No Ordinary Methods – Supplementary Post

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

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

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

His favourite watering holes in London included:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Their Trade Is Fuckwittery

I mentioned previously that I was reading Greg Dyke’s book ‘Inside Story’, which he wrote in the aftermath of the enormous scrap that resulted in his resignation as Director General of the BBC. Dyke’s book is so full of gems that I’ll never have enough time to blog about them all, but I have decided to blog about the most glittering.

One particularly fascinating and illuminating part of Greg’s book is his account of life behind the scenes at the catastrophe that was TV-am. Although TV-am was famous for being a series of disasters, Greg provides interesting details of the action behind the scenes that led to public spats such as Anna Ford throwing wine over Jonathan Aitken. Greg has certainly provided a good description of how greedy, crooked and unscrupulous many of those involved with TV-am were.

TV-am came into existence in 1983 after David Frost created a consortium to bid for the ITV franchise. The consortium consisted of Michael Parkinson, Angela Rippon, Anna Ford and Robert Kee. Peter Jay, the former British Ambassador to Washington was both Chair and Chief Executive. Jay had already enjoyed a media career and was well-connected within the industry.

According to Dyke’s book, Dyke was approached by Michael Deakin, who was to be TV-am’s Director of Programmes, for a ‘chat’ before TV-am was launched. Deakin had previously worked as a documentary maker at Yorkshire Television. Readers may remember that in June 1989 Yorkshire Television approached Alison Taylor the Gwynedd social worker who blew the whistle on the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal regarding a programme about it. On 12 Sept 1989 Alison Taylor and a man who alleged that he had been abused whilst in care in north Wales were filmed extensively for Yorkshire TV, but in Feb 1990 the programme about child abuse in Gwynedd was abandoned for a film about child abuse in another region of the UK. I will return to this later in this post.

TV-am was dogged by problems from the outset. Peter Jay and Anna Ford were soon ousted in a coup engineered by Jonathan Aitken, who was thought to be the major shareholder – although it was revealed years later that he wasn’t, Aitken had deceived everyone and the company was actually bankrolled by Saudi money. Nevertheless Aitken was installed as Chief Exec.

Dyke was asked by Jonathan Aitken to rescue TV-am after Aitken took over – Aitken was also still the Tory MP for Thanet. At this point the Chair of TV-am was Dick Marsh, the former British Rail boss and former Labour MP.

Although TV-am was notorious for lurching from one financial crisis to the next, Jonathan Aitken certainly lived an opulent lifestyle. Dyke dined at Aitken’s house at Lord North Street in Westminster – Sir Peter Morrison the Tory MP for Chester who was known to have abused boys in care in north Wales also lived in Lord North Street – and discovered that not only did Aitken employ a butler, but the butler was so outrageously high camp that he was a talking point between Dyke and his wife for months.

Aitken was famous for hosting dinner parties to which powerful figures from the media, politics and business would be invited. It was at one of these parties that Greg met Clive Jones who was later Chief Exec of ITV News. Jones and Dyke became good friends. Aitken was also the convenor of the Conservative Philosophy Group and hosted the likes of Henry Kissinger, Richard Nixon and William Rees-Mogg a few doors down from Morrison the child molester.

Dyke describes a world in which crazed megalomaniacs from media, business and politics spend much time troughing and boozing at each others houses, but constantly knife each other in the back. For example, when Greg was told in confidence that Jonathan Aitken was to be the new Chief Exec of TV-am, Greg passed the info on to John Birt, who would later become Director General of the BBC. Birt leaked the information to the Guardian – but Dyke only found this out months later when he received a call from Birt asking Dyke to help him cover his tracks as being the source of the leak because he was now ‘helping the Guardian’ in their battle against Aitken. (In 1995 the Guardian and World In Action exposed Aitken as being involved in some very questionable business practices, to which I shall return later in this post.)

As an example of the degree of goodwill that the TV folk showed towards each other, when Dyke left LWT to take up his post at TV-am, Dyke’s immediate boss David Cox wrote the message ‘fuck off and good riddance’ in Dyke’s leaving card. Dyke’s book is full of such anecdotes – people setting out to embarrass each other in public in as vicious a way as possible at leaving parties, accessing confidential info about each other when they are promoted and thus have access to staff files and then reciting the info that they’ve read on the files at drinks parties etc. The corollary to this was to wreak one’s terrible revenge by gaining promotion and then a few years later returning to the scene of one’s humiliation to kick one’s old adversary in the teeth now that one was their boss. Greg certainly excelled at this – his whole career seems to have been based on the desire to seriously screw other people over. He took great pleasure in later becoming David Cox’s boss himself and crapping on him from a height. I can understand why Dyke would want to shaft these obnoxious people, but he spent years supping with them and treating them like his best mates whilst seething inside and planning to wreck their careers.

Not only do the TV execs in Greg’s world all screw huge quantities of money out of their employers, but they like to be seen to be raking it in – it is a very ostentatious business with much mindless consumerism. Greg boasts about a straightforward fiddle that the execs at TV-am were working to ensure that the bigwigs ended up with company cars nearly as good as the biggest wigs and definitely a lot better than the cars that the plebs were driving. The cars in question were all so expensive that none of them will have been in any danger of breaking down, so one wonders why Greg and his mates thought that it was worth fleecing TV-am over this  – particularly as the company was in a state of near bankruptcy throughout the time that Dyke was there.

