Saturday, 16 July 2016

The Docherty case: PR spin and Gordon Jeyes

The investigation into the Brian and Janice Docherty case is progressing slowly.

David Scott explains that Police Media in Aberdeen are dedicated to providing information to the media. Before the team plays the audio recording, he says: "It will be interesting to [UK Column] viewers and listeners what that means in practice."
As it happens, Catherine is not available but Kate asks if she can help. "I`ve been promised an email response three times and nothing so far has appeared," says David Scott.  "It`s regarding the case of Brian and Janice Docherty. I was asking some questions about that and I was told I would get a response in writing but..."

"No, you`ve had a response," says Kate. "I`ve seen it...That`s all we have to say on the matter; so there`s not really anything else we can provide you."

"Well that wasn`t the response."
"That`s the response that we can give you."
"No, that can`t be the response."
"Why not?"

"Because it doesn`t make any sense... It`s unintelligible...The only response I have had in writing was unintelligible."

"Why was it unintelligible? What is it you don`t understand about it?..."

"I asked some questions and the response I got said: `There`s no substance to the claims made`. I made no claims. It made no sense."

And so the conversation continues, getting nowhere.

"Well David, what a classic piece of fob-off is the right expression. As some of our commentators are saying at the moment... this lady is obviously very well briefed. She knows full well about the case. But this is a case that the Scottish police and Scottish Government simply does not want to talk about."

"No they do not. Now ...the question I was asking there: `Is Alan Low a former police officer?` If the answer is No then that is presumably quite an easy one for Police Scotland to answer..."

Mike Robinson interjects: "But David if they don`t want to say No then the answer must be Yes..."

"As you know.. we`ve got very good evidence backing up that question ... and we would have to conclude that if there`s no formal written denial, then the answer really must be Yes."

"Isn`t it sad that media teams are now used as professionals to help lie for the state?" says Brian Gerrish. "So instead of their job being to actually serve the public and to make sure the truth is given to the public, every department whether it`s Theresa May, as Prime Minister, or the Cabinet Office - wherever it is - we`ve got these teams of very insidious people who simply do as they`re told in order to hide the truth."

David Scott continues: "And the implications here are very serious because that would mean that the previous relationship between the investigating officer and the accused - that would mean that that had been concealed from the Dochertys. They had no idea. It was the UK Column that found this information out. That would mean it has been withheld from all the investigating authorities, police review committees and everything else that the state is meant to be employing to make sure that they do not infringe people`s rights and the interests of justice."

"And we`ve got this gentleman, Luke Boddice - we`ve got audio to go with this in just a second - but who is this man and how have you dealt with him?"

"This is a PR consultant, communications officer, working for Nicola Sturgeon`s private office. Now I contacted Nicola Sturgeon and asked essentially one question. ..What has Nicola done to assist the Dochertys? What is she doing? What does she intend to do? ... And the response we got back was that the Scottish Government is unable to comment on individual cases. The appropriate place to take this enquiry is Police Scotland... That was it. That was the official line from the government spokesperson."

"So I asked a few supplementary questions by email to try and get a little bit more from this department and from Mr Boddice. And those email questions received no reply either. So I then phoned the gentleman. He`s quite a young chap; he graduated in 2007 from St Andrews University with an MA in medieval history; so that will come in handy in the new Scotland,  presumably because we`re all going to be serfs...But the phone call was interesting."

"We gave you the line earlier on, and we`re sticking to those lines," Mr Boddice says. This is repeated with every question asking him what he knows about the Docherty case, and even when it is pointed out that Nicola Sturgeon had intervened in another case.

"Well David quite remarkable what`s being said there. Well the state is saying to the public: `Go away you horrible people. We have our line. We`re not interested in the truth. We`re not interested in getting to the bottom of why four children have been taken away from mum and dad who are completely innocent of anything untoward`...The complete opposite; they`ve attempted to report potential abuse of children and the state simply does not want to talk about it. They`re prepared to spin lines. This is very very dangerous stuff. One of the things we`ve been trying to get across to people at the moment is, while they`re busy watching the rhetoric against Russia, what we`ve got is a vicious dictatorship, complete with the propaganda installing itself in Scotland and England. .. Have you had any further information since that remarkable exchange?"

"Not a single tweet.  Now that was ... Nicola Sturgeon`s idea of a communications officer. There wasn`t a lot of communication going on but what you could clearly see is there`s a desperation to prevent any discussion of the Docherty case whatsoever."

"Let`s take people through a bit more of this remarkable case and one of the things that you`ve pointed out is that there was a family called the Brains family... a huge amount of attention has been given to them because they`re fighting deportation. So they were an Australian family. They`ve got a child who speaks Gaelic but this is some of the stuff that`s happened... the Home Office has given a bit of ground and granted leave for them to remain in Scotland until 1st August 2016. Their local MP Mr Ian Blackford has been fighting the case. They`ve had a personal meeting with Nicola Sturgeon and there`s been major articles in the press and we`re looking at one from the Guardian..."

"What is going on here?" asks Brian Gerrish.

"Well quite. And, of course, I got no answers to any of this...You see the SNP have taken the Brains case to Westminster twice, including on the final PMQ when the Prime Minister was resigning. So this is extremely high profile... and this single family, this single individual case, was deemed worthy of that level of intervention in a single case by the SNP administration. And yet when we ask about the Dochertys we`re told: `We`re unable to intervene in a single case. It would be inappropriate`. Therefore no discussion. It`s completely inconsistent and it`s completely hypocritical."

