Cyril Smith

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Re: Cyril Smith

Post  Hinch on Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:53 am

I see they've removed Smith's blue plaque from the Town Hall to 'prevent vandalism'.

Long may it gather dust I say.
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Re: Cyril Smith

Post  teamplayer2 on Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:01 am

It is looking bad. So far six victims have come out to say they were abused by him and alleged that in some cases it was reported. So again what were the authorities doing in Rochdale not protecting the alleged victims. Too many now reporting to say there was nothing in it.

Why did the authorities do nothing at the time if there was so many reports?

To me it looks like these establishments were run very badly.
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Re: Cyril Smith

Post  Irishman on Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:02 am

Yes, it was on the main news this morning, the world is watching. Embarassed

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Re: Cyril Smith

Post  Hinch on Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:55 am

Latest from Northern Voices:-

THE descriptions of Cyril Smith's exploits with young lads in the early 1960s as 'doctoring with intent', would make a good metaphor for his intervention in Rochdale's politics in the last half of the 20th Century. It was a form of tampering with the mechanics of political life in the town that deformed or some would have it enhanced political life in Rochdale. I've known other figures like him in my life, I lived for a time in Spain under General Franco in the 1960s, Franco dominated Spain, its institutions and Spanish life for 36-years, and in Gibraltar, where I worked and lived in the late 1960s and 1980s, I met Sir Joshua Hassan, who was the Chief Minister there between the 11 August 1964 – 6 August 1969 and again between 25 June 1972 – 8 December 1987. Both these men had a immense influence on there constituences: the Spanish Caudillo (meaning chief or warlord) and the Jewish Gibraltarian Chief Minister, and both were like Cyril larger-than-life figures. But both, in a way, disabled their societies for years, Franco gave his people a kind of 'peace' but it was at the price of stiffling a free press and led to corruption and speculation in real estate; Sir Joshua secured Gibraltar and resisted a Spanish takeover but that too led to the cultivation of what George Borrow called the 'Rock rascal', smuggling and a society in which the rich didn't pay their share of the taxes. When Cyril Smith died in 2010, Simon Danczuk MP for Rochdale, who raised serious issues about Cyril Smith in the House of Commons yesterday, said:
'Sir Cyril was a towering figure who cast a large shadow over the political landscape in Rochdale. His influence was felt everywhere. I could not but admire the fact that as a member of what was then a very small party he managed to win five elections in Rochdale as a Liberal. I think this would be very hard to achieve today. Remember when Cyril won the seat there were only a handful of Liberal MPs. Sir Cyril was one of the first politicians of the TV age to use his personality and charisma to enormous affect. In that respect he was ahead of his time.'

In the Bertold Brecht play 'Galileo' the leading charater says: 'God help the land that needs heroes', Rochdale and the English must learn to live without a need for great men.
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Re: Cyril Smith

Post  keithatrochdale on Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:04 am

keithatrochdale wrote:QUOTE:

Such has been his influence in the town as a local hero that last year he was blessed by having a blue plaque erected to him on our famous Gothic-revival Town Hall, an award agreed in haste by the Rochdale Township committee.

Seems to me this plaque should be covered, or removed immediately after these matters coming to light. And do not forget his alleged involvement is the asbestos problems that have killed many people, with more still to come.

Good to hear the plaque has been removed.

What about the investigations into the asbestos problems that he apparently knew about and covered up?

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Re: Cyril Smith

Post  cyfrifia on Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:27 pm

UP THE DALE wrote:Both types of child abuse are equally as bad and need to be investigated and stopped.

All child abuse needs to be stopped, but priority should be to stop it going on now. Despite Rochdale getting the publicity for it, there are more cases of organised grooming gangs all around the country.

http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/at-a-glance/main-section/twelve-men-held-in-child-grooming-inquiry-1-5090911

A change of attitude and awareness will hopefully make a difference. If it looks like a grooming gang operating, yes it may well be. The disbelief that such things could be happening should become a thing of the past.

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Re: Cyril Smith

Post  cyfrifia on Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:32 pm

keithatrochdale wrote:What about the investigations into the asbestos problems that he apparently knew about and covered up?

If we are going to start on politicians and 'captains of industry' who have denied that asbestos kills, there are a lot of them.

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Re: Cyril Smith

Post  keithatrochdale on Thu Nov 15, 2012 12:42 pm

cyfrifia wrote:

If we are going to start on politicians and 'captains of industry' who have denied that asbestos kills, there are a lot of them.

But it would seem that CS knew that dangers and told the people of Rochdale that he represented that there was no danger - this cannot be left un-investigated!
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Re: Cyril Smith

Post  cyfrifia on Thu Nov 15, 2012 1:22 pm

There is quite a good interview about asbestos with Sir Cyril Smith when he was in his eighties on utube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GppZltZd6xs

He seems deluded about asbestos, but then he was very old then.

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Re: Cyril Smith

Post  keithatrochdale on Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:05 pm

The ability to admit you are wrong takes a big man, it is sad to see he was not that big.

