An Expression Of Their Faith

One of the first Top Doc disasters that I became particularly aware of occurred in 1978, when I was a teenager interested in microbiology. There was much news coverage of a technician who worked at Birmingham University who had contracted smallpox. Days later it was reported that the Professor in charge of the lab had killed himself and from then on the story became of world-wide interest, particularly when shortly after the Professor’s death, the technician died as well. Panic gripped Birmingham because no-one seemed to know how the technician had caught smallpox…

A few days ago BBC Online had a little feature on the ‘last death in the world from smallpox’ and sure enough, it was the case that I remembered from my teenage years. I’ve done a bit of digging and guess what, the smallpox outbreak in Birmingham in 1978 involved such wrongdoing that even by the standards of Top Doctors it was truly awe-inspiring.

Smallpox is an infectious disease unique to humans which killed and was feared for centuries. It is caused by either of two virus variants, Variola major and Variola minor. The risk of death following contracting the disease was about 30%, with higher rates among babies. The last naturally occurring infection was of Variola minor in Somalia in 1977 and the World Health Organisation certified the global eradication of smallpox in 1980.

This is what smallpox does to you:

Child with Smallpox Bangladesh.jpg

Smallpox is so deadly that many took the view that if it could be eradicated from the globe completely and all traces of the virus eliminated, that would be a very good thing. There was an opposing body of opinion which maintained that no matter how deadly smallpox was, it would be worth keeping sample of the virus under controlled conditions for the purposes of research.

The unfortunate employee of Birmingham University who died from smallpox in 1978 was a medical photographer called Janet Parker. Not only did Janet die as a result of the most appalling practices on the part of some Top Doctors, but the Top Doctors concerned were global authorities on smallpox. No-one was ever held to account regarding Janet’s death and a cover-up of which the Top Doctors could be proud placed a veil over the gory details regarding what actually happened which led to Janet’s death. A number of the Top Doctors responsible for Janet’s death died with their reputations as giants of science intact, although of course one involved did feel so bad about what happened that he killed himself. At least that is the official line, but as is often the case when a Top Doc is found dead as a result of a scandal, there are elements in the story which don’t quite add up.

Janet’s death led to a Gov’t inquiry and ‘triggered radical changes in how dangerous pathogens were studied in the UK’. The Inquiry was led by Professor R.A. Shooter, who found that while Janet was working at Birmingham Medical School, she was accidentally exposed to a strain of smallpox virus that had been grown in a research laboratory on the floor below her workplace and that the virus had most likely spread from that laboratory through ducting. Shooter’s conclusion on how the virus had spread was challenged in Court when Birmingham University was unsuccessfully prosecuted by the HSE for breach of Health and Safety legislation. Shooter’s name and reputation are not remembered with anything like the reverence of the names and reputations of those whose serious mismanagement and cavalier attitudes led to Janet’s death and could have resulted in a smallpox outbreak in Birmingham. Reginald Shooter however was a far more eminent medical microbiologist than those whose wrongdoing he investigated or those who opposed his evidence in Court.

As they used to say on ‘Blue Peter’, John Nettleton tells the story.

Janet was married to Joseph Parker, a Post Office engineer and they lived in Kings Norton, Birmingham. After several years as a police photographer Janet joined Birmingham Medical School, where she was employed as a medical photographer in the Anatomy Department. Janet often worked in a darkroom above a laboratory where research on smallpox viruses was being conducted.

 At the time of Janet’s death, a laboratory at Birmingham Medical School was conducting research on variants of smallpox virus known as ‘whitepox viruses’, which were considered to be a threat to the success of the WHO’s (World Health Organisation’s) smallpox eradication programme.

On 11 August 1978, Janet, who ‘had been vaccinated against smallpox’, fell ill; she had a headache and pains in her muscles. She developed spots that were thought to be a benign rash. On 20 August at 3 pm, she was admitted to East Birmingham (now Heartlands) Hospital and a clinical diagnosis of Variola major, the most serious type of smallpox, was made by consultant Professor Alasdair Geddes. By this time the rash had spread and covered all of Janet’s body, including the palms of her hands and soles of her feet and it was confluent on her face. At 10 pm she was on her way to Catherine-de-Barnes Isolation Hospital near Solihull. By 11 pm all Janet’s close contacts, including her parents, were placed in quarantine. Her parents were later also transferred to Catherine-de-Barnes. The next day, poxvirus infection was confirmed by Professor Henry Bedson, then Head of the smallpox laboratory at the Medical School, by electron microscopy of vesicle fluid, which Geddes had sampled from Parker’s rash. (Samples of the fluid were also collected for examination at the Regional Virus Laboratory, which was in East Birmingham Hospital). Janet died of smallpox at Catherine-de-Barnes on 11 September 1978.

Six days before Janet died, her 71-year-old father, Frederick Witcomb, of Kings Heath, died while in quarantine at Catherine-de-Barnes Hospital. He ‘appeared to have died following a cardiac arrest when visiting his daughter’. No postmortem was carried out on Frederick’s body because of the risk of smallpox infection, so there was no knowing why Frederick Witcomb did die, although accounts of the 1978 Birmingham smallpox outbreak always remember to mention that Frederick died following a cardiac arrest.

Special disease control measures were put into place for Janet’s funeral. Undertaker Ron Fleet was sent to Catherine-de-Barnes to collect her body and later described his memories: ‘When the day of the funeral arrived, the cars were given an escort by unmarked police vehicles just in case there was an accident…The body had to be cremated because there was a chance the virus could have thrived in the ground if Mrs Parker had been buried. All other funerals were cancelled that day and the Robin Hood Crematorium was thoroughly cleaned afterwards.’

Many people had close contact with Janet before she was admitted to hospital. The outbreak resulted in 260 people being immediately quarantined, several of them at Catherine-de-Barnes Hospital, including the ambulance driver who transported Janet. On 26 August, health officials fumigated Janet’s home and car. On 28 August, 500 people were placed in quarantine in their homes for two weeks. Of those potentially infected, only Janet’s mother, Hilda Witcomb, contracted the disease – assuming of course that Janet’s dad hadn’t – although Hilda survived. The other close contacts, which included two biomedical scientists from the Regional Virus Laboratory, were released from quarantine in Catherine-de-Barnes on 10 October 1978.

 

Over a year later, in October 1979, the University authorities fumigated the Medical School East Wing. The ward at Catherine-de-Barnes Hospital in which Janet had died was still sealed off five years after her death, all the furniture and equipment inside left untouched.

Birmingham Medical School had previous where smallpox was concerned. A similar outbreak had occurred at the Medical School in 1966, when Tony McLennan, who was also a medical photographer and worked in the same laboratory later used by Janet, contracted smallpox. He had a milder form of the disease, which was not diagnosed for eight weeks. Tony was not quarantined and there were at least 12 further cases in the West Midlands, five of whom were quarantined in Witton Isolation Hospital in Birmingham. There are no records of any formal enquiries on the source of this earlier outbreak despite concerns expressed by the then Head of the laboratory, Peter Wildy. Peter Wildy’s name is barely remembered, probably because of he dared raise concerns about Birmingham University 12 years before a second smallpox outbreak in identical circumstances resulted in a death.

On 6 September 1978, the day after Janet’s dad died, Professor Henry Bedson, then Head of the Microbiology Department at the University of Birmingham Medical School, died. On 1 September 1978 Bedson, while in quarantine at his home in Harborne, cut his throat in the garden shed and died at Birmingham Accident Hospital five days later. Henry Bedson’s suicide note read ‘I am sorry to have misplaced the trust which so many of my friends and colleagues have placed in me and my work.’ I have not found details of Bedson’s death. Cutting one’s throat is quite an effective way of killing oneself, but I have always presumed only if medical help did not arrive very soon. I can’t work out why Bedson would have survived five days and then died. Surely the hospital would have been able to stop the bleeding, guard against infection and do all the other necessaries and see Henry Bedson safely out of the other side of his injury.

In 1977, the WHO had told Henry Bedson that his application for his laboratory to become a Smallpox Collaborating Centre had been rejected. This was partly because of safety concerns; the WHO wanted as few laboratories as possible handling the virus. Bedson knew that his lab would be due for closure if he did not receive more funding and he therefore worked more rapidly, storing more samples.

Professor Reginald Shooter led the Inquiry following Janet’s death and his ‘Report of the investigation into the cause of the 1978 Birmingham smallpox occurrence’ was debated in Parliament and also played an important role in the Court case brought against the University by the HSE. The official publication of the Shooter Report was postponed until the outcome of the trial was known.

The Shooter Report was published in 1980. It noted that Bedson had failed to inform the authorities of changes in his research that could have affected safety. Shooter’s Inquiry discovered that the Dangerous Pathogens Advisory Group had inspected the laboratory on two occasions and each time recommended that the smallpox research be continued there, despite the fact that the facilities at the laboratory fell far short of those required by law. Several of the staff at the laboratory had received no special training. Inspectors from the WHO had told Bedson that the physical facilities at the laboratory did not meet WHO standards, but had nonetheless only recommended a few changes in laboratory procedure. Bedson misled the WHO about the volume of work handled by the laboratory, telling them that it had progressively declined since 1973, when in fact it had risen substantially as Bedson tried to finish his work before the laboratory closed. Shooter also found that while Janet had been vaccinated, it had not been done recently enough to protect her against smallpox, Janet’s vaccination having been in 1966.

The report concluded that Janet had been infected by a strain of smallpox virus called Abid, which was being handled in the smallpox laboratory during 24–25 July 1978. The virus could have travelled in air currents up a service duct from the laboratory below, to a room in the Anatomy Department that was used for telephone calls. On 25 July, Janet had spent much more time there than usual ordering photographic materials because the financial year was about to end.

On 1 December 1978 the HSE announced their intention to prosecute the University. The case was heard in November 1979. Expert evidence, presented by the defence and accepted by the magistrates, showed that sufficient virus material could not be produced by the laboratory to generate an infectious dose in the telephone room where Janet was supposedly infected. Although the source of infection was traced, the mode of transmission was not. A defence witness and ‘smallpox expert’ Kevin McCarthy claimed that 53,700 litres of virus suspension would have been required to generate an infectious dose in the telephone room. Although the Shooter Inquiry noted the poor state of sealing of ducting in the laboratory, it was claimed that ‘this was caused after the outbreak by engineers fumigating the laboratory and ducts’. The University was found not guilty of causing Janet’s death. In August 1981, following a formal claim for damages made by the trade union ASTMS (Association of Scientific, Technical and Managerial Staff) in 1979, Parker’s husband Joseph was awarded £25,000 in compensation.

Professor Reginald Shooter as awarded a CBE in the 1980 Birthday Honours. He retired in 1981 and, like P. Wildy, has all but disappeared from history, although he was alive until 2013.

In light of the Birmingham incident, all known stocks of smallpox were destroyed or transferred to one of two WHO reference laboratories which had BSL-4 facilities; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US and the State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology VECTOR in Koltsovo, Russia. Russia at the time obviously being considered a safer pair of hands with deadly viruses than the Top Doctors of Birmingham. Did anyone tell Thatch?

Now let us look in detail at a few of the key players in the disaster which led to panic in Birmingham in 1978.

Henry Bedson was the second son of Sir Sam Bedson, who had been Professor of Bacteriology at the London Hospital. Henry Bedson’s paternal grandfather, Peter Philips Bedson, was Professor of Chemistry at Newcastle University. Bedson’s mother was Dr Dorothea Annie Hoffert, who worked on aeroplane dopes and subsequently did research on oils and fats at the Lister Institute. His maternal grandfather was Henry Hoffert, a Senior Inspector of schools. Bedson was educated at Brighton, Hove and Sussex Grammar School and qualified from the London Hospital Medical College in 1952.

After jobs as a house officer and junior registrar, in 1955 Bedson joined the RAMC and served in Hong Kong until July 1957. During this period Bedson became a junior specialist in pathology and was also part-time demonstrator in morbid anatomy at the University of Hong Kong. In 1957 Bedson was back again at the London Hospital.

In 1958 Bedson embarked on his virological career and was appointed research fellow in the Department of Bacteriology at the University of Liverpool. In 1959 he became assistant lecturer and after one year was appointed a full lecturer. In 1964 he moved to the Department of Virology, University of Birmingham, being appointed senior lecturer and honorary NHS consultant in bacteriology and virology. In 1976 Bedson was appointed Professor and Head of the reconstituted Department of Medical Microbiology. He was in that post at the time of his death.

Bedson developed an interest in poxviruses while he was at Liverpool University. At Birmingham University, Bedson continued his work with poxviruses. Bedson was a member of the International Commission for the assessment of smallpox eradication in Pakistan and Afghanistan in 1976, and of the WHO informal group on monkeypox and related viruses.

In 1978 Henry Bedson was not the only person at Birmingham University who was flouting good practice and misleading people. Dr Dafydd Alun Jones’s mate Professor Robert Bluglass was in place at Birmingham University by then and Bluglass concealed serious crime, including that on the part of Dafydd and his gang, for decades. There was endemic corruption in the West Midlands Police as well as in the legal system in the West Midlands and a trafficking ring was at work in the region, with links to Dafydd’s gang in north Wales. People in Birmingham University, particularly senior figures, knew about these matters and colluded with them.

The Chancellor of Birmingham University, 1973-83, was the naturalist and broadcaster Sir Peter Scott, who had links with a number of those who concealed the activities of Dafydd et al. See previous posts.

The Vice-Chancellor of Birmingham University, 1968-81, was Lord Robert Hunter. Hunter was a Top Doctor who must have known the extent to which things were unravelling in Birmingham University, particularly in the Medical School. Robert Brockie Hunter was the personal physician to Field Marshal Montgomery, 1944-45. Hunter was educated at George Watson’s College, Edinburgh, then studied Medicine at Edinburgh University, serving in the RAMC during WW II. After WWII, Hunter lectured at Edinburgh University and then moved on to St Andrew’s University and its associated Clinical Medicine Unit at Dundee University, where he was Chair of Materia Medica, Pharmacology and Therapuetics and was also Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, 1958-62. In 1963, after the thalidomide disaster, Hunter was appointed to the Ministry of Health Committee on Safety of Drugs, was Chairman of the Clinical Trials Sub-Committee and served on the Committee until 1968. Hunter was appointed VC of Birmingham University in 1968. From 1973 to 1980 Hunter was a member of the DHSS Independent Scientific Committee on Smoking and Health.

With a VC with a CV like that, no wonder no-one was going to allow Birmingham University to be successfully prosecuted for killing Janet Parker, even if there was smallpox on the loose, warnings had been ignored and a pack of lies told regarding the conditions and practices in the labs.

At the time of Janet’s death, Jim Callaghan was PM, the paedophiles’ bestest friend Lord David Ennals was Secretary of State for the DHSS (see previous posts) and Hunter was working as a DHSS adviser. The Secretary of State for the DHSS when overt warnings were issued that Bedson’s lab was dangerous was Battling Barbara Castle. Dr Death served as a Minister under Barbara and Jack Straw was her adviser. Jack Straw might not have known what a smallpox virus can do but surely Dr Death did. Thatch was PM by the time that the HSE prosecution failed and the dreadful Patrick Jenkin was Secretary of State for the DHSS (see previous posts). Hunter was still an adviser to the DHSS.

Furthermore, Hunter bagged a peerage in 1978, the year of the smallpox outbreak. He was probably nominated for his peerage before the outbreak – although I am not certain of that – but whenever he was nominated, a lot of things were happening in Bedson’s lab and the wider Medical School which should not have been.

Hunter ‘was an active participant’ in the Lords and was ‘a vocal supporter of the NHS’. The poor old Top Docs could do with Hunter now, but he turned his toes up in 1994.

That splendid organ of propaganda for dead Top Doctors, ‘Munk’s Roll, The Lives Of The Fellows Of The Royal College Of Physicians’, tells us that ‘In 1948 [Hunter] was appointed as a lecturer in clinical medicine at the University of St Andrews, whose clinical medical school was based in Dundee. The Principal of the University promptly promoted him to the position of Professor of Materia Medica, Pharmacology and Therapeutics. He was only 33. By any modern standards it was a remarkable appointment. He had by then published little more than a paper on a review of antihistamine drugs, in which he developed an abiding interest, and a contribution to the Practitioner on cough mixtures. Nevertheless, he settled to his new post with aplomb, delivering an arresting inaugural address on the contributions of science to therapeutics.’

