This is deserving of a page on its own
For instance who would believe that the Archbishop of Canterbury was smeared with corruption. Not Archbishop Welsby, who seems to be a very honourable man, but the Welshman before him, Rowan Williams was his name. He was no stranger to corruption, nor were the great and the good Trustees of Christie Hospital.
Joanna Wallace was the Chief Executive Officer of Christie's and as such the title was rock solid protection. Also, some of her staff apparently revered her as some sort of saint, though she never cured anyone of cancer - that sort of menial job was reserved for medics.
Archbishop Rowan Williams was only one of the great and the good who ignored well founded warnings of the CEO's probity. Many others, most especially the Trustees from many different faiths, seemed to have thought that a CEO was out of reach of investigators. Nowadays, even mighty organs like the BBC are prepared to blow the whistle on CEO's of famous hospitals, It is a testimony of the way British culture has been moved by the ever growing reaction to corruption.
Joanna Wallace was lying to people on the hospital's headed Notepaper. Members of the public seemed totally unconcerned by the scandal. I remember a kindly person, whom I knew very well, attending a raucous open air fund raising stunt. I was in the same place demostrating agains the CEO, handing out leaflets. I did not embarrass the lady because she did not deserve that but it shows how good people can be taken in by a cloak of respectability.
I had been working, as a volunteer, on a database of volunteers when I came across an open letter from the CEO. It was false. I could not abide such dishonesty in such a respectable authority. I intervened by writing her a letter in which I objected to such behaviour. She sent me a very gracious reply whch was actually odious. Her tone was creeping, telling me what a great job I was doing for the hospital. It made it obvious that she was trying to curry favour in a vain attempt to make me silent.
Then she set her lawyers on me. Like other whistle blowers I was told that my family home would be snatched from me, and many other alarming things would happen if I did not shut up. Some members of staff, but not the medics, growled at me. The managers of the volunteers shared a common loyalty with me and I still have a note from the daughter of one of them (I regard it as precious). Being hounded by lawyers offering improbable threats is apparently par for the course but I was very worried.
Help was at hand. Out of the blue I was contacted by whisle blowers who showed me how to do it. Their first advice was to move my web site offshore. Straight away the lawyer's threatening letters stopped.I continued my protest at the hospital's main doors and soon she surrenered. With a highly placed witness with me we met at a closed down hospital and reached a truce in which she admitted her actions.. She resigned three months later.
In the aftermath the bad taste in my mouuth was always the way that Rowan Williams and others (Bishop of Chester) closed ranks around this undeserving woman. It taught me never to accept that 'holier than thou' figures are to be trusted simply because they are holier than thou. I think that I was a decade ahead of my time.
I think that my underlying objection was that the dishonesty came from such an exalted source, someone like caesar's wife. If it had come from a 'here today and gone tomorrow' politician, maybe I should not have noticed. As soon as I stood firm her HR woman tried to dig up some dirt on me rather than meet and rebutt allegations full on. She phoned my previous employer and boasted to me on the telephone that she had done so. She came up empty handed because my life has been an open book.
It is disappointing that whistle blowers will not be protected from such wicked people by government action but it is a great leap forward that whistle blowing has become respectable. The NHS will be all the better for it. Let us hope that victims and their relatives will not be misled by present executives.
Joanna Wallace was on a spectacular salary of £96,000 pa which was good 13 years ago or so (depending on when one is reading this) but she hardly knew the value of money when her reputation was in danger. She spent loads of money on a national firm of lawyers to persecute me. As a person of principle she was a little bit short on principle. The reason her HR woman could not dig up any dirt on me was because, as a Trades Union leader, I was too vulnerable to lead a life that was anything less than transparent.
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