Sunday, 22 February 2009

Cyril Smith. The Gangster and the Pervert Peer. RAW muses.

Channel 4 have broadcast a cheeky romp through the 1960's in documentary The Gangster and the Pervert Peer”. A tabloid title with the sort of factual ingredients that allowed for fictional film dramas such as “Get Carter” and “The Long Good Friday” to have gritty resonance from the time of T. Dan Smith (no direct relation to Our other "Friends in The North"- Cyril and gormless Norm MBE, whose political thiefdom is Rochdale - west of the Red Riding).

Crime plots of bent politicians and gangsters obtaining dubious planning permission for 'regeneration' schemes remain a mainstay of the genre. Even BBC's Hustle and new Minder on Channel 5 refer to civic corruption in scenes too close to home for some in Rochdale.

In last week's “Toffs and Crims" documentary the Kray Twins were linked to Tory peer Lord Boothby.

The fact a Conservative Lord was a “pervert” is hardly shocking, is it?

Do bears shit in the woods”?

Picture a glass coffee table and you may be nearer the truth, according to the telly.

The Gangster and the Pervert Peer: The Krays

What does this have to do with Cyril Smith and Rochdale?

Our Cyril was never officially a Tory and no glass coffee table on Earth could accommodate the most morbidly obese MP Westminster has, rarely, ever seen.


M'Lord Boothby was the cousin of Ludovic Kennedy, the journalist and broadcaster who made history in 1958 by fighting the Rochdale constituency seat for the Liberal Party in Britain's first televised election.

There has been no love lost between Ludo and “lifelong Liberal” Cyril Smith. Under the blaze of the 1950's TV spotlights, Ludovic Kennedy lost to Labour's “Gentleman” Jack McCann. On the end credits of the historic live broadcast from Rochdale Town hall, could Cyril Smith's large gut be seen sporting a socialist rosette whilst heartily congratulating his boss - the new Labour MP?

Some annals of Lib Dem history have airbrushed out Cyril Smith's two long spells as a Labour politician:

Firstly, Cyril's early days as a young treasurer and the mystery of the Heywood & Royton Labour Party funds being quite a few shillings short.

Cyril's second stint in the Labour party saw him as Alderman and Mayor. Spanker Smith was also very close to local “businessman” Fred Ratcliffe- and even gained a minor criminal conviction whilst a fundraiser. In true “Get Carter” style Cyril also got the cash to roll in for Fred's football club and charidee empire by using an old (council acquired?) property for a Bingo Hall.

It was a boom time for some with the 'regeneration' of Rochdale in the 1960's and 70's. Compulsory purchase and large civil engineering schemes changed the face of Rochdale forever. The blight caused by the wholesale pouring of concrete still poison the Lancashire mill town so beloved of tabloids and GMTV and others as the sicknote and shameless capital of Britain and “a Place in the Slum”.

In the late 1960's when Cyril Smith was questioned at Rochdale Police Station regarding accusations of serious sexual abuse, his pleas to Jack McCann MP are legendary. Also in the mists of time are accounts of Labour Goverment's Home Secretary Jim Callaghan ordering Cyril's 'paedo' file to be taken by Special Branch from Lancashire Police's HQ in Preston to London.

By the end of the Wilson era, Jack McCann was dying of cancer. Cyril Smith stood as Liberal candidate against his old boss and confidante. He lost in 1970, but the determined conviction politician won the by-election for the Liberals following Jack McCann's death in 1972.

The investigations into Cyril Smith's repeated acts of sexual abuse to vulnerable lads at Cambridge House hostel in the 1960's were published by RAP (transcribed here) and Private Eye in 1979.

Contrary to popular belief, Cyril Smith never sued.

In an official response from the national Liberal Party, a young spokesman called David Steel dismissed the sexual abuse as:

smacking a few bare bottoms”.

Sad irony is not lost on the fact the future First Speaker of the Scottish Parliament did nothing to help young Scottish Whipp & Bourne apprentices who accused Cyril Smith of sexually abusing them when they were so far from home all those years ago.

