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A Monster Politician
on 20 April 2014
Cyril Smith was a 29 stone gargantuan rampant paedophile who prowled the corridors of Cambridge House hostel and other children's homes in Rochdale, his home town. He did so to find young victims to satisfy his sexual needs. Fondling naked boys and spanking them were the favourite activities of this obese Liberal Democrat politician. If they objected he told them what he was doing was for their own good.
Over 35 years ago John Walker, a college lecturer in Rochdale, bravely exposed, after a 6 month investigation, the sordid activities of Smith in 'Rochdale's Alternative Paper'. The report was ignored by the police and the national media with the exception of Private Eye and the New Statesman. Walker claimed that it was unreasonable to claim that senior Liberals were unaware of what Smith was doing. He said it was because the news was 'an inconvenient truth'for the Liberal party. Despite the revelations in the report, Smith was returned as the local MP with an increased majority! Thanks to Danczuk, the Labour MP for Rochdale, the allegations were recently raised in the Commons. At last the media have become interested. People like Sir David Steel have yet to comment on the activities of this child abuser who had been a Party Whip as well as being knighted in 1988. The CPS have admitted culpability in failing to prosecute him.
In this excellent book by Danczuk and Baker the full horrors of this repulsive man are revealed. Known as 'the fat man' he got away with his sordid activities because staff at the hostel told children to shut up if they complained. Some staff may have been complicit in the abuse while others feared for their jobs if they blew the whistle. It is also alleged that Rochdale Council covered up Smith's behaviour. Astonishingly, families asked him to discipline their offspring because he was known to be a strict disciplinarian! He was only too willing to oblige.
As the authors make clear, the police and MI5 were well aware of what Smith was up to. There had been numerous reports of his activities in public toilets. Nevertheless, no charges were ever brought. It is also clear from this account that many senior Lib Dems knew of the rumours about the fat man in their party. David Steel even nominated him for an honour! On Smith's 80th birthday Clegg said:'You were a beacon for our party in the 1970's and 80's........'.
Smith was MP for Rochdale for 20 years despite the police getting over 144 claims of illegal sexual activities against him. The authors believe the reasons why fat man was never charged include: pressure from MI5, the climate of the time in which we now know senior Labour politicians had jobs or connections with the Paedophile Information Exchange, and a failure by the media to expose him. The result was that like the ghastly Savile he got away with his sordid activities.
The authors believe that the fact Smith escaped justice is more shocking than Savile's escape because Smith was a politician whereas the grubby Saville inhabited the even grubbier world of celebrities. Recent events make this assertion somewhat dubious.
Like Savile, Smith got away with his crimes because people were afraid of damaging (in Smith's case) the party image, and opening a 'can of worms'. Smith was a working class boy and as such appealed to the Liberals, a predominantly middle class party. He was the token Liberal MP. It is simply incredible that this huge figure's activities were unknown or talked about among senior Liberals. It is as implausible as the claim that numerous people in the BBC, and elsewhere, did not know of Savile's crimes.
In a brilliant lecture last year at Stanford University the speaker said that one of the hardest things in life was to convince people that the celebrities they see on screen or stage bear any resemblance to the real person. If anyone doubts this they are recommended to research the true lives of screen idols Cooper, Bryner, Davis, and a host of others including some of today's leading 'stars'. The same applies to many 'idols' throughout the entertainment industry, for example, Tommy Cooper to give only one example of an alcoholic and wife beater.
Savile and Smith, both serial child abusers, were popular.They deliberately fostered a public image of deep concern for disadvantaged young people. They did so in order to mask and provide a cover for their sordid crimes, knowing that an adoring public would refuse to believe that their idols could engage in such abominable crimes. It is incumbent on David Steel and Nick Clegg to surface and explain how this appalling man was allowed to get away with it for over 40 years.
To limply that nobody knew, or it was before my time is not good enough.
Both cases should be studied in detail by those who have recently condemned the CPS for a number of high profile cases who have been found not guilty by a jury verdict. Better this than monsters like Savile and Smith being allowed to roam free.
A brave and important book that deserves a wide readership.
Mr Danczuk has recently said he may reveal in the Commons the name of another paedophile politician who is 'even more important than Smith'. There is no doubt that this sordid business will now be invesitgated by the police and, hopefully, Rochdale Council. It would be gratifying also to hear from politicians how Smith was able to evade arrest for many years despite rumours that were swirling around the Commons and House of Lords. Finally, there are strong rumours that an independent report about dreadful events at a Rochdale school that Smith was associated with has been deliberately shelved by the council.
Hopefully, one day soon it will all will be revealed including the names of those who covered up for Cyril Smith.