Greg filled TV-am with either his friends or people whose careers that he ‘boosted’ who remained indebted to him – he boasts of ‘helping’ Lynn Faulds-Wood, Mark Damazar and Adam Boulton. He brought in one of his old colleagues from his days as a journalist in Newcastle, Peter McHugh, as well as Andy Webb and Eve Pollard. Pollard was recruited from Fleet street, specifically the Sunday People and later returned to Fleet Street to edit the Sunday Mirror and then the Sunday Express. Greg poached Nick Owen and Anne Diamond from Nationwide and then recruited Wincy Willis, Gordon Honeycombe and Lynn Faulds-Wood’s husband, John Stapleton.

TV-am succeeded in breaking broadcasting rules and conning the viewers by the use of Diana Dors and her ‘diet slot’, in which she advised viewers on weight loss, claiming to be following a diet herself. Dors religiously weighed herself on TV and claimed miraculous weight loss – Dyke admits that he was virtually certain that Dors was lying about her achievement and was concealing weights about her person for the early weigh-ins and then progressively shedding them. Why would Dors be doing this? Because she had a product to sell – a Diana Dors weight loss calculator, which she then promoted on TV-am, which Dyke admits was not permitted under broadcasting rules. Dors requested that viewers wanting to buy her product write to her at TV-am. Ten thousand duped viewers wrote in, but Dyke kept all the letters claiming that they were the property of TV-am. Dors went to Court to try and get her hands on the letters but lost the case. The letters remained in the clutches of TV-am and no viewers received the product that they were conned into trying to purchase. I bet they didn’t even receive an explanation.

Despite the way in which the viewers had been hoodwinked by both Dors and Dyke, after Dors died, TV-am screened a special tribute programme to her. One of the guests was Barbara Windsor who waxed lyrical on camera about how great Dors was and then told Dyke after the show that she’d hated her. Another guest was Dors’ ‘friend’ Jess Conrad who used the tribute programme to dear old Diana to plug his latest record.

You can see how the BBC ended up screening tribute programmes to Savile after his death, whilst not mentioning the side of his life that was most important to him. But then both Dors and Windsor had relationships with serious criminals who ended up in prison and that was always described very euphemistically by the media when Dors and Babs became too old to remain as sex symbols and had to metamorphose into the nation’s aunties instead.

I mentioned that Dyke was imported into TV-am in order to ‘rescue’ it – he is credited as having done so by introducing a puppet called Roland Rat. I never understood how a puppet could actually rescue an ailing TV company descending into debt, it’s not even as if Roland Rat was as good as Sooty and Sweep, but unbelievably media history does maintain that Dyke’s employment of Roland Rat did the trick. There was a worrying moment for Dyke when he received a phone call from the Daily Star telling him that they were going to run a story about the puppeteer who worked Roland Rat hosting a Soho club for rubber and latex fetishists, but it all turned out OK because when Dyke rang the IBA (Independent Broadcasting Authority) to warn them, the IBA told him that they were not in the least bit concerned about such matters. I can’t understand why Greg ever thought that they would be.

However I think that someone should have been very concerned indeed at a few other things at TV-am. Whilst Greg and his mates worked their scam to ensure that they always drove top of the range cars paid for by TV-am, there were masses of other fiddles perpetuated by the management as well as the staff, as the company drowned in debt. One creditor was owed £12k and there was no attempt to pay them. The company never had enough money for basics, staff were told silly lies such as ‘there’s been a computer glitch’ on a regular basis because there was not enough money to pay them, bills went unpaid, the local newsagents were owed so much that they refused to deliver the newspapers for the newspaper review spot, local taxi firms refused to do business with TV-am and thus guests due to appear on the TV couldn’t be collected, writs mounted up but were routinely ignored on the grounds that one has 28 days to respond to a writ, bailiffs arrived at the homes of researchers and tried to remove property after hotel bills that the researchers had signed off had not been paid, correspondents had to use phone boxes because the phone bill hadn’t been paid and the electricity was nearly cut off as well, but ‘somehow’ ‘someone’ found the cash from ‘somewhere’. One advertising agency tried to deal with TV-am by telling them that they wouldn’t make any further promotions until they had been paid the considerable sum of money that they were owed. Greg knew how to respond – he told them that if the advertising agency didn’t continue to work for TV-am Greg would take even longer to pay them the outstanding debt.

Whilst all this was going on, Greg and co drove their flash cars, Jonathan and Tim Aitken – who owned TV-am – continued to run their merchant banking business Aitken Hume International, Jonathan continued to employ his camp butler and hold lavish dinner parties for important folk and Tim’s office at TV-am was crammed with bottles of pink champagne. It was just the ‘staff’ that didn’t get paid – probably the cleaners, canteen staff, receptionists and secretaries ie. those who really needed the dosh. The bank accounts of the ‘talent’ will have remained healthy or they would have walked out. During this time of crisis, someone hit on the idea of paying Chris Tarrant to go out onto the streets and throw buckets of water over people who were smoking cigarettes – because Greg wanted an anti-smoking campaign. I’m surprised that no-one actually thumped Tarrant or even sued him for assault.

