with MSP Rosemary Byrne, his former colleague from the SSP. Byrne had been one of those who claimed that Sheridan did not admit to attending Cupids at the Executive Committee meeting on 9 Nov 2004.

In Aug 2006 the Lothian and Borders Police had received two complaints of perjury – one from the former Conservative MSP Brian Monteith and another allegedly from the SSP’s minutes secretary. The News of the World’s appeal against the damages awarded to Sheridan was postponed until the proscurator fiscal announced the outcome of the perjury probe.

In Oct 2006 the Lothian and Borders Police started a criminal investigation. In the same month the BBC reported that the Grampian Police were investigating a death threat that had been sent by post to one of the witnesses who had appeared at the News of the World trial.

The News of the World also pitched in during Oct 2006. They published a video recording which they claimed was Tommy Sheridan admitting that he had visited Cupid’s. The recording had been made by SSP member George McNeillage using a hidden camera in his home after he had invited Sheridan there.  Tommy Sheridan could not be clearly seen on the tape at any point and the News of the World was unable to produce any images of his face. Sheridan maintained that the video was a fake and that the recording of his voice had been spliced with clips of someone else. News of the World produced four ‘experts’ who maintained that the voice was that of Tommy Sheridan alone. In an interview with the BBC, forensic speech specialist Peter French emphasised that it can never be conclusively said that such a recording can identify someone and that such material should never be used to bring a criminal trial.

In March 2007 the Lothian and Borders Police examined a bugging device found in Sheridan’s car and stated that it was ‘not the kind used by the British security services’.

Tommy Sheridan believed that MI5, somebody in the SSP and Murdoch had conspired in order to undermine his campaign for an independent socialist Scotland.

In May 2007 staff of Cupid’s told the police that they had been bribed not to co-operate with the inquiry.

In Dec 2007 Sheridan was charged with perjury along with six of his relatives and colleagues. Interestingly in the end the only person who was actually put on trial was Tommy Sheridan himself – the charges against everyone else melted away, although the charges against Gail Sheridan weren’t withdrawn until Tommy’s trial at the High Court in Glasgow in Oct 2010.

In Dec 2010 Tommy Sheridan was convicted of perjury and was sentenced to three years imprisonment. Tommy Sheridan left prison in Jan 2012 under the automatic early release scheme. In June 2016 he resigned as co-convenor of Solidarity to dedicate his time to fighting Murdoch, whom Sheridan claims framed him.

I followed the Tommy Sheridan case in the press at the time. Sheridan won his defamation case against Murdoch before the scandal involving phone hacking and serious criminality on the part of News International occurred. What I remembered after the allegations that Sheridan had perjured himself emerged was the acres of newsprint from right across the political spectrum baying for Sheridan’s blood. Sheridan had no support from any corner in the mainstream media – even the dear old Guardian put the boot in. But they would – the Guardian is not as radical as it likes to think that it is.

No-one seemed to be taking one major factor into account as the allegations that Sheridan was Satan incarnate flew – Sheridan had taken on MURDOCH. No-one dared take on Murdoch – the first thing that Blair did when he put his plans for electoral success into action was to make friends with Murdoch. It was common knowledge that Murdoch’s right hand woman Rebekah Wade/Brooks felt able to summon Gov’t Ministers, spout simplistic rubbish in their direction and expect to see her words translated into Gov’t policy. It was clear that no-one was safe from Rebekah and Murdoch long before the phone hacking scandal became public. Sara Payne, the mother of Sarah Payne, a little girl who was murdered by a paedophile in 2000, was befriended by Rebekah and the murder of Sara formed the basis of a News of the World ‘campaign’ concerning public access to registers of paedophiles locations, Sarah’s Law. As a gesture of friendship Rebekah gave Sara Payne a telephone on which she could ring Rebekah for a bit of support because caring sharing Rebekah knew what a bad time Sara Payne was having. There is much evidence that Sara Payne was led by the nose by Rebekah. I seem to remember reading in Private Eye that as the questions about the conduct of News International began gathering steam, Sara was reminded by Rebekah of how much the News of the World had ‘helped’ her. In July 2011 it was revealed that Sara’s mobile had been targeted by the News of the World for hacking.

Not that Rebekah was ever the most sensitive of flowers. Shortly after Rebekah was appointed as Editor of the Sun – the first female editor! – in 2003, Frank Bruno had the misfortune to develop serious mental health problems and was sectioned. The Sun ran the headline ‘Bonkers Bruno Locked Up’. Public outrage followed and even Rebekah realised that this was not good PR because later editions of the paper ran the equally enlightened headline ‘Sad Bruno In Mental Home’.

I am delighted to report that after her faux pas, Rebekah studied at the knee of the finest. The day after telling the world that Bonkers/Sad Bruno had been locked up/confined to a mental home, Rebekah published a 600 word response from this blog’s old friend, concealer of and colluder with paedophiles and serial bedfellow of a number of paedophiles’ friends, Marjorie Wallace, the Chief Executive of SANE (see post ‘One Dangerous Fucker’) – a charity that has robustly campaigned for bonkers people to be locked up. Since then the Sun has adopted a style guide concerning the coverage of mental health stories prepared by the paedophiles’ friends at SANE. Rebekah and her husband spent a day with Marjorie and made donations to SANE.

I discovered something else whilst I was researching for this post – that Tommy Sheridan and Rosemary Byrne had fallen out with the NUJ back in 2006, over the funding of some Parliamentary journos.

I have no idea whether Tommy Sheridan enjoyed himself at Cupids or not and I wouldn’t be in the least bit bothered if he did – the salient issue is whether he lied in Court about this. What has been demonstrated since Tommy Sheridan was jailed is that News International would do anything, anything at all, to achieve their ends and that a lot of craven spineless dickwits from across the political spectrum were happy to do their bidding. News International employees hacked phones, lied, bugged people, misrepresented themselves, bribed people, smeared people and paid public servants for stories – it certainly would not have been beyond their ken to have set Tommy Sheridan up. People are in general rather weak and a lot of people are very easily bought off – my own battle with a bunch of Top Doctors who facilitated a paedophile gang has made that very clear to me and I haven’t even won a defamation action against Murdoch.

Tommy Sheridan came under savage attack in both the Guardian and the left wing press for cross-examining Katrine Trolle in Court over her ‘sexual history’ – the story was reported as though Sheridan was a rapist who had cross-examined his own victim. Katrine Trolle had maintained that she had accompanied Sheridan to Cupid’s where they had participated in group sex. Sheridan maintained that this had not happened – it was Katrine Trolle’s evidence that News International were relying upon to win the case against Sheridan. Sheridan defended himself in Court – he was simply alleging that he had not had group sex at Cupid’s with Trolle and others. If Sheridan was telling the truth his only option was to cross-examine Trolle. This was not made clear in the vitriol that was poured upon Sheridan’s head for ‘traducing a female socialist’s character’.

One witness at Sheridan’s 2010 trial for perjury was Andy Coulson, the former News of the World Editor and at the time of the trial David Cameron’s Head of Communications at No 10. Coulson lied on oath during Sheridan’s trial.

Coulson was later charged with criminal offences in a case unrelated to Sheridan’s trial for perjury as a result of the police investigation into the News of the World phone hacking scandal and related matters

Sheridan’s leave to appeal against his conviction was rejected by the High Court in June 2011.

In 2015 Andy Coulson was charged with perjury as a result of lying under oath at Tommy Sheridan’s 2010 trial. Lord David Burns, sitting at the High Court in Edinburgh, acquitted Coulson although he accepted that Coulson had lied under oath. Lord Burns’s rationale was that the lies that Coulson had told at Sheridan’s trial were ‘not relevant’ to the case, that ‘not every lie amounts to perjury’ and that the ‘false evidence alleged in this indictment was not relevant evidence’. The jury at Coulson’s trial were not told that Coulson had already served seven months in prison after having being found guilty at the Old Bailey of conspiracy to hack phones when he was Editor of the News of the World.

Prior to being admitted to the Faculty of Advocates in 1977, David Burns worked as a legal assistant in Rochester, New York and San Francisco. In 1998 Burns was appointed the Deputy Commissioner for Social Security. Burns was the defence Counsel in the 2000-02 Lockerbie case. Burns was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court in July 2012.

Coulson’s defence advocate was Murdo MacLeod QC. In 2015 Murdo also successfully defended Dr Yousi Badri, a Top Doctor charged with Middle East related terrorist offences.

Coulson’s acquittal was considered to be a ‘severe blow’ to Police Scotland and senior prosecutors in Edinburgh. The charges against Coulson were part of Operation Rubicon into allegations of hacking, bugging and Data Protection Act breaches by journalists employed by News International, which was launched in July 2011 after Murdoch closed the News of the World. Rubicon cost nearly £1 million in terms of police salaries and involved 23 hacking victims in Scotland. Bob Bird, the former Editor of the News of the World Scottish edition was charged, as was Doug White, a news executive with News of the World in Glasgow as well as Gill Smith, the news editor at the Scottish Sun. Charges against these three included perverting the course of justice. The Crown Office prosecutors dropped all the cases. The acquittal of Andy Coulson resulted in the collapse of Operation Rubicon.

After Coulson was acquitted, his friend Gary Farrow a PR consultant gave a few comments to the press regarding the ‘hell’ that Coulson had been through and how he was a lovely bloke who just wanted to get home to his family. Gary Farrow is an entertainment PR and his recent clients include Jeremy Clarkson, Elton John and Sharon Osbourne. His former clients include Jonathan Ross, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, George Michael, David Bowie, Bob Geldof and Paula Yates. Gary entered the world of pop music/showbiz in the mid-70s. He’ll have been one of the many who didn’t know about Jimmy Savile.

In Aug 2016 Murdoch’s company lost their appeal against the £200k that Sheridan was awarded for defamation.

So Tommy Sheridan was defamed and Andy Coulson lied on oath. In the wake of the mountains of conflicting evidence that was presented by the numerous people involved in the Tommy Sheridan saga – conflicting evidence which by definition meant that a number of people had perjured themselves – the only person who was found guilty and went to prison was Tommy Sheridan.

As for Murdoch’s right hand woman throughout much of the action, Rebekah Brooks – Murdoch paid her £10.8 million pounds to leave News International after the phone hacking and associated criminality scandal. At one point Rebekah took advice from her friend Tony Blair. In Sept 2015 Rebekah returned as CEO of News UK, formerly known as News International.

Tommy Sheridan has called for the Scottish Gov’t to hold an Public Inquiry into the whole sorry business.

 

Footnote: One of the people who was arrested and charged for perjury along with Sheridan but who had the charges against her dropped was Rosemary Byrne MSP. Byrne is a former teacher and trade union activist and for several years was President of Irvine Trades Council. There was some years ago a child abuse scandal in Ayrshire. Irvine is in Ayrshire and when people working with children are accused of child abuse they seek protection from their union – and they get it. In 2016 Byrne resigned from Solidarity.

 

 

Ian Brockington’s Mischief

Since researching for yesterday’s post ‘One Dangerous Fucker’ and realising that the Top Doctors in north Wales who concealed the paedophile ring that operated in the region over decades had even more friends in high places assisting them than I ever imagined, I’ve followed up on a few things that I should have followed up on before. One of those things is the academic and professional contacts of Dr X (Dr Tony Francis) before he went to work at the North Wales Hospital in the mid 80s. Previous posts have explained how documents that I only acquired earlier this year demonstrate that Tony Francis was involved in very serious wrongdoing, including industrial scale perjury in an attempt to have me imprisoned after I’d complained about the north Wales mental health services.

Francis killed himself a few years ago, after the re-opening of the investigation into the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal, I suspect because he feared – or indeed knew – that the net was closing in on him. (Readers of this blog who follow the comments section will have seen how recently a friend of Tony Francis became very angry with me for naming him.) I have for a while been interested in why Tony Francis ever went to work in a hell-hole like Denbigh. Denbigh was notorious, no way would any ambitious competent psychiatrist ever want to go there to join Dafydd Alun Jones, Gwynne the lobotomist and the paedophiles’ friends. I posed the same question about the arrival of Professor Mark Williams and David Healy in Bangor, but as a previous post explains I suspect that was because they knew that there was no research governance there and they’d be able to publish anything, claim miracles and not be questioned (see post ‘The Biggest Expert Of The Lot’). But they arrived a few years after Francis and they did arrive at a time when Professor Fergus Lowe had embarked on his own bit of empire building in the School of Psychology at Bangor University. Francis arrived when Dafydd still dominated the School of Psychology and was wangling places there for his own children even if they weren’t appropriately qualified, when Gwynne the lobotomist was still causing havoc in the Student Health Centre and before there was really any in-patient psychiatric care at all available in Bangor, it was all still based at te North Wales Hospital Denbigh. I can only think – indeed I’m fairly certain now that I know what Francis was actually doing without the patients’ knowledge – that he disgraced himself in some way in a previous job and that’s why he was cast out into the Evil Darkness that was the North Wales Hospital and the paedophiles. Top Doctors are never cast out for incompetence or poor clinical skills, they are cast out if their senior colleagues believe that they are such a liability that the shit is going to one day hit the fan on their patch, as I witnessed when I worked at St Georges Hospital Medical School. Francis must have been causing a great deal of concern to someone to have been despatched to Denbigh, even if north Wales was desperately in need of new blood and an alternative to Dafydd and Gwynne.

