Workers’ Play Time

I have mentioned in previous posts and comments that in 1993 I wrote to the UK’s most high profile radical barrister Michael Mansfield at his chambers in Tooks Court about the mental health services in north Wales. I had just been prosecuted – yet again – at the insistence of the mental health services for ‘staring at a social worker in Safeways’. I was fined £60 by Bangor Magistrates Court. The social worker concerned, Jackie Brandt, a member of the delightful Arfon Community Mental Health Team, had previously illegally detained me, refused to investigate my complaints – as had her boss Lucille Hughes – and perjured herself in an attempt to have me imprisoned. Brandt had alleged to the police that I had screamed and yelled at her in Safeways, swore at her and threatened her. She admitted under cross-examination in Court that I hadn’t done any of these things, but I had ‘looked at her’, indeed at one point ‘stared’. Brandt then started crying. No-one asked any questions about why Brandt had felt able to lie in a statement to the police, lie again in Court and only admit that she had lied when my solicitor questioned her. Instead Bangor Magistrates deemed that by looking at Brandt I had breached the Public Order Act. The Act in question had been passed by Thatcher’s Gov’t to criminalise the striking miners in the 1984 dispute but was being widely used to prosecute anyone for anything. Mansfield mentioned the abuse of this Act in his 1993 book ‘Presumed Guilty’, which is why I wrote to him.

I did receive a reply from Michael Mansfield himself – he simply wrote me a couple of lines thanking me for my letter and saying ‘it is always good to have support’. I didn’t think anymore of this at the time – I just presumed that Mansfield would be in receipt of huge quantities of mail from people having a hard time and that he’d be busy defending the Birmingham Six or something. I missed a few things at the time.

At that time Mary Wynch had just made legal history by suing Dr Dafydd Alun Jones, Risley Remand Centre and Clwyd Health Authority for wrongful arrest and false imprisonment (see post ‘The Mary Wynch Case – Details’). Mansfield will definitely have known about this case – not only because it made legal history and received widespread media coverage, but also because there’d been a TV documentary made about it ‘Who Will Listen To Mary Wynch?’ (by Elizabeth Clough, Jeremy Paxman’s partner at the time) and because Mansfield’s longstanding friend and colleague Gareth Peirce, the radical solicitor, worked – as did Paul Boateng, Imran Khan and John Wadham (who became the Director of Liberty) – in Birnberg and Co, the solicitors that represented Mary. Gareth Peirce later became a senior partner in what became Birnberg Peirce and Partners. Benedict Birnberg himself retired in 1999 – just before the publication of the Waterhouse Report. Birnberg was also co-secretary of War On Want. At the time that I wrote to Mansfield, allegations of a paedophile ring operating in Cheshire and north Wales involving public figures including politicians and civil servants had appeared in the London based media. Allegations of a cover-up reaching to the highest levels of Gov’t were being made, a police investigation had been launched but had found ‘no evidence’ of the involvement of people in high places, an independent investigation by John Jillings of the abuse of children in the care of Clwyd County Council had been ordered and Alison Taylor -a social worker from Gwynedd – had blown the whistle loudly on the abuse of children in care in north Wales only to be sacked from her job by Lucille Hughes. The year before I wrote to Mansfield, Alison had appeared in a TV documentary with former residents of children’s homes in north Wales alleging abuse of kids in care and they had named a senior police officer with the North Wales Police, Gordon Anglesea, as one of the abusers. By the time that I wrote to Mansfield, Anglesea was suing the media outlets who had named him for libel. Michael Mansfield’s partner Yvette Vanson was a TV producer – it was her colleague Tony Wardle who co-wrote ‘Presumed Guilty’ with Mansfield. They will not have missed the havoc in north Wales. Mansfield had then received a letter from someone living near Bangor supplying him with details of the most extraordinary abuse of the law by Gwynedd Social Services involving collusion by the North Wales Police, Bangor Magistrates Court and the CPS… Did his antennae really not twitch?

A few days ago, I read Michael Mansfield’s 2009 book, ‘Memoirs of a Radical Lawyer’.

Mansfield established his chambers Tooks Court in 1984 as a collective. I don’t know what was going on there, but Mansfield admits in his book that their senior clerk walked out in response to the ‘arrogance’ and ‘demands’ of the barristers at Tooks. The radical socialist barristers who were fighting for the common man…

Sadly, rather than genuinely radical barristers, Tooks was hosting some unscrupulous hypocrites of the highest order. Helena Kennedy QC worked there – the Helena who worked closely with corrupt psychiatrist Professor Nigel Eastman from St George’s Hospital Medical School. Eastman was not only concealing and colluding with wrongdoing at St George’s and Springfield Hospital (the psychiatric unit attached to St George’s), but he also colluded with those we know and love in north Wales in 1991 when he was faced with evidence of their criminal activities (see post ‘Some Very Eminent Psychiatrists From London…’). Helena also will have known about the abuse of women patients in the special hospitals, many of whom had already been abused as kids in care and as mental health patients – no, she didn’t say a word. I bet she knew about Jimmy Savile’s activities at Broadmoor as well. Please read my post ‘Eve Was Framed – As Were A Lot Of Other People’ for further details regarding St Helena.

Patricia Scotland QC worked at Tooks. Patricia Scotland was involved in the Waterhouse Inquiry. Did Patsy represent any of the kids who’d been abused whilst in care in north Wales? No. Patsy was the QC who represented the Welsh Office. The Welsh Office who ignored complaints that children were being terribly abused, the Welsh Office who were failing to carry out regular inspections of children’s homes even after staff in the homes had been convicted of sexual and physical assaults on children in their care, the Welsh Office who employed corrupt lawyer Andrew Park who advised the mental health services as to how to mount prosecutions against me and how to avoid investigating my complaints, the Welsh Office which employed the corrupt Medical Ombudsman Professor Robert Owen who – along with Professor Robert Bluglass and Dr Colin Berry – concealed the criminal activities of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and Dr Tony Francis (Dr X). Patsy’s sterling work on behalf of the Welsh Office involved cross-examining the witnesses – the people who had been abused – so harshly that some of them became so distressed that they needed medical attention whilst others were unable to walk out of the building unaided. Details of Patsy’s glorious career as a black woman barrister who is completely dedicated to helping the unfortunate can be read in posts ‘Baroness Patricia Scotland Was On Board As Well!’, More On Baroness Patricia Scotland QC – And Her Very Sleazy Friends’ and ‘Even More About Baroness Patricia Scotland QC’.

Another alumnus of Tooks was Constance Briscoe, who like Patsy made much of being black and in possession of ovaries. After making it as far as a judge presiding over mental health and child care cases, Briscoe was imprisoned for perjury. Briscoe’s mate Vicky Pryce and Pryce’s former husband Lib Dem MP Chris Huhne were also imprisoned, but unlike Briscoe and Huhne who’s careers were finished off, dear old Vicky returned to work as a Gov’t economist after she’d served her stretch and can be heard regularly on the BBC. Vicky also wrote a misery memoir about her time in prison, from the perspective of an oppressed woman.

Vera Baird QC, another well-known radical feminist lawyer, also worked at Tooks. Years later in her capacity as Solicitor General in Gordon Brown’s Gov’t, Vera assisted Charlie Falconer in withdrawing virtually all legal aid in cases where people had had their lives wrecked by the state.

Many of the Tooks lawyers were networked to fellow lawyer Cherie Booth and when Cherie’s husband Tony Blair became PM he gave a lot of them peerages.

Friends and colleagues of Mansfield et al at Tooks included other big names among radical barristers, such as Stephen Sedley, Anthony Scrivener and Anthony Gifford.

I am the first to admit that Mansfield and some of his colleagues have done some excellent work. They have successfully helped some victims of terrible miscarriages of justice such as the Guildford Four and the Birmingham Six and I know someone who has worked with Lord Gifford fighting for prisoners on death row in Jamaica. Some of those people would be dead without Tony Gifford. But again and again, I notice that the radical barristers just do not touch cases involving people who have been abused by the state child care system or the mental health system in the UK. In fact no-one will take those cases. Birnberg and Co did fight for Mary Wynch initially – but Mary’s problems did not end when she won her case. Clwyd Health Authority et al then refused to stump up the damages, Mary ended up having to go into hiding, the property and money of which she was fleeced by Dr Dafydd Alun Jones et al was never returned to her and she was finally ruined by the Home Office under Michael Howard in 1995. At which point she was never heard of again – the few people who had fought for her and publicised her case fell silent.

I can only speculate that the problem is as this blog has detailed ie. that the corruption involving the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal and related events reaches to such a high level – including the most senior members of the judiciary – that even Mansfield and Gareth Peirce won’t touch it. Perhaps they know that their own careers will be ruined if they take those cases. Perhaps they are simply too frightened – they will know that numerous witnesses to the north Wales case were found dead after complaining or giving evidence and in the case of the five witnesses who were killed in an arson attack in 1992, even the Court returned a verdict of ‘unlawful killing’ (see post ‘The Silence Of The Welsh Lambs’). The cynic in me observes that the radical lawyers had close connections to the inner London boroughs whose Councils were running the children’s homes where paedophiles had infiltrated and that those Councils were also sending children on placement to homes in north Wales. Paul Boateng’s own wife was a social worker and Councillor in Lambeth, which had one of the biggest problems with abuse of children in care in the UK. Those boroughs also pioneered community law centres, in which some of the radical lawyers worked when they were very young – they were not going to effectively represent people who had been abused by the staff of the organisation funding the law centre.

It was easier for Michael Mansfield and Gareth Peirce to represent clients like the Price sisters who proudly admitted to blowing up part of London than to represent people who had been raped by paedophiles employed as social workers and then unlawfully imprisoned and abused again by Top Doctors employed as psychiatrists.

 

It is clear from Michael Mansfield’s memoir that he has encountered the results of the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal – and child abuse by the state in other regions of the UK – and the abuse of psychiatry many times. Michael Mansfield spends time talking to and listening to people who have been crapped on by the state – he believes what they say as well and is acutely aware of just what the state will do to get itself out of trouble when little people have witnessed or gained evidence of wrongdoing by people in high places. Mansfield is also sensitive and intelligent enough to know that even when he is hearing a truly bizarre story from someone disorientated, there may well be much truth in the story and it’s that which he must identify. Interestingly Mansfield learnt this as a young man by talking to psychiatric patients from Friern Barnet Hospital when he had a job emptying the bins there – he was hearing hair-raising anecdotes and he gradually started to realise that the nutters were telling the truth about a great many matters. I noticed this phenomenon myself. I heard the most extraordinary things from patients that the Top Doctors and Angels tripped over themselves to dismiss as delusions and psychotic ramblings – and I watched and I listened and I realised that a great deal of what I was being told was true.

There used to be a number of people wandering around north Wales – I say used to be, because they have now nearly all died as a result of neglect from the mental health services – who claimed to have worked as prostitutes or groupies and to have had sex with a variety of well-known people or local bigwigs. These people were universally dismissed by the people paid to care for them as being ‘difficult’, having ‘upset people’ or being ‘troublemakers’. These insults were used to justify extreme neglect and even unlawful refusal of ‘services’. The people being left to die had all lived through the paedophile years in north Wales when vulnerable people – particularly kids in care and psychiatric patients – were sexually abused and exploited and trafficked into sex work. I know that this went on, I know some of the people who were doing it and I know that at least some of the people who were named by these virtually destitute patients were indeed sexually using vulnerable people. As Jimmy Savile knew, if you want to sexually assault people and get away with it sexually assault kids in care, learning disabled people or people labelled as having mental health problems. Not only will you get away with it but if your victims dare tell anyone what you have done they will be punished all over again by whoever it is ‘looking after’ them. And the Top Doctors will assist you by pouring venom upon your victims like there is no tomorrow.

Mansfield’s book mentions that he worked on behalf of people who were in trouble with the law for drug use. He’ll have known that there were both high levels of police corruption in the drug squads and that some Top Doctors working in the field were essentially dealers, often to rich elites. No doubt Mansfield also knew about the corruption in the Home Office Drugs Branch responsible for the oversight of controlled drugs (see post ‘Little Things Hitting Each Other’). Mansfield mentions Bernie Simons, an associate of Dr Ann Dally, dealer to the stars. I haven’t been able to find out who Bernie Simons was, but from what Mansfield says he seems to have been a solicitor as well as a drugs campaigner.

Throughout the 70s, 80s and 90s, Risley Remand centre served as the personal prison of Dafydd and the paedophiles’ friends. Huge numbers of the prisoners there had passed through the north Wales children’s homes or mental health services. Mary Wynch was detained there unlawfully and I know of at least one other mental health patient in north Wales who was as well. The brutality at Risley was legendary and the suicide rate astronomical. I know three people – all mental health patients – who were in Risley in the 80s. They related accounts of hearing the screams of other prisoners at night as they were beaten up by the warders and of being assaulted by the warders themselves. One man had been left in complete darkness in his cell for a number of days after a prison officer removed the light bulb because the prisoner had complained about the bulb flickering on and off. The same man had been detained in Risley after the North Wales Drug Squad had framed he and his wife and assaulted him. Whilst he was in Risley he maintains that he was visited by an unidentified senior detective from London who tried to interrogate him about offences of which he knew nothing. The detective became angry with him, told him that there was no point questioning him because ‘you’re fucking mad’ and threw him back in his cell. This man was subsequently transferred to the ‘care’ of Dafydd in the North Wales Hospital Denbigh – where he stayed for a year. His complaints about the North Wales Police were never investigated. Another man described sharing a cell with a suicidal man who was trying to injure himself – the man whom I knew rang and rang for help but no-one answered the bell. His cell mate succeeded in killing himself and the man whom I spoke to was left alone in the cell with the corpse for some time. I was friendly with a lady who fostered a young man with mental health and drug problems. At the age of 18 he was detained in Risley – when my friend went to visit him he was visibly injured after a beating by the officers. My friend challenged the officers and was met with one of them boasting about how much he enjoyed beating the ‘little bastards’ up. There were some prisoners in Risley who were serious offenders, but there were many more who had been accused of trivial crimes but had been detained there on the orders of Dafydd and the paedophiles’ friends ‘for psychiatric assessment’. Some like Mary Wynch had not committed any crime at all.