After Cyril's spanking and testicle squeezing abuse revelations became public, Smith continued as Rochdale's MP for another 13 years. Despite repeated, unchallenged, claims of him being a pervert he was never made a peer. Some old Freemasons would not give him house room. It has been suggested that the rotund Rotarian was 'blackballed' from the bench of Rochdale Magistrates. Thankfully, later generations of Rochdale youngsters were officially spared criminal 'punishment' from Spanker Smith.

What lessons can be learned from Channel 4's recent documentary?

Here are a few musings:

  • Four decades do not diminish a public interest in investigations of historic sexual abuse.
  • True tales of gangsters and politicians make avid viewing.
  • The Establishment has a habit of covering things up, but eventually the truth can emerge.
  • Boothby spoke in the House of Lords to ask helpful questions about the incarcerated Kray Twins- key 'regeneration experts' and 'businessmen' who employed many in the East End in their day. Politicians can abuse their position of influence to help gangsters. Cyril Smith spoke in the Commons on behalf of corporate asbestos mass killers Turner & Newall. He was so impressed by the product he even acquired shares in the cancerous company.
  • Government files often remain censored if those involved in political scandal are still alive. Those who are dead are no longer protected. Reputations can be destroyed by the truth of investigative journalism.
  • With some determination, justice can prevail- eventually.

As for unrepentant pervert Cyril Smith and his peers, gangsters and planning corruption: could history repeat itself?


Thursday, 19 February 2009

Cyril Smith warns "you don't get owt for nowt"

Apparently Cyril Smith has just received an unexpected brown envelope.

As befits shy and coy 'Brand Smith', Cyril gets diddy Dave Hennigan to issue a press release and a photo with brother gormless Norm (MBE).

Paul Rowen MP with Norman Smith MBE and a copy of the letters.

The bogus letter said that Cyril had won the lottery - 915,510 Euro.

In a turn of phrase, probably once used to defend his nightime visits to Cambridge House boys' hostel in the 1960's- Cyril is quoted as saying:

"I have never heard or entered such a thing".

915,510 Euro. Not the lottery?
Cash offers from strangers?
Not Paul Rowen's Council of Europe jamboree expenses?
Not old asbestos company share dividends?

Cyril Smith, the old conviction politican, 'pleads' with old folk not to be fooled with false promises and lies.

“This letter is obviously a con and I hope that no one falls for it. Nobody gets free money...".

Wise words Cyril - "Nobody gets free money" from letters.

Perhaps Cyril could properly explain his own 1982 letter when he asked T&N to write a speech for him on asbestos?


Paul Rowen has been silent on Cyril Smith MP's 1982 work in Parliament for Turner Brothers Asbestos.

However he is now gushing with concern about Cyril's bogus lottery win:

"I have forwarded this letter to the police for investigation".


Monday, 16 February 2009

The Invisible Man- shameless showboating in 2009

Shameless political opportunism is nothing new from weak politicians of all parties but Rochdale's current MP really takes the biscuit.
In 2009 Paul Rowen discovered Palestine. He discovered Palestine the week after Simon Danczuk the Labour Party PPC actually visited Palestine with Rochdale Councillor Ibrar Khan.

Now in a deperate catch-up, Paul has a Gaza section on his personal website (published by Diddy Dave Hennigan).

The main archive section for Gaza is EMPTY

After a little more digging it appears that all his entries about Gaza are from 2009.

Nothing of substance about Palestine or Gaza for 2005, 2006, 2007, or until 2008 when Paul became very rattled by Simon and Ibrar's visit, actions and public commitment.

In late December, as the people of Gaza were being bombed into oblivion by the IDF, it seems Paul Rowen was on a sunlounger on a beach in Thailand.

There has been a flurry of action by Paul and Dave in the past few weeks. Lots of phone calls and emails and press releases. Are some misleading and others completely untrue? Things got ugly with Dave Hennigan at a public meeting at Castlemere Community centre. All sorts of accusations and threats have been made. Paul's subsequent jolly to Strasbourg remains shrouded in mystery.

Back to some facts about the MP who has now wrapped himself in the Palestinian flag.

Paul has been the Invisible Man in Parliament. For years he missed the boat, now he is a shameless showboater with his recent flurry of fluffy comments.