I can see why there was a disaster in Birmingham Medical School when Lord Bob was at the helm. His inaugural address must have been a real laugh, what with Lord Bob having less experience of research than many PhD students would have had. The Principal of St Andrews who was so wowed by Lord Bob that he gave him a Chair on the basis of one review of antihistamines and a ‘contribution’ regarding cough mixtures was Sir James Colquhoun Irvine, a Scottish organic chemist. Irvine was the son of factory owner John Irvine. James Irvine’s tenure at St Andrews ‘saw the renovation and restoration of both buildings and traditions and his works are still talked of today‘. As are the works of Fred West. Irvine’s commitments spanned further than the University, ‘into higher education in Britain and the colonies’. He also served as acting Principal of University College Dundee.

During Lord Bob’s twenty years in Dundee ‘he developed a remarkable flair for administration and for successfully plodding the corridors of power. He…played a major role in the planning and development of the new teaching hospital at Ninewells which replaced the old Dundee Royal Infirmary. At the same time he was increasingly called upon to serve on important national committees. He was a member of the General Medical Council from 1962 to 1968, and from 1966 to 1968 was chairman of the medical subcommittee of the University Grants Committee, then supervising significant developments in the medical schools, particularly those recently established. He also served on the clinical research board of the Medical Research Council.’

So Lord Bob was among those on the GMC who ignored the outrages of Dafydd’s early career.

Munk’s Roll explains that it was Lord Bob’s work on the Committee on Safety of Drugs (the Dunlop Committee), which led later to his appointment as Chairman ‘of a departmental committee to assess research into safer smoking materials, the hazards of smoking by then being well established. Many fellow members of his profession considered that Hunter was supping with the devil in appearing to give succour to the tobacco industry by endorsing a supposedly safer cigarette. In fact, his committee’s first report gave only a qualified endorsement and in any case smokers throughout the world spurned the product. He never, however, fully appreciated the addictive powers of nicotine.’

In the same way that Lord Bob didn’t fully appreciate the killing powers of smallpox.

Lord Bob was traumatised after being appointed VC of Birmingham University. Not by Robert Bluglass concealing organised crime, but because Lord Bob arrived at Birmingham ‘at a time of widespread student unrest. Although he had never had to deal with student revolt in the calmer academic climes of Scotland, in Birmingham he at once encountered a student body prepared to confront authority. The students went on strike and for a while trapped the new vice-chancellor in his room. From there Hunter organized his response, arranging meetings of the University Senate in the nearby Queen Elizabeth Hospital. He was later to set up an external advisory group to advise on the improvement of internal relations. The group was chaired by Jo Grimond whose report was to lead to a number of more democratic but largely cosmetic changes in the structure and governance of the University.’

So Lord Bob and Jo Grimond entered into an HE equivalent of a patients’ consultation exercise then.

Lord Bob continued to impress: ‘The undoubted respect in which he was held outside Birmingham led to his appointment as chairman of the medical sub-committee of the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Prinicipals between 1976 and 1981. He was knighted in 1977 and elevated to the House of Lords as a life peer in 1978.’

It was Sunny Jim Callaghan who dished out the honours to Lord Bob.

Munk’s Roll makes intriguing comments regarding the smallpox outbreak on Lord Bob’s watch: ‘A case was brought against the University by the Health and Safety Executive, but in the event the University was cleared in court. In retrospect few really believed the conclusion of the Shooter report and there were later to be allegations that the escape of smallpox virus was due to human relationships not revealed at the time.’

What can Munk’s Roll be referring to?

Hunter retired in 1981. He must have been the most dreadful old fart, because even Munk’s Roll admits that ‘He was never a charismatic figure, nor ever a volatile character, yet his quiet dignity, his deliberate manner and the care with which he prepared his contributions brought him universal respect.’ Munk’s Roll tells us that ‘He was described by his fellow peer, Lord Walton, as “a wise and thoughtful man with much compassion. His criticisms (and they were few) were always couched in terms calculated to make his point but never to wound.”‘

Lord John Walton was the Monster of Newcastle-upon-Tyne University, who in his capacity as President of the BMA, 1980-82; President of the GMC, 1982-89 and President of the Royal Society of Medicine, 1984-86, as well as in other roles, protected Dafydd and the sex traffickers for many years (see post ‘Little Things Hitting Each Other’).

The Indie’s 1994 obituary for Lord Bob, written by Professor Owen Wade, illuminates the glories of Lord Bob’s life and career further: ‘We were both appointed to the Committee on Safety of Drugs, the Dunlop Committee, set up as a result of the thalidomide incident to ensure that, before a drug could be marketed, its manufacturer should show that appropriate tests had been done to demonstrate it was safe and effective. Hunter was the Chairman of the Clinical Trials Sub-Committee. There were new and challenging problems on whether and how new drugs should be marketed by the pharmaceutical industry. Our American cousins admired us as ‘a lean and spare apparatus for drug safety which operates at a tiny fraction of the cost of a comparable FDA operation’.

In 1964 Hunter became a member of the University Grants Commission and in 1966 became Chairman of its Medical Advisory Committee. By 1968 Hunter had been in his Chair at St Andrews for 20 years. He felt that it was time for a change and he accepted the invitation to become Vice-Chancellor of Birmingham University.

Despite Lord Bob’s Chairmanship of the UGC’s Medical Advisory Committee, Professor Owen Wade explained that after the upset of dealing with the protesting students, Lord Bob received a Cruel Blow, when he ‘found himself at the receiving end of assaults on university funding. It was a difficult time. The reduction in funds from 1971 onwards was not accompanied by the power to alter staff contracts. The reduction in staff had to be by voluntary retirement, and this was too often taken by the able and the competent who knew they could get good jobs elsewhere. Hunter resented this stupid way of culling staff; humane perhaps, but not very fair on students.’

Hunter might have ‘resented’ this, but Hunter was one of those who ensured that ‘voluntary retirement’ was offered in the face of the cuts which his own Committee had implemented. Hunter will have known that useless old gits would stay in their jobs because they wouldn’t be offered another one, yet the best staff would bag the redundancy cash and move on to another post. This has happened in every round of university ‘cuts’ that has ever been implemented. When I was working at Bangor University, I and other research fellows rolled around laughing when people in senior lecturing jobs who had done nothing for 20 years were offered money by the VC to bugger off and retire, but they refused to accept on the grounds that ‘he’s not offering us enough’. Why would any of them have ever accepted the deal? The research fellows and a few of the hard working senior academics did absolutely everything, the Moribund Ones didn’t even come into the University on more than two days/week, why would they wave good-bye to a salary of £50k or more for doing nothing when they could stay there until retirement and then pocket pensions far more generous than their younger colleagues will receive?Peeling Oniontown - VICE

It is clear from Wade’s obituary for Lord Bob that Wade played a part in the events which led to the smallpox outbreak as well: ‘I was particularly grateful to Bob Hunter for the steadfast support which he gave me and my Faculty when a member of our staff contracted and died of smallpox. There were allegations that our Department of Virology, which was doing important work for the World Health Organisation in controlling smallpox, had been and was a hazard to the citizens of Birmingham. Hunter knew that this was nonsense, bore the brunt of criticism with quiet dignity and in the end was fully vindicated: the case brought by the Health and Safety Executive was dismissed and it was clear that the standard of care and competence in our laboratory was as high if not higher than in the only other laboratories in Britain where smallpox virus was held’.

Denying absolutely everything was a strategy that worked well for Lord Bob. Wade lets us know that in the Lords, Lord Bob ‘was a member of the Select Committee on Science and Technology and he was deeply concerned with EEC problems in Brussels’.

Professor Owen Lyndon Wade was himself described by the Royal College of Physicians ‘one of the founding fathers of clinical pharmacology and therapeutics in the UK’. Wade was born in Penarth, South Wales. His father James Owen David Wade was a surgeon. Owen Wade was of a similar vintage to Gwynne the lobotomist.

Wade was educated at Emmanuel College, Cambridge and UCL and subsequently worked as a clinical assistant at the Pneumoconiosis Research Unit in South Wales, 1948-51. Dafydd’s and Tony Francis’s mate and protector Professor Kenneth Rawnsley, later of Cardiff University, was associated with that Unit early in his career. Ken’s wife Dr Elinor Kapp was a child psychiatrist who was a key figure in one of the medical charidees in south Wales established by child molester George Thomas. See previous posts (eg. The Discovery Of A Whole New Galaxy…’) for information on Kenneth Rawnsley and Elinor.

Owen Wade was appointed as a Lecturer in Medicine at Birmingham University in 1951, rising to Senior Lecturer. In 1957, he became Professor of Therapeutics and Pharmacology at Queen’s University, Belfast. In 1971 he returned to Birmingham, to the post of Professor of Therapeutics and Clinical Pharmacology, from which he retired in 1986. Wade was Dean of Birmingham Medical School, 1978-84. So he knew Bluglass as well then and was also Dean when Dr Tony Francis’s pal and protector Ian Brockington was given a Chair at Birmingham Medical School after Francis relocated to north Wales to join Dafydd and the gang (see post ‘Ian Brockington’s Mischief’).

Dafydd’s mate Robert Bluglass studied Medicine at St Andrews. He will have been a student at St Andrews while Lord Bob worked there and then Bluglass rocked up in Birmingham when Lord Bob was VC of that University. Then Brockington joined the crew in Birmingham.

There is absolutely nothing ‘independent’ about the independent clinical opinions of the Top Doctors.

Owen Wade ‘oversaw the modernisation and 1981 relaunch of the British National Formulary’, published by the BMA and Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain. This was described by Munk’s Roll as Wade’s ‘greatest legacy’. In 1978 Owen became Chairman of the Formulary Committee and led the team which transformed the BNF from a dusty old text full of Latin and chemistry into the gripping read which it is today. Which interestingly enough, although being the ‘Bible’ for prescribing Top Docs, is ignored by some of them. Particularly Dr Richard Tranter, who before he made a run for it to New Zealand a few years ago, worked at the Hergest Unit and prescribed me a combination of drugs which the BNF clearly flags up as being neurotoxic, leading to psychosis and possibly death (see post ‘Why So Many Die So Early’). Being the ‘difficult non-compliant’ person that I am, I of course didn’t take the drugs prescribed by Richard, which saved my bacon. Richard Tranter is a psychopharmacologist, supposedly one of the global leaders in this speciality. So what’s your explanation then Richard?

Richard prescribed the lethal combination after Brown and I published our first paper about the mental health services in north Wales and were planning a follow-up book.

Owen Wade’s three brothers also qualified in medicine. Two of his brothers became surgeons, one in Cardiff and one in Edinburgh, the other became a GP working in London. When Owen became a Professor in Belfast, ‘they had the UK well-covered’.

As a teenager, Owen ‘would help his father giving the anaesthetics (cloth and bottle) and began learning to do the operations. Well before starting his clinical course he had removed an appendix, repaired a hernia and enucleated a prostate – all performed rapidly before the anaesthetic wore off‘. The legality of the teenaged unqualified Owen’s operating is not clarified. Presumably Owen’s dad viewed Owen’s help with the operations in the same way that farmers do when their 14 year old children drive the tractor around the farm.

It’s just as well that Owen had been operating before medical school, because when he began his clinical training at UCL, ‘there was a shortage of clinical senior medical staff’ and Owen ‘recalled that students had to look after themselves and take clinical responsibility at a very early stage. On one occasion, he had to deliver a baby on the platform of Warren Street tube station. Coping with the spectators was a challenge, but he used the old trick of sending them off to find boiling water’.

‘Now don’t you worry dear, we’ll soon get that baby out. I’m not qualified, there aren’t even any lecturers at my medical school, but I’ve been treating patients since I was knee-high to a pompous old git.’

WW II provided Owen with ‘lots of excitement and he and the staff often had to take cover. In his obstetrics exam in January 1945, he was trying to talk about placenta praevia with Hilda Lloyd whilst conscious of the sound of an approaching V-1 bomb. Sensing her increasing concern, he asked if they should both get under the table, which they did. They were not hit and he passed the exam.’

Thank God the lady on the platform at Warren Street tube didn’t have placenta praevia, Owen hadn’t learnt about that then and he’d have probably killed her. ‘That bloody placenta hasn’t appeared yet, I’ll just give this a tug…’

Owen Wade married Margaret Burton, a dentist, which he said was the best thing that he ever did. We are not told whether Margaret began drilling and extracting when she was still at school.

Munk’s Roll supplies yet more terrifying details of Wade’s career. At Birmingham University ‘Owen was the first person to catheterise a normal subject at rest and during exercise. It was his team leader who kindly left a letter absolving his colleagues if anything went wrong, like sudden death. Nothing did go wrong, and Owen was catheterised by him at the next session. In total 12 subjects were studied, including the ward sister and the catheter team nurse – both willing volunteers. There was no ethics committee and no defibrillator.’

And if there was a death no-one would have admitted it. So we do not actually know that ‘nothing did go wrong’. Furthermore, the ward sister and team nurse almost certainly were not ‘willing volunteers’, in those days Angels followed orders no matter how dangerous. If they were told to volunteer, they will have.

‘In 1957 Belfast Medical School wanted to establish an active clinical pharmacology unit and appointed Owen. He was just 36, and had only been a senior lecturer for five months, had had no special training in clinical pharmacology and no specific interest in therapeutics. The department had one senior technician, who was a great asset, but no other staff and he was offered a few beds on someone else’s ward. He was there from 1957 to 1971.’

This is sounding like an Everyday Story of a Father of Modern Medicine.

Owen ‘set about devising a course, putting together a lecture programme and planning practical classes, having never done anything like this before. He gave all the lectures and ran all the practicals. He soon complemented the lectures with interactive road shows, discussing the management of specific patients with a panel of students whilst the rest of the class listened, learned and joined in. These were very clinically relevant and became very popular. Over the early years his clinical work prospered and he became the first consultant to have beds in both teaching hospitals.’

Owen may have simply been amazing. But if he wasn’t, no-one would have admitted that.

‘In 1961 it became clear that thalidomide taken during pregnancy caused very severe, often fatal, abnormalities in the foetus. Many babies were born with phocomelia. His response was positive. He tried to find out how much thalidomide had been prescribed in N Ireland and by whom. This proved impossible, but he was able prospectively to quantify all the drugs prescribed by each GP in Northern Ireland and subsequently worked with colleagues to obtain comparable data for Norway, Sweden, Czechoslovakia and West Germany.’

So if all this data was available, why was it ‘impossible’ for Wade to find out who prescribed thalidomide in N Ireland and how much? Prescriptions were easy traceable at the time, the data that Owen needed was recent and N Ireland is a small place. There will not have been millions of babies born during the relevant period, let alone millions with phocomelia. The number of such babies born in N Ireland will have been in single figures. Owen could have literally knocked on the door of every mother with a young child and found out who had prescribed thalidomide. Phocomelia is such a rare condition that it’s not as if mothers in N Ireland who gave birth to babies without limbs won’t have noticed. This was N Ireland in the early 1960s. Virtually all the mothers will have had one GP throughout their pregnancy, that GP would probably have treated them for years and very probably their parents as well. The GP’s own father could well have practised as a Top Doctor in the same community.

Whoever did prescribe thalidomide in N Ireland must have heaved a huge sigh of relief that Owen wasn’t able to trace them.

Munk’s Roll states that Owen Wade ‘used the computer-based system used in Northern Ireland to pay the pharmacists, and became the first person to use computers in this type of research, and the first to produce numerical data on drug utilisation. These tools fed his interest in adverse drug reactions and he wrote some of the earliest papers and books on this subject.’

