I mentioned in a recent post that I was reading Ken Clarke’s autobiography ‘Kind of Blue’ and that it was revealing a few gems. Ken Clarke has been in a senior figure in the Conservative Party for many decades now and has spent much of that time in very senior roles (‘the great offices of state’ as politicians like to describe those positions). I have always felt that Ken Clarke was very much more palatable than many of his colleagues – he wasn’t unhinged, he didn’t want to imprison the lower orders for great lengths of time for minor transgressions and as regular readers know, I did admire him for taking on the BMA when nobody else would. But his book is probably rather more revealing than he realised.
Clarke went to Cambridge and became involved in the Cambridge University Conservative Union (CUCU). A number of his contemporaries there also became big names in the Tory Party under Margaret Thatcher, which led to them being described as the ‘Cambridge Mafia’. One thing that is obvious from Clarke’s book is his loyalty – at least in public – to colleagues in the Conservative Party. Ken Clarke is a famous ‘One Nation wet’ which actually put him at loggerheads with many others in the Party, but he unfailingly describes people who hated him (and whom he must have hated in return) as good friends and reassures readers that the screaming political rows with them that at times tore the Party apart didn’t affect their ‘friendships’.
It is clear from his autobiography that Ken Clarke is very gregarious, very matey and – although he believes that he is a ‘workaholic’ – spent a lot of time socialising, chatting, exchanging political gossip and drinking quite a lot. He enjoys going to curry houses with his mates, hanging out at jazz clubs, watching football matches and he was a member of a number of dining clubs in the Commons. Indeed he enjoyed the dining clubs so much that when promotion meant that he was no longer eligible for membership of his favourite dining club, he established a new one with his mates. None of this detracts from his character – I imagine that he’s good fun to have around if you’re a friend of his – but it did mean, as he admits early on in his book, that he knew pretty much everything about everyone in the Commons. ‘Are you thinking what I’m thinking?’ as his successor as Home Secretary Michael Howard used to ask – did Ken know what some of his colleagues were up to in terms of bad or even criminal behaviour? He keeps a discreet silence on the subject of Sir Peter Morrison – Ken simply states that he didn’t know him that well, although he seemed an ‘amiable fellow’ who did ‘little work’. Which is odd, because in the 1980s other Tory MPs were openly joking about Morrison’s ‘sexual preferences’, Thatcher was told that he was attending sex parties with under-aged boys and the citizens in his Chester constituency were scandalised by his conduct. Gyles Brandreth, who became the MP for Chester after Morrison stepped down, mentions in his own autobiography that he was told by people in Chester that it was known that Morrison had been caught by the police on a number of occasions in the late 80s in compromising positions with boys in their mid-teens in public places. But an arrangement was made between the police and the upper echelons which resulted in Morrison not being prosecuted and the incidents not appearing in the media. How did Ken, as he got bladdered with other Tories into the small hours, manage not to hear about all this?
Before entering politics Clarke was a barrister and practised at the Birmingham Bar. He seems to have kept in contact with folk in the legal world. In fact after he left Gov’t his old chambers asked him to come back and work as a barrister again, although he turned down this opportunity. I have mentioned previously on the blog that I know from experience that lawyers have a brilliant jungle drums system. Ken, as a wining, dining barrister in Birmingham, will no doubt have heard all about the notorious West Midlands Serious Crime Squad who fitted scores of people up – including the Birmingham Six – using time-honoured techniques such as beating up the suspect and drafting their statement for them. The West Midlands Serious Crime Squad who had connections to north Wales and fitted up a man from Caernarfon who was later awarded compensation. Who then, after winning his case against the West Midlands Serious Crime Squad, found himself arrested and imprisoned again – which he maintains was a punishment for daring to win against the West Midlands Serious Crime Squad…
Clarke’s first ministerial position was in 1982 when he was appointed Minister of State for Health. At that time Norman Fowler was Secretary of State for Health and Social Security and Tony Newton was the Minister in the DHSS working on welfare reforms. Clarke was considered the safe pair of hands needed to deal with the NHS and health unions. He describes himself as being effectively responsible for the day to day running of the NHS. In 1982 there was an NHS strike over pay which was only resolved after many months. The BMA and RCN didn’t join the strike – the strikers were from NUPE and COHSE. There were a number of nurses who were members of COHSE rather than the RCN – Ken describes how nurses had the strongest appeal to the public, so the Gov’t made a higher pay offer to the nurses in COHSE, dividing the union and undermining it’s appearance of reasonableness.
The civil servants didn’t want a confrontation with the NHS – the civil servants always advised Gov’t to concede to the BMA at least once a year with a deal to improve pay, terms and conditions. Well you don’t want the Top Doctors screaming and screaming until they’re sick do you. Ken also discovered that there was a longstanding agreement with the BMA that at every meeting with civil servants, one of the Dept of Health’s medical officers had to be present. Ken was frank that this was so that the medical officer could ‘act as the eyes and ears’ for the BMA and keep them informed of the Minister’s intentions. The first Chief Medical Officer with whom Ken had to work was Sir Henry Yellowlees. Ken describes him as useless and pompous whose main concern was exerting his patronage to decide which medics would be awarded knighthoods and other honours. Yellowlees retired in 1984 and Sir Donald Acheson took over as CMO.
Ken describes Acheson as ‘splendid’ and an absolutely dedicated public servant. Acheson was highly effective at keeping the lid on the most dreadful barrel of shit in the NHS in north Wales (see post ‘Professor Prestigious And His Associates’). Like a few others, Ken marvels at how Norman Fowler – Secretary of State at the DHSS at the time – was able to persuade a puritanical Thatcher and a few others in the Gov’t to agree to the fairly frank health education programme that was launched in the wake of HIV/AIDS. It was of course Donald Acheson who was instrumental in securing the agreement of the Gov’t where running that campaign was concerned (see post ‘Professor Prestigious And His Associates’). I think that you will find Ken that he was able to achieve this because some key figures in your party, along with Peter Morrison, were known to be promiscuously using rent boys in a very big way and they were told by Acheson in no uncertain terms how serious the fears of an HIV epidemic were. Should any readers accuse me of a flight of fancy here, as just one example, Thomas Tyrell-Kenyon, the son of Lord Lloyd Tyrell-Kenyon, was known to be sexually exploiting boys from children’s homes in north Wales. Tyrell-Kenyon even called the police himself on one occasion after he’d spent the night in a hotel with a boy in the care of Clwyd County Council and woke up to find that the boy had made off with his wallet and personal possessions. The boy involved was sent to a detention centre. His social worker had recorded on his records that he was known to be having sex with Tyrell-Kenyon. Tyrell-Kenyon never faced any charges himself. Tyrell-Kenyon died of AIDS in 1993. His father, Lord Lloyd Tyrell-Kenyon, was a member of the North Wales Police Authority.