My post ‘One Dangerous Fucker’ named Prof Tim Crow as one of Francis’s previous academic colleagues, but I think that Francis worked with Crow in the 70s. Before arriving in north Wales, Francis worked in Manchester. I have discovered a number of abstracts of publications written before he went to north Wales. A number of those publications, dated 1980, 1981, 1982 and 1983 concern mood disorders and peuperal psychosis and are co-authored with an I.F. Brockington. That is one Professor Ian Brockington who is Emeritus Professor at the University of Birmingham. Brockington describes himself as a neurobiologist on his website – he is a psychiatrist whose research interest is neurobiology. His forte is women’s mental health and one of his most well-known books is ‘Eileithyia’s Mischief’, Eileithyia being the Greek goddess of childbirth and midwifery. In 1993 Brockington was the founder and first Chairman of the section on women’s mental health in the World Psychiatric Association. Between 1983-2001 Brockington was Chair of Psychiatry at the University of Birmingham and was responsible for training thousands of medical students as well as for training many psychiatrists at postgraduate level. Before that he was Senior Lecturer at Manchester between 1975-1982 and it was there that Francis worked with him.

Now one phenomenon that I have noticed in medicine is that although Top Doctors will ensure that a problem is removed from their own patch, not only do they not blow the whistle, but if the problem becomes caught up in a scandal later in their career – as Dafydd did constantly after ‘training’ at the Maudsley – they will deny that they ever spotted a potential problem, lest they are implicated. This is why those charmers at St Georges Hospital Medical School and Springfield Hospital felt able to conceal Dafydd’s criminal activities and misconduct when they were faced with it in 1991. Dafydd had worked with their mate Bob Hobson at the Maudsley and no-one was going to admit that Bob had trained an abusive nutter who then went out into the world and caused chaos. (Lord Robert Winston employed a serial sexual harasser at Hammersmith Hospital – Winston passed him on to St Georges who passed him on to Cardiff. He’s still there.) So if Tony Francis had disgraced himself whilst on Brockington’s team, it is highly likely that Brockington would never let anyone know what had happened even if Francis ended up in hot water subsequently.

So Francis was despatched to north Wales in about 1983. In 1987 I made a very serious complaint which involved Tony Francis, Dafydd Alun Jones and a number of other staff. My complaint included unlawful imprisonment, assault and attempts to bribe and threaten me into dropping my complaint. My post ‘Enter Professor Robert Bluglass CBE’ details how difficult it was to even get that complaint investigated and how there was a complete whitewash when it was investigated. Documents in my possession demonstrate what was going on behind the scenes at the time (detailed in previous posts), including phone calls and letters being exchanged between the Medical Ombudsman for the Welsh Office, Professor Robert Owen and one of Tony Francis’s mates, a GP in Bangor, DGE Wood, who was not part of my complaint in any way and who was no longer my GP. I had no knowledge of these communications at the time. The letters and phone calls were being sent and made to Owen at his home in Colwyn Bay. So all pretty irregular really.

One thing that happened at the hearing into my complaint led by Bluglass was that no part of my complaint involving Tony Francis was dealt with – although Francis was called as a witness. Huge aspects of my complaint about Dafydd weren’t dealt with either, but nothing at all relating to Tony Francis, the conduct of his SHO a Dr Perera, or the social worker who broke the law to do their bidding, Jackie Brandt, was mentioned in the final report. Perera and Brandt were not called as witnesses either. Previous posts have explained how Bluglass had co-authored with Dr Paul Bowden from the Maudsley – who will have known Dafydd’s mate Bob Hobson. I thought that was a salient connection. But at the time that I made that complaint about Tony Francis, the man with whom he had worked for a number of years, Ian Brockington, was the Chair of Psychiatry at Birmingham – Bluglass was the Chair of Forensic Psychiatry at Birmingham at the same time. No wonder Francis wasn’t investigated or even mentioned in Bluglass’s final report.

Brockington is a very big name indeed in women’s mental health. Tony Francis unlawfully detained and then repeatedly perjured himself in an attempt to imprison one woman who had complained about him. He encouraged other people to perjure themselves as well in an attempt to achieve this end. I know of another woman who at about the same time as me also made a complaint against Tony Francis and Jackie Brandt, again that she had been detained unlawfully. Some years later the same young women made another complaint against Tony Francis – she maintained that Tony Francis had exposed himself to her. There were no witnesses to the incident, the young woman was deemed to be psychotic and Francis was cleared. I have no idea at all whether he did do that, but I now have numerous documents demonstrating that Francis and his colleagues broke the law repeatedly, lied constantly and perjured themselves again and again.

Would Professor Brockington now like to tell us what it was that Francis did whilst he was on Brockington’s team that resulted in Francis being cast into the Evil Darkness? If Brockington is going to claim the same sort of sudden memory loss that Robert Bluglass experienced when I confronted him with his wrongdoing a few years ago, perhaps some of the others who worked with Francis and Brockington at the time could enlighten us. Francis’s co-authors on those papers with Brockington were: J.E. Helzer, V.F. Hillier, S. Wainwright, K.F. Cernik, E.M. Schofield, A.R. Downing and C. Keelan. Come on now, Francis did some very naughty things in north Wales – including concealing a paedophile gang, some of whose victims were found dead in suspicious circumstances. Cough.

But Ian Brockington may well have had connections with Dafydd as well as with Francis. Brockington too undertook his training in psychiatry at the Maudsley and is of a similar vintage to Dafydd. Like Dafydd, Brockington spent a few years doing a few other things before taking up psychiatry – Brockington was a cardiologist, whereas Dafydd just got himself thrown out of a chemistry degree – so what’s the betting that their paths crossed at the Maudsley? Even if Brockington did not know Dafydd personally, that stint at the Maudsley will have brought him into contact with many others who were keeping a lid on Dafydd’s crimes – Brockington also worked at the Institute of Psychiatry in 1969, so he’ll have had opportunities for further bonding there.

Brockington’s wife Diana is described as a ‘tribunal judge’. Now that could be employment tribunals – but just imagine if it were mental health tribunals…

Should anyone try to escape the Top Doctors of north Wales by emigrating, hard luck. Brockington, like the Count (see post ‘One Dangerous Fucker’), has contacts abroad as well. He was a visiting prof in Chicago. And he’s done a stint at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School, Hammersmith Hospital, an institution featured in previous posts.

Brockington’s previous at Manchester may explain something else as well. The protection afforded to the truly lethal Dr Tony Roberts, latterly of the Hergest Unit and one of Francis’s colleagues in north Wales, who managed such a high suicide rate among his patients that it showed up as a statistical outlier – the highest in Wales, the second highest in the whole of England and Wales. Roberts trained at Manchester at the time that Brockington was there – and of course Francis. Tony Roberts was so unpleasant, dangerous and dysfunctional that I don’t think anyone ever questioned why he’d landed a job at the North Wales Hospital, he was obviously virtually unemployable. Despite him being loathed by his colleagues and exterminating patients, the GMC felt it worth their while using a forged document to protect him (see post ‘The General Medical Council And Yet Another Forged Document’).

Tony Francis also had links to Cardiff Medical School. He studied there as an undergrad (he was a student there whilst Neil Kinnock was the NUS President there) and in the 70s he was working and publishing with the Dept of Psychological Medicine at Cardiff. This alone will have ensured that he knew what a bloody dreadful reputation the North Wales Hospital Denbigh had, he’ll have heard the stories. Francis published with the team from Cardiff in 1976, 1977 and 1978. Perhaps his colleagues from that time would like to spill the beans. His co-authors were: D.M. Shaw, G.V. Groom, D. Riad-Fahmy, P. Williams, J. Link, E.N. Cole, D. Hughes, S.F. Tidmarsh, A.L. Johnson, A.C. Michalakeas, G.J. Riley and R. Blazek.

In 1979 Francis was the single author of a paper concerning brain structure and schizophreniform psychosis. Which sounds like the sort of work that Time Crow might have been involved with.

My post ‘One Dangerous Fucker’ described the possible links that the founder of SANE, Marjorie Wallace, had with the associates of the Top Doctors in north Wales. Marjorie has inflicted her damage by using her media contacts to provide much misinformation regarding the activities of the Top Doctors. Marjorie has excellent media contacts because she has worked in journalism since the 60s. As well as her relationship with Count Andrew Skarbek who was also a Top Doctor, as I detailed yesterday Marjorie has had relationships with Lord Snowdon and Tom Marjerison. All at the same time. I wrote a bit about Tom yesterday, who was obviously a very big hitter indeed, being the founder of New Scientist and London Weekend Television, but Tom had worked with those at the very top of the tree. One of the co-founders of LWT was David Frost, who provided never ending entertainment for the likes of Peter Cook, but was of course famous for ingratiating himself to just about every British PM and US President of the last forty years. Frost indulged in idiocies such as presenting ‘Through The Keyhole’ which led to me being completely unable for years to believe all the stories about Frost being seriously influential in Gov’t circles, but those stories were true – he toadied to the very best. Frost died a very odd death a few years ago. He was on a cruise ship without his wife which was alleged to have been unusual for Frost, when he had a heart attack. Frost had a lot of bad luck there – the heart attack happened at a time when the ship was at a location where Frost could not be helped, although the sort of ships that Frost travelled on have their own medics on board. Then a few months later Frost’s son died an equally odd death – he was a young man, who collapsed whilst he was out jogging. Both Frost and his son were alleged to have suffered from the same hereditary heart problem, but the Frost family subsequently claimed that no Top Doctors had ever warned them that Frost’s son had the heart problem. Then it was revealed that whatever had caused Frost’s heart attack, it wasn’t his heart defect. These two deaths were so weird that one could almost imagine them happening to people who might have known about the Westminster Paedophile Ring that was being discussed so extensively at the time and who were suspected of being about to investigate or even go public…

Talking of the Westminster Paedophile Ring, I received a very helpful e mail yesterday from a journo providing me with names and details of suspects, victims and accessories. It’ll take me a few days to read it all, but I’ve already spotted a few names that I recognise. Like me, this journo believes that north Wales and Lambeth were the areas of the most intense activity where the providing of youngsters in care for the purposes of sexual exploitation was concerned.

Marjerison did business with another very high profile person when he established LWT as well – Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch was an investor in LWT, but Marjerison fell out with him in a big way, which is what caused Marjerison’s departure from LWT in 1971. Marjerison may have fallen out with Murdoch, but Marjorie was of course a journo on the ‘Sunday Times’ throughout the 80s, when she launched her ‘keep the prisons for the paedophiles’ victims open’ campaign – Murdoch bought the ‘Sunday Times’ and the ‘Times’ in 1981. Murdoch’s press famously did Thatcher’s administrations great favours. Matthew Parris, Thatcher’s former correspondence secretary who waxes lyrical about having sex with ‘willing boys’ in his autobiography (see post ‘A Pretty Classy Piece Of Operation’) also worked and still works for Murdoch on the ‘Times’. So I don’t think that any publication owned by Mr Murdoch was likely to run an expose of kids in care being sexually abused by public figures, some of whom were close to Thatcher. Indeed his publications might have welcomed journos and articles which distracted from or concealed what was going on.

There is however something much more fascinating about Tom Marjerison than even his work with Frost and Murdoch. That is the stories concerning his involvement with the security services. Although Marjerison spent most of his career in the media, he began life as a physicist and in the 60s was acknowledged as being an expert on Soviet technology. He was the BBC’s source of info for this and made a ‘Panorama’ programme about the Red Army’s ammunition production in Siberia. Merjerison’s obituaries relate anecdotes concerning the making of this programme that cannot be true. In the attempts to portray him as some sort of Super Hero, they explain how when he was in Siberia filming, he won the admiration of the Soviets by drinking even more than they did, swimming in a pool which was covered in thick ice, wore only a ‘light Marks & Spencers suit in -40c temperatures’, evaded his ‘Soviet minders’ and ‘the bugs in his room’. No matter how much of an expert on Soviet technology Marjerison was, he was still a human being and the reason why people in Siberia wrap up well – very well actually, more than any other place on earth, in layers of skins and fur – is that if they don’t do this, they die. History is full of examples of whole armies that died when they attempted to cross what used to be the Soviet Union because they encountered those temperatures in unsuitable clothes. Such as M&S suits. Furthermore, I very much doubt that Merjerison did evade his ‘Soviet minders’ – the Soviet Union in the 1960s was a very harsh place and the consequences of leaving your group would be very high indeed. And how did he know that he evaded the bugs in his room? If the bugs were any good he wouldn’t have found them anyway. So some tall stories were being told in an attempt to convince people that Tom smuggled state secrets out of the Soviet Union for ‘Panorama’. He didn’t. (By the way ‘Panorama’ wouldn’t even tackle the Top Doctors in north Wales let alone the KGB – I know because I offered them the story.)

