The ‘Celtic Iron Lady’ And Yet More Recent History

The press in north Wales is currently publishing tributes to someone who has just died who was described as a farmer from Denbighshire and a ‘leading figure’ in country life in the region. It was mentioned that the man in question purchased a large pig farm he was younger, was keen on racehorses and was a leading light in the NFU as well as in the Conservative Party. Intriguingly the article in the Daily Post Online stated that this farmer was a freemason. Details of his family were supplied and it seems that his family were actually a local wealthy family with multiple business interests. Of course my antennae started twitching when I saw the words ‘Denbighshire’, ‘leading figure’ and ‘freemason’ in close proximity. A mate of Dafydd and Gwynne’s perhaps?  The ‘farmer’ would be about the right age to be a mate of theirs. But then I noticed something even more interesting – at the end of the article, it named the siblings of this farmer who had predeceased him. One was his sister – Beata Brookes, a Conservative politician.

Beata Brookes is a name from the past. When I arrived in Bangor in 1981 most people whom I came across supported Plaid, but every so often Bangor would be covered in blue Vote Conservative posters with the name of Beata Brookes emblazoned across them. I learned that Beata Brookes was the MEP for north Wales. I also soon found out that she was hated by many people, truly loathed, but no-one ever explained why – although to be fair, I never asked. In much the same way that in parts of the UK in the 1980s one would overhear people using the phrase ‘it’s that bloody woman’ and know that they were talking about Margaret Thatcher, in north Wales it was often a phrase used about Beata Brookes. Last night I did a bit of research. As is so often the case these days, I wish that I had done this research years ago – and I also wished that when I was young I had stopped to enquire further when local people had told me how much they hated Beata Brookes.

Beata Brookes was born in 1931, the daughter of a wealthy family in Denbighshire. So she’s about the same age as Dafydd and Lucille, the paedophiles’ friends then. Beata studied at UCNW (now Bangor University) and became a social worker – just like Lucille! Of course, Beata was about the same age as Dafydd and Lucille. Readers familiar with north Wales will already understand that with the region having the networks that it does, Beata will definitely have known Lucille. She therefore probably knew Dafydd as well. For readers in England who  might need more convincing, not knowing how north Wales works – and certainly worked in the mid-twentieth century – here’s the clincher. Beata worked as a social worker for Denbighshire County Council, although it is documented that she also worked as a ‘director for a north Wales company’ and as a ‘farmer’. I can’t find a record of the name of the company, I presume that it was a family business – and presumably, as with her brother, ‘farmer’ meant landowner. So Beata was from an affluent local Tory family (Beata joined the Young Conservatives at fifteen and ended up as the national vice-chairman), the male members of whom were freemasons and she worked as a social worker for the Council which collaborated with and concealed the wrongdoing of Gwynne the lobotomist and Dafydd. Beata will have known what was going on in the North Wales Hospital Denbigh. I bet she’ll have known about something else as well – the physical and sexual abuse of children, which had been going on in the region for decades. Scores of those who were named in the Jillings Report and Waterhouse Report as senior managers of the children’s ‘services’ which by the 1970s were known to be rife with paedophiles had worked for Denbighshire County Council as far back as the 1950s, as detailed in previous blog posts.

