Saturday 7 June 2014

A bit of a lad


For the latest turn in this saga, see Jac o' the North.


Under normal circumstances most of us would agree that sons and daughters should not be judged by the actions of their parents, but if someone is standing for election to public office and has some pretty major skeletons tucked away in the closet, just two courses of actions are open to them:

(1) Keep quiet and hope that nobody notices.

(2) Be honest and open from the start, and make sure that there is nothing nasty that can come out to embarrass either you or your party.

"This doesn't look very good"

Nathan Gill appears to have opted for the first course of action on a number of matters. Jac o' the North has already chronicled some of Gill's business dealings, including the bunkhouse for Filipino and other migrant labour; the fact that he claimed in his election literature not to be a career politician when his main job of work was as a paid adviser for a Ukip MEP; and the fact that he did not disclose his religious affiliations. As he admitted to the Western Mail, he realised that some of this did not look very good.

Now we know, thanks to a comment posted on this blog posted by Jac himself, that Gill's father spent time in jail for offences which Anonymous, commenting on the previous post, felt made him "a bit of a lad". Emlyn Hooson QC who defended Michael Gill at the trial described him as "a dirty old man".

Rather than leave the story hanging half-explained among the comments on a blogpost, here is a fuller account and some more on the tawdry world inhabited by Wales's newest MEP.

Michael Gill had been an active Mormon while the family still lived in Hull, but according to a former Mormon bishop interviewed at the time of the trial in Caernarfon in 1988, his membership ended some time after that because of "certain problems".

Having moved to Angelsey, Michael Gill set up shop as a homeopath, and part of the treatment he offered involved hypnosis using a strange black box with a flashing red light. Three women alleged that he took advantage of them while under hypnosis to perform sexual assaults. Gill pleaded guilty to two charges of sexual assault and third of persuading a woman to have sexual intercourse with him by telling her that it was a part of the treatment. Two further charges of rape and buggery were left on file, with prosecuting counsel telling the court that it would serve no useful purpose to try Gill for these other offences.

Gill was sentenced to two years in prison. The very lenient sentence caused surprise and anger at the time, and it would be unthinkable today. A couple of years ago, a charlatan living in the Carmarthenshire village of Cwmduad was jailed for seven years at the age of 77 for remarkably similar offences. In what seems to be a freak coincidence, the name of this sex pest and fraudster was Reginald Gill.

One of Michael Gill's "patients" told the press that she believed that there could be up to 15 victims, but that others had felt too afraid to come forward. Gill had boasted to one of the women that he had sex seven times a day.

All of this took place in the late 1980s when the son was in his teens.

Bunking up

Father and son subsequently went into business together in Burgill Ltd. Burgill described itself as a company involved in letting its own property. That turns out to have been a nice way of describing the bunkhouse for migrant care home workers.

Bearing in mind the nature of the father's earlier offences, it is disconcerting to see that he had no problem setting up and running a care home through a separate company called Pink Panther Resource Centre, subsequently renamed Gill Enterprises Yorkshire, which despite the name is registered to an address in Angelsey.

Rather oddly in view of the former Mormon bishop's claims that Michael Gill's membership of the church had ended in the 1980s, both the care home and the bunkhouse were located in the same road as the Mormon church in Hull.

Cutting red tape

Nathan Gill's parents gave an address in Menai Bridge on documents relating to Burgill Ltd, while Nathan Gill lives not far away in Llangefni. These two locations are important for the next chapter in the story which takes place in 2011 when Gill Senior would have been aged around 78.

On 22 October 2011 the Daily Post reported that North Wales Police and the Environment Agency Wales had raided two properties in Menai Bridge and Llangefni after an illegal stash of 5,000 tyres was discovered in the garden of a property in Pentraeth Road, Menai Bridge. The same address as on the Burgill documents, in fact.

It seems that the tyres were to be shipped to Ghana as part of a scam to avoid dumping charges, and the article tells us that an order was served to have the stash removed and disposed of legally.

Perhaps our MEP did not know what was happening in his parents' garden, although judging from the photograph accompanying the piece in the Daily Post anyone visiting the property would have wondered what the gigantic pile of tyres was doing there.

Parliamentary matters

In the news this morning is a complaint from Ukip that the party is being treated unfairly by the establishment and that it should have at least 23 more peers in the House of Lords.

Who knows, but perhaps we could yet see Lord Gill of Menai Bridge donning ermine robes and heading off for a new career in expense claiming.

Meanwhile Nathan Gill has been busy after his success in the European elections. No sooner had he been elected than he left Llangefni - not for Brussels or the European Parliament, where he does not intend to spend too much of his time anyway, but to campaign in the Newark by-election.

His Twitter account is strangely silent about the result in Newark and the recent press revelations about his background, but he did retweet this from BBC Wales:

MPs recall is expected to be part of today's Queen's Speech. Should you be allowed to sack your MP in between elections?