But Owen just couldn’t find out who prescribed thalidomide…

Munk’s Roll explains that ‘The nation was horrified by the thalidomide disaster. At that time there was no legal framework for assessing new drugs, no system for monitoring the safety of drugs already on the market and no means of communicating rapidly with prescribers about safety concerns. In 1963 the Government set up the Committee on Safety of Drugs, the so-called ‘Dunlop Committee’, named after the chairman, Sir Derrick Dunlop [Munk’s Roll, Vol.VII, p.170]. Owen was a founder member and subsequently went on to chair the Committee on the Review of Medicines, the adverse drugs reaction subcommittee and became a member of the Medicines Commission, which set up and oversaw the regulatory committee structure.’

The parents of children born with disabilities as a result of thalidomide had to drag the Gov’t and the pharmaceutical company involved kicking and screaming into an admission that their children had been harmed and the battle to gain the (inadequate) compensation was huge and took years. Little wonder it was Owen ‘I just don’t know which Top Doc prescribed that’ Wade who was appointed a founder member of the Dunlop Committee.

Owen Wade’s ‘Deanship of Birmingham Medical School started at a minute past midnight on 1 September; by midday, he had had to shut half the medical school and his Professor of Virology had cut his own throat and was dying’.

By the time that Wade was appointed Dean, Birmingham University knew that Janet Parker had contracted smallpox and knew that the University could possibly be responsible for an outbreak affecting hundreds of people. What better Dean to have appointed to ensure that allegations of malpractice would be like water off a duck’s back and the culprits would be ‘impossible’ to trace?

Munk’s Roll tells us that ‘Trade union power in 1978 was at its peak and the Association of Scientific, Technical and Managerial Staffs (ASTMS) made life very difficult. However, Owen did well. He took command, learnt all about smallpox, took expert advice, kept the relevant documents in good order, looked after his staff and they gave him a lot of support. The medical school was battered but unbowed and lived to fight another day. Four of his professors became presidents of their respective colleges.’

I bet that Owen’s staff ‘gave him a lot of support’. Just think of the alternative if he didn’t win this battle…

Regarding the ASTMS making ‘life very difficult’. The ASTMS later became MSF. When I worked at St George’s Hospital Medical School, the MSF reps were corrupt and wielded power entirely by using their knowledge of the wrongdoing of the equally corrupt but much more powerful Top Doctors. Top Doctors are incredibly hierarchical and usually drip with contempt for anyone who is not a Top Doctor. They treat the lab staff – not so much the research staff, but the lab staff carrying out the routine work – appallingly. When anything ever goes wrong, the Top Doctors blame Angels or other staff, such as lab staff. You bet that the ASTMS would have been difficult, but it won’t have been anything to do with it being 1978 and trade union power being at its height. It was because ASTMS needed to ensure that one of their own wasn’t blamed for the smallpox outbreak, needed to get a compensation deal for Janet Parker’s family, but most importantly ASTMS could see that if they played their cards right over the smallpox outbreak, Christmas had come. I worked at St George’s between 1989-91. Thatch had finished off the union movement and the corrupt MSF rep in the Dept of Obs and Gynae at St George’s, David Hole, wasn’t a Trot, he was a leading light in Wandsworth SDP. Hole was surrounded by rich Top Docs concealing a trafficking ring, drug dealing and perpetrating research fraud and they also had celebrity patients and friends, one of whom was the biggest light entertainment star in the UK at the time. David Hole and his mates had a lorra lorra laffs by acquiring the dirt on their senior colleagues.Pigs feeding from a metal trough at feeding time on the ...

At the time of the smallpox outbreak in Birmingham, the General Secretary of the ASTMS was Clive Jenkins, the self-indulgent slimebag who was substantially responsible for orchestrating the arrangements which resulted in the Windbag becoming leader of the Labour Party in 1983 . For more information about Clive Jenkins, see post ‘I Warn You…’.. Jenkins and his associates became powerful because of the knowledge that they had of the wrongdoing of professionals like the Top Doctors. If Jenkins had found out that a cleaning lady had done a bit of shoplifting it would have been neither here nor there. But in 1978 Jenkins found out that the idiocy and lies of some of the UK’s most ’eminent’ Top Doctors had put the lives of the population of Birmingham at risk. I don’t know how Jenkins and those close to him used that info – including the info that was never made public and the info that was involved in the cover-up that was the failed HSE prosecution – but they will have definitely used it.

Peeling Oniontown - VICE

In 1978 the full-time Health and Safety Director of the ASTMS was Sheila McKechnie. Sheila remained with ASTMS until her appointment as Chief Executive of the charity Shelter in 1985. After ten years there, McKechnie left to become Head of the Consumers’ Association. In 2001 McKechnie said: ‘I am a fully paid-up member of the awkward squad and will remain so for the rest of my life. No government would ever feel entirely comfortable with me or the association because we are both fiercely, fiercely independent.’

When she was a student at Edinburgh University, McKechnie was a close friend of Gordon Brown. Although she was fiercely independent of Gov’t of course. Awkward Sheila became Dame Sheila in 2001, when her old mate Gordon was Chancellor of the Exchequer.

The fiercely, fiercely independent awkward squad:The Mannings Pig Scramble | Hong Kong Sucks

McKechnie was diagnosed with cancer in 1997 and died in 2004. If Dame Sheila had only been a little more awkward during her lifetime and had not kept quiet about the scams and research fraud on the part of Top Docs and their colleagues, the clinical outcomes for cancer patients in the UK might be rather better than they are at present. Dame Sheila was an activist in the Wimmin’s Movement. So that’s why she remained silent about the abuse and trafficking of vulnerable women and girls within the welfare system of the UK.

Following the Dame’s death the Sheila McKechnie Foundation was established to support a new generation of campaigners.

Clive Jenkins’s proud boast was that he unionised the middle classes. Indeed he did. Thatch destroyed the NUM, the print unions and most of the unions representing what were considered to be working class people. The NHS, universities and schools remained unionised. The BMA is the most powerful trade union in the UK. It tells Gov’ts of every political hue what to do and how much to pay Top Docs.Peeling Oniontown - VICE

The ASTMS was created in 1969 when ASSET (the Association of Supervisory Staffs, Executives and Technicians) merged with the AScW (the Association of Scientific Workers) under the leadership of joint General Secretaries Clive Jenkins of ASSET and John Dutton of the AScW. ASSET, the larger of the two unions, began as the National Foremen’s Association and chiefly represented supervisors in metal working and transport. Covering both the public and private sectors, AScW largely represented laboratory and technical workers in universities, the NHS and in chemical and metal manufacturing. The AScW could name half-a-dozen Nobel prize winners amongst its membership.

Between 1962-70 Ken Livingstone worked at the Chester Beatty cancer research labs looking after the research animals and during this time Livingstone helped found a branch of ASTMS to fight redundancies imposed by company bosses. Ken won’t have missed the opportunity to put what he witnessed going on at the Chester Beatty labs to good use in his later political career.

By the end of 1970 Clive Jenkins had become sole General Secretary of the union. Jenkins kept ASTMS in the public’s eye, within 15 years the union had expanded from 65,000 members to a figure approaching 500,000. This was achieved both by individual recruitment and by merging with small unions and staff associations, such as the Managers’ and Overlookers’ Society, Medical Practitioners’ Union, the United Commercial Travellers’ Association of Great Britain and Ireland, the Union of Insurance Staff and the Prudential Assurance Staff Association. The number of mergers was eventually to exceed 30.

In 1988 ASTMS merged with TASS, the federated white collar section of the AUEW (Amalgamated Union of Engineering Workers) to form MSF. On January 1, 2002 MSF was to amalgamate with the AEEU, a successor to AUEW) to form Amicus. On 1 May 2007 Amicus merged with the TGWU to form UNITE.

Anyone up for a march to Save The NHS From Tory Cuts?

I suspect that those four unidentified professors from Birmingham Medical School who were in post at the time of the smallpox outbreak and who later just happened to become Presidents of their respective Royal Colleges, used their knowledge of life behind the scenes in the smallpox lab as skilfully as Lord Clive Jenkins and Dame Sheila did.

 

Another Top Doctor who had a great deal to do with the Birmingham smallpox outbreak but who’s career suffered no deleterious consequences was Henry Bedson’s friend and senior colleague, Thomas Henry Flewett. In 1956 Flewett had been appointed consultant virologist to East Birmingham Hospital, where he established the Regional Virus Laboratory. Flewett was a member of the senior management team of East Birmingham (now Heartlands) Hospital overseeing Bedson. Flewett was ultimately responsible for the disaster over which Bedson killed himself. It was Flewett who ordered his staff to fumigate the smallpox laboratory with formaldehyde after Janet Parker’s death. Why Flewett told them to do that is a mystery, because formaldehyde would not eradicate smallpox viruses. Formaldehyde is very good at killing and preserving living tissue, but the only characteristics of ‘life’ that viruses have are that they replicate. There is still debate as to whether viruses are ‘alive’ or whether they are merely self-replicating pieces of DNA or RNA. It was also Flewtt who ordered the ward where Janet was cared for to be fumigated. The building at East Birmingham Hospital housing that fumigated ward was later demolished, probably in order to conceal how hopelessly inadequate it was as a location in which to treat a patient with smallpox, even by the standards of 1978. Here’s the scene of the fuckwittery:

It doesn’t inspire confidence does it. Well just take a look at the back of the Medical School building which housed the lab in which Bedson carried out his work with smallpox and the rooms above that lab, in which Janet worked:

The location of the smallpox laboratory (bottom) and the rooms where Parker worked (above):

 

Flewett was a founder member (and subsequently Fellow) of the Royal College of Pathologists and was elected a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London in 1978. He was Chairman of the WHO Steering Committee on Viral Diarrhoeal Diseases, 1990–3, and a member until 1996. Flewett’s Birmingham lab was a WHO Reference and Research Centre for Rotavirus Infections from 1980 until his retirement in 1987. Flewett was a member of the Board of the Public Health Laboratory Service (now Public Health England), 1977-83 and was Chairman of the Public Health Laboratory Service Committee on Electron Microscopy from 1977-87.

Flewett was born in India where his father was a member of the Imperial Forestry Service. Flewett’s father was also a member of the Indian Reserve Army. Flewett was educated at Campbell College, Belfast and qualified as a Top Doctor from Queen’s University, Belfast. He worked at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast and then as a demonstrator at Queen’s University Belfast for two years. Between 1948 and 1951, Flewett worked at the National Institute for Medical Research at Mill Hill. This led to his first use of electron microscopy, ‘in which he became a leading authority’.

Flewett’s work on rotaviruses brought him international recognition. He was one of the first western virologists to be invited to the People’s Republic of China (in 1983) to lecture. He was a judge for the King Faisal International Prize in 1983, which was awarded to Professor John S. Fordtran, Dr William B. Greenough III and Professor Michael Field, for their work on oral rehydration in reducing mortality and morbidity due to cholera and other acute infectious diarrhoeal diseases. Flewett travelled widely as a WHO consultant to most countries in which childhood diarrhoea is a major problem.

 

I noticed the reference to ‘magistrates’ with regard to the 1979 HSE prosecution of Birmingham University. This suggests that lay people heard the case and it was those lay people who rejected all the evidence suggesting that Birmingham University were hugely culpable where Janet Parker’s death was concerned. Unless one of those involved just happened to be a microbiologist, it might have been very difficult for them to weigh up the conflicting evidence presented to them by different Top Doctors, all stressing their ‘expertise’ in the matter. The same situation prevails today. Yesterday morning Radio 4 broadcast a programme in which various people reviewed the newspapers and one story discussed was the recent US Court case in which it was found that the weedkiller Round-Up was responsible for someone’s cancer. The manufacturers of Round-Up have been ordered to hand over a great deal of dosh. There didn’t seem to be any awareness on the part of the Radio 4 guests that there is no firm opinion on whether Round Up (ie. glyphosate) does cause cancer. The argument has raged for quite some time now, but a link has not been demonstrated in the way that the link between tobacco smoking and lung cancer has. The American jury could well have been unaware that the alleged carcinogenic properties of glyphosate are still very much a matter of debate. Someone on the radio also believed that glyphosate presents a risk because people spray it on their gravel paths to keep the weeds down. No, if there is a risk it is from the agricultural use of glyphosate. Some farmers drench their crops in the stuff and indeed in the 1980s, the Agriculture Dept at UCNW (Bangor University) recommended this practice to the students. Add in dishonest expert witnesses and how a jury is ever supposed to get to the truth I cannot understand.

 

BBC News Wales reported yet another good news NHS story – there’s a great many of them in these days of special measures and ever-worsening NHS performance – precisely that the crack team of Top Doctors at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff carried out ‘six kidney transplants in 30 hours’. Dr Mike Stephen, one of the transplant surgeons, mentioned that the theatres used for transplant surgery competed with space for other emergency surgery. As no additional operating theatres have been built, assuming that this story of six transplants in 30 hours is true, it can only mean that if a major incident had occurred – multiple car crash, train crash, a plane crash, industrial accident/explosion etc – that there would have been insufficient capacity in the theatres at UHW to deal with it. Aren’t hospitals supposed to organise matters to ensure that there is always sufficient capacity to allow for a major incident? UHW isn’t on top of Snowdon, it’s in Wales’s biggest city where a major incident could happen.

It was explained by delighted Top Doc Mike Stephen that Wales is now ‘the envy of the world’ because with regard to organ donation, it has ‘the highest rates of consent in the UK, after having previously had the lowest’. This is not true. A recent change in the law in Wales means that now, unless someone actively states that they do not wish their organs to be used for donation, the Top Docs can assume consent. Even if consent has not been given. This massive far-reaching change in the legal ownership of the bodies of the citizens of Wales – they now belong to the state, not the individual – was rushed through with the minimum of debate on the back of an advertising campaign featuring the usual eg. pictures of stylised hearts and other organs, shots of Angels holding the hands of patients and the promise that if the legal change took place, Doctors Would Be Able To Help.

I do not have any problems with organ donation but the main reason why there were so many anecdotes regarding people who carried organ donor cards but who’s relatives ‘were too upset to say yes’ at the time of death, was that the circumstances of so many of those deaths in Wales’s hospitals were just so distressing. The communication between staff and relatives was frequently terrible and if one’s nearest and dearest has had the sort of death that Ann Clwyd’s husband had in the University Hospital of Wales, one is not going to agree to organ donation. No-one addressed this issue, there was simply a command sent out – your organs now belong to the state.

One reason why awful death bed scenes may not have been addressed is that the Health Minister who pushed the presumed consent Measure through was Edwina Hart. Edwina knew just what a bloody dreadful state Wales’s hospitals were in, she knew that the NHS had become a site of considerable confrontation and she knew the sort of experiences that people were having as their relatives lay dying. Dealing with that was much too steep a mountain to climb, so Edwina Passed A Cuddly Fluffy Law. But in the hands of some of those who are running Wales’s NHS, it is not a Cuddly Fluffy Law, it conjures up the sort of scene in Python’s ‘Life Of Brian’, where two dodgy looking characters find their way into an older lady’s home, explain that they’d like her to donate her organs to medical science and then slaughter her.

I note that the good news story regarding Edwina’s Bright Idea appeared a few days after I mentioned on this blog the criminal activities of the former Chair and CEO of the NW Wales NHS Trust, Elfed Roberts and Martin Jones. It was Edwina who failed to deal with those two, despite me sending her enough evidence to have both of them prosecuted. Elfed disappeared from public view, only to quietly re-emerge as a member of the Welsh Ambulance Trust, an appointment made by one Edwina Hart. Martin was recycled into the newly created Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board. Edwina hated Elfed and Martin and they hated her, but they all had so much crap on each other that, as with Ken Clarke’s battle with the BMA in the late 1980s, no-one won. Edwina and the Top Docs loathed each other as well, it was the BMA who organised the Edwina Out campaign. Ah, but this blog is detailing serious crimes on the part of the BMA too. It’s a Rainbow Alliance against Service Shenanigans!

I wish the Rainbow Alliance all the best and I look forward to the next bit of propaganda. The Rainbow Alliance have obviously forgotten that not only do I have 10,000 documents detailing serious crime, but that I haven’t blogged about all the evidence that I have. I’ve also been sent documents relating to other people’s cases that I haven’t even mentioned.

