Dearnley & Danczuk!
By Brian Bamford
By Brian Bamford
The Deadly Embrace of Dearnley (left) & Danczuk (right)
AT LAST night's full Council meeting in Rochdale's Gothic Style Town Hall (which was described by Councillor Andy Kelly, the Liberal leader, as resembling 'an Oscars Ceremony'); the Labour council leader Richard Farnell waddled across the Chamber reminding me of an earlier figure who dominated the politics of Rochdale. That is the now disgraced former politician Cyril Smith! With his droll humour Farnell began to annunciate the history and meaning of the office of Alderman, before some past dignitaries were awarded the honorary office by the Mayor of Rochdale. Farnell's address was seconded by the leader of the Conservative group Ashley Dearnley (pictured above with another 'disgraced Rochdale politician' Simon Danczuk).Councillor Dearley lives at Ashley Dearnley Court, New Road, Dearnley, Littleborough. What has been clear in recent times is the remarkable hegemony of power politics in Rochdale, particularly between the local Labour Party and the Tories. The deadly embrace of the two blue-suited politicians in the photo above is not curious for the fact that the now suspended Rochdale Labour MP, Simon Danczuk, has is right arm around Ashley Dearnley's shoulders but it is anthropologically strange because Ashley Dearnley appears to be welcoming the embrace.
Few politicians, given Mr Danczuk's recent record of both a political and personal nature, would cheerfully have Simon Danczuk anywhere near their person. It would certainly give me the creeps!
And yet, both the politicians above clearly know that they are being photographed alongside the Tory Party Banner and seem to be enjoying the experience. Indeed, at last night's council meeting Councillor Dearnley referred to Simon Danczuk as 'our independent MP for Rochdale' in almost glowing terms.
What is going on?
Well, there is no evidence that Danczuk would be embraced by the Tory Party if he attempted to join as some have suggested. To suggest that Danczuk is a loose cannon would be an understatement.
The critic, Malcolm Muggeridge, once suggested that all Prime Ministers fall into one of two categories – clergymen or bookies. It is clear that Simon Danczuk would not pass muster as a clergyman; more like a bookies-runner!
My observations suggest that in some of our northern towns that the Councils are made up of self-serving gangs of politicians who establish one-party-states. Tameside has been sited as one example of this. Rochdale may well be becoming another. The game of playing footsie seems to prevail between various political groups. It is noticeable that Farnell is patronising when dealing with the Liberal Dem. leader, Andy Kelly, but respectful when he addresses the Tory leader, Dearnley.
What we have here is a kind of political and cultural Hegemony in which, as at the end of George Orwell's book 'Animal Farm', it becomes difficult to distinguish between the Pigs and the Men; if that is not a sexist observation, perhaps I should add 'women'.