Ken mentions that the leaders of the BMA that he had to deal with were the ‘left wing’ Dr John Marks and Dr Tony Grabham. Grabham was a consultant from Northampton and Ken was told that Grabham was so obnoxious that he’d managed to make Barbara Castle cry. Ken states that ‘the BMA was the most ruthless and determined opponent I ever faced in my whole career’. I absolutely believe him. But do you know how you could have dealt with the BMA Ken? Your colleagues could have actually responded to the communications that they were receiving from Mary Wynch, Alison Taylor and me telling them that terrible things were happening in the NHS and social services in north Wales and that doctors and social workers were involved in serious criminal activity. An investigation could have been held and it would have been revealed that what was happening in north Wales was an arm of organised crime involving an international trade in under-aged prostitutes, child porn and drugs, which the likes of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) et al were concealing, whilst they used the BMA to advise them on how to ‘deal with’ me. If you had blown that open and arrests of Top Doctors had followed, you can take it from me that you’d have never been troubled by the BMA again. Your colleague David Hunt in the Welsh Office knew that something dreadful was happening, because he’d had to send a hit squad into the bankrupt and dysfunctional Gwynedd Health Authority. Your colleague Tony Newton had been told by Alison Taylor that children in care in north Wales were being abused – as had Margaret Thatcher. And Dr John Marks of the BMA knew what was going on as well – because at that time I was employed in a research team led by his brother Professor Vincent Marks and they all knew what had happened to me in north Wales (see post ‘The BMA At The Root Of Another Mystery?’). It was the Welsh Office itself, by using the corrupt Medical Ombudsman Professor Robert Owen and the corrupt Professor Robert Bluglass (who was from Birmingham Ken, your neck of the woods), who whitewashed it all (see post ‘Enter Professor Robert Bluglass CBE’). The reason why no-one actually had that lot arrested was that leading figures in your party were using the services of the rent boys who had been trafficked from north Wales children’s homes. The BMA knew and they effectively blackmailed your Gov’t. Ken uses the phrase ‘self-interested clinicians’ in his book. They certainly are – and if they’d seen a few of their number prosecuted and imprisoned, they might have been less willing to protect unscrupulous practitioners.
It was grim Ken. I don’t know how much you knew, but you certainly knew something.
There’s another really big clue as to an understanding between the most senior figures in the Tory Party and those we know and love in Ken’s account of his time as Minister for Health in the 80s. It involves St Georges Hospital! Ken explains that the old St Georges Hospital at Hyde Park Corner (a new hospital and medical school was built at Tooting) was built on land originally owned by the Grosvenor family (they had donated it hundreds of years previously) and was a highly valuable piece of real estate. Ken decided to close the Hyde Park Corner building and flog the land. Readers may remember from my post ‘It’s The Sun Wot Won It’ that the President of the City of Chester Conservative Association whilst Sir Peter Morrison was their MP was one Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor, the Duke of Westminster. When the Duke of Westminster got wind that Ken was going to sell off the Hyde Park Corner site, he approached Thatcher and asked for the land donated by his ancestors to be returned to him. Ken refused to give the land over to the Duke gratis but wanted to sell it to him at the market rate. Thatcher ordered Ken to hand the land over to the Grosvenor estate for nothing. A row ensued. Ken just couldn’t work out why Thatch, who as we all know was the ultimate housewife and knew how to keep the pennies in her purse, was prepared to hand over millions of quids worth of land which was now part of the NHS estate to a very rich man when the NHS could use the dosh. Ken maintains that he was completely puzzled by this and perhaps Thatcher didn’t want to offend the aristocracy. Actually Ken, Thatcher was famously nouveau riche, she had no respect for the aristocracy at all and I suspect that her desire to give a few million to Gerald Grosvenor when he asked for it had an awful lot to do with the fact that her PPS Morrison was molesting children and Gerald and co were providing a massive gold-plated umbrella for him. Intriguingly, Ken tells us that he stuck to his guns and Thatcher gave in. WOW. So how did Ken et al get her out of that mess then? Come on Ken, write another book and explain how the Duke of Westminster was persuaded to back off. Whatever techniques were used, I guess they will have contributed to the blood on the carpet in north Wales. Or even to the death toll of the witnesses to the sordid crimes that Morrison and his mates were carrying out.
In the way that Ken never explains how he managed to persuade Thatcher not to give into the Duke of Westminster’s demands for dosh, he fails to explain something else that must have involved some fancy footwork. Whilst he was Minister of State for Health, one of his battles with the BMA was over prescribing policy. Ken wanted to prohibit certain items from being available on prescription and the BMA were objecting. For a man who somehow missed the nature of Peter Morrison and who couldn’t work out why Thatcher wasn’t prepared to stand up to the man who was instrumental in protecting Morrison, Ken is pretty sharp. He knows how business is done in the world and he was acutely aware that in the 1980s Top Doctors – and their families – were enjoying much hospitality from the pharmaceutical industry, hospitality which sometimes stretched as far as free holidays for Top Doctors and their spouses. Ken also knew that the BMA were trying to win the propaganda war against him by reconstructing themselves as a responsible caring organisation who only had the best interests of society at heart, rather than a stuffy, greedy, pompous union for doctors. I remember seeing this in action – the BMA started launching campaigns in the realm of health and safety. The one that I always remember was their attempt to ban boxing, which they very nearly succeeded in doing. I’d be very interested in why the BMA backed off on that one – boxing has made a comeback and is now promoted as a healthy ’empowering’ sport for young men and even young women. BMA spokespeople don’t often say things which are true, but I remember one of them at one point stating that ‘there is no safe level for being hit on the head’ when boxing promoters were trying to maintain that boxing is fine if you don’t get bashed that often. Yet the BMA have melted away over the one worthwhile issue that they pursued. During Ken’s battle with them over prescribing, a group of CEOs from Big Pharma met Thatcher and reminded her that they were major donors to the Tories. Thatcher responded by telling them that their donations were taken to be a gesture of ‘general support’ for her ‘reforming’ Gov’t. Ken subsequently implemented his prohibited prescribing list. So what deal was done to keep the donors sweet then? Big Pharma weren’t donating to the Tories out of the goodness of their hearts no matter what delusions about them Thatcher held.
