Monday, September 01, 2008

Poor Old Cyril Smith: Roll Out the Rochdale Barrel

Poor old Cyril Smith is now being rolled out by Rochdale Lib Dems on Rochdale Online to justify his remarkable history of support for Rochdale's asbestos killers. Perhaps a quick fisk will ensue later. Jason Addy of Save Spodden Valley - a group trying to stop house building on the contaminated site and have it cleaned up as open space - are amazingly kind in the first instance, name checking half a dozen local Lib Dems.

Rochdale Observer - the Guardian Media Group's title - has absolutely no coverage reinforcing local sentiment that time after time they avoid stories putting Paul Rowen MP, his agent Dave Hennigan, and their cronies in a bad light.


Anonymous said...

1. Pick out every mention you have made on the dangers of asbestos and the evil done by its 'supporters'

2. Delete "asbestos".

3. Insert "coal".

4. Identify a list of every Labour MP, CLP and organisation that has received NUM sponsorship or donations.

5. Slag them all off for having blood on their hands


6. Shut the **** up.

Anonymous said...

Asbestos = Coal.

I haven't heard perverted drivel like that for... about 25 years.

Wow, I'm feeling really nostalgic. Sort of makes me want to eat some cheese pie, jump in a De Lorean and go Back to the Future.

Back to early 1980s when the number of asbestos deaths (including cancer) where spun by T&N and their SHARE OWNING APOLOGISTS by a comparision by other dusty trades- especially coal.

It was all part of the usual T&N tactic of half-lies and the promotion of doubt and confusion.

And the complete avoidance of mentioning cancer.

T&N knew that even slight exposure to asbestos fibres could cause cancer. That was a problem not only for its workers but its customers and those exposed to the deadly product.

What did they do? They allowed vain fools to take the credit for all their supposed hard work in researching parliamentary speeches and reassuring press releases that had actually been written for them. No mention of cancer. No mention of dying constituents.

There are none so blind as those who refuse to see.

Now almost 30 years later the same T&N crap is being trotted out again.

Someone has been spending far too much time at Emma Street recently.

Has the old address book been dusted off? The phone has been red hot for the past few days. Are those who owe the Big Man a 'favour ' being treated to a heady mix of veiled threats bordering on blackmail and the calling-in old 'debts'? If that doesn't do the trick then does the old sympathy plea for an old man work?

Have some who have been contacted a ppeared a little reluctant to give support? Do they feel a bit uncomfortable? Are they a touch ashamed? They now know that even though it was a long time ago, it is still very, very wrong.

Sorry Dave. You gone too far.

In the end, people fight back against bullies. Especially old ones with thick skins who have done so much damage.

Anonymous said...

Annual nember of deaths from pneumoconiosis during the 1970s and 1980s c. 450

Number of people killed in mining accidents approximately 1 per evert million tonnes mined.

The NUM lainched a year long strike for the right of their members to die of black lung. Bless them.

tory boys never grow up said...

Rowen is a complete idiot regarding his comment about hindsight. People were dying back in 1984 as a result of asbestosis from the Cape Mill in nearby Hebden Bridge - and decent Labour MPs like Max Madden were standing up for his constituents and trying to get compensation from Turners - Cyril Smith was acting for the asbestos industry pure and simple. To allow Rowen and Cyril Smith to rewrite history in this manner is a complete disgrace and if the Clegg had any integrity he should be taking action against them.

tory boys never grow up said...

For those who are interested in the facts about asbestosis rather than Lib Dem attempts to rewrite history the link below is a good starting point.

Also previous anon's comment about the New Statesman not contacting Cyril Smith for his comments before publication - should actually reread the article and they will actually find a quote from him. Perhaps an apology to the News Statesman would also appear to be in order.

tory boys never grow up said...

As for Rowen saying that Labour MPs supported his action - I seem to remember him accusing them of scaremongering at the time. perhaps others will have a more complete recollection.

Anonymous said...

black lung was an industrial disaster.too many men died. there was nothing romantic about going down the pits.

the unions didn't do enough.neither did all governments who ran the nationalised NCB.

as for union
The same could also be said of the union at turners. At times it was a joke with some shop stewards very close to management.Is that what cyril is suggesting? has a call been made to Johnny W to save the day and tell the world that Cyril was OK?

there are a lot of lessons to learn from what went on at turners. the backhanders, the turning of blind eyes, the greasing of palms all at the expense of the poor working sods who trusted the bosses, shop stewards and the towns MP

for evil to prevail just takes good men to nothing. for sheer evil to happen takes a little more. some of that little extra can appear innocent, have a few speeches written, buy a few shares to show 'solidarity' to the workforce. call other mp's scaremongerers and say that tv documentaries contain blatant lies.

to call for yorkshire TV to be sued was a work of evil genius.proper muck raking that diverts attention from some very bad publicity against the asbestos industry. punish the ones who had the temerity to expose that people were dying of mesothelioima cancer in Rochdale. it worked. Cyril almost got away with it.


Anonymous said...

I worked under both Johnny W and a senior member of the Health & Safety team - both of them were senior Labour Party figures at the time.

I didn't work in the asbestos section of the plant but did start to pick up on the stories that there may have been dangers in working there.