The wrongdoing at Risley permeated levels higher than the thugs employed as prison officers. The Waterhouse Report mentions the panel having sight of a letter allegedly written by a prisoner in Risley to Lucille Hughes in support of Nefyn and June Dodd, the managers of Ty’r Felin children’s home in Bangor. The Dodds were tremendously cruel to children in their care and the kids from that home were being trafficked to London and other locations for prostitution. Even Sir Ronnie Waterhouse accepted that the letter was forged and had not been written by the prisoner – a former resident of Ty’r Felin – at all. Not that Ronnie asked any questions, this was just another incident that was dismissed without investigation. So someone at Risley went to the trouble of forging a letter from a prisoner to Lucille Hughes at a time when the Dodds were under investigation and allegations of a paedophile ring operating in the children’s homes in north Wales were appearing in the media.

My own medical records provide evidence of corruption at Risley. In 1987 Dafydd Alun Jones told me over the telephone that if I didn’t drop my complaints about him he’d have me imprisoned in Risley. Brown heard this phone call as well. I ignored Dafydd’s threats and continued to try to pursue my complaints. Some months later a junior doctor working for Dafydd at the North Wales Hospital Denbigh made a statement to the police maintaining that I had tried to stab him – I was arrested and taken to Bangor Police Station. He claimed that I had pulled a knife out of my pocket and had brought the knife down upon him as though to stab him and the only reason that he wasn’t stabbed by me was that a male nurse had dragged me off him. The male nurse who allegedly rescued this junior doctor from my murderous attempt made a statement about the same incident. His statement maintained that I had shouted at the junior doctor because no-one was investigating my complaints about Dafydd et al – which was true. The nurse explained that I had a camping knife in my possession – this was in the days when camping knives could be legally purchased and held (yes, I was in north Wales camping at the time) – but I did not withdraw the knife, no-one saw the knife and I certainly didn’t try to stab anyone with it. Whilst I was at the police station, colleagues of Dafydd Alun Jones rang the police claiming that I had threatened to kill them. The custody sergeant was good enough to refuse to take their statements there and then and told me that ‘they’re all conspiring against you up there’. I later complained to the NHS about these events and observed to Alun Davies the corrupt manager of the mental health services that the custody sergeant had made this comment. Davies bellowed at me down the phone that he’d be ‘having a word with the police’ about that sergeant. The sergeant, Sgt Morgan, was some months later arrested and charged with indecently assaulting a teenaged girl in custody. Bangor Magistrates Court found him guilty and he was sacked from the North Wales Police. Before the police released me, Dafydd turned up at the police station, although he didn’t explain what he was doing there. Dafydd’s visit was very brief and involved him saying to me ‘I think ewe should be in prison’. The next day I returned to Leicester, where I was living at the time.

My complaint about the whole saga was never investigated and the junior doctor who lied in his statement to the police was never investigated either. Many years later when I finally obtained my medical records, I found a copy of a letter that had been written by an NHS administrator at Ysbyty Gwynedd at the time which stated that I was ‘now in Risley Remand Centre after stabbing someone with a knife’. Not only that, but there was a copy of a letter from the Mental Health Act Commission to the mental health services in north Wales, stating that as I was now in Risley Remand Centre they would write a letter to my home address in Leicester in response to my complaints about Dafydd et al.

I was never charged with attacking anyone with a knife. I had not appeared in Court in relation to attacking anyone with a knife and no request was made to any court at that time to have me remanded in Risley. So the Mental Health Act Commission cannot possibly have received any official documentation stating that this had happened. They had obviously just been told by one of their mates in the north Wales NHS – a mate who hadn’t realised that Dafydd’s plan had gone pear-shaped – that I was now safely in a cell in Risley, so of course a letter concerning my previous very serious complaints about Dafydd et al could be sent to my home address where the Mental Health Act Commission thought that I wasn’t. Problem dealt with. No investigation, patient framed and imprisoned for a serious offence, complaints about Dafydd’s previous criminal activities kicked into the long grass.

This whole sequence of events suggests corruption in the NHS, in Risley Remand Centre and in the Mental Health Act Commission. There was never an investigation into any of it or any of the people involved. People who included Dafydd, Dr Tony Francis (Dr X), Janice Davies (Dafydd’s henchwoman at the North Wales Hospital Denbigh), a Dr Ponnampalam, a Dr Khalid Siddiqui and David Ewart at the Mental Health Act Commission. Four years ago I discovered that Khalid Siddiqui was employed as an ‘independent doctor’ in the south east of England assessing people under the Mental Health Act. He is probably still doing this and getting paid handsomely for it.

In May 1989 Risley finally exploded in the form of a prison riot. A group of prisoners trashed a wing – not that there was much worth trashing, it wasn’t the Ritz – and a roof-top protest lasting three days took place. Michael Mansfield defended one of the leaders of the riot (not a man from north Wales). I remember Michael Mansfield writing in the press at the time about the appalling conditions, brutality and corruption at Risley. Mansfield’s client may not have come from north Wales, but I bet that Mansfield knew what was going on at Risley – as will have the other lawyers who worked with him on the case, Tim Owen and Jeremy Hawthorne – because of his habit of chatting at length to numerous people and knowing when he is hearing about corruption in high places. The jury acquitted the rioters at Risley. At the time of the Risley riot, the Home Secretary was Douglas Hurd, who was later replaced by David Waddington – members of the Gov’t who were wilfully ignoring the criminal misconduct that they were told was going on in north Wales.

Michael Mansfield came up against someone else who was networked into Dafydd and the paedophiles’ friends when he represented Mohamed Al Fayed at the inquests of Dodi and Diana – Lord Thomas Scott Baker. Scott Baker had previously sat as a judge on the Chester and Wales Circuit and in 1995 had imprisoned a highly vulnerable woman, Susan Brooke, who had passed through the North Wales Hospital who had undoubtedly crossed the paths of the paedophiles’ friends (see posts ‘So Who’s Path Had Susan Brooke Crossed?’, ‘More On The Susan Brooke Case’ and ‘Update On The Cases Of Susan Brooke And Sara Thornton’). How Scott Baker ever made the career move from being a paedophiles’ friend in north Wales to the coroner holding the inquests of Dodi and Di I do not know – particularly as the inquests of Dodi and Di were the first inquests that Scott Baker had ever conducted. Press comment at the time suggested that Scott Baker had been specifically brought in for the inquests because he was the one person who was thought to be capable of standing up to Michael Mansfield.

Think about this. Mansfield is clever, has been around a long time, knew about north Wales and Risley and always does his homework well. He will have made it his business to rifle through Scott Baker’s undies before the inquests – and he will have known that Scott Baker had previously worked on the shamefully corrupt Chester and Wales Circuit and had been involved in the Susan Brooke case. As with the case of the paedophiles at the heart of Thatcher’s Gov’t, Mansfield could have really dug up the dirt on Scott Baker and used it. He didn’t. Perhaps because Scott Baker was in a position to throw even more dirt at Mansfield – dirt suggesting that Mansfield and his famous freedom fighters had remained silent about a viscious paedophile ring linked to organised crime which had resulted in the framing and imprisonment of scores of innocent people, the deaths of a great many witnesses and the collusion of some of Mansfield’s friends and colleagues.

Michael Mansfield knows how low the Top Doctors and those who care will stoop if they feel that it is necessary. Mansfield represented Angela Cannings, a mother wrongly convicted and imprisoned for the death of two of her children, on the basis of the ‘expert evidence’ provided by Sir Roy Meadow. Meadow was a paediatrician who managed to invent a new psychiatric diagnosis – Munchausens by Proxy – and also managed to make up some statistics which he then spouted off whilst in the witness box. No-one questioned him until a number of mothers had been wrongly imprisoned for killing their children. A number of real statisticians then came forward and demonstrated very clearly that Meadow didn’t know his arse from his elbow and a number of innocent people were subsequently released from prison. The most famous example was Sally Clark, a solicitor who’s character had been absolutely trashed by the Top Doctors after two of her children died in infancy. Sally was imprisoned and although she was released on appeal in 2003, she had been so destroyed by her experience that she died not long after release. Not that this was enough for the Top Doctors. After Sally Clark was released, Top Doctor Professor David Southall – another expert in Munchausens by Proxy – on the basis of no evidence at all then named Sally Clark’s husband as the murderer of the children. Probably because his eyes were too close together. Meadow and Southall were eventually disciplined by the GMC, but a rearguard action was supported by their colleagues -particularly in the case of Southall – and many articles sympathetic to them appeared in the liberal media, reminding us that Southall was a Brave Doctor Who Cared About Children. The fact that in the case of Sally Clark a pathologist actually discovered that one of her children had died of an infection but chose not to mention this before or during the trial was not discussed in the Southall-supporting media. Meadow and Southall both maxed out the appeals process and were eventually reinstated as Top Doctors.

Mansfield also defended Barry George, the man with a number of vulnerabilities who was found guilty of the well-planned assassination of Jill Dando, although he was at a day centre several miles away when Jill Dando was shot dead outside of her house. Jill Dando was a reporter on ‘Crimewatch’, a programme which led to several miscarriages of justice, although the BBC didn’t make reference to that when they boasted about ‘Crimewatch’s’ success the other day. ‘Crimewatch’ was responsible for the conviction of Michael Stone, another case that many people find very troubling. There was no forensic evidence against Michael Stone whatever, but a Top Doctor watching ‘Crimewatch’ saw the episode featuring the murder of Lin and Megan Russell and rang in saying that it was just the sort of thing that his patient Stone would have done. Stone remains in prison many years later and continues to profess his innocence. Dando’s colleague on ‘Crimewatch’ Sue Cook was a close friend of George Carman QC, the crooked barrister who had many good friends who were gangsters or bent police officers (see posts ‘No Ordinary Methods’ and ‘No Ordinary Methods – Supplementary Post’).

Mansfield is not naïve. He knows that Top Doctors lie, particularly to cover their tracks after they have screwed up and he knows that Top Doctors who stick their necks out and challenge their colleagues are subjected to witch-hunts by the medical establishment. Mansfield is well-acquainted with the facts involved some of the most high profile child protection disasters that there have been since the 1970s, 80s and 90s and later. Yet staggeringly, he described Esther Rantzen as a ‘vociferous and committed’ campaigner, citing Childline as evidence. The Esther who ‘didn’t know’ about Jimmy Savile, who ‘didn’t know’ about her former bedfellow Sir Nicholas Fairbain, the Esther who’s sister worked as a social worker for Lambeth Social Services whilst it had one the worst records on child protection in the UK, the Esther who appointed her sister’s manager as Chief Exec of Childline. The Childline that was alleged to have ignored calls from children in care who were being abused. The Esther who then ran a mental health campaign and who ignored a letter that I sent her about the criminal activities of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones et al. But then Mansfield’s PA Susie Haig worked as a counsellor for Childline. So Susie probably heard the same story that I heard from Childline then – that Esther was so dreadful when speaking to the children that they had to work hard to ensure that she didn’t actually answer any calls herself when she was gracing Childline with her presence to drum up a bit of good PR.

Mansfield did a lot of work for the NUM during the miners strike of 1984 and also defended Arthur Scargill when Scargill was arrested. Mansfield and Scargill were friends and established the Socialist Labour Party together. My post ‘It’s All About Protecting Children’ described how Arthur Scargill shared a platform in Bangor a few years ago with a paedophiles’ friend and how this particular paedophiles’ friend has married a lady who has stood for the Socialist Labour Party in north Wales in General Elections. Mansfield had an excellent grip on the police corruption and the various dirty tricks used to frame and prosecute miners who had themselves been assaulted by the police.

It was at this time that Mansfield got together with the lady who was to become his wife for 30 years, documentary maker Yvette Vanson. Vanson and Mansfield lived in Yorkshire for a while, Vanson researching for and making her films and Mansfield defending the miners. Mansfield and Vanson became very well-networked into the community in Yorkshire via a man called Terry Dunn and they also had connections on the ground in south Wales. Like north Wales, Yorkshire had a major problem with police corruption, a paedophile ring – and a man called Jimmy Savile who was involved with both. Surely Mansfield and Vanson heard SOMETHING about all of this? Terry Dunn must have known – Mansfield tells us that after the strike, Dunn did a degree at the LSE and ‘fought for trade union rights’ via an unidentified charity in London. Mansfield was a lawyer and Vanson was a producer of TV documentaries about people having a hard time – people like Mansfield and Vanson are approached constantly by people who’ve been stuffed over asking for help. This even happened to me after I appeared in the media talking about the abuses of the mental health services and I’m not famous – but people rang me, they e mailed and they wrote. Anyone speaking publicly about the abuse of people who feel powerless definitely gets approached by people who’ve suffered at the hands of the oppressors.

 

It is to Yvette Vanson to whom I will now turn, because I suspect that Yvette Vanson knows so much she would be capable of writing a blog like this and she must have shared some of what she knew with Michael Mansfield.

Yvette Vanson went to the Royal College of Music and Drama in Cardiff, 1968-70 and also did a degree in social sciences at a later date. In 1979 Vanson landed a job with the BBC Community Programmes Unit with Mike Fentiman, only to find herself then blacklisted because of her previous involvement with the Workers Revolutionary Party (WRP). The BBC at the time was reputed to employ a member of MI5 who beavered away screening out undesirables and Vanson was one of them. So Vanson occupied herself doing other things for a few years, including producing training videos with Tony Wardle for East Sussex Social Services. Vanson is the sort of TV producer who gets to know her subject well, she too mixes and chats with people who are being exploited and abused. Vanson is not daft and her – extensive – work for East Sussex Social Services will have undoubtedly brought her face to face with bad practice, a dysfunctional social care system and neglect and abuse of clients. Vanson also made a documentary about the Mental Health Act – that was the Act which was drafted by Professor Robert Bluglass who two years later covered up the criminal activities of Dafydd and Dr Tony Francis which included breaking the law enshrined in that Act. Vanson worked in other areas of disability as well, which brought her into close contact with people from SCOPE and Leonard Cheshire – both organisations which have been accused of the abuse of vulnerable people. She will have known something.

Vanson took her film crew into Lambeth Town Hall when Lambeth Council workers were staging a sit-in – a Jim O’Brien was leading the workers’ protest. Ever think of mentioning what was happening to the kids in the care of Lambeth to the film crew then Jim?

Vanson made ‘Kentucky Fried Medicine’, a critique of the US healthcare system. She noticed only a ‘very, very few people who were willing to criticise and risk their jobs’. She’ll have noticed the same phenomenon in the UK NHS but she doesn’t mention that – Vanson made a documentary called ‘Stitching Up The NHS’.

In 1984, Vanson managed to find her way back into the BBC again, once more working with the BBC Community Programmes Unit and names Mike Fentimen and Tony Lye as people with whom she worked.

