Friday, March 24, 2017

He’s Not The Messiah – He’s A Very Naughty Boy.

One of my previous blog posts discussing Dr Brian Harris, the psychiatrist from south Wales who is now on trial for historical sexual assaults against his patients, noted how one of the patients who alleges that Harris assaulted him attributed Harris’s success as an abuser to the fact that he’d ‘studied psychology’. As I have commented previously, it’s probably more down to the institutional corruption that is rife in medicine and bodies such as the BMA, GMC and MDU.

However the comment about people who have studied psychology reminded me of a number of other dysfunctional people, one in particular, who have studied psychology and participated in impressive quantities of wrongdoing. The man that I’m thinking of is the late Professor Fergus Lowe, the former Senior PVC and Head of the School of Psychology at Bangor University.

Fergus Lowe died not so long ago and was well-known to many people who have passed through Bangor University in the last three decades on the grounds of being, as memorably described by my friend Brown, ‘a highly effective shit’. I know that I had prior warning from Brown regarding Lowe, but even so I was interested to watch a lot of people toady to Fergus and do his bidding no matter how unsavoury that was. A lot of people were doing this simply because they were terrified of him – for some reason best known to himself, at one point Fergus decided to cultivate the company of one of the lecturers in the psychology dept whose teenage son knew someone whom I used to be friendly with. The teenager told my friend that Fergus had started calling in uninvited at their house and that his father was too frightened to stop these visits because he was both ‘in awe of’ and ‘frightened of’ Fergus, whom this man believed was a ‘true psychopath’. I didn’t start observing Fergus and the dynamics that surrounded him until about 2003, by which time he had achieved a very senior position in the University. The official narrative regarding the ‘respect’ that there was for Fergus in some quarters was his success in turning the psychology dept in Bangor from a semi-derelict house (which was how I remembered it in the 1980s when I was a student) to what was allegedly one of the best psychology depts in the UK and even considered to be pretty good in the global rankings. In more recent times, the psychology dept has become known as one of the depts in Bangor packed with international ‘research stars’, many of them having been head-hunted by Fergus in his attempt at world-domination. This always impresses people, but there is a reason why it tends to be overseas academics in Bangor psychology rather than big names from the UK – UK psychologists knew Fergus and would not work with him. A big name in the British Psychological Association whom Brown knew was approached by Bangor in about 2005 in an attempt to head-hunt him and this man told Brown that he would never go to Bangor as long as Fergus was involved with the University. Brown’s contacts also enlightened me as to the source of one of Fergus’s big ‘successes’ that financed the grand building currently housing Bangor’s psychology dept, the Brigantia Building – namely an enormous amount of funding from Unilever some years ago. Fergus did not land this grant through his talents and hard-work. He landed that grant by systematically stuffing over everyone else who was on the team, approaching the funders and making fallacious allegations about his colleagues’ incompetence or misconduct. He was so successful in this regard that he ended up netting the grant himself.

I heard many first-hand accounts of Fergus’s wrongdoing and it seemed quite wide-ranging. There were constant allegations of dishonesty, plagiarism and research fraud. One person friendly with someone I know well told me how his friend withdrew from a PhD in the school of psychology when Fergus told her to fabricate research results. She tried to refuse and Fergus’s response was ‘the trouble with you is that you always want to tell the truth’. She withdrew from her PhD and now freely tells everyone that academics are ‘liars and cheats’ – a consequence of having Fergus Lowe as a PhD supervisor. There was an event involving Fergus that has gone down in the history of Bangor, an event remembered by a lot of women in the area who are now in early middle-age and whose children used to attend the University nursery. That nursery was used by Fergus for research purposes and it was actually where he carried out the research – if indeed he did carry out the research that he claimed, one can never be sure, it was Fergus after all – that made him famous, the ‘Food Dudes’ project, an initiative aimed at promoting healthy eating in children. Ironically at the time when Fergus was receiving glowing tributes for this work in the media and he was giving interviews about the importance of healthy eating, whilst Governments were using that research as a basis for health policy, I used to watch Fergus pop down to Morrisons in Bangor to buy his lunch – a bottle of coke and two packs of crisps. Every day without fail. However it wasn’t Fergus’s own taste for junk food that landed him in trouble with the mothers of Bangor. It was the fact that somehow they had discovered that their children were being ‘experimented on’ without their knowledge let alone their permission. The kids had all been entered into clinical trials without parental consent – trials which involved some kids being fed a bad diet, whilst others received the nice healthy fruit as promoted by Food Dudes. The middle class mums of Bangor hit the roof when they found out that their kids might have been the ones being fed crap at the nursery and in an attempt to defuse the outrage and rumours rocketing around the area, the parents were invited to a meeting with Fergus in the University Council Chamber, where he was supposedly going to reassure them that nothing untoward had happened. I know three parents – two mums and a dad – who actually attended that meeting and they said that there was uproar. The dad said that when he challenged Fergus, Fergus became so aggressive that he thought that he was going to hit him. What is so entertaining though, is that as one of the mums said ‘Fergus forgot that there is nothing like an angry mother’ and I was told that this was one occasion on which Fergus ended up literally fleeing from the room faced with a gang of furious women…

