The London Connection

Previous posts (‘A Network Stretching To London?’, ‘The Night Of The (Dr Chris) Hunter’ and ‘St George’s Hospital Medical School, 1989/90’) have detailed the connections that the north Wales mental health services had to hospitals and medical schools in London and how they used these connections to stalk me, construct a portrait of me as being ‘dangerous’ and generally harass me. Since I wrote those posts though I have researched and written a more about the links between institutional child sexual abuse and abuses in the mental services (see posts ‘My Response To An Invitation…’ and ‘A Bit More About Those Very Muddy Waters’). It seems as though the mental health system has played a key role in the facilitating of institutional child sexual abuse, by discrediting and if necessary imprisoning people who dared complain that they had experienced it.

In recent years it has become clear that institutionalised child sexual abuse has been (and could well still be) rife in settings such as local authority ‘care’, some schools, churches, youth organisations etc. Thus the Independent Inquiry Into Child Sexual Abuse was set up in 2015, but is very obviously falling apart, with successive Chairs walking out, lawyers resigning and now a group of ‘survivors’, the Shirley Oaks Survivors, declaring it a farce and withdrawing. There are/have been a number of police investigations into institutional child sexual abuse spanning the UK, some of them dedicated to investigating allegations against high profile figures such as politicians or ‘VIPs’ and celebs. Many people have maintained that many of the ‘centres’ of organised paedophile activity are all linked up forming one big network. This subject is so big that my blog can’t ever do it justice (and of course it’ll be an international network), but I thought that I’d write a post discussing the little bit of the picture that I think that I can see.

I was prompted to write this post when I was listening to a Radio 4 programme a few days ago, ‘The Reunion’, which was discussing the murder of Victoria Climbie in 2000. Victoria was an eight year old girl from the Ivory Coast who had been sent to live with relatives in the borough of Haringey in London. They were convicted of very great cruelty towards her and of her murder. The case gained huge publicity because of the serious failings that were identified on the part of Haringey Children’s Services, although there had been enormous failure on the part of the police, the NHS and the NSPCC as well. (In the Reunion programme, it was none other than dear old Niall Dickson that could be heard on the archive footage reporting on Victoria’s death – that’s the Niall that later became Chief Exec of the GMC!) The services in Haringey were found to be in utter chaos with much dysfunction – a newly qualified social worker, Lisa Arthurworrey, carried the can for Victoria’s death although it was revealed that her training and supervision were utterly inadequate. One of her line managers was reported to have been suffering from a psychotic illness but had not been given leave from work and another line manager was alleged to have been far more concerned with the politics of identity than the realities of child protection. Lisa was pilloried in the press, suffered a breakdown and was struck off, although years later she was reinstated on the social workers register.  The usual promises of ‘we’ll do better’ were extracted from Haringey, but then in 2007 another huge scandal engulfed them when Peter Connelly, ‘Baby P’, was murdered whilst under the ‘care’ of the borough of Haringey (again the NHS was also found to be seriously deficient). The scandal ran and ran – after the horrors of Peter’s life and death were made public, the Director of Children’s Services responsible, Sharon Shoesmith, famously was interviewed on Radio 4 and boasted of how many ‘stars’ her service had – Eddie Mair the interviewer asked her how many stars she thought she’d get for this. Sharon Shoesmith continued to robustly defend herself as public outrage at the serial cock-ups involved in Peter’s case were revealed and then Ed Balls, the then Children’s Secretary, sacked her live on TV. Shoesmith sued and won and was subsequently awarded a very big compensation package which just pissed the nation off even more. Shoesmith proved remarkably resilient and continued to frame herself as a victim – she has recently re-emerged having completed a PhD at the LSE on herself no less (or at least that part of herself that was involved in the Baby Peter cock-up) and I think that she has just published her thesis as a book. (In 2015 Shoesmith was invited to Wales as a keynote speaker to discuss ‘Accountability in Social Work’ – Mark Drakeford, the former Health Minister for Wales and a former social worker himself, also spoke.) After Victoria Climbie and Peter Connelly, Haringey Children’s Services were widely regarded as an irretrievable basket-case – the fall-out led to changes in social worker education and training at a national level.

