Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Street of Shame Shit-house Rats Smell a Story

LAST Thursday, Dispatches on Channel Four ran a hour long program entitled 'The Paedophile MP: How Cyril Smith Got Away With It'; since the story of Sir Cyril Smith the former Rochdale M.P. (1972-1992) broke last November some in the media with eyes like shit-house rats have suddenly spied a story and are now busily trying to grab the credit.  The latest claim came from the Daily Mail's Richard Littlejohn who said in his column that 'when the police launched the Jimmty Savile inquiry a year ago, I suggested they might just as well re-open the case of another novelty Northern nonce, Cyril Smith.'
Talk about being wise after the event and jumping on the bandwagon.  As John Walker, who was interviewed on last Thursday's Dispatches program, in a leading article in the current Summer/ Autumn issue of Northern Voices (NV14) observes:
'The Rochdale Observer “discovered” a story, a story they had been sitting on for 30 years, as did the Manchester Evening News.  Granada TV and the BBC followed suit and even the Daily Mail, claimed credit for “investigating” the story, towards the end of November (2012).'
Mr. Walker was an editor of RAP (the Rochdale Alternative Paper) the journal which first outed Smith back in May 1979.  At that time RAP published the allegations of some of Smith's victims while he was secretary at the Rochdale hostel for boys at Cambridge House.  Following publication Smith slapped an injunction on Mr. Walker and RAP, and John Walker writes:
'There was not a serious national news outlet that did not have a copy (of RAP), and knew that we had a compelling, legally cleared, material to back our claims... Smith bullied them into inaction.'

None repeated the story except for Private Eye, who, like RAP, invited Cyril to sue.  Smith never did that and it was suggested on the Dispatches program by someone who was involved with Smith at the time that he feared being exposed if he had sued.  John Walker in his Northern Voices' story writes:
'I would argue that there is not a serious national political journalist in Britain over the age of 50 who has not been aware of the Smith story for 30 years.'
Mr. Walker insists: 
'The recent re-emergence of the 1979 RAP story owes its appearance to Northern Voices... [t]his magazine kept the Smith story running and led to Westminister political blogger, and former Rochdale lad, Paul Waugh picking it up, last November.'
On the Dispatches program John Walker poured scorn on the national press involvement, or lack of it, in the Smith case, and praised Private Eye, as he wrote in NV14:
'...none of this would have happened without an inquisitive and awkward independent press...  while the might and wealth of Murdoch, Trinity Mirror and other press empires have remained silent...  While Levenson has huffed and puffed about a responsible press, over recentmonths, it has been the determination of a free, independent and radical press that has finally exposed the behaviour of a hypocritical monster; while many of the more mighty power-broking media magnates have been restrained by big-boy bullying.' 

The current printed issue of NORTHERN VOICES No.14, is now available for sale - see below. This issue N.V.14 has an in-depth and exclusive report by John Walker, a former editor of the Rochdale Alternative Paper (RAP) on the full history of Cyril Smith's antics with young lads. RAP was the first publication to go public on this in May 1979. You can obtain a copy by writing or contacting the people whose details are below:
Postal subscription: £5 for the next two issues (post included). Cheques made payable to 'Northern Voices' should be sent c/o 52, Todmorden Road, Burnley, Lancashire BB10 4AH.
Tel.: 0161 793 5122.
email: northernvoices@hotmail.com

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