It was not only Fergus’s research that was dodgy, his teaching practices weren’t much better. In order to attract ‘world-class’ researchers to Bangor, Fergus struck very favourable deals with them, which included them having to do very little teaching to enable them to just get on with their research, which would of course be the factor that pushed Bangor psychology up the league tables. But at the same time, Fergus knew how profitable undergrads were and was determined to pack them in. So hundreds of students would be enrolled every year. From what I saw there were two groups of psychology students at Bangor. There were very bright ones who wanted careers in psychology and who had gone to Bangor because they knew that it was a highly ranked dept. Then there were a number of rather fragile troubled students who had often experienced the glorious mental health services and were now ’empowered’ to go to university. They were choosing psychology because they believed that this would enable them to ‘understand myself’, confusing it with psychotherapy or psychoanalysis. They were positively encouraged to do this by the mental health services, because they were then categorised in a box ticked ‘recovered’. No-one told them that the psychology degree at Bangor was nothing to do with psychotherapy/psychoanalysis – Bangor has a huge emphasis on behavioural psychology and the course also involved topics such as biochemistry and of course statistics. (At one point Bangor was scandalised because the statistics module in the psychology dept was being taught by a man who was of the ‘hippy’ community in Bethesda who had a very obvious drug habit and was regularly seen cultivating the company of girls below the age of consent, herding them into taxis and then disappearing with them. There was very great concern expressed by a lot of people that the University saw fit to employ this man – I was told that Fergus was quite happy to do so because he paid him a pittance. The scandal only came to an end when the ‘stats lecturer’ turned up to work after having taken LSD and started playing Jimi Hendrix to the students on the grounds that if they listened closely they’d understand stats in an instant. This was too much even for Fergus and the stats lecturer was employed no more.) The fragile students with mental health problems or no previous qualifications used to encounter great difficulties and would usually withdraw at the end of the first year having found themselves completely unable to cope academically and would often end up feeling very bad about themselves. Fergus knew that this was happening but didn’t mind at all – he’d netted a years worth of fees from them. Furthermore, I got the impression that there wasn’t much time in the psychology dept for students who might be struggling – at one point I discovered that a two tier system was in operation in that dept, which involved a select few of the very high achieving students being identified and approached in their second year and asked to join an elite group, who would then enjoy extra tuition etc. Which was great if you were part of that group, but what about the others – they were paying the same fees and they weren’t told in advance about this two tier system. However, even the very academic students often became disillusioned with the psychology dept. Because Fergus was expecting so little in the way of teaching from the Big Names, the students were taught by postgrads. This is of course a common practice, but usually this is done partly to enable the postgrads to gain lecturing experience. Fergus however rolled out this system en masse – hundreds of undergrads would be packed into the biggest hall in the university, with a postgrad virtually wetting themselves with anxiety on the stage in front of them, trying to give a lecture when they were insufficiently experienced. This happened so frequently that the students who had gone to Bangor to work with famous people would realise at the end of three years that they’d barely met any of these famous people. There is however one high profile academic in the school of psychology who does seem to take an interest in students and whom the students all loved, that is Professor Guilluame Thierry. I have heard fantastic things about him – but he is the only well-known person in psychology whom I hear the students praising.