The same obits lovingly recounted how the Soviets were so impressed by Tom’s Putin-like qualities that the KGB tried to recruit him as a spy by leaving him bottles of vodka in telephone boxes outside of West End theatres. If they really did that, the vodka would be picked up by a passing vagrant, it wouldn’t wait there for Tom to come out of the theatre. But so impressive was Tom that MI5 tried to recruit him as well! But Tom was having none of it – he met with MI5 at the Cumberland Hotel to discuss his future with MI5’s careers officer, but he saw so many other identical meetings going on in the same room at the same time that he turned MI5 down. These stories sound to me very much like the stories that are put about to muddy the waters – and some such stories are put about by people who did work for the security services. But there is other info about Tom available as well. That during the war, when he was still working as a physicist, he did ‘undercover work’ for the war effort, work that ‘continued for several years into peacetime’. So Tom did work for the security services then, which was probably how he got into the Soviet Union to make a documentary. Nothing to do with an M&S suit in the cold climate. Furthermore, Tom was Director of the Nuclear Electric information Group and a consultant for the British Nuclear Industry Forum. The Gov’t wouldn’t have given those jobs out to just anyone. Marjerison was sufficiently good friends with Yuri Gagarin to have accompanied him to a meal at Buck House when Gagarin was invited to meet HM the Queen. Tom’s obituaries also contain references to him being wheeled out to deal with ‘the unions’ at various times in his career.

The reason that I am interested in all this, is that it has now been admitted that Sir Peter Hayman, a diplomat who did work for the British security services, was a convicted paedophile, but was not prosecuted for a number of other offences when he should have been. There are allegations that members of the security services were involved in the Kincora Boys Home scandal and that the security services were involved in concealing the extent of child abuse in north Wales. Tom Marjerison ‘helped’ Marjorie Wallace in her work with SANE. Although Tom and Marjorie didn’t start living together until the mid 80s, they both worked together on the ‘Sunday Times’ for a long while before that and as with Marjorie and Lord Snowdon, they were ‘close’.

Another friend of Marjorie’s that I mentioned in ‘One Dangerous Fucker’ was Mary Kenny, a rather eccentric journalist who has written for Tory supporting publications like the Torygraph and the ‘Spectator’. Mary Kenny is famously idiosyncratic, she was a leading light in the Irish feminist movement in the early 70s but is still very faithful to the Catholic Church in Ireland. I haven’t been able to find any info that suggests that Kenny might be closely associated with anyone complicit with organised child sexual abuse – but the Catholic Church itself isn’t too clean on that whole issue. (I am reading the book that Conrad Black, the former owner of the Torygraph wrote after he was released from prison, which is a mine of info. I’ll be using the info in future posts.)

‘One Dangerous Fucker’ detailed the way in which a close friend of mine was sacked from her job at the Royal Television Society – a friend whose parents had been supporting me in my battles with the north Wales Top Doctors/paedophiles’ friends and who was interested in making a documentary about it. The President of the RTS at the time was Sir Paul Fox. Fox began his career at the BBC in the 1950s and was controller of BBC 1 for six years from 1967. He spanned the height of Jimmy Savile’s abuse at the BBC then. Paul Fox was then head of programmes at Yorkshire TV and was the Managing Director of Yorkshire TV between 1977-88. Fox was Chairman of ITN between 1986-1988 and Managing Director of BBC Network TV between 1988-1991.

In July 1989 people working for Yorkshire TV approached the social worker who blew the whistle on the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal, Alison Taylor, regarding child abuse in north Wales. In September 1989 Alison Taylor and a man who had been in care in north Wales who alleged abuse were filmed extensively for Yorkshire TV. In Feb 1990, Yorkshire TV abandoned the film about child abuse in north Wales for a documentary about another, far smaller, child abuse case. My friend was working at the Royal Television Society at this time. She was dismissed in early 1991, at the same time that I was hounded out of my job at St Georges Hospital Medical School. My friend was subsequently awarded compensation for unfair dismissal. Paul Fox was knighted in 1991.

Top Doctors don’t have to be married to Marjorie Wallace to have media connections. One thing that Top Doctors really enjoy is rubbing noses with Royalty or appearing in the media. I would advise the Royals to be cautious where the Top Doctors are concerned though. The Top Doctors are certainly shameless toadies when they are in the presence of a Royal personage and if a Royal appears at a Top Doctors meeting or conference, no matter how inane the Royal address to the Top Doctors is, the Top Doctors will nod enthusiastically throughout the speech and then clap very vigorously at the end, with that weird expression on their faces that they use specifically for such occasions, a sort of over-determined expression. And of course the Top Doctors are delighted to have a Royal open a new wing of a hospital, it makes their day, it is only bettered when a Royal appears at a Top Doctors Charity Ball. However in the 1990s the gynaecological case history of a member of the Royal Family was being passed around the London hospitals, for the entertainment of everyone. It’s the Top Doctors you know – they’re really not all that they pretend to be.

Top Doctors enjoy hobnobbing with other celebs as well as Royals and one Top Doctor who had connections to those we know and love who became very well known for a celeb connection was the psychiatrist Robin Skynner. Skynner famously co-authored with John Cleese in 1989 and 1993. John Cleese with the BBC career that is. Cleese had been one of Skynner’s clients since 1975 and the books that they wrote together introduced family therapy to a lay audience.

In terms of being in a position to conceal the wrongdoing of Dafydd et al or indeed organised child abuse, Robin Skynner had a CV as good as that of the Count. Skinner qualified as a doctor from UCL in 1952 and trained as a child psychiatrist. He passed his Diploma in Psychological Medicine in 1957 and worked with S.H. Foulkes (originally known as S.H. Fuchs), a psychoanalyst. Foulkes was a pioneer and one of the founders of group analysis in Britain and his official history states that he attracted others who were keen to change the way that mental health patients were dealt with. Now there was a lot of this sort of thing alleged in the 60s, that the new generation of psychiatrists wanted change and I’m sure that many of them did. But change did not happen – psychiatry remained an incredibly abusive, oppressive speciality that was used to silence people who should have been listened to. What did happen though was some very abusive people like Dafydd Alun Jones and Tony Francis learnt the language of therapy and used that to inflict very great damage on people and conceal some real horrors. Skynner was attracted by the early stages of the ‘therapeutic community’ movement – just like Dafydd! In fact Dafydd told Dr Robin Jacobson of St Georges Hospital Medical School/Springfield Hospital in 1991 that he had treated me in a therapeutic community, rather than explaining that I’d been unlawfully arrested after having been threatened by him, illegally imprisoned and then assaulted by the staff. Documents in my possession demonstrate that Jacobson knew that Dafydd was lying and also knew that Dafydd was having sex with patients but no-one challenged Dafydd about any of it. in 1959 Skynner and disciples of Foulkes formed Group Analytic Practice and what followed was the emergence of the Institute of Group Analysis for training in group therapy. In 1977 Skynner formed the Institute for Family Therapy and Chaired this until 1979.

Skynner was the authority on family therapy, so intellectually and academically he was phenomenally influential. But he had the other usual powers of the Top Doctor as well, in terms of his professional network. He was invited to become a member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists on it’s formation in 1971. He was then elected a Fellow of the Royal College in 1976. He trained as a child psychiatrist at the Maudsley – where else? Along with the Count and Dafydd and Bob Hobson and the rest of them and at a very similar time. It was at the Maudsley that Skynner met Foulkes. Skynner was the Director of the Woodberry Down Child Guidance Unit and between 1965-1970 was Physician In Charge of the Dept of Psychiatry at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for Children. In 1970 Skynner gave up child guidance work. From 1971 he held a Senior Tutor post at the Institute of Psychiatry and a post as Honorary Associate Consultant at the Maudsley. So we’ve arrived back at those two establishments again…

Skynner retired from the NHS and from university teaching in 1982, but like the rest of them continued with his private practice. Well it doesn’t just keep the dosh rolling in, it means that one’s still in a position of influence should anyone start publicising anything that a lot of important people would rather they didn’t. S.H. Foulkes, the daddy of them all, worked at Barts Hospital until he retired in 1963, but continued in private practice after that.

Skynner didn’t work alone, he worked with his wife Prudence. Together they became leaders in family therapy and pioneered the development of therapy groups for couples that included groups for bishops of the Church of England and their wives no less. If I had come across this info a few years ago I’d have been a bit non-plussed and wondered why bishops of the C of E and their wives might be particularly in need of family therapy. But in recent months even Radio 4’s ‘Sunday’ programme has simply become one long roll call of bishops who either spent their lives molesting children or concealing other people in the Church who molested children. Skynner and Prudence obviously identified a market long before anyone else knew about this syndrome.

Prudence died in 1987. She was so highly regarded in the field that one London medical school named it’s family therapy unit in honour of her when it opened in 1990. Yes, it was St Georges Hospital Medical School/Springfield Hospital, who one year later were ignoring evidence of Dafydd’s and Tony Francis’s criminal activities and were consulting Lucille Hughes – Dafydd’s mistress and Director of Gwynedd Social Services, who was later named in the Waterhouse Report as colluding with a paedophile gang – for evidence regarding my ‘dangerousness’.

After Prudence died, Skynner entered into a long term relationship with Welsh landscape artist Josh Partridge and they spent much time together at Skynner’s cottage in Wales…

As so many of those we know and love are, Skynner was ‘spiritual’. He had a long association with the Gurdjieff Society. I’ve been on their website and it’s pretty much what I expected – I also note that it involves something called ‘The Fourth Way’. As opposed to Blair and Giddens’s Third Way.

Like many spiritual people whom I have known who have made careers in therapy and analysis – which has tended to include discrediting or even lying about anyone who uncovers the sordid underbelly of the world of the Top Doctors – Skynner seems to have actually been quite a dysfunctional man. He had an incredibly ‘difficult’ childhood and in later life used to quip that his mother called him a lunatic but that he managed to enter psychiatric hospitals by the staff entrance. Skynner was always happy to maintain that he ‘needed treatment’. On a more sober note there were observations that as a bomber pilot during the war Skynner had some very bad experiences which profoundly affected him. There is mention of therapy sessions that were ‘chaotic’, with people screaming at each other and crying. If one is a half-competent Top Doctor it is de rigueur to admit that one has one’s own problems – it’s like having patients’ art work on one’s walls, it shows that you’re not like Gwynne the lobotomist.

Robin Skynner may well have been very genuine in his expressions about all this, but Top Doctors can find admissions of psychological problems or mental illness very useful. It gets them out of trouble. Dafydd was a pioneer in this field, he told absolutely everyone back in the 80s that he suffered from a ‘nervous illness’, for which he received treatment ‘from a doctor in England’. One of my postgrad friends at the time observed that the beauty of this would be that if ever Dafydd was done for misconduct he’d just say ‘oh it’s my nervous illness’ and that friend was spot-on. Likewise Tony Francis had a mood disorder. Now Tony Francis was indeed a very troubled man, but in the months before he killed himself he spent a very long time in hospital in Manchester. (I note that he certainly didn’t use the services provided by his colleagues in north Wales.) When I told my friend Brown about this, he observed that one advantage of being in hospital would be that Francis wouldn’t have to answer any questions. I thought that Brown was being overly cynical at the time, but some time later I had a very interesting conversation with someone who was a neighbour of Francis and knew his wife. This person didn’t know that I had known Francis years before and she didn’t know that I’d ever been a patient of his. But she mentioned that he was suffering so much because of a ‘dreadful woman’ who had complained about him. After a few more sentences it became clear that the person whom she was talking about was me. I didn’t like to mention that I hadn’t even seen Francis for at least four years and that the complaint had been made some twenty years ago and had never been investigated anyway. And I certainly didn’t tell her that Francis and his colleagues had perjured themselves repeatedly and concealed a paedophile gang, because I didn’t have the documents then that I now have. So if a Top Doctor has a mental illness the narrative plays out somewhat differently to when the rest of the world does.

Robyn Skynner on one occasion did something that would be frowned upon by most therapists. He introduced one of his clients – John Cleese – to another therapist, whom Cleese subsequently had a relationship with and then married. That was the American lady whom Cleese divorced a few years ago among much acrimony, publicity and which left him feeling so bitter that he used the divorce as the basis for a comedy tour.

One comment in one of Skynner’s obituaries that is particularly significant was that he ‘worked with adults and children of an unusually wide range of socio-economic status, from the poorest districts of the East End to private practice’. This could apply to anyone working at the Maudsley. The Maudsley’s immediate catchment area is Lambeth. The Lambeth that, along with north Wales, had the biggest problem in the UK with children in care being abused and trafficked by paedophiles. Lambeth Council also sent many children on placement to children’s homes in north Wales. So theoretically, the Count or Dafydd or Bob Hobson or indeed Robin Skynner, could be treating both the trafficked kids and the paedophiles who abused them. If those paedophiles were celebs, people with connections to Westminster or members of the security services, the consequences are obvious.

