Dead And Rotting Cyril Smith Stinks Less Than When He Was Alive
THE Liberal Democrats claim they had no idea Sir Cyril Smith, the Labour mayor of Rochdale (his mother wash his mayoress) who became the town’s Liberal MP and that Party’s chief whip, was a pervert. In response to current Rochdale Labour MP Simon Danczuk’s book on Smith, Smile for the Camera: the Double Life of Cyril Smith, a LibDem spokesman says:
“Cyril Smith’s acts were vile and repugnant and we have nothing but sympathy for those whose lives he ruined. His actions were not known to or condoned by anyone in the Liberal Party or the Liberal Democrats.”
None of them?
Says Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg:
“The whips’ office in my party went and spoke to every single current member of the House of Lords and the House of Commons who was around at the time of Cyril Smith and said, ‘Do you know anything?’. No one said they did. We have even scoured what little documentation there is from that time. There simply is no documentation. We went to some warehouse outside London where there is documentation stretching back to when the party started. We have gone through it all.”
Good old Sir Cyril loved being around kids. The Telegraph notes:
Sir Cyril, who was MP for Rochdale between 1972 and 1992, was governor of almost 30 schools, and in the 1960s he helped to open Cambridge House children’s home, where he abused boys, often subjecting them to spurious medical examinations, according to the book.
Smith’s alleged victims complained to Danczuk. But they are just claims because Smith is dead, stinking as badly now as he did in life, perhaps less so.
The Mail is serialising the book:
In the 1970s Smith was arrested on a number of occasions in public toilets in London’s St James’s Park, a regular haunt for young male prostitutes after dark, but always walked free. The cover-ups continued in the 1980s when Smith’s car was pulled over on the motorway near Northampton and traffic officers discovered child porn in the boot.
The book goes on to claim:
“The police were naturally disgusted and wanted to press charges. But then a phone call was made from London and he was released without charge.”
So. Not that disgusted, then. And, sadly, Disgusted of the Station are now unable to locate their records of Smith.
But if the police knew about Smith, did anyone of them speak to the Liberal Party? Maybe. We don’t know how David Steel the former Liberal Party leader, heard the stories about his colleague. Nine years before Steel thought Smith worthy of a knighthood, he had become aware Rochdale’s MP had allegedly abused children in the 1960s.
In 2010, before news reached us that the gargantuan, mega-unfit MP had had – get this – a sports centre named after him, we reported the claim that former LibDem leader David Steel’s Press Office was quoted as saying on 22nd April 1979: ” …all he [Smith] seems to have done is spanked a few bare bottoms.”
The original complaint concerned a resident of Cambridge Boys Hostel, Castlemere Street, Rochdale (it closed in 1965) . Eventually 7 people made complaints.
“… he took me into the quiet room. he told me to take my trousers down and bend over his knee…” Another one …” Cyril Smith found out I had taken some money . He asked me if I would accept his punishment or be dealt with by the authorities…” Another ” He told me to take my trousers and pants down. He held my testicles and told me to cough”
Smith did not dignify the allegations by suing. And we went on to be immensely popular.
If Clegg never had an inkling of Smith’s crimes, he and his fellow LibDems never read what The Rochdale Raw blog wrote in 2009 – when Smith was alive – repeating claims levelled against him in Rochdale’s Alternative Paper (RAP). The story was called “The Strange Case of Smith the Man”.
Interestingly, RAP claimed Smith’s local paper, The Rochdale Observer “NEVER mentioned a word of the scandal”. Smith never sued RAP nor Private Eye magazine, which in 1979 published allegations on Smith’s sexual assaults on children. That prove nothing. Suing shines a light on the matter. It makes everyone wonder if there is fire behind the smoke. It raises the profile of the accuser. Not every untruth printed has been challenged in court. Some people just laugh it off. Smith did.
A Lancashire Constabulary spokesman said they were not planning to investigate the matter as there are no current allegations pending.
Trinity Mirror bought the Rochdale Observer from The Guardian Media Group as part of a package that included the Manchester Evening News and 21 weeklies for £44.8m in 2010. Did the Guardian hear tales of Smith’s alleged paedophilia? If not, why not? If they did, why didn’t they investigate them?
This week, the Guardian’s Michael White has a question:
How did Cyril Smith outfox the law? Cunning, bombast and – like Jimmy Savile – friends in high places. Was that enough to cover up the former Rochdale Liberal MP’s child sex abuse?
Whichever way you looked at Smith, he seemed an unsavoury character, a loud-mouthed, unreliable and manipulative bully and a political populist of no discernibly fixed convictions…
And on Clegg’s ignorance:
Nick Clegg may have been a child in 1979, but that was no excuse in 1988 (when Smith was knighted) or 2014 to pretend the Lib Dem machine did not know about the allegations. But that goes for everyone else, too – most conspicuously the police, who failed to prosecute Smith and his network despite powerful evidence, and for those in higher authority, including No 10 and Buck House.