When I listened to the radio programme I was reminded of something that happened many years ago. In 1986 I lived in Harringay (part of the borough of Haringey) – I had just moved there from Anglesey to begin a postgrad course. Harringay was a place favoured by Greek and Turkish people and I lived in a shared house – one of the other residents who lived downstairs was a Turkish man. He was quite difficult, told a lot of lies and kept breaking the house rules – in the end our landlord, a local Greek accountant who was actually a very good landlord, threatened to evict the Turkish man. One of the more extraordinary things that the Turkish man downstairs did was, after moving into the house, start sharing his room with a 15 year old boy. The boy had just come over from Turkey and couldn’t speak any English so none of us could ask him what was going on or if he was OK – he was sharing a single room downstairs with this rather odd Turk. It then transpired that the boy couldn’t cook – his mum had always done that – and the awkward Turkish man wasn’t going to cook for him either, he sent him out for takeaways to live on. The tale that the Turkish man told us regarding how this teenager had ended up in his room was that the boy’s father had wanted to send the boy to London but was afraid that he’d catch AIDS no less (this was at the height of the AIDS panic) – so the difficult and irresponsible Turk had said that he’d ‘look after’ him. No-one checked on this boy and his presence was not declared to the landlord – he was sent out of the house when the landlord was due. The boy then disappeared – none of us found out where he’d gone and then the landlord evicted the Turkish bloke anyway. So a 15 yr old with no English lived in a single room with a much older rather unsavoury man – and no questions were asked. That sounds rather like a child protection issue that should have been of concern to Haringey Children’s Services…

Then something else memorable happened, in early 1987. I had returned to north Wales for the Christmas holidays and as explained in previous posts had been illegally imprisoned at the North Wales Hospital Denbigh by Dr Dafydd Alun Jones. When Jones realised that he didn’t actually know what to do with me and finally released me, he declared that he was going to ‘ring Haringey Social Services’ to ‘let them know that I was living in the area’. So Dafydd, who had illegally detained me as a result of criminal activity with a corrupt Superintendent at Bangor Police Station (paperwork compiled by the nursing staff actually documented all this in detail), then lied about the date of my discharge from the hospital and the ‘diagnosis’ (although the diagnoses were so meaningless that it probably didn’t matter that there was lies told about them) felt able to telephone Haringey Social Services – without my consent – to inform them that I was on their patch. Like all matters Dafydd, this was completely irregular – there was no discharge planning, no aftercare and I certainly never received any welfare-related contact from Haringey Social Services. But in retrospect I think that Dafydd was probably just having a word in someone’s ear – after all, that is how he operated. So the north Wales mental health services had a contact in Haringey…

But as I described in my post ‘More On Those Prisons For Folk Who Dared Complain’, children from London authorities – Islington was one of the Councils named – were being placed at children’s homes in north Wales, certainly in the children’s homes owned by Paul Hett, the man who owned and managed Garth Angharad, the ‘hospital for mentally abnormal criminals’ where people who complained about being sexually abused in children’s homes in north Wales ended up. And of course there had been complaints of sexual abuse and cruelty made about Paul Hett’s establishments.

I have previously mentioned that Laurie Wood, the manager of the North Wales Hospital, had a contact at St Georges Hospital Medical School and was using this contact to illicitly gain personal information about me. And when I was in Springfield Hospital, the psychiatric hospital affiliated to St Georges, there was much communication between Dafydd et al and Springfield/St Georges – and between Lucille Hughes of Gwynedd Social Services and the social work team attached to St Georges, although I’d never been in receipt of ‘services’ from Gwynedd Social Services or the social work team at St Georges. Indeed I didn’t even know that the communication between them had taken place until a few weeks ago when my lawyers sent me copies of their correspondence. Of course, nine years after she was corresponding with social workers in south London about me, Lucille ‘retired’ after being named in the Waterhouse Report as knowing that a paedophile ring was operating in the social services but failing to act. But there had been a paedophile at St Georges as well! In 1986 Professor Oliver Brooke, the Professor of paediatrics at St Georges, was jailed for the possession of child pornography. St Georges pacified a panicking public by reassuring everyone that he had definitely never molested any of his patients (well they’d hardly have fessed up to that would they, look at the malpractice that was pervasive in that institution) and Brooke was let out of prison early by a sympathetic judge, Lord Lane, who likened Brooke’s hoarding of child pornography to the collecting of cigarette cards. There is now information on the internet about the Brooke case claiming that one of the police officers who caught him was livid when he was released – this officer alleged that Brooke was a key player in a European-wide paedophile ring. So he may well have known a few people that Lucille knew… I was interested to read the recent claims on the internet because when I worked at St Georges I was friendly with some people from child health and I heard the full story of the discovery of Oliver Brooke. A technician had gone looking for something in a cupboard and found child porn in there. Every other cupboard was locked, so she alerted someone who opened them – they were all full of child porn, stacks and stacks of it. It was everywhere. The sheer quantity of porn that Brooke had stashed was not highlighted in the press.

