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Saturday, 2 January 2016

Danczuk Did NOT Expose Cyril Smith

While the currency of Rochdale’s nominally Labour MP Simon Danczuk sinks lower and lower on the market of convertible credibility, following the revelation that he had been indulging in less than totally appropriate text message exchanges with a 17 year old girl, one mitigating factor is wheeled out time and again in his defence - that he was the one who outed, or exposed, his predecessor Cyril Smith.
But there was, as Captain Blackadder might have observed, only one thing wrong with this idea - it was bollocks. Danczuk has certainly made considerable personal capital out of telling the world what it already knew, and had known for 33 years prior to his intervention, but on no measure can he lay claim to exposing Smith’s behaviour. Moreover, some of what has been published in his name has since been debunked.

Some papers even cite 2010 as the date Danczuk became involved. But as I’ve previously told, “Until prompted by John Walker, formerly of Rochdale Alternative Press, the paper whose revelations were more widely publicised by Private Eye in 1979, and Paul Waugh, who, with Walker’s assistance, ran a piece ‘Cyril Smith - some justice at last?’ on 27 November 2012, on PoliticsHome, Danczuk had not been involved”.
Cyril Smith at full girth in the Commons

Walker later recalled “[The House of] Commons was holding a debate on current child abuse and grooming on that day [27 November 2012], and … Simon Danczuk - because of the on-going position in Rochdale - had preferential speaking rights in the debate … Prior to Paul's publication that day, out of courtesy, he contacted Danczuk to forewarn him of his article about his predecessor as Rochdale's MP”.

Only then did Danczuk seize the initiative, with the idea of a book on the subject only being taken forward after Walker had done a great deal of work to persuade the MP to get involved. And after Danczuk and his sidekick Matt Baker did publish Smile For The Camera, the book was soon mired in controversy.
The real exposure - in 1979

Baker and Danczuk claimed that Smith had been apprehended by Northamptonshire Police on the M1 in the vicinity of Watford Gap services with a stash of child pornography in the boot of his car. They also claim that Smith was allowed to go free as he was a “protected man”. Northants Police then spent a non-trivial amount of time and therefore money investigating the claim, only to find that there was no evidence of Smith having been the subject of a traffic stop, or that his car was searched.

It got worse: after a Freedom of Information request to Northants Police asked “Did the Police voluntarily request disclosure of all evidence accumulated by Simon Danczuk and Matthew Baker to substantiate this specific claim?” the answer came back “the investigators asked but there was no evidential material to take possession of. The issue of witnesses was discussed but there was no information as to the identity of any of the witnesses to the alleged events”. Part of Danczuk and Baker’s book was made up.

So when the press gives Simon Danczuk a free pass because he “exposed” or “outed” Cyril Smith, remember that not only did he not expose Smith, but he and Baker invented at least one key incident in their book. The Rochdale Alternative Paper and Private Eye magazine remain the only two publications to name any living politician with regard to child sexual abuse. Inventing stories after their death doesn’t count.

6 comments:

Jonathan Wilson said...

How the hell did Cyril Smith go to the toilet?
From your picture, not only would he not have been able to see his penis for years he wouldn't have been able to hold it while urinating...
For an even more disturbing mental picture he would not have been able to have wiped his own arse as his arms would not have reached that far.
Did he employ someone to clean up after ablutions? ("Clean up in isle 2!") I think we should [never] be told!

Prince Philip said...

No point in arguing about who exposed Cyril Smith. He'd been exposing himself for years.
And it's not his ablutions you should concern yourself with how he cleaned up afterwards.
But what would Tim Farron give to occupy that much space on the green benches these days, eh?

Oscar James said...

It's such a mindless media claim about 'exposing' Smith as he's been long dead and it's little to do with child protection and helps no-one. Danczuk's credentials as a child protection advocate are non-existent. Who has he actually helped? Certainly not the teens groomed in Rochdale by gangs. When the media rabbit on about his 'good works' what are they actually? Has opened a few garden fetes?

Anonymous said...

Got to disagree with the main premise of this blog article
RAP did a good job in 1979 but the tragedy is that it stopped dead after Cyril's GE victory.
The danger in suggesting that there is nothing new from later journalists or Danzcuk and Baker is to allow the scandal of Knowl View to go unquestioned. No doubt some in Rochdale would want it that way.
The sad consequence of such a narrative is that It allows a dangerous myth that Cyril's abuse was low level and confined to Cambridge House in the early 1960s. Such a myth could be convenient to John Walker the author of the original RAP article. He did a brilliant job in 1979 but then stopped. Nothing more for over 30 years.

To suggest that nothing new has been revealed since the RAP revelations is plain wrong. Take the Danczuk blood letting out of this and watch the Channel 4 Dispatches documentary about Cyril Smith broadcast well before publication of Smile For The Camera.

Anonymous said...

Why did the media hold back on reporting abuse within high circles?

Don't say D-notices.

I'll say it, BLACKMAIL?

They could use it to manipulate and control.

Now, who is going to do something about it?

AndyC said...

As if we needed yet anther reason to despise C Smith, it turns out he was a bag carrier for Turner & Newall the asbestos company, in their attempts to discredit Yorkshire TV journos making a prog about deaths related to T & N's product and anti-asbestos campaigners in the 80s. What an utterly vile piece of work he was.