In the meantime, Jac is promising yet more insights into the House of Gill.


Anonymous said...

All seems perfectly okay to me. Can't blame the son for the mistakes of the Father. And the fact that they both choose to live on Anglesey comes as no surprise. Anglesey is so full full of 'curiosities' it is hard to imagine. After all, the residents of that island also voted for Rhun ap Iorwerth.

Anonymous said...

It seems that Mr Gill Snr was convicted of serious offences and sentenced, probably within sentencing guidelines of the time.

As you say his son was a teenager at the time - could his age have been closer to 13 than 19 ? Probably.

You agree that under normal circumstances people should not be judged by what theirs family did or didn't do over 25 years ago. I Agree with this.

Mr Gill Jnr is a member of a religious sect - so what. as long as it doesn't affect his public duty it's should be of no concern.

The fact that Gill Jnr went to Newark is fluff - it's what politics is all about.

Cneifiwr said...

I think you have both forgotten to take your tablets.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post,

Off topic but following the Telegraph article earlier this week

There is another today from an Englishman living in Wales called 'The Gheetoisation of the Welsh'

Gwasbach. said...

You have turned your usually well written and interesting blog into a vendetta against U.K.I.P. and just so much diatribe. You are also increasingly insulting towards some contributors – maybe it’s you who should be taking the tables before your blood pressure gets too high.

Redhead said...

I think if I were planning a career in politics, especially politics of the UKIP type, I would not have gone into business wirh my sex offences father nor would I have put together a business exploiting immigrants. It shows a distinct lack not only of moral judgment but also political nous.

By the way, it should be quite easy to check if he is a practising Mormon: check his underwear (seriously).

Anonymous said...

Obviously you disagree but I would have thought courtesy is required from a blog site purporting to be serious, rather than abuse.

What we have been fed about Gill is a load of rehashed press cuttings from 26 years ago, information about his dads convictions which wasn't correct and had to be hurriedly retracted and some info from an anonymous source.

Mild abuse is no replacement for a decent argument.

Anonymous said...

I can't see why it was wrong for him to go to Newark to
campaign,Cameron went there four times.Why send
the tyres to Ghana,dump them in the Cambrian Mountains
amongs the windmills,can't make more of a mess.Have a
re-run of the election and UKIP will probably still do well.
I am still struggleing to see where the billions of EU
funding money has gone, what about list of good causes
then I won't vote UKIP again,but it won't be Labour,read
about the good job Peter Hain has done in the last
years on BBC news website this morning at about 10am
only just finished vomiting.

Cneifiwr said...

I am happy to say that my blood pressure is fine.

It seems extraordinary to me to see people leaping to the defence of a man convicted of sexual abuse. "Sailing close to the wind", "A bit of a lad" were two of the comments which come to mind.

What was done to those women will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

As for the son, the election of Nathan Gill is a national disgrace. It speaks volumes about Ukip that such an individual should not only have been endorsed as a candidate but put at the top of the party list.

I shall continue to publish comments I disagree with, but the trolls who have been targeting this blog recently will not be given a platform.

Anonymous said...

your definition of a troll appears to be someone who does not agree with you.

You must accept that your analysis on this subject is flawed.

Jac appears to have uncovered some unsavoury stuff about the dad but not Nathan Gill himself.

I am not leaping to anybody's defence.Anyone who commits offences against a vulnerable woman (cos it seems that's all he was charged with according to you)deserves all he gets and more. But it was not Nathan Gill it was his dad.

Redhead said...

Trolls increase in proportion to the nearness of a general election ...

Bill Chapman said...

Your anonymous commentators are right that Nathan Gill cannot be guilty of his father's crimes. There are, however, issues which do require attention. Firstly, Gill misled us all by giving the impression that he was an ordinary businessman, and not a politician. In fact he was PA to his predecessor, and a politician. Secondly, he misled us about his faith. He was the right to believe what he wants to believe, of course, but he might have been more open about his mormonism. There are suggestions - I will put it no stronger than that - that he has been less than honest about his business dealings.

Finally, his behaviour in importing workers from eastern Europe and elsewhere and storing them in "bunkhouses", runs directly counter to UKIP's stance. He will haver to resign or Mr Garage will have to expel him from the party. Which will it be?

I give my real name.

Cneifiwr said...

Thank you Bill.

I thought quite hard about the father and whether to write about this in more detail.

It seemed to me that it was relevant for a couple of reasons. Firstly, father and son seem to have enjoyed quite a long business relationship, and there are a number of things about their business activities which are highly questionable.

As a high profile candidate for public office, he came with a great deal of baggage. Whether he was straight with Ukip, we don't know, but he certainly wasn't straight with voters.

It is quite obvious from what has happened that the Gills have made some serious enemies - not surprising when you consider their track record.