Was it possible that Beata was one of those who knew about the beatings, the buggery, the rapes, the lobotomies of awkward customers, the incarceration of anyone who crossed Gwynne or Dafydd’s path, the sexual abuse of psychiatric patients as well as of children, the financial abuse of vulnerable adults, the incarceration of homosexuals, the deaths and disappearances, but felt completely overwhelmed and helpless? Er, no – as Beata progressed in her career, she acquired positions which point to her being one of the key figures who ensured that the lid was kept on all of it. In 1963 the Conservative Government appointed her to the Welsh Hospitals Board, the authority directly responsible for the North Wales Hospital Denbigh. She remained in that post for eleven years. Whereupon she became a member of the new Clwyd Health Authority – which took over the running of the North Wales Hospital! And nothing changed at all – homosexuals were still tortured in the name of ‘aversion therapy’ although homosexuality had been decriminalised, women who had given birth outside of marriage were still incarcerated in there, Gwynne the lobotomist was still employed there (and I bet that he was still carrying out lobotomies as well, they were breaking every other law out there, they won’t have given up on their most effective weapon), young people who had been abused were being banged up in Denbigh in the 70s, Dafydd was shagging his way around the institution – life carried on in that place as it had for the previous decades. Of course by 1974, John Allen had established the Bryn Alyn Community and business was booming – children in care from across the UK were being ‘placed’ there, to be sexually abused and trafficked into prostitution. As were the boys at Bryn Estyn at that time. Jillings and Waterhouse admit that by 1974, children in care right across north Wales were being starved, used as free labour, violently assaulted and sexually abused. Some ended up in London and Brighton being abused by the Westminster Paedophile Ring. Dissenters found themselves in the North Wales Hospital or Risley Remand Centre.

So Beata was up to her eyes in it as a member of Clwyd Health Authority. But Beata was a member of a few other things as well – including Clwyd County Council Social Services Committee! So she definitely knew about the kids who were being abused in the ‘care’ of the social services then. Beata played a blinder though – like Dafydd and Lucille, she ensured that she was involved in so many organisations that she remained in control of all outlets. She sat on the Family Practitioners Committee for Clwyd and she was a member of the Council for Professions Supplementary to Medicine – that will have kept any GPs or others who were unhappy with what was going on silent – and she also held ‘several voluntary sector posts in north Wales relating to the disabled and mentally handicapped’. Beata was even President of the North Wales Association for the Disabled! There was no escape for complaining patients or relatives – or indeed other healthcare professionals – from Beata, Gwynne, Dafydd and Lucille. They had the whole region completely stitched up. Although Beata and Lucille couldn’t join the masons because they were women, Dafydd, Beata’s brother and no doubt Gwynne were able to do that bit to gain dominance there.

Not only was Beata occupying influential positions in the local authority and voluntary sector, but she began her political climb at an early age too. After her stint with the Young Conservatives, she joined the grown-ups clubs. She was elected to the National Union of Conservatives and Unionist Associates. In 1955 she was elected as a Conservative Councillor for Rhyl Urban District Council. In the same year she fought Widnes for the Tories in the General Election. In 1961 Beata was the Tory candidate in the Warrington by-election. In 1964 she stood for the Tories for Manchester Exchange in the General Election. In 1970 she threw her hat in the ring for the West Flintshire nomination for the Tories but was beaten by Sir Anthony Myers. My God Beata was desperate to get into Parliament. I don’t think she wanted to do that to help the poor sods whom Dafydd and Gwynne were abusing and killing or the kids that Lucille – and indeed Beata’s colleagues in Clwyd Social Services – were prostituting either.

In 1979 Beata was elected to the European Parliament as MEP for north Wales! Did she use her power to try and assist those in the clutches of Dafydd, Gwynne and Lucille? Of course not – Beata ended up on a number of committees and is remembered as feistily fighting for agricultural and industrial interests in north Wales, but no, she didn’t give a stuff about the welfare or indeed the lives of those who had fallen into the hands of a bunch of pimps and gangsters. It was of course in 1979 that Mary Wynch was unlawfully arrested and incarcerated in Risley Remand Centre and the North Wales Hospital – for a year (see post ‘The Mary Wynch Case – Details’). That hit the London based media. Of course Beata knew about it.

Beata remained an MEP for ten years. Throughout the Mary Wynch scandal and the aftermath – and during those years in the mid and late 80s when Alison Taylor went public on the paedophile ring that was operating in the social services in north Wales. Beata remained silent throughout. Yet every account of Beata’s political career stresses how effective she was, what a ‘fighter’ she was, how she was ‘formidable’ (which in politics usually translates as ‘vile’) and how she was known as the ‘Celtic Iron Lady’. (Brookes was a hard-right Thatcherite.)