"We`ll just press this home," says Brian Gerrish. "We`re seeing no press coverage for the Docherty family. It`s almost like standard journalists are scared of the case.  But BBC here ... talking about the Brain family; so they`re very happy with that. We`ve got questions being asked in parliament; and when George Osborne doesn`t produce the right response, the Independent here is saying `shameful and disgusting response to seven year old boy who faces deportation` but when we`re talking about a Scottish family having four children taken from them with no grounds for that action then we don`t report anything in Britain`s mainstream press."

"And of course the smirking face of David Cameron... he can leave his daughter in a pub, presumably when he had a little bit too much of his pint there - social services don`t turn up on his doorstep - but here he is getting involved in the Brain family case. So quite remarkable; something very special about the Dochertys."

"And at this point we better bring in this man because Gordon Jeyes is somebody you`ve been having a good look at. This man is now very big in the Irish social work scene and he`s caught a few people`s attention by attacking judges because he says: `Those nasty judges are not actually bothering to read social workers` submissions and indeed they`re not supporting social workers`. So before I hand back to you, just to give people a little bit about this man: He was UK`s first director of Children`s Services. He was chair of the anti-bullying network. He`s been part of the SEED review group on youth crime; national Youth Justice Strategy Steering Group; Critical Incident Response, Dunblane - that`s a very interesting one Mike; it just caught my eye. And, of course, he`s Royal Society of the Arts. If you`re going to be involved with children, apparently, you need to be a cultural person and involved with the arts. So what is it about this man David? He`s suddenly popped up everywhere: England, Scotland and Ireland?"

"He has a very interesting CV. As the Docherty investigation - which is an open source investigation - has been progressing we`ve had a lot of people sending in information. Everything we`ve got so far has entirely substantiated the information that has been provided directly by the Dochertys. No information at all has conflicted with their accounts of events. We`ve had some things, such as the relationship with the former police officer, that has added to what the Dochertys knew but no conflicts. We`ve also had several people of interest that has come out of this investigation;  one of them is very much Gordon Jeyes. He`s got an interesting CV to put it mildly. He was the person ultimately responsible for the social workers that seized the Docherty children - and remember they cleared an entire department of twenty nine social workers for an entire weekend just to deal with the Docherty family. So that`s a decision that would be made at the highest level. That means Gordon Jeyes personally; so hence we`re keen to gather any information we can on Mr Jeyes and his background. It`s a very interesting background."

"I couldn`t agree more. Let`s give people a taster of what we`re talking about here. Here`s some articles. This one is talking about a massive set up in Ireland that he is chief executive for - I think that`s correct, chief executive?"

"He was until May," interjects David Scott. "He`s just resigned."

"Well a vast organisation: 4,000 staff and a budget of 609 million euros. We just see money poured into child protection... Part of this article says that: `For too long...our flawed approach treated the child and family services like an adjunct to another agency as an afterthought but not anymore...` And what that is getting at is the fact they`re saying that ... we`re setting up this massive organisation which is going to wrap around families and every single child in Ireland. Is that a part of the man`s CV ? You can obviously find this for yourselves online, but he`s been involved in everything. So he starts off in Cambridge and then all of a sudden this man becomes the guru of child protection. But what we don`t see happening in England, Wales, Scotland and indeed Ireland is any improvement in child welfare. And we`ve got to say ...what`s the real objective?..He`s been involved in Dunblane. It probably brings us into some controversy there."

"He`s mentioned in the Cullen Report," says David Scott. "There`s actually two references to him in the Cullen report. He was head of Education in Stirling council. So he was ultimately responsible for Dunblane primary school at the time of the massacre... and he gave evidence at the Cullen inquiry into the Dunblane massacre... They were very unimpressed with him. They were surprised that he was unable to say whether the 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act actually applied to schools and they were surprised at his vagueness regarding risk assessment in schools. So they were by no means complimentary to him over his evidence to the inquiry. But he went from there to Cambridgeshire to run what is euphemistically called children`s services in Cambridgeshire. And he again hit the headlines."

"In fact, he hit the headlines in a very big way because he ended up in Panorama. And this was the case that after five or six years of fighting, the family finally got permission to tell their story. And this is the case that has started to unlock the secret family courts in England; and it started to bring some scrutiny into these proceedings; and, again; Gordon Jeyes was the man responsible... He goes on Panorama and says: `Sometimes social workers have to think the unthinkable.` Now this is a case where a family - a loving family - has gone along with their baby son because they were concerned that he was injured in some way... and they kept going back to the medical profession saying there`s definitely something wrong with their child and eventually they found that the child had a broken leg. And, of course, rather than saying: `We`re very glad you persisted and we finally noticed this; let`s get to the bottom of this. No, that`s not what happened. The family was arrested; they were charged with harming their son which was nonsense and they were put through years of hell. And who was it? It was Gordon Jeyes and Gordon Jeyes` department who did this. They were eventually proven to be wrong and then many years later, after a great deal of fighting, this information came out."  (15 July 2016)

[To be continued...] 



  2. If the people 'placed' in positions of power are so self evidently not part of the solution, then they must be part of the problem?

    Exactly when did the rule of law become obsolete in our country?

  3. Really depressing. God help this family - certainly, most British people won't - apparently, it's REALLY difficult to write a letter or make a phone call on behalf of OUR family & child RIGHTS.