I have a friend who worked for the BBC in the late 80s and early 90s – in the documentary commissioning department. My friend maintained that the dept was openly corrupt and his boss had a huge row with him after my friend refused to accept bribes. My friend was told by this boss that he’d make sure that my friend would never work in London again. Weeks later my friend was transferred to Manchester and was made redundant shortly afterwards. The name of the BBC executive whom my friend alleged was involved? Paul Hayman. I was also told that Hayman had a huge in-tray on his desk full of ideas for commissions that documentary makers had sent in and that Hayman would invite chosen people into his office and tell them to take their pick of the other people’s ideas. Vanson mentions working with Paul Hayman when she produced ‘Presumed Guilty’ for BBC’s Inside Story.

The interview which Vanson gave from which I have obtained my information about her career didn’t mention the sort of rampant corruption witnessed by my friend at the BBC, but Vanson does talk about some people at the BBC editing her work to such an extent that the documentary was changed as well as the reluctance of certain people at the BBC to produce anything that the Gov’t might throw a hissy fit over. In the wake of Vanson’s documentary about the miners’ strike ‘Taking Liberties’, the BBC threatened to close the whole Community Programmes unit.

Vanson seemed to have been particularly irked by Liz Forgan, although when Forgan was getting on Yvette Vanson’s tits I think Forgan might have been working for Channel 4 – Vanson made documentaries for them as well. Liz Forgan is now Dame Liz. She was Editor of the Guardian Women’s pages 1978-82, then a Guardian columnist 1997-98 and then a non-executive director of the Guardian Media Group from 1998. Forgan was founding Commissioning Editor and then Director of Programmes at Channel 4, 1981-90. In 1993 she was appointed MD of BBC Network Radio, but she left the BBC in 1996 over a row with the DG John Birt concerning moving BBC Radio News from Broadcasting House to Television Centre. (Which seems an extraordinary thing to leave one’s job over – couldn’t Liz have resigned over Savile or all the corruption or something worthwhile?) Between 2001-08 Forgan was Chair of the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Heritage Lottery Fund. In 2009 Dame Liz became Chair of the Arts Council of England – this was seen as a Labour Party appointment and Liz must have pissed a few other people off as well as Yvette Vanson, because in 2010 the Coalition Gov’t cut the Arts Council’s budget by nearly 30%. In 2003 Forgan was appointed Chair of the Scott Trust, the company which owns the Guardian Media Group and which is responsible for appointing the Editor of the Guardian.

Other notables as well as Liz have occupied the position of Chair of the Scott Trust. Hugo Young was in that role immediately prior to Liz – it was on Young’s watch that Alan Rusbridger who was Editor of the Guardian between 1995-2015 was appointed. The Chair before Young was Alistair Hetherington, who was appointed in 1984.

I first heard about Hetherington in 1982 from two of my friends who were studying film and media at Stirling University. They told me about a huge row that had blown up which had found its way into ‘The Scotsman’ – the University had appointed Hetherington, a journo, to a Research Chair. This was one of the first appointments by a UK university of a non-academic to a Chair and the fur flew. There were allegations that Stirling had only done this to toady to people in high places and that Hetherington had none of the qualities needed to successfully occupy the role. The students protested and my friends were signatories to the letter of protest that was sent to ‘The Scotsman’. Hetherington was appointed nonetheless – but it looks like my friends were right to have had their reservations, because Hetherington was never seen in the University, certainly didn’t do any research and buggered off in 1984 to Chair the Scott Trust. Whilst at the Scott Trust Hetherington received very serious grief from the NUJ. He supported Peter Preston as Editor of the Guardian and played a substantial role in the appointment of Hugo Young as his own successor as Chairman of the Scott Trust. So who was this man whom Stirling University prostrated themselves before?

Alistair was the son of Sir Hector Hetherington, a Professor at University College Cardiff and then Principal of the University of Glasgow. Whilst serving in the army in WWII Hetherington was a major in the Intelligence Corps. In 1950 he joined the Manchester Guardian as a journo and in 1953 Hetherington became Editor. Hetherington claimed to be a campaigner for social justice – he was present at the founding of CND and attended the preliminary meetings at the house of Lord Simon Wythenshawe, along with Sir Bernard Lovell and Bertrand Russell. Yet Hetherington did not support or join CND – indeed Hetherington actually tried to launch his own movement with aims directly in opposition to CND. Years later he performed another U turn over Vietnam, after meeting US military commanders in Saigon. In 1959 Hetherington oversaw the evolution of the ‘Manchester Guardian’ into the ‘Guardian’ and the office subsequently relocated to London. The ‘Guardian’ lost a great deal of money but was kept afloat by its sister paper, the ‘Manchester Evening News’.

Hetherington was close to Harold Wilson but even closer to Jo Grimond, the Liberal MP who would have become leader of the Party had Thorpe not got there instead. Hetherington spent 20 years writing leading articles to promote Liberal-Labour co-operation in order to defeat the Tories.

In 1975 Michael Swann, the Chairman of the BBC, offered Hetherington the post of Controller of BBC Scotland. There was as much trouble following that appointment as there was when Hetherington landed the Chair at Stirling. Hetherington  clashed with the DG at the BBC, Charles Curran and in 1978 was sacked by Curran’s successor, Ian Trethowan. Hetherington had to slum it as the manager of BBC Radio Highland until he was offered the Chair at Stirling.

Hetherington’s mate Michael Swann was a molecular biologist. Between 1965-74 he was Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh. In 1972 Swann was confronted with much trouble from the students, led by one Gordon Brown, who had been elected Rector. Ted Heath was so wowed at Swann’s ‘strong leadership’ at Edinburgh that he gave Swann a knighthood and then in 1974 appointed him as Chair of the BBC. In 1979 Swann was appointed Chancellor of York University and in 1981 he was given a peerage. Swann’s brother Hugh was Cabinet Maker to HM the Queen.

The present Chair of the Scott Trust is Andrew Graham. His CV has all the right ingredients – Sunday Times, LWT, Channel 4, Fellow of the Royal Television Society and Royal Society of Arts…

 

Today’s Mail Online published an angry article demanding to know why so many ‘left wing luvvies’ are heads of Oxbridge Colleges. A number of sinners were named and shamed, including Mark Damazar (latterly of the BBC), Alan Rusbridger, Jackie Ashley (Guardian columnist and wife of Andrew Marr of the BBC) and dear old Baroness Helena Kennedy. I don’t think that the elevation to great heights of such folk has much to do with them being lefties or luvvies. Like the people at the top of the Daily Mail, one reason why none of this lot have been blown out of the water is that they have all kept schtum about the organised sexual abuse of children by public figures and senior politicians and civil servants.

 

Vanson won a Royal Television Society award for her film about sexual harassment at work, ‘Making Advances’. The film was presented by Emma Freud. This was pre-Savile, pre-Rolf and pre-Stuart Hall. And indeed pre-Clement Freud, Emma’s father.

There is one TV documentary made by Vanson that I am particularly interested in. It was a documentary that was screened by BBC Wales in approx. 1996-97 entitled ‘Breaking the Mold’ and it concerned the fight to save Theatre Clwyd which was facing closure. Vanson mentions working with the commissioning editor of BBC Wales, John Geraint on a programme about Aberfan, so I’m wondering if he commissioned ‘Breaking The Mold’.

Theatre Clwyd was the baby of the former Chief Exec of Clwyd County Council, T.M. Hadyn Rees. Hadyn Rees was Chief Exec of Clwyd 1974-77 – as the paedophile gang raged in children’s homes run by Clwyd County Council. Hadyn Rees was a lawyer who was a member of the Welsh Arts Council, 1968-77. Hadyn Rees, like his successor Mervyn Phillips, had a great many fingers in a great many pies. Further details of the numerous fingers and pies involving these paedophiles’ friends can be read in my post ‘Ain’t Nothing Clean – Not Even The Welsh Calvinistic Methodists’. The upshot was that Hadyn Rees and Mervyn Phillips spearheaded huge projects which purchased them much kudos and power within north Wales yet it was never clear how these projects were funded. Whilst all this was happening, there were constant financial crises in Clwyd County Council  – the money just seemed to disappear but on what was unfathomable, because the Council certainly weren’t spending it on services for the citizens of Clwyd. Again and again there are references in local gov’t documents to the terrible financial problems in Clwyd – the Council had to go cap in hand to various places for bail outs, there was a huge row because the rates/council tax had to be hiked up to one of the highest levels in the UK and after the abolition of Clwyd County Council at the time of the submission of the Jillings Report into the abuse of children in the care of the Council, an enormous black hole in the funds was revealed which was carried over into the new organisation, Flintshire County Council. At the retirement party of Roger Parry, the Finance Chief of Clwyd, jokes were made about Roger’s catchphrase being ‘struggling on’, although there were many warm words for him from senior officers who remembered how he ‘rescued’ the Council at a time of crisis. Roger himself told the party that he was glad that he was able to save the day, but warned everyone not to embezzle the Council funds after his retirement.

Theatre Clwyd was a grand enterprise from the outset – it was opened in 1976 by HM the Queen and for a theatre in a small rural town in north Wales it really is quite impressive. The official narrative regarding the funding of the theatre is that it is funded by Clwyd County Council. It hit the buffers in about 1996 and was facing closure – this happened when Tom Middlehusrt was Chief Exec of Flintshire County Council. Just after the Jillings Report had confirmed the most dreadful abuse of children in Clwyd and the possible presence of a paedophile ring, just as the Waterhouse Inquiry was ordered. Just after Clwyd County Council had disappeared in a puff of smoke leaving the huge black hole in its wake – and when the newly created Flintshire County Council was ordered by Michael Beloff QC, the legal advisor to their insurers, to never release the Jillings Report to anyone, even the Councillors, on the grounds that what had happened to the children in care was so indefensible that the insurers would withdraw the Council’s cover if the Report was made public and the Council members themselves would be personally liable for the damages and costs if any of the former children in care sued. Michael Beloff QC styled himself a human rights/civil liberties barrister – he was a colleague of Mansfield, Gareth Peirce, Cherie Booth et al.

Tom Middlehurst – who later became the AM for Alyn and Deeside – is credited for having helped save Theatre Clwyd, although I can’t quite work out HOW. What is clear though is that Middlehurst managed to drum up a great deal of good publicity for the Theatre, which included Vanson’s documentary. Vanson herself described Theatre Clwyd as ‘really inspirational’ and in retrospect suggested that perhaps her film had helped the theatre stay open and that it was one of her ‘campaigning successes’. The person running Theatre Clwyd at the time was Helena Kaut-Howson, who is now a very big name in theatre internationally. David Hanson MP – another one of the paedophiles’ friends who is married to Margaret Hanson, the current Vice-Chair of the deadly Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board – spoke in Parliament about the crisis facing the theatre and described Theatre Clwyd as ‘an important social and cultural asset of north Wales’.

Middlehurst summoned up a very big name indeed in order to save the paedophiles’ friends’ extravagant folly – he contacted Terry Hands, who became CEO and Director of Theatre Clwyd in 1997. Terry Hands was one of the founders of the Liverpool Everyman Theatre in 1964. Hands went to school in Woking and studied at the University of Birmingham and RADA. After establishing the Everyman, in 1966 Hands joined the Royal Shakespeare Company and in 1986 became its CEO. Then in 1997 he gave the paedophiles’ friends an enormous helping hand. Hands also became the Vice-President of the Llangollen International Eisteddfod – scores of the paedophiles’ friends are associated with that festival and for a number of years Sir Ronnie Waterhouse was President. Hands is or was visiting Professor at the Atrium at the University of South Wales and is or was Joint President of the Arvon Foundation. The Arvon Foundation is a charity which promotes creative writing and runs a number of residential writing retreats. Poets previously involved with the Arvon Foundation include Ted Hughes, Seamus Heaney and Philip Larkin. Former tutors include Willy Russell, Ian McEwan, Andrew Motion, Carol Ann Duffy, Ian Rankin and Will Self. Hands left Theatre Clwyd in 2015, by which time it was the most successful theatre in Wales. In 2014 Wales Online had reported that Theatre Clwyd’s funding was at risk again – at this point Colin Everett was the Chief Exec of Flintshire County Council. Wales Online reported that the theatre had its own production company which travelled across the UK – the theatre company was described as being ‘subsidised’ by Flintshire County Council, which had left the Council with a big bill…

I have no idea how Middlehurst managed to rope Terry Hands in, but I note that Middlehurst went to Liverpool Poly. The Everyman was a huge cult in Liverpool and it fancied itself as bohemian and political. By the mid-70s some people who became very influential were associated with the Everyman, including Julie Walters, Cathy Tyson, Pete Postlethwaite and Matthew Kelly. The Everyman was associated with actors and writers on the left who had originated from working class backgrounds.

Pete Postlethwaite died not so long ago and spent the last part of his life in Shropshire. In 1987 he began a relationship with the woman whom he married in 2003, Jacqui, who was a BBC producer. In 1994 Pete Postlethwaite starred in  ‘Sin Bin’, directed by George Case. Postlethwaite played the part of a prison officer in a secure hospital in which one patient murders another. Case and the scriptwriter obviously had a very good knowledge of what goes on in secure hospitals – scenes involved the prison officers making crude sexual jokes about the patients, about the crimes that they were alleged to have committed which resulted in them being banged up and mocking notions such as ‘service users’. Like the film ‘Scum’ which portrayed the brutality inside a young offenders institution some ten years previously, ‘Sin Bin’ accurately portrayed the attitudes of staff – but it wasn’t quite as bad as those institutions are in real life. In the way that ‘Scum’ didn’t portray the staff sexually assaulting the boys, no-one banged up in ‘Sin Bin’ was there because they’d dared mention that they’d been abused in care or by the Top Doctors.

It is significant that both ‘Scum’ and ‘Sin Bin’ were fiction – not even Yvette Vanson made a documentary about the institutions that the paedophiles’ friends ran. She just made a film about their theatre when it had bankrupted the Council. Again.

Matthew Kelly spent much of his career pursuing a rather different path to his contemporaries at the Everyman. Like Julie Walters and Victoria Wood, Kelly trained at Manchester Poly – and like Vanson and Gareth Peirce he had been a member of the Workers Revolutionary Party. Kelly spent years presenting light entertainment shows such as ‘Game For A Laugh’ and ‘Stars In Their Eyes’. Until in 2003 – when he was arrested over allegations of child sexual abuse, as part of Operation Arundel. Operation Arundel resulted in the imprisonment of Jonathan King who like Kelly was investigated for abusing underaged boys in the 1970s. Kelly was never charged, on the grounds that the CPS did not have sufficient evidence. Another person investigated as part of the same operation was Tam Paton, the former manager of the Bay City Rollers, one of whom was imprisoned for the possession of child porn whilst he was working as a nurse in middle age. After Jonathan King was released from prison he angrily denounced what he claimed was the hypocrisy of those who had prosecuted him and excluded him from polite society. King maintained that he knew scores of other people in the entertainment industry who had done exactly what he had done but who had not been prosecuted. He also claimed that the judge who sentenced him to seven years inside had been at Cambridge with him and had also been having sex with underaged boys. I note that no-one ever sued Jonathan King regarding that allegation.