After his stint at the DHSS Ken moved to the Dept of Employment. The Secretary of State was Lord David Young, but Thatcher needed a Cabinet Minister from the Commons in place as well, so Ken was given that remit. At that time, unemployment was rocketing and the Gov’t devised a number of much derided ‘job creation’ and training schemes, many of which were notorious for leading nowhere but back to the dole queue after they’d finished. In Ken’s book, he talks a lot about the Manpower Services Commission (MSC) programmes and how good they were for young people because they inducted the youngsters into habits of work – they had to be in work by 9 am and there was no going home before 5 pm. Who was the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the Dept of Employment at the time? None other than the dreadful Alan Clark, who Ken notes was ‘incredibly lazy, rarely coming into the department’. Well Clark had Saltwood Castle to live in and the fortune that his father left to sustain him, unlike the youths on the MSC scenes. Ken observes that Clark was so useless that they were actually quite happy for him not to show up. He knows why it was though – it was because poor old Clark was really after the job as Minister of Defence and couldn’t be arsed with the chores at the Dept of Employment. The Tories’ attitude to Clark was always very forgiving. He was a man who was frequently too pissed to perform his duties in Parliament – even when they gave him what he wanted ie. a job in the Ministry of Defence – and he rowed with and insulted colleagues on a regular basis. But of course it was the relentless shagging that Clark was notorious for. Had Clark confined his attentions to consenting adults, I’d agree that it would be no-one’s business but his, Jane Clarks and the third party, but Clark was never that concerned about the age of consent or indeed consent per se. He hit the media when it was revealed that at one stage he was having an affair with the wife of one of his friends and both of her daughters at the same time. Then one of the daughters let on that the affair with her had occurred when she was fifteen. There was a bit of a fuss – although one of the harpies in one of the right wing tabloids was kind enough to dismiss the women involved as ‘three old trollops’ – and a TV reporter asked Clark if he was going to deny having sex with a 15 year old. Clark smirked and responded by saying that he ‘had’ to deny it because it was illegal. Yes, as illegal as Peter Morrison’s activities with boys of the same age (and younger) were. Some years later Clark published his diaries which became a best seller. Alan Clark’s ‘Diaries’ are choc full of accounts of him not going into work because he couldn’t be arsed so instead he goes off to shag someone, of him wowing the teenage daughters of friends by telling them that he was now a Real Minister – and of him basically sexually harassing young women on a grand scale. He exposes himself to teenagers and follows young lone women around London whom he’s spotted on public transport and likes the look of. Naturally at no point does he even consider that the young women involved might not be that interested in glimpsing the genitals of a crazed old man or that they might be a bit anxious at being trailed all around London by a pervert. I wouldn’t expect Clark to ever question his conduct – but thousands of people read that book. It received glowing reviews in the press – and the conclusion was ‘one helluva guy’. No, an ageing, unscrupulous sexual harasser. Who was given a Ministerial position in the MoD because he didn’t turn up to work in the Dept of Employment.
Ken also provides an account of the Westland Crisis. He states that Leon Brittan, then Trade and Industry Secretary, was persuaded by Thatcher to leak the legal opinion of the Solicitor-General Patrick Mayhew regarding a letter that Heseltine had written and leaked himself about the consequences of an American take-over of the company. The Attorney General Michael Havers was greatly upset about the leaking of legal advice and said that he would resign if no-one was held to account. Brittan told Ken that he’d take the blame without exposing Thatcher, because the exposure of her role in this would have forced her from office. So Brittan resigned from his post and never sat in the Cabinet again. Thatcher had promised to bring him back, but broke her word. As a consolation prize he was given a job as a European Commissioner.
Leon Brittan in recent years has of course become well-known for another matter ie. numerous allegations that he was a paedophile himself. One man has made a statement claiming that he was abused by Brittan when he was a teenager. Brittan is alleged to have been a visitor to the Elm Guest House in London, a brothel staffed by children from children’s homes. One of the men who was in Bryn Estyn as a boy maintains that he was taken to the Elm Guest House to have sex with unidentified men. Supporters of Brittan have dismissed such allegations as wholly untrue. What is not in dispute however is that in the 1980s Geoffrey Dickens MP gave Leon Brittan – who was at the time Home Secretary – a dossier containing the names and details of political figures who Dickens’ maintained were involved in the abuse of children. Before he died, Brittan admitted receiving the dossier but claimed to have lost it. It has also been admitted that a huge number of files were ‘lost’ by the Home Office in the 80s – files containing details of politicians alleged to be sexually abusing children.
Ken mentions that Leon was a close friend of his – they’d been at Cambridge together.
Ken was appointed Minister for Trade and Industry as well as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. He became Inner Cities Minister. Once more Ken demonstrates a good knowledge of some of the problems that he was charged with tackling. He mentions that there was massive corruption within some councils and that the boroughs were dominated by criminal gangs. He gives Lambeth and Southwark as examples. That’s right Ken, one of the biggest businesses of those criminal gangs was the trafficking of young people in care into prostitution. This was often achieved by sending the kids in care on ‘placements’ to children’s homes in north Wales, such as the Bryn Alyn Community. Your Gov’t knew all about it.
In July 1988 Thatcher split the DHSS up. The previous Secretary of State, John Moore, according to Ken, ‘couldn’t cope’ with running the DHSS and became quite ill with the strain. Moore was moved to the newly created Dept of Social Security (DSS) and Ken was appointed Secretary of State for Health. Ken informs us that Thatcher did want to get rid of the NHS and introduce a U.S. style insurance system but Ken himself wanted to introduce an ‘internal market’ system in the NHS. I always wondered where on earth the Tories acquired this idea from – it was from Ken, who had read an article in The Economist by a fringe thinker at Stanford University, Prof Alain Enthoven. Ken was hooked and knew that this was the way forward. That was how the enormous quantity of meaningless administration that led to no improvement in the NHS at all arose. However it did provide promotions and power for the likes of Martin Jones and Alun Davies in Gwynedd Health Authority.
Whilst he was Secretary of State for Health, Ken’s Permanent Secretary was Christopher France and his Private Secretary was Andy McKean. Ken also utilised the services of Duncan Nichol, the former General Manager of Merseyside Regional Health Authority, who Ken tells us had been recommended to him by Don Wilson, Merseyside Regional Health Authority’s Chairman. So Ken somehow had a link with Merseyside. That’s the location of Liverpool University – the employer of Professor Robert Owen who organised the cover-up of the criminal activities of Dr Dafydd Alun Jones and Dr Tony Francis (Dr X) after I made complaint in 1987. Of course Dafydd himself was an alumnus of Liverpool and when he tried to bribe me into dropping my complaint about him in 1987, he made reference to a friend of his who was a Professor at Liverpool Medical School who would get me a place there if only I’d drop my complaint about him. Dafydd resorted to trying to bribe me because his threat to have me ‘detained in Risley Remand Centre’ if I didn’t drop my complaint about him hadn’t worked. When Dafydd tried to bribe me he stated that ‘some of my colleagues would rap me on the knuckles for this’. No they wouldn’t Dafydd, they knew that you were illegally imprisoning people, selling drugs, perjuring yourself and facilitating a paedophile ring and they didn’t even rap you on the knuckles for that. Instead they covered up for you and tried to frame me.
It was when Ken was Secretary of State for Health that he acquired a useful little helper called Tessa Keswick. I don’t know what she did for Ken, but they really got on well – he took Tessa with him when he was appointed to successive roles in the years that followed. He also had a Minister of State on his team, a David Mellor. Ken wanted someone in the Lords who would defend his reforms – that was to be a lawyer called Gloria Hooper who had been given a peerage in 1985. Ken’s Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State was Edwina Currie. The Edwina Currie who whilst she was in that role gave Jimmy Savile a job running Broadmoor. Edwina got herself into a public spat – not over a sexual abuser running a special hospital obviously, but because she damaged the business interests of some very wealthy factory farmers with some ill-advised comments about eggs and salmonella. After Edwina departed, Ken’s PUSS was a Roger Freeman.