But Fergus was running yet another scam among all this. Most postgrads like to do a bit of teaching because it enables them to supplement their PhD studentships. However I was told that Fergus was grossly underpaying them. One brave soul decided to challenge him about this and I think that she also tried to encourage everyone to join a union as well. No-one would back her up – they were far too frightened – so she went to see Fergus to confront him about the exploitation that was happening. She told me an extraordinary tale – that as he saw her approaching his office, Fergus marched out of his room screaming and swearing at her, grabbed her by the hair and tried to drag her down the corridor. I asked her if there were witnesses to this and she told me that people were coming out of their offices to see what the racket was about but when they saw what was going on, every single one of them retreated back into their office and shut the door. The same person also told me of another Fergus-related outrage. She had been invited to a conference in Chester as part of the psychology team with Fergus. She went out for the evening in Chester and had a really bad experience – a man attempted to rape her. She fought him off and managed to get back to the conference venue where she encountered Fergus. She was very shaken and told him what had happened. He commented that she was obviously alright now and went off elsewhere with the others leaving her alone for the next few hours. Attempted rape of one of the researchers? Fergus didn’t bat an eye-lid. Interestingly enough, although this person was a good researcher and remained in the school of psychology to pursue further work after her PhD, she was never promoted. Even more interestingly, I discovered that she was actually writing the publications of some of the professors in the psychology dept only to find that they were taking her name off the work when they submitted it for publication. So that’s how the senior staff in the psychology dept built up such impressive publication lists…

Although I knew that Fergus did this sort of thing and encouraged other people to conduct themselves like this as well, I always wondered how he’d got such a foothold in the University initially. About ten years ago I found out. During Thatcher’s administration there had been one round of university funding cuts that were particularly savage and had almost destroyed certain universities like Aston and Salford. Another university that had come under attack – although I don’t know why – was Bangor. There was a fear that the University was actually going to be closed down, but in the end it just suffered the closure of a number of depts, including philosophy, drama and maths. Psychology was also earmarked for closure and at that time Fergus was an unknown junior lecturer there. When he realised that the dept was about to be closed down, Fergus hit on a stroke of genius – he arranged a conference at Bangor and invited B.F. Skinner, the famous American behaviourist, to the conference. He then told Skinner that the dept was earmarked for closure and generated an enormous amount of publicity. Behaviourism was becoming very unfashionable by then, so Skinner was delighted to find another behaviourist – Fergus – and campaigned with him to prevent the closure of the dept. A number of people were very grateful to Fergus for this, because he saved their careers, as well as his own, and they have remained loyal to him ever since, although they know exactly how great the wrongdoing has been.

So whose  bacon did Fergus save? Well where mustn’t much to the Bangor psychology dept in those days, but there was a dyslexia unit – which was actually very good but which Fergus wasn’t involved with – and there were a few PhD students. But there was also a clinical psychology course. That course was training the students who were being sent on placement to the North Wales Hospital Denbigh – and they were witnessing what was going on out there. One of those students told me in the late 80s that if you were any good, you just finished your training, left north Wales and got as far away from Dafydd Alun Jones and Denbigh as possible. But there were some people who didn’t do that – and some of these deeply compromised people are hiding around north Wales at the moment.
I had been told back in the late 1980s that Dr Dafydd Alun Jones was wielding influence in the psychology dept in Bangor and had attempted to embezzle thousands of pounds from the University to pay for his daughter, Dwynwen, to attend a private college in England. I was told that Dwynwen had failed to get onto the clinical psychology course, so Dafydd was sending her to England privately but decided that someone else could pay for it. I was told that someone in Bangor University had stopped Dafydd doing this and that this was actually the end of Dafydd’s influence in the University. What I didn’t know was that this person was Fergus Lowe. Dwynwen was doing a PhD in the psychology dept at the time and it was widely alleged that she had only been given the place because of Dafydd’s influence – I was told that her finals results would never have been good enough for her to be accepted for a PhD but as is his usual practice, Dafydd worked a fiddle. Fergus was seething and is remembered for refusing to speak to Dwynwen whilst she was a postgrad there. So a lot of people were very grateful when Fergus slayed Dafydd, particularly the person whose salary Dafydd tried to steal to fund Dywnwen’s education. But that person’s salary was actually earmarked to fund a job for her at Denbigh – this person wanted to do clinical psychology and the training involved an obligatory stint as an assistant in a psychiatric hospital. That person did indeed take up the job at Denbigh – and was appalled at what she witnessed. She decided not to do clinical psychology after all – I suspect because of what she witnessed at Denbigh – but stayed in Bangor to do a PhD in the psychology dept. She still works in Bangor University today. I got to know this person very well a few years ago because I worked with her. Whilst I worked with her I was being threatened, harassed and arrested by Martin Jones and Elfed Roberts et al at the North West Wales NHS Trust. This person knew all the details and indeed read the threatening letters that Martin was sending me. At one point she observed of Martin that ‘he’s not going to stop this is he’. After hearing about one of the (many) attempts to imprison me she commented that ‘you wouldn’t have survived a prison sentence and you weren’t supposed to’. And after Martin tried to have me arrested for making a ‘hoax call’ when I was ringing Ysbyty Gwynedd A&E seeking medical advice, she responded ‘that was done to try and make you look like a fuckwit so no-one would ever believe a word that you say again’. This person also knew how corrupt the local psychiatrists were – when I told her that Dr Richard Tranter of the Hergest Unit had documented upon my medical records that I was being bullied at work by the University rather than documenting that my health was suffering because Martin Jones and Elfed Roberts were having me arrested constantly, she was good enough to describe the allegations of me being bullied at work as ‘bollocks and Richard knows that’.