Although Matthew Kelly was not prosecuted, he was certainly very shaken and distressed by the police investigation. Granada and ITV supported him – as did Julie Walters – and said that they looked forward to his return, but Kelly didn’t return. He kept a very low profile for the next ten years and only relatively recently began making public appearances again.

I have no idea whether Matthew Kelly ever has been involved with under-aged boys as accused, but I do know that people in the entertainment industry will robustly support people whom they are aware may be conducting themselves in a questionable manner. Greg Dyke’s book ‘Inside Story’ mentions that Michael Barrymore’s behaviour was so bad and so bizarre that people found him nigh-on impossible to work with. Dyke maintains that ‘everyone’ knew that Barrymore was gay and that he would disappear for days at a time when he was supposed to be filming. This went on many years before a sexually injured corpse was found in Barrymore’s swimming pool of which Barrymore claimed to know nuzzing.

There was an article in the ‘Morning Star’ today about culture/plays for the working classes, headed ‘Workers’ Play Time’. I wondered if it might mention Terry Hands, the Everyman, Mike Leigh etc, but it didn’t. However I discovered a whole new world. The article was written by Doug Nicholls, the GFTU (General Federation of Trade Unions) General Secretary. Doug was previously General Secretary of the union CYWU (Community and Youth Workers Union), 1987-2007, which represented youth workers, workers in youth theatre, community education, outdoor education, play workers and personal advisors. Don’t tell me that they didn’t know something about the sexual exploitation of young people. The CYWU joined the TGWU in 2006 and is now part of UNITE.  The CYWU used to publish their own magazine, ‘Rapport’. I’ve had a very quick look through a vintage copy and it comments on the sort of thing that I suspected that it would – it mentions the NCCL and Patricia Hewitt and there is a lot of confusion about sexuality. There are some people maintaining that they should be able to come out as gay or lesbian and act as a ‘role model’ to the youngsters, but these people are opposed by other members taking an overly bigoted or macho stance with references to poofs and lesbians in tweed. It is in such fetid atmospheres that the sexual exploitation of young people flourishes….

 

Michael Mansfield lived in Wandsworth whilst St George’s Hospital Medical School and Springfield Hospital concealed the serious criminal activities in north Wales. Wandsworth is just down the road from St George’s and Springfield, loads of the staff of those hospitals live in Wandsworth. I know for a fact that David Hole the corrupt MSF rep did – he knew what had happened to me in north Wales.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He Knows Where The Bodies Are Buried

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Before Steel was elected he worked for the BBC.

David Steel also knew about Cyril Smith of course…

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

In 1974 Freeman advised Wilson on libel.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My How Things Haven’t Changed

I have just read the biography of Jeremy Thorpe by Michael Bloch. Many aspects of the story told – and the sleight that Bloch puts on it – felt very familiar.

Thorpe was the leader of the Liberal Party who ended up standing trial at the Old Bailey in 1979 for conspiring to kill Norman Scott, a man younger than him with whom he’d had a sexual relationship many years previously. The trial became notorious – the presiding judge was Justice Cantley and Jeremy was represented by George Carman QC. The trial made Carman’s reputation – and that of David Napley, Jeremy’s solicitor. Jeremy and his co-defendants were acquitted and the trial was widely seen as complete establishment stitch-up. Scott was a prosecution witness but was insulted and abused by Cantley, who also commented that he didn’t like the idea of sending a distinguished Privy Councillor like Jeremy to prison and made jokes about the incompetence of Andrew Newton, the prosecution witness who admitted that he’d been paid to kill Norman. The trial led to a spate of books and Peter Cook’s ‘biased judge’ parody. I knew much about all this, but I discovered a lot more from Bloch’s book.

Jeremy was born into an incredibly well-connected political family. His grandfather and father were politicians and Jeremy socialised with politicians, public figures and their families from his earliest days. He was personally acquainted with many historical figures – his family were close friends with Lloyd George’s family, they made visits to north Wales to Lloyd George’s family home. Jeremy was particularly fond of and close to Megan, Lloyd George’s daughter, a Liberal MP herself. Jeremy saw Lloyd George as a role model and was saying whilst he was still a teenager he would be a Liberal PM like Lloyd George. He was encouraged in this ambition by his family and by Megan – he made regular visits to Parliament to take tea with people like Megan and years later when he was elected as an MP it was remarked upon that unlike most new MPs, Jeremy wasn’t in the least bit over-awed by Parliament, he was completely familiar with it. As a child he was friends with the Carey Evans branch of Lloyd George’s extended family – members of the shithouse – and as he matured he made more and more friendships with leading members of the shithouse. Thorpe lived his entire life in the shithouse and was the ultimate example of one of it’s members.

He followed the standard privileged path – Eton, then Oxford to read law. Thorpe was a member of both the Oxford Union and the Oxford University Law Society – he rubbed noses and became friends with numerous powerful people in law, media and politics along the way, whom later proved to be of great use to Jeremy.

Whilst he was involved with the Oxford University Law Society, Thorpe invited guests such as Lord Denning and Lord John Morris of Borth-y-Gest. Morris was a paid up member of the Welsh branch of the shithouse. He was a friend of the Lloyd George’s, a barrister on the Northern Circuit and stood as a Liberal candidate on two occasions. Morris was chairman of the Quarter Sessions in Cheshire for 25 years, was a High Court judge, a Lord Justice of Appeal and a Law Lord. He was Pro-Chancellor of the University of Wales 1956-74, a member of the Gorsedd of the Bards and the Vice-President of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion. I suspect that he knew Dafydd and Gwynne.

So Jeremy had some strong Welsh connections – later in life he became friendly with Liberal Party donor Gerran Lloyd and awarded him a peerage, thus turning him into Lord Lloyd of Kilgerran.

At Oxford, people maintained that Jeremy was not known for having sexual relationships, gay or straight. People claimed that he was solely interested in building his career.

As a young man Jeremy certainly had a following. He was often described as popular, witty and entertaining – but even his fans admitted that he was extraordinarily grandiose, constantly pontificating on his future as PM. His detractors however maintained that Jeremy was a very nasty piece of work – dodgy, ruthless, dishonest and downright dangerous in terms of what he was prepared to do to advance himself.

In the years after Oxford, there was evidence that Jeremy was not only gay but was having many casual liaisons. He was a member of the National Liberal Club and the Reform Club, which both offered opportunities for gay encounters and contained many gay men in influential positions.

Jeremy harboured an ambition to marry Princess Margaret – he spoke about this quite frankly and was seriously miffed when she announced her engagement to Armstrong-Jones. In an ideal world Jeremy would have had sex with both of them – upon the announcement of their engagement in 1960 he sent a notorious House of Commons postcard to a friend upon which he’d written ‘What a pity about HRH. I rather hoped to marry one and seduce the other’.

As Jeremy progressed through his political career more and more anecdotes circulated about his risky behaviour – cruising, frequenting gay bars, casual encounters, ‘rough sex’ and his boasting about seducing young men, including cameramen who were filming interviews with him, policemen on duty in Parliament and footmen when he was invited to receptions at Buck House.

Jeremy was elected as the Liberal MP for North Devon. It was well-known among his constituents that he was gay – he had relationships with a number of men from north Devon and took London boyfriends down to the constituency.

Jeremy was friendly with a number of people who were considered beyond the pale, including the gay Labour MP Tom Driberg who generally shocked everyone for numerous reasons. Driberg commented that he had heard about Jeremy from various rent boys – Jeremy and Driberg were using the same ones. Lord Boothby was a family friend of the Thorpes – Boothby was bisexual, he was friends with the Krays and had a long-running affair with Harold MacMillan’s wife, as well as gay sexual encounters with figures from the criminal underworld.

MI5 and the police knew all about Jeremy’s sexual activities – they also ended up getting their hands on the Princess Margaret postcard. When Jeremy’s close friend Jeremy Fry was prosecuted for gross indecency Thorpe’s activities once more came to the attention of the authorities.

At the same time as leading a stereotypical example of a double life, Thorpe continued to make gobsmacking efforts to increase his network of powerful friends, including on an international basis – he became personal friends with many heads of state and hobnobbed with the Royal Family. Thorpe had already built up a successful media career as a radio and TV personality by the time that he entered Parliament.

Jeremy was active in the Homosexual Law Reform Society, ostensibly from a liberal standpoint. Between 1963-66 most of the meetings of the Society took place in Thorpe’s Parliamentary office.

Norman Scott – then known as Norman Josiffe – was working as a stable boy for one of Thorpe’s friends when they met. They had a relationship in early 60s which Norman perceived as very abusive. Norman was a lot younger than Jeremy and was in law still a minor when their relationship began. Norman didn’t have a very solid home background – ironically Norman’s mother spent a lot of her time at Bexley Heath Conservative Club, where Ted Heath was the local MP. Ted Heath would later offer Thorpe a position in his Gov’t, at a time when Thorpe claimed that he was being ‘persecuted’ by Norman. Norman claimed that Jeremy ruthlessly sexually used him and described Thorpe as becoming increasingly callous. Following an initially warm relationship during which Thorpe kept him, bought him presents etc Thorpe ended up basically shagging Norman and then ordering him to spend nights on a camp bed, throwing him out when he felt like it. Rather than Norman persecuting Thorpe, the available evidence suggests that a predatory mature man with powerful friends used a rather confused young man sexually – whilst Thorpe also conducted casual liaisons with others – and then dumped him, subsequently maintaining that they barely knew each other.

Norman Scott had a very bad press and not just at the hands of the biased judge. What is clear is that Norman was for some reason very fragile – but nobody seems to have asked why. He seems to have become increasingly distressed after his encounters with Jeremy, was in poor mental health and made a number of suicide attempts. Norman himself consistently told people that Jeremy had ruined his life and interestingly enough a number of people who knew Norman took the same view and even made representation to third parties about this. As more and more of Jeremy’s friends hurled abuse at Norman – as did Jeremy himself – shrieking that he was ‘neurotic’ and ‘a nutter’, they didn’t seem able to explain a few obvious things. Such as the letter dated 1961 that Jeremy wrote to Norman on House of Commons notepaper – which years later became notorious when the press finally got hold of it – a letter which certainly reads as though it’s from a gay man to his lover, making a reference to ‘bunnies’ going to France (Thorpe admitted that ‘bunnies’ was his pet name for Norman). The letter also makes reference to some photos which Jeremy asks to be returned – yet no-one commented on this. Norman consistently maintained that Thorpe had stolen his National Insurance card after Thorpe failed to pay contributions when Norman worked for him and thus Norman couldn’t seek work. No-one seems to have investigated Norman’s claims regarding this – although it would have been easy to confirm if this was the case or not. Yet after quite a fuss and a very long time, it transpired that one of Jeremy’s political friends used his influence with the DHSS to sort this out behind the scenes – that’s not really a reaction to someone who’s completely mad and is saying things of no substance.

Norman also claimed that Thorpe paid him hush money and tried to conceal their relationship. Among the hysterical claims that Norman was making it all up, Norman then produced letters and documents demonstrating that Thorpe had made payments to him, regularly, over a long period of time, whilst claiming to some people that he’d never known Norman. Yet Thorpe had told other people that he was Norman’s guardian. Every time Norman became distressed and then demonstrated that he had lived with Jeremy, had been given money etc but was now claiming to be destitute because of Jeremy, Jeremy’s explanation to people who asked what the hell was going on was always the same – that Norman was mad, Jeremy had tried so hard to help him, he had been so patient but there was just no dealing with Norman and now he realised that Norman was a wicked manipulative man who had fooled a lot of people and was hounding him. Which was exactly what Dafydd Alun Jones said about Mary Wynch and me when we told people that Dafydd had illegally imprisoned us and that we had evidence of Dafydd’s criminal activities.

Again and again events occur which suggest that Norman was no fantasist. Another man at one point comes forward with sexual allegations about Thorpe – his account of Thorpe’s conduct is strikingly similar to Norman’s, although at that time Norman’s allegations had not found their way into the public domain. Norman maintained that Thorpe had promised to secure him a job – Thorpe made such offers to other people as well. Thorpe actually arranged for Norman to begin a new life in Switzerland – except that Norman didn’t want this and returned to the UK. This was seen as further evidence of Norman’s insanity and lack of gratitude – no-one asks why he was sent abroad by Jeremy and his mates for no good reason when he clearly had no desire to go. But then Thorpe and co were quite enthusiastic about sending people abroad – years later they arranged for Andrew Newton, the man who maintained that he had been hired to kill Norman, to begin a new life in Southern Africa after he had killed Norman’s dog but failed to kill Norman because his ancient gun jammed.

Bloch’s account of Thorpe packing Norman off to Switzerland and then getting very angry and pathologising Norman when he came back reminded me of something that I witnessed at Bangor University Student Health Centre years ago, as I did battle with the corrupt Dr DGE Wood and Gwynne the lobotomist. There was a young woman on my course whom I knew, but not very well. By the time that we were in the third year of our degrees, this young woman seemed to be very obviously falling apart. There were rumours that she had a serious drug problem – which was unusual for a student in those days – she lost a terrific amount of weight, was often seen walking around Bangor in her nightclothes and her hair started dropping out. I had no idea that she was having anything to do with the Student Health Centre until after my finals I was talking to the nurse up there when she asked me how this young woman had got on and it transpired that she had sat her exams in the medical room on the grounds that she had been having serious health problems. A couple of weeks later I was in the Student Health Centre when the same nurse started fuming about this young woman, stating that she ‘didn’t want to be helped’ and that there was ‘nothing that anyone could do for her’. It transpired that DGE Wood had been pressurising this young woman to go to Australia no less – he’d even arranged a job out there for her. Except that she was horrified at these arrangements and had ‘broken down’ at the very thought of being packed off to Australia and had refused to go. I have mentioned on this blog how Wood ended up having screaming rows with me and told me to leave Wales and forget about everything that had happened there. I’ve been wondering whether, like me, this young woman who was being pressurised to go to Australia had discovered a few things about Wood and Gwynne Williams. She was very obviously not coping with life very well and had sat her finals under special conditions. Who on earth would try and force her into leaving for Australia under such circumstances? Perhaps someone who was very worried about her continued presence in north Wales…

Not only were there huge questions about Thorpe’s conduct in relation to Norman that went unasked, but far from Norman ‘having no evidence’ for his story, evidence seems to periodically pop up but a lot of people work very hard to ensure that it doesn’t get to see the light of day. One of Thorpe’s closest friends, a fellow Liberal MP Peter Bessell, played a key role in ‘managing’ the problem that was Norman. Bessell meets him constantly, tells him that Jeremy will do this, that and the other to help him – although Jeremy never does – and Bessell makes payments to Norman whilst telling him not to mention Jeremy’s name to anyone (not that Norman was ever given hush money of course). On one of Norman’s enforced trips abroad, his luggage is lost. Thorpe goes to very great lengths to retrieve this luggage, using his Gov’t contacts. It transpires that there are letters that Jeremy has written to Norman in that luggage and Jeremy wants those letters back. After many years, Bessell and Thorpe fell out and Bessell emigrated to America. In November 1974, builders carrying out work on Bessell’s former office in London discovered a briefcase full of ‘compromising material’ relating to Jeremy Thorpe including documents concerning Norman, hidden in a false ceiling. The builders realised that they’d hit gold and took the documents to the Sunday Mirror. The Sunday Mirror editor Bob Edwards and the Chairman of the company that owned the paper, Lord Jacobson, knew Jeremy and knew about Norman. Surprise surprise, not a word was published – the documents were personally returned by Edwards to Thorpe at a meeting in his Westminster office, after copies had been made for the legal manager’s safe.