Ken wasn’t exactly Alan Clark, he did actually make it into work and had some firm ideas concerning the management of the NHS, but throughout his book he displays a worryingly laissez faire attitude to the running of huge Gov’t Depts. He repeatedly tells us that he trusted people to get on with the job and that he didn’t really expect to be bothered by the people to whom he’d delegated work. Which is fine if you’ve delegated work to reliable people who know what they’re doing, but I’m not convinced that Ken did that. He was particularly impressed by a Minister of his called Virginia Bottomley – Ken gave her the responsibility for implementing community care once the big psychiatric hospitals began to be closed and Virginia was really brilliant because she didn’t ‘trouble’ Ken with anything. That was whilst people were discharged from long stay hospitals when there was no care in the community facilities in place – I remember it well, it was chaos. People became destitute and some of them died. It was on the back of these tragedies that the dreadful Marjorie Wallace was able to sell her desire to keep innocent people locked up in dreadful conditions at the mercy of Dafydd and his ilk (see post ‘One Dangerous Fucker’). Esther joined in as well. Presumably Ken didn’t notice that Virginia hadn’t actually organised any community care – never mind, she didn’t trouble him, so he could carry on eating curries, boozing with his mates and going to Ronnie Scotts. Virginia of course had in a previous life been a psychiatric social worker – so she knew exactly what the human cost of her failure to effectively carry out her ‘policy’ was. Although she probably didn’t give a stuff and the fact that after this disaster she became Secretary of State for Health suggests that no-one else gave a stuff either.
It was this merry crew who were responsible for the NHS when the madness in north Wales was at it’s zenith.
Again, as Ken details his battles with the BMA et al, there are plenty of indications that he knows what a sorry state everything is in. He talks about seriously dysfunctional Health Authorities and how many of these there were (I know Ken, I and many others were suffering at the hands of Gwynedd and Clwyd in north Wales). He mentions terrible problems in Solihull in Birmingham – where a leading figure was none other than one Professor Robert Bluglass. So that’s why they used Bluglass to head so many inquiries into disasters in the psychiatric services then! Being a man whose own area was in meltdown and being someone who blamed the patients and exonerated the Top Doctors – even when they were facilitating a paedophile gang – he was obviously the safest pair of hands that the Dept of Health had.
Ken discusses just how vulnerable politicians are in the face of Top Doctors’ campaigns. His perception was that the only medical body supportive of him was the newly formed Royal College of General Practitioners. Which is particularly interesting, because I know of a very deceitful obscure GP of no great ability from Bangor who nevertheless rose to high rank in that organisation very quickly and I never understood why. The GP in question was Dr D.G.E. Wood, a friend of Dr Tony Francis and Dafydd, who spent a number of years cultivating my company and extracting info about the jobs that Brown and me were applying for, where we were living etc etc. I now have documentation demonstrating that Wood was passing all this info onto Dafydd et al and how helpful it was for them that I trusted Wood. Wood also made it his business to communicate with Professor Robert Owen about me using Owen’s home address in Colwyn Bay whilst Owen was setting up the ‘investigation’ into my complaint about Dafydd. I had no idea that Wood was doing this and he was no longer my GP. Neither was he the subject of any part of my complaint. Wood was just providing a useful service for Dafydd et al in the way that he provided a useful service for Gwynne the lobotomist every time that Gwynne elicited a disaster.
In 1989 a by-election was held in the Vale of Glamorgan after the sitting MP Raymond Gower died. The Labour candidate John Smith (not the John Smith who later became leader of the Labour Party) was elected, after forming a collaboration with the Top Doctors. Whilst the Top Doctors were completely screwing Wales…
Ken remembers that Thatcher lived in fear of the Top Doctors after Charles Haughey told her that she wouldn’t win an election if she upset the Top Doctors. If the stupid old bat hadn’t have been employing a child molester she’d never have had that worry.
Ken makes a lot of references to the help of someone who also featured prominently in Gyles Brandreth’s book (see post ‘It’s The Sun Wot Won It’) – the Whip Tristan Garel-Jones. Political biographies of that time constantly refer to the ruthlessness of the Whips, of how they’d use any information against anyone in order to achieve what they wanted. Whips also boasted of accumulating dirt on MPs for this purpose – they also boasted of getting MPs out of trouble. Sometimes with regard to very serious trouble with the law – a hypothetical example given to Gyles Brandreth by a Whip was of an MP who had been misbehaving with ‘little boys’. Tristan Garel-Jones is now of course in the Lords. It is rumoured that Tristan Garel-Jones was the model for the character Francis Urquhart in the TV drama ‘House of Cards’. I never watched that, but I used to share a house with two people who were very big fans of that programme. One of my house-mates explained that Francis Urquhart was a total psychopath and a highlight of the series was the death of someone who could have damaged Urquhart in circumstances that could have been a murder but no-one was quite sure.
As opposed to the arson attack in April 1992 in which five people with connections to the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal died – which definitely was murder. Even the inquest was obliged to return a verdict of ‘unlawful killing’.
Ken’s battles with the Top Doctors eventually became too much and Thatcher moved him to the Dept of Education where he was again Secretary of State. It was Ken who abolished the binary divide in HE and converted all the polytechnics into universities. Which many former staff of polytechnics maintain did them a great deal of harm – they lost their previous status as institutions with industrial links which specialised in vocational technical degrees and just came to be seen as second class universities. Ken has no regrets. According to him, like everything else that he oversaw – or with regard to community care that he never oversaw – it was a rip-roaring success.
Ken then reaches the heights of Home Secretary. He takes his trusty side-kick Tessa Keswick with him to the Home Office. He has a major problem on his hands – the Prison Service, which had been wrecked by the POA. Edwina’s idea of dealing with the criminal activities of the POA members at Broadmoor had been to put Jimmy Savile in charge of the institution after he told her that he would use his media contacts to blackmail them. Edwina thought that was a great idea. It didn’t occur to her to investigate the numerous complaints from patients that they had been violently assaulted or sexually abused by members of the POA. She just recruited Savile who joined in the party.
Ken was glad to find another old mate of his from the CUCU in place as Minister of State – Peter Lloyd, who had been Chairman of the CUCU whilst Ken was at Cambridge.
Although Ken was under no illusions about the parlous state of the prison service, once more he stressed his very hands-off style of management. However, he did get a little over-involved in the face of a prison riot and tried to go down to the command centre that was trying to control it to tell them all what to do. Fortunately for everyone Ken’s Private Secretary Colin Walters did his best to keep Ken out of it. As well as the prisons being a flashpoint, there was also massive problems with immigration. So Ken appointed his ‘friend and former PPS’ Charles Wardle to sort it all out. The Permanent Secretary at the time was Clive Whitemore. When Charles Wardle later moved to Australia, he was replaced by Joan MacNaughton.