There is of course a former Top Doctor from the Maudsley who is probably the most well-known media psychiatrist – Anthony Clare. (Raj Parsaud followed hot on his heels but unfortunately Raj was exposed as an outrageous and shameless plagiarist, which he had been for many years but no-one had dared mention it.) Clare is no longer with us, he died in 2007. He qualified as a doctor at University College Dublin in 1966 and after doing his initial training in psychiatry at St Patrick’s Hospital Dublin, he ended up at the Maudsley for five years as a registrar and then senior registrar. In 1976 he became a researcher in general practice at the Institute of Psychiatry, spending six years there. It was during this time that he began broadcasting on Radio 4 and in 1982 he began doing the programme for which he became famous, ‘In The Psychiatrist’s Chair’. He was applauded for getting to the soul of his interviewees and poor old Bob Monkhouse ended up in tears. Clare did of course interview Jimmy Savile – and he didn’t mention You Know What. Savile didn’t end up in tears. It would be unfair to let Clare off the hook by saying that no-one asked Savile the Big Question – which is what everybody claimed after his death – because actually there was one journalist who did ask Savile if he was a paedophile and that was Lyn Barber. I read the interview, it was in I think ‘The Observer’ and it passed pretty much without wider media comment – but Lyn Barber had said to Savile during the interview ‘they say that you like little girls’. And Savile had come out with the usual load of Savilesque meaningless tripe, but Lyn Barber did ask him. In 1983 Clare became Prof and Head of Dept of Psychological Medicine at Barts. In 1989 he returned to Dublin. Many years ago in ‘Private Eye’ an article appeared concerning a scandal that had happened in a hospital over which Clare had responsibility. A woman had been sectioned and detained for three days – because she had started divorce proceedings against her husband. It wasn’t the Maudsley, it was a hospital in Dublin to which Clare had returned to work after 1989. There was a fuss, the woman sued and there was media comment about how embarrassing this was for Anthony Clare. I’d be interested to know how that lady ever managed to make herself heard let alone begin legal proceedings – just look at what was going on in north Wales and indeed St Georges Hospital Medical School/Springfield Hospital at the very same time. So presumably whichever hospital in Dublin it was, it wasn’t involved in concealing a vicious paedophile ring – because if it was it would have been guaranteed complete protection from publicity or legal action.

After Clare died, one of his obituaries mentioned that during the 1990s Clare ‘completely’ ‘turned his back on the media’, refused to do any media work at all and wouldn’t even review a book. Anthony Clare was the ultimate media tart for years and the media loved him. So what happened?

Clare is fondly remembered by other Top Doctors. Prof Peter White, now Emeritus Prof of Psychological Medicine at Queen Mary University London and before that of the Maudsley and Barts, remembered how Anthony Clare had flown from London to Sydney to give a keynote speech just three hours after landing and how during the flight the airline had lost Clare’s slides and notes and that he was also jet-lagged. But Clare had the audience ‘spellbound by a speech in which he used his Irish charm, humour and passion to remind us that so long as we truly listened and put the patient first, all would be well in psychiatry’.

I think that something’s gone wrong somewhere despite Clare having snogged the face off the Blarney Stone.

 

 

In recent posts I have mentioned how, like Marjorie Wallace, another ‘mental health campaigner’ in the media ignored correspondence from me regarding the misconduct of the Top Doctors in north Wales back in the 80s – Esther. So my ears pricked up when I heard the allegations that someone had written to Esther about Jimmy Savile when dear old Esther launched Childline, but had been ignored. I had heard allegations that Childline was failing to help children who had contacted them who had been abused whilst ‘in care’.

I have now been sent some information about Esther which is in the public domain but hasn’t received much coverage – it explains a lot. Esther founded Childline in 1986 with her cousin, the wife of Nick Ross, the former presenter of BBC’s ‘Crimewatch’ programme. My correspondent has also told me that Nick Ross’s colleague Jill Dando – who was shot dead by an unknown assassin – was at the time of her murder working on an investigation concerning allegations that people with connections to the BBC were involved in a paedophile ring. Barry George, a man with mental health problems and learning difficulties, was convicted of Jill’s murder but was released from prison when it was demonstrated that a lot of lies had been told and that he’d been fitted up.

The first Chief Exec of Childline that Esther appointed was a controversial and rather rash choice. It was Valerie Howarth, who is now Baroness Valerie Howarth, a cross bencher in the Lords. The appointment was controversial because Howarth was Director of Brent Social Services at the time of the death of Jasmine Beckford, a four year old girl who died as a result of the complete negligence and fuckwittery of Brent Social Services. Jasmine died in 1984 and Howarth was Director between 1982-1986. Furthermore, when Howarth later applied for the job of Director of Cambridgeshire Social Services, she failed to mention that the death of Jasmine had taken place on her watch (although I would have thought that they could have worked that one out). Esther however assured everyone that she knew that Valerie was sound. How did she know this? Because Valerie had trained Esther’s sister Priscilla Taylor, who was a social worker! They were both social workers for Lambeth. Howarth worked for Lambeth between 1963-1982 – she wasn’t just there for a few weeks. No wonder children abused in care found that Childline were not interested. Priscilla told Esther that Valerie was ‘a skilled and experienced social worker’. Who somehow didn’t notice that the kids homes were rife with child molesters. Valerie and Priscilla must have really excelled because Lambeth have now paid out millions in compensation to former residents, many more claims are due to be settled and the Shirley Oaks Survivors Association, a group of people were abused in Lambeth children’s homes in the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s, have set up an excellent website with the names, details and mugshots of the paedophiles responsible and have published their own report into the matter.

In 2013 Esther wrote an article defending herself, Valerie Howarth and Sharon Shoesmith – who famously presided over Haringey Council at the time of the Baby P scandal. The death of Baby P, Peter Connelly, also involved gobsmacking negligence on the part of a Top Doctor at Great Ormond Street Hospital. She failed to notice that Peter had a broken back. I know somebody who told me that the Top Doctor in question didn’t actually examine Peter. It was admitted that at the time the ‘world leading’ GOSH was in chaos. Esther’s article was a mixture of fury directed at everyone who had levelled criticism at Shoesmith and Howarth, invective at the inadequate – or in Esther’s eyes bad/wicked/evil/manipulative ad infinitum – parents of the children involved and extreme defensiveness. As the defenders of senior social workers who screw up badly often do, Esther made much of the evil genius of such parents who pull the wool over the eyes of skilled and experienced social workers while they torture and murder their children. Such parents are of course not cunning geniuses, in all of the high profile cases of this nature social services had been told again and again by scores of concerned people that there were serious worries about the welfare of the child who later died. The parents were obviously hopelessly inadequate, chaotic and sometimes very brutal but the one thing that they were not was clever or competent. The parents were on low incomes, usually benefits – Shoesmith, Howarth and others at their level are paid hundreds of thousands a year to do an admittedly very difficult job, but part of the reason for the high salary is that they are expected to take responsibility. If they can’t do that and instead just blame the innate wickedness of the ‘service users’ in the face of serious failure, we might as well sack the whole lot of them and save on their salary bill.

Esther also stressed that the talented and wonderful Valerie and Sharon had ended up ‘unemployed’. They don’t stay unemployed for very long Esther, they used their contacts and their numerous excuses to get themselves further highly paid positions. Indeed Valerie landed a job as Chief Exec of Childline because she knew Esther’s sister. Esther uses the example of Valerie being in the Lords as an demonstration of Valerie’s enormous ability. Valerie is of course in the Lords because Esther gave her a job. Valerie’s on the up and up though, despite Lambeth and despite Jasmine. Valerie is on the Board of the Food Standards Agency, she’s a Trustee of ‘a number of children’s charities’, Patron of the Youth Advocacy Scheme, Vice-Chair of the National Care Standards Commission and Secretary to the All Parliamentary Children’s Group. She is a Board member of CAFCASS and in 2008 was Chair of CAFCASS. That is the scandal ridden disasterous CAFCASS which in 2008 was in such chaos that it’s staff were having nervous breakdowns as a result of their working conditions and were leaving posts a matter of months after being appointed, the CAFCASS which subsequently found that no-one wanted to work for them at all.

Esther mentioned in the article that her daughter Miriam was training to be a social worker – and that her daughter was clever, compassionate and dedicated. She won’t be working for Lambeth, Brent or CAFCASS then.

 

I have previously mentioned to Brown that in the light of how many people I know who have ascended the ladder by gaining knowledge of the wrongdoing of others and silently blackmailing everyone else about it, if I operated on the same principle I’d be President of the World by now. I think it also helps if one conceals organised child sexual abuse in high places, that seems to be the key.

I will soon be naming some more accessories.

 

 

One Dangerous Fucker

Someone suggested to me recently that I should pay a bit of attention to a man called John Mills. John Mills has been mentioned on this blog before – he was the husband of Dame Barbara Mills, the DPP who just could not find it within her to prosecute members of the paedophile gang in north Wales despite mountains of evidence being handed over to the CPS and recommendations that there was sufficient evidence to prosecute scores of people. Mills is also the brother of David Mills – the man involved in that messy business regarding bribes from Berlusconi – who is of course the husband of Tessa Jowell. He was no longer the husband of Tessa for a short time during all the bad publicity re Silvio and the trial for corruption, but he became the husband of Tessa once again after the media had moved on to another scandal. That’s the Tessa who has worked for so many organisations at the heart of the abuse of children and the continued abuse of them when they entered the mental health system (please see previous posts). I mentioned in a previous post that John Mills had been a Camden Councillor whilst children in the care of that Council – some of whom were being ‘placed’ in children’s homes in north Wales – were abused by organised paedophile gangs. But I didn’t realise how deeply within that Council Mills was embedded. He was a Councillor between 1971-2006 and for much of that time Mills was responsible for the Council’s budget. He revels in the accolade that Camden Council received in 2003 – that of ‘Council of the Year’. This of course would have had nothing at all to do with the fact that in 2003 New Labour was well and truly ruling the roost and many past and present Councillors from, and residents of, Camden were key figures in New Labour – such as Tessa Jowell.

Now here’s a mystery – in the early years of the millennium, UK suicide statistics showed that Camden had the highest rate of suicides among women in England and Wales. The runner up was Conwy in north Wales. There was a fuss about this because Conwy is a lovely rural area and no-one could understand why so many women were committing suicide there. Of course everyone involved with the mental health services knew why – it was because the consultant for that patch was the lethal Dr Tony Roberts who constantly failed to identify patients with severe depression, told them that they all had personality disorders and refused to treat them So they topped themselves in very great numbers. No-one stopped Roberts though and when I complained about his conduct to the GMC at that very time, the GMC even went to the lengths of referring to a forged document that had somehow found it’s way into their possession purporting to be a letter from me as part of their ‘investigation’ into Roberts. No action was taken again him. Roberts had a partner in crime during that period of time, a truly dreadful GP from Penygroes who was the GP on call one night when I rang for help because I was suicidal. The GP, John Morris Jones, told me that the very good GP on call – whom I had spoken with earlier and who had asked me to ring back – was ‘unavailable’. He then hung up on me. At the time I just thought that I was speaking to yet another truly appalling Top Doctor but I now have obtained documentation relating to that night. The good GP who had tried to help earlier was still in the building but John Morris Jones had not told her that I was on the phone and he did not tell me that she was still there. Instead John Morris Jones took advice from the disgusting Tony Roberts – who sent out the order to ‘DO NOTHING’ (yes, the message was conveyed in capitals), in response to the earlier GP telling Roberts that I was ‘suicidal ++++’. That is why Conwy had such a high suicide rate. The Daily Post online today has a feature bemoaning the fact that John Morris Jones is retiring and now there will be no Welsh speaking GP left in the village. Local Plaid politicians and councillors Hywel Williams, Sian Gwenllian and Judith Humphreys have been photographed with sad expressions on their faces protesting over the loss of dear old John Morris Jones. They need to find a worthier cause – speakers of any language will be far safer now that Jones has shut up shop. It wasn’t just me that had unfortunate encounters with him – I heard from a number of Penygroes residents that he was a complete bastard. I suspect that like Tony Roberts, John Morris Jones was such a bad doctor that no doctor at all is actually a safer option.

But what about Camden, the Council of the Year where Tessa and John had reigned supreme? I know very little about the socio-geography of Camden but I’m wondering whether it is one of those London boroughs where rich and poor live separate lives but physically almost next door to each other. Could it possibly have been that by the time that Tessa had become a Minister – she was Minister for Young People at one point! – those kids who had been so badly abused whilst in council care had grown up into adults with mental health problems and as in north Wales were either being refused care or given care that was frankly abusive and were therefore killing themselves in great numbers? Conwy’s a great place to live if you’ve got a bit of money and don’t have to rely on Tony Roberts for mental health care and I bet Camden’s great if you’re a New Labour Minister. But not so great if you’re one of the more disadvantaged citizens who had been ‘helped’ by the services that Tessa, John et al oversaw.