Where Roland Rat’s much publicised ‘rescue’ of this shambles came in I do not know.

TV-am had very few advertisers – they only had contracts with three regulars, one of which was Walls Pork Sausages. Lynn Faulds-Wood – a ‘consumers champion’ a la Esther – wanted to use the consumers slot to expose Walls after it had been discovered that Walls bangers contained rather more water than was deemed unacceptable. TV-am decided not to run this particular expose in the light of the advertising revenue that they were receiving from the folk who were selling water rather than sausages.

I found this anecdote illuminating because I remember Lynn Faulds-Wood on TV doing her exposes years ago and I noticed that only certain things were exposed – I concluded that Lynn was following the Esther model of not upsetting anyone important. But Faulds-Wood was considered to be rather less unscrupulous than Esther. John Stapleton, Faulds-Wood’s husband, hosted a daytime ITV show during the 90s called The Time The Place, which was thought to be rather less tawdry and dishonest than Kilroy, a daytime show on the BBC which was screened at the same time as The Time The Place – both shows covered similar topics. I have mentioned previously how Dr Dafydd Alun Jones actually turned up on Kilroy to talk about mental health problems whilst havoc reigned in north Wales and criminal investigations were held into the paedophile ring which he and his mistress Lucille Hughes facilitated and concealed. To my knowledge Dafydd never made it through the doors of The Time The Place, but as on Kilroy, when mental healthcare or child abuse was discussed by John Stapleton and his guests, it was very clear that only certain voices were ever allowed to be heard. Well if Stapleton’s wife wouldn’t even tackle pork sausages, whoever was going to take on institutionalised abuse in psychiatry and the Westminster Paedophile Ring? Particularly if the likes of Jonathan Aitken owned the TV company.

I say that Jonathan Aitken – along with his cousin Tim – owned TV-am, but as I mentioned earlier it was later revealed that Jonathan and Tim didn’t own the company. TV-am was effectively owned by some Saudis who were actually the major shareholders after a deal had been done by Jonathan Aitken to disguise this – an illegal deal, which Tim Aitken claimed to have no knowledge of. Tim Aitken might have claimed to Know Nuzzing about the Saudis who were bankrolling the company, but he did know that the company was trading when insolvent in early 1984 when he asked Greg Dyke to join the Board. Greg himself claimed ‘not to have known’ what trading when insolvent meant – although he does know now.

Greg didn’t like Jonathan but he ‘liked and trusted’ Tim. There was however a problem with Tim in that he was clueless about running a TV company and anyway was far too busy running his merchant bank to even try to run TV-am. It is clear that Tim was a bit of a liability.

TV-am hit yet another crisis in 1984 – obviously Roland Rat wasn’t pulling his weight – and they desperately needed huge quantities of dosh. They managed to tempt in two new investors – Fleet Holdings (who owned the Express Group) and the much loathed (by everyone but Thatcher if I remember) Aussie businessman, Kerry Packer. However Greg and ‘the management’ still needed to convince the other shareholders that they were a ‘strong’ management able to stand up to the unions. The broadcasting unions in the 1980s, like the print unions, were very powerful and their members earned very, very high salaries – it was Thatcher’s stated mission to break them after she had screwed over the NUM and then passed the legislation that Murdoch needed to break the print unions. TV-am were not actually able to stand up to the unions very well – the unions were unreasonable and greedy, but so were the management – the company was in meltdown. However Dyke and co set up a number of intrigues in order to convince the staff that a crucial vote had to go as the management (and shareholders) desired or the company would go into liquidation and no-one would have a job. On the day of the vote, Jonathan Aitken made a show of clearing his office in front of a shop steward, just to convince the unions that it was now crunch point. It seemed that Dyke et al either weren’t convinced that the vote would go their way OR they didn’t have confidence that the company would survive even if the staff did vote the way that Dyke et al were manipulating them to.

Dyke explains that the company was ‘near liquidation’ and that on the day of the vote, the managers all parked their cars outside the building lest they needed a ‘quick getaway’ – I imagine that the staff were pretty close to lynching them all anyway. Dyke calculated that TV-am owed him about £30k and he wanted his dosh – so he looked around for something that he could steal and sell. He couldn’t find anything suitable inside the building, so he stole the keys to the TV-am barge (TV-am was located at Camden Lock).

The staff were sufficiently panicked and manipulated into voting in the way that Dyke and the shareholders wanted, so TV-am lived to fight another day. And rip a few more people off. It was now vital that Tim Nice But Dim be removed as Chief Exec – so the Board hatched a plan to knife the Chairman Dick Marsh, which would then enable them to install Tim as Chairman. For some reason Tim couldn’t be removed altogether, so a vacancy had to be created at the top. It was Marsh who was clobbered.

So in 1984 a new Chief Exec arrived – Bruce Gyngell. I can’t quite work out from Dyke’s book who exactly hatched the plot to stuff Dick Marsh but Bruce Gyngell was brought in by Kerry Packer. Gyngell had come from Australia where he had worked for Kerry Packer’s empire and he became a favourite of Thatch, she really loved Gyngell. He became good friends with her and epitomised Thatcher’s idea of everything that a media executive should be.