Now Ken was clearly a man ahead of his time in terms of his manipulation and utilisation of the concept of ‘promoting women because they’re under-represented’. Ken wanted more women on his team, which was most convenient because his Private Secretary Joan – Charles’s replacement – was a ‘determined feminist’. Who I suspect had a determined boss. In Ken’s words ‘Joan assembled around me a very able and very supportive group of intellectual young women who acted as my eyes and ears in the Dept’. A gang of female spies! Thus Ken was the first Secretary of State who had an ‘all female Private Office’.
Ken had another source of intelligence as well – Roy Gibbons, the man who had been his driver since 1979: ‘Like all the experienced Gov’t drivers, he was well up to speed with all the political gossip and intrigue in Whitehall’.
I had that Sir Peter Morrison in the back of the cab once. Amiable fellow.
Ken noticed something whilst he was Home Secretary though, something that seriously pissed him off. His level of security was raised to such an extent that he now had to have a police driver instead of Ron and had to be escorted by police security all the time. Ken is no fool and although he knows that being Home Secretary does involve tight security, he notices that his police escorts are taking the security to ridiculous lengths. They do not ever leave him and very noticeably ensure that one of them listens to absolutely everything that he says. He tries to escape but they’re having none of it. One downside is that he likes going out for curries but now that the police accompany him everywhere, they insist on him eating in posh restaurants for ‘security purposes’. The police of course have their meals paid for and Ken has enough nous to know that ‘security’ is being used an excuse to get a good dinner. Ken also notices that the police arranged things concerning his official residence in Belgravia that ensured that he was never without them, even when at home with his family.
Ken suspects that all this is being done to ensure that ACPO (Association of Chief Police Officers) and other senior officers are kept well aware of the Home Secretary’s political intentions. After all, Ken is responsible for their pay, conditions of service etc. Ken describes his police protection as ‘very oppressive and extreme’. Ken is not the only one getting fed up of the police. Ken had intentions to reform the police and appointed Pat Sheehy as an advisor. Pat was the head of British Imperial Tobacco and had ‘loaned’ Ken a senior executive, Brian Hutchinson, to advise Ken when he formed his inner-city task force! Pat found that he was actively harassed by the police while he was ‘taking evidence and preparing his report’. Ken felt that he faced serious opposition from the police and that ACPO were a ‘huge club’. Ken did try to get along with them, they invited him to a few of their meetings and even Ken was gobsmacked at the amount of booze that was sunk. He got on much better with Her Majesty’s Inspectors of Constabularies who ‘always impressed’ him. He found the Police Federation a nightmare and they presented serious opposition to him. The Police Federation reps were allowed to retain their full police salaries and were ‘protecting their members against any disciplinary procedure or accountability for their performance’. The Police Federation drank so much that Ken discovered that he had to talk to them in the morning – after lunch they were too bladdered to engage.
Ken had ambitions to abolish the rank of Superintendent. Unsurprisingly, this was strongly opposed by the Superintendents’ Association. The Police Federation organised an enormous rally at Wembley Stadium against Ken. Another desire of Ken’s was to amalgamate forces.
Ken was not able to implement any of his reforms because he was removed from office. Although he and Tessa prepared a White Paper on police reform where they proposed that serious crime should be concentrated on, Ken’s successor as Home Secretary Michael Howard abandoned the proposed reforms.
Ken summarises by saying that he was less effective than he would have liked to have been as Home Secretary. He feels that the British justice system is hopeless at dealing with white collar crime, which is too complicated for the police and he admits is an ‘important part’ of the profitability of the banking and financial services. He admits that London ‘had undoubtedly become the safest and best place for any dictator, oligarch or corrupt political leader to place his or her ill-gotten gains’. Twenty five years later when Ken was Cabinet Minister and Justice Secretary in the Coalition Gov’t he observed that London had a ‘deserved reputation’ as the ‘money laundering capital of the world’.
Ken obviously knew pretty much what was happening in the Prison Service, in Immigration and the Police, although he didn’t make any headway in his attempts to deal with the enormous problems and indeed corruption that pervaded these ‘services’. There was one group of people who’s activities come under the Home Office however that Ken knew nothing about at all and indeed didn’t even try to unravel – the security services. He was simply told by older and wiser folk that ‘you will never know what they are up to at all’. Ken suspects that the security services may be utilising creative and somewhat unorthodox methods, but he asks no questions – probably because they deal with matters terrorism and that does frighten politicians. He had one meeting with someone from the security services whom he referred to as ‘Chief’ – but who knows whom he met…
I don’t doubt Ken’s account of the difficulties that he encountered from the police. They will have been as obstructive as possible – and it rather sounds as though they pressurised someone to remove him from office. I cannot help suspect though that there may have been another reason why the police watched and listened constantly and were as awkward as fuck and I suspect that Ken knows about this possible reason too, but he is never going to say a word about it.
Ken was Home Secretary between 10 April 1992 and 27 May 1993. During this time there was a police investigation into child abuse in children’s homes in north Wales and the existence of a possible paedophile ring in the region. Allegations had appeared in the London-based media that a paedophile ring was in operation in the children’s homes and that political figures were involved. A senior police officer in the North Wales Police, Gordon Anglesea, had been named by two men who claimed to have been abused by him when they were younger. A number of young people who were former residents of the children’s homes had been found dead. Eight days after Ken Clarke was appointed Home Secretary, the arson attack which killed the five people with connections to the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal occurred. The man who allegedly confessed to starting the fire was found dead himself days later. (For the full background on all this, see post ‘The Silence Of The Welsh Lambs’.) The Chief Constable of the North Wales Police refused to let a Chief Constable from another police force lead the investigation, although allegations had been made that officers from the North Wales Police had been abusing the children themselves. Gordon Anglesea was a Superintendent in the North Wales Police. Anglesea sued after being named as a child abuser in the media and won (see posts ‘Y Gwir Yn Erbyn Y Byd’ and ‘Y Gwir Erbyn Yn Y Byd – A Few Additional Comments’). In 2016 he was finally convicted and imprisoned for abusing boys in care in north Wales. The Police Federation supported Anglesea every step of the way and paid his legal costs. After he was convicted, the Police Federation continued to support him. He died in prison a few months after his conviction. The Police Federation turned out en masse at his funeral to give him a good send off.
The police will have been watching your every move Ken and they were never going to let you reform them, you are quite right about that. However your confidence in HM Inspectors of Constabulary was misplaced – they were up to their eyes in it as well (see post ‘Top Of The Cops’). No doubt someone had a word with Thatcher who then had you removed. In north Wales, Alison Taylor was the most vocal person raising concerns about the abuse of children and I was the most vocal person raising concerns about the criminal activities of the psychiatric services who were facilitating and concealing the paedophile ring. I had a close friend who knew what had happened to me in north Wales who worked in the media and who wanted to make a film about it.
I note Ken that you were removed from office in May 1993. By May 1993 Alison Taylor had been sacked and branded a liar. I had been hounded out of a career in medical research and had been dragged through the Courts by the mental health services for offences that I had not committed. My friend who worked in the media was unlawfully dismissed at the very same time that I was bullied out of my job at St George’s Hospital Medical School. By the way Ken, there were also two attempts to set fire to my house at this time.
