Tuesday, 28 October 2014

'Smile As You Go' with Simon Danczuk

Dust-up at Danczuk's Deli!

IT was not quite a performance akin to our Gracie and 'Sing as you Go', but last Friday night's book reading at Danczuk's Deli in Rochdale was something of a treat. The event, part of the Rochdale Festival of Literature and Ideas, was a book reading of excerpts from the forthcoming paperback
version of 'Smile for the Camera: The Double Life of Cyril Smith' by Simon Danczuk and Matthew Baker which we were told will be out next March. Matthew solemnly did the readings, and Simon followed up with 'there is much more to come out!' about Cyril Smith and child abuse.

We were told by Simon that it was difficult for people who had suffered thus to share their experiences: that they had spoken to a middle-aged man in London who said he had been abused as a young boy when Cyril took him to the National Liberal Club, and that the lad later 'went off the
rails'; of a former prisoner at Buckley Hall (young offender's prison) who had been abused by Cyril; and a boy from Knowl View who had also been similarly abused. We were told that the consequences of this was far reaching for the victims or survivors as Simon insisted on calling

People at the book reading quite naturally asked 'Was there a cover-up?'.
Simon said: 'People were colluding to see that no light was shone upon it [and there is much more to come out!'. Though as we shall see later Simon is equally eager to make sure that no one shines a light on just how reliable his version of Cyril's activities really is.  Simon then said: 'The good news is that both front benches (Labour and Conservative) are now in favour of the mandatory reporting of child abuse (by people in responsible positions in relation to children).' and that 'the Chair of the (over-arching inquiry into historic child abuse) must have credibility now that we have got rid out Butler-Sloss.'

(Two days later in the Mail of Sunday, Simon Danczuk wrote a piece entitled '...she must stand aside', in which he argued that Fiona Woolf the new chair should resign from the Government's child abuse enquiry.)

Someone asked: 'Are you saying the police protected Cyril or the Party?'

We were told: 'It was not the front-line police (like Tasker) but some (higher up?) were frightened because Cyril had a big mouth' and he may have implicated others in the establishment who were behaving inappropriately. Hence, we were left to believe that there was a network people in power who went out of their way to protect Cyril.

Simon Danczuk may be right but the jury is still out of these matters, and any resolution is in the long grass and we won't have any real answers before the General Election in May next year. Alternatively it may all be an overactive imagination at work.

Another questioner pointed out that 'Cyril was a Big Fish' in Rochdale.

When I suggested that 'Cyril was a Big Fish in the Labour Party at the time he was abusing teenage boys at Cambridge House in the early 1960s', both Matthew Baker and Simon Danczuk disputed this arguing that he was a big fish on the Council but not in the Labour Party.

When I asked: 'As this is a Literature Festival what literary tradition did their book "Smile for the Camera" fit into because I found it hard to grasp the  research methodology used by the authors'- such as "how many victims were interviewed?; were tape-recordings taken?; were any transcripts kept?'

Simon Danczuk told me that he wouldn't answer these simple methodological questions despite being asked on several occasions in the past. No light to be shone here it seems!

Shortly afterwards I was shoved out of the door of Danczuk's Deli. 

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