Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Jim Savile & Cyril Smith: Dead Men Tell No Lies!

'Have Private Eye got nothing better to do than attack a person who's dead and can't answer back?,' that was the question Norman Smith put to the Rochdale Observer in September 2010,  after his brother,  Sir Cyril Smith, the famous Rochdale MP died.  Private Eye had just run a story about Sir Cyril in which some allegations of impropriety at Cambridge House boy's hostel in Rochdale were aired again.  Cyril Smith had originally been accused by the Rochdale Alternative Paper (RAP) in May 1979, of inappropriate behaviour and abuse of a sexual nature to boys in his care while he was managing Cambridge House in Rochdale.  In September 2010, Norman Smith further claimed:  'These allegations were disproved at the time.'

Because the article in the Rochdale Observer seemed to exonerate Sir Cyril, Northern Voices then contacted a former editor of RAP who told us:  'Norman (Smith) is wrong, although I accept ... that he may not know it and Cyril may not have told him the whole story or the final outcome.' (see Northern Voices No.12: 'Big Cyril & his Kid Brother').  The allegations were never tested in an English Court because as the former editor of RAP told us:  'Cyril slapped a writ on us 3 hours after publication ... (this) would be regarded by lawyers as a "gagging writ".' 

Today, the allegations of rape and sexual assault by the DJ Jimmy Savile are being claimed to have taken place 'on a national scale' for over 40 years.  Esther Addley and Dan Sabbagh write a leading article in The Guardian today, which says:  'The earliest allegation dates from 1959' according to the head of serious crime investigations at the Metropolitan police, and when asked as to whether it was now possible to say if Savile, who died in October 2010 at the age of 84, was a serial abuser of women, Commander Peter Spindler tole The Guardian'I think the facts speak for themselves around the number of women who have come forward and spoken about his behaviour [and] his predilection for teenage girls ... It's a pattern of behaviour that is being presented to us.'

In a comment on the post below 'Jim'll F**k it,' a writer argues that:  '(He) would add that both of them [Jimmy & Cyril] took advantage of their public positions and abused the very disadvantaged youngsters whom they claimed to be championing, safe in the knowledge that nobody would believe the kids, hence doubly increasing the disadvantage the children suffered. Firstly, because of the abuse and secondly by the silencing, and further reducing the self esteem of vulnerable youngsters. Interesting, too, that two self righteous national institutions, the BBC and then Liberal Party knew of rumours and turned a blind eye. They then became prominent cheer leaders when the abusers were knighted. Establishment hypocrisy at its most blatant.'

As I write, Commander Spindler has said the Met is in dialogue with Leeds General Infirmary and Stoke Mandeville hospital, both which had close relations with Savile, adding:  'His pattern of behaviour does appear to be on a national scale.'  Police are said to be pursuing 120 separate lines of inquiry involving the DJ.  It is also believed that ITV is planning a follow-up Exposure program on Savile by Mark Williams-Thomas, the child protection expert who led the investigation broadcast last week.

It makes you wonder why these people were never properly held to account in their lifetimes.  Both Sir Jimmy Savile and Sir Cyril Smith lived long lives to well into their 80s, and yet their was no serious tenacious investigations into their conduct.  Perhaps it is because we are a class-ridden society in which the powerful are always believed, and the plebs are disregarded, or perhaps it says something about our libel laws that protects the powerful.
The printed version of NORTHERN VOICES No.13, now on sale with all sorts of stuff others won't touch. NORTHERN VOICES No.12 with the Cyril Smith 'Instead of an Obituary' is also still available and may be obtained as follows:
Postal subscription: £5 for the next two issues (post included). Cheques payable to 'Northern Voices' at c/o 52, Todmorden Road, Burnley, Lancashire BB10 4AH.
Tel.: 0161 793 5122.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

More and more dots are being joined. Smith and Savile? I bet they knew each other and helped each other out. Some other dots you can expect to be joined - possibly in multiple ways - include Alan Freeman, Louis Mountbatten, Thomas Hamilton and Jeremy Thorpe. There are others whom I won't mention now. The important thing to bear in mind is that this goes right to the top. Keep up the good work.