John Mills’s involvement with the Labour Party didn’t stop at being a Camden Councillor. No, John is a very big fish indeed. John Mills is very rich – ‘a millionaire businessman and political donor’ – and it is on record that Mandelson did like filthy rich people. (Mills has a website which is dedicated entirely to blowing his own trumpet and that website is full of references to ‘Peter’.) John has made his fortune from his business JML, described by John as ‘an import-export and distribution company’. Which certainly covers a multitude of possibilities. He is Labour’s biggest individual donor and in 2013 gave Labour £1.65 million of shares. There were allegations that this was a tax scam but John reassured everyone that of course it wasn’t, just as he reassures people that giving millions to the Labour Party doesn’t buy one any influence at all. Not sure anyone believes you there John, it’s why the membership voted for Corbyn – they were sick to the back teeth of ‘Peter’ and his mates. John’s business career hasn’t always gone smoothly though. A former business of his, Fairlane UK, went bust, so shortly after Mills set up JML which he claims was founded in the basement of his house in Camden in 1986. Whilst those kids were being raped and trafficked by paedophiles and the idiots running the Council ignored all the alarm bells ringing in north Wales as Alison Taylor blew the whistle repeatedly but was simply sacked. Mills was once charged by Trading Standards for flogging ‘gold plated jewellery’ that was actually brass – Mills pleaded guilty and had to stump up £750.

Mills stood as a Labour candidate twice in 1974 and for the European Parliament in 1979. Mills seems to be the Nigel Farage of the Labour party in that although he desired election to the European Parliament he describes himself as a Eurosceptic. In fact it was Mills who bankrolled the Labour Party’s ‘Leave’ campaign.

Mills constantly refers to himself as an ‘economist’ on his website – you’re not Nobel material John no matter how much money you’ve managed to accumulate – and mentions that he was Deputy Chairman of London Docklands Development Corporation 1985-1987. And what a barrel of shit that was. John also tells us that for nine years he was Chair (or opposition leader) on Housing with the Association of Metropolitan Authorities and the London Boroughs Association. Might anyone be taking an interest in the disastrous housing policies and decisions that John et al made in the wake of Grenfell Tower?

This blog has ended up touching on many areas of malpractice and sleaze, but it was set up to focus on mental health. John has an interest here, through his charitable work. John is a supporter and funder of none other than SANE – the mental health charity that has inflicted more damage on people with mental health problems than even MIND has. I’ve blogged about SANE and it’s crazed founder Marjorie Wallace previously and I do hope that new visitors to the blog will take the time to read that post ‘Another Confession From NHS England’, but I have some new revelations now.

Marjorie set up SANE in 1986. She was controversial from the start because under the guise of responding to the crisis in community care, Marjorie lobbied vigorously to prevent the closing down of psychiatric hospitals. Now Marjorie was correct in saying that there were insufficient facilities to care for patients in the community, there were, it was a joke to believe that vulnerable people unable to look after themselves would thrive when they were dumped in poor quality accommodation miles away from their contacts with no infrastructure to support them. But Marjorie did not put effort into campaigning for better community facilities. No, Marjorie was very keen indeed on the idea that people should remain sectioned and indeed locked up in institutions. Now Marjorie knew what was going on in psychiatric hospitals in the 80s because the more radical mental health activists like ‘Survivors Speak Out’ had been articulating the abuses to which they had been subjected and were confronting Marjorie on TV and in other situations. I too wrote to Marjorie about what was happening in north Wales – I did not receive a reply. All I knew in those days was that Marjorie was a ‘Sunday Times’ journalist who was also known as Countess Skarbek. I presumed that she was naïve and did not know what was happening in UK psychiatry. She bloody well knew alright and I suspect that is why Marjorie set up a charity in an attempt to prevent the closure of psychiatric hospitals. The prisons to silence dissenters – particularly people who had been sexually molested as children by some powerful people in public life – were in danger of closing. Including the North Wales Hospital Denbigh – where the dissenters were ‘admitted’ and sometimes disappeared without trace…Do you know, Marjorie started her campaign not to close the asylums at the VERY TIME that it was admitted that Denbigh in particular was just so bad that it would have to close…

I have been aware for years that Marjorie is entirely establishment – the Top Doctors love her, she has collected endless honorary fellowships, awards and gongs after being nominated by them – but since researching for this blog I’ve noticed a much more sinister side to Marjorie’s connections. Her book on June and Jennifer Gibbons, two teenaged twins from Pembrokeshire who were elective mutes, gained Marjorie much publicity and Marjorie’s public utterances were designed to give the impression that she was sympathetic to the twins plight – they had ended up in Broadmoor allegedly for refusing to talk and their involvement in petty crime. Yet Marjorie just did not ask some very obvious questions. The decision to send those twins to Broadmoor was inexplicable. Before being banged up in there, those girls had been involved with the children’s health and welfare services in south Wales. The dynamics in those services and the behaviour of some of the staff involved with the twins was obviously dysfunctional. Of course we now know that there was a paedophile ring operating in that part of Wales as well, so that will have caused chaos in the region. Marjorie visited the twins many times in Broadmoor in order to write her book. Yet she never uttered a word about the violence and sexual abuse that Broadmoor patients – particularly women – were subjected to, although it was very well-known at the time among mental health campaigners. Instead Marjorie aligned herself with the institution and it’s Top Doctors, although she noticed that the ‘side effects’ of the ‘medication’ which those girls were being forcibly injected with was damaging their health. One of the twins, Jennifer, died as a result of her ‘medication’ days before she was due to be released. Not a word was spoken in concern by anyone. HELLO – MIND, SANE, they’ve just KILLED one of the girls who should never have been sent there before she got out and had the chance to tell anyone what the hell was going on in that place…

After the expose of Jimmy Savile, Marjorie was one of the many people associated with Broadmoor who popped up in the media with her pearls of wisdom. She said exactly what the Broadmoor staff said after Savile’s abuse was made public – that she knew that Savile’s appointment was inappropriate, that he was so odd that it was seriously worrying and gosh she thought to herself ‘the lunatics had taken over the asylum’. The lunatics were already running the asylum, the authorities at Broadmoor were incarcerating distressed people who had been brutalised and in some cases sexually abused whilst in the child care and mental health systems and evidence of the ‘dangerousness’ of these people was being fabricated by the Top Doctors named on this blog. Marjorie did not say anything about Savile or any other of the many worrying matters about Broadmoor at the time.

I think that Marjorie knew a lot about Savile by the time that he was appointed to the Broadmoor task force – by which time he’d been a ‘volunteer’ at Broadmoor for donkeys years anyway – and I think that she knew that he was more than an idiot in a turquoise shell suit with a distasteful amount of bling. Because Marjorie had excellent media connections. She was a journalist, had been for years and the media world knew about Savile. Marjorie was a journalist for the ‘Sunday Times’ between 1972-89. Prior to that, in the 60s Marjorie had worked on the ‘Frost Programme’ and on BBC’s ‘Nationwide’. The BBC that employed Jimmy Savile. Post-Savile there have been a lot of memories from older people regarding the shagfest that was the BBC in the 60s and 70s. Even Grand Dames like Joan Bakewell freely admit that young female journos and researchers had plenty of opportunities to sleep with men who could advance their careers and social prospects and Bakewell is honest enough to admit that she had a great time. Others such as Esther – who knew nothing about Jimmy Savile of course – have reframed themselves as fighters against such sexism and Strong Women who broke the glass ceiling. Esther was someone who found her career considerably enhanced after she married her boss, Desmond Wilcox. I have dug up a touching little anecdote about Marjorie being offered the job at ‘Nationwide’ – that famously employed Frank Bough of cocaine and prostitutes fame – after a BBC producer complimented her on the ‘shapeliness of her legs’. Because of course in the 60s and 70s if a gentleman wanted to have sex with a lady he would beat around the bush with comments about her legs. I think that Marjorie would have got the message.

But Marjorie seemed quite good at receiving and sending out such messages. Even the most toadying of articles about Marjorie make reference to her rather complex domestic and/or ‘romantic’ arrangements. Marjorie enjoys being known as Countess Skarbek. No Marjory is not descended from a noble old British family, she married a Polish aristocrat, Andrzej Skarbek (who was actually known as Andrew Skarbek). Marjorie uses every opportunity possible to wax lyrical about her husband’s ancestors – there is a connection to Chopin which really impresses Marjorie – and throughout their married life and indeed even now after his death Marjorie refers to him as ‘the Count’. If Marjorie is to be believed it was only when she discovered that the Count was a Count that she was alerted to the possibilities – when she met him, she thought that he was merely an ‘émigré doctor’ working at UCL involved in clinical trials for anti-psychotics. But then she found out that he was a Count and my God her attitude changed. She embarked upon a romance with the Count – who at the time was married to someone else, a Countess, with a few kids. However being the mistress of a Count was so brilliant that Marjorie continued with this arrangement. In 1972 when she gave birth to her first child by the Count, she was sharing a flat with Mary Kenny, another journalist who evolved into one of those rather mad right wing women who scribbled for organs like the Telegraph. The Count did finally get around to divorcing the Countess and married Marjorie in 1974, so she then became a Countess! She has never been able to forget it – the dear old Count eventually abandoned her and went to Canada leaving her with three children, but Marjorie still reminded everyone that she was a Countess married to the Count. She kept on reminding everyone lest she forgot that she was a Countess, or at least that’s what she claimed in interviews. After the Count left the UK, Marjorie then acquired a new partner, Tom Marjerison, who died in 2014. Tom founded ‘New Scientist’ – but he also founded something else very much grander, namely London Weekend Television.

Of course Marjorie knew about Jimmy Savile.

The Count returned to the UK after a few years and by the time that she was in her 60s Marjorie was paying regular visits to the Count – who lived just down the road from her in Hampstead – and was looking after Tom Marjerison with whom she was living, who had developed Parkinson’s. But Marjorie had a bit on the side as well – she was Lord Snowdon’s mistress! Marjorie’s shagging CV dates her romance with Lord Snowdon from 2003, but she intriguingly described herself as having ‘been close to him for thirty years’, since they worked together on the ‘Sunday Times’ (Snowdon was her photographer). If I know anything about euphemisms used by elderly luvvies/media folk, ‘being close to’ means pretty much the same thing as landing a job on account of one’s ‘shapely legs’. Lord Snowdon was of course bisexual, famously promiscuous and was alleged to have enjoyed recreational chemicals. This was admitted years ago after he split up from Princess Margaret, but after his death people became a lot more frank about his excesses.

My post ‘A Pretty Classy Piece Of Operation’ described how appointments to the Broadmoor task force, which was led by Savile, were arranged at a rather irregular meeting at the Athanaeum club in Pall Mall involving two senior civil servants, Jimmy Savile and Savile’s mate Alan Franey, who was appointed Chief Exec of Broadmoor. Savile was a member of the Athanaeum as are a lot of Top Doctors and academics and this was not the only meeting that was held there to discuss the senior management arrangements of Broadmoor. Edwina Currie attended at least one such meeting, Edwina being the Minister who actually appointed Savile to lead the Broadmoor task force after he told her how he would blackmail the violent, sexually abusive nurses of Broadmoor into ceasing their embezzlement of NHS funds. He didn’t mention stopping them from abusing the patients – which of course he was doing himself. At the very time that Marjorie was making regular visits to Broadmoor and chatting to the staff there about June and Jennifer Gibbons (read Marjorie’s book about them – there’s a few worrying breaches of confidentiality in there), Savile was sexually abusing the female patients. Savile’s targets were usually young. Those twins were I think the youngest patients in Broadmoor at that time. Don’t tell me that he resisted that temptation. Marjorie herself is no stranger to the Athanaeum. When she was awarded her CBE in 2008 she celebrated by hosting a lunch at the Athanaeum with Lord Snowdon! Savile was still alive and kicking then – come on Marjorie, who attended that lunch to celebrate your ill-gotten gains?

Now I had always presumed that Marjorie’s success as a mental health campaigner leading an organisation that is loathed by many people with mental health problems themselves and speaks for everyone but the patients was a result of her ingratiating herself to Top Doctors and never mentioning a word about their abuses – the MIND model of success. Then a few months ago I saw a passing reference to the Count having been a psychoanalyst. I wondered why a psychoanalyst would be in UCL conducting clinical trials on anti-psychotics. So I thought that it was about time that I found out a bit more about the Count. I wish that I’d done this a very long time ago, it would have explained a lot. Not only is the Count a Count but he is the ultimate Top Doctor.