So there is someone else as well as me who witnessed the abuses that took place at Denbigh, who knows about Dafydd, who knows about the wrongdoing of Fergus Lowe although he saved her salary from the ever-hungry jaws of Dafydd and who knows the lengths that Martin Jones, Richard Tranter and Elfed Roberts were going to in order to try and discredit me and conceal the abuses at the Hergest Unit. This person also knows the reality behind Professor Mark Williams and the miracle that is mindfulness and along with Fergus Lowe held mindfulness in utter contempt, but knew that it was making Mark Williams and Bangor University famous as well as a lot of money. Indeed Mark Williams was this person’s manager at one point. This person also knew about the various local abusive psychiatrists such as Laurence Chesterman and Marie Savage being involved with the psychology dept and pretending to be following ‘research interests’ when they clearly weren’t. Furthermore, this someone also knew that a nurse who had done a PhD in Bangor’s psychology dept was being falsely presented at Ysbyty Gwynedd as a ‘clinical psychologist’ and was carrying out ‘assessments’ that only clinical psychologists are permitted to do. There was one thing that this person did know that I didn’t however – on one occasion after we had finished discussing the activities of the dreadful Dafydd, I mentioned dear old Dr Peter Higson, the current Chair of the Betsi, former clinical psychologist at Denbigh, lecturer at Bangor psychology dept and currently member of Bangor University Council. This person told me that Higson was a big mate of Fergus’s and ‘he didn’t shag the patients but he did shag the students’. As readers may have gathered I knew this person very well and I was quite upfront with her that I was writing to the Welsh Govt about the things that had happened to me at the hands of the mental health services and that one day I intended to publish the whole story. What I didn’t realise at the time was that this person was gathering as much info as she could from me and I suspect was informing those we know and love of my every move – because unbeknown to me she was co-authoring a book with Richard Tranter and was also busy doing deals with psychiatrists such as Rob Poole to establish the Centre for Mental Health and Society at Bangor University. When she heard that the dreadful Raj Sambhi had imprisoned me at the Heddfan Unit no doubt she thought that I was finished and no threat to any of them anymore.

So who is this totally unscrupulous person who is now working with people whom she knows concealed the sexual abuse and illegal detention of patients, who knew about the scams that passed for ‘research’ in the psychology dept and who knew that Martin Jones and Elfed Roberts were doing their best to frame me in an attempt to imprison me but nevertheless co-authored a book with the man who was writing lies on my medical records in an attempt to cover their tracks? Step forward Professor Catherine Robinson, who sadly it would seem did pretty much anything to get herself a Chair at Bangor University. The irony is that when Catherine was awarded that Chair I sent her an e mail congratulating her and saying that I was glad to see someone getting a Chair without behaving like a shit. Little did I know….I always wondered why she never replied to that e mail. Oh well, the good thing about not having a job in a university Catherine is that you can publish whatever you want and you don’t have to kowtow to er, criminals.

Sadly I believe that Catherine and her ilk are the legacy of Fergus. A psychologist who has now retired from Bangor University observed that Fergus did indeed stamp out the influence of the dreadful Dafydd from Bangor University, but he just replaced it with his own toxicity. A generation of academics were not mentored properly and were led to believe that the only way to advance yourself was by bullying, cheating, deception and by keeping absolutely silent even when you know that terrible things are happening. Someone used the phrase ‘dangerous deference’ to me the other day – I think it’s an affliction affecting many in north Wales (and the NHS generally). Fergus is now dead – although no-one seems to know what he actually died of, who knows another psychopathic psychologist might have killed him – but the effects of him live on. After Fergus was made Senior PVC, there was a big problem because no one else from the psychology dept wanted to step into his place as Head of Dept, because they knew that he’d be constantly on their back. Eventually the post was filled by one Professor Oliver Turnbull. I know of two incidents involving Turnbull. One involved him attempting to coerce an artist from Bethesda into selling one of her artworks priced at £10,000 to him for £800. He tried this because he’d noticed that she was participating in the trials run by the psychology dept in order to supplement her income, so he struck up a conversation with her in order to assess just how poor she was. When he realised that she was struggling for money, he offered her a pittance for the painting that he was after. She refused and was surprised to be told by Turnbull that ‘you’ve got to sell it to me because you’ve got no money so you’ve got no choice’. She had no money but she did have principles so she walked away. The other incident involved Turnbull and the Bangor psychology dept appearing in Private Eye a few years ago. A student in the psychology dept at Bangor had complained of being sexually harassed by one of her teachers. Turnbull had written a rather inappropriate e mail, questioning whether this student really had been harassed or whether she was just a weak student and should they therefore remove her from the course. Unfortunately for Turnbull, he cc’d the e mail to a number of people including the student herself by mistake. Someone took the e mail to Private Eye and Turnbull disappeared on gardening leave for a few months. However he reappeared eventually – and I understand that he is now PVC for Teaching and Learning at Bangor no less.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Westminster City Council’s Cabinet decision on CCTV.