Nathan Gill must have realised that he was running a serious risk when he stood for election without being open about his family and his own past.

Anonymous said...

It amuses me to think that if UKIP (Nathan Gill or whomsoever) had not done so well in Wales that Plaid Cymru woman would have lost her seat.

How fantastic would that have been for everyone but the loony nationalists? Bring it on.

Anonymous said...

I think most people voted for UKIP as a party in Wales,and did not know nothing or cared who the
candidate was.It says something about the Four main
parties in Wales that 200,000+ voted for UKIP.Instead of
insults they should get a grip,the nonsense in
Carmarthenshire,Pembroke,Caerphily did not help,and
that lot In Cardiff Bay sat there and pretended everything's
fine,angry people will do anything,so watch out.

Laugharne lad said...

Well said that person @7th June 20:20!

The sooner Plaid Cymru goes the way of the Lib Dems (down the pan) the better for Welsh politics. Popular support for Plaid Cymru is sliding in the right direction, so hopefully not too long to wait.

I would suggest that some of the comments passed within this blog post (and in the comments section) could also be argued libellous - Cneifwr should be careful. I can't see the story here, it's purely party political mud slinging, trying to tar the newly elected MEP with the past of his father who went to jail more than two decades ago for disgusting behaviour.

If Cneifwr or Jacothenorth were any good at politics and persuading people, wouldn't they have unearthed this non-scandal ahead of the election?

As for "trolls" - I suspect I'll be labelled one as well.

As another commenter put it, anyone who disagrees with Cneifwr is labelled a troll. He's labelled a lot of people a troll lately.

UKIP, intolerant? Undeniably.

Cneifwr, intolerant? In the extreme!

Jac o' the North, said...

I've noticed a very hostile reaction to the outing of Nathan Gill as a liar, a hypocrite and - I believe - much worse. This links with a wider belief that Ukip is now being unfairly treated by the media and mainstream political parties jealous of Ukip's recent success.

What's really happening is that an ad hoc assemblage of fruitcakes and bigots, devoid of policies, lacking party discipline and ignorant of effective vetting procedures, is falling apart before our eyes . . . as was always going to happen.

Those who saw Ukip as 'The Great White Hope' and supported Ukip in the belief that it articulated the views of 'ordinary people' now feel cheated. This is understandable. I can only offer this consolation: I guarantee that in the near future a repositioned, post-Cameron, Conservative Party will cultivate the political ground broken by Ukip.

As for Laugharne boy, if he can't see why people are 'picking on' Nathan Gill then I'm glad I have nothing to do with him, for his own moral compass must also be faulty. It's not about the father, and you know it. As for "libellous" remarks, would you care to be specific.

Before the election it was the job of the media to investigate the backrounds of the candidates. Don't blame Cneifiwr (note spelling) and myself for the shortcomings of the media.

Finally, if Plaid Cymru does fold - and many nationalists, myself included, hope it will - then it will be replaced by a less accommodating party, one less willing to play the unwinnable British game on the current terms. So be careful what you wish for, lovely boy.

Cneifiwr said...

Perhaps I should have said "trolls and bores".

I try to make this blog interesting, and most of the contributors have something interesting to say (including quite a few I don't agree with).

Name calling is just boring, so unless you have something interesting to say ("Rhun ap Iorwerth ate my hamster", or "My Welsh neighbours think I'm a prat"), don't waste your time.

Cneifiwr said...

I should have added a line to that last comment to explain that this message was aimed at a couple of individuals who think they can make endless sweeping statements without a shred of evidence and that this lazy rubbish will be given air time. It won't.

Anonymous said...

But the trouble is JAC, All you have come up with is about the father and that is from 26 years ago accompanied by information from a source you admit is anonymous.

To come back to the politics of this, if the political landscape is changed by UKIPS victory then that is a good thing surely.

At least those who are opposed to a greater degree of European integration may have a party to vote for as all of the others agree (or have agreed ) with each other on the question of Europe up to now.

I am an admirer of Plaid locally. I think PHG has done a good job in CCC holding the Labour/indies to account but nationally I think support is dropping and it is UKIP who are surging.

We could go on and on about how Mr Gill didn't disclose this or that but we have him now and he should be judged on what he says and does in the years to come. At that point he can be voted out !

As regards libel you had to correct something you wrote a day or two ago so obviously you at least wrote something which wasn't correct in the first place ?

Cneifiwr said...

Anon @13.19 - if you think it's all over, you will be disappointed.

Anonymous said...