Andrzej/Andrew Skarbek was born in 1925 in what was then Ukraine. His family arrived in the UK shortly after the war. He had begun his medical studies before they migrated, but obviously his studies were interrupted, although he resumed them in the UK. Later on he ended up doing a PhD at UCL, which was how he came to be running clinical trials on anti-psychotics. So he – and Marjorie – will have known just how much damage such ‘medication’ can cause if it isn’t prescribed carefully and care given to monitor patients symptoms. Yet Marjorie is very keen on that medication being given to people who are banged up against their will. Skarbek studied medicine at St Mary’s Hospital Paddington, whilst funded by family money. He qualified as a medical doctor in 1954. After graduation he worked as a paediatrician – but he ended up meeting Donald Winnicot and decided upon a career in psychiatry. Well guess where he trained? At the Maudsley! That fine institution at which dear old Dafydd Alun Jones also ‘trained’. Furthermore I suspect that they might even have known each other – Skarbek received his Diploma in Psychological Medicine in 1961. Which is pretty much about the same time that dear old Dafydd was ‘training’. Furthermore Skarbek’s interest was psychodynamic psychotherapy – so he will have been training under Bob Hobson, just like Dafydd! The Bob Hobson who afforded Dafydd a great deal of protection – because nobody wanted to admit that Bob Hobson had trained a total rogue. Skarbek qualified as an analyst five years after completing his Diploma in Psychological Medicine and then became involved with the Langham Clinic, along with R.D. Laing. Laing and some of his colleagues were known to have sexually exploited patients. Skarbek subsequently became Director of the Langham Clinic when it was renamed the London Clinic of Psychotherapy. In 1966 he became an Associate Member of the Institute of Psychoanalysis. There has been a problem in psychoanalysis for many years of analysts sexually exploiting their patients and their students. Skarbek worked at UCL, at King George Hospital Ilford and in 1977 was appointed consultant psychotherapist at Runwell, Rochford and Basildon Hospitals in Essex, where he was said to have developed a ‘community psychodynamic psychotherapy’ service. Skarbek’s career is a bit confusing. There is information stating that he received his PhD from UCL in 1977 – by which time he was well-immersed in psychodynamic psychotherapy and analysis. It seems a little odd for someone to be pursuing a research interest trialling anti-psychotics whilst being interested in analysis and therapy, they are not easy bedfellows. Unless of course he was the sort of Top Doctor who was very worried about anti-psychotics and was involved in trials to investigate how damaging – or ineffective – they are. But Marjorie has never said a word if he was.

However, a CV like this will have meant that Skarbek was very influential and very well connected. He will also have known an awful lot about a lot of people and like dear old Alice Levinson at St Georges Hospital Medical School/Springfield Hospital he will have been great at generating the psychobabble needed to discredit anyone who might have said something like ‘you know those Top Doctors in north Wales? They’re breaking the law, framing innocent people, sexually abusing the patients and concealing a paedophile ring which involves high profile public figures and politicians’. But Skarbek had worked as a paediatrician as well – now their opinion is crucial in deciding whether a child is being abused or indeed if a person is wrongly accused of abusing a child.

Skarbek’s influence did of course stretch further than the NHS. He was an advisor to the National Association for Mental Health. That was the old name for MIND. The MIND that later employed Tessa Jowell as deputy director at the same time as they were concealing the wrongdoing of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones. But guess what else William Bingley, the legal director of MIND, told me in 1987 when he admitted that they knew all about Dafydd? That in the 60s Dafydd had been a leading light in MIND – or as it was then the National Association for Mental Health!

I mentioned earlier that at one point the Count abandoned Marjorie and the kids and went abroad. In the early 1980s he was Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Ottawa. The Count then returned to the UK and in the early 90s is described as having ‘led the group therapy programme at the Dept of Psychotherapy at UCL’. After he retired the Count continued with private work. Well as most Top Doctors discover, it helps to keep your oar in. Particularly if you’re concealing so much shit that you and all your associates will end up in prison if anyone ever finds out what has been going on.

Should anyone point out that just because the Count may have been party to information regarding wrongdoing in high places does not mean that the Countess will have been as well, I recommend that they google Marjorie. After the Count and Tom died and when Snowdon was on his last legs, Marjorie took to reminiscing about her younger life in media interviews. She talks about serving coffee and sandwiches at the meetings of psychoanalysts that took place at her home with Scarbek in Hampstead in the 70s, she talks of making so many visits to Broadmoor that she even used to take her children there at weekends and she talks of her long running affair with the Count before they married – they used to meet at the hospitals where he was working and she stresses how she used to chat to all the patients. When discussing her work as an ‘investigative journalist’ – but there were some things that you chose not to expose weren’t there Marjorie – she stresses again and again that her ‘method’ was to live with the people who had knowledge of the topics that she was investigating. What a sociologist would call an ethnographic approach. I doubt that Marjorie was really much of an ethnographer – she’d be far too busy telling everyone that she was a Countess – but she will have had skills in befriending people and extracting info from her work in journalism. Marjorie will have known that psychiatry was used to shut people up if they were making claims that powerful people didn’t want heard. What if Marjorie had heard via her media connections that there was an awkward social worker in north Wales who was alleging that there was widespread sexual abuse of children in children’s homes there? What if she knew that the Director of Social Services colluding with the paedophile ring in operation in those homes was the mistress of one of the Count’s former colleagues and that former colleague of the Count was also proving most useful in discrediting or incarcerating the people who were claiming that they had been abused in those homes – which were being visited by the Conservative MP for Chester and Thatcher’s aide, Sir Peter Morrison? Had Morrison et al been exposed at the time the damage to Thatcher’s Gov’t would have been enormous. The Times newspapers – and the Torygraph which employed Marjorie’s old flatmate Mary Kenny – were staunch supporters of Thatcher.

Did Marjorie have any other possible connections to north Wales apart from the Count’s old colleague from the Maudsley, Dafydd? Er yes – she was ‘close to’ Lord Snowdon. The excessive, bisexual, promiscuous Lord Snowdon who had north Welsh roots and – although I didn’t know this until recently – did used to visit north Wales. Snowdon is actually buried at Llanfaglan near Caernarfon. The Lord Snowdon who was in the House of Lords – which is choc a bloc with politicians who had a hand in concealing the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal. Lord Snowdon was so keen to remain in the Lords that after hereditary peers were excluded he accepted a life peerage that had been especially created for him. This caused quite a lot of criticism at the time, it was considered rather bad form. But Snowdon really wanted to remain in there – which is a bit weird, he was hardly a political animal. Just an animal.

Little wonder that Marjorie announced a ‘crisis’ in 1986 as Alison Taylor blew the whistle – the only remedy to the ‘crisis’ being to keep the abusive, discredited asylums open, including the North Wales Hospital Denbigh. Marjorie came in for so much criticism that latterly she tempered her language in interviews, but some of her early TV appearances were splendid. She would always be given far more air time than the patients who were trying to explain what was happening to people in psychiatric hospitals and I saw her make claims that she ‘knew’ that patients wanted to be kept in ‘secure’ places because they knew themselves that they were dangerous. One group of mental health patients set up an organisation called ‘MANE – Marjorie, A National Emergency’, but their voices were completely drowned out by Marjorie and the Top Doctors.

So what about SANE these days? Institutions like Denbigh have now closed but patients are simply abused and neglected in the ‘community’ instead should they cross the path of the Top Doctors, although they can of course still be banged up in secure units, tasered whilst sectioned, transferred to prisons or high security hospitals, assaulted or even killed whilst being ‘restrained when distressed’ and forcibly injected with anti-psychotics that can destroy their health or kill them and there will not be an investigation. Chin up Marjorie, there are many ways of destroying vulnerable people without an asylum. SANE boasts that it has a helpline for the suicidal/distressed. That helpline is not all that it’s cracked up to be. It is only open between 4-30pm and 10-30pm – which is weird because if someone’s going to despair they tend to do so during the night not at tea-time. Furthermore I have heard from people who have worked at SANE and from people who have run the helpline that the people answering the helpline are completely out of their depth regarding the distress that they are being confronted with. Which is sad, because if Marjorie was running a helpful helpline it would be a very useful contribution. Is Marjorie perhaps constrained in terms of funding for the helpline?

It would seem not. Marjorie has been remarkably successful at raising funds for SANE, but she hasn’t used those funds for the helpline. Marjorie has used some of the funds for Research into suicide and self-harm. Yet nowhere can I find details of exactly what this research is. Which is even more puzzling because SANE established a whole research centre, POWIC. Which stands for the Prince of Wales International Centre for SANE Research. Prince Charles is the Patron of SANE – well he and Marjorie are related by extra-marital sex aren’t they. In 2008 POWIC shared a building with the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, which is of course spawn of Professor Mark Williams, who knows all about Dafydd, the paedophile ring and the madness of north Wales, he was right at the centre of it for years (please see post ‘The Biggest Expert Of The Lot’). Someone else who knows about Dafydd and north Wales also worked at the Oxford Mindfulness Centre and led a strand of research for SANE – Professor Tom Burns. I know that Tom Burns knows because in about 1990 I TOLD HIM – and Tom admitted that he believed me and that psychiatry ‘attracted disturbed people’ which created problems. What Tom also did – but without my knowledge – was write to the corrupt occupational health physician at St Georges who had sent me to him, Nicky Mitchell-Heggs, and tell her that I wasn’t psychotic but I was over sensitive and might have a paranoid personality disorder. When I became suicidal the following year as a result of being constantly arrested for serious crimes after Dafydd’s colleagues Dr Tony Francis (‘Dr X’) and his wife Dr Sadie Francis (Dr X’s wife) perjured themselves, Burns told Mitchell-Heggs that he ‘didn’t think that he had anything to offer’ when she contacted him again. I bet he didn’t because he knew what was happening and was going to walk away very quickly in the opposite direction. Which is how he ended up with a Chair at Oxford working with Mark Williams! SANE also had another person on board leading their ‘research’, based at the Dept of Psychiatry, Warneford Hospital, University of Oxford and that was the man who established POWIC in collaboration with SANE, Professor Tim Crow. Tim Crow worked with Dr Tony Francis before Tony Francis moved to north Wales and I think that it was Tim Crow who supervised Francis’s MD.

I really do not think that all of this can be a coincidence.

So where did the dosh for POWIC come from? From rather unusual sources. The Saudi Royal Family donated £1.75 million and this was then matched by a donation of another £1.75 million from the Xylas Greek shipping family. Marjorie needed yet more, so an appeal went out in the ‘Times’ and another donation from the Sultan of Brunei arrived.

If anyone can possibly think of a reason why the Saudi Royal Family, Greek shipping tycoons and the Sultan of Brunei would want to give large amounts of money to a bunch of charlatans who concealed a paedophile gang please do let me know. Because I am flabbergasted.

But other people have given dosh to SANE as well. Including the City Bridge Trust, the Garfield Weston Foundation, the John Ellerman Foundation, the Sobell Foundation and of course the Big Lottery Fund.

The City Bridge Trust is the City of London Corporation Charity. The Garfield Weston Foundation describes itself as a ‘family foundation’ and nearly all of the Trustees are descendants of the man who established it. A lot of them see to be connected with Fortnum and Mason, which is probably where Marjorie buys her groceries. ‘Mason’ being the operative word where the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal and Dafydd were concerned.

The John Ellerman Foundation has a number of interesting Trustees, many of whom are professional fundraisers on a very big scale. The Chair is Lady Sarah Riddell, who has a background in journalism – she’ll know Marjorie then. Riddell served as Vice-Chair of the Hammersmith Hospitals NHS Trust, which has now been incorporated into Imperial NHS Trust (see blog post ‘A Cause Close To Our Hearts’ for details of wrongdoing at Hammersmith Hospital). Sarah has served as a lay member of research ethics committees and a Gov’t advisory body on clinical trials. She is a Trustee of the Pilgrim Trust, the Sir James Knott Trust and the Castle Aukland Trust. (There seems to be a great deal of crossover between the Trustees of these three Trusts, with a number of the same people sitting on the Boards of more than one of them. Justin Welby is a former Trustee of the Castle Aukland Trust, as are two Top Doctors (one of whom boasts that he has been a GP for ‘four bishops’) and various people with connections to the Royal Family and various Oxbridge Colleges. Trustees of these various charities include members of the late Lord Longford’s family, Professor Colin Blakemore the controversial Top Doctor and former Chief Exec of the MRC and an Oliver James, who I think may be the Oliver James that is the truly dreadful media psychologist who spouts shite that no sensible person could ever be taken in by.) Ellerman Foundation Trustee Brian Hurwitz was ‘a GP in inner London for 30 years’. He was also the Professor of Primary Health Care and General Practice at Imperial (again, please see post ‘A Cause Close To Our Hearts’ for details of the extensive wrongdoing by folk at Imperial). Hurwitz is the Professor of Medicine and Arts at Kings – he directs the Centre for Health Humanities. And like nearly all the medics now trying to get in on the Health Humanities bandwagon I bet that he knows sod all about it, but hey there’s Gov’t funding available. (The best anecdote that I heard recently from this field was from a friend who attended a Literature in Mental Health conference. My friend is a medieval scholar and was particularly underwhelmed at a presentation by a clinical psychologist who professed an interest in literature and mental health and then gave them details of all the self-help books that he recommends to his patients. No doubt the manual that he follows himself is ‘How To Get Rich Quick’.) Peter Kyle is listed as a Trustee – he is the Chairman of the University of Westminster and has an background in high arts. (I am wondering if this is the same Peter Kyle who is the Labour MP for Hove, the gay rights campaigner who has done his best to get rid of Jeremy Corbyn and who is detested by many.) Well Marjorie loves her opera and classical music – and one of the Count’s ancestors was godfather to Chopin…Another Trustee is Gary Steinberg. Gary, ‘a manager of investment funds’, is the Chief Investment Officer of the Wellcome Trust; Chief Exec of British Petroleum’s UK Pension Plan; held a non-executive position with SUG Capital ‘a leading UK private equity company’; is on the Investment Committee of the Kings Fund and is Chair of the Investment Committee of Great Ormond Street Hospital’s Children’s Charity. The GOSH that is currently embroiled in an international row regarding the care of the baby Charlie Gard, with hundreds of thousands of people signing a petition in opposition to GOSH and Trump and the Pope wading in to denounce them as a bunch of murdering gits as well.