What about other London authorities in the 70s and 80s? It has now been admitted that Lambeth children’s homes had been infiltrated by paedophiles and millions have been paid out in compensation and more is expected to be paid. It has been acknowledged that it was known that paedophiles were active in the children’s services and that there was a complete failure to protect children from them. The Shirley Oaks Survivors who have walked out of the Independent Inquiry are from Lambeth. As I explained in my post ‘More On Those Who Signed That Early Day Motion’, Ken Livingstone hailed from Lambeth and was a councillor there. Another name from 80s radical politics was Linda Bellos, who was leader of Lambeth Council between 1986 and 1988. Unlike a lot of London Labour councillors from the 80s Bellos never ended up in Parliament, but she did establish a reputation as an ‘expert’ on black issues and LGBT issues. Bellos has since acted as an advisor to the Metropolitan Police, the CPS and the Association of Chief Police Officers. Another Council whose children’s homes were rife with paedophiles was Islington. The leader of Islington Council between 1982 and 1992 was one Margaret Hodge. In 1992, a report in the Evening Standard alleged sexual abuse of children in Islington children’s homes on an enormous scale. Hodge denounced the report as ‘sensationalist gutter journalism’. In 1995 the White Report concluded that Islington Council had failed to investigate allegations of child sexual abuse. By that time Hodge was Labour MP for Barking. One boy who was abused in children’s homes in Islington grew up to be a lawyer and repeatedly wrote to Hodge to tell her what had happened to him – Hodge described him as an ‘extremely disturbed person’ in an attempt to discredit him at a time when there were preparations for a TV programme concerning what had happened in Islington. He sued her and won. The stories of the Islington paedophile ring are dreadful – two social workers consistently tried to blow the whistle on what was happening, police investigations maintained that there was ‘no evidence’ of sexual abuse and one social worker literally disappeared – it was presumed that they’d fled overseas. There have also been allegations that Jimmy Savile was involved in the Islington paedophile ring. Margaret Hodge finally admitted years later that what had gone on was a ‘shameful disgrace’. It didn’t hold her back – she was appointed Minister for Children in 2003! Hodge’s career might have been helped by her support for one Tony Blair – she backed him for Labour leader after John Smith died. There were a few other associates of Hodge who did OK for themselves as well – a man called Jack Straw had been her deputy when she was chairman of the housing committee in Islington and her husband, a lawyer called Henry Hodge, became a judge! (More on Henry in a minute…) Margaret hit celeb status a few years ago when she was appointed Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, which meant that she was able to be very rude to lots of people when they were unable to be rude back. A flurry of letters were published in the Guardian from misguided readers stating that she’d make such a good PM. Hodge has since written a book about her time as Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, entitled ‘Called To Account’. If only she had been. In 2014 when the shit could be contained no longer and Islington fessed up to its gruesome history and there were calls for an investigation, it was revealed that the Islington Cabinet member for Children and Families Services was a man called Joe Caluori – Margaret’s son-in-law. Margaret is now both a Dame and a Baroness!

Now a word about Henry, Margaret’s husband. Henry was a member of the National Council for Civil Liberties, which when it was established had it’s heart in the right place. However during the 70s and early 80s, something very unfortunate happened – groups campaigning for the legislation of paedophilia, PIE (the Paedophile Information Exchange) and the Paedophile Action for Liberation, became affiliated to it. This caused the NCCL (now more commonly known as Liberty) massive embarrassment three years ago, as many people involved with the NCCL in what has been referred to as it’s ‘paedophile period’ had become leading lights in the Labour Party and a few had been in Gov’t. Henry had been a member of the NCCL at this time. So was Jack Dromey, better known as Mr Harriet Harman – Dromey was a member of the NCCL between 1970 and 79 and was Chair of it’s Executive Committee. But Harriet herself was the legal officer for the NCCL between 1978 and 82. Harriet was caused a great deal of distress when this was dug up by the press and denied that she had ever been involved with all the embarrassing business of the NCCL campaigning on behalf of paedophiles – then she really freaked out when someone produced a document written by her that did rather read as though it was campaigning on behalf of paedophiles… Another leading light in the NCCL who later became a big figure in the Labour Party was Patricia Hewitt, who was the General Secretary of the NCCL for nine years. After this, in 1997, Patricia became the MP for Leicester West, upon the retirement of Greville Janner. That’s the Greville Janner who molested children in care in Leicester but who somehow never faced trial, due to a few slip-ups on the part of the CPS. Patsy later became Secretary of State for Health.