Westminster City Council’s Cabinet has agreed to decommission the authority’s current CCTV network of 75 cameras from 1 September 2016. The Cabinet also agreed to continue constructive talks with the Mayor’s Office for policing and crime and the Metropolitan Police to try to work towards a pan-London solution.

Providing CCTV coverage is what is termed a non-statutory council service. This means that it is not legally required and is at the discretion of every council as to whether they provide it. The crime and disorder CCTV system in Westminster is primarily used to provide reactive support for the police in securing arrests and prosecutions relating to crimes committed in sight of cameras.

Whilst the council has set aside £1.7m to upgrade the entire system, which is ageing and at times can be unreliable, there have been discussions with the police, business partners, MOPAC, the GLA and Government for many years about the issue of ongoing CCTV running costs, of up to £1m per year. To date, no support has been forthcoming.

There are many other cameras operational in central London that are not being affected by the council’s decision, for example those cameras operated by Transport for London and thousands operated by private businesses. The CCTV systems operating in Westminster’s housing estates will also be unaffected. In addition, there are many other crime prevention initiatives that are run successfully, often in partnership, with the police, council and businesses that do not involve fixed CCTV cameras and the council will continue to build on those processes.

If no solution can be found, the Cabinet will decide at a future meeting where to allocate the £1.7m currently earmarked for upgrading the CCTV system on other, potentially more effective crime prevention measures, such as improving the public realm or better street lighting.

Cllr Nickie Aiken, Cabinet Member for Public Protection, said: “Like many other local authorities around the country, our current view is that we are not able to continue to subsidise this non-statutory service when there are many other pressures on our budgets and where other partners are the main beneficiaries. We will keep talking and in the past week have had very constructive discussions with the Mayor, the Metropolitan Police and Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime. We want to work towards a pan-London solution that is right for the capital as criminals don’t stop at borough borders.”

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Australia - Reserve Bank concerned on highly indebted households, real estate bubble.

The Reserve Bank's warnings about the risks of a potential real estate bubble in Sydney and Melbourne are getting louder.
The March minutes released today underscored the Reserve Bank's concern about how highly indebted households would deal with a shock from a combination of rising unemployment and falling consumption.
In its most recent meeting a fortnight ago when the board kept rates on hold, the RBA did not appear to see an end to accelerating real estate investment in Australia's major east coast cites.
The RBA warned that recent data continued to "suggest that there had been a build up of risks associated with the housing market".
"Even though building approvals had fallen significantly in recent months, the substantial amount of work in the pipeline suggested that dwelling investment would continue."
The RBA said the continuing strength in real estate investment remained concentrated in New South Wales after dwelling investment rebounded in the December quarter.
"Conditions appeared to have strengthened in Sydney and remained strong in Melbourne," the minutes said.
"These cities had continued to record brisk growth in housing prices and auction clearance rates had remained high."
Capital Economics chief economist for Australia, Paul Dales, said the two cuts in interest rates by the RBA last year led to a surge in household borrowing.
"The acceleration in house price inflation in the fourth quarter of last year has undoubtedly continued into the start of this year and will remain a thorn in the side of the Reserve Bank of Australia for a while yet," he said.

'Little doubt' of bubble in Sydney, Melbourne

The Reserve Bank's warning about the risks came after ASIC chairman Greg Medcraft said there was little doubt that a real estate bubble existed in Sydney and Melbourne.
ABS data released today shows home prices have risen 4.1 per cent in the fourth quarter. Sydney prices have surged 10.3 per cent year-on-year, while Melbourne jumped 10.8 per cent.
"Borrowing for housing by investors had picked up over recent months and growth in household debt had been faster than that in household income," the minutes said.
However, the Reserve Bank made the point that the housing risks were centred on the east coast while growth in other parts of the country was sluggish.
"In contrast, housing prices and rents had fallen in Perth for two years or so and apartment prices had declined in Brisbane."
Despite better than expected economic growth in the December quarter, the Reserve Bank pointed to weak wages growth with household savings continuing to decline.
"Members noted that over the past two decades movements in the Australian household saving ratio have been much larger than those in similar economies," the minutes said.