By the way Rainbow Alliance, wasn’t it at the UHW in which the wrong kidney was removed from a patient? The only healthy kidney that he had? He died didn’t he? Now, as I have recently blogged about the close and chummy relationship that the child molester George Thomas had with the UHW, perhaps the Rainbow Alliance would like to clarify whether it was the UHW which treated Thomas for an STI in 1984 but backed up Leo Abse’s plan to issue a press release stating that George had prostate trouble; clarify whether the NHS were footing any part of the bill for George’s bungaloid that was on the doorstep of the UHW; and tell us all how George Thomas managed to wangle such a massive proportion of the hospital building budget for the development of the UHW when the rest of Wales was left with inadequate provision.

One more thing Rainbow Alliance. Among all the other wrongdoing and chaos at the UHW, can you please enlighten us all regarding Mrs Walker’s flagship fertility unit which was alleged to be in operation in the late 1980s at the UHW?  Mrs Walker was a little old lady who didn’t seem to know a great deal about fertility treatment but she was agreeing to treat pretty much anyone who arrived at her door if they had the cash. I don’t know how, because there were bugger all fertility specialists there and there weren’t the labs needed to run a successful fertility unit either. I could find no reference to Mrs Walker’s work when I researched her so I presume that she hadn’t done any. Mrs Walker’s right hand woman didn’t have a PhD and I don’t think that she knew much about fertility treatment either. So what was going on then?

Now you don’t really want me to mention anything else that was going on at the UHW do you? Such as the death of the medical student Philip Jones in 1984, after he volunteered for a clinical trial? Cardiff maintained that Philip’s death was unrelated to the trial, but Philip spent his final days in a London teaching hospital and they did not agree with Cardiff’s stated cause of death. Only no-one was told that the London hospital concluded that Philip’s death was everything to do with that drug trial.

Then there was the Dean of Medicine at Cardiff who was giving his friends places on the Medicine degree, even though they didn’t reach the entry criteria.

Ooh, what about the scores of complaints from the women who had given birth in one particular ward at the UHW, the ward that had such a bad reputation that those in the know made sure that they didn’t give birth there?

I’ll keep my many other accounts of UHW Experiences for the next time that the Rainbow Alliance make a media appearance… Perhaps they could find an area of medicine to boast about of which I do not have knowledge of the most dreadful scams or misconduct?

Dr Mike Stephen, being a transplant surgeon of many years experience, will remember the scandal involving Dr Michael Bewick in the early 1990s. Michael Bewick was a London transplant surgeon who stood accused of performing kidney transplants on Turkish peasants who had been paid for their organs. The scandal came to light after one such Turkish man came forward and claimed that he had not consented to organ donation, he had woken up in London after having been told that he was to undergo some other procedure while ‘on a free holiday to London’ only to find himself minus one kidney. Bewick maintained that he had no idea that the Turks were being paid for their kidneys and that there was never an operation carried out which had not involved informed consent. The GMC found Bewick guilty of serious professional misconduct. His punishment? He was banned from private practice and ordered to ‘work within the NHS’ for I think it was two years. That is the Top Docs’ view of the NHS. The NHS gets the crap that the Top Docs themselves don’t want. I knew a Top Doc at the time of that case who knew Michael Bewick and they assured me that he knew exactly what was going on with regard to those Turkish peasants…

At the time of the Bewick scandal there had been reports of dead bodies washed up on beaches in Turkey which had undergone recent removal of the kidneys. There was much public incredulity and ‘this can’t really have happened’. Well I would not have thought that a police officer known to be corrupt could be thrown out of the North Wales Police by the Chief Constable for er corruption and then be appointed as Chair of an NHS Trust, unlawfully refuse a patient all NHS treatment, have her arrested twice unlawfully, disappear from his job in a blaze of scandal and bad publicity and then be given further appointments as a member of the Board of the Welsh Ambulance Trust and as a governor at Bangor University where he subsequently Chaired the Fair Practice Committee. It happened and we have Edwina Hart to thank for it.

The new Chairman of the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board will be taking up his position within weeks. It is Mark Polin, who has just stood down as the Chief Constable of the North Wales Police. The North Wales Police who have failed to bring any prosecutions against anyone in the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, despite scandal after scandal and police investigations.

I am no longer in Wales, so if I am involved in a serious accident and someone has their eye on my kidneys, I hope that the chances of documentation being destroyed/fabricated and lies being told following my death from clinical negligence to allow the harvesting of my organs is rather less than it would otherwise be. Although I can’t be 100% certain, after all Michael Bewick was not in Wales…

 

Previous blog posts and recent comments added to posts have discussed the activities of the Dreadful Professors Irvine – Fiona, an Angel who was complicit with the abuse of patients and the most frightful workplace bully and her husband Stuart. The Irvines previously both worked at Bangor University and when one brave PhD student went to the HR Dept to make representation about Fiona’s appalling behaviour, he was asked not to make a formal complaint because Fiona ‘is not a nice lady’ and was expected to make a counter complaint against the student. Who had suffered a breakdown at the hands of Fiona. Another source told me that the Irvines had both lined up new jobs for themselves at another university but were conspiring to bring a case against Bangor in order to screw some dosh out of the institution as a golden goodbye. I’m not sure whether that plan did work but imagine my surprise when just weeks later, Stuart and Fiona left for Chairs at Glyndwr University!

The Chancellor of Glyndwr University had been paedophiles’ friend Trevor Jones, but he had been succeeded by Jon Shortridge (see post ‘A Vampire At Glyndwr University!’). Sir Jon Shortridge is a civil servant who served as the Permanent Secretary of the Welsh Office from March 1999 and then of the National Assembly of Wales from its creation in May 1999. Shortridge became Permanent Secretary of the Welsh Assembly Gov’t on its establishment as a separate institution in May 2007 and left the post at the end of April 2008. Which was when Elfed Roberts, Chair of the NW Wales NHS Trust, was having me unlawfully arrested and refusing me NHS treatment and Edwina Hart was failing to deal with it. It was also when Fiona Irvine was abusing her position at Bangor University.

In 2009, Shortridge was brought back as interim Permanent Secretary of the Dept for Innovation, Universities and Skills. Mandelson was the Secretary of State for that Dept and his right hand woman was someone who had grown up on Anglesey, the daughter of Ron Evans, who for years worked as a lawyer for Gwynedd County Council. Ron was the lawyer who, in the wake of the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal, told everyone that what had happened was so serious and so inexcusable that none of them must ever say a word about it to anyone. I know that because Ron’s wife told me. She worked as a lecturer at Bangor University. She is (or was) also a magistrate. Documents in my possession with Ron’s signature on them detail perjury and conspiracy in an attempt to have me imprisoned. The names of colluding officers from the North Wales Police also appear on those documents. See previous posts for details.

The documents with Ron Evans’s name and signature on are from the late 1980s/early 1990s. Jon Shortridge joined the Welsh Office in 1984. I first complained about Dafydd and the gang to Keith Best, a Welsh Office Minister in 1985. Between 1987 and 1988 Shortridge was Private Secretary to two Secretaries of State for Wales, Nicholas Edwards and Peter Walker. Throughout this time the sex trafficking gang caused havoc in north Wales and complaints about the NHS and social services were simply ignored. From 1988 to 1992 Shortridge  was Head of the Welsh Office’s Finance Division. He undertook the Senior Management Review of the Welsh Office in 1995 and was appointed Director of Economic Affairs in 1997, with responsibility for establishing the National Assembly for Wales.

So Sir Jon, did Ron Evans tell you too never to say a word to anyone because what happened was so serious and inexcusable? And how exactly did the delightful Fiona and Stuart let you know that they had all the shit on you and that they’d both like Chairs at Glyndwr University?

Sir Jon was educated at Chichester High School for Boys, then St Edmund Hall, Oxford and then Edinburgh University.

In December 2002, Sir Jon was summoned by the Audit Committee of the National Assembly of Wales in order to be questioned over delays and rising costs surrounding the construction of a new debating chamber, which was to become the Senedd. £250,000 of taxpayers’ money was spent on a legal dispute with sacked architects, the Richard Rogers Partnership. Sir Jon stated during the hearing that the design submitted by the Richard Rogers Partnership would not have been eligible for the original competition if the true costs had been known. The saga of the design for the Senedd and the Richard Rogers Partnership being commissioned is covered in an earlier post on this blog (see post ‘Have The Lambs Stopped Screaming?’). The man largely responsible for it all was the former Secretary of State for Wales, Ron ‘I was looking for badgers’ Davies.

In 2010 Jeremy Colman, the Auditor General for Wales, was imprisoned for the possession of child porn (see post ‘The Reality Is, There Is No Problem’). His position as Auditor General was succeeded by Huw Vaughan Thomas, who had been the Chief Exec of Gwynedd County Council for some of the years when the paedophile gang flourished in the Council’s children’s homes (see post ‘I Know Nuzzing…’). Huw’s son worked in the National Audit Office for Wales and Huw’s his wife, Enid Rowlands, was a Director of the North Wales Health Authority and is/was also a key figure in the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority (see post ‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels’). Huw and Enid have numerous other links with the paedophiles’ friends which stretch back many years, as detailed in previous posts…

Fiona Irvine didn’t stay at Glyndwr University long, within a few short months she bagged a Chair of Nursing at Liverpool John Moores University. This is a woman who was unable to assess the work of a PhD student appropriately because her own grasp of the sociology of health was so shaky. Fiona’s inaugural lecture at Liverpool John Moores was entitled ‘Me, Myself, I’ no less.

Fiona is now Professor and Head of Nursing at Birmingham University. Whatever could be the key to Fiona’s success? Not that she’ll be telling us, Fiona will remember Ron Evans’s advice from all those years ago…

I have discussed in previous posts George Thomas’s many links with the NHS, medical charidees and his role as Patron of the National Children’s Home (NCH). The NCH is now known as Action for Children. Presumably the re-branding exercise followed all those embarrassing revelations that paedophiles were busy working for the NCH. A number of those involved with the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal had worked for the NCH, including Glanville Owen. Glanville was Deputy Director of Gwynedd Social Services, responsible for Gwynedd’s children’s homes for years while the paedophile gang enjoyed themselves within those homes. Glanville later became the Chief Exec of Gwynedd CHC, in which role he lied to patients and failed to investigate serious complaints, including assaults on patients by NHS staff.

I have discovered an entertaining document in the archive of the Margaret Thatcher Foundation. It is the text of a speech that Thatch gave on Jan 17 1990, at the National Children’s Home, as the inaugural George Thomas Society Lecture. The George Thomas Society was founded by the NCH for the purposes of tackling child abuse. For those of us who knew what Thatch was concealing and what George Thomas was up to for decades of his life, this speech is wonderful. I won’t reproduce it all here, it can be found on the website of the Margaret Thatcher Foundation, but I’ll highlight the best bits:

George Thomas is admired and loved throughout this country. As Mr. Speaker, his voice became known in every home. His life has been dedicated to the service of people and especially, through the National Children’s Home, to children. He has never ceased to proclaim the importance of Christian values in family life…

George has always believed that children must come first because children are our most sacred trust….We need to do all we can to ensure that children enjoy their childhood against a background of secure and loving family life. That way, they can develop their full potential, grow up into responsible adults and become, in their turn, good parents.

But it is a sad fact that throughout history some children have been neglected, exploited and cruelly treated. So it was in the mid-19th century in England. Dr. Stevenson, the founder of the National Children’s Home, was born when Lord Shaftesbury was campaigning to reform the appalling conditions in which children were made to work in factories and mines. It was a time when Charles Kingsley described the plight of child chimney sweeps in the “Water Babies” and Charles Dickens that organised juvenile crime in “Oliver Twist” . It was a world in which many children were neglected and even rejected and thrust into a life of crime, violence, exploitation and poverty, yet by the reformers’ response to these conditions, that period also stands out in English history as a period of social progress based on Christian belief.

People like the Earl of Shaftesbury campaigned for laws to protect children; Robert Raikes started the Sunday School Movement, Dr. Barnardo established his famous homes, Prebendary Ruolf founded the Church of England Children’s Society, Benjamin Warr started the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, Margaret MacMillan founded nursery schools and, of course, Dr. Stevenson founded the first National Children’s Home in South London—a remarkable period—and all of this was done because those people felt impelled to care for the needs of these children….

Voluntary societies like yours can respond quickly to meet changing needs. They are run by people with a commitment to building genuine relationships with others and not simply to introducing programmes.

the early reformers were almost all Christians who saw such duties as an expression of their faith…

the very foundation of human happiness lies in the development of secure emotional relationships within the home, but far too many children are denied a secure and affectionate family and that is the greatest deprivation of all. Alas, today, that truth is not universally accepted and it is the children who suffer.

I believe that in the 1960s, far too many young people were ridiculed out of their true beliefs by the proponents of the permissive society who believed in precious little but themselves. They talked a lot about “rights” yet they gave away the fundamental right of a child to be brought up in a real family and now we are reaping the harvest.

There are, of course, some who blame all our social ills on poverty and others who think that affluence is the cause. Certainly, young people who nowadays have more money and more freedom, also have more opportunity to misuse them and some do, but do not blame freedom and prosperity for the faults ingrained in human nature!…

cruelty to children is still with us and the breakdown of so many families adds to the deprivation which children suffer and brings with it a new problem of teenage homelessness…

Over eighty children a year have died at the hands of a parent, step-parent or connected adult and there are thousands more who suffer. Even though child abuse is now more widely reported, it is very disturbing that at any one time about 40,000 children in England alone are registered as needing protection. Tragically, the case histories from a variety of backgrounds suggest that many of those who ill treat their children have themselves, when children, been ill-treated. To use children for sexual purposes, whether through the wicked perversion of sexual abuse or through fantasies induced by child pornography, must provoke the strongest outrage and reaction from individuals and Government alike.

The Government has increased the penalties for child cruelty and tightened the law on child pornography by making possession of this material an offence but I am very concerned by recent reports of what is still occurring…

four out of five lone mothers claiming income support receive no maintenance from the fathers. No father should be able to escape from his responsibility and that is why the Government is looking at ways of strengthening the system for tracing an absent father and making the arrangements for recovering maintenance more effective.

Another area of children in danger is teenage homelessness. The problem is not confined to London but it receives most publicity in the capital. We are not talking about teenagers who leave a perfectly good home voluntarily but about those who leave because of the breakdown of the family and the fact that they do not get on with the new step-father or mother. Sometimes, violence and sexual abuse may also be involved.

Other teenagers come out of Local Authority care with nowhere to go and without being given any proper training in how to look after themselves. I know that in some cases social services departments will find lodgings or a family to which the children can go and that is right because these young people are in special need of someone who cares about them personally…

our initiative on more hostels in partnership with the voluntary sector has produced an extra 21,000 hostel beds in the last eight years and in total, there are now a similar number in London alone and a further 31,000 hostel beds in the rest of England…

not all teenagers who choose to come to London are homeless and we must try not to pursue policies which have the effect of encouraging still more young people to leave their own home for our large cities without any idea of where to live or what to do… 

As well as responding to the problems of homelessness, we in Government have also been especially concerned to do our part to improve the care and protection of children. As a politician, I first came into contact with the problem of child abuse when I was Secretary of State for Education and Science. I used to ask young teachers to come and talk to me about their work. A few told me of children who at the end of the week would cling to their teachers—they were not wanting to go home themselves. What should the teacher do in those circumstances with a child clinging to her? Should she walk home with the child to see the parent or would that bring down the wrath of the parent on the child later? Should they report the incident?Should they call in the social worker or should they even alert the police? To those who would criticise their hesitation, I have frequently said:“Well, what would you do under those circumstances?”

Teachers and social workers and others working with children must have enough confidence to know how to respond. That means proper training for all of those who come into contact with children and everyone must know the circumstances in which the social services or the police have the power to take a child into their protection. 

So last year and this year, we are making £7 million available to Local Authorities to train those involved in caring for children, particularly social workers, and student teachers are now taught about child abuse as an essential part of their preparation for teaching.