A Dr Roger Gleadle also ends up in possession of incriminating documents relating to Thorpe’s relationship with Norman and sells them. Gleadle was Norman’s GP and he also maintains that Norman is mad – Gleadle keeps him under ‘heavy sedation’ but that doesn’t stop Norman trying to kill himself whilst he is in Gleadle’s ‘care’. Interestingly enough Norman maintains that Gleadle has sold documents of his without his permission and is trying to poison him. Gleadle’s conduct becomes known when it is revealed that the person who purchased the documents was a friend of Jeremy’s. There are other Top Doctors who were well-aware of what was going on – including a number of psychiatrists who ended up treating Norman as he had breakdowns and made suicide attempts. At one point he was sectioned. One of the hospitals that treated Norman – in 1963/64 and again in 1967 – was St George’s.

Like Jeremy, the Top Doctors stressed how they tried to ‘help’ this madman who is inexplicably in constant fear and distress and makes crazy allegations about that nice Mr Thorpe which of course none of them believe – although the whole bloody lot of them are keen to get their paws on any documentation that Norman might have relating to Jeremy. Jeremy stressed to people that Norman is someone who had been in a ‘mental home’. I have a document in my possession written by Andrew Park, a corrupt lawyer at the Welsh Office, stating that I have been in a ‘mental institution’. Of course I have – Dafydd illegally detained me in one after I complained about him and his colleagues. The reason why Andrew Park found out about it was that after I complained about being unlawfully arrested and held in a mental institution, Andrew Park advised Dafydd et al on how to ensure that my complaints were never investigated.

Norman spends a lot of time telling people that Jeremy has ruined his life – Norman’s mates agree with this perception but everyone else maintains that Norman has an irrational obsession with poor Mr Thorpe and is ‘persecuting him’. What Norman is actually doing is making statements to the police and other people alleging very serious offences on the part of Thorpe et al. Norman consistently said the same thing – that Thorpe befriended him but ended up repeatedly sexually assaulting him in a manner that Norman did not want and since then had done a number of things to try and keep him quiet. No-one bothered to report how Norman thinks Jeremy has ruined his life – it might have been worth asking him because a lot of very unfortunate things happened to Norman. He landed jobs but then lost them, he became homeless and destitute, got back on his feet again, but hey presto suddenly he’d been sacked and he’s homeless once more. In the mid 70s, Norman was robbed, beaten up and an attempt was made to murder him – the people involved all maintained that they were put up to it by Jeremy or his friends.

Despite the constant claims of what a dreadful man he is, no-one ever produces evidence of anything very serious that Norman has actually done wrong. Whereas evidence constantly crops up suggesting that Jeremy was a lying bastard who was having numerous sexual encounters with much younger men, that his friends were constantly hassling Norman and that those claiming to ‘help’ Norman seemed to be benefiting from his distress and were often in close contact with Jeremy and his circle.

Norman does have a habit of producing very damning evidence against Thorpe – including evidence that Thorpe wrote him a letter in 1961 which suggests that they were having a sexual relationship whilst Norman was a minor. The explanation? That Mr Thorpe ‘made a mistake’ when he dated the letter to Norman – he obviously wrote the highly incriminating letter to Norman a few years later, whilst Norman was older. Not that the letter proved ANYTHING anyway of course.

Jeremy and co constantly maintain that Norman is a ‘nut’ whom absolutely nobody believes. For a nutter who can’t be believed they are certainly very bothered by him. So bothered that in June 1971 the Liberal Party launch an inquiry into Norman’s allegations – it is of course a secret inquiry, conducted by a small number of Jeremy’s close associates, namely Emlyn Hooson (a lawyer who was by that time leader of the Chester and Wales Circuit), David Steel and Frank Byers (the Liberal leader in the Lords). Norman told his story in person at the inquiry only to be shouted down and insulted by Byers. Hooson had been in touch with Scotland Yard about a police statement that Norman had made about Jeremy in 1962. When Thorpe found out about this he got in touch with Reginald Maudling the Home Secretary – Thorpe and Maudling were friends – and asked him to instruct the police to only give out a minimum of information. Maudling seems to have done as requested – a Detective Inspector Edward Smith attended the inquiry but would only provide brief factual answers to questions. Maudling told Jeremy by letter that he had discussed the matter with the Metropolitan Police Commissioner.

Hooson stated himself to be ‘appalled’ at the ‘Mafia-like atmosphere…of lies and intrigue’ that had been created. Jeremy subsequently recommended Byers for the Privy Council.

For a secret inquiry – that of course exonerated Jeremy – which was precipitated by allegations from a lunatic whom no-one believed it caused quite a stir.

Norman was so pissed off at his treatment by Byers that he returned to the police, made a 33 page statement and contacted a journalist who passed the story to MI5, MI6, the People newspaper and the Sunday Mirror. Yet no-one responded.

Jeremy and co maintained the line that everyone thought that Norman was a nutter who couldn’t be believed for many years, even throughout the eventual Old Bailey trial in 1979. I’ve got news for Jeremy and Michael Bloch, who believes that the folk of north Devon loathed Norman and considered him an insane nuisance – I grew up in west Somerset not a million miles away from north Devon and Exmoor, where much of the action took place. Norman had been living on Exmoor for years and an awful lot of people knew about him and Jeremy. I was a teenager when Norman’s dog was shot and Norman turned up as a crying wreck alleging that the gunman had tried to kill him as well and I remember the subsequent trials – NO-ONE locally thought that Norman was a nut. They believed him and were appalled at Thorpe and his mates. Thorpe had always been a flash git, he was perceived to be a London man with upmarket and powerful friends – the bumpkins were definitely overawed, but they believed Norman. There were a lot of very crude bawdy jokes in circulation, but those jokes did not involve Norman being a nutter – they were jokes about Jeremy sexually assaulting teenaged boys. Now where did those jokes come from I wonder? I knew Liberals – my own family were all Tories, but the west country was a Liberal stronghold, there were a lot of them about – who were seething at Thorpe’s conduct.

Furthermore, some people were very worried for Norman’s safety, particularly after Thorpe et al were acquitted. I remember our baker – who had contacts in north Devon – telling us that everyone feared that Jeremy’s lot were going to go after Norman again and this time succeed in killing him. Another person who delivered to our village claimed that he knew a friend of Norman’s and that after the trial Norman had plastered his house in photos of him and Jeremy, as a gesture in the wake of being branded a liar by the judge. Take it from me Bloch, a lot of people knew about Jeremy and Norman and the general opinion was that Jeremy was a lying potentially murdering bastard but bumpkins like us didn’t stand a chance against his mates. Furthermore, although Thorpe and the crooked judge et al kept stressing that Norman was a blackmailing sponger who lived off the great and the good, the evidence doesn’t suggest that. Norman likes horses and he worked with horses – that usually involves hard work and not much money. Press reports about Norman always referred to his job as a ‘male model’ – he did do some modelling for a bit, but most of the time he worked as a horseman. But if one is trying to discredit Norman, ‘effete male model’ is more effective than ‘well regarded skilled horseman’. After the Old Bailey trial, if Norman had wanted he could have been a millionaire – the media were finally reporting the story and Norman had evidence that was never presented in Court. Norman could have sold his story across the world – he didn’t. He went back to Exmoor and the horses and he still lives down there. Ironically, Norman has outlasted all the others – nearly everyone who wanted him dead are now dead themselves, but Norman is still alive.

As I read Bloch’s book I recognised many of the names of Thorpe’s friends and people who helped him. Some have already been named on this blog. Others were the mentors and patrons of the people named on this blog. As well as members of the shithouse in north Wales, there was a south Wales connection as well – two of the people who stood trial with Jeremy for conspiracy to murder were a pair of crooks from south Wales, it was they who found the hit man. I get the distinct impression that those who protected Thorpe and threw mud at Norman were pretty much the same people who protected Dafydd and Gwynne in their younger years. The context is identical – public figures sexually exploiting vulnerable people and then destroying them, whilst everybody ignored mountains of evidence that this was going on. The techniques used to discredit Norman are tried and tested – Top Doctors are utilised to detain him in a psychiatric facility, suggest that his extreme terror and distress are unfathomable and then discredit any witnesses or sympathisers of Norman by darkly muttering about Norman’s ‘charm’ and ‘manipulation’. Only they know Norman’s black heart. Interestingly enough, one of Norman’s staunchest defenders – a widow from north Wales with whom Norman lived with in 1971 – was found dead in 1972. Norman produces a good explanation as to why the official reason for her death is not credible, but of course Norman is mad. This lady had been an active Liberal and her father had known Emlyn Hooson. She had been so worried about what was happening to Norman that she wrote to Hooson and subsequently met up with the Liberal Chief Whip David Steel. She produced evidence of payments that Thorpe was making to Norman via Bessell and also a letter from one of her neighbours who also knew about Jeremy and Norman and who had written to Jeremy himself. It was her representation that had sparked off the ‘inquiry’ by Byers et al. Hooson was very worried indeed after this lady made representation – he wanted Thorpe to resign from the leadership and give up his seat. Jeremy maintained that Norman was trying to blackmail Bessell. After this lady’s death – allegedly from alcohol poisoning – Norman gave evidence at the inquest. He claimed that she had actually killed herself in despair at discovering what had been happening in the highest echelons of the Liberal Party and at her inability to help him. Local journos passed the story on to the London newspapers. Nothing happened. Scott’s story was dismissed as ‘cold and stale’.

Witnesses stated that Jeremy had become particularly vexed about Norman in the late 1960s – when for much of the time Norman wasn’t having much to do with him. Jeremy’s close friends Peter Bessell and David Holmes admitted that Jeremy spoke at length to them about having Norman killed. He discussed possible ways – shooting, strangling or poisoning. He suggested that Norman’s body could be disposed of down a tin mine (Peter Bessell was the Liberal MP for Bodmin). Jeremy held further discussions about murdering Norman in 1974. When Jeremy was reminded of these conversations after the killing of Norman’s dog, Jeremy brushed them off as humour or metaphors. Yet one man stated that he was paid to kill Norman, another man admits that funds were liberated from Liberal Party coffers to pay the hit man and other people detail their efforts to find a suitable hit man.

Readers will remember that in the 70s, British politics was in freefall; Heath’s Gov’t was weak, Wilson’s subsequent Gov’t was weak and the Liberals were really enjoying their position as being able to exert political muscle – people had to do deals with them to survive. There was the infamous Lib Lab pact. I can remember the excitement of West Country Liberals as they really believed that a Liberal PM was a possibility. I used to work for a neighbouring farmer whose brother was John Pardoe, one of Jeremy’s leadership rivals, and there was much talk of the possibility of Mr Pardoe ending up as PM. Jeremy was acutely aware of the hope that a Liberal could become PM and very obviously had nightmarish visions of Norman’s story becoming public and scuppering his chances.

Although nearly all the politicians involved were greedy duplicitous backstabbers, as with Top Doctors they stuck together like glue rather than dare rat on each other. The modus operandi of everyone seems to be one of covert or overt blackmail and the formation of complex alliances and this results in rivals propping each other up or covering each others arses. Cyril Smith, that well-known child molester, was a staunch supporter of Jeremy’s because Jeremy had helped him get elected – for his part, Jeremy had hoped that Smith’s success in Rochdale was the start of a Liberal revival. In 1974 Jeremy’s Conservative opponent in North Devon, Tim Keigwin, knew that Norman feared for his life and took receipt of a statement about Jeremy from him – a local solicitor delivered the statement to Conservative Central Office and it was read by Lord Carrington, the Party Chairman. Keigwin also spoke to the Attorney General, Sir Peter Rawlinson. Rawlinson and Carrington decided that no use should be made of Norman’s story – Ted Heath agreed. During the General Election campaign of early 1974, Keigwin was told by both his Tory colleagues and by Jeremy’s Devon solicitor not to mention the Jeremy-Norman story. Newspapers were also offered the story about Roger Gleadle selling letters that could embarrass the Liberals throughout the campaign – it was referred to in Private Eye but no-one else touched it. Thorpe was invited for political negotiations by Heath and Wilson after the election. Heath offered Thorpe a post in Gov’t but not a coalition – Thorpe rejected the offer. Wilson’s Press Secretary Joe Haines maintained that if Thorpe joined the Cabinet and kept the Tories in office, then Labour would tell the Norman Scott story. It is not known if Wilson blackmailed Thorpe.

Bloch’s book is frank that many senior politicians were told of Norman’s allegations and knew that Jeremy was a promiscuous gay man. Parliamentary gossip being what it is, I suspect that by the time that Thorpe stood trial just about everyone in politics would have heard something about Jeremy and Norman.

So let’s look at who definitely knew about Norman’s allegations.

In Dec 1962 Norman gave a formal police statement at Chelsea Police Station about Jeremy sexually assaulting him when he was a minor. He produced letters from Jeremy and the postcard that Jeremy had sent his friend upon the engagement of Princess Margaret.