Anoymous sock puppet Dave Hennigan has been buzy spinning but the truth is simple-
Where was Paul when the following Early Day Motions were signed in Westminster?


Paul Rowen FAILED to make a stand on ISRAELI MILITARY ACTION IN THE GAZA STRIP 29.06.2006


Paul Rowen FAILED to make a stand regarding BREAKING THE CYCLE OF VIOLENCE IN ISRAEL AND PALESTINE. 26.04.2006



Paul Rowen FAILED to condem ISRAELI VIOLENCE IN PALESTINE. 15.11.2006

Paul Rowen FAILED to express grave concern about ACCESS TO MEDICAL TREATMENT FOR PALESTINIAN CHILDREN. 21.10.2008

Paul Rowen FAILED to show solidarity regarding the 60th ANNIVERSARY OF PALESTINIAN NAKBA. 06.05.2008

Absence of actions speak louder than a few, desperate words spoken in 2009.

These are just some of Parliamentary motions about Gaza and Palestine that Paul Rowen has failed to be involved with as an MP in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008.

As Jimmy Cricket might say- "There's more"...

The Power of the apostrophe

Just who is writing Rochdale Lib Dem's press releases at the moment?

As Rochdale continues to go to pot, rumours abound that Agent Dave Hennigan is on a "special mission" of sleeze while Agent Adam, and a few more little helpers, mind the shop. Is taxpayer's money involved in all this intrigue?

Will Paul Rowen, stout campaigner on Parliamentary Freedom of Information, allow public scrutiny of all the financial accounts of his Drake Street HQ?

In all the recent negative spin that is upsetting some rank and file Lib Dems, the pincer movement appears to involve dishonourable, unparliamantary shenighans from Dave Hennigan, and the Johns - Swarbrick and Heyworth. Have they been spreading slurs and rumours on discussion boards such as Rochdale Online whilst Adam (I don't work for Paul Rowen) Power helps out with press releases that get posted on Rochdale Online?

A recent 'news' article on Rochdale Online includes a telling gaffe.

Posh Councillor William Hobhouse gets jiggy wid da NHS in a shameless opportunity to get coverage for Rossendale PPC Cllr Cricket Jnr (Dale Mulgrew) plus 'health campaigner', asbestos/Cyril Smith apologist Jean Jeanie Ashworth. (of "what is Nye Bevan"? fame)

The son of Lord Hobhouse is attributed to a quote that includes the line "After speaking to member’s of staff...."

"Member's of staff?" Why the apostrophe?

Cllr Hothouse had a proper Eton education. His classical education would never allow for such bad form in grammar. So who is really responsible for this ignorant faux pas?

OK, it's not that important in the whole scheme of things, but is this an example of 'someone' at Rochdale Lib Dems penning the supposed words of elected members - without their knowledge?

Friday, 13 February 2009

Paul Rowen in Brown eye danger...

No, nothing rude.
And not a reference to Clarkson talking through his arse about Gordon Brown's eye.
Rather, its a reference to a health and safety scare caused by Paul Rowen's appearance at PMQ's this week- talking through his arse about Gaza. (He's been to Stasbourg don't you know, and shoe horned a reference to the International Criminal Court into the only short speech he made whilst there).

2009 is definately the year that Rochdale's current MP discovered Palestine. But why?
More of that later.

The "Brown eye" reference is a result of a scurrulous anonymous comment made about Rowen talking tripe at £6.66 a word.

The naughty mystery observer wrote:

"Portly Paul fluffed his slot in this week's PMQ's.
Well meaning drivel designed merely to get a headline that included "Gaza" in the title.
MP's were transfixed. Not by Paul's oratory but by the sheer tension of his shirt buttons under the extreme pressure of his gut. No belt tightening with the Rowen parliamentary expenses on food and 'entertainment' by the looks of it.
If a taught [sic] shirt button fails it could fly over the chamber and have someones eye out.
"Paul Rowen in Brown Eye Scandal"
Now that is a headline that could make tongues wag!"

We have seen the photo on Rochdale Online that accompanies Paul (or Dave Hennigan's) triumphant press release about him being "disappointed" with the PM.