We are making the largest ever grant to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children to help them to establish their new training centre…

The Children Act of 1989 is the most comprehensive piece of legislation about children ever enacted in this country; it draws on the experiences learned in Cleveland and through the tragic deaths or abused children such as Kimberley Carlisle, Jasmine Beckford and Tara Henry. Above all, the Act seeks the right balance in protecting those too young and vulnerable to protect themselves while preventing excessive and over-zealous intrusion into family life by the State; and in 1988, the maximum penalties for child cruelty were increased from the previous two years to ten years…

all the voluntary helpers of the National Children’s Home and other similar organisations and all those who give to their work are just such people. Nearly a third of your income of £37 million comes from private individuals and companies and we would like to thank them very much indeed. Truly, this country has become an active and generous society and I know that you, the National Children’s Home, have played an important part in developing new ways of alleviating distress such as “Touchline” , the telephone counselling service for sex abuse victims in Leeds, which is similar to the wonderful work of Esther Rantzen—she is here and we would like to pay tribute to her work too!… Also, the new facilities you are pioneering through the George Thomas Society to overcome the consequence of sex abuse and the programme for sixteen to nineteen year-olds in Wales and for those who are needing care in Calderdale, to equip young people with essential skills such as budgeting, shopping, cooking and housework. Once again, a Methodist Foundation is showing by example that common faith is the best basis for common effort to build a better life in every sense of the word…

They knew—and we dare not forget—that children cannot flourish unless they learn to distinguish right from wrong and have respect and thought for others…

When we have all done our best to repair the broken lives of children, we must also keep in good repair that foundation of standards and values…That way, we can best emulate and honour John Wesley, Lord Shaftesbury—the poor man’s Earl—Dr. Stevenson, the founder of the National Children’s Home, and George Thomas—the children’s Viscount—whom we honour tonight.

When Thatch made this speech she had given George Thomas, who was known to the police and to Parliament to be a serial child sex offender, an hereditary Viscountcy. I don’t know why, because he was a paedophile who targeted boys Thomas had no heirs to whom he could pass on the Viscountcy.

By Jan 1990 Thatch had become good friends with Jimmy Savile and he had spent a few Christmas’s at Chequers with her. Thatch was warned by the civil service that Savile’s ‘private life’ threatened to damage the Gov’t and bring the honours system into disrepute were he to be given a knighthood. Thatch’s response was to lobby ever harder for Savile’s knighthood. Savile received a knighthood in the 1990 Queen’s Birthday Honours.

When Thatch made this speech, her personal friend Sir Peter Morrison, Tory MP for Chester, was Minister of State for Energy. It was known that Morrison was abusing kids in care in north Wales, Cheshire and elsewhere. Thatcher was directly told about this but nonetheless in July 1990 she appointed Morrison as her PPS. He then organised her leadership campaign at the end of that year.

Since 1979 Thatcher had led a Gov’t which had systematically ignored, concealed and colluded with the most dreadful abuse of children and vulnerable young people in north Wales and elsewhere.

Thatch mentioned that Esther was in the audience. I had written to Esther some two years before this speech was given, providing Esther with details of the abuse of mental health patients in north Wales, after Esther launched her campaign re mental health. I did not receive a reply.

Thatch mentions the notion of people knowing right from wrong. Paedophiles and their friends are keen on this idea. When I was illegally imprisoned in the North Wales Hospital Denbigh in Dec 1986, I overheard Janice Davies, Dafydd’s mole and the Sister of Bryn Golau Ward, telephone Dafydd and tell him that I was ‘dangerous’ and had ‘no sense of right and wrong’. Nothing had happened to elicit the phone call, but Dafydd was in need of ‘evidence’ to justify sectioning me because people were asking questions about my unlawful detention. I challenged Janice and she ran out of the office shrieking ‘I never said any such thing’.

Bryn Golau Ward at the time was full of people who were been detained unlawfully because they had in some way crossed the path of the sex trafficking gang which Dafydd was facilitating.

Everyone in positions of responsibility and authority in Wales and Westminster and Whitehall knew something of what was happening. They have so much blood on their hands that it will never wash off.

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I will now try and find out more about this initiative launched by George Thomas for people of 16 to 19 in Wales and Calderdale who had been sexually abused. I shudder to think what I will discover.

Reports Of Death Were Greatly Exaggerated

The stream of people appearing in the media to pledge their loyalty to Top Doctors who tell them that they have cancer when they might well not continues. This supply of eager folk seems to have been given an extra boost since I wrote my post about the massive scams at the heart of cancer research (see post ‘Oh Lordy, It’s CR UK’). The latest person to share his troubles re prostate cancer is a man called Bill Turnbull. He’s someone who is on the TV, but I don’t have a TV and when I have access to one I don’t watch the programmes starring Bill Turnbull, so I only have a rather hazy grasp of who he is. Bill has announced that not only does he have prostate cancer but it has spread to his bones and how he wishes that he’d consulted his Top Doctor four years ago. I do not envy Bill having cancer which has metastasised and I am genuinely sympathetic to his plight, but the harsh reality is that even if he had taken medical advice four years ago, that cancer might well have been missed – as it was in the case of Jade Goody. There is nothing that the Top Doctors like more than a celeb who has developed cancer because they are ruthlessly used to Send A Message.

Bill has been supported by his colleague Fiona Phillips. Now I DO know who Fiona Phillips is – she is a self-centred narcissist who used to be on breakfast TV and she also wrote a column in one of the tabloids. Fiona was a laugh a minute – she took a hard right wing line on everything, was utterly unsympathetic to anyone and was sufficiently bothered by people who wore Birkenstock shoes that she devoted a whole column to the subject. Not that Fiona managed to explain why Birkenstock shoes were so offensive, her column simply repeated ‘they’re not fashionable, they’re ugly. Ugly, ugly, ugly’. A photo of the offending shoes were supplied. Another one of Fiona’s high points was her appearance on TV with Philip Schofield when they rolled around laughing at parents who did not smack their children and Philip proffered the opinion that fings ain’t been the same since they banned the cane in schools.

There is however one cause close to Fiona’s heart – Alzheimers. Although Fiona only became concerned about this when her mother developed the condition and it dawned on Fiona that her mum was soon going to need looking after. So Fiona started campaigning…

 

So in the face of all those who maintain that ‘Sally Baker is a nutter who is talking crap again’, I would like to remind everyone of the Chilvers Report which caused ructions in medicine in Sept 1990. The Chilvers Report was a paper which was published in The Lancet by Clair Chilvers and others who claimed to have demonstrated that cancer patients receiving ‘treatment’ at the Bristol Cancer Help Centre were very much more likely to develop secondary cancer and to die prematurely than patients receiving conventional treatment at the Royal Marsden. The Bristol Cancer Help Centre  was an ‘holistic’ centre which ‘treated’ cancer patients through the use of diets, meditation, relaxation, ‘visualisation’ etc. When the Chilvers paper was published I was a little confused because although I am someone who takes the view that cancer cannot be cured by altering one’s diet or listening to whale songs, I didn’t believe that such things are so detrimental that they finish you off within months. I took the view that they were ineffective rather than actively dangerous.

The Bristol Cancer Help Centre originated in 1979 after Penny Brohn, a cancer sufferer herself, took an interest in what she felt was a deficit in cancer treatment. Brohn initially worked as a child care officer in Bristol in the late 1960s – so she was another person who will have known what was happening to kids in care – then became a lecturer at Bristol Poly and then trained as an acupuncturist and in Chinese medicine. Penny Brohn was married to David Brohn, a civil engineering lecturer at Bristol Poly. Penny Brohn had no medical or scientific education – and her husband managed to acquire a PhD in engineering without having a first degree in engineering, which can be done but is unusual. Penny pooled her resources with Pat Pilkington and her husband Canon Chris Pilkington who were already running a healing clinic in Bristol and they established the Bristol Cancer Help Centre.

The Brohns and Pilkingtons seemed very successful at drumming up positive PR for their Centre. Penny Brohn’s obituary in the Indie in 1999 stated that a journalist was dispatched to ‘expose the flaws’ in complementary medicine, but was ‘so inspired’ by the Bristol Centre that a six part BBC TV series resulted showcasing the work of the Centre, entitled ‘The Gentle Way’. This led to an ‘overwhelming’ public response and the subsequent recruitment of paid staff and a newly acquired building for the Centre, Grove House, which was formally opened by Prince Charles in 1983. Charles really loved the Bristol Centre and Penny’s obituary tells us that in the wake of the Chilvers Report, Penny ‘took great comfort’ from Charles. In fact articles about Penny and the Bristol Centre read a little like Private Eye’s spoof stories penned by Silvie Krin about Charles  – Penny ‘provided hope and inspiration to cancer sufferers the world over’. Sadly for Penny, after the Chilvers Report row, her ‘personal healing journey’ involved her cancer returning with a vengeance and after conventional surgery she retired to Crete and ‘spent several blissful years renovating a mountainside cottage under the comforting rays of the Greek sunshine’.

There seems to be much regarding the establishment and initial success of the Bristol Centre that has gone unmentioned. It is not an easy thing to persuade the BBC to give one one’s own TV series to publicise one’s healing centre before it has even has its own building or paid staff. It doesn’t matter how inspirational one is or how much energy or passion or commitment one has, the BBC don’t usually turn up on one’s doorstep offering one a six part free advert. Penny or one of her mates will have known someone at the BBC.

As for The Gentle Way, there was nothing gentle about the way in which Prince Charles’s Private Secretary Sir Michael Peat pressurised Exeter University to destroy Professor Edzard Ernst’s career and dept after Edzard refused to collude with lies regarding the effectiveness or otherwise of various complementary/alternative therapies (see post ‘Tuppence And His Fragrant Wife’). As Prince Charles would have said had he not been behind it, ‘it really was appalling’.

Penny’s close friend Chris Pilkington was a member of the Pilkington Glass dynasty and for many years was Rector of the City Parish of St Stephen’s in Bristol.

Readers of this blog who follow my comments section might remember that recently someone posted a you tube link in a comment which referred to the alleged involvement of a former Chairman of Pilkington Glass in child abuse. I had never heard this allegation before and have seen no evidence at all to support it. Pilkington Glass was based at St Helen’s on Merseyside and for many years was the biggest employer in the town. Sir Alastair Pilkington was Chairman of Pilkington, 1973-80 and Sir Antony Pilkington – a distant cousin of Sir Alastair – was Chairman, 1980-95. Sir Antony’s uncle, Sir Richard Pilkington, was Tory MP for Widnes, 1935-45 and then Poole, 1951-64. Sir Richard was born on Merseyside and his father Arthur Pilkington was Chairman of Pilkington.

Sir Antony told an interviewe in 1990 that he wanted Pilkington’s to be ‘a good company in the best sense’, ‘not just a money machine’. His concern was reciprocated in much local support for Pilkington’s when it became the target in 1986 of a hostile takeover bid by BTR, an industrial conglomerate known for its ruthless approach to cost-cutting.

In response to the industrial recession of the early 1980s, Pilkington’s had reduced its workforce from 11,500 to 6,700. But they did so on generous terms and much effort – through the pioneering community of St Helen’s Trust, of which Antony Pilkington was founder Chairman in 1978 – to create small-business opportunities for those made redundant.

BTR was rumoured to have abruptly sacked many workers at Dunlop – one of its recent acquisitions – in the week before Christmas. Politicians and local Councillors joined the Pilkington’s workforce in rallying to the Pilkington Board’s support and after a nine week battle BTR was forced to withdraw.

Antony Pilkington was a very effective moderniser. He reformed Pilkington’s hierarchical management structure, reduced the size of its Board and placed new emphasis on salesmanship.

An attempt to diversify into spectacle and contact lenses through the takeover in 1987 of the American firm Visioncare was problematic, but Antony Pilkington continued to search for ways to reshape the group in response to market conditions. In 1992 – once again faced with a sharp recessionary fall in demand for glass – he was forced into another round of cost-cutting at St Helen’s and a rationalisation of its operations in Europe. Recovery was slow, but Pilkington’s remained a world leader in glass technology.

Antony Pilkington was also a Director of GKN, National Westminster Bank and ICI. He was a Governor of Liverpool John Moores University, a member of the Court of Manchester University, a Deputy Lieutenant for Merseyside and High Sheriff of Cheshire in 1996-97.

So Sir Antony was in the midst of many of those previously named on this blog as being involved with or concealing the paedophile ring in north Wales and the north west of England. He was Chairing a company facing serious difficulties on Merseyside in the 1980s. Sir Antony had the disastrous effects of Thatcher’s policies on Merseyside – and then the aftermath – to contend with and he was at the centre of the Liverpool branch of the empire of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and the paedophiles’ friends. He was a Governor of Liverpool John Moores – another Governor was John Hamilton, a very close friend of the paedophiles indeed. Cherie Booth was Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores. Then there was Eric Heffer, Derek Hatton and others on Sir Antony’s doorstep. The whole lot of them were at each others throats and concealing the serious criminality of Dafydd and co (see post ‘These Sharks Are Crap As Well’).

Sir Antony would have been in a very difficult position indeed.

A senior manager who spent many years with Pilkington’s optronics subsidiary in north Wales, Pilkington PE – which later became Thales Optics Ltd and was then divested from Thales in 2005 as Qioptiq Ltd – knew a great deal about serious organised crime and the abuse of children in north Wales. That is Trevor Jones, the Chancellor of Glyndwr University. Trevor Jones has alighted at every notorious stop during his journey as a paedophiles’ friend – including membership of Clwyd Health Authority whilst Dafydd illegally imprisoned the victims of the paedophile gang in the dungeon there. For full details of Trevor and his criminal associates, see post ‘A Vampire At Glyndwr University!’)

 

After the Chilvers Report was published the Bristol Centre received such bad publicity that it lost huge quantities of funding and nearly closed.

The work which resulted in the Chilvers Report was funded by the Imperial Cancer Research Fund and the Cancer Research Campaign. I had worked for the CRC by 1990 and had witnessed exactly how much fraud there was in cancer research, but I was also acutely aware that some of the claims of people providing ‘complementary’ or ‘alternative’ treatments were just as dishonest and misleading. What I desperately wanted was good science carried out by honest people – sadly there was and still is not much of that about.

Following the publication of the article by Chilvers et al, a group of patients and supporters of the Bristol Centre expressed disbelief regarding the results claimed by Chilvers et al and a review of the work was undertaken.

Then came the bombshell. Some major fundamental errors in terms of sampling and analysis had been made by Chilvers et al. Their conclusions were invalid because – as well as for a number of other reasons – the group of patients receiving treatment at Bristol whose progress was compared with those receiving treatment at the Royal Marsden all had cancers at a far more advanced stage and that was the most likely reason why the Bristol patients died so much more quickly than the Royal Marsden patients. Nothing to do with the lethal consequences of The Gentle Way. It was confirmed that where the outcomes of the Bristol patients were concerned, ‘reports of death were greatly exaggerated’.

Chilvers et al fessed up that they had got this badly wrong and Sir Walter Bodmer, the Director General of the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, issued an apology and published a near total retraction.

Now Walter Bodmer is worth taking a closer look at. Walter’s wiki entry describes him as a ‘German-born British human geneticist’. Walter’s web page on the Oxford University site tells us that ‘In 1996, Sir Walter Bodmer assumed his current position at the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine as Head of the Cancer and Immunogenetics laboratory and more recently within the Department of Oncology.  After obtaining a PhD in Genetics from Cambridge University, he moved to Stanford University in California where he rose to the position of Professor. In 1970, he returned to the UK as the first Professor of Genetics at Oxford University. He subsequently became the Director of Research, and finally the Director General, of the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and was knighted in 1986.’