MI5 had Patsy and Harriet under surveillance during their tenure at the NCCL and the European Court later became very cross with MI5 for having done this. (Note to MI5 – next time that you come across two utter fuckwits who are facilitating paedophile gangs, please could you actually stop them becoming Government ministers? Thanks. Oh and could you stop Blair making a comeback as well?)

NCCLs ‘paedophile period’ is now variously explained as a result of ‘loony left policies’, or as a result of paedophiles skilfully conflating their cause with gay rights or, if you are Shami Chakrabarti, as a result of paedophiles ‘infiltrating’ the organisation. All these may be a partial explanations of what happened, but the thing that strikes me is that the social work profession seems to have been completely colonised by paedophiles – and they were then afforded protection by their very close professional colleagues in mental health. And of course social workers do politically tend to align themselves to what they believe are ‘progressive’ causes. Peter Righton was a leading light in PIE who was later convicted of child sex offences – he was the Director of Education at the National Institute of Social Work. Again and again, people who were sexually abused whilst in ‘care’ tell us that they were abused by social workers, not labourers who were visiting the homes. And if there was the occasional labourer involved, they were being facilitated by social workers. One further worrying fact – there are a lot of politicians who were once social workers, particularly in Wales…

Which brings me on to the finest example of the London connection of them all – Baroness Tessa Jowell, Tony Blair’s biggest fan who once said that she would ‘jump under a bus’ for him (be my guest Tessa). Tessa, the daughter of a physician, became a social worker – she worked as a children’s care officer in Lambeth, then trained as a psychiatric social worker and worked at the Maudsley (where Dafydd ‘trained’ under Bob Hobson!) – she later became the assistant director of MIND. Yes, the MIND that was concealing the mountain of shit in north Wales…. By the age of 25 Tessa was Chair of Camden Council’s Social Services Committee no less. She became the MP for Dulwich and West Norwood in 1992 and held the seat until 2015. After the Labour landslide in 97, Tessa was appointed Minister of State in the Dept of Health. She was one of the key movers and shakers behind New Labour’s ‘gambling reforms’ ie. the touching belief that a ‘super-casino’ in every city would revitalise the economy rather than lead to a lot of vulnerable people losing all their money and a few of them killing themselves. Tessa is perhaps best remembered for being married to David Mills, a lawyer who acted for Silvio Berlusconi and who was subsequently investigated for money laundering and tax fraud. Tessa was also investigated by the Cabinet Secretary who helpfully passed the ball to Blair who then cleared Tessa of any wrongdoing. Mills was sentenced to four and a half years in prison for accepting a bribe from Berlusconi to give false evidence in corruption trials – Mills appealed twice (which it is possible to do in the Italian Courts) and avoided serving his sentence under the Statute of Limitations, after successfully quibbling about when he had actually received the bribe. Private Eye derived a lot of entertainment when Tessa announced her separation from Mills just as he landed himself in hot water and published a photo of Tessa saying ‘Of course I have never met my husband’. Tessa was spotted over the following months walking hand in hand with Mills at locations where she presumed that they would not be spotted. It all ended happily though, they soon got back together – and in 2016 Tessa ran for election as Labour’s candidate for London Mayor and made it very obvious that she was a dead cert. Unfortunately for her Sadiq Khan was elected and Tessa could be seen crying on camera when the result was announced. (Bet she never shed tears like that over the kids in Lambeth or the patients in the Maudsley.) Since then Tessa has enjoyed herself at Harvard as a ‘senior leadership fellow’, dispensing her wisdom with regard to ‘health policy and leadership’.

I do not believe that all the scumbags named above who did so nicely out of New Labour were paedophiles themselves – but I do believe that they were responsible for running chaotic, dangerous children’s services in which paedophile gangs operated and I am pretty convinced that they knew it and that it left them deeply compromised when they got into Government. And now they are just as compromised sitting in the House of Lords.

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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