In 1983 Brookes’s desperation to bag a seat in the Commons – although she was a sitting MEP – caused a crisis in the Conservative Party. What is now described as a ‘bitter feud’ broke out which centred around Brookes. Boundary changes resulted in the creation of a new constituency, Clwyd North West, a seat that was centred on Colwyn Bay, the location of the HQ of the North Wales Police which was mired in corruption and concealing the paedophile ring. Gordon Anglesea, an Inspector at Colwyn Bay, was actually a member of the paedophile ring. Colwyn Bay also housed a few other bent professionals, including Professor Robert Owen, the Medical Ombudsman for the Welsh Office, who concealed Dafydd’s criminal activities in the late 1980s. Denbigh was a town virtually entirely populated by staff or the relatives of staff of the North Wales Hospital, but people occupying the more senior positions in Clwyd County Council and it’s services frequently lived in the Colwyn Bay area or in the Conwy Valley. They’re the posh bits of that region.

The natural candidates for the Tory nomination for Clwyd North West were the sitting Conservative MP for West Flintshire, Sir Anthony Meyer and the sitting Conservative MP for Denbigh, Geraint Morgan. Some people were grumbling about Geraint Morgan who was perceived to be rather more committed to his work as a barrister than his duties as an MP and although Anthony Meyer was very popular in some quarters, he was dangerously civilised for Thatcher’s Conservative Party and kept disgracing himself by doing things like making positive noises about the EU, not wanting to hang people and not wanting to kill the Argies. It didn’t go down very well at all with some. A group of local Tory activists urged Brookes to put her name forward for the nomination. Meanwhile, Conservative Central Office produced a list of 65 possible names – Brookes’s was not among them. A huge row followed and complaints were made to the 1922 Committee. The Chairman of that Committee, Edward Du Cann, even discussed postponing the selection meeting with the Conservative Party Chairman Cecil Parkinson, such was the rumpus. In the end the selection meeting went ahead.

Brookes, Meyers and Morgan all attended the meeting, at which Brookes made a speech praising Thatcher. Brookes won the selection vote among the Clwyd North East Conservative Executive. Meyers alleged that the meeting was a fix, that Brookes had set out to oust him by stealth by using EU funds to promote her candidacy and ‘usurp the functions’ of the House and that Conservative Central Office were in on the conspiracy. Morgan observed that speaking at the meeting was like ‘speaking to a nobbled jury’. Meyers maintained that the local members were ‘resigning in droves’ and threatened to run as an Independent. He then discovered that he had not been invited to the adoption meeting. Myers challenged this in the High Court and won – they ruled that he should have been invited. Some 800 members turned up to the meeting where the decision not to invite Myers was reversed. Sir Anthony Myers was subsequently nominated and then won the seat for the Tories by a long way.

Whilst I was reading about all this, I couldn’t help noticing the year in which the Tories in Clwyd tore themselves apart – it was 1983. We know that Beata was ruthlessly ambitious, was a woman who bludgeoned people into submission and was sitting on a paedophile ring supplying under-aged boys to Westminster figures and was keeping a lid on the criminal activities of a mental health service that was concealing the paedophile ring. It has been admitted by member of the Conservative Party that Sir Peter Morrison, the Tory MP for Chester, was abusing boys in care in north Wales. Between 1981 and 1985 the Conservative MP Geoffrey Dickens held his campaign to expose ‘VIPs’ that he maintained were sexually abusing children. Dickens maintained that this abuse was associated with a trade in child pornography worth a great deal of money. This was exactly the business that John Allen ran. Dickens began his campaign in 1981 when he named Sir Peter Hayman in the House using Parliamentary privilege. In 1983 Geoffrey Dickens handed the then Home Secretary Leon Brittan a dossier with the names and details of VIPs, including Westminster figures, that Dickens maintained were paedophiles. Brittan ‘lost’ that dossier. Since then of course, there have been allegations that Brittan was one of those paedophiles himself. Before he died Geoffrey Dickens talked about the serious unpleasantness and threats that he received after he spoke out.