Last week, RBA assistant governor Michelle Bullock warned that an acceleration in investor growth could pose a risk to the financial system in the event of a downturn or a global shock.
The RBA was also concerned that labour market conditions "remain mixed" and that employment was "not quite as strong" as the headline figures indicated.
The rising Australian dollar remained a concern and the RBA believed "an appreciating currency would complicate the adjustment of the economy" as the mining investment boom fades.
The Australian dollar has been sitting around 77 US cents after the US Federal Reserve signalled a more cautious path to future rate rises.

UK banks 'involved in multibillion-pound Russian money-laundering scam'.

Some of the UK's top banks allegedly processed around £600 million in a multibillion-pound Russian money-laundering scam.

High street names including HSBC, the Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays and Coutts are among those involved, The Guardian reported.

More than £16 billion and maybe as much as £65 billion was moved out of Russia between 2010 and 2014, the paper said.

Banking records detailing the scheme were reportedly obtained by the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and Novaya Gazeta.

The documents detail around 70,000 transactions, including 1,920 totalling nearly £600 million that went through UK banks and 373 through US banks, according to The Guardian.

A Barclays spokesman said: "Barclays complies with the rules and regulations in all the jurisdictions in which it operates and has systems and controls in place to mitigate the risk of the bank being used to facilitate financial crime.

"This includes risk-based systems and procedures to monitor ongoing customer activity, which we constantly review, and procedures for reporting matters to the relevant law enforcement authorities as appropriate.
"In addition, through a number of industry initiatives, Barclays partners closely with global law enforcement in the fight against financial crime."

A spokesman for HSBC said: "The bank has systems and processes in place to identify suspicious activity and report it to the appropriate government authorities.

"This case highlights the need for greater information sharing between the public and private sectors, each of whom holds important information the other does not."

RBS said: "We are committed to combating financial crime and money laundering in line with our regulations and have controls and safeguards in place to identify, assess, monitor and mitigate these risks."

A UBS spokesman said: "UBS applies a robust money-laundering prevention framework across its business operations globally, consistent with locally applicable regulations."

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said: "This scandal needs to be investigated in full by the National Crime Agency, and the Government must ensure they have all the resources and support needed. Britain cannot be a haven for the criminals of the world who are looking to hide their money.

"It's deeply disappointing that there are British banks involved in yet another banking scandal as the actions of a few shouldn't overshadow the hard work of the thousands of employees in the sector who will have had nothing to do with this case.

"But it appears that some of these big banks haven't learnt the lessons of the past, and are clearly not doing enough to clamp down on financial crime and money laundering."

Monday, March 06, 2017

Norfolk children’s services: ‘There have been very serious miscarriages of justice’.

An investigation by this newspaper looks at if children have been let down by Norfolk County Council. Photo: Thinkstock
An investigation by this newspaper looks at if children have been let down by Norfolk County Council. Photo: Thinkstock
Serious concerns remain about the department which looks after hundreds of the most vulnerable children in Norfolk, almost four years since it was rated as ‘inadequate’ by Ofsted.
An investigation by this newspaper, starting today, will look at the issues that continue to hang over the department.