Gyngell was of course ruthless, rather mad and some thought him predatory. He was noted for wearing pink to such an extent that his staff called him the Pink Panther, he was very superstitious and distributed company key fobs and watches to the staff and urged the staff to rub these objects to channel positive forces and although he was very rich and very greedy he maintained that he was deeply interested in Eastern spirituality and was enthusiastic about Zen, meditation and insight philosophy. Yet Gyngell was no monk. He was a notorious shagger – although he was happy to lecture the media industry about morality – and according to Greg, when Gyngell arrived at TV-am he asked Adrian Moore, the Director of Production, which of the women who worked there were an ‘easy lay’.

In 1986 Gyngell married Kathy Rowan who worked as a producer at TV-am. Rowan had previously worked at LWT.

During 1987-88, Gyngell became involved in the most enormous battle with the technicians union ACTT at TV-am, Murdoch-style. He was encouraged by Thatcher who maintained that the ITV unions were ‘the last bastion of restrictive practices’ and the dispute ended in a three month lock-out. Gyngell ran TV-am for a number of months without the union members – other people were simply recruited to do the jobs that they were doing. Gyngell did break the ACTT and 200 members at TV-am never returned to their former jobs, although Gyngell suffered a heart attack which was attributed to the stress of the dispute.

In his capacity as Chief Exec, Bruce Gyngell gradually booted out all of Dyke’s mates and then kicked out Dyke. Dyke joined TVS and his old mate Clive Jones followed him there shortly afterwards.

Gyngell did succeed in returning TV-am to profit by ruthlessly targeting programming costs and for a while it was the most profitable TV company in the UK – it was floated on the Stock Exchange.

However, in 1991 Greg wreaked his terrible revenge which led to TV-am going out of business. When the ITV franchises came up for auction, Greg – who was by then Chief Exec of LWT – put together the Sunrise consortium (which became GMTV) to bid for the ITV breakfast franchise. As a result of legislation that Thatcher herself passed, the bidding process was blind – so no-one knew what any other bidders had bid – and the franchise had to be awarded to the highest bidder. Greg’s Sunrise consortium put in an enormous bid many millions bigger than TV-am’s bid, so Sunrise/GMTV were awarded the franchise. Poor old Gyngell struggled on for a bit but in 1992 TV-am closed down.

Gyngell and Frost held a farewell party to celebrate TV-am going out of business and Gyngell was delighted to tell the guests that he had received a personal letter of apology from Thatcher, who was distraught that legislation that her Gov’t had passed to ‘encourage’ the likes of Gyngell had inadvertently blown up in their faces and led to his end. Thatcher couldn’t understand what had happened. Er – ill-thought out legislation and a bunch of backstabbing crooks conducting business in the way that you had encouraged Thatcher? It is documented that Gyngell broke industry rules when he arrived at TV-am by negotiating a £1.2 million advance payment for an advertising campaign by a toy company. There won’t have been any comeback…

 

After the death of TV-am Gyngell became Executive Chair of Kerry Packer’s Nine Network. In May 1995 Gyngell was appointed MD of Yorkshire-Tyne Tees Group (Yorkshire TV had merged with Tyne Tees), replacing John Fairley. Ward Thomas was Chair of YTT. Gyngell’s post ended when Granada took over YTT in 1997.

 

Bruce Gyngell died in 2000, but his wife Kathy lives on. Kathy Gyngell is described as a ‘right wing operative’ who is a research fellow for the Centre of Policy Studies. She is the co-editor of the website Conservative Woman and she’s even managed to find her way into the Guardian on a number of occasions. In July 1999 (whilst Bruce was still alive) she co-founded a right wing media monitoring company with David Keighley, the former Director of Corporate Affairs at TV-am. This company was dissolved in 2006 and superceded by another company, Newswatch, which was dissolved in 2009.

In 2006 Kathy co-authored a Centre for Policy Studies report with Ray Lewis. In this report, Gyngell was described as the Chair of the Addiction Working Group of the Social Justice Policy Group, the Conservative think tank established by Ian Duncan Smith.

Readers might not recognise the name of Ray Lewis, but I won’t forget it. Ray Lewis was appointed Deputy Mayor of London by Boris in 2008. Lewis had wowed Ian Duncan Smith with his ‘remarkable’ work with black youth in Newham at the Eastside Young Leaders Academy. Lewis had wowed a lot of people actually – Stephen Norris and Francis Maude were Trustees of Eastside, the Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu was the Patron and donors included Morgan Stanley and Lehman Brothers. In 2005 Cameron’s first photo op as Conservative Party leader was at Eastside.