Walter’s wiki states that Walter studied the Mathematical Tripos as a student of Clare College, Cambridge and was awarded his PhD in 1959 from Cambridge for research on population genetics in the house mouse and Primula vulgaris (primrose). So Walter began life as a population geneticist – so he will probably have known Prof Greig-Smith, the Cambridge-educated quantitative ecologist who dominated the School of Plant Biology at Bangor University for many years whilst Dafydd and the paedophiles’ friends ran Bangor University. Prof Greig-Smith was a colleague of Dr Chris Wood, the wife of the corrupt GP Dr DGE Wood who was playing a key role in facilitating the sex abuse ring. If Walter didn’t personally know Greig-Smith, he will definitely have known people in Greig-Smith’s circle. Greig-Smith was a colleague of Cambridge botanist Edred Henry Corner, who was the uncle of Douglas Hurd. Hurd was Home Secretary, 1985-89, whilst the Home Office ignored and concealed the criminality of Dafydd and the paedophiles and framed victims and witnesses for serious crimes if they made complaint. For further details of this sordid network and their skulduggery, see post ‘Additional Security Measures’.

After I wrote ‘Additional Security Measures’ Brown observed ‘a whole load of posh people who weren’t very bright and didn’t work too hard all getting jobs for their mates’. That’s just about the sum of it and it wasn’t only happening among natural scientists at Cambridge and Bangor Universities.

In 1985 Walter Chaired the Royal Society Committee which resulted in The Bodmer Report, credited with starting the movement for the public understanding of science. If the public really understood science, Walter would be out of a job and no-one would be running a marathon dressed in a pink bra to raise money for cancer research.  

Bodmer was one of the first to suggest the idea of the Human Genome Project. He was the Director of Research (1979–1991) and then Director General (1991–1996) of the Imperial Cancer Research Fund. So Walter was Director of Research whilst the deeply flawed comparative study involving the Bristol patients was carried out. Looks like that ball was firmly in Walter’s court.

Not that it held Walter back. He was Chancellor of the University of Salford, 1995-2005 and Principal of Hertford College, Oxford, 1996-05.

Whilst Walter was Chancellor of Salford, that institution hosted a rather troubled social work dept. Walter was succeeded as Chancellor of Salford by Sir Martin Harris, upon whose watch a Professor of Social Work Research was appointed, whose incompetence and dishonesty would have made Water proud. I and two colleagues at Bangor encountered the fuckwittery of this man over a period of months and at first we wondered if he was having some sort of breakdown in the light of his chaos, crazy e mails and outright lies. Then a colleague of mine met someone from Salford University who told him that an utterly mad Professor of Social Work had been appointed because Salford wanted to pretend that it was hot stuff in the research arena, but this Professor knew nothing about research, lied through his teeth to everyone about his experience and pompoused around the university in an expensive suit smarming to visitors. It all caused much resentment at Salford.

Martin Harris was born in Ruabon – at the heart of the north Wales paedophile gang.  Harris’s father William Harris was appointed City Librarian of Plymouth – so he’ll have known Michael Foot’s family who were lawyers in Plymouth and undoubtedly knew Michael Foot, Labour MP for Plymouth Sutton, 1945-52 and later leader of the Labour Party who spent years concealing sexual abuse in politics and other high places (see post ‘Oh, No! It’s The Pathetic Sharks…’).  Martin Harris will have also known the MP for Plymouth Devonport, 1966-92 – Dr Death! Dr Death knew some of the Top Doctors who were involved in criminal activities in Wales (see post ‘Dr Death’).

Martin Harris was educated at Devonport High School for Boys, Queen’s College, Cambridge and at SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies).  He began his academic career at the University of Leicester in 1967 – where a great many people were concealing the paedophile gang of which Greville Janner and Frank Beck were part of (see post ‘Radical Leicester And Some Other Free Radicals’).  Harris spent 15 years at the University of Salford as a Senior Lecturer, Professor of Linguistics, Dean and later, Pro-Vice-Chancellor. From 1984 to 1987 he was a member of the UGC (University Grants Committee). In 1984 the UGC and its hatchet man Sir Peter Swinnerton-Dyer imposed such a severe grant cut on Salford that the University very nearly didn’t survive. So Harris gave his own institution a real kicking.

As a member of the UGC, Martin Harris will have known how Alwyn Roberts, a PVC at UCNW (Bangor University) persuaded the UGC and Swinnerton-Dyer not to close Bangor down, which was what Swinnerton-Dyer planned to do. The negotiating had a great deal to do with so many staff at Bangor being involved with, concealing or at least knowing about the paedophile ring in north Wales of which a member was Sir Peter Morrison, Thatcher’s aide and friend. Morrison’s sister was Lady-in-Waiting to HM Lilibet – at the time Prince Charles was Chancellor of the University of Wales (until relatively recently, Bangor and most of the other Welsh colleges were constituent members of the University of Wales).

Harris’s first appointment as Vice-Chancellor was at the University of Essex in 1987. He was VC of the Victoria University of Manchester from 1992 until its dissolution and reformation as the University of Manchester in 2004. So Harris knew about Dafydd’s mates at Manchester who really pushed the boat out to conceal the paedophile gang in north Wales/Cheshire as well as the havoc that they caused in the mental health services in Manchester (see post ‘The Mentor’).

Martin Harris was a member of the CHI (Commission for Health Improvement) whilst it gave a glowing review of the mental health services in north west Wales at a time when so many patients committed suicide that it showed up as a statistical outlier and when a number of patients were framed for criminal offences after complaining about staff violence. At least two members of staff met the CHI and told them in no uncertain terms that the Hergest Unit was very troubled and unsafe for patients, but that glowing inspection report from Harris et al arrived a few weeks later nonetheless (see post ‘Discussions On The Minibus – And A Revealing Letter’).

Martin Harris’s appointments since retirement from the University of Manchester include that of Deputy Chairman of the North West Development Agency, 2002-2008 and Director of Fair Access at OFFA, 2004-2012. Harris was President of Clare Hall, Cambridge, 2008-13.

Martin will be awaiting his peerage at the moment.

 

To return to Walter. In 2005, Bodmer was appointed to lead a £2.3 million project by the Wellcome Trust at Oxford University to examine the genetic makeup of the UK , the People of the British Isles project.

The research interests of the Cancer and Immunogenetics Laboratory at Oxford of which Walter is currently head include the fundamental genetics and biology of colorectal cancer. So if older readers are wondering why cancer testing kits are arriving unsolicited through their letter boxes with a letter demanding that they send a sample of their turds by return of post, blame Walter. That cancer screening initiative – as with the PSA test for prostate cancer – has a high rate of false positives.

Walter has quite a fitting name for someone involved in cancer screening cons. I remember a 1970s TV sitcom in which most of the humour centred around an elderly man called Walter of whom people constantly enquired ‘have you been Walter?’, the implication being that Walter need to pee on quite a regular basis. Because of course he suffered from benign prostatic hypertrophy – as do nearly all older men – so needed to go for a widdle fairly frequently. As I bet does Walter Bodmer and I very much doubt that Bodmer will have his own prostate removed on the basis of a PSA test result, because he will have heard about the concerns over the accuracy of that test.

The deeply flawed study concerning the clinical outcomes of the Bristol patients began in 1985. Walter was given his knighthood in 1986.

Walter’s wife Lady Julia Bodmer was a Distinguished Geneticist as well, although she didn’t have a science degree. What she did have was a husband.

The Royal College of Physicians ‘Lives of the Fellows Online’ tells us that Lady Julia ‘played an important role in discovering and defining the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) system, the system of inherited differences which accounts for graft rejection and for susceptibility to autoimmune diseases’. Lady Julia was born Julia Pilkington (whether she was any relation of the Pilkington’s mentioned above I do not know) but the Royal College reminds us that at school she was Head Prefect. Julia then went to Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, PPE – just like David Cameron and so many other politicians! Immediately after graduating, Julia tied the knot with Walter. She followed him to Cambridge and worked as an assistant economist.

Julia moved to Stanford University with Walter and began her family. She began working with Walter on tissue typing. In her first projects, she identified two new tissue types and laid the basis of the first two genes of the HLA system. She went on to find many new types and analyse their distribution in populations. David Cameron never did that with his PPE degree, but then he wasn’t married to Walter.

In 1970, Julia moved back to Oxford, to the new genetics laboratory – guess who had just been appointed Professor of Genetics there? This enabled the genius which was Julia to expand her work to include associations between HLA types and disease. She highlighted the association between HLA type and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis, helping to establish the immunological basis of these diseases.

In 1979, Julia transferred to the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in London – when her husband was appointed Research Director there. She extended her work to include analyses of Hodgkin’s disease, Burkitt’s lymphoma and testicular cancer. Through her analysis and collection of families with a history of testicular cancer, she was able to identify the first testicular cancer susceptibility gene.

When Walter became Principal of Hertford College, Julia moved back to Oxford to establish – with Walter – a new laboratory, working on genetic variation in human populations.

Julia helped found the European Federation for Immunogenetics and was President in 1999. She was an honorary Fellow of Hertford College and a fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. She was awarded a DSc by Oxford University. Well as Julia still didn’t have a science degree, it must have been getting a bit embarrassing and the postdocs were probably fuming at the way in which Walter’s missus was parachuted into senior positions whenever he bagged a new job, so Oxford gave her a science degree to tidy it up.

Walter and Helen had three children – Mark, Helen and Charles.

A Dr Mark Bodmer is Chief Scientific Officer and President of R&D at Evelo Biosciences, Inc.

A Dr Helen Bodmer is featured on the Cambridge University Centre for Science and Policy website and is described as being ‘Head, MRC and Health Research Team, Research Funding Unit, Department for Business Innovation & Skills’. The website tells us that ‘Helen’s role as Head of the MRC and Health Research Team includes being the Departmental lead for policy on academic medical research and matters relating to the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Office for Strategic Coordination of Health Research with high level strategic overview of publicly funded medical research in the UK. She also has responsibility for sponsorship and performance management of the MRC. She works closely with colleagues in her unit which covers all areas of scientific research as well as with the Office for Life Sciences in BIS and other Government Departments, especially the Department of Health and the Home Office. In addition to this she is the UK Delegate for the IDEAS programme (FP7) for the European Research Council.’

So Helen decides who’s going to get the dosh. Now I wonder what Helen might prioritise?

Helen’s background is as an immunologist and rheumatologist and she spent four and a half years as an Inspector in the Home Office Animals (Scientific Procedures) Inspectorate. So Helen inherited Walter and Julia’s tendency to be an immunologist – Walter could no doubt draw us a nice diagram explaining the transmission of the gene responsible or indeed build us a model of the DNA involved and can no doubt also trace the trait back to the time when the Bodmers were nitrogen in the atmosphere before they had actually evolved into scientific giants. Helen was also one of those responsible for allowing questionable animal research to continue without letting the general public know what was being permitted.

A Dr Charles Bodmer is an endocrinologist at Colchester General Hospital. He has some rave online reviews from his patients who compliment him on listening to them, having a sense of humour and also supporting them in their decisions to try alternative therapies. So if he is Walter’s son, he’s obviously learnt something from his father’s mistakes. Dr Charles Bodmer has an interest in diabetes. Perhaps he could do something about all the scaremongering over the allegations that fat bastards with diabetes have brought the NHS to its knees, because he will know that it is more complicated than that.

 

The ensuing row after Walter Bodmer’s apology re the Bristol study was enormous. The Bristol Cancer Help Centre and their supporters declared that this was all a dirty tricks attack from the Top Doctors – it might have been, I wouldn’t have put it past them, but it might just have been more shite, sloppy, dishonest research of the sort that I had witnessed so often. At the time there was a huge war taking place between alternative practitioners and Top Doctors and lies and misinformation were being spread by both sides. Patients’ interests were completely lost in the face of all this and they were left confused and in a very vulnerable position.

The supporters of alternative therapy at the time particularly hated Professor Michael Baum, because he made comments about people who use alternative therapy being middle aged female Guardian readers in ethnic weave clothes. Baum should have acknowledged that the reason why so many people were consulting alternative therapists was because they were having such bad experiences with Top Doctors. However Baum did write an interesting article not so long ago about the obsession with prostate screening and what a waste of time it all is, which culminated in the words ‘keep your fingers out of my anus’. I feel very much the same way myself – indeed it was my resistance to the groping suggestions of the sex traffickers of north Wales which brought the venom of the Top Doctors down upon my head for the next 35 years – but Michael Baum theorised that the obsession with other people’s prostates was an attempt to ‘turn men into women’. I think it is more complex than that – it is certainly an attempt to render men as docile and as obedient as many women have been rendered as they are terrified by horror stories of the many cancers from which they will suffer if they do not Get Screened, but it is also part of growing state authoritarianism in the style of Foucault’s ‘Birth of the Clinic’, ‘Discipline and Punish’ etc. It is of course substantially fuelled by the great Top Doctors’ medical research con.  Michael Baum knows as well as I do that bad practice and research fraud have been endemic in medicine for many years and have never been tackled.

Following the confessions that the Chilvers Report was deeply flawed, in Nov 1990 one of the co-authors of the Chilvers paper – Prof Tim McElwain – was found dead. It was assumed that he had committed suicide. Everyone sobered up and it finally dawned on the world exactly how very nasty all this was. Tim McElwain trained at Barts, then worked at Hammersmith Hospital and Great Ormond Street. He became a Consultant at the Royal Marsden in 1972 and was appointed CRC Professor of Medical Oncology at the Royal Marsden and Institute of Cancer Research in 1983. Tim McElwain will have known that research fraud in medicine was extensive.

I was still working in biomedical research when all this happened and I can remember it well, but when I was searching the internet earlier for some of the crucial details about the matter, I notice that certain things seem to have disappeared. I can’t find details of the circumstances under which Prof Tim McElwain died – although ‘pressure of work’ was blamed – so I can’t even do what I usually do and try and work out if there was anything suspicious about his death. Tim McElwain wasn’t the leading author of the paper but he was described as being ‘the most outspoken’ – I have no idea why he felt so bad about it all that he ended up killing himself. Although the Chilvers article was absolutely panned, patients of the Bristol Centre were subsequently very critical of the Bristol Centre as well. In 1993 one angry patient spoke to the Indie claiming that the Bristol Centre had made claims that they could not substantiate and had abandoned patients.

Who could ever tell what had happened behind the scenes.

I also cannot find the original paper by Chilvers et al – I don’t have access to a university library at the moment, so I haven’t been able to search very extensively – but I suspect that like the paper which resulted from the research fraud perpetrated by my old bosses Malcolm Pearce and Geoffrey Chamberlain at St George’s Hospital Medical School (see posts ‘I Don’t Believe It!’ and ‘Oh Lordy, It’s CR UK’), The Lancet has ensured that the testament to the wrongdoing of the Top Doctors can no longer be accessed. After all, the show must go on – there are celebs queuing up to appear on TV telling us that they have cancer and how they wished that they had consulted the Top Doctors and Got Tested, there are highly paid CEOs of cancer research charities and all those fundraisers whose bread and butter (or rather truffles and lobster) is dependent upon anxious people being convinced that they’re about to drop dead if they don’t Get Tested and then there are the thousands of women who need to be encouraged to participate in fun runs whilst wearing pink bras to raise money for the often fraudulent research upon which some Top Doctors have built their reputation. Furthermore where would the nation’s politicians be if they could not take part in photocalls with Top Doctors whilst wearing coloured ribbons and Pledging Their Support? It detracts attention from the abuse of the Parliamentary expenses system, the round the clock troughing and the lucrative company directorships.

The Chilvers affair did not bring an end to the merry-go-round – not only did the Pearce-Chamberlain scandal occur three years later, but Mark Williams and his Mindfulness scam (see post ‘The Biggest Expert Of The Lot’) conquered the world and the people whom I knew thirty years ago who were behaving appallingly started landing knighthoods and peerages for their ‘pioneering work’. Photos of their grinning mugs litter the websites of the charities asking people on modest incomes who have no idea of the scale of the con to hand over dosh.

 

Clair Chilvers, the leader of the team which carried out the flawed research and who was the lead author of the article didn’t seem to suffer many negative consequences at all.