Like Mother Theresa who famously accepted charitable donations from the Mafia, I am left with the impression that Marjorie’s not too fussy where her dosh comes from.

Like all good mental health charities, SANE has some ‘ambassadors’. Marjorie doesn’t seem to have attracted the big hitters like MIND who managed to con the likes of Stephen Fry, Melvyn Bragg and Alistair Campbell into appearing on their website. SANE has a woman called Rachel who is a journo on the ‘Times’ who’s written some truly lame self-help advice for the depressed and of course Ruby Wax, that mate of Mark Williams’s who purchased a Masters degree from Mark and has acted as his PR woman ever since. Ruby is not one for exercising sound judgement in terms of the good causes that she supports – she endorsed Kid’s Company and look what happened there.

Marjorie is getting on now, she’s in her mid-70s, but her efforts to assist those who have a lot to conceal continue. Before old Snowdon pegged out she was featured in a newspaper article which described her ‘an elfin-faced femme fatale’ (surely ‘Glenda Slagg’ as featured in ‘Private Eye’ would be a more appropriate description). Marjorie talked of the delights of her affair with Snowdon and described him as ‘my partner in crime’. Yes Marjorie some very big crimes indeed were committed. Now perhaps those of you who are not yet dead would like to make your way down to the nearest police station and give a statement concerning what you know about all those kids in care who were forced into providing sexual services for public figures and whose lives were ruined by the Top Doctors if they dared complain about what had happened to them. Oh and before you’re pushing up the daisies yourself Marjorie, would you like to tell us why those two teenaged girls from Pembrokeshire were incarcerated for decades in the nation’s most notorious high security hospital? Because it certainly won’t have been because they didn’t talk or were involved in petty crime. From what I remember of the case, the straw that broke the camel’s back regarding the alleged misbehaviour of those two girls was their claim to be prostitutes…They were in Broadmoor within months after that.

A lot of the people named on this blog could be described as dangerous fuckers in terms of their willingness to put other people’s safety and even lives at risk. But Marjorie is in a league of her own in terms of being One Dangerous Fucker.

 

Footnote: It must have been sometime in 1987 when I wrote to Marjorie. Because I thought that she was a genuine mental health campaigner at the time of writing I gave her full details, dates and names of the people involved in the abuses at the North Wales Hospital, including the name of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones, the former colleague of the Count. Not only that but of course that letter had my own name and my address on. I was living in London at the time working in medical research. Some very unpleasant things happened to me after I wrote that letter and I do of course now have documentation demonstrating that those we know and love had contacted people whom they knew in London Medical Schools and were even using them to intercept mail that was being sent to me in an attempt to find out where I was living – I moved house frequently as a result of the unpleasant and bizarre happenings. I had a close friend who also lived in London at the time, my best friend from school. She knew what had happened to me in north Wales as did her mum and dad – they were mental health professionals themselves (but honest ones) and were advising me. Then unpleasant things started happening to my friend as well – she and her boyfriend had a small film production company and she wanted to make a documentary about what had happened to me in north Wales at the hands of the Count’s former colleague. My friend was also working at the Royal Television Society – at exactly the same time that I was hounded out of my job at St Georges Hospital Medical School my friend was sacked from the RTS. My friend’s dismissal was very obviously the result of one particular manager there who just seemed determined to get rid of her for no good reason. The treatment of my friend caused a rumpus – there was a staff walk-out in protest and my friend later won an unfair dismissal case and was awarded several thousand pounds in compensation. Did you happen to know anyone who was in a senior position at the RTS in the late 80s/early 90s Marjorie? You might have shagged a few aristocrats Marjorie but I have nearly 10,000 documents in a safe place. Think about it.

 

 

 

 

 

Socio-Political Context of the North Wales Mental Health Services in the 1980s

My blog posts ‘How I Arrived At Denbigh’, ‘Behind The Scenes – At The North Wales Hospital Denbigh’, ‘Massive Over-Reaction – Or Something To Hide?’, ‘A Very Cosy Relationship – And Some Serious Smears’, ‘An Expert From England’, ‘The Blog Post That Was Hacked Can Now Be Read’ and ‘Enter Professor Robert Bluglass CBE’ make it clear that the gross abuses and criminality pervading the mental health services in north Wales in the late 1980s were known to the Welsh Office, the Mental Health Act Commission, the Medical Defence Union, the GMC and leading figures in psychiatry in the UK medical establishment. Not only did the people in these organisations do nothing to put a stop to what was happening, but they were going to considerable lengths to conceal it and to ensure that it continued. Even if I had been a lone voice, my allegations were so serious – and there was a substantial amount of documentary evidence suggesting that much of what I was alleging was true – that all of these organisations should have been recommending an investigation with police involvement. But I was not a lone voice. In the late 1980s there were many indications that some terrible things were happening in north Wales.Movie Passengers (2016)

Alison Taylor, a social worker employed by Gwynedd County Council, had approached councillors, the police, Health Minister Tony Newton and even Margaret Thatcher regarding her concerns that serious abuse of children in care was happening in north Wales and that an organised paedophile ring was operating in the region via Gwynedd Social Services and Clwyd Social Services. My blog post ‘The Blog Post That Was Hacked Can Now Be Read’ details how some of the things that were happening to me seemed to be happening in parallel with Alison’s attempts to be heard.

My constant attempts to draw attention to people in authority regarding the activities of the mental health services in north Wales were ignored. I presumed at the time that people outside the region simply didn’t realise what was happening. Of course that was not true. It is instructive to look at the wider socio-political context of the north Wales mental health services at the time.

Gwynedd Health Authority was known to be in serious trouble by the mid-1980s, although as ever with the NHS, the cause of it coming under scrutiny was financial mismanagement. My blog post ‘A Visit To Gwynedd Archives’ details this and provides references to the parts of Hansard documenting debates in Westminster between Dafydd Wigley (then MP for Caernarfon), Ieaun Wyn Jones (MP for Ynys Mon) and Wyn Roberts (MP for Conwy and Minister of State at the Welsh Office) that had taken place regarding Gwynedd Health Authority. (I had by the time of these dates written to Wyn Roberts regarding my problems with the mental health services but received only a bland reply. I did however later write to Dafydd Wigley as well and received an incredibly supportive reply.) Hansard records that the Welsh Office had sent in a team of management consultants to Gwynedd Health Authority – so although the Welsh Office knew that this Health Authority was a nightmare and was being seriously mismanaged, at the same time they went to very great lengths to protect people in the mental health services in Gwynedd and Clwyd. When I visited Gwynedd Archives I noticed that in 1990 David Hunt, by then the Secretary of State for Wales, had written to Noreen Edwards (Chair of Gwynedd Health Authority) such were the problems in Gwynedd. I note that many of the letters about me that were being sent without my knowledge were being copied to Noreen. I also found another interesting reference in the archive, that is that the Welsh Office were questioning the integrity of a senior official in Clwyd Health Authority – I seem to remember the person named was Laurie Wood, who was the manager of the North Wales Hospital whilst I was imprisoned there (when Dr Peter Higson took over that role, Wood moved on to occupy another very senior position in Clwyd Health Authority). But the Welsh Office had colluded with Laurie Wood over my complaints regarding Denbigh, so of course they’d have known that he had no integrity.

So by the late 80s, politicians in north Wales and Wyn Roberts, the Minister of State, knew that the mental health services and wider NHS in north Wales were a car crash. (At this time, the post of Secretary of State for Wales was considered a ‘less important post’ in Cabinet. Events in Wales clearly weren’t a priority for Margaret Thatcher. The Secretaries of State for Wales during the 1980s were Nicholas Edwardes and Peter Walker. Neither of them seems to have actually taken much interest in Wales and the remit seems to have been left in the hands of Wyn Roberts, who was knighted in 1990 and then given a peerage in 1997. So someone was clearly very grateful to him for something, despite that fact that chaos reigned in the NHS on his watch and that a paedophile ring was operating through the social services.)

This was pre-devolution, so the NHS in Wales was still the responsibility of Westminster. So what were Health Ministers doing whilst all this was going on in north Wales? Tony Newton was Minister for Health between 1986 and 1988 after a reorganisation at Whitehall and it was Tony Newton whom Alison Taylor approached regarding the abuse of children in north Wales. Clearly no-one responded to her concerns. Prior to Tony Newton’s appointment, health was the responsibility of John Moore, who’s main interest seems to have been facilitating the privatisation of the NHS. Both Tony Newton and John Moore later received peerages. Tony Newton was succeeded by Ken Clarke, who was Secretary of State for Health between 1988 and 1990.

I can remember Ken Clarke’s time as Secretary of State for Health very well and the thing that I remember most was his battle with the BMA. They hated him and at one point ran an advertising campaign across the UK featuring posters with the slogan ‘What do you call a man who ignores medical advice? Ken Clarke.’ For his part, Ken Clarke made his famous observation regarding doctors who were ‘feeling for their wallets’. I was involved in biomedical research at the time and although I knew many junior doctors who were appallingly bullied and exploited, I had become very aware of just how self-interested, and frankly corrupt, parts of the medical establishment were. The less scrupulous junior doctors whom I knew were also very obviously aiming to become part of that establishment – that was the only reason they were accepting all the drudgery. So I suspected that Ken Clarke probably had a point.

Ken Clarke recently spoke out about the BMA once more, describing them as ‘virulent’. Indeed the BMA are so virulent that most Health Ministers dare not speak publicly about them – Ken Clarke is the only one that has had the guts to do so, although all Health Ministers have found the BMA very difficult.

However Ken Clarke had a problem on his watch – a junior Health Minister called Edwina Currie. It has now been revealed that it was Currie who in Aug 1988 appointed Jimmy Savile as Chairman of the Interim Task Force overseeing the management of Broadmoor Hospital following the suspension of the Management Board after serious problems at the institution. The appointment was made on the recommendation of Cliff Graham, the Under-Secretary in the Mental Health Division in the DHSS.

Savile had already been appointed to the Management Board in 1987 by junior Health Minister Baroness Jean Trumpington (see post ’95 Glorious Years!’). By now, Savile was being referred to as ‘Dr Savile’ although it was known that he had no medical qualification or medical training of any sort. Savile of course had close connections to Margaret Thatcher who, it was recently revealed, personally lobbied for Savile to be knighted, although she was warned that there were concerns about his ‘private life’. But then Professor Bluglass ignored my concerns about Dr Dafydd Alun Jones’s ‘private life’. Thatcher was also a friend of Augusto Pinochet, which says an awful lot about her. After Savile’s extensive sex offending became public, Currie made some extraordinary comments regarding her rationale for appointing Savile to the management committee at Broadmoor.

Most ‘nurses’ in the special hospitals at that time belonged to the Prison Officers Association (POA). The POA was causing havoc, particularly at Ashworth and Broadmoor. Savile had made a number of comments to Currie regarding the abuses being carried out by the POA. There were of cause allegations that the POA were grossly abusing patients, but Savile and Currie’s concerns seem to have centred upon the financial swindles that POA members at Broadmoor were alleged to have been involved in. Savile had told Currie that he would beat the POA into submission by a number of frankly unlawful methods and by utilising his connections with tabloid newspapers. Dear old Edwina was so impressed that she let this prolific predatory sex offender loose on the management committee of the hospital.

There were some very odd practices going on at Broadmoor at the time regarding the appointment of people to senior positions. A friend of Savile’s, Alan Franey – who had met Savile years before when Franey was the assistant general manager at Leeds General Infirmary – was also appointed to the Task Force and soon became Chief Executive of Broadmoor. Franey later admitted in a book that he wrote that he was appointed to the ‘task force’ after having an ‘unusual meeting’ with Government health officials at the Athenaeum club in London. Savile enjoyed boasting about his membership of this club (which has a high number of medics and academics among its membership) – Franey later admitted that Savile was present at the meeting.