Peter Bessell informed George Thomas who was then a junior Minister at the Home Office about Jeremy’s ‘problem’ with Norman -Bessell knew Thomas personally. Thomas has of course in recent years been named as a paedophile himself and was investigated by the South Wales Police. Thomas was sympathetic to Jeremy and arranged a meeting between Bessell and Sir Frank Soskice in May 1965. Soskice too was most understanding – he commented that Norman ‘couldn’t prove anything’ but ‘it’s a pity about those letters’. (The letters that proved something.) Soskice remarked that he was ‘very fond’ of Thorpe and that he was ‘an asset to the House’. During the meeting, Soskice had a file in front of him – which Bessell presumed contained Norman’s police statement and the letters. Bessell mentioned that Thorpe was anxious that the documents should not remain on record.

Bessell later bumped into George Thomas. Thomas told him that he’d spoken to Soskice who told him that Jeremy had nothing more to worry about. Bessell took this to mean that the file had been destroyed, but it seems that Soskice meant that no further action would be taken.

Bessell stated that he ‘intimidated’ Norman into ceasing his ‘harassment’ of Jeremy. Norman’s ‘harassment’ seems to have constituted a police statement, desperate requests to Bessell and to Jeremy for help with the stolen NI card and then a letter to Jeremy’s mother pleading for help, telling her that he was virtually destitute and asking her if she could influence Jeremy to behave rather more acceptably. Jeremy’s mother was unmoved by Norman’s pleas, but it is on record that she didn’t disbelieve his allegations.

In August 1965 Bessell told George Mackie, the Chair of the Scottish Liberals about Jeremy and Norman. When Mackie lost his seat in 1966, he told the story to the new Liberal MP Richard Wainwright. Alisdair MacKenzie, the Liberal MP for Ross & Cromarty, heard of Norman’s allegations from a constituent who had visited Ireland, where Norman had then been living.

Alice Bacon, a Home Office Minister, also knew about Jeremy and Norman – she was one person who was horrified.

By the time of the 1966 General Election, the matter was known about by the new Home Secretary Roy Jenkins, also his junior Minister Dick Taverne (who knew Jeremy from Oxford) and by Harold Wilson. They were all sympathetic to Thorpe.

Bloch suggests that Henry Brooke, the Home Secretary at the time of Norman’s police statement in 1962, would also have known. Furthermore, his predecessor Rab Butler had been given information concerning Jeremy’s activities which came to light during the investigation into Jeremy’s friend Jeremy Fry’s suitability for the role of best man at Princess Margaret’s wedding in 1960. By 1966 Brooke and Butler were both in the Lords.

Jeremy himself sought advice from Labour MP Leo Abse – a friend of George Thomas. Abse is someone else who has been subject to historic abuse investigations. Abse told Jeremy to deny everything. Jeremy’s conduct was so well-known that during the 1966 General Election campaign angry Conservative MPs hurled homophobic abuse at him.

Jeremy had been involved in other scandals as well. In 1961 he visited San Francisco, had a relationship with a young man and subsequently exchanged letters with him – Thorpe’s letters were written on Commons notepaper. The young man was under investigation by the FBI, so they found out about Jeremy. In 1963 the US Ambassador in London suggested to Lord Home (who was shortly to become PM) that Jeremy should not visit the US again. Home shared this info with the Liberal leader Jo Grimond. In 1964 Grimond passed the info on to Mark Bonham-Carter and Frank Byers, the leader of the Liberals in the Lords.

In 1965 in Tangiers Jeremy had tried to seduce an English tourist who was outraged and had contacted both the Liberal and Tory Associations in North Devon.

Jeremy had an affair with a John Wilkins and then employed him as a Parliamentary researcher. Wilkins developed an alcohol problem and in June 1966 whilst drunk he caused two scenes in one day in the Commons, shouting to onlookers that he was Jeremy’s jilted lover. Wilkins also knew about Norman from Bessell and had confided in Liberal MP Michael Winstanley that Jeremy was not suitable to succeed Grimond as leader of the Party. Winstanley agreed.

So by 1966 most senior Liberals had been directly told about Thorpe’s gay encounters and a lot of people had been told about Norman specifically. Jeremy’s conduct was very well-known. Presumably people had noticed not only that Jeremy had numerous encounters with different men but that for some reason a lot of Jeremy’s partners felt very badly treated by him.

By this time, the Liberal leader Jo Grimond was about to stand down and a leadership contest was looming. Grimond was known to dislike Jeremy but protected him to avoid scandal – Grimond also wanted to block Emlyn Hooson from the leadership. However Grimond’s wife and mother-in-law thought that Jeremy was great and wanted him to succeed Grimond as leader. David Steel also supported Jeremy for the leadership – Steel was Jeremy’s PPS and was indebted to Jeremy for his role in getting him elected. Steel offered to be his campaign manager.

Some in the Liberal Party expressed concerns that if Thorpe were to become leader, a scandal would inevitably occur as a result of his homosexual encounters. Nonetheless in Jan 1967 Thorpe did become leader. Bessell warned him that if his ‘past’ became public he would have to resign.

As well as friendships with those across the political divide – such as with Tony Benn – Jeremy hung out with celebs such as the Beatles, Bobby Charlton and Morecombe and Wise. He was mates with Princess Margaret – despite being banned from acting as best man at her wedding – and the Archbishop of Canterbury. His only real allies in the Liberal Party then were David Steel and Eric Lubbock (aka Lord Avebury), then the Liberals Chief Whip.

Jeremy was in the habit of offering people who did favours for him peerages. One person who actually got one was Gerran Lloyd, who parted with dosh for the Liberal Party.

In April 1967 Thorpe was in a fix again. He showed Bessell a letter from a rent boy called Bill Shannon who had asked Thorpe for a loan. Jeremy interpreted it as blackmail – Bessell wrote to Shannon, subsequently met him and threatened him with the police if he ever mentioned Jeremy’s name to anyone. In 1979 Shannon spoke about Jeremy after being contacted by the police and journos – Shannon’s account of Thorpe’s behaviour was remarkably similar to Norman’s. Shannon maintained that he had not been trying to blackmail anyone but had had the living daylights threatened out of him by Bessell.

In April 1967 Norman wrote to Bessell requesting his help – Norman was planning to go to America to live, but the problem of the NI card remained. He needed documentation to be in order to acquire a passport. In July 1967 Norman wrote to Bessell again – he was for some reason back in St George’s Hospital being treated by a Dr Brian O’Connell. O’Connell knew about Jeremy.

Jeremy’s response to this was to consult Lord Goodman and threaten Norman with a blackmail charge. Goodman suggested instead that Jeremy should set Norman up in America. Days later Norman turned up at Bessell’s office in a terrible state – Bessell told him that he would find him a job in the US. And offered him a retainer until he did. Sounds like hush money to me…

By 1967 Jeremy had decided that he needed a wife. He was friendly with Caroline Allpass, a society girl who worked at Sothebys. They subsequently married – Caroline developed a cult following and was hugely popular in north Devon. She knew about Jeremy’s homosexual encounters and by all accounts had no problem with them at all – she seemed to have been close to a number of gay men before her involvement with Jeremy. Caroline also knew about Norman.

After his engagement Jeremy fessed up to Bessell that he’d had an encounter with a New York street boy. He was also in a relationship with Guy Huntingdon – who later wrote about their affair – whom Jeremy met at a Buck House banquet whilst Guy worked there as a footman. Jeremy offered to get Guy a job at the BBC.

In May 1969 Norman married Sue Byers, who worked at the Tate. Sue’s sister was a relation of the actor Terry-Thomas and Norman and Sue lived in a cottage of theirs in Dorset. But Norman still had no NI card, so when Sue became pregnant they were unable to claim maternity payments. Norman rang the DHSSL in London and told the Private Secretary of the Social Security Minister David Ennals about Jeremy. Norman then rang Bessell and threatened to sell his story to the press if he didn’t get his NI card. Bessell acquired the NI card – and maternity payments for Sue. Norman had also told social security officials in Dorset and London about Jeremy.

Norman’s marriage did not last long – Sue left him. Norman’s divorce lawyer was Leonard Ross of Dorset Square. He knew about Jeremy. For some reason Jeremy paid Ross’s bill. Jeremy’s marriage didn’t last long either – Caroline was killed in a road accident in 1970. The explanations for Caroline’s loss of control at the wheel were questioned by people who knew her.

At about this time Bessell claimed that a blackmailer had turned up in north Devon claiming to possess compromising letters from Jeremy to Norman – Jeremy promised Bessell a peerage if he got rid of him, if necessary by murder. Jeremy didn’t need to hire a hit man on this occasion, the letters turned out to be forgeries.

Jeremy remarried in 1972 – someone even posher than Caroline, namely Marion, Countess of Harewood, a relative of the Queen’s via Marion’s first marriage. The biased judge at Jeremy’s Old Bailey trial made much of the virtues of Marion.

By the mid-1970s when Norman was being robbed and physically attacked, the world and his wife knew about him and Jeremy. The Metropolitan Police knew, the Devon and Cornwall Police knew, the North Devon Infirmary knew (they had treated Norman for his physical injuries), local social workers knew and a radical group in London called ‘Up Against The Law’ knew and alluded to it in their newspaper. In Sept 1975 Norman was arrested for the non-payment of an hotel bill – I don’t know why but he was kept in custody for two days, during which time he was warned that he might be in danger if he didn’t stop talking about Jeremy. He was confronted by Andrew Newton the hit man one month later.

The idiocy on the part of the authorities didn’t stop even after Newton had shot Norman’s dog and tried to shoot him. Avon and Somerset Police suggested that Norman had shot the dog himself to ‘create publicity’. It was only after the dog was shot that anything hit the newspapers – the West Somerset Free Press ran the story of the murdered dog and journalists who knew about Norman’s story contacted Jeremy. It was after Newton was charged with possessing a firearm with intent to danger life that the full story finally appeared in the national press – the final straw being Norman getting so fed up (he’d now been done for a minor social security fraud) that he mentioned Jeremy in Court and to the reporters. Jeremy issued a statement through Harold Wilson’s fixer Lord Goodman and the story finally exploded.

Unbelievably, considering how many people knew about the Jeremy and Norman story, everybody continued to try to brazen it out. The hit man claimed that Norman had been trying to blackmail him – David Holmes, Jeremy’s mate, later admitted that Goodman had come up with the plan to claim that Norman was trying to blackmail both Jeremy and Newton. Holmes also offered to pay Newton after his trial if Newton kept his and Jeremy’s name out of it. Marcia Williams, Harold Wilson’s infamous Secretary, begged Wilson to save Jeremy. Wilson made a statement in the House suggesting that BOSS, the South African security services, were behind Jeremy’s troubles on the grounds that they wanted to smear Jeremy because of his anti-apartheid stance. George Thomas, the newly appointed speaker, was most friendly towards Jeremy and discouraged some right wing Tories who tried to ask embarrassing questions.  It was revealed that in 1974 after seeing the dossier on Scott sent by Tim Kiegwin, Thatcher had stated that she had no intention of ‘smearing’ Jeremy.

The Mirror discovered that it was David Holmes who had purchased the incriminating letters of Norman’s from Roger Gleadle – Holmes had a meeting with the DPP and a statement was prepared on his behalf by David Freeman, the PM’s Press Solicitor. Holmes claimed that Wilson vetted the statement.

Goodman advised Jeremy to receive Sir Harold Evans, the editor of The Sunday Times and The Sunday Times subsequently published a number of articles sympathetic to Jeremy.

Newton’s trial in Exeter opened on the same day that Harold Wilson resigned and the announcement that Princess Margaret was to divorce. Not only was Margaret still a mate of Jeremy’s, but she would have consulted Wilson over her announcement. It has been suggested that Wilson timed his resignation to detract from both the Royal Divorce and Newton’s trial.

At Newton’s trial the prosecuting counsel was Lewis Hawser QC – an old friend of Jeremy’s. It is alleged that Hawser consulted with the Attorney General and Lord Goodman before the trial. Newton was found guilty – the maximum possible sentence was twenty years. He received two. But he must have still been disappointed – Jeremy’s friends had told him that people in high places would ensure that he would not go to prison. Hawser’s other high points included conducting the review of the case of James Hanratty in 1974 on the orders of Home Secretary Roy Jenkins – Hawser found the conviction to be safe – and defending Brian Field, the Brains behind the Great Train Robbery.

Most of the Liberal Party just wanted rid of Jeremy but he refused to go and no-one would put the boot in. The rest of the shithouse supported him in his time of need – Michael Foot believed that an ‘indiscretion’ was all that had occurred and Jeremy and Marion were guests at HM the Queen’s 50th birthday party at Windsor. Jeremy tried to stop the police from returning Norman’s documents to Norman by asking a friend of his to tell the police that Norman posed a threat to Jeremy.

Jeremy finally stood down as leader and David Steel was elected. Jeremy was appointed the Liberals Foreign and Commonwealth Spokesman which involved working with the newly appointed Foreign Secretary, Dr Death. Dr Death and Jeremy really got on well together – as they had done previously.

Two BBC reporters began researching for a book about Jeremy and Norman – Jeremy tried to stop publication of the book (he had successfully persuaded Penguin to withdraw another book about the case). The Director General of the BBC Sir Charles Curran was ‘supportive’ of the book – but the reporters were then given new BBC contracts depriving them of control of their material. So they left the BBC. Jeremy and Lord Goodman then tried to persuade Harold Wilson to withdraw his co-operation from the ex-BBC reporters.

Eventually on August 4 1978 Jeremy and three others were charged with conspiring to kill Norman. Jeremy was also charged with having incited David Holmes to murder Norman in 1969. Lord Avebury stood surety for Jeremy’s bail. Jeremy refused to resign from his seat – he even got the date of his next Court hearing postponed to fit in with his election campaigning, although Callaghan then changed his mind about calling an election.

A Defence Fund to help Jeremy with his legal costs was set up by Lord Lloyd Kilgerran. James Goldsmith donated 5k. Jeremy’s solicitor David Napley hired George Carman, whom Jeremy had known at university. Carman had been working on the Northern Circuit alongside a few other members of the shithouse, including Justice Cantley who presided over Jeremy’s trial at the Old Bailey. After his death, Carman’s son wrote a book in which he exposed Carman as a ferocious wife-beater, a drunk and a gambler. He claimed that when Carman worked in Manchester he spent much time boozing with criminals, prostitutes and generally questionable people. Jeremy’s mate David Holmes who was so instrumental in the plans to dispose of Norman was based in Manchester. The discussions with the hit man were alleged to have taken place in the Imperial Hotel in Blackpool. Carman came from Blackpool. Carman also had a secret gay life.

One of Jeremy’s co-defendants, George Deakin, was represented by Gareth Williams QC, later Lord Williams of Mostyn. Williams later became Attorney General under a Labour Gov’t. He represented Gordon Anglesea when Anglesea successfully sued for libel after he was accused of sexually abusing boys in care in north Wales. Williams originated from north Wales. Another co-defendant, John Le Mesurier, was represented by Denis Cowley QC. Cowley had stood as a Liberal candidate twice and was a barrister based in Nottingham on the Midland and Oxford Circuit. He was a Recorder of the Crown Court and in 1984 was appointed to the Mental Health Appeal Tribunal.