Even with the evidence available at the time, he seems to have misled the people of Rochdale at the time.
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Re: Cyril Smith

Post  Irishman on Thu Nov 15, 2012 3:26 pm

keithatrochdale wrote:
cyfrifia wrote:

If we are going to start on politicians and 'captains of industry' who have denied that asbestos kills, there are a lot of them.

But it would seem that CS knew that dangers and told the people of Rochdale that he represented that there was no danger - this cannot be left un-investigated!

The British Government knew asbestos kills right back when it was brought into the country and long before Cyril defended it in this town, the atitude back then was the risk was worth it for jobs, well as long as Mr Smith wasn't working with it. Shocked

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Re: Cyril Smith

Post  Hinch on Thu Nov 15, 2012 8:30 pm

As a matter of interest, the Blue Plaque was put up by the Township Committee.

Smith's utterances on Turner Brothers and Stefan Kiszco have long been known as were the allegations of kiddie-fiddling.

SERIOUS QUESTION: How many councillors voted AGAINST putting up the plaque bearing in mind widespread local concern on these issues?

Answers on a postcard please...
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Re: Cyril Smith

Post  mark_select on Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:06 pm

I'm sorry but as a Rochdalian who now lives abroad, Simon Danczuk has done the town no favors with his comments. It seems like a Salem Witch Trial (at least the old women had a chance to defend themselves).

If Mr Danczuk knew for years, why has HE kept it quiet for so long.

The victims need to give proper statements to the police and let them get on with it, as opposed to Labour coucillors prising off a blue plaque.


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Re: Cyril Smith

Post  UP THE DALE on Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:30 pm

Hinch wrote:I see they've removed Smith's blue plaque from the Town Hall to 'prevent vandalism'.

Long may it gather dust I say.

Totally agree. In my opinion it should never have been there in the first place.
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Re: Cyril Smith

Post  Spartacus on Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:47 pm

mark_select wrote:I'm sorry but as a Rochdalian who now lives abroad, Simon Danczuk has done the town no favors with his comments. It seems like a Salem Witch Trial (at least the old women had a chance to defend themselves).

If Mr Danczuk knew for years, why has HE kept it quiet for so long.

The victims need to give proper statements to the police and let them get on with it, as opposed to Labour coucillors prising off a blue plaque.


I don't think Simon Danzcuk's job is to do favours but represent his constituents. At least two of his constituents have requested he speaks out on their behalf and I think he has done the right thing raising the matter in Parliament where it is now openly on record and will receive the airing it deserves.

A can of worms has opened with the recent abuse cases in Rochdale and the Jimmy Saville affair. The media coverage of these affairs, particularly the Jimmy Saville case, has succeeded in reawakening memories for a lot of victims.

The fact that victims now feel that they can once again come forward and ask for a reopening of the shelved investigation can only be a good thing. If a thorough investigation takes place then it should either find that offences were committed or there is no case to answer.

All is not well in the Borough. We need to be brave, take the lid off and let the stench out. I am not not just speaking of abuse but across the board. Keep it covered and letting it fester has not done anyone any favours.


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Re: Cyril Smith

Post  Guest on Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:03 pm

mark_select wrote:

If Mr Danczuk knew for years, why has HE kept it quiet for so long.

The victims need to give proper statements to the police and let them get on with it, as opposed to Labour councillors prising off a blue plaque.


The Guardian reports today that Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk is collating claims from the public and retired police officers


Lancashire Police issued official statements yesterday, which appear to have had no local media cover.

“We would encourage anyone who believes they have been a victim of sexual abuse by Mr Smith, or who has any information about possible abuse committed by him, to come forward and report those concerns to Lancashire Constabulary by calling 101 and quoting log number LC-20121114-0364.

We take matters such as this extremely seriously and anyone who does come forward should do so with confidence that they will be treated appropriately and with sensitivity.”



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Re: Cyril Smith

Post  Guest on Thu Nov 15, 2012 11:27 pm

Lancashire Police cont …. Councillor accuses Sir Cyril Smith of physical abuse: BBC 15th November 2012

A Lancashire councillor has made a complaint to police that he was physically abused by the late Rochdale MP Sir Cyril Smith in 1964. Rossendale councillor Alan Neal said that at the age of 11 he was hit by the politician at a hostel for boys.
A Lancashire Police spokesman confirms the force is investigating Mr Neal's complaint.

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Re: Cyril Smith

Post  cyfrifia on Fri Nov 16, 2012 9:24 am

Simon Danczuk's speech to Parliament helped to blacken and perhaps destroy the reputation not only of Cyril Smith, but also a selection of leading Rochdale Council Officers.

A necessary process, but one which risks making Rochdale, or at least it's political establishment something of a 'pariah' council or town. This could make it more difficult for the town to attract funding, both public and private.

This must be disheartening for those who have worked well for the town and it's people, perhaps within the council, doing their best in a culture of poor leadership and poor policy.

It would be a good thing if the stories of some of the decent hard working people could be mentioned and better known.


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Re: Cyril Smith

Post  Chill37 on Fri Nov 16, 2012 9:54 am

Ive always said it would be nice to have more good news about Rochdale broadcast other than the bad news.