In reply to Laugharne Lad - if Cneifiwr wishes to be intolerant, that's his preprovative; this is, after all, his blog! I don't blame him for not tolerating the drivel spouted by UKIP supporters. What reasonable person could? As for Plaid 'going down the pan' like the LibDems, that's wishful thinking lad.
The LD's only reason for existing was as a protest party. Now UKIP has taken their job. But Plaid will always have an agenda and vision - being a better future for Wales. That agenda will stand while the Welsh nation remains - which, if the British Nationalists of UKIP and their like had their way - wouldn't be very long. But they won't have their way. We've seen off their like before over the centuries.

Anonymous said...

Fourth Conservative councillor in Totton and Eling defects to UKIP

Lifelong Tory Mel Molyneux said no he longer wished to be associated with the party, which he accused of looking after the financial elite instead of those in need.Fair shares for all

Redhead said...

Oh, no, no, no, no. We are judged on EVERYTHING we have said or done, we can't pick and choose. although UKIP seems to think that.

Anonymous said...

I've just read the comments of Jac North regarding Plaid Cymru. Not entirely sure what he is trying to say other than 'things might turn nasty if Plaid is replaced by another nationalist party'.

I wonder who he is kidding, himself or your readers? If Plaid is indeed replaced by a 'nastier' nationalist party it will be up to the people of Wales to destroy it. And destroy it quickly and without sympathy.

Times have changed. And Wales is not and never will be allowed to become another Eire. Mark my words.

Gwasbach said...

All this pointless bickering is getting us nowhere. I am Welsh by birth, but lived for much of my life on the other side of Offa’s Dyke and have an English accent. A similar number of Welsh people live in England as English people live in Wales. Many English people integrate well into Welsh society and many learn to speak Welsh and most, if not all contribute to the Welsh economy.

Welsh people integrate well with English communities and similarly contribute to the English economy. We all live on the same island, so why on earth can’t we get on with one another and help each other, instead of argue all the time?

I am a pensioner, have considerable assets and spend most of my money in Wales, thus contributing to the Welsh economy. Despite having a very Welsh name, I have a Home Counties accent and earned most of my money in England or overseas.

I speak very little Welsh and wish to God I was better able to learn the language – it’s not at all easy for me. That said, I strongly support Wales, Welsh culture and the Welsh language.

Leanne Wood is hardly a Welsh name and she is probably descended from English immigrants. As the leader of Plaid Cymru, she is very definitely passionate about Wales, despite her being a non Welsh speaker. Evidently she too finds it difficult to learn the language.

Many English people who move to Wales love this country and will do their best to contribute towards it’s success.

Just because so called Trolls don’t agree with everything you publish on your ‘blog’, doesn’t necessarily mean they are wrong. Everyone has the right to hold a point of view in a democracy and to vote for whoever they wish ; be that Plaid Cymru, U.K.I.P., Labour, or Conservative.

Many people vote Plaid Cymru without giving any thought to what their policies are, or what impact they have on the Welsh economy. Unfortunately Plaid Cymru often alienate many incomers with their rhetoric about independence. Ms. Wood fails to inspire the majority, no matter how well intentioned she may be.

Whilst I have met many highly talented Welsh people (yourself included, although I suppose now I’ll be accused of being patronising); with many of them, their get up and go has got up and gone. There are currently no inspirational leaders here, to get this wonderful country back on it’s feet.

Jonathan Edwards is a fairly good M.P., Adam Price was in my view, better. I’d love to see Mr. Price replace Rhodri Glynn Thomas as my A.M. when he retires. Maybe he is that inspirational leader Wales needs.

In the European elections, I voted U.K.I.P. Why? It was a protest vote, because I wanted to send a message to the so called ‘Political elite’, that their mediocre performance is no longer acceptable.

In the 2010 General Election, I voted Plaid Cymru, but I don’t know who I’ll vote for in 2015 ; I vote for personalities and not a party. We need politicians who will inspire and lead the who country, not just a minority. Most of all we need to all work together, for the benefit of Wales, instead of squabbling like little children.

Redhead said...

You can tell it's election year - and claptrap will only get worse and more frequent!

Cneifiwr said...

Gwasbach - don't worry about your accent. If you would like help with learning Welsh - it's never too late, by the way - please get in touch via the e-mail address at the top of the blog.

Gwasbach said...

Cneifiwr (Shearer) - Thank you for your kind offer, but I'll take a rain check on that one.

If my first language 'better half' finds it hard going teaching me Welsh, I can't see how you could do better - despite your good intentions. Put it down to me being twp.

The language aside, I reiterate that we need someone in the Welsh Government who will inspire and motivate the people who live in Wales. Although a difficult task, we all (Welsh speaking and English speaking)need to stop squabbling and work for a better Wales. Cymru am Byth.

Anonymous said...

Whilst is is correct that what the father was guilty of has nothing to do with the son.

He has continued to have him a s a co director and shareholder of the various companies.

Mor interesting the questions should be asked of who Gill as an MEP is employing. there are a number of members of his church and family now being paid by the EU in a cosy little Morman clique in UKIP Wales.