Paul does look like Mr Greedy in the Chamber.
(Although this may be a stock(y) photo, seeing that Paul is also using this photo of him 'talking to the Prime Minister' on another pisspoor press release).

If Paul Rowen's shirt buttons did pop they would have the trajectory of jet powered tiddlywinks.

For goodness sake Gordon (and others on the Front Bench) wear safety glasses if Cyril Smith's protégé has his unfeasibly tight shirt pointing in your direction.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Paul Rowen- the cost of tripe - £6.66 a word?

Tripe was a favourite of Cyril Smith. He loved to eat it and talk it. Often Cyril would be seen, AWOL from Westminster, in his slippers with a carrier bag shopping for his favourite offal in the Inside Market. What a way to make Rochdale famous? Cyril, Chief Whip of the Liberal party who rarely turned up to Parliament and was more famous for being grossly obese and appearing on Russel Harty and Jim'll Fix it.
The tripe tradition is still strong with Cyril's little helper, current Lib Dem MP Paul Rowen.
Recent events have demonstrated Paul's ability to grease himself up and wriggle out of the limelight when local issues get difficult.

As previously reported on RAW, Paul was due to appear at a public meeting on Gaza, a subject he has just discovered. Not a mention of the troubled region in ANY of his Parliamentary speeches for 2005, 2006, 2007 or until 2008. Nothing reported when he was politically active as Lib Dem Leader in Rochdale Council 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005 (when he was taking expenses for being BOTH a councillor and MP).

How odd. 2009 and Paul Rowen now discovers Gaza? Surely this is not political opportunism?

The problem is that Paul appears coy when it comes to public speaking in his constituency about Palestinian issues. He doesn't mind the media being misinformed about his appearances but when it comes down to being fully accountable, things get a tad vague.

The Rochdale Obscurer and Rochdale Online reported that Paul Rowen would be in attendence at the Castlemere community centre meeting. Why did Paul allow this incorrect information to be published? He couldn't be in two places at one time. Then there is the serious lack of communication between his elected colleagues- Cllr Ali or Cllr Coric couldn't attend the meeting to speak on his behalf. The most serious error of judgement came with sending party worker Dave Hennigan to deliver his speech. Shouldn't the MP know his constituents better when it comes to issues of community relations?

On his website, Paul is clear about why he could not attend the Sunday meeting at Castlemere Community Centre on Gaza:

1. He had to catch a Sunday flight to Strasbourg
2. to "push for a European-wide debate on Gaza"
3. He wrote "it is likely I will be speaking for the ALDE Group (Alliance of Libs and Dems in Europe)".

Utter tripe. Or another form of fatty offal - bollocks.

  • Paul could have caught a Monday or later flight, if any attendance at all was needed.
  • The debate on Gaza was due for Wednesday or Thursday.
  • Paul didn't speak in the Gaza debate.
  • His speech made NO MENTION WHATSOEVER that he was representing the ALDE Grouping.
  • ALDE have made no press release on Paul Rowen's brief words on Gaza.
A flight on Sunday, taxis, hotels, restaurants and other incidental expenses, all to deliver a mere 180 words on Gaza - in the wrong debate?

Paul Rowen would be the first to admit he isn't a good public speaker. It was clear that if he had attended the Castlemere meeting in his constituency that George Galloway would have eclipsed Paul in oratory, delivery, passion and knowledge. After all this would have been one of Paul Rowen's first public debates on Palestine. It could have gone very wrong for him.

Instead, on the day it got very ugly for Dave Hennigan.

But how much has it cost to save Paul Rowen from ridicule in a Rochdale debate?

Fancy trips to the Council of Europe don't come cheap. Obviously as a champion for Freedom of Information for MP's expenses, Paul Rowen should let us see all the invoices.

A rough calculation for a standard return flight, taxis, a standard hotel (Queen sized single bed), and a few standard meals comes to about £1200.

Divide that by his 180 words on Gaza.

A devilish £6.66 a word in Strasbourg.

All to avoid speaking on Palestine in front of his constituents on a Sunday afternoon in Rochdale?