Just four months ago Ofsted inspectors carrying out their latest review ruled that “children and young people are still not consistently receiving good enough services”.
Our probe into the department, rated as inadequate by Ofsted since 2013, comes as part of a wider campaign titled ‘Fighting For Their Futures’, which will look at whether or not children in this region are being failed and given a harder start in life because of where they are growing up.
As well as Norfolk County Council-run children’s services, we will focus on education standards, mental health, deprivation and a range of other areas. We will also draw up a manifesto of improvements that need to be made to give our youngsters the best opportunities possible.
Over the next few days, our findings on children’s services will include:
•how an MP is preparing to take a dossier of concerns and allegations about how children have been removed from their families to the new head of Norfolk County Council’s children’s services department
•how two former Norfolk councillors allege they were forced out by council lawyers when they raised concerns about the department
•concerns over how and why senior foster carers have had children removed from them
•doubts over the independence and effectiveness of a review looking into foster carer complaints
•how a much-trumpeted partnership between Norfolk County Council and a charity has yet to get off the ground
•the staggering amounts of money spent on consultants and interim heads of the department since it was branded inadequate
Responding to our findings, a spokesperson for Norfolk County Council said its children’s services department was improving and looking to the future. A new interim chief, Matt Dunkley, started in February and is said to be optimistic that inspectors visiting the department this week will find further improvements.
North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb said he believed there had been North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb said he believed there had been "unacceptable practices" at the children's services department. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY
The department’s job is to safeguard all children who need help and protection, to act as the corporate parent of children who need to be taken into care, to provide adoption and fostering opportunities, to support care leavers up to the age of 25 and to provide support for schools.
It currently has around 1,100 children in care, who are placed with foster carers as well as in council and private accommodation.
In both 2013 and 2015, the service was rated as ‘inadequate’. Inspectors in 2015 found “widespread failings” for looked after children and care leavers.
And the department was told at the end of 2016 by Ofsted that its rate of improvement to get out of its current “inadequate” rating was slow.
That led to the resignation of the department head Michael Rosen who has been replaced with another interim – the fifth head in four years.
North West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham has been involved in about half a dozen cases where he said there had been allegations of wrongdoing against the children’s services department.
Matt Dunkley, the new interim director of Norfolk County Council's children's services department. Photo: Norfolk County Council.Matt Dunkley, the new interim director of Norfolk County Council's children's services department. Photo: Norfolk County Council.
He has gathered a dossier of these cases which he will take to the department’s new head, Mr Dunkley.
Sir Henry said: “I know that the vast majority of social workers are doing an excellent and very difficult job and they are in a no-win situation.
“If they don’t act and there’s another tragedy like Baby P they will be pilloried and if they are overzealous they will be accused of not doing enough to keep the child with the mother.
“The key thing is that it is incumbent upon them to put full evidence to the court. I find, in some cases, corners have been cut.”
Sir Henry said some of the cases in his dossier should be reopened.
“I know that where children have been taken away, that can never be reversed,” he said. “But it would help people involved to be able to ask questions and to be given assurances what happened to them would not happen under the current regime.”
North West Norfolk MP Sir Henry Bellingham said he had a dossier of cases which raised concerns about how some children had been removed from families by the council. Picture: Matthew Usher.North West Norfolk MP Sir Henry Bellingham said he had a dossier of cases which raised concerns about how some children had been removed from families by the council. Picture: Matthew Usher.
He is also taking cases to the most senior family court judge in the country, Sir James Munby, who has said there is a “crisis” 
in the system nationally because so many children are being taken into care.
In September last year, Sir James called for urgent research into why the number of cases where councils applied to separate children from their families had more than doubled since the Baby P scandal to almost 15,000 in 2016.
Norfolk’s children’s services department takes more children into care proportionally than neighbouring Cambridgeshire or Suffolk and the numbers are rising again with almost 1,100 in care now, an increase of five percent in a year.
North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb said he had also come across cases where there had been “unacceptable practices” within the department, particularly with the way foster carers had children removed from them.
“It goes back over many years,” he said. “There definitely have been very serious miscarriages of justice.”
He too called for a change of culture at the department.
What Norfolk County Council says...
This newspaper asked the county council a series of questions about the concerns raised in these articles.
A spokesman for the council said: “Children are taken into care when their parents can no longer look after them safely.
“There is no single reason for this and each family’s circumstances will be unique and complex.
“We want children to be cared for in permanent, stable homes wherever possible. However, we will always look for the best placement for each individual child and this can include kinship care, residential care or specialist facilities.
“Children’s services was completely reorganised in 2015 and additional investment was made to support children and families to reduce the risk of children being taken into care.
“A range of anonymised case studies formed part of the annual review of early help services report.
“We were one of 10 authorities chosen to develop best social work practice via the Signs of Safety project.
The positive impact of this was recognised in our 2015 Ofsted report.
“Additionally, improvements are detailed in the published Ofsted monitoring letters of July 2016 and November 2016.”

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Friday, March 03, 2017

CherryGate - Is This Why New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key Just Resigned?

CHERRYGATE: Is This Really Why New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key Just Resigned?

*Warning: Graphic Photos and Pics Ahead

TMR Editor’s Note:
Stephie Key, PM John Key’s daughter, has posted on her Instagram account as her alter-ego Cherry Lazar the pictures and photos that follow:
Whereas Washington, D.C. has been experiencing the infamous PIZZAGATE, it appears that Wellington, NZ is now witnessing Cherrygate.
The press account of the PM’s resignation follows.
The Millenniun Report
December 11, 2016
N.B. Cherrygate, of course, comes from the Istangram account of Cherry Lazar (cherrylazar) as follows:
As for the real reason why this festering scandal is called Cherrygate, please see the following photos—viewer be forewarned.