The forewoman of the jury at the Old Bailey was Celia Kettle-Williams, a member of the Liberal Party and an admirer of Jeremy.

I have mentioned that barely anyone in the West Country believed in Jeremy’s innocence. A lot of Tories were frank in their opinion that he was a total degenerate. Auberon Waugh – who lived in west Somerset – stood in the General Election (which was held just before the main trial opened at the Old Bailey in 1979) as the Dog Lovers candidate, in tribute to Norman’s murdered dog Rinka. Waugh placed an election address in the Spectator – Jeremy sought an injunction preventing Waugh from disseminating this address and the Master of the Rolls Lord Denning, who had been a mate of Jeremy’s for decades, obliged.

Jeremy lost north Devon at the election and for the first time in decades it became Tory. He was subsequently acquitted as were his co-defendants. He tried to continue in public life and very nearly succeeded too. He was persona non-grata in the Liberal Party but the rest of high society continued to embrace him. The only thing that really stopped him making a come-back was that he developed Parkinsons.

Numerous matters emerged in the trial suggesting that Jeremy and his circle – and indeed the political class and the ‘establishment’ as a whole – were actually far, far worse than anyone had ever suspected. People had blackmailed and defrauded each other like there was no tomorrow and had lied and swindled until the cows came home. Just about the only person in the Court room who hadn’t been involved in the most dreadful conduct was Norman Scott. Which was probably why he’d nearly ended up dead.

Reading Bloch’s book I concluded that Jeremy got away scot free for exactly the same reasons that Dafydd et al have – although absolutely everybody knew how serious their criminality was, so many of their peers were doing or had done equally offensive things that no-one dared cross their paths.

Whilst Jeremy was destroying Norman and conducting conversations regarding the best method of killing him, another political sex scandal blew up, involving Lord Lambton the Conservative defence Minister. Lord Lambton had been caught smoking joints in bed with call-girls. He resigned although he was quite upfront about it all. Lord Lambton was declared the lowest form of life on earth and was subsequently interviewed by Robin Day, who wore his characteristic bow tie and ludicrous expression and spat at Lord Lambton something along the lines of: you are a peer of the realm and a rich cultured man. Why do you have to have sex with a ‘WHORE???’ To which Lord Lambton responded ‘well I like a bit of variety, don’t you?’ That was the end for Lord Lambton. Who had not assaulted minors or anyone against their will, who had not accused the victim of their assaults of blackmailing them and who had not tried to have anybody murdered. Robin Day was a good friend of Jeremy Thorpe. And a high profile member of the Liberal Party. But it was Lord Lambton who copped it for getting stoned with consenting adults, in much the same way that Frank Bough was kicked out of the BBC after the cocaine and prostitutes revelations but Jimmy Savile remained friends with Royalty and senior Tories until the day that he died.

Other friends who supported Jeremy included William Rees-Mogg (who attempted to launch a ‘coalition of the centre’ with him), his close friend Clement Freud, his long-term friend Lord Hailsham and his childhood friend from Lloyd George’s circle, Jean Trumpington.

Jack Straw also knew about Jeremy and Norman. Joe Haines stated that at one point Harold Wilson called for a summary of the saga of Norman’s NI card from Gov’t sources – the task was undertaken by Jack Straw in his capacity as Barbara Castle’s policy advisor at the DHSS. In 2002, when Straw was Home Secretary, he maintained that he didn’t know that this report was for use against Thorpe.

 

 

 

 

 

Dr Death

Readers noticing the title of this post could be forgiven for wondering who exactly it is referring to as a number of Top Doctors featured on this blog are worthy of the name. I am however making reference to the Dr Death whose adventures so entertained ‘Private Eye’ readers in the 1980s, Dr David Owen, now Lord Owen.

I am of the generation who particularly loathed Dr Death and I was very glad to see the back of him when he finally admitted defeat after the SDP polled fewer votes than the Official Monster Raving Loony Party at the Bootle by-election in 1990. Dr Death had a well-established reputation as a complete bastard and he wrecked every organisation that he became involved with. When Dr Death was doing his best to become Prime Minister or should I say to ‘break the mould of politics’, I was just on the cusp of being seriously screwed over by the other Top Doctors who are the stars of this blog, Dr D.G.E. Wood and Dr Tony Francis (Dr X). Documents now in my possession demonstrate that these two used to engage me in conversation back in the mid 80s in order to acquire information regarding my network of friends and my activities because they were more than a little worried about what I might be saying to whom about the mental health services in north Wales. One thing that I was interested in was politics and I certainly chatted about that at length with Wood and Francis and the one thing that I remember was that they were both paid up members of the SDP and they idolised Dr Death. Brown observed at the time that they were ‘defending another shit in their own profession again’ – they had already done their best to get Gwynne the lobotomist off the hook by then but I was unaware of the extremes to which they were prepared to go to do this. Brown’s comment proved to be prescient.

Last week somebody suggested to me that either Francis or Wood knew Dr Death personally and that he may well have been part of the network protecting them as they protected the north Wales paedophile ring. I’d never previously suspected this, but it wouldn’t be completely beyond the bounds of possibility – some very high profile people indeed from the fields of both politics and medicine were concealing what was happening in north Wales and Dr Death was well-connected in both of these fields. Dr Death also had connections to Wales.

Like so many named in previous posts who concealed the criminal conduct of Wood, Francis, Dafydd Alun Jones, Gwynne the lobotomist et al, Dr Death began his career as a psychiatrist. Dr Death was born in Devon to Welsh parents and qualified as a doctor from St Thomas’s Hospital in 1962. He then worked as a neurologist and psychiatrist at Tommy’s for two years. Now Dr Death and his supporters always made much of Dr Death ‘being a doctor’ and took that as evidence that not only was he ethical, compassionate and intelligent, but that he had an insight into matters of mental health, psychology, personal motivation and of course the right way to run a health service. ‘Private Eye’ cartoons at the time used to frequently feature Dr Death as Dracula saying things like ‘but I’m a nice young doctor’, whilst someone else in the frame would be saying ‘no you’re not you’re a vampire’. So was Dr Death a nice young doctor?

Dr Death’s early career at Tommy’s is not actually detailed that often and there might be a good reason for that. Dr Death was the assistant – for two years – to a psychiatrist called William Sargant, whose track record is so grim that psychiatry really would rather that he had not ever existed. Contemporary psychiatry text books rarely cite him so discredited is he. Sargant was a very big name in his day and was what we would now call a media psychiatrist. Even at the time there were people gravely concerned about Sargant’s activities but as ever in psychiatry their concerns were ignored. When Dr Death worked for him, Sargant’s work was described as ‘research into Parkinsonian trauma and neuropharmacology’. William Sargant was wildly enthusiastic about every dangerous, completely discredited psychiatric treatment – psychosurgery, deep sleep therapy, ECT in massive bursts very frequently and insulin shock therapy. Lest readers just presume that he was a man of his time, Sargant was bad even by the standards of mid-twentieth century psychiatry, in much the same way that the north Wales contingent were bad by anyone’s standards.

Sargant did not begin his career as a psychiatrist, he wanted to be a physician. He conducted some research into pernicious anaemia which involved giving patients huge doses of iron and history simply tells us that this research was ‘not well received’, indeed it was ‘disasterous’, which led to Sargant suffering a mental breakdown and being institutionalised himself. He was unable to continue his career as a physician and embarked upon a career in psychiatry instead. Sargant is by no means the only doctor who has been diverted into psychiatry because no-one else will have them, that characteristic is very obviously written into the biographies of many of those we know and love. I also wonder what the gory details of the ‘research’ were. Sargant was not a sensitive flower, for the research to have been so disasterous that he had a breakdown, ended up hospitalised and was unable to continue in his chosen field, I suspect that a few patients may have died – as they did on a regular basis when Sargant worked a psychiatrist. But because they were psychiatric patients it was tolerated.

Sargant did his psychiatric training at the Maudsley of course. In 1945 he became Director of Psychological Medicine at Tommy’s, where he stayed until his retirement in 1972 and indeed after that as well. Like Dr Dafydd Alun Jones, Sargant held a part-time NHS contract, which meant that whilst he slaughtered NHS patients he was able to build up an enormous private practice, in Sargant’s case at Harley Street. Sargant held a distaste for all types of psychotherapy. He took amphetamines himself whilst he was studying for his Diploma in Psychological Medicine – he took a number of drugs for depression throughout his life. Whilst he was at the Maudsley, insulin shock therapy was introduced. Sargant enthusiastically embraced this and it became a staple of his at Tommy’s. In the late 1930s whilst he was in America, Sargant met the notorious Walter Freeman and saw the results of Freeman’s psychosurgery on three patients. The patients had suffered huge damage but nonetheless Sargant then introduced psychosurgery to Britain.

At one point after the war London County Council tried to curb Sargant’s experiments with ECT and psychosurgery, but Sargant boasted that ‘we generally got our own way in the end’. London County Council insisted that advisors were needed to approve every psychosurgery case. If the advisors opposed, Sargant simply sent the patient to Wylie McKissock at St George’s and he lobotomised the patient. Sargant described this as ‘doing good by stealth’. Sargant selected neurotic patients, especially those with neurotic ruminations, for psychosurgery. The ‘operation’ often  left them with severely impaired functioning, serious memory loss and/or incontinent. A number of them died. Sargant also experimented with ‘abreaction techniques’ using barbiturates, in military psychiatric casualties. More experiments of his involved methedrine injections and ‘deep sleep’ treatments. Indeed so ‘experimental’ was Sargant’s work that he combined all these treatments. He subjected patients to up to three months of combined ECT, continuous narcosis, insulin coma and drugs. Sargant found narcosis a particular blessing, because as he explained himself he often found that patients ‘dreaded’ further treatment after the first two or three sessions, but if they were treated whilst they were in an induced sleep, ECT could be administered without their knowledge. Sargant also found another way of treating patients who didn’t want to be treated as well – he increased the frequency of ECT for ‘resistant obsessional patients’ to produce ‘therapeutic confusion’ which had the magical effect of ‘removing the power of refusal’. In other words they were shocked into oblivion and didn’t know whether they were coming or going.

This is what Sargant said about the beneficial effects of narcosis treatment: ‘all sorts of treatment can be given whilst the patient is kept sleeping, including a variety of drugs and ECT together, generally induce considerable memory loss for period under narcosis…patient does not know how long he has been asleep, or what treatment…he has been given’. Sargant inspired the psychiatrist Harry Bailey in Australia, whose deep sleep treatment resulted in the death of 26 patients. Bailey and Sargant’s correspondence show that they were in competition with each other to see who could keep a patient in the deepest coma. Sargant’s patients died as well and it has been suggested that the only reason that his death rate wasn’t as high as Bailey’s was the attention that the Tommy’s nurses paid to the patients once Sargant had got his hands on them. The nurses were waking the patients up every fifteen minutes, taking them to the loo and feeding them, which it is assumed kept a few of them alive. Sargant wasn’t put off when his patients did die in his ‘care’. He attributed the poor outcomes to the lack of a ‘good previous personality’. Now where have we heard that before???

Critics of Sargant maintained that he had extreme views, was irresponsible, cruel and ignored advice. It was said that he relied ‘upon dogma rather than clinical evidence’, was autocratic, a danger, a disaster and some spoke of ‘the damage he did’. So a combination of Dr T. Gwynne Williams, Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and Dr Tony Roberts then.

In 2009 a Radio 4 documentary interviewed patients whose lives had been ruined by William Sargant. There was discussion of his routine violation of patient’s rights regarding consent and his admission to an Australian lawyer that patients had died under deep sleep. The records of patients treated by Sargant at Tommy’s and associated Health Authorities have been destroyed which prevented patients seeking redress through the Courts.

It has been revealed that William Sargant worked as a consultant for MI5.

So what was Dr Death’s opinion of this lethal maniac who shocked, drugged and lobotomised patients without their knowledge let alone consent? After all Dr Death assisted him for two years. Dr Death stated that Sargant was ‘a dominating personality with the therapeutic courage of a lion’ and ‘the sort of person of whom legends are made’.

In March 1974 Dr Death was appointed Parliamentary Under Secretary for Health. In July 1974 he became Minister of State for Health and Social Security and remained in that post until Sept 1976.

Between 1977-1979 Dr Death was Foreign Secretary. I remember many allegations at the time that Dr Death was rude and arrogant, offended foreign statesmen and couldn’t get on with people. Dr Death has since stated that whilst he was Foreign Secretary he considered having Idi Amin assassinated. Like a troublesome psychiatric patient perhaps. In 1981 Dr Death left the Labour Party and with the infamous Gang of Four formed the SDP. He led the SDP between 1983-87 but when the SDP membership voted to merge with the Liberal Party Dr Death threw a hissy fit and announced that he would lead the ‘continuing SDP’. Dr Death is of course quite a one for hissy fits, his political career has been a sequence of resignations. He led the continuing SDP until 1990 when even he couldn’t pretend that it existed any longer. It was at this time that Dr Death made public statements about having wished that he’d stuck with a career in psychiatry. Presumably because lobotomised patients can’t vote for someone else. Dr Death wasn’t in the wilderness for long, in 1992 he became a member of the Lords. He sat as a cross bencher until 2014, but he now sits as an ‘independent social democrat’, after giving more than £7000 to the Labour Party when Ed Miliband announced his intentions to ‘reform’ the relationship between the Labour Party and the Trade Unions.

Many people have suspected that Dr Death is actually a Tory and did his best to inflict serious damage upon the Labour Party.  Thatcher was certainly very complimentary about his talents and a lot of people looked forward to him joining the Conservative Party and then destroying them. He never did though, despite John Major nominating him for a peerage and wanting him in his Cabinet. Blair also approached Dr Death, as did Gordon Brown, but he declined offers from both of them.

Dr Death has of course been back in the news over the past few days. He has been speaking a lot about the contaminated blood scandal and once more is exploiting his position as a nice doctor who wants the best. As a man who was once William Sargant’s assistant of course he does. Dr Death is not only telling anyone who’ll listen that he was demanding that Britain should become self-sufficient in blood products in the mid 70s rather than reply on imported products derived from the US, but he is also maintaining that the archived files of his containing all the documents that would shed light on who suggested and did what regarding blood products for use in the NHS in the 70s and 80s has been destroyed by an unidentified person. Dr Death is alleging a Civil Service cover up. I too believe that there has undoubtedly been a cover up at Gov’t level regarding the contaminated blood scandal and I’ve previously blogged about this. Substantial blame rests with Thatcher’s Gov’t who were told that patients would die because US blood was not screened, but who then shut down the UK MRC lab, ensuring that the NHS was completely dependent upon US imported products.