However two months after Lewis’s appointment as Boris’s deputy, Lewis resigned after a number of public revelations about his past activities. In 1990 Ray Lewis had been ordained as a Church of England priest and in 1993 he was appointed the vicar of St Matthews in West Ham. In 1995 Lewis was accused of exploiting vulnerable pensioners by borrowing a total of £41k and not repaying it. There were also allegations of sexual harassment and Scotland Yard had received a string of complaints, including blackmail. Lewis denied all the allegations and no charges were ever brought. In 1997 Lewis left the UK for Grenada where he organised a charity raffle – the first prize was a car, but the winner never received it. Then a Nigerian bishop complained that a charity that he had set up with Lewis had been drained of its funds, £8k – Lewis had been the Treasurer. The Diocese of Chelmsford reported the matter to the police – no charges were brought. Neither were any charges brought against Lewis in 2000 when he was arrested on suspicion of deception over a house sale. However, the Church barred him from Ministry and preaching. Lewis also claimed to be a magistrate – he wasn’t. In 2000 Lewis worked as a prison chaplain, then joined the Prison Service and for nearly two years worked as a junior governor at HMP Woodhill Young Offenders Institute. It was after that that Lewis set up Eastside.

After Lewis’s past became public in 2008, the man who stripped Lewis of his rights as a priest, the Rt Rev Roger Sainsbury, the retired Bishop of Barking, stated that he’d been an admirer of Eastside and believed that Ray Lewis had reformed. Sainsbury’s successor, the Rt Rev David Hawkins, saw Lewis with Boris at a day of prayer event and wrote to Boris telling him that Lewis was no longer an authorised Minister in the Church of England and suggested that Boris should get in touch. Boris did not respond. Several weeks later a TV journalist approached the C of E for the background on Lewis and it was then that the story came to light.

The longstanding Labour Council in Newham admitted reporting in 2005 on allegations of physical abuse at Eastside – Scotland Yard confirmed that five allegations were investigated, but were all dropped.

Duncan Smith suggested that all this dissatisfaction with Lewis was designed to ‘get at’ Boris. He stated that Newham Council ‘is on the left and hates Ray Lewis and his methods which are not for the fainthearted’. Duncan Smith does of course describe Eastside as dispensing ‘tough love’.

The chaplain at Eastside, the Rev Bruce Stokes, a Baptist Minister, maintained that anyone working ‘this way with kids’ was ‘bound to be investigated’ and that he thought that it was probably Lewis’s ‘personality and style’ to which people objected.

The London Evening Standard claimed that the mess was all the fault of the Church.

After Lewis’s resignation, everyone was very keen to distance themselves. The child protection officer at Eastside, Dapo Abidoye, had ‘nothing to say’. Neither did Richard Atterbury, the co-head of global finance at Lehman Brothers and a Trustee of Eastside. John Sentamu issued a statement explaining that he did not have ‘any involvement, or fiduciary obligation, relating to day-to-day management’ at Eastside.

Dear old IDS claimed that the media and Lewis’s political enemies were ‘crushing a good man’. The Rev Stokes stated that Lewis ‘comes up with answers. It feels he has been completely stitched up’. Stokes was saddened that in the wake of the controversy surrounding Lewis that similar academies planned elsewhere in the UK were unlikely to go ahead.

No-one ever got to the bottom of the Ray Lewis and Eastside business, because a planned Public Inquiry into the whole affair was scrapped after Lewis resigned.

However I think that Ray might have made his mark years before the shit hit the fan in the wake of all those complaints about him in the 90s after he’d managed to become ordained.

At the time that the Ray Lewis business became public in 2008 I was sharing a farmhouse in Gwynedd with my friends. One of my friends was a Buddhist and was a member of a Buddhist sangha which had connections to a number of other Buddhist communities. A few months before Ray Lewis hit the media, a Buddhist asked us if we could put someone up who had just left a community and was in need of somewhere to live. This lady subsequently moved into our house and although she was very friendly it soon became clear that she had serious mental health problems and seemed very traumatised and very angry. She stayed with us for many weeks and we got to know her quite well. Whilst she was staying with us, I had appeared in the newspapers talking about abuse in the mental health services and our guest asked me how I knew that such things were happening. I told her some of what had happened to me at the hands of the mental health services and said that I knew that it was a major problem.

Our guest – whom I will call D – had already told us that back in the 80s she’d been a social worker in London but had spent many years living in various different communities. I guessed that D had some sort of breakdown and had been unable to work. When she discovered that I had experience of abusive psychiatry, she did what quite a few other people have done and told me about her own bad experiences. D had been through a nightmare. She described receiving dreadful treatment after being sectioned in a London hospital – she had been diagnosed with psychotic depression, had been given ECT against her will and claimed to have been physically and sexually assaulted by staff in the hospital. When she finally got out of there – after many, many months, D got as far away from the mental health services and anyone connected with them as possible and started travelling around the UK living in alternative communities.

The problem that any patient who has been diagnosed with a serious mental illness finds if they try to communicate being on the receiving end of abusive mental health services, is that they are not believed. As I have detailed on this blog, diagnosing serious mental illnesses in people who have been abused by the welfare state or have been witness to things of which other people would rather remain unspoken is a remarkably common way of dealing with the problem. Everything that D told me rang true – she described the sort of casual institutionalised abuse that I witnessed in the North Wales Hospital Denbigh, in Springfield Hospital, in the Hergest Unit and that I hear about frequently. But then D told me about the circumstances of her admission to hospital.

