Friday, 2 May 2014

At last, Rochdale Observer Conjures-up Cojones

But no 'Kiss on the Bum' for Northern Voices!

FINALLY the Rochdale Observer has conjured up the courage to publish the original article from the Rochdale Alternative Paper (RAP) of May 1979; RAP was the journal that first exposed Cyril Smith's crazy conduct of fake medicals, and obcene abuse of power at Cambridge House Hostel for lads in Rochdale. 

Most people will now believe the current editor of the Ob. has been shamed into this by the recent book published by the local Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk, which has cause something of a stir in recent weeks.  And yet, close examination of the rather badly written and uneven but spicy tale told by Mr Danczuk and his assistant Matthew Baker, suggests that there is little that is new in the documentation or the ethnographic accounts in the book. 

Mr Danczuk, in a rather scornful tone of voice told Northern Voices on the night of the launch of his book at Danczuk's Deli, that 'RAP only tackled the issue of the problems of the lads at Cambridge House'.  It is true that the Rochdale Alternative Paper in its May issue in 1979 only examined the cases of several lads at Cambridge House Hostel, but Cyril Smith was alive then and the RAP editors risked everything - their jobs, homes, livelihoods - in publishing the story in May 1979. 

Today with Cyril Smith long dead, Simon Danczuk and Matthew Baker as late-comers to the story, risk little or nothing in publishing their account which bears all the signs of a rush job to seize the political momentum and in so doing to profit by it.  They mention in the book that the original idea of a biography came from John Walker at the end of 2012.  They do not say that the original idea of Mr Danczuk including Cyril Smith's crimes in his speech in November 1912, also came from this source.  Nor do they admit that they had a full cookbook chronology of Cyril's crimes that came from John Walker and was circulated among several journalists and websites, including Northern Voices, before being made available through me to Simon Danczuk at an exhibition at Number TEN Gallery in Rochdale in June 2013.  That chronology was published in Northern Voices No.14 in June 2013.  Naturally Simon Danczuk, while he acknowledges that he got the idea for his book from John Walker, makes no mention of this schematic chronological cookbook that was provided as a kind of 'Cyril Smith for dummies' document. 

Naturally, unlike John Walker and David Bartlett, Northern Voices took no risks when we published John Walker's cookbook chronology in June 2013 in NV14, but we did through this blog and the the Westminister blogger Paul Waugh of the PoliticsHome website help to put this whole matter in the public domain by indirectly feeding information to Simon Danczuk and his colleague.  We didn't expect a 'kiss on the bum', but an acknowledgement from Simon Danczuk and the Rochdale Observer would have been nice.

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