Broadmoor was a very troubled institution well before the advent of this Task Force (the Task Force had been appointed because people were at their wits end as to what to do about Broadmoor), but it would seem fairly obvious that appointing Savile and his mates to run the place was not a particularly good idea. Although the official line regarding Savile by just about everyone now is ‘ooh but we never knew’, I was friends with two young researchers in 1988 who had been students at Leeds – they told me that Savile had been in trouble in Leeds for sex with underage girls. So if students at Leeds University knew, I’m sure an awful lot of other people did as well. I also remember at the time that a lot of people in the medical establishment were horrified at Savile’s appointment – it was certainly not uncontroversial.

However, it would seem that the problems went even higher than the management of Broadmoor. In 1987 Brian McGinnis was the Under-Secretary for Mental Health with responsibility for high security special hospitals. It was McGinnis who was ‘instrumental’ in forming the ‘task force’ with the inclusion of Savile. Yet many years later, McGinnis was accused of sexual offences against children. He was never convicted but was prevented from working with children by Croydon Council in 2005 and three years earlier Bromley Council had ended his involvement with services for children with learning difficulties.

But Broadmoor was not the only troubled special hospital in the UK in the late 1980s. Ashworth Hospital in Liverpool, receiving patients from Wales, also had terrible problems with the POA.  (Savile was a regular visitor at Ashworth.) The abuse that the POA members were inflicting upon patients was so severe that there was a Public Inquiry into this led by Louis Blom-Cooper QC which reported in 1992. The report made grim reading. Ashworth had been formed by the merger of two other hospitals, Moss Side and Park Lane. Whilst I was in the North Wales Hospital Denbigh, I was assaulted by a particularly unpleasant SEN, Stephen Rose. My complaint about him was never investigated – I was simply eventually told by the authorities that he no longer worked at Denbigh, as he now had a job at Park Lane. So that’s what happened to the most abusive member of staff at Bryn Golau Ward at Denbigh when someone complained about him. The problems at Ashworth were so entrenched that although action was promised after Blom-Cooper’s report, another Public Inquiry was held into Ashworth, led by Peter Fallon QC, which reported in 1998. And guess who was a member of Fallon’s committee? None other than Professor Robert Bluglass, who had so successfully done nothing about the dreadful abuses at Denbigh (please see blog post ‘Enter Professor Robert Bluglass CBE’). It gets better – the Fallon Inquiry relied upon opinions from, among others, the Director of Nursing at Bluglass’s Reaside Clinic in Birmingham. One member of the committee that investigated the murder of a patient at Ashworth was one Mr W. Jones, the Chief Administrative Nursing Officer from Clwyd Health Authority.

So Bluglass, who knew exactly what the practices endorsed by senior officials from Clwyd Health Authority involved, was happy to rely on one of them to investigate a murder. At this time, Bluglass was busy publishing articles arguing that the special hospitals should be shut down. Bluglass was obviously not a man to be concerned with abuse of patients or criminal activities on the part of hospital staff so one can only speculate as to why he wanted to see the back of special hospitals. Was it because they were being run by the POA rather than the psychiatric establishment? Some of Bluglass’s published work suggested that the remit of the special hospitals should be passed to regional secure units – such as Bryn Golau at Denbigh….

The Fallon report was also highly critical of the Mental Health Act Commission, the body allegedly protecting detained patients ‘rights’. By then the Chief Exec of the Mental Health Act Commission was William Bingley – who, when he was still legal director of MIND in 1987, had told me all about the wrongdoing of Dafydd Alun Jones at Denbigh.

Now much of this information will only have been of interest to professionals and academics. But the problems of the north Wales mental health services and the mental health services per se in the UK had become very public by this time. Mary Wynch (please see blog post ‘The Mary Wynch Case -Making Legal History’) had begun her legal action against Dafydd Alun Jones and two psychiatrists at Risley Remand Centre and that had been widely reported in the press. Risley Remand Centre itself, where many mental health patients from north Wales ended up, had an appalling reputation for suicides as well as brutality towards inmates and was the subject of much media coverage. A Welsh language TV programme had run an expose of Holyrood House, a hostel for people with mental health problems in Llandudno, run by a woman called Margaret Richards. Patients were being violently assaulted and the drugs cabinet was overseen by a drug addict. It was subsequently discovered that all the patients in this place were patients of one Dr Dafydd Alun Jones. Holyrood House gained even more publicity when Esther Rantzen ran a report about it on her TV show ‘That’s Life’. At about this time, the ever-caring Esther ran a campaign on mental health. I wrote to Esther giving her a full account of the Denbigh experience. I did not receive an acknowledgement. Esther soon lost interest in matters mental health and moved on to campaign on drug problems and then really hit the big time when she took an interest in child sexual abuse and established ‘Childline’.

After Savile was exposed, Esther maintained that she only ever heard ‘gossip’ about Savile, not firm evidence. An abuse campaigner subsequently claimed that she had told Esther of allegations that she’d heard about Savile many years before. Esther could not remember anything about this. So presumably should the horrible truth about Dafydd Alun Jones and Denbigh ever find its way into the London based media in a big way, Dame Esther (as she is now) will not be able to remember my letter either. There was another public figure at the time who was also making a name for herself by mental health campaigning. That was Sunday Times journalist Marjorie Wallace, who founded the charity SANE. I wrote to Marjorie as well, but never heard back. (For more details on Marjorie and her sterling work please see blog post ‘Another Confession From NHS England’.)

So during the 1980s the mental health system in the UK was plagued at all levels by negligent, violent people or people with a history of sexually exploitative behaviour, if not actual sexual offending. Because of the stereotype of the patients who ended up in secure mental health units no-one was interested in the welfare of these patients. Whilst many of the male patients were violent or sex offenders, many of the female patients were there because they were serious self-harmers after having been subjected to sexual violence themselves. A group of campaigners were so worried at what was happening to women patients in these places that they established a charity, ‘WISH’ (Women in Special Hospitals), in an attempt to draw attention to the plight of women who had been sexually abused and were then being brutalised and sexually abused all over again in the special hospitals. WISH had enormous trouble gaining support because the public thought that they were being asked to help murderers. But there were of course people like Professors Bluglass and Robert Owen who knew exactly what was going on behind closed doors and concealed the lot.

We are now living in an era in which people are obsessed with sex offenders and believe that a paedophile lurks on every corner. My blog post ‘A Very Convenient Arrangement With The Private Sector’ describes how all is still far from well at Ashworth Hospital and similar establishments.

 

Footnote: After Savile’s sex offending was made public following his death, Edwina Currie was publicly named as being the junior Minister who appointed Savile as Chair of the Interim Task Force to oversee the management of Broadmoor. Edwina took a great deal of flak and was made to look foolish and dangerous. However, neither Edwina or anyone else mentioned that Savile had been appointed to the Management Board in the previous year by Trumpers, a woman who was given a series of jobs in which she made some major cock ups. Trumpers herself has felt able to tell journalists that she hated Edwina when they worked together at the Department of Health because she was always having to ‘clean up after’ her….

 

 

 

 

Another Confession From NHS England

BBC News this morning are reporting that ‘unexpected’ patient deaths reported by English mental health trusts have risen by almost 50% in three years http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-38852420 Unexpected deaths include deaths by suicide, neglect and misadventure. The Department of Health has stated that the increase was ‘expected’ because of changes in the way that deaths are recorded and investigated. I have been aware for many years that mental health care in parts of England was and is very poor – and I will soon be blogging about the way in which some very eminent people in the English medical establishment concealed the most serious abuses in the North Wales Hospital Denbigh when it was still in operation. The Westminster Government seems to be slowly moving towards a greater honesty regarding the dire state of the mental health services in England, although as in this news report the waters are constantly muddied by the psychiatric establishment and other ‘campaigners’ maintaining that the problems are entirely related to funding, which they are most certainly not. Dishonest unethical practitioners who are concealing wrongdoing are not going to behave any better if they are given a lot of money – a lot of them are already on substantial salaries personally and it has not improved the level of care that they provide. The new honesty from Westminster is much to be admired – now can the Welsh Government follow?

I noticed that the BBC News report quotes the mental health ‘campaigner’ Marjorie Wallace, the founder and CEO of ‘SANE’. Marjorie founded ‘SANE – Schizophrenia, A National Emergency’, back in the mid 1980s and I took a particular interest in Marjorie because at that time I was struggling with the monstrous North Wales Hospital Denbigh (regular readers of this blog may have noticed my recent posts in which I have started to describe the enormity of what was happening there). Marjorie also had some knowledge of Wales and the mental health system at the time, because by then Marjorie had become famous for befriending two mute teenaged girls from Pembrokeshire who had rather inexplicably been sent to Broadmoor for ‘crimes’ that one would not have thought warranted the incarceration of two teenaged girls in a high security institution. Marjorie later wrote a book about the girls, ‘The Silent Twins’ and she continued to visit them whilst they were in Broadmoor. (One of the twins died just before they were released – which took many, many years-  and I remember hearing allegations that her death was related to the ‘medication’ that Broadmoor had loaded her up with.)

Whilst Marjorie was involved with the twins, she was working as a journalist for the Sunday Times. Now I always suspected that Marjorie knew rather more about the twins case than she let on – there are clues in her book that some of those psychiatrists at Broadmoor were not very well-motivated towards their patients and that the public services in Wales had let those twins down very badly before that, but Marjorie very obviously doesn’t dig further. I had become personally very aware of what psychiatry in Wales was capable of by then and I was very interested in what had happened to those two girls. But not only did Marjorie not publicly question any of it, she then founded SANE – which in it’s early days robustly campaigned for more use of institutions to ‘care for’ the mentally ill. Marjorie managed to get huge media coverage because of her connections as a journalist. I remember watching a TV show in which Marjorie was confronted by a group of people like me who had all had the most appalling experiences in UK psychiatric hospitals. One of them yelled out to Marjorie ‘do you know what goes on in those places?’. But Marjorie did not reply. I knew that Marjorie did know what was going on in at least one of those places – she knew what was going on in Denbigh because I had written to her and told her what had happened to me, what with Marjorie being an investigative journalist and having an interest in Wales. But Marjorie did not reply to me either.

Marjorie’s campaigning to lock more people up so incensed some people who had been on the receiving end of such ‘care’ that someone with a sense of humour formed a group called ‘MANE – Marjorie, A National Emergency’. Sadly Marjorie’s media connections were more powerful than theirs and Marjorie became a ‘spokesperson’ for the mentally ill (just like dear old MIND!) and was regularly trotted out when the media wanted to talk to an ‘expert’. Yet I never heard Marjorie speak publicly about abuse in the mental health system.

My suspicions that Marjorie had kept quiet about a few things that she certainly should have spoken about was confirmed when Jimmy Savile’s activities were exposed. In the late 1980s, Savile was of course appointed to the management committee of Broadmoor. This was at the time when ‘the twins’ were in there. It has now been revealed that Savile molested patients at Broadmoor and that at least one member of staff had tried to raise concerns regarding him raping one female patient but had been ignored. In the immediate aftermath of Savile being exposed, Marjorie was offering her pearls of wisdom to the UK press. I remember one interview in which she claimed to remember Savile ‘leaping about’ in Broadmoor and she thought that his behaviour was so bizarre that she decided that ‘the lunatics had really taken over the asylum’. You didn’t think to make this observation public at the time then Marjorie? But then Marjorie had gained quite a bit of experience in keeping quiet about unpleasant things by then. Of course, there were some very powerful people in the UK establishment at that time who were involved with the mental health system and they were doing some very strange things (I will be blogging about this soon) and I bet Marjorie knew it. Interestingly enough, Marjorie is still not very high profile when it comes to discussing the real horrors of the UK mental health system…

Since Marjorie founded SANE, the organisation has frequently been quietly criticised by people who have been involved with it, but these criticisms never seem to gain much media attention. I have heard tales of chaos on the SANE help-line, with inexperienced people being left to man the telephones who then have no idea of what to do when they are faced with a caller who is in serious distress or suicidal. I also know other mental health campaigners who perceive Marjorie to be a rather odd figure who remains strangely silent when she shouldn’t. But Marjorie doesn’t seem to have suffered as a result – she has been awarded an MBE, a CBE, ‘Campaigning Journalist of the Year (1988)’, ‘Medical Journalist of the Year’, received a British Neuroscience Award in 2002, an honorary doctorate from City University London and is a Fellow Of University College London. In 2001 she was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. In 2008 she was chosen as one of the 60 most influential people in shaping the history of the NHS. No wonder she’s kept her mouth shut. (She also had an affair with Lord Snowden but she’s forgotten to add that to her Wiki entry.)

I think that senior figures in MIND have taken a leaf out of Marjorie’s book – if you want the gongs you do not talk about what happens to mental health patients. I will therefore pay tribute here to the one figure in the campaigning world who continues to speak out about just how bad mental health ‘care’ is and how many people it is killing – Deborah Coles of INQUEST. And when I contacted Deborah Coles she rang me back and we discussed the mental health services for at least an hour. You don’t get that service from Marjorie or MIND. As far as I know Deborah has not received a gong.