D had been working as a children’s social worker in inner London in the 80s. She was white and was a doctor’s daughter who’d grown up in Bath. The young people that she was looking after once she had qualified were predominantly from ethnic minorities, in inner London. That wasn’t the problem. The problem arose when D noticed that the practices of her colleagues were a very long way from the practice and theory that she had been taught whilst she was training. The shit really hit the fan when two of the teenagers whom she was responsible for – girls of 13 and 14 – told her that they were being forced to have sex with a man who was entering the children’s homes. This man was some sort of youth worker. D told her senior managers what the teenagers had told her. She was told to ignore what the girls had told her, not to speak about it again because the man whom the girls had named was ‘big in black politics and he’s untouchable’. D told me that the name of this man was Ray Lewis.

D was horrified. I gained the impression that when this happened she hadn’t been qualified long and she was still idealistic. She was very concerned for the welfare of the girls and became even more concerned when the two girls who had previously alleged that they were being sexually assaulted told D that other kids had experienced similar problems.

D returned to her managers – and made the fatal mistake of reminding them that the children in their care had been raped, were being put at risk further by the social services lack of action and that what was happening was illegal and contrary to all good social work practice. D was referred for ‘medical help’. D’s own dad was a Top Doctor  – she might not have realised what organisations use the less scrupulous Top Doctors for. D was told that she was depressed and unfit for work. Which she might well have been by then – I can imagine how distressing a young, newly qualified, idealistic social worker would have found all this. D was sent to a psychiatrist – she did of course tell them what was going on in her workplace and that she was not going to keep quiet about it as ordered. D was sectioned. Not only was she diagnosed with ‘depression’, but it was ‘psychotic depression’. Just in case anyone might be in danger of believing anything that she said…

The treatment was successful! D was destroyed, she left social work and indeed London and took up an itinerant lifestyle wandering around the UK staying in a variety of alternative communities. She had been doing this for years by the time that she arrived at our place. She knew that she had been very distressed by what had happened in London, both at her workplace and at the hands of the caring sharing mental health services and she had made a number of attempts to access therapy and care. On every occasion that she did so, once the therapist had heard her story somehow the therapy came to an end. D was untouchable – which tends to happen to people who have witnessed organised child sexual abuse. One manifestation of D’s distress was quite obsessional cleaning. She knew this and would offer to clean in return for a place to stay – our place was spotless whilst she was with us, it was incredible. We weren’t the only people who noticed how good at cleaning D was. Some of her therapists did as well. At one point she was offered a job in a Rudolph Steiner Care Home in the midlands. The deal was supposed to be that she would do a few hours cleaning each day in return for free training and tuition in Steiner care. Once she arrived however somehow she ended up on the cleaning full time and no tuition or training was forthcoming. After six months she realised that this wasn’t going to change so she left.

So how did D arrive in north Wales? D was offered a job as a cleaner at a place called Trigonos in the Nantlle Valley in Gwynedd. The Nantlle Valley is really beautiful and Trigonos is a conference centre favoured by alternative types – it is next to the lake, under the mountains and supplies organic food and other necessities of alternative life. Trigonos’s main custom seems to come from the Bangor University Mindfulness Centre – nearly all their courses for training Mindfulness practitioners and teachers are held there and they used to hold their conferences there as well. D knew about this and thought that it would be a suitable environment for her. However when she arrived, she found that she seemed to be working very long hours for very little pay. She moved out of Trigonos after a few months seeking somewhere else to live which is how D eventually ended up at our house. D stayed with us for many weeks and then moved on to a community in Scotland. It was just after she left that Ray Lewis hit the headlines. A few months after that I encountered one of the more irresponsible members of the family that runs Trigonos. When he found out which house I lived in he realised that I was one of the people who had taken in D. I asked him why she had left Trigonos. I was told ‘she was a fucking brilliant cleaner but she was a nutter so we got rid of her’.

The vast majority of the Mindfulness trainers who practice their loving-kindness and compassionate meditation at Trigonos are former social workers, many of whom were employed by Gwynedd and Clwyd Social Services – whilst the paedophile ring operated in those organisations. One of the leaders of many of those courses at Trigonos is a Judith Soulsby. Soulsby is a former psychiatric social worker with the Arfon Community Mental Health Team. Her colleagues were the people who perjured themselves in an attempt to have me imprisoned after I alleged serious abuse in the mental health services in north Wales. Not only does Judith train Mindfulness practitioners at the centre where the cleaners are not allowed to be nutters, but Judith has co-authored with Professor Mark Williams and was part of the original team who set the con that is Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy on the road (see post ‘The Biggest Expert Of The Lot’).

 

Now for a few more details on Jonathan and Tim Aitken who lived like kings whilst their TV company owed money to the little people.

Tim Aitken is the grandson of Lord Beaverbrook and is rather less illustrious than his cousin Jonathan. Since Jonathan ended up in prison Tim has distanced himself from him. A recent newspaper article suggested that Tim spends most of his time on his yacht.

Jonathan is the son of Tory MP Sir William Traven Aitken. Selwyn Lloyd, the Chancellor of the Exchequer under Harold Macmillan, was a friend of Jonathan’s dad which was how Aitken got to meet the PM whilst he was still an undergrad at Oxford reading law – Aitken wrote speeches for Selwyn in his summer holidays. At Oxford Aitken was Chair of the Oxford University Conservative Association – he did try to become President of the Oxford Union but was unsuccessful.

