Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Rochdale's multi-million pound turd polishing

First, let's get something straight- We love Rochdale.

But we hate the fact that our town is turning into a shithole, because of (in no particular order):





Failed regeneration projects

All the above are connected, as are those who are most to blame for our town's failings. Just follow the pay grades. Those £100K salaries (plus benefits) are certainly not performance related.

Rochdale is not run by those who are elected.

The politicians are usually mere mouthpeices used to embellish press releases. They appear in photos cutting ribbons at the opening of white elephant schemes and “initiatives”.

Hard-hitting official political criticism might amount to the odd bit of pothole pointing.

By the next general election we will know just how much in excess of £1,000,000 Paul Rowen will have received in salary and expenses. Will he be judged on his performance?

But who really pulls his strings?

Rochdale is widely known to be an “officer run” town. The officers include the senior executives from Rochdale Council plus “partners” such as the Rochdale Development Agency, Rochdale Boroughwide Housing and Impact Partnership. The connections with paid advisers, consultants, “businessmen” plus the slippery lobbyists and public relations executives means the trough has had to become bigger in the past few years. Just how much this Mafia of the Mediocre are paid is sickening.

Millions of pounds have been wasted in spin, mismanagement and cover-up. You will never read about much of it in the 'local' newspaper, the Rochdale Obscurer. Ask yourself why?

Don't worry, RAW will investigate and publish the truth about what is going on. Perhaps, now that the Guardian Media Grope is leaving town, we should print a paper version of this website and call it ROP- Rochdale's Only Paper.

Our themes will be simple - to investigate the scandal of official Rochdale:

Spin, Corruption, Cover-up, Mismanagement, Failed regeneration projects.

Lets start with... SPIN

An “undisclosed amount” is currently being spent on council spin for a “marketing strategy” and “rebranding exercise”

turd.jpg turd image by aimmer452

Deputy Mayor Keith Swift Regeneration “portfolio” holder, Rochdale Online "business development" executive and Frank Sinatra impersonator (you couldn't make this shit up) is quoted saying:

We have acres of green space and we could attract businesses and jobs, it is just about getting that message across”

Green fields? What about £350,000,000 muddy fields that were once green fields?

Not Kingsway Business Park- there are far too many people in the photo.

Kingsway Business Park is an example of a gold plated, highly polished turd that has failed Rochdale.

As many council employees are having their salaries slashed through pay and grading,Rochdale is just about to get a “Director of Transformation” - for the mere snip of £120,000 p.a.

Rochdale announces Executive Director for Transformation

Ms Smith, new £120k turd polisher

Rochdale Council has just announced its new internal promotion of

"Executive Director for Transformation".

Oldhamer Pat Smith (no relation to Cyril or T.Dan?) will:

help to boost the town's image and tackle some of the negative perceptions following 12 months of bad publicity as Rochdale repeatedly hit the headlines”.

Smoke and mirrors. Useless form over substance. Tackling "perceptions"
and boosting the town's "image" is paper-based turd polishing.
It is not the systemic, root and branch reform Rochdale desperately needs.

Rochdale Council already spends almost £2,000,000
on media management every year.
The Chief Exec likes to have “positive messaging” for Rochdale.
Add to this the bloated salaries and expenses of the high fliers in all the public bodies serving (themselves in) Rochdale. Are all these senior officers fully accountable?

TOP pay ... Roger Ellis.

Roger Ellis - worth every penny?

The Rochdale Observer suggests RMBC Chief Executive Roger (the dodger) Ellis is the officer that costs our town the most to employ. Is this true? Are there any others that have been missed from the Taxpayers' Alliance's Rich List?

What scale should senior Rochdale Officers be judged on?

On a literary topic akin to that what Stephen Fry refers to as "Complete loose-stool-water. Arse-gravy of the very worst kind".... RMBC is very coy accounting for all the costs of its glossy, full colour, propaganda newspaper “Local matters”.
Latest edition of Local Matters

Freedom of Information requests by local blogger Matt Simms should uncover this - but only time will tell.

We repeat, here are the local scandals that RAW will be investigating- FOR FREE:


Pardon our potty mouths, but it is time to flush out the turds rather than polishing them at great expense.

Rochdale deserves much better.


Wednesday, 1 April 2009

" Cyril Smith arrested for historic sexual abuse "... not the sort of headline appropriate for an April Fool's jape.

The arrest hasn't happened - but should have.

The claims of sexual abuse on vulnerable young lads by Cyril Smith, late at night, in the Cambridge House hostel, has been subject to a conspiracy of silence by Rochdale's Establishment for years.

It is a serious scandal that will, one day, be fully investigated.

Cyril Smith remains the 'elephant in the room' in polite society.

Cyril never sued Rochdale Alternative Press or Private Eye when the details of his abusive spanking and non-consensual testicle squeezing were published in 1979.

For years, hacks and editors at the Rochdale Observer have known about the claims of Cyril's sexual abuse at Cambridge House- and elsewhere - but the Powers That Be in that great Liberal Institution have helped keep things quiet.

The founder of Scott Trust (that owns Guardian Media titles) - CP Scott - must be turning in his grave.