So did Ken really simply believe that Peter Morrison was an ‘amiable fellow’ who did ‘little work’? Ken’s junior Minister was, as I have noted above, Edwina Currie. Edwina Currie published her memoirs a few years ago, ‘Diaries 1987-1992’. Here’s an extract from that book:
‘One appointment in the recent reshuffle has attracted a lot of gossip and could be very dangerous. Peter Morrison has become the PM’s PPS. Now he’s what they call a ‘noted pederast’, with a liking for young boys; he admitted as much to Norman Tebbit when he became deputy chairman of the party but added ‘However I’m very discreet – and he must be! She [Thatcher] either knows and is taking a chance or doesn’t, either way, it’s a really dumb move. Theresa Gorman told me this evening (in a taxi coming back from a drinks party at the BBC) that she inherited Morrison’s agent, who claimed to have been offered money to keep quiet about his activities. It scares me as all the press know and as we get closer to the election someone is going to make trouble, very close to her indeed’.
Do you know what else Ken? My friend who wanted to make the film and who was unlawfully dismissed from her job in the media was a Labour Party activist. She campaigned at every election. The Tories were aware of her existence as well because before she landed her media job, she worked as a temporary secretary for the Tory Minister Richard Luce and was security checked – she was asked about her Labour party activities. I had another close friend as well, an academic who, with me, wanted to publish what was happening in north Wales. In the early 1990s he received constant harassment at work, attempts were made to dismiss him and then one day he was subjected to an unprovoked attack in the street in the midlands by a man who was known to have serious mental health problems. The man attempted to fracture my friend’s skull. My friend escaped with a broken cheek bone and missing teeth. My friend was later accused of attacking this man himself and also accused of nobbling the witnesses who testified in Court that it was my friend who had been set upon for no reason. Fortunately the Court believed my friend. As for my friend whose career in the media was finished off, she then began working on a self-employed basis as a script-writer for films. She became pregnant with her first baby. The pregnancy had no problems at all and she was told to expect a problem free delivery. Her labour went well too – but by the time her baby daughter was born, the baby was almost dead. The baby died a few hours later. It transpired that my friend’s baby had become distressed in the womb and although my friend had been hooked up to a foetal heart monitor, the midwife hadn’t read the trace. My friend made enquiries about bringing a legal action against the hospital, but was frankly told by an expert witness whom she had hired on a private basis not to even bother to try because somehow he knew that the hospital staff intended to lie on oath. My friend became seriously depressed after her baby’s death and was unable to work for a long time.
But we’re back firing on all cylinders again Ken, all three of us. My only regret is that I wasn’t able to publish all this whilst that monster Thatcher was still alive – but I didn’t have the documentary evidence that I needed. I have now got it.
Ken continues his account of life at the top of Gov’t after his removal as Home Secretary. He gives a detailed account of Black Wednesday, Sept 16 1992, when the economy fell off the cliff. He recites all the names of the financial geniuses who were running the show when this happened – Norman Lamont, Douglas Hurd, Michael Heseltine, Robert Leigh-Pemberton (Governor of the Bank of England), Terry Burns (Permanent Secretary to the Treasury), Sarah Hogg (Head of PM’s Policy Unit), Chief Whip Richard Ryder and of course Ken himself. Ken describes the sheer panic at the Treasury and notes that Sarah Hogg was ‘scathing’ about the lack of overnight preparation by the Treasury and the Bank of England for the market opening in the morning – the run on the Bank had begun the afternoon before. So Sarah didn’t blame herself at all then – she was after all only the Head of the PM’s Policy Unit. So as one of the architects of the disaster, she was obviously in an excellent position to be appointed Deputy Governor of the Bank of England later on in her career. The Deputy Hogg wasn’t the only Name of the Future among that lot – the special advisor to the Chancellor of the Exchequer Norman Lamont was at the time a young toff called David Cameron. Who, judging from Ken’s account, was crapping himself. Ken discusses Black Wednesday and the days afterwards in some depth and the one feature that stands out is that among this bunch of arrogant, pompous people who had proudly forced through their ‘reforms’ and had spent years telling the world that the Labour Party was hopeless with the economy, there was no-one at all who had a clue what to do. They had for years relied entirely on the advice of their ‘economic advisors’ – the likes of Patrick Minford, who’s now at Cardiff Business School and currently mouthing off in the media once more; indeed the other day on Radio 4 Ruth Lea reminded the listeners that over 300 hundred economists disagreed with Minford, but he turned out to be right and they were all wrong. Oh so that’s why Black Wednesday happened then and why these clueless wonders didn’t know what to do. It’s obvious from Ken’s account that he and his colleagues didn’t actually understand what their ‘advisors’ were telling them and they didn’t try to either – most of the politicians involved were lawyers or graduates of disciplines entirely unrelated to economics and they did not know their arses from their elbows. I am reminded of Willie Rushton’s old joke that you cannot run a country like a grocer’s shop no matter how hard Mrs Thatcher tries.
They knew how to save the day though! One month later Heseltine announced that all the remaining pits would be closed – that was 31 pits, with 30,000 jobs lost. Ken admits that they feared that the Gov’t would collapse, so an emergency Cabinet meeting was held with Peter Lilley, Tristan Garel-Jones, John Gummer, David Hunt, Virginia Bottomley and William Waldegrave and of course with Ken. How many of that lot had concealed the shite involving Peter Morrison then? Presumably the Cabinet felt that the only employment that should be available in Wales was that involving the procuring of teenage boys for sex work.
Ken knows who to blame for Black Wednesday though – it was the fault of Thatcher, Lawson, John Major and Chris Patten. I’m sure that they did have rather a lot to do with it, but I think that smug ignorant tosser who was special advisor to Norman Lamont was involved as well. Ken was then appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer himself. The smug ignorant tosser who had helped crash the economy obviously wanted to do it all again because he went to see Ken to ask him for a job as a special advisor, but sadly Ken was only allowed two of those and he already had Tessa Keswick and David Ruffley, so Ken had to turn little Cameron away. Cameron went to work in the Home Office instead with Michael Howard. (Which meant that Cameron was one of the gofers there when Howard and the Home Office finally shafted Mary Wynch leaving her ruined – see post ‘The Mary Wynch Case – Details’.) Ken knew that Cameron had a bright future though. Yes, he led the country into a EU referendum that he never thought he would lose and when he did, within hours he resigned stating that he wasn’t going to do ‘all the hard shit’. The Chief Secretary to the Treasury when Ken was Chancellor was Michael Portillo. His new PPS was Jeremy Heyward, who later became Cameron’s Cabinet Secretary. Portillo was succeeded in this role by Jonathan Aitken – who resigned within a year to enter battle after he had been horribly smeared. Except that he hadn’t, but he lied in Court anyway, was caught and ended up in prison.
Tessa Keswick, Ken’s right hand woman for so many years, left his side in 1995 to run a think tank.