But it is becoming clear that blame does not just lie with Thatcher’s administrations. There is now information that administrations before Thatcher’s were being told of the grave dangers posed to NHS patients by the use of contaminated blood – although the threat in the 70s was considered to be Hepatitis C rather than HIV which only became a serious problem subsequently. I have found out that in 1974 the Dept of Health were explicitly warned by a specialist in the field that the products that they were using at that time could infect NHS patients. The Secretary of State for Health and Social Security was Dr Death. He had of course been a Minister in the same dept before that. Furthermore, Anita Roddick’s daughter Sam has now revealed that her mum – who died from complications arising from Hep C in 2007 – contracted Hep C from an infected blood transfusion at the time of Sam’s birth in 1971. Neither did anyone actually tell Anita Roddick that she was infected with Hep C until she had developed cirrhosis and it was too late for effective treatment. Of course no-one will have told Anita, because it was the NHS who had caused the damage and the NHS never informs people when it has harmed them. So by the time that Dr Death was making hay by making public statement in 1976 regarding the need for the NHS to become self-sufficient in blood products, people had already been infected and for a number of years as well. But no-one will ever find out exactly how much Dr Death knew and when and what his responses were because his files have been destroyed. By someone naughty in the Civil Service. Who did Dr Death a very big favour because he can now claim to be only relying on his memory when asked about the whole sorry business. This blog has previously described the rare variant of dementia which affects Top Doctors when they are faced with difficult questions regarding their role in patient harm – other sufferers include Dafydd, Robert Bluglass and Peter Higson. I suspect that Dr Death will be clobbered by a particularly serious form any day now.

Dr Death has spent his political career reminding everyone of his commitment to the NHS and has done this again very recently. So that is obviously why he was a member of the Board of the Abbott Laboratories, an American drug company between 1996-2011. In 2012 Abbott Labs were charged with a $500 million fine and $198.5 million forfeiture for illegal marketing, the second biggest fine in US history for a drug company. This was as a result of Abbott Labs unlawfully promoting the anti-psychotic Depakote for uses not approved by the FDA, including it’s use in children. Abbott Labs were also given a five year term of probation and court supervision. Which is more than William Sargant and his assistant ever got. Dr Death was Chairman of the Board of Yukos International UK BV, a division of a former Russian petroleum company, between 2002-2005. He was non-executive Chairman of European Steel until 2015. Between 2009-2014 Dr Death was on the Board of Texas-based Hyperdynamics Corporation, an oil concern.

Latterly Dr Death has expressed deep concern about ‘hubris syndrome’ among politicians. He became so worried about this that he established the Daedalus Trust. The Daedalus Trust exists to ‘promote and provide funds for the interdisciplinary study of how the intoxication of power in all walks of life affects personality and decision making’. Dr Death is Chair of the Trust. Well he would be wouldn’t he. He no doubt will remember this quote from his mentor William Sargant: ‘men…should humbly remember how much they resemble dogs in brain function and not boast themselves as demigods’. Other men that is, not Dr Death or William Sargant obviously.

As for Dr Death’s Welsh connections, I didn’t know about these until I heard him interviewed by Peter Hennesey on the radio in 2015. Dr Death explained that he grew up in Plymouth but was raised ‘in the Welsh radical tradition’. He spent his summers living with his grandparents in Tenby or Aberporth. Dr Death explained that his grandpa was a ‘clergyman’ ‘in the Welsh Church but was basically a Methodist’. Which is a bit confusing because historically Welsh chapels have been very keen to distinguish themselves from the Anglican Church in Wales and the Church in Wales doesn’t have a radical tradition. And Methodists call their Ministers Ministers rather than clergymen. The mystery deepened when Dr Death maintained that as a boy ‘I went to the local school everyday with him [his grandfather]…I learnt Welsh but I’ve forgotten every word of it’. Apart from a few specific locations which are noted for being bastions of Welsh speaking Welsh isn’t very widely spoken in south Wales, certainly by kids from Devon on their summer holidays. Dr Death is getting on a bit, when he was a schoolboy there won’t have been any Welsh medium schools in south Wales. The fight for Welsh medium education took place whilst Dr Death was an adult – when he was a boy Wales was still suffering from the notion that teaching kids through the medium of Welsh was not a good idea. Welsh was the language at home of many children in the north, but not where Dr Death was holidaying. Furthermore if Dr Death had learnt Welsh, how could his memory have become wiped clean completely? One’s second language can certainly become very rusty if one doesn’t stay immersed in it, but it’s not forgotten. Surely Dr Death could manage a ‘bore da’ or a ‘diolch’?

However Dr Death DOES have some Welsh connections via his extended family. In fact Dr Death is considered to be a bit of a celeb by some in south Wales, so much so that when the building that used to house a shop owned and run by one of his forebears was converted into a museum, Dr Death was invited to open it. Dr Death has also always clung to his identity as a Top Doctor and I bet Dr Death still networks with other Top Doctors as well – including Top Doctors in Wales. Both D.G.E. Wood and Tony Francis had good connections with other Top Doctors in south Wales. Wood worked for the Royal College of General Practitioners which took him to south Wales frequently and was also involved in training doctors, which again will have involved working with doctors in south Wales. Francis studied at Cardiff medical school and also spent a number of years working there. Furthermore when Francis wanted to have me declared dangerous and banged up, it was Dr Chris Hunter, his mate from south Wales, that he enlisted to help him (please see post ‘The Night of the (Dr Chris) Hunter’). Dafydd and a number of the other Top Doctors involved in wrongdoing in north Wales trained at Liverpool medical school. Dr Death was Chancellor of the University of Liverpool between 1996-2009. The Waterhouse Inquiry was announced in 1996.

I have blogged about a number of politicians involved in the cover-ups relating to child abuse and the associated wrongdoing in the mental health services, but I haven’t mentioned any figures whom I know to be politically close to Dr Death. There was an SDP MP who ended up in hot water after sexual impropriety, Mike Hancock, but that case involved him indecently assaulting an adult constituent with mental health problems. Hancock checked himself into the Priory after the constituent complained, where he probably received rather more care and attention that the woman that he assaulted did at the hands of the NHS.

There is of course one party which has been plagued by actual sex abuse scandals, rather than simply alleged sex abuse scandals and that is the party that Dr Death formed an alliance with, the Liberal Party. There was the Jeremy Thorpe business, although of course that involved adults rather than the abuse of under-aged children. But recently it has been admitted that two Liberal MPs were known to have abused children – Cyril Smith and Clement Freud.

The track record of Cyril Smith, who died in 2010, was appalling – as was the track record of the Liberals/Lib Dems in failing to deal with him In 2012 the Greater Manchester Police admitted that Smith should have been charged with sex offences against children. In April 2014 it was revealed that there had been 144 complaints against Smith, involving children as young as eight and that attempts to prosecute him had actively been blocked. Rochdale Council, the police and the social services were all implicated. In 2015 it was revealed that Smith had been arrested in the early 80s, but a high level cover up resulted in his release within hours. The investigating officers were bound by the Official Secrets Act. There were investigations into Smith in 1970, 1998 and 1999. He was a friend of Jimmy Savile and appeared on one of Savile’s TV shows in the early 70s. In 2012 a former Special Branch officer with the Lancashire Police stated that a dossier of sex abuse allegations against Smith which police claimed was lost had actually been seized by MI5. The Special Branch officer had been asked by MI5 to send this dossier, which was ‘thick’ with allegations that Smith had abused boys, to London.

Smith was alleged to have abused boys at the Knowl View residential school – there were allegations of a paedophile ring. Greater Manchester Police stated that there were 21 suspects, 14 of whom had been identified, one of these being Smith. In July 2014 Rochdale Council’s inquiry into child abuse at Knowl View was stopped at the request of the Greater Manchester Police, whilst detectives investigated a possible institutional cover up.

It is known that Smith put pressure on the BBC in 1976, asking them not to investigate the ‘private lives of certain MPs’ – the National Archives reveal that Smith wrote to the Director General Sir Charles Curran, ‘deeply concerned about the investigative activities of the BBC’.

In July 2014 the CPS admitted that in 1970 a police detective investigating Smith presented evidence to a superior concerning Smith’s abuse of boys at a care home in Rochdale but no action was taken. In Nov 2014 the former editor of the ‘Bury Messenger’, Don Hale, stated that he had been served with a D notice in the 80s the day after Cyril Smith had been ‘aggressive’ and threatened him with a D notice from the police.

In 2015 a retired police officer had said that he had been threatened with the Official Secrets Act after he found Smith in the home of a known sex offender with two drunk teenaged boys and a police sergeant in civilian clothes. The retired officer stated that he was then summoned to a meeting with a senior officer at Stockport Police Station and told ‘in no uncertain terms’ not to say anything. The alleged incident was in 1988 at a house in Stockport after a complaint that the occupier was committing a lewd act in the window in front of a newspaper boy.

BBC Newsnight has broadcast claims that Smith was arrested in the early 80s regarding his participation in a paedophile ring, but that there was a cover up using the Official Secrets Act. There were also reports of his arrest by Northamptonshire Police and his subsequent release in mysterious circumstances.

In 2013 a spokesman for the Met confirmed that Smith had visited the Elm Guest House, a brothel near Barnes Common in south west London where children in care alleged that they were abused by politicians and other high profile figures. Savile was alleged to have visited and some parties there were organised by Sydney Cooke, a paedophile who was imprisoned for the murder of Jason Swift. At least one former resident of a north Wales children’s home has alleged that he was taken there and molested. One man alleged that he had been raped at the Elm Guest House when he was 14 by Sir Peter Morrison, Conservative MP for Chester, who was also known to have visited children’s homes in north Wales. The manager of the Elm Guest House, Carole Kasir, was found dead in 1990 at the age of 47, from an insulin overdose. The death was categorised as suicide, although people who knew Carole at that time have disputed this.

Sexual abuse and grooming at the Elm Guest House was the focus of Operation Fairbank. Operation Fernbridge resulted from the Operation Fairbank allegations and Peter McKelvie, a retired child protection team manager, claimed that evidence of a powerful paedophile ring was covered up in 1991. 1991 – I remember it well. I was bullied out of my job at St George’s Hospital Medical School, told by psychiatrists there who knew about the criminal activities of their colleagues in north Wales to ‘go back to north Wales’, taken to Court on the basis of a statement in which Dr Tony Francis perjured himself to find that one Sir Robert Francis QC was requesting my imprisonment for ‘harassment’, the harassment being me writing letters maintaining that psychiatrists in north Wales were breaking the law (see post ‘The Sordid Role Of Sir Robert Francis QC’). In 1991 my friend who was interested in making a documentary about what had happened to me in north Wales was bullied out of her job at the Royal Television Society. We should count ourselves lucky, a number of people who were victims of the north Wales paedophile ring were found dead at that time.

Cabinet Office papers released in March 2015 confirmed that Margaret Thatcher was aware of the allegations concerning Smith before he was knighted in 1988.

Other members of the Liberal Party have not really come up smelling of roses with regard to Cyril Smith’s conduct. David Steel, the leader of the Liberal Party between 1976-1988 and Dr Death’s political partner during the years that the Liberals and SDP were in the Alliance together, recommended Smith for a knighthood. In 1979 ‘Private Eye’ published an article which was based on an investigation carried out by the ‘Rochdale Alternative Paper’ into Smith, which revealed that Smith was known to have spanked boys on their bare bums. After the publication of this, Smith admitted to David Steel that he’d carried out (presumably bogus because he wasn’t a Top Doctor) intimate medical examinations on boys at a residential establishment. Steel famously commented that all Smith had done was ‘spank a few bare bottoms’. Steel became very angry when he was reminded of this response after the extent of Smith’s abuse was revealed – however it is also known that after the ‘Rochdale Alternative Paper’ published their article, Steel’s Press Office commented to them that ‘it was not a very friendly gesture, publishing that’. In 2014 Steel stated that he confronted Smith about his ‘unusual’ behaviour with boys after the 1979 allegations. Steel has also commented that it was a ‘different era’ and that ‘corporal punishment was permitted’. Which does not really adequately explain what the local MP was doing administering the punishment in question. It may have been a different era but molesting children wasn’t acceptable in that era either which is probably why so many people were working so hard to ensure that the allegations about Smith didn’t find their way into the public domain.

In 2014 the Liberal leader Nick Clegg refused to hold an inquiry into Smith – Clegg maintained that the Party did not know about Smith’s actions.

Just to add to the Liberal Parties woes, in 2016 it was alleged that former Liberal MP Clement Freud, who died in 2009, had been a paedophile who had spent a lifetime molesting and harassing young women, including girls as young as ten. A number of people came forward with tales of Freud’s lechery and unusually in such situations, there was no attempt by anyone to deny the allegations. Freud’s widow made a public apology to his victims, although she hadn’t actually done the molesting. Freud had shared an office with Cyril Smith. Freud too was knighted, in 1987. Mourners at Freud’s funeral included David Steel, George Osborne and Gordon Brown. But then Cyril Smith had a good turn out and I think that Clegg even made a speech at his funeral. Freud was someone who was in a very good position where suppressing stories that he didn’t want to appear in the media was concerned. Freud had many media connections as he was himself a food and drink journalist and later a favourite on Radio 4. His daughter Emma is also a journalist and a regular star of Radio 4 – she is married to the producer/script writer Richard Curtis. But it is Freud’s son Matthew who truly excels in this arena. Matthew Freud has his own PR company which he established in 1985. He was formerly married to the second wife of Earl Spencer and after that married Elisabeth Murdoch, daughter of Rupert. A quick look at the website of Freud Communications revealed a photo of Sadiq Khan – presumably a client – and the logos of BBC Worldwide and Public Health England.

The Liberal Party, SDP and Lib Dems have often become excited in the face of notions that they are in situations whereby they can affect the balance of power and at such times there have been allegations that they have been very demanding of other parties. I can imagine a lot of wriggling if they not only had someone like Cyril Smith on their team but knew that there were people getting up to similar things with under-aged children in other parties. If Dr Death were to be introduced into those machinations – the Chair of the Daedalus Trust suffering from a very severe case of hubris himself at all times and under all circumstances – I can only imagine what might have gone on. Particularly if a few Top Doctors from Wales involved in the chain of supply of fresh meat for the Westminster Paedophile Ring had sent out a mayday call.