So Beata herself and a group of ‘local activists’ were very keen for Beata to get into Parliament – so keen that some unlawful dirty tricks were employed, which Meyers alleged had involved Conservative Central Office. The constituency involved in the bun-fight was home to numerous police officers, local officials and professionals who were concealing the paedophile ring that Dickens was trying to expose. I wonder if they were among the ‘local activists’ who were doing pretty much anything to get Brookes into that seat? What if they were worried that Dickens’s campaign was going to gain traction and the whole bloody lot of them would be caught? Sir Anthony Myers sounds the sort of person who would not be complicit with such serious criminal activity, but Beata had been already, for years. The ideal candidate!

The cunning plan didn’t work, but Beata continued as an MEP until 1989 when she was ousted by the Labour candidate. Beata continued to mouth off if she felt like it – in 1983 she protested after the BBC held an interview with John Jenkins, a Welsh activist who had been imprisoned for a bombing campaign at the time of the Investiture. Oh the irony – in his younger day, Dafydd made links with Irish Republican activists after declaring his commitment to the nationalist cause (see post ‘A Network Stretching Back Decades…’). He also participated in the Tryweryn campaign. Like Dafydd, Beata had some media connections – she had worked as an ‘occasional television interviewer’ when she was younger.

Even being voted out didn’t stop Brookes. In 1993 she became Chair of the Welsh Conservative Party and supported John Major whilst he was under fire. She was also Chair of the Welsh Consumer Council and was re-appointed in 1994, despite criticism of her potential conflict of interest by the National Consumer Council and by Rhodri Morgan, who told John Major that the appointment ‘undermined an already disreputable system of patronage’.

The evil cow was awarded a CBE in 1996. In her old age there were still indications of the deals that she was doing on a local level. Brookes hit the media in 2003 regarding a dispute over car boot sales that she was holding on her land in Rhuddlan. In 2000 she had managed to gain permission to hold car boot sales on 28 Sundays every year and then in 2003 she gained permission to hold car boot sales on 14 Saturdays every year. She offered the land on which the car boots were held for the use of the National Eisteddfod. Helping out the National Eisteddfod can work wonders, particularly as Dafydd and many of the paedophiles’ friends are involved with it. (A true but horrible story – some years ago there was an awful shock for a lot of people when it was revealed that one of the people who had been appointed to run something for the children at the Eisteddfod, a nursery I think, was someone from the south of England with convictions for paedophilia. Any ideas how he got in there then Dafydd?) Beata won the day, but the dispute cost the local council many thousands of pounds. What Brookes’s passion for car boot sales was all about I don’t know, but it does remind me of a quip from ‘Private Eye’ years ago, when they were still publishing the imaginary letters from Denis Thatcher, ‘Dear Bill’. One of the letters made a reference to a ‘friend of Maurice’s’ who ran car boot sales – Denis commented that ‘I had no idea that he was a member of the Mafia’.

Readers may remember that in my post ‘Doris Karloff – Honest About Her Expenses But Not Much Else’, I described how Anglesey Conservative Association were desperate to snare a then unknown Ann Widdecombe as their candidate despite Doris knowing absolutely nothing about Wales or Anglesey and not showing much interest either. I speculated that back in those days of the St David’s Laundry in Bangor (see post ‘The BMA And It’s Ethics’), it may very well have been Widdecombe’s uncompromising anti-abortion stance that was the attraction. I wonder if Brookes was involved with that selection panel. Welsh Tories are a bit thin on the ground, it is highly likely that they either roped Brookes in or that she insisted on being part of the process.