Ken mentions a few more highlights, such as Boris Johnson causing no end of problems when he worked as the Daily Telegraph’s European correspondent by fabricating stories. Ken observes that Boris ‘fervently followed the desired policy line of his proprietor, which at that time was Conrad Black. A friend of many senior Tories who also found himself in prison.
Ken mentions Brian Mawhinney, who by now had become Party Chairman. Brian was of course the brother-in-law of Patricia Scotland QC, who acted for the Welsh Office at the Waterhouse Inquiry. Patricia was given a peerage whilst she worked on that Inquiry (please see my three previous posts dedicated to Patricia and her network for details). Ken has the pleasure of meeting the Treasury Secretary of the U.S. at one point, Bob Rubin – Rubin and his wife were ‘old friends’ of Leon Brittan and his wife, they even took annual holidays together!
Christ Almighty no wonder my friends and I all got sacked and attempts were made to set fire to my house, there was an awful lot riding on the Westminster Paedophile Ring remaining under wraps.
Ken doesn’t mention the Waterhouse Inquiry, although he does mention the Tories losing the 1997 general election and William Hague becoming leader. Ken doesn’t seem to be that impressed with Hague. He should have been, because whilst Hague was Secretary of State for Wales he organised the mother of all cover-ups which was Waterhouse and saved a lot of people’s scalps.
After Ken left office, he went in for company directorships in a big way. He became Chair of Unichem (his mate Geoffrey Rippon had already done a stint as Chair) and he became Deputy Chair of British American Tobacco. Ken was Chair of their Corporate Responsibility Committee. He knew that their product was ‘controversial’, so he strove to ‘uphold impeccable business standards’. They were ‘trading in some of the corrupt markets’ and Ken found that BAT were often told that they could only invest in a country if they paid a bribe. ‘BAT resisted those pressures completely’ – they initially turned down Vietnam because bribes were requested, but Ken was delighted to find that BAT later managed to invest successfully. He had a similar experience in Russia and Nigeria. Ken does not explain how BAT managed to persuade some of the most corrupt regimes in the world to tread a more honest path…
Ken’s wife Gillian was a Trustee of Oxfam and she accompanied him on all his business trips. Oxfam and BAT – strange bedfellows surely? Gillian busied herself with ‘tourism and visiting Oxfam projects’. BAT purchased Formula One and Ken became Chair of the subsidiary, British American Racing. He became good mates with Bernie Ecclestone. Ken also joined the Board of the Independent as a non-executive Director and became good friends with Helena Kennedy and Margaret Jay, who were both on the Board! That’s the Helena who starred on my post ‘Eve Was Framed – As Were A Lot Of Other People’, the Helena who relied upon the courtroom skills of Professor Nigel Eastman for so many of her cases. Nigel also used his talents to remain silent about the criminal activities of Dafydd and Dr Tony Francis when he was faced with them in 1991 (see post ‘Some Very Eminent Psychiatrists From London…’) Well having Ken and Helena on the Board was a smart move by the owner Tony O’ Reilly – the Indie certainly wasn’t going to publish any further allegations that there was a paedophile ring in operation in north Wales and that politicians were involved.
Ken joined an asset management company run by his old friend Christopher Saunders and a hedge fund and he advised the Japanese finance house Daiwa. Ken noted a plus side to his new career: ‘the income, which was on a scale that no politician could ever earn in Government’. He also observed that it taught him a lot about financial matters but ‘unfortunately’ he ‘only acquired this vital experience after I had been Chancellor’. Never mind Ken, it didn’t matter that you didn’t know anything about it – there was always Patrick Minford or Sarah Hogg or even David Cameron to advise you. What could possibly go wrong?
Ken’s skills were still required in politics though. He describes secret visits to Tony Blair, along with Paddy Ashdown, to prepare the UK to enter the single currency -Ken was needed to win over public opinion. Having just been voted OUT by the citizens of the UK I’m not sure that Ken would be a great asset there. Blair wanted all the campaigning on the issue done by Ashdown, Heseltine and Ken, with the support of the CBI and the rest of the business community. But wily old Gordon Brown blew their plans out of the water. Gordon had instructed their Press Officer Charlie Whelan to brief the press that he and Blair had agreed not to join the single currency until the Treasury had studied the project. The civil servants carried out a ‘long and academic study’ – and then fessed up to Ken that they were waiting for Gordon to tell them what to conclude from their study. Mandelson approached Ken in a panic and asked him what to do when he found out that Gordon was about to announce that the UK didn’t pass any of the ‘five tests’ needed to justify entry into the Eurozone. Gordon knew that the UK wouldn’t pass the five tests, because he’d carefully thought them up in a taxi at the start of the whole process. That, according to Ken, is why the UK never entered the single currency. Ken himself hated the ‘save the pound’ national campaign that took place during the 2001 general election campaign, but he didn’t admit this in public – because so many of his ‘friends’ were behind that campaign. He was so anxious not to slip up that he carefully avoided all journos during the campaign – although he did have a hotline to the Indie’s Don McIntyre. Well Ken was on the Board wasn’t he.
Ken helpfully explains that the real achievement of the Blair Gov’t 1997-01 was to ‘cement the Thatcher revolution permanently in place’. Ken’s a big fan of Blair, as of course are David Cameron and Osborne, referring to him as the Master.
Hague resigned as Tory leader after the 2001 general election and there was another leadership battle. Portillo fancied being leader but Ken notes that Portillo was ‘dogged by absurd and malicious media rumours about his private life’. Ken was ‘infuriated by this nonsense which I was sure was untrue and in any case irrelevant’. So which media rumours is Ken talking about? The media rumours that Portillo was gay – which Portillo later admitted were true? Or the media rumours that Portillo was friendly with some of the Tories who were alleged to be abusing under-aged boys? Or the rumours that Portillo was abusing under-aged boys himself? Years before Portillo admitted that he was gay, I knew a young gay man in north Wales who used to go to gay clubs in Manchester. He told me that he had seen Portillo in them. The gay clubs in Manchester were also some of the places where mental health patients in north Wales who were being trafficked into prostitution were taken. The people doing this were part of the same network of people who trafficked the kids in care, so perhaps the kids in care ended up selling sex in gay clubs in Manchester, along with the Empowered Service Users.
Ken reveals that David Cameron had been Michael Howard’s ‘right hand man in Parliament’, his special advisor 1993/94. Mary Wynch was finally paid a pittance by the Home Office in 1995, after she was robbed of her money and property and illegally detained by Dafydd Alun Jones in the North Wales Hospital. The 1995 ‘settlement’ was ‘final’ with no admission of liability for anything. Mary was by then elderly. She was told to piss off and it was announced that that was the end of the case. It was never mentioned again. So David will have known that little arrangement was on the way then when he left the Home Office in 1994. David left the Home Office to work as a PR man for Carlton TV! He remained there until he won his seat in 2001.
Blair wasn’t the only New Labour bigwig with whom Ken got on famously. He really liked Peter Mandelson as well. In fact Ken met with Mandelson ‘almost weekly’ in Mandelson’s office in the Lords to ‘discuss the important issues he was considering and try to reach agreement’.