After Oxford he worked as a journalist and in 1970 ended up on trial the Old Bailey for breaking the Official Secrets Act, after passing classified information to a Tory MP Hugh Fraser, although he was acquitted. Between 1968-70 Aitken worked for Yorkshire TV, presenting regional news shows. Aitken had ambitions to enter Conservative politics from a young age and he struck up a friendship with Fraser – that ended after Aitken had an affair with Fraser’s wife Antonia. Aitken’s account of his life as a young man stresses how he had no money and therefore knew that he had to make his own way in the world. So he does what everyone who finds themselves on their uppers does – he launched a merchant bank and became Chairman of Slater Walker Securities.

In 1973 Aitken met Prince Mohammed bin Fadh of Saudi Arabia and became close friends with the Prince’s personal secretary after Aitken ‘organised hospital treatment’ in the UK for the Prince’s secretary’s mother. What all that was about I don’t know, but if Jonathan Aitken was involved it won’t have been clean.

In 1974 Aitken was elected as Tory MP for Thanet.  At about this time he had a relationship with Carol Thatcher but it ended in tears – literally – and Margaret Thatcher never forgave him. Aitken’s falling out with the Thatcher family was notorious ad it was suggested that it was the reason why he remained on the backbenches for so many years although he clearly thought that he ought to be PM.

In 1979 Aitken married a neighbour of Prince Mohammed’s personal secretary. He blotted his copybook soon after by having an affair with a prostitute, but his family forgave him.

In 1980 Aitken wrote to Thatcher alleging that Sir Roger Hollis, the former Director General of MI5, had been a double agent working for the Soviets. This info had been given to Aitken by CIA spymaster James Angleton. The allegation against Hollis caused an almighty row and led to Chapman Pincher’s 1981 book ‘Their Trade Is Treachery’, which in turn led to the publication of ‘Spycatcher’ in 1987.

Aitken’s Saudi friendships came in handy for propping up Aitken Hume International and for bankrolling TV-am. Aitken was forced to resign from TV-am when it was revealed that Aitken Hume was a front for Saudi control of TV-am.

Aitken cultivated friendships with some rather unsavoury people, including the well-known sexual harasser Tory MP Alan Clark, who described Aitken as ‘my old friend and standby for many a dirty trick’. Aitken was also known to leak damaging info about his fellow Tory MPs. Aitken was close friends with Tory MP Richard Shepherd and for some reason ended up as godfather to Diane Abbott’s son. One of Aitken’s book launch’s was attended by Christine Keeler.

Aitken complained in the Commons about the excessive secrecy of the security services, but maintained close contact with some present and former officers. Malcolm Turnbull – who later became PM of Australia – was Peter Wright’s lawyer when Wright was trying to get his book Spycatcher published and approached Aitken in an attempt to reach a settlement between the British Gov’t and Wright. Aitken ‘tried to help’ but failed.

In Nov 1990, three months after the Iraq invasion of Kuwait, Aitken flew to Oman as the Sultan’s guest to attend a meeting of Le Cercle, a right wing group formed by former intelligence agents, of which Aitken was Chairman. The dreadful Alan Clarke was present as well – Clark alleged that Le Cercle was funded by the CIA.

After John Major became PM, he appointed Aitken Minister for Defence Procurement – the Saudis were delighted with this appointment as were MoD arms salesmen, but a great many other people weren’t.

Between 1988-90 Aitken was a Director of BMARC, an arms exporter. Whilst he was a Cabinet Minister, he signed a Public Interest Immunity Certificate in Sept 1992 relating to the Matrix-Churchill trial which gagged documentation including that relating to the supply of arms to Iraq by BMARC when he was a Director of that company.

Aitken became Chief Secretary to the Treasury in 1994 and subsequently faced questions about defence contracts and Saudi money. He resigned in 1995 after allegations that he’d breached Ministerial rules, still lent his house to Michael Howard during Howard’s leadership campaign.

In 1995 the Guardian published an article regarding Aitken and Saudi arms deals. Journalists from Granada’s World In Action also helped with the expose. On the day that the article was published, Aitken held a press conference at the Conservative Party Offices in Smith Square and very pompously denounced the allegations. He stated that if World In Action screened the programme ‘Jonathan Of Arabia’ that was scheduled for that evening he would sue for libel. The programme was screened as promised and Aitken began a libel action against the Guardian and Granada.

In June 1997 the action collapsed after George Carman acting for the defence produced documentary evidence demonstrating that Aitken had lied during the trial. Evidence also indicated an arms deal scam with Aitken’s friend and business partner, the personal secretary of Prince Mohammed bin Fahd. It was also alleged that if the case had continued, Aitken had been prepared to have his teenaged daughter lie under oath.

Aitken was imprisoned for perjury and served seven months. Whilst he was in the slammer he experienced an almighty religious conversion and has since taken to writing about prayer and matters theological.

Aitken was faced with a legal bill of over £1 million – he was allowed to drop the case on promising to pay costs, but escaped from his liability by declaring himself bankrupt. The Guardian observed that most of Aitken’s assets were conveniently owned by other people.