There is an outstanding conundrum. Brookes’s obituaries mention that she married a fellow Tory activist Anthony Arnold, but that they divorced in 1963 and Brookes then insisted on being addressed by her maiden name and title, Miss Beata Brookes. It was highly unusual to be a divorcee in 1963 – although dispensing with an unwanted husband was very much easier if you were a woman with money as was Brookes – and divorced women routinely still referred to themselves as Mrs whatever their married name was. The only divorced women who persisted in calling themselves Miss were ageing starlets like Miss Diana Dors or Miss Zsa Zsa Gabor who still called themselves Miss no matter how many times they had been married and divorced. (Miss Joan Collins still does.) So Brookes really broke the mould there – if any readers know what that was all about, please do tell, Beata would hardly be the first to be flying the feminist flag.

In 2013 Brookes joined UKIP. She became very angry with Tories like Cameron calling UKIP ‘fruitcakes’ and ‘clowns’ and stated that ‘you don’t behave like that in politics’. No, what you do is take part in a conspiracy to conceal a vicious paedophile ring and remain silent even when the victims who have been brave enough to give evidence against that ring start turning up dead. Lest anyone needs reminding of just what the Celtic Iron Lady was party to, here’s another quick resume – witnesses were found hanging from trees, hanging from stairwells, dead from overdoses although they’d given up drugs years previously, were found inexplicably dead in cars, some were run over and killed on roads and one teenaged boy was found in a local town with unexplained injuries so serious that he died from them a few hours later. This doesn’t include the people who ‘committed suicide’ after being ‘helped’ by Dafydd and his colleagues. Neither does it include the five people with connections to the North Wales Child Abuse Scandal who were killed in an arson attack at a party in Brighton, to which they had all been invited. The partygoers variously died from smoke inhalation or burns and some people escaped by jumping out of windows and were impaled on the railings below. A man who was alleged to have ‘confessed’ to starting the fire was hit by a lorry and killed himself a few days later.

Beata Brookes died in her eighties in the comfort of the Spire Yale Hospital (a private hospital in Wrexham) in 2015. So she didn’t risk her neck with the NHS that she had helped poison or in one of Dafydd’s ‘nursing homes’. Upon hearing of her death, Andrew R.T. Davies, the leader of the Welsh Conservatives, described Beata as an ‘incredibly talented politician who will be sorely missed’ whose ‘career was varied and hugely successful and I pay tribute to everything she did within public life, the voluntary sector and for the Welsh Conservative Party’.

Victorian Values anyone? Or shall we just go Back To Basics?

 

What of Beata’s rivals from the 1983 campaign whom she had so ruthlessly tried to shaft?

 

Geraint Morgan was the Conservative MP for Denbigh between 1959-83. So he spanned the Years of Brutality and Lobotomies then. He cannot possibly been have been as bad as Beata Brookes, but like others who have held political ambitions in the direction of the Denbigh area such as Ieuan Wyn Jones and Paul Flynn, Geraint wasn’t going to even whisper in protest – he was after the votes of all the Denbigh staff, the patients didn’t have votes to cast. Although Geraint was appreciated for being a Welsh speaker and was known to dutifully reply to constituents when they raised issues with him, Geraint had other interests. He was a barrister and busied himself with that. After the 1983 dust-up, Morgan resigned from the Conservative Party and supported Plaid, although he never became a member. That’s the Plaid who embraced Dafydd as an activist and candidate and included so many other people who said nothing about the paedophile gang or the abuses at the North Wales Hospital, although they all knew about it. Geraint Morgan was eventually appointed a Crown Court Recorder. He worked on the Northern Circuit. As did Sir John Kay, who issued a High Court injunction against me on the basis of Jackie Brandt and Keith Fearns perjuring themselves, Keith Fearns never having met me and Brandt having met me two or three times. At the time Fearns and Brandt were employed as social workers by Gwynedd Social Services and I now have copies of the letters exchanged between Lucille Hughes (Director of Gwynedd Social Services), Ron Evans (the lawyer employed by Gwynedd County Council), Jackie and Fearns, in which Evans and Lucille instruct Fearns and Brandt to make statements about me. John Kay issued that injunction just before Geraint Morgan was appointed a judge. Like so many featured on this blog, Geraint was a law graduate from Aberystwyth University and a member of the Gorsedd of the Bards.