So. On that point, what did the Guardian know? Questions can be raised at the paper’s next editorial meeting.
Incidentally, in their obituary on Smith, the Guardian wrote:
He tended towards authoritarian views on all issues except education, and his friendship with James Anderton, the sometime Manchester chief constable who espoused controversial “traditional” values, influenced his law and order pronouncements.
Anderton was “God’s Copper” who claimed victims of AIDS were in a “human cesspool of their own making”.
Beatrix Campbell wrote in the Guardian on Anderton:
…Canal Street in Manchester city centre was still a red-light district. Anderton, an evangelical Christian, encouraged his officers to stalk its dank alleys and expose anyone caught in a clinch, while police motorboats with spotlights cruised for gay men around the canal’s locks and bridges.
And he was Smith’s friend?
Back to White, who adds:
Political friends of mine, more savvy than me but no more inclined to conspiracy theory, say they suspect that even the intelligence services contained powerful figures protecting fellow paedophiles in those days. There is more to tumble from the closet.
The Rochdale Observer’s new owners seem keen to go after Smith. In 2008, the Mirror wanted Smith stripped of his knighthood. No, nothing to do with paedos. This was about his “past dealings with Turner & Newall – once the world’s largest asbestos giants”. It was “his cosy relationship with a merchant of death”.
Rochdale Raw notes about Cambridge Boys Hostel, where Smith prowled the corridors and dorms:
The hostel was founded by local Rotarians – the apparent great and good of the town- influential businessmen and politicians with links to Freemasonry.
And you can also read here how Smith is linked to Jimmy Savile and the BBC.
Have secrets been kept? Surely now transparency is all. Well, no. The Daily Star adds that the LibDems are not all that keen on us knowing more about what they did and not know of Smith:
The Cabinet Office, whose ministers include Lib Dems Nick Clegg and David Laws, spent more than six months trying to hide the revelation from us. It claimed disclosure would breach data protection rules but the ICO found that there was a “legitimate public interest” in it being disclosed.
Deputy commissioner Graham Smith said it was “reasonable to conclude that the data subject (Mr Steel) will have been aware at the time the nomination [for a knighthood] was made of allegations about Cyril Smith, albeit that the degree and certainty of knowledge about his behaviour which is available today was not available at that time”.
He added: “That the decision to nominate was made by the data subject (Mr Steel) in those circumstances adds to the public interest in disclosure of the nominator’s identity.” The full document, revealing that the “Rt Hon. David Steel MP” had recommended 29-stone Smith for the honour, was finally released to us on Friday.
Tabloid fact: no comment on Smith can fail to mention his size.
Back to Danczuk, who says:
“I am not surprised attempts have been made to block this information from the public. David Steel has shown absolutely no appetite for investigating bad behaviour in his party. Steel carried out a bungled investigation into Jeremy Thorpe’s problems with rent boys and only recently expressed disbelief the Lib Dems are now employing a pastoral care officer to deal with complaints of abuse in the party.
“He is in complete denial.”
Murkier still, the Mail manages to link Smith with the infamous PIE, the infamous Paedophile Information Exchange, so named PIE because Prince George, aka Goergie Porgie of the hereunder nursery rhyme, liked to have sex with young girls, from whom he’d scarper when they fell pregnant:
Georgie Porgie, Puddin’ and Pie,
Kissed the girls and made them cry,
When the boys came out to play
Georgie Porgie ran away
Paedos, eh. They don’t just look skint and hang about parks.
So, here’s what the Mail writes:
The book also describes how Labour politicians’ support for a notorious paedophile group that campaigned to legalise sex with children helped Smith evade justice for years. Earlier this year the Mail revealed the extraordinary links between the National Council for Civil Liberties and the Paedophile Information Exchange. Labour’s deputy leader Harriet Harman, her MP husband Jack Dromey, and former Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt held key roles in the NCCL, which in 1975 granted ‘affiliate’ status to the group of predatory paedophiles. Smith was friends with PIE founding member Peter Righton and Mr Danczuk said the NCCL’s backing for PIE helped Smith’s crimes remain secret.
But it is all in the dim and distant past. In 2010, the Crown Prosecution Service said Smith would have been prosecuted for indecency, had the evidence submitted to the Director of Public Prosecutions against Smith in the 1970s been presented today.
We are so clean nowadays that the righteous have time to prosecute the dead without the trouble of a trial.
What we want to know, of course, is what’s going on now? And who knows about it? It’s just a shame politicians, police and journalists didn’t seem to be all that curious to expose crime in high places back then.
Such are the facts, apparently…