Has John Key been Implicated in the #PizzaGate Child Sex Trafficking Ring?
[Featured image- John Key meets the pizza boy at the ‘gate’ to his Parnell mansion – sauce]
[Note- according to our own records, this article has had 1216 views as at 8pm Monday – all of our article view numbers are manipulated – don’t ask us how].
It has been revealed recently that John Key pledged $13.7 million of New Zealand tax payer’s money to the Clinton Foundation – with $7.7 million of the money already paid.
As John Key stood down last week, the #PizzaGate scandal was breaking across the US – based on leaked Hillary Clinton and John Podesta emails (her election campaign chairman) , the scandal seems to detail how the ‘elites’ of Washington DC use coded language involving “Pizza” to apparently discuss and organise child sex events & trafficking. There are apparently various terms relating to pizza used as code for the child abuse practices. “Cheese” seems to a common term used to describe some of what this gang are into.
The political establishment and the mainstream media that protects them were quick to denounce the scandal as “fake news” and even Wikipedia named it a “debunked conspiracy theory” within days, before it had even been investigated. ie, we are now watching a massive cover up in full swing.
Anyone who has read the emails can see clearly there is cause for concern and the emails clearly do not relate to ‘pizza’. Not to mention Podesta’s penchant for ‘art’ depicting cannibalism. There has since been an avalanche of information on strange connections, weird symbolism and various other incriminating data on the Pizza Gate allegations. Part of those allegations are that the Clinton Foundation is a front for an International child trafficking operation. Which apparently NZ, on the wishes of John Key ,is now helping to fund.
The immediate denunciation of the evidence and entire scandal by the mainstream media before any investigation had even been announced, using their “fake news” counterintelligence phrase, makes it clear that many of these media front people are part of the “club” also.
If we had real journalists in this Nation , they would probably be looking into the fact that John Key announced his resignation the very day after this scandal started to break.
The first thing we did was type “John Key” and “Pizza” into Google to see if there was any such strange encrypted messages. Below is what we found just on the first 2 pages of results:
John Key’s pizza party frenzy – National – NZ Herald News
“Mr Key ordered Meatlovers” – we bet he did.
John Key’s penchant for pizza struck with a vengeance over election weekend as he enjoyed slices twice in as many days. – New Zealand …
In Beijing, John Key becomes the Minister of Pizza
It was all cheese soon after Prime Minister John Key arrived in China and headed straight to open a pizza shop and launch a documentary.
Pizza delivery guy likes the taste of Keys 90day policy…/pizza-delivery-guy-likes-the-taste-of-keys-90day-policy-2010…
“Sanjay Macherla” – we bet he did.
There is a slice of John Key’s politics we had to have a nibble at today – the pizza delivery guy.
“A Twitter picture posted by TV3 political reporter Patrick Gower shows Key standing in the bus aisle with a box containing a half-eaten pizza – which again appears to be Meatlovers.”
Nothing to see here? Is it possible that some of the top brass in NZ media are also speaking in this coded child abuse language? Is it possible some of these ‘pizza’ boys are actually sex slaves?
Some speculate that the children who survive this ‘satanic’ child abuse are then groomed and mind controlled into top positions of politics and media, under new assumed names. Katy Perry being one example.
Interesting to note the name “Podesta” and the French owner of the Washington pizza place , his French name translates in English to “I love children”. Coded language and fake names seems to be the ‘Key’. Al Gore’s man made climate change lie is a classic ‘allegory’ and one wonders if the Patsy is finally Ready.
Perhaps someone should ask Josh Kilimnik from Pizza Hut who commented in the Herald article on behalf of Key’s local store – anyone seen a last name like that anywhere? Kill a what?? Perhaps the authorities should be looking into some of ‘Hell’ Pizza symbolism also?
Readers can decide for themselves.
We suggest readers also check out our recent article detailing the evidence of ‘elite’ organised child abuse rings in New Zealand . And a couple of related links below…
“1000 children missing” from Child Youth and Family – Radio NZ
“John Key’s killer paedophile joke disgusts victims’ family”
We at Media Whores are not drawing any conclusions – we just pride ourselves on joining dots and then asking the questions that the mainstream media clearly should be.
#PizzaGate #PizzaGateNZ? The coded “pizza” language used by these global satanic child abusers detailed below:
…More on Pizza Gate below…