 

The one person who does not seem to have been dwelling in the same cesspool as everyone else was Sir Anthony Meyer. He had previously had a career as a diplomat in the Foreign Office and served in the British Embassies in Paris and Moscow. He was elected as the Conservative MP for Eton and Slough in 1964 but lost the seat to the Labour MP Joan Lestor in 1966. His defeat was attributed to his refusal to play the ‘race card’ in what had become a heated debate about immigration. He sought another Tory seat, but had great difficulty, being on the very liberal wing of the Tory party and being a very enthusiastic European. An old Etonian contact, Nigel Birch, who was the MP for West Flintshire, then asked Sir Anthony if he would replace him as the candidate as he was standing down. Sir Anthony was elected for West Flintshire in 1970. He was popular but very critical of Thatcher. After surviving the bunfight in 1983, in 1989 he famously stood as the stalking horse against Thatcher in a leadership challenge. He knew that he didn’t have a hope of winning, but it did the trick – it encouraged a few other people to challenge her soon afterwards. He was deselected by the Conservative Party for his ‘treachery’ in 1992 and later joined the Lib Dems. So although it was Geoffrey Howe who delivered the killer blow, we have Sir Anthony to thank for kick-starting Thatcher’s demise. We also have him to thank for keeping a bloody monster out of Parliament when he mounted a High Court challenge to her and her henchmen in 1983.

 

Whilst I was reading about Beata, I saw across another name that I’d previously come across as well – Tom Ellis. Brookes was re-elected as MEP for north Wales after defeating Ellis in 1984, when he stood for the SDP.

Tom Ellis went to Ruabon Grammar School and studied chemistry at UCNW (Bangor University). In 1957 he became manager of Bersham Colliery. He was President of Wrexham Fabian Society and in 1970 was elected the Labour MP for Wrexham. In 1981 he defected to the SDP – Ellis was one of the founder members. He became President of the Welsh Social Democrats. After boundary changes in 1983 he stood for the SDP in Clwyd South West but lost. As MP for Wrexham, Tom Ellis is someone else who will have heard about the paedophile ring – Bryn Alyn and Bryn Estyn were located just outside Wrexham. He’ll have known about the horrors of the North Wales Hospital Denbigh as well. But as I detailed in my post ‘Dr Death’, the Top Doctors of north Wales were attracted to David Owen like flies around a honeypot. And their support was just so much more valued than the support of people who ended up dying so that the Top Doctors and the paedophiles’ friends could continue with their noses in the proverbial trough. Dafydd, Gwynne and Lucille really did have it all sewn up nicely – although virtually everyone knew what they were doing.

 

 

 

 

 

Author: Sally Baker

I am a writer and a sociologist, originally from Somerset, but I've been based in Wales for most of my life. I had my first encounter with a mental health professional in 1984 at the age of 21. My GP described this man to my then partner - who also became a sociologist - as someone who had experienced 'considerable success'. My meeting with this psychiatrist was a disaster and we attempted to complain about his insensitivity and highly inappropriate behaviour. That was the first time we were threatened and pressurised to withdraw a complaint against a mental health professional. This man is long dead - he was a retired psychiatrist from the North Wales Hospital Denbigh, T. Gwynne Williams, who was working shifts in the student health centre at University College of North Wales (now Bangor University). We discovered years later that this 'successful man' was notorious - he had been an enthusiastic lobotomist...

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