At the time of the research, Chilvers was Professor of Epidemiology working in cancer research at the Queen’s Medical Centre, University of Nottingham. So Clair was was one of those people who worked in the building just over the footbridge from the international disgrace which was Robert Baldwin’s Cancer Research Campaign Laboratories. Clair will have definitely heard about Baldwin’s chamber of horrors (see post ‘Oh Lordy, It’s CR UK’), Queen’s Medical Centre knew about Baldwin.

So what did Clair do after the shit hit the fan and Tim was found dead? She went to work for the Department of Health of course. Clair was subsequently Chair of Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust and Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Clair is now Chair of the charity that she founded in 2008 – Mental Health Research UK! A nice photo of Clair can be found on the MIRCYL (Mental Illness Research In Children And Young Lives) website explaining that her organisation ‘has made grants for PhDs to a number of different universities in the UK. Her research background is in breast cancer research and so she is very well versed in best practice when commissioning new research’.

Clair is fighting stigma and is committed to achieving equality.

Er – OK. Clair – lest you have forgotten, a member of your research team died as a result of a huge scandal of which you were the key mover and shaker. Do you think that the world of mental health research actually needs you? Or has it got you because cancer research wouldn’t have you back?

Others involved with Mental Health Research UK include: Lord David Neuberger, former President of the Supreme Court – David is well connected with the paedophiles’ friends (see post ‘The Most Dangerous Man In The World – The Scottish Play’); Professor Nick Rawlins, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, University of Oxford and Professorial Fellow of Wolfson College. Rawlins is Professor of Behavioural Neuroscience and has worked on schizophrenia. He became Associate Head of Oxford’s Medical Sciences Division in 2008.  Rawlins is responsible for leading the development of the University’s external fundraising strategy. His most cited paper is ‘Place navigation impaired in rats with hippocampal lesions’, published in Nature in 1982.  That’ll knock ’em dead  when it comes to fighting stigma. Chilvers’ co-founder of Mental Health Research UK was the late John Grace QC. Early in his career, Grace defended a group of Hell’s Angels in a ‘turf war’ involving shotguns and pick-axes. Later on he specialised in medical negligence and healthcare law. Did John Grace represent patients who had been harmed? No. Grace represented Top Doctors who were facing disciplinary action and Health Authorities in some of the UK’s highest profile cases in which patients had died or been harmed or who had murdered other people when severely mentally ill and not in receipt of the care that they needed.

John Grace was involved in the case of Christopher Clunis, the mentally ill man who in 1992 killed a complete stranger on Finsbury Park tube station. It transpired that Clunis was extremely ill, had been for a long while, was known to the mental health services in north London and had been scandalously neglected. The Health Authority involved was Camden and Islington Health Authority. Tessa Jowell, Frank Dobson and Jeremy Corbyn have all been involved with the social services and health authorities in Camden and Islington. Any of you like to comment?

John Grace QC was bitten on the bum by the Top Doctors in the same way that Tessa has been – he developed a brain tumour with a poor prognosis. All those years of research fraud and lying to the patients about the excellence of care does have consequences…

Clair Chilvers is also a Trustee of the Barnwood Trust, whose ‘vision is to create the best possible environment in Gloucestershire for disabled people and people with mental health problems to make the most of their lives’. In addition, Clair is a Director of the Churchill Lodge Management Company – and the dear old McPin Foundation. The McPin Foundation is committed to service user led research – except when I and another service user with a PhD and postdoc experience applied for jobs with them they explained that the roles for service users were only very junior and they couldn’t possibly give Real Academics like us jobs with McPin. Probably because we’d have seen straight through Clair Chilvers and might even have known who she was…

The Chilvers Report scandal of course was discussed in the Commons. The aftermath was still rumbling on five years after Chilvers et al had published their paper. Hansard, June 14 1995, records Jean Corston, the Labour MP for Bristol East, becoming very irate.

Corston was uncritically supportive of the Bristol Centre, as were many other MPs. I note that Corston praised the Centre for using massage – whereas nearly everything that the Bristol Centre was doing was benign (although some patients had ended up with malnutrition after taking the dietary advice to extremes), it is now accepted that massaging patients with cancer is most definitely not a good idea because it encourages metastases. Corston reminded the House that in 1985, an agreement was reached that the Imperial Cancer Research Fund and Cancer Research Campaign would finance two research projects on breast cancer, to be conducted under the auspices of the Institute of Cancer Research. The project was set up under the directorship of Clair Chilvers. After two years of a five-year study, the interim findings claimed that the Bristol patients were faring very badly and it was these findings which caused the rumpus.

Corston told the House that a number of people questioned the findings including Professor Karol Sikora ‘a well-respected and internationally renowned oncologist’. Sikora worked at Hammersmith Hospital/Royal Postgraduate Medical School and was there when I was a postgrad there in 1987. He was every bit as unpleasant and dishonest as the rest of them there and was very unpopular. Sikora later fell out with everyone in a major way and latterly Imperial College – the institution with which Hammersmith/RPMS merged – made a point of stressing that Sikora was nothing to do with them when he continued to use the title Professor. Sikora has spent the last few years arguing for the dismantling of the NHS. He is a very rich man who wishes to become even richer and he has big interests in private medicine. Sikora established a group with an enlightening sounding name – Doctors for Reform – but this is a group which has been lobbying hard for the abolition of the NHS.

Corston mentioned the BBC Taking Liberties programme which was screened not long before she spoke in the Commons, which was sympathetic to the Bristol Centre. Corston was critical of Michael Baum and Gordon McVie (of the Cancer Research Campaign) who continued to repeat the allegations that the Bristol patients fared worse than the Royal Marsden patients.

Gordon McVie was the man who spent time with the dying George Carman QC and persuaded Carman to leave a legacy to the CRC. Carman was a violent, totally corrupt barrister who was close friends with crooked police officers and gangsters. He was retained by Jimmy Savile, he knew about the Westminster Paedophile Ring and its link to north Wales and he defended serious offenders whom he knew to be guilty. A lot of Top Doctors cultivated Carman’s company as did many politicians and media figures (see posts ‘No Ordinary Methods’ and ‘ No Ordinary Methods – Supplementary Post’).

Corston called for a review of the data from the Chilvers’ trial by a body such as the GMC. The GMC knew just how widespread medical research was and they’d spent years concealing the serious criminal activities of Dafydd and the paedophiles, so what joy Corston thought that she’d get out of the GMC I don’t know. Furthermore in June 1995 the GMC struck Malcolm Pearce off for his part in the St George’s research fraud, but they took no action against Geoffrey Chamberlain who was very much part of it and whose name was on the paper publishing the account of an operation which had never taken place. Malcom Pearce was struck off days before Corston made these comments in the House – she will have been aware of the case, it received widespread publicity (see posts ‘I Don’t Believe It!’ and ‘Oh Lordy, It’s CR UK’).

Corston mentioned Professor Peter Garland, Chief Executive of the Institute of Cancer Research. Garland was Chief Exec, 1989-99. Garland presided over the Institute when some of the people whom I worked with on a CRC project at the University of Surrey were working at the Institute. I never witnessed them taking part in research fraud, but they admitted to me that the knew that Robert Baldwin at Nottingham was not doing what he claimed to be doing – and I recently discovered that data from work carried out by me whilst I was at Surrey was given to Professor Nicola Curtin at Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Medical School without my knowledge or consent and Curtin subsequently published it under her name (see post ‘Oh Lordy, It’s CR UK’). Nicola Curtin was not one of the collaborators on the project at Surrey and I had never even heard of her until a couple of weeks ago when I found a 1989 paper with my name on it – and Curtin’s.

When Peter Garland retired, the Chairman of the Institute for Cancer Research gave him a warm send-off praising his enormous achievements and the expansion of the Institute under his leadership. Who was that Chairman? None other than Dame Stella Rimington, Director General of MI5, 1992-96.

The Dame was particularly impressed by Garland because it was under him that the Institute for Cancer Research identified the breast cancer gene BRCA2. It is because of that particular discovery that Angelina Jolie decided that a sensible course of action would be to have a double mastectomy and her ovaries removed. She may well have had a few other bits taken out as well. Because Angela was given much publicity for doing this and the media waxed lyrical about her Bravery in the face of Risk, many other women Got Tested, found that they too had the BRCA2 gene and had a great many organs removed lest they developed cancer. It has now been admitted that the chances of people with the BRCA2 gene developing cancer are less than feared and even if they do, the sort of drastic surgery pioneered by Angelina is not necessary.

Stella – the reason why somebody made you Chairman of that Institute is that they will have been very concerned as to what was going on in there. You were supposed to put a stop to it. But then as the security services are known to have concealed organised sexual abuse by Westminster and Whitehall figures and bugged, burgled and harassed the victims and witnesses rather than the criminals involved (see post ‘Oh Lordy, It’s CR UK’), perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised that the research fraud continued.

Stella studied archive administration at the University of Liverpool in the late 1950s. Which was just about when Dafydd was finishing his medical degree there. Lucille Hughes also studied at Liverpool University in the late 1950s. Perhaps they all spent many happy hours getting pissed together which was why MI5 was so helpful to Dafydd and Lucille when they ran the paedophile and sex trafficking ring.

Stella has since been a non-executive Director of M&S. They still aren’t capable of producing any worthwhile clothes.

 

Corston told the Commons that a group of irate patients from the Bristol Centre took the Imperial Cancer Research Fund and the Cancer Research Campaign to the Charity Commissioners and that the two charities were censured by the Commissioners in January 1994 for inadequate supervision of the research and that the Commissioners recommended guidelines on the responsibilities of charities that fund medical research.

So that’s why Chilvers is now leading a mental health research charity.

Whilst making reference to the Taking Liberties TV programme screened in May 1993, ‘Cancer Wars’, Corston spoke of the ‘barons’ of cancer research and treatment from the medical establishment and how this was a David and Goliath struggle. It wasn’t – it was a punch-up between two Goliaths and the patients were damaged by the battle.

Lady Olga Maitland – a ludicrous figure from a past era, then the Tory MP for Sutton and Cheam – chipped in to defend the cancer research establishment. The Royal Marsden and Institute for Cancer Research were in her constituency, so she wasn’t going to upset them. My post ‘Doris Karloff – Honest About Her Expenses But Not Much Else’ describes how Ann Widdecombe and Olga Maitland obtained covert funding, free labour and support for their insane campaigning group ‘Woman and Families for Defence’ from London University in the 1980s.

A junior Health Minister Tom Sackville also joined in the Commons debate. He didn’t say anything very original or enlightening, but I’m interested in Tom by dint of him being a junior health Minister at this time – June 1995. In June 1995 the world was told that the North Wales Hospital Denbigh and its dungeon had been virtually closed down and was told later that summer that the institution was shut and that the patients had all been transferred elsewhere. We now know that this was not true. Part of that hospital was still open and remained open for some time – but again, no-one has ever been transparent about for how long for and why. Someone e mailed me recently telling me that they had put in an FoI request about this and had received a rather cryptic answer that wasn’t very informative.

We know why that hospital couldn’t be closed down as planned – it was because people were illegally imprisoned out there, some of them had been there for years and questions would be asked if those people materialised. I have explained in previous posts how records at the North Wales Hospital – like the records of the kids in care in north Wales – were unlawfully amended, forged, written after the events that it was alleged they were documenting or simply disappeared. So there will have been people in that institution who perhaps – like the Queen’s cousins who were discovered in a long stay institution in Surrey in the 1980s – had been declared dead. (I have received an e mail from someone who told me that there were actually five children of that generation in the Royal Family who were locked up and written out of history.) There was the dungeon at Denbigh and whoever was still locked up in there. And then there were the bodies that are in the grounds or possibly concealed within the building.

People died out there Sackville and that’s why they couldn’t shut the place down and then had to tell a pack of lies.

Tom Sackville was the Tory MP for Bolton West, 1983-97. His first career was as a merchant banker. Between 1992-95 he was a junior Health Minister and then between 1995-97, a Home Office Minister. So Tom was in the Dept of Health throughout the chaos and the dirty dealing which preceded Dafydd’s retirement (see post ‘The Evolution of a Drugs Baron’) as well as when the public were lied to about the closure of Denbigh. Sackville will also have known about the paedophile ring and drug offences that were facilitated by St George’s Hospital Medical School whilst he was in the DoH (see post ‘A Galaxy Of Talent’). Sackville’s time in the Home Office will have meant that he was party to information regarding the investigation into the north Wales paedophile ring and events in the run up to the Waterhouse Inquiry. Which William Hague only agreed to hold once Sir Peter Morrison was found safely dead in July 1995. Sackville was transferred to the Home Office some time in 1995 after June.

Have you anything to declare Tom?

Tom is the CEO of the International Federation of Health Plans. The International Federation of Health Plans was founded in 1968 by a group of health insurance industry leaders. With 80 member companies in 25 countries, it is the ‘leading global network of the industry’. It states that it’s  aim is to ‘assist in the maintenance of high ethical and professional standards throughout the industry’. Then Tom’s your man!

Tom’s older brother is William Herbrand Sackville, 11th Earl De La Warr. William’s younger son Ed is married to Sophie – they are good mates with Prince William and Kate and their daughter Viola was born pretty much at the same time as Prince George.

I wonder how William and Kate’s mental health campaigning is going?

 

There are two big mental health stories on Guardian Online today. One reports that a Guardian investigation found that 271 ‘highly vulnerable’ patients died between 2012 and 2017 after 706 failings by NHS bodies. Coroners have been so alarmed at the lapses in care that emerged during inquests that they issued legal warnings to 136 NHS bodies, mainly providers of care, between 2012 and 2017. They included mental health trusts, acute hospitals, ambulance services and GP surgeries. From what I can work out, the figures apply to England only. Paul Farmer, the CEO of MIND, has dispensed his pearls of wisdom about every death being a ‘tragedy’. Farmer has led MIND for years whilst they closed their eyes very firmly in the face of patient abuse and harm and before he was CEO of MIND Farmer led Rethink – where he ignored exactly the same problems. I know because I wrote to Farmer whilst he was at Rethink supplying him with details of the serious criminality on the part of the mental health services in north Wales and I did not receive a response. Farmer sat on the Westminster Gov’ts Mental Health Task Force and has recently been met with protests following his involvement with the Westminster Gov’ts plan to coerce people with mental health problems into work that many of them are too unwell to undertake. Farmer is very much part of the problem – and nets a very big salary indeed in return for colluding with this holocaust.

One of the Trusts named and shamed by the Guardian was Camden and Islington – who have been destroying the lives of vulnerable people for decades now. Another one was the Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. Camden, Islington, Cheshire, Wirral – all the locations of the vicious paedophile gangs in the 1980s and 90s who were operating through the Social Services and mental health services. As in north Wales, a legacy has been left.

The Guardian article goes into some detail regarding the ‘NHS failings’ and attempts to unpick the problem using a breakdown of the ‘reasons why things are going wrong’. It’s simple – many of the staff really do not care if their patients remain alive or not and are dripping with contempt for them anyway. If the Guardian actually reported what was going on instead of using phrases like ‘staff underestimated the risk that patients posed of suicide’ they would admit that scenes in which Top Doctors and other staff snap at suicidal patients ‘well we can’t stop you if that’s what you want to do’ or ‘you’ve felt like this before and never done it’ or have distressed psychotic patients arrested for shouting or swearing are routine in some units. The other old favourite is to make the environment as distressing as possible for voluntary patients and then tell them that if they don’t like it they can leave. What is happening to patients is simply not encapsulated by the sanitised language that is used in these reports – it does not begin to capture the brutality and inhumanity with which patients are often met.

The whole process of mental health care for many years has been diabolical. The diagnoses don’t make sense and are frequently changed at psychiatrists’ convenience anyway and many people find that many of the treatments simply don’t help them. For people in serious distress the care is woefully inadequate. Mental health professionals often simply view their patients as ‘just being like that’, with no understanding that they might have once been very different – it’s called being seriously ill. I have recently been reading about the actress Emily Lloyd who went through years of a very bad time and had the usual spectrum of meaningless diagnoses applied to her – from what I read Emily showed all the signs of someone who had been subjected to the usual years of fuckwittery and had been written off. She’s made a comeback, has had a baby and seems to be having a much better time. I wonder whether she’ll ever look back and actually remember any of the ‘expertise’ as having been in the least bit helpful. After Emily Lloyd starred in ‘Wish You Were Here’, it was predicted that she’d be the next biggest actress on a global level. It wouldn’t actually surprise me if some of those treating her didn’t even know who she was.

