New in this post: is this where all those GMP avenues were leading?
L to r…Rowen, Smith, ginger bloke
For those of you who haven’t yet seen it, the good old Rochdale local press has run a GMP ‘denial’ of having closed the Cyril Smith case. Emerging from the very obviously inept facial orifice of Detective Chief Superintendent Mary Doyle of GMP, it runs (my emphases):
“To say that we have abandoned our investigation into allegations concerning the late Sir Cyril Smith is misleading and inaccurate. From the outset, we have always stressed that if anybody wished to come forward and make a complaint, GMP would record this to recognise the abuse that victim has suffered. We have publicly said just how important it is for victims that any such abuse is recognised because as Sir Cyril Smith is deceased, no criminal prosecution can be brought against him. Since last year, we have only had a very small number of people come forward to report any abuse by Sir Cyril Smith*, and we have had no new reports since then. We are still actively investigating the incidents reported to us.”
Ah yes, Greater Manchester Police, their motto: ‘You detect the crime, so we don’t have to’. Said a former officer this lunchtime, “I think the Exaro reporter was saying that the enquiry is basically dormant, and I think he’s right. All DCS Doyle has done is confirm that. People who think the police don’t take this sort of thing seriously enough will probably have had that impression strengthened.” The * above is my childish joke suggesting that, as he’s dead, not very likely that any new abuses of bottoms of Cyril would be coming to light, ho-ho.
My more serious point would be rather more specific: the GMP investigation had been, I understand, leading to links with other similar criminal activity involving other suspects. DCS Doyle needs to explain why that evidence of related crime hasn’t been followed up. So once more, the sorry folk who have awarded themselves the eternally frustrating job of baiting the guilty and their protectors with Rumour & Innuendo must start off some more. You never know, it might kick-start another investigation.
For example, type Cyril Smith into Google, and you will be told that ‘other people’ searched for by Cyril Smith watchers include Simon Danczuk, Jeremy Thorpe, Paul Rowen, David Steel and Jimmy Savile.
‘Second police probe ordered into Rochdale child grooming scandal’ reported the Manchester Evening News a month ago, adding, ‘Greater Manchester Police have been reviewing their original probe into child sex abuse allegations in the town five years ago’. Must’ve been another one they closed until harrassed into opening it again. Simon Danczuk is the Labour MP who bagged Smith’s old seat at the 2010 election when Liberal Democrat Paul Rowen lost. Speaking to the MEN, Dynamic Danczuk said, “Lessons have been learned,” [Chestnut of the Century Winner, 1845] “There’s no complacency on the part of police about these horrific crimes and I’m confident every effort is being made to get these predators off our streets”. Great stuff there Sime, we’re really thrilled that you’re confident. Labour, you friend in tough times. We don’t want any of Labour’s blind eye to Islamic grooming in the constituency’s Town Hall coming to light, now do we?
Paul Rowen held the Seat of Dead Cyril for just five years. He is a religious man, a catholic educated in strict schools and himself a former teacher at Catholic schools until his election in 2005. Mr Rowen has never married.
In 2009, he was obliged to give the following explanation to a local campaigning website: “I’ve been very lucky over the last few months to have had a number of young people from Rochdale working as interns in both my London office and in Rochdale. These have included Natassa Malik whose father is a good friend of Sir Cyril Smith, Adam Barber who is the son of my GP, and Tom Barlow who is studying A Levels at Oldham Six Form College”.
Rowen has always, together with his political agent Dave Hennigan, made great play of his religious Irish connection. Says a local source, “Rowen know all about the allegations against [Smith] at the Cambridge House hostel. He never lifted a finger about it.” In fact, the anti-Rowen camp in Rochdale hammered on at his abuse of expenses and “spanking ardour”, while cracking near the knuckle gags about castrating him – “but not the chemical cocktail linked to scurrilous rumours about Cyril Smith post-Cambridge House allegations and police investigations”.
Jeremy Thorpe, of course, needs no introduction as the man who bit pillows, had dogs shot, and was unusually close to Sailor Ted…with whom he nearly formed a Government in 1974. Jimmy Savile had form for well let’s not bother, we’ll be here all day….and then there’s David Steel. As the effervescent and ever-trenchant Needleblog site attests, Diddy David was rather fractious and thin-skinned on the subject of Big Cyril. He wrote to Private Eye saying that ‘the story about Cyril Smith posed a number of reasonable questions which I should like to answer: “In 1974 Steel was chief whip – was he really not told about the Smith police files?” The answer is “no”. “By March 1977 he was leader of the Liberal Party – were the Smith files still not brought to his attention?” The answer again is “no”. You say that in 1979 the Rochdale Alternative Paper (sic) “had a plethora of sworn statements from the victims.” Well if so, you did not include those in your report that year (which was all I ever heard of the matter) and nor did they send these to me.’
Harrumph, harrumph. Needdleblog’s addendum question seems to me entirely apt: ‘then why is it, despite your complete ignorance of any complaint of any conduct against Cyril Smith, that your press office, when you were leader of the Liberal Party stated in response to the Rochdale Alternative Press and the Private Eye articles in April 1979 that; “It’s not a very friendly gesture, publishing that. All he seems to have done is spank a few bare bottoms”.
Oh right, is that all?
Anyway DCS Mary Doyle Sister of Grace goodluckgoodluck, even if the Irish blarney still applies in Rochdale, seems to me there’s enough raw material (and nerves) in the above scurrilous dot-joining to start wearing out some leather on the case. Ah, the slap of Leather on Pavement, and Patrick O’Pavement screaming for more….