I am afriad to say that I think Rochdale is now tarnished as a pariah town.


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Re: Cyril Smith

Post  Hinch on Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:05 am

From today's Northern Voice:-

ON Tuesday, Northern Voices (see post below 'Cyril Smith Doctoring With Intent') said: 'Such has been his (Cyril Smith's) influence in the town as a local hero that last year he was blessed by having a blue plaque erected to him on our famous Gothic-revival Town Hall, an award agreed in haste by the Rochdale Township committee.' Yesterday Rochdale's Council bosses took down the plaque honouring Sir Cyril Smith after receiving threats.

Colin Lambert, the Council leader, told M.E.N.: 'We make no judgement on the situation with Cyril Smith, but the strength of public feeling is such that we have been alerted to a potential threat to the town hall.'

Given that Cyril had only been dead for just over a year, we then remarked '(t)hat must be something of a record given that it breaches the strict criteria guidelines recommended by English Heritage, a kind of extraordinary networking beyond the grave to overcome political opposition and the rule of 20-years after death.' Had Rochdale Council not acted to take it down Northern Voices would have launched a campaign to have it removed. We say this not because we accept all the allegations against Cyril Smith but because English Heritage has clear criteria that it applies in London and elsewhere and Cyril Smith did not meet these criteria: The first bullet point of the English Heritage criteria is that 'a figure must have been dead for twenty years, or have passed the centenary of their birth, whichever is the earlier.'

Now some years ago Tameside Trade Union Council in Greater Manchester, nominated James Keogh and last year he was awarded a plaque that is now placed in Ashton Library. James Keogh died fighting for a free Spain and democracy in 1938 in the Spanish Civil War. He had been dead well over seventy years when he gained this honour, he was the son of a local binman born on 9 April 1915, the eldest of 11 children. He grew-up on Wellington Street and attended Gatefield Junior School and Christ Church before working as an apprentice at Pikes’ Tailors, formerly on Stamford Street in Ashton-under-Lyne. James got his plaque only after much cogitation and debate, yet Cyril Smith received his commemoration rapidly after only one year. This struck us at the time as an unwise decision, taken for reasons of politics, we now know it to have been utterly rash in the extreme.
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Re: Cyril Smith

Post  UP THE DALE on Fri Nov 16, 2012 1:07 pm

cyfrifia wrote:Simon Danczuk's speech to Parliament helped to blacken and perhaps destroy the reputation not only of Cyril Smith, but also a selection of leading Rochdale Council Officers.

A necessary process, but one which risks making Rochdale, or at least it's political establishment something of a 'pariah' council or town. This could make it more difficult for the town to attract funding, both public and private.

This must be disheartening for those who have worked well for the town and it's people, perhaps within the council, doing their best in a culture of poor leadership and poor policy.

It would be a good thing if the stories of some of the decent hard working people could be mentioned and better known.



I think we all have a duty to highlight the positive in the town as well as the negative, would you agree with that cyfrifia? If you do agree, I look forward to seeing some positive posts from you on here as well as negative.

Like it or not, the Smith, rumours have circulated this town since the 60's so I suppose now is as good time as ever to hopefully get the whole sorry episode investigated fully, as well as the continuing investigation into sex grooming.

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Re: Cyril Smith

Post  cyfrifia on Fri Nov 16, 2012 1:47 pm

Reporting of events has involved naming individual people, criminals and council officers, now Cyril Smith. The impression is of 'bad character' more than of difficult circumstances. To balance that, Rochdale needs to present 'good character' to the world. There must be people of good character that could be dragged out of obscurity to represent the town.

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Re: Cyril Smith

Post  UP THE DALE on Fri Nov 16, 2012 1:52 pm

Yes there are and some of us have highlighted such people, and things about the town. Some of us have a balanced view of our town, highlighting good and bad things and people. Others on the other hand come on here and only ever highlight the negative of the town.
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Re: Cyril Smith

Post  Spartacus on Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:42 pm

UP THE DALE wrote:Yes there are and some of us have highlighted such people, and things about the town. Some of us have a balanced view of our town, highlighting good and bad things and people. Others on the other hand come on here and only ever highlight the negative of the town.

Well said.

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Re: Cyril Smith

Post  Irishman on Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:52 pm

This is just a town called Rochdale anybody believing that this hasn’t happened in other towns up and down the country they are naïve to say the least. What this town has to do now is quickly sort out the mess (SOME) people have caused in bringing it down too this level, hiding or trying to cover up what has gone on in the past has got us in this mess. Britain is watching, simple as that, they are watching to see how this town handles it.

The protection of children and the vulnerable in this town is priority and those responsible for that need to understand turning a blind eye is something done in the past but no more, once we get the basics right everything else will fall in place in time.

You can’t blame your local MP for pointing out some home truths when many before him have turned a blind eye or just ignored what has happened in the past and indeed the present.

Doncaster is in the same position with child protection, the council there have been slammed as we type, and they haven’t handled it well in the last few years; this town needs to get this right or face that in the future.

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