CP Scott by FW Schmidt, 1920

In today's All Fools' Edition of the Rochdale Obscurer, the grubby spanker Cyril Smith spits venom at the closure of the local Rochdale Observer offices as part of the GMG regional titles centralisation to Manchester

In testicle-squeezing fury, Cyril proclaims the Drake Street closure as:

"A tragedy, a disgrace and a real blow to Rochdale and destruction of part of its history over the last century".

How very telling.

Cyril Smith- The very man who has bullied Rochdale Observer journalists and editors with abusive phone calls and threats to get them sacked - many times over the past 50 years.

Cyril Smith- The very man who is well known in Drake Street for orchestrating bizarre letters for the Readers' Page.

Cyril Smith- The very man who has greased the cogs of the local Establishment- Rotarians, Freemasons, asbestos company directors and others for his own advantage and petty vanity. At the expense of the lives of his victims and those who blindly trusted him.

Cyril Smith- The very man who has helped ensure the Rochdale Observer never reported one word of the serious allegations of sexual abuse and financial impropriety that has dogged his political career.

No wonder Cyril Smith laments the departure of his local Rochdale Observer office.

This could mean he is losing his strong and infamous grip on Rochdale.


Cyril's letter in the Rochdale Observer on April 1st 2009 could also go down in infamy for another reason.

The Mother of All Freudian Slips !

On the loss of the Ob office he writes:

"Norman Scott must be turning in his grave".


Is this the same Norman Scott horribly satirized by Peter Cook as "a self-confessed player of the pink oboe"?

Norman Scott?
The male model who in the 1970's accused Jeremy Thorpe, his alleged former lover and Leader of the Liberal Party, of attempted murder. Poor Great Dane Rinka took a bullet for Norman Scott in a scandal that ripped the Liberal Party apart and ended Jeremy Thorpe's career.

A young David Steel then took control of the keys to the skeleton closet.
(The little chap that who defended Cyril Smith for "merely smacking a few bare bottoms").

Cyril was central to the Norman Scott/Jeremy Thorpe scandal. The Rochdale MP was Chief Liberal Whip (no pun intended) at the time.

In old Fleet Street circles Cyril Smith was known, back then, as a prolific leaker.
30 stones of grossly obese moving and shaking.

A friend at the Daily Mirror ghost wrote his autobiography "Big Cyril" and he protected his huge hide by keeping on the right side of the Daily Mail, Express and tabloids with a combination of his "cheeky chappie from Lancashire" persona plus illiberal "hanging and flogging" soundbites and the canny, shameless, liberal leaking of documents and confidences.

Recently released government archives
confirm it was Cyril Smith who made the first approaches on behalf of the Liberal Party to help form the Lib Lab pact. He was the ideal choice given that he owed a huge favour to Home Secretary Jim Callaghan following the dropping of the investigation against Cyril of the Cambridge House sex abuse allegations.
Apparently Special Branch personally picked up the Cyril Smith "paedo" files from Lancashire Police HQ at Preston and sent them to that there London for safe keeping.

The Scott/Thorpe affair was manna from heaven for a troubled Wilson administration. There is much intrigue about the political shenanighans at the time- it is fair to say that Cyril Smith was very much out of his depth: MI5, "Operation Clockwork Orange" Very British Coups, Heath's little Helpers and a Paranoid Wilson in the mix was too much for the Northern bully used to being a big fish in a small pond.

However, in the early day's of his Parliamentary carrer Chief Whip Cyril Smith was a modest man who thought himself eminently suitable to be the next Liberal Party leader.
As Chief Whip of a minority party in a not very well hung parliament, Cyril was in a key position as whip-cracking kingmaker. Just what documents were leaked and by and to whom is still shrouded in mystery. Is that why arrogant and unrepentant Cyril Smith remains so confident to this day that he is "protected"? Even Minister of Justice Jack Straw remains somewhat coy.
At the time the Liberal Party Leader desperately needed help from his Chief Whip, Cyril Smith admitted himself to Birch Hill hospital with a dickie tummy. Two weeks of non-specific illness kept him out of the limelight.

Those with long memories recall that, although lying low, the public telephone was wheeled to Cyril's NHS bedside and kept there permanently. A huge stack of 2 pence peices were used by the fat Machiavelli as his party crumbled.

Anyone with an interest in the Scott/Thorpe affair can find lots of books and infomation to quench their curiosity.
This was certainly not Cyril Smith's finest hour.

Sexual abuser, bully, informant, sneak, disloyal, dishonest, criminal?
Such phrases shouldn't be for the Court of Public Opinion to decide. For far too long, the doors to that Court were blocked locally by the likes of the Rochdale Observer.

Natural justice must prevail. Cyril Smith should be held accountable for his past (mis)deeds.

CP Scott must be turning in his grave.

"a newspaper is much more than a business as it reflects the influences and life of a whole community"

Do those fine word include sexually abused young apprentices and asbestos cancer sufferers?

We wish the Rochdale Observer well in its new Manchester offices - well away from Cyril Smith's sweaty grasp.
See full size image

But please - start exercising those Scott family values - for Rochdale.

CP Scott by FW Schmidt, 1920