After the Coalition Gov’t was formed, Ken became Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice. His new Permanent Secretary was Suma Chakrabarti (see post ‘The Poisonous Tentacles Of The Home Office’) and David Hass moved from George Osborne’s office to Ken’s – Hass was a former BBC man and he became Ken’s media advisor. Kathryn Laing was Ken’s advisor on policy and political matters. His Private Secretary was Darren Tierney, who was succeeded by Mark Sweeney. Again, Ken knows where the problems lie – that prisons are unsuitable places for people with drug problems and mental illnesses and huge numbers of prisoners actually have these. Ken comments that women prisoners almost all had ‘distressing personal problems’. Ken mentions that the Home Office tried to ‘sell’ legal aid cuts to his predecessor Jack Straw – Ken himself reduced legal aid further for civil cases. So if for example one has fallen into the clutches of the social services or mental health services and they have broken the law and abused you in some way – hard luck, you’ll not be getting legal aid. Well, after Mary Wynch demonstrated that Dafydd had illegally banged her up for a year and fleeced her of her wealth and all those people who’d been abused whilst they were in care as kids in north Wales started bellyaching, what else could the Gov’t do…
Ken embarked on a major closure of under-used magistrates courts, but got into a bit of bother when he found that No 10 was objecting to his policy. What Ken hadn’t realised was that Cameron’s mother was a magistrate and her court had been ear-marked for closure! Ken handed the policy over to a junior Minister, Jonathon Djangol, for implementation. Mrs Cameron’s courthouse was saved from closure.
Cameron asked Ken to meet the notorious Rebekah Wade/Brooks, Murdoch’s right hand woman. Ken observed that Rebekah seemed accustomed to meeting Home Secretaries and Justice Secretaries ‘and having her advice taken seriously’. Rebekah wanted Ken to acquire some prison ships and military style boot camps. Ken noted that he had previously been given the same suggestions from No 10. Ken wasn’t impressed with Rebekah and didn’t meet her again. He had some entertaining observations though – that Rebekah was occupying Cameron’s luxury hotel suite, was dressed in riding gear and had a plate of ‘Marie-Antoinette cakes’. That Ken, was because she’s nuts – even though she advises Tory PMs.
Ken noted that Andy Coulson, Cameron’s Director of Communications (and Rebecca’s former bedfellow and the former editor of the News of the Screws) had ‘obviously been appointed as Rupert Murdoch’s representative in No 10’. Coulson later went to prison. Another person whom Ken had to deal with was Patrick Rock, who was Michael Howard’s former special advisor at the Home Office and now Cameron’s Deputy Director of Policy, with responsibility for criminal justice. Rock was subsequently imprisoned for the possession of child porn.
Ken mentions another old friend in a high place, Igor Judge, lately of the Midlands Circuit, now Lord Chief Justice.
Ken wanted to abolish those things much in the news at present, IPPs – indeterminate prison sentences for public protection. Although Blunkett – whose brainwave they had been – admitted that they hadn’t ‘worked’ as he’d hoped (you were warned that they’d result in people imprisoned for years for trivial offences Blunkett, which is exactly what has happened) – Ken was told that it would be too much of a struggle to abolish them. So a deal was done. If Ken introduced some new minimum mandatory sentences under certain conditions, he’d be allowed to abolish IPPs – this deal had to be entered into because Cameron wanted to be seen to be tough on law and order.
Ken also provides an insight into the working of the office of the Mayor of London. When Boris was seeking a second term as Mayor, he dreamt up a ‘sobriety scheme’, which would involve anyone being arrested for drunkenness to be directed into a sentence requiring regular checks to prove that they were remaining sober. It was evident to Ken that Boris was clueless as to how he’d ever run such a scheme and he couldn’t answer even the most basic questions about it. So Boris rang the Met Commissioner on his mobile to answer Ken’s questions, but although the Commissioner was a supporter of the scheme, he couldn’t answer any questions about it either. Ken had a second meeting with Boris, during which Boris put his phone on speaker and asked someone from his office to come and answer the questions.
So that’s Ken’s overview of his gloriously long career at the top of Gov’t. Despite the many disasters, Ken reassures himself that all the policies that he pushed through have worked brilliantly and on every occasion that something went tits-up, it was someone else’s fault. He blithely carries on, reassuring everybody that there’s no problems, even when he knows damn well that the problems are horrendous. Such as one (At LEAST) of his colleagues molesting children, which caused the whole of the Gov’t to ignore serious criminal conduct on the part of social services, Top Doctors, the police, accountants and businessmen and to engage with corrupt professionals in the media to keep it all quiet – even when witnesses start being found dead or are killed in a mass murder in an arson attack. Ken knows that organised crime has become so big that the police can’t tackle it and he’s noticed that London has become a magnet for criminals, money-launderers and despots from corrupt regimes. Ever wondered why Ken? Not that he worries about it that much – he’s got lunches to eat, curries to enjoy, jazz clubs to visit and all those lucrative company directorships which involve doing business in, by his own admission, ‘corrupt markets’. It’s not as if he and his colleagues will come unstuck even when catastrophe strikes – the rules are bent for them, whether it’s keeping Mrs Cameron’s courthouse open or ensuring that Peter Morrison never gets caught out, even if that involves murdering some of the witnesses, ruining a few careers and stitching innocent people up in Court.
Well I hope it was worth it Ken. All that to ensure another election victory for Thatcher, so that narrow minded, dim, philistine of a woman could carry on being PM and preach to the rest of us the merits of monetarism, a policy which she obviously didn’t understand. Wales got completely fucked in the process and we were then told that it was all our fault. Oh and my friend’s baby died – but at least Thatcher was spared a film about a gang of paedophiles wreaking havoc, one of which was her PPS and Deputy Party Chairman. Thatcher died alone – but in the Ritz. Carol complained that in her final years with dementia, Thatcher’s ‘friends’ abandoned her. I think that was probably a function of the sort of people whom she chose as friends Carol.
Peter Morrison didn’t last as long as Thatcher, in fact he died suddenly and unexpectedly at only 51 years old. Gyles Brandreth’s autobiography states that Morrison was found dead at home at the bottom of the stairs. Gyles wonders whether he threw himself down the stairs to kill himself. I wouldn’t be surprised Gyles if someone actually pushed him and then whacked him on the head afterwards to ensure that the deed was done. Morrison was found dead on 13 July 1995. By which time a major investigation was underway into the abuse of children in children’s homes in Clwyd and there were demands for a Public Inquiry. The North Wales Hospital Denbigh had virtually closed down and Dr Dafydd Alun Jones had ‘retired’ with the remit to provide ‘substance abuse services’ for north Wales (see post ‘The Evolution Of A Drugs Baron?’). Alison Taylor and I had lost our careers, my friend’s first born had died and another friend who wanted to publish the story had been unlawfully dismissed from his job as well. Presumably disposing of Peter Morrison would bury the matter for ever.
But now I’ve written this blog.