The punk singer Poly Styrene really had her life wrecked by mental health professionals whilst she was still young as well. She was diagnosed with schizophrenia, dosed up and whoops, 15 years later they realised that they’d got it wrong…

Jeremy Hunt banged on about record spending, zero suicide rates and parity of esteem. Jeremy, nothing is going to change until staff are employed who actually take an interest in their patients and those who abuse them – or who send whistleblowers death threats – are led out of hospitals in handcuffs and charged with criminal offences. NHS managers who have presided over units where patient after patient after patient has died despite warnings concerning safety failures need to be prosecuted and dismissed as well.

The other mental health article in Guardian Online concerns an incident at St James’s University Hospital in Leeds in which an elderly mentally ill man murdered two other elderly frail patients in 2015. This has only come to light after someone went public on this incident and explained that there had been a major cover-up. Staff at St James’s allege more than 40 incidents of violent and aggressive behaviour on the same ward between April 2014 and March 2015. They included nurses being punched, a patient throwing a table across the room and another slamming a medicine cabinet lid on a staff member’s fingers. Much has been made of the ‘paranoid’ ‘aggressive’ mentally ill patients.

The ward in question seems to be an EMI ward – elderly mentally ill patients can be aggressive and violent, far more so than one might imagine someone of 80 to be. The staff at St James’s are placing much emphasis on patients not being given anti-psychotics as being the cause of some of the incidents – could this possibly be a backlash against the dreadful publicity that there has been recently regarding elderly patients being drugged up to the eye-balls in EMI units? EMI patients can be cared for without coshing them chemically – it just takes a bit more effort and it involves sometimes going along with foibles and seemingly irrational behaviour until the elderly person’s anxiety levels and distress have decreased. Every ‘violent incident’ that I have witnessed with EMI patients has resulted from staff rigidly demanding that a confused elderly person does something NOW when the elderly person is, basically, freaking out. People with much more experience than me have observed exactly the same phenomenon – wards with EMI patients cannot be run for the benefit of the ward staff adhering firmly to ward routine. If you’re caring for someone who has lost a few million neurones, life doesn’t work like that.

As for covering matters up, St James’s has a long and fine tradition of that. For years they allowed one Jimmy Savile free reign and he sexually assaulted child patients as well and, it is alleged, did dreadful things with corpses in the mortuary. None of that was the fault of violent mental health patients who weren’t sufficiently dosed up.

 

The Independent Inquiry Into Child Sexual Abuse continues and the Church of England is under fire from the Chair of the Inquiry, Professor of Social Work Alexis Jay. Alexis has given the Church a grade A bollocking, claiming that it was an ‘enabler of child abuse’ and that nothing could be more oppressive than an institution saying that it had the power of God behind it abusing children. Actually Alexis, I reckon that a whole group of Social Services Depts linked up together run by paedophile gangs declaring people who complained about them insane and illegally imprisoning them in a dungeon in an isolated building in the middle of a range of hills in north Wales must come a pretty close second. Alexis presided over the Orkney Child Abuse Scandal. Children from the Orkneys were removed in dawn raids by social workers and flown to the mainland where they were placed with foster families whom they had never met before. Social workers refused to believe the children when the children explained that they really had not been Satanically abused. Some of the kids were not returned to their homes for years. It was later admitted that ‘mistakes had been made’. See post ‘The Most Dangerous Man In The World – The Scottish Play’ for details of the havoc wreaked by Alexis on Orkney.

My post ‘Oh, No! It’s The Pathetic Sharks…’ featured Tal Michael, son of Alun Michael, the man whom in May 1999 Blair insisted must be Wales’s First Secretary, although no-one but Blair wanted him in the post. Alun Michael resigned as First Secretary as soon as the Waterhouse Report was handed in, having done the job required of him by Blair (see post ‘News From Sicily’). I mentioned how Tal arrived in north Wales without good reason a few years ago, at the time when the paedophiles’ friends were in need of reinforcements. Tal bagged himself a job as the Chief Executive of the North Wales Police Authority, then resigned to stand for election as North Wales Police and Crime Commissioner as soon as it was announced that Police Authorities would be dissolved and replaced with Commissioners. Tal was unsuccessful so consoled himself with trying to get elected as the Labour MP for Ynys Mon. He didn’t pull that off either.

I commented that Tal was no doubt seeking other opportunities in which he could assist the paedophiles and their friends in north Wales. Tal beat me to it – by the time that I wrote that, Tal was in post as Chief Exec of Gwynedd CAB. I only discovered this because Tal has appeared in Daily Post Online in the wake of a cash crisis at the Gwynedd CAB. The CAB in Wales is best known for being a refuge for the paedophiles’ friends – Lucille Hughes, Dafydd’s mistress who was named in the Waterhouse Report as knowing that a paedophile ring was operating in the social services in north Wales whilst she was Director of Gwynedd Social Services but failing to act, is one of the managers of CAB in Wales. So does Lucille employ Tal or does Tal employ Lucille? The loathed Fran Tate, another paedophiles’ friend, is also involved with the CAB in north west Wales (see posts ‘Disability Support’ and ‘Just A Language Divide?’)

 

Yesterday the ‘Today’ programme broadcast a report on the subject of serious organised crime in prisons – the Gov’t have set up a new unit to deal with this as it is considered such a problem. The Lord Chancellor David Gauke was interviewed but the one thing that was not mentioned by either Gauke or John Humphrys was that the criminal justice system is endemically corrupt which is why this problem has occurred. Gauke and Humphrys discussed matters such as drones flying across walls with goodies for the inmates. A quaint picture of old lags in stripey jumpers stringing the bed sheets together to climb the walls was conjured up. The real problem is corrupt Governors, corrupt prison officers, corrupt Top Doctors providing the medical opinions/care and bodies such as the Parole Board and Criminal Justice Review Commission being packed with corrupt people. Just take a look at how many such people have been named on this blog. The whole system has for years been run by dishonest members of the professional classes and indeed they are positively selected for. If the priority when making such appointments is to identify safe pairs of hands who have followed careers during which they have concealed serious crime if Important People were involved, this will be the result.

David Gauke stated that he wanted prisons to be ‘places of hope’. So that’s why they are bursting at the seams with seriously mentally ill people, people with drug problems, homeless people or indeed anyone who just can’t cope in our rather dysfunctional society. There was one prisoner who did find prison a place of hope though – Vicky Pryce, the Gov’t economist who some five years ago went to prison (but only for a short while) after she, her husband the Lib Dem MP Chris Huhne and their mate barrister and judge Constance Briscoe all lied their arses off on oath. Vicky constructed herself as a female victim of her husband, wrote a prison memoir and returned to her job as a Gov’t economist as soon as she came out, after dispensing a few words of advice about gender factors regarding the prison system. How about a volume on the social class factors then Vicky?

David Gauke is a lawyer who graduated from Chester College of Law in 1995. Where he was at the heart of the rotten to the core Chester and Wales Circuit which had spent years concealing the paedophile ring that operated in the area and whilst David was there was going into overdrive lest anyone announce a public inquiry into the matter.

 

The Westminster Gov’t are going to order food companies to reduce the calorie content of their grub and reduce the size of the portions. No doubt seconds will be outlawed as the next step. It’s really great to watch a load of affluent middle class people lecturing the plebs regarding what they eat.

In Llanberis in north Wales, the old quarry hospital has been turned into a museum. It’s well worth a visit as they used to say on Blue Peter and the records provide an interesting read. There’s a list of the patients in the hospital, what happened to them and what the outcome was – there’s quite a few accounts of ‘quarrymen’ of 14 or 15 yrs old who had accidents where the outcome listed was ‘died’ two or three days later. There is also information on the quarrymen’s diet. The Top Doctor at the quarry hospital used to get very angry that those ignorant buggers lived on a diet of strong stewed tea with much sugar, bread and jam and thin stew with lumps of fat rather than meat in it. It is otherwise known as ‘being very poor’. The present day version is someone on benefits – or of course very badly paid workers on less than full time hours – and with not very good kitchen facilities, trying to keep themselves and a couple of kids going if they live in a place without local shops selling fruit and veg at a good price. Multi-packs of crisps and pizza packs from Iceland start to look like a good option. Those sitting in Westminster will have faced problems as have the rest of the human race, but very few of them have actually had to survive the mum’s gone to Iceland experience to eke out the inadequate benefits for any great length of time.

There has been a bit of progress regarding the lecturing of the lower orders though. The dreadful Jamie Oliver has at least stopped calling women on low incomes ‘stupid cows’ and ‘daft bitches’ because he disapproves of the way in which they feed their kids – I wonder if any of the stupid cows have given their kids names as ridiculous as Jamie n Jules have? Jamie has finally made some sympathetic noises about healthy eating on a low income. The next step Jamie is that when you present a programme about eating on a budget, don’t helpfully recommend meals which need the sort of expensive kitchen equipment that you but hardly anybody else owns to prepare them. If you want street cred, take a leaf out of Jack Munroe’s book and invent some recipes which really can be made by people with very little money. Jack Munroe didn’t flog expensive coffee table books either, she took steps to ensure that many of her recipes could be accessed completely free of charge. Of course Jamie n Jules might not want to do that because it won’t provide them with enough dosh to send Buddy Bear et al to elite private schools.

 

There is much embarrassment over allegations that Bradley Wiggins, hero of Team Sky, might have indulged in a bit of doping when he won his medals. Bradley is robustly denying any wrongdoing, which if it did happen involved the co-operation of a helpful Top Doctor. The manager of Team Sky was Dave Brailsford who became Sir Dave Brailsford as a result of the success of Bradley and others. If Team Sky ends up disgraced, north west Wales is going to have to rename a lot of things – Dave Brailsford comes from Deiniolen near Llanberis and cycle paths, sports halls and all sorts have been named after him since the Team Sky success. Dave Brailsford’s dad was a lecturer at Bangor University during the era when that institution was crawling with paedophiles’ friends. I never heard any such allegations about Dave Brailsford’s dad but I have been told by at least three people that he was very hostile to women in sport – a climber whose ‘banter’ would send Harriet Harman into a 24 hour hissy fit described Brailsford senior as ‘the most sexist man that I have ever met’. When Dave was interviewed on the radio about hostility to women in sport a few months ago, Dave absolutely reassured the listeners that it didn’t exist. You just don’t notice it Dave because  you grew up with it – it was everyday practice for your dad.

 

Finally this blog’s friend Jane Hutt has ensured that Wales has another first. BBC News Wales reported that Wales has erected the UK’s ‘first purple plaque to mark notable women’. The purple plaque has been erected to one of Jane’s friends! The notable woman in question was Val Feld, Labour AM for Swansea East, 1999-01.

Hutt described her mate as ‘a passionate advocate of devolution, equalities and social justice’ and ‘a powerful force for women and minority groups’ and that ‘it is only right that her legacy of integrity, passion and commitment is permanently remembered as a ‘Champion of Equality’ with this plaque on the walls of the Senedd’.

Val was born in Bangor in 1947 and grew up in Caernarfon. Not that woman of the people Val went to school in Caernarfon – Val was the daughter of a dentist who went to boarding school in Malvern. Which by the standards of Caernarfon in the 1950s made Val pretty posh. Just like her mate Jane Hutt.

In 1967, Val started work in London as a production secretary at the BBC World Service and then become a researcher/secretary at ITN and a copywriter at the Radio and Television News Agency. In 1979, Val moved from to Chorley in Lancashire to work as a housing rights worker and then co-ordinator of the Chorley Rights Centre. After the breakdown of her marriage she became ‘increasingly involved in local community and self-help groups’. In Chorley, she was elected to the local council.

At the beginning of the 1980s, Val returned to Wales. In 1981 Val founded Shelter Cymru and was the Director of the EOC (Equal Opportunities Commission) for Wales, 1989-99. She was then elected as an AM.

Here’s the translation:

Val was a privileged woman who came from what was very much an elite in north Wales whilst she was growing up. She had a cushy job in journalism until she decided to Help The Poor. I have absolutely no problem with any of that – what I have a really big problem with is that like those other wimmin who Helped The Poor, Hutt and Julie Morgan, the Champion of Equality that was Val ignored the plight of some truly desperate people – the victims of the sex trafficking gang in north Wales. Of whom some were girls and women, so even if Val decided that male suffering didn’t matter, there was no excuse for her ignoring what Dafydd et al were up to. And she did ignore it – it would not have been possible to have led Shelter Cymru and the EOC in Wales without knowing what was going on. Psych patients in north Wales were dossing in empty buildings and living rough because they had been wilfully abandoned by the ‘services’ – where was Shelter? Did they publish a word about this or raise concerns about it? Everyone knew that it was happening – just as everyone knew that even if the psych patients and former kids in care actually had somewhere to live, the housing was terrible. Neither did the EOC mention a thing about the serious criminal activities in north Wales which led to such iniquity.

After achieving nothing but a comfortable life for herself, in 1999 Val did what many members of this cadre did – she bagged herself a seat in the newly created Welsh Assembly. Just in time for the publication of the Waterhouse Report – about which none of them asked ANY searching questions. They sat in the Bay of Plenty in the full knowledge that numerous people – including some of their friends and colleagues – had facilitated that paedophile gang.

In Val’s obituaries much was made of her challenging macho attitudes in Wales and how she was such a freedom fighter that she became seriously fed up with the ‘bastion of male chauvinism’ which was the Cardiff and County Club – a men only establishment where, it is widely believed, the great and the good from the media, business, academia and politics get together to discuss matters mutually advantageous. So Val ‘was instrumental in establishing a coalition of women’s organisations to interface with the Assembly’.

I am sure that the Cardiff and County Club does contain some dreadful old farts – but I know for a fact that the wimmins organisations that Val was involved with are just as excluding as the Cardiff and County Club. They are a female version of the Cardiff and County Club – a bunch of well connected privileged women who only let their mates join and then pull strings in the Assembly to ensure that matters go their way. I knew women who tried to get involved with Val and Jane’s wimmins organisations, as well as some of the ‘minority ethnic organisations’ with which Val was involved. They walked away in despair – everybody had the same experience of being told what to do or frozen out by Hutt and her clique. People who didn’t run away screaming were simply oppressed and explained that they couldn’t disagree because if they did ‘their funding’ would dry up.

Wales has had decades of Hutt and the gang log jamming every organisation and every committee concerned with wimmin, minorities and people generally having a hard time. Those people continue to have a hard time. Whilst Jane and the revolutionaries who were the daughters of the affluent middle classes of post-war Britain continue to dine at the trough.

You are a total embarrassment Hutt – and thanks to you someone who ignored a vicious paedophile gang who killed their victims is now honoured on the wall of the Senedd. What an insult to the dead and of course to the AMs who are not paedophiles’ friends.

Jane’s wimmins organisations keep wondering why young women don’t join them. I have witnessed them do this at various events at which I was present. Unusually for me, I didn’t bother to comment – some mountains are just far too big to climb. It was summed up by the comments of another woman whom I met who like so many had had the Jane Hutt/Julie Morgan/Breched Piette/Meri Huws experience – she pissed herself laughing at her memories of ‘the dinosaurs’. Paleontologists famously assumed that the Brontosaurus was very slow to react because of the structure of their nervous system – it was speculated that if they felt pain in one part of their body, it took a dangerously long while for the nerve signal to be transmitted, which is why the Brontosaurus had two brain-like structures. But Jane does not have the two brains – she just has the ultra-slow transmission system…

I’m wondering why Val Feld’s plaque is purple. Is it because this is considered to be a women’s suffrage colour? The thing that most people know about purple is that it’s a bishop’s colour. There is an impressive bishop in Wales – the new Bishop of St David’s. She’s doing a PhD in particle physics in her spare time because she likes that sort of thing. When she was ordained she was met with a group of people protesting about the fact that she is female. I don’t remember Hutt saying a word.