Although Aitken lost his seat in the 1997 General Election, within a year was appointed as a representative of the arms company GEC-Marconi.

In 1999 a DNA test revealed that Aitken was the father of Soraya Khashoggi’s daughter – the Soraya Khashoggi’s husband became very rich by arms dealing.

In 2004 some Conservatives in Thanet proposed that Aitken return as the Conservative candidate, but this bright idea was vetoed by Michael Howard. In the same year Aitken declared his support for UKIP.

In 2006 Aitken became President of Christian Solidarity Worldwide.

In Nov 2007 he led the task force on Prison Reform with Ian Duncan Smith’s Centre for Social Justice to ‘help form Conservative policy’.

 

The names of two independent TV companies crop up constantly in Greg Dyke’s book – LWT and Yorkshire TV. The most powerful people in the media world seem to have passed through those organisations, as well of course as the BBC. Because the really big players in TV are so few, they all just rotated between the BBC and the independent companies as they climbed higher and higher. The same names pop up constantly and those names also toady shamelessly to Gov’ts of all hues. If you’re the BBC the Gov’t has got you over a barrel because you depend upon them for the continuation of the licence fee and the renewal of the Charter and if you’re an independent company you’re out in the free market depending upon the Gov’ts policies that affect the operation of that market. Gov’t can do great damage to TV execs, the execs dare not upset Gov’t. So one can see how easy it would be for the few influential people in the media to ensure that nothing was ever screened on TV that might lead to the identification of public figures abusing children in care for example.

My post ‘One Dangerous Fucker’ describes how Marjorie Wallace has done a really great job suppressing info concerning the use of psychiatry in concealing child abuse – Marjorie’s long term partner Tom Marjerison was the founder of LWT.

Yorkshire TV is as much as a key player as the BBC. As previously mentioned, it was Yorkshire TV who in Sept 1989 actually began filming a programme about child abuse in north Wales. By Feb 1990 the programme had been abandoned. So let’s look at Yorkshire TV.

The Director of Programmes for Yorkshire TV 1984-92 was John Fairley. Fairley was born in Liverpool and went to school in the north west of England. He began work with the Bristol Evening Post in 1963 and moved to the London Evening Standard in 1964. Between 1965-68 he was a radio producer with BBC Radio – so he’ll have known a Jimmy Savile then. Between 1968-78 Fairley was a TV producer for Yorkshire TV – Savile country. My post ‘A Very COHSE Relationship With Some Very Nasty People’ details how one of the paedophiles’ friends from north Wales migrated to Yorkshire and ended up in a position of very great influence. Fairley was MD of Yorkshire-Tyne Tees TV, 1993-April 1995. He then became Chief Exec of UKTV. Fairley lives in Ryedale in North Yorkshire.

Sir Paul Fox was Head of Programmes for Yorkshire TV, 1973-86, then MD of Yorkshire TV, 1977-88. Earlier on his career he had been Head of Public Affairs at BBC TV and Controller of BBC 1. Between 1986-88 he was Chairman of ITN and MD of BBC Network TV between 1988-91. My post ‘Ian Brockington’s Mischief’ details how a friend of mine who wanted to make a documentary about what had happened to me at the hands of the mental health services was subjected to an extended campaign of harassment and then unlawfully dismissed from her job at the Royal Television Society in 1991 – Paul Fox was President at the time. Fox picked up his knighthood in 1991.

Ward Thomas was CEO of Grampian TV between 1961-67, MD and Chair of Yorkshire TV between 1967-76 and then again between 1993-97. Between 1971-84 he was MD of Trident TV (and Chairman between 1976-84). Trident TV was formed as a holding company for Yorkshire TV. After 1980 Trident also purchased casinos, including casinos owned by Hugh Hefner – the deal included the Playboy Club and other ‘gentlemen’s clubs’. Ward is now very elderly but remains as non-executive Chair of Irving International, a media consultancy.

Yorkshire TV did battle with the technicians union in 1979 – Ward Thomas and Paul Fox were the two executives who were instrumental in fighting the unions. So they’ll have got on well with Thatcher then – as with Murdoch they’ll have been relying on her to pass the legislation to enable them to break the unions. They won’t have wanted to broadcast anything even hinting that her mate Savile and her aide Peter Morrison were molesting children.

In 1980 Jonathan Aitken had a go at owning a TV station based in Yorkshire. In the 1980 franchise round several Yorkshire TV staff submitted an application backed by Aitken, although they were unsuccessful.

In 1966 Jonathan Aitken co-authored a book with Michael Beloff. Michael Beloff was the barrister who in 1996 instructed the insurers of Flintshire County Council to suppress the Jillings Report into the abuse of children in the care of Clwyd County Council because what had happened to the kids was completely indefensible. The insurers told Flintshire that if they published the report they would withdraw insurance cover and the Councillors themselves would become personally liable for the damages payable to anyone who sued which would result in the loss of their homes and bankruptcy. The insurers also recommended that the Chair of the Social Services Committee, Cllr Malcolm King – who had been dangerously unco-operative with the paedophiles and their friends – should be sacked if he managed to discover what was in the Jillings Report and publicised it.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yes, the Top Doctors and Angels do that.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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