I was told by these two Labour stalwarts in no uncertain terms to "keep my mouth shut."

If they both knoew the dangers then they were complicit beyond belief - although I don't expect there will be an ounce of criticism from the Labour Party.

If they didn't know, then they were negligent in their duties beyond belief.

Anonymous said...

agreed. there is no way to avoid the failure of some shop stewards and labour party members.

what they didn't do though is try to hoodwink all the people of rochdale into thinking they were a hard working MP when in fact they had some very shameful secrets swept under the carpet.

what happened at turners was very wrong, especially by those who were suppost to be trusted.

workers were betrayed and lied to. the public was hoodwinked. too many people have been harmed because of vanity,stupidity and a few quid in the back pocket.

a proper statesman would admit mistakes. cyril is no statesman .he was and will always be a bully who makes threats behinds peoples backs and shouts people down. arrogant pig.

those who try to rewrite history for Cyril will be damned. there are too many skeletons and unsettled souls for that ever to happen.God bless them, may they rest in peace but whilst all these threats and lies are being told it will not happen.

Anonymous said...

Smith defending Rochdale jobs- unfuckingbelievable.

So Smith is unrelentant is he? He comes out fighting. Very butch. Best form of defence is attack?

Now we get all this shit about workers knowing the risks, asbestos being like coal, the unions did nothing ect.

Lets get something crystal clear.
NO worker if they could help it went to work wanting to DIE. Those who put dust in their lungs had a terrible choice to make. Workers bravado about their health is their way to keep sane about the risks they take for a wage.

Nuclear workers still do the same today.

Cyril Smith was never in that position. A career politician who grew fat by abusing the trust and some of the people of Rochdale.

By the 1980's the truth was known about asbestos but T&N needed some breathing space to move the asbestos plants of of britain and to develop alternative products (that they had invented but had kept quiet cause they didn't make as much profit.)

Without the benfit of any hindsight whatsoever in the 1980's Smith had 3 choices

1.Blindly defend T&N to the hilt. Which he did (along with some trade unionists and other politicians Labour included but not with the panash or aggression of Smith)

2.Attack asbestos and defend the dying NEVER did (but many other politicians did- but Smith called them scaremongers)

3. something in between. Acknowledge jobs but show some fucking compassion and balance over a complex issue. This is what most politicians did. Smith didn't that is why he stood out so much at the time with his claims about scaremongers and calls to sue the critics of the asbestos industry. People who trusted Smith took the message on board. Job done for T&N.

Smith was a company man. Like Victor Kiam he was so impressed he bought into the company. The towns MP didnt need to buy share to attend an AGM - he was already on first name terms with the bosses. Or was the buying of shares a way to make it LOOK like he was attending the AGM as a concerned citizen representative rather than the fifth columnist who sends letters to the bosses and makes their speeches for them.He will be telling us next he gave the share money to a childrens charity next.

to bring asbestos shopfloor workers and trade unions into a desperate battle to defend a grubby reputation to a very shoddy tactic.
The sort of thing a gang rapist would say.

Smith had a choice. He could have said NO. He could have done that by spending more time in the shop floor and hosital wards rather than the BOARDROOM having his ego and wallet flattered.

Back then and now Smith made a cold calculated decision.He is looking after No.1. and doesn't care who gets harmed to defend himself.

Chris Paul said...

Very interesting. Is there any public record of the contributions made by individuals and/or companies to the campaigning and other expenses of Sir Cyril Smith MP or indeed of any consultancy fees, other share holding interests, moonlighting, family connections, and so on and so forth.

The "set up" for Cyril's corporately authored speech SEEMS to be rather similar to a modern day cash for questions, iffy parliamentary advocate/lobbyist, side job etc. But has anyone successfully followed the money or successfully put the required questions to the big man and got answers?

And are there any support or campaign groups extant re the Kisko case or the boys home survivors?

Emailed information please - or references to RAP back numbers, there is a full set in at least one Manchester Library - or pointers and links in comments. Thanks.

Would also be interested in any further information on Rowen's links, associations, back story.

Exile said...


Do you remember RAP, the Rochdale Alternative Press? It ran for some years during the 1970s and was very big in the town. It was only a monthly, so the back files will be easy to read through.

Rochdale library should have them - a great source of news on Cyril was RAP.

Exile said...

Shit! Just read your posting. Sorry!

Anonymous said...

Fair points, Chris.

As long as you are willing to put the same amount of effort (and bile) into pursuing former Labour MP, Roger Stott - what he knew; who paid him etc etc.

I know you have had a life-long commitment to the issues facing asbestos workers. Some would say that you have seen the chance to attack a political opponent of the present day by association using cheap and tawdry shroud-waving.

But they would be wrong, Chris. You've were there on all the protest marches about security of pensions for asbestos workers. You were there on the mass delegations to Westminster and Brussels to resolve the safety issues. You were on all the demonstrations about house-building on the former T&N site.

Weren't you.

Chris Paul said...

Lovely use of sarcasm my friend. Lowest form of life you are.

Why would I be pursuing a story about Roger Stott? He's not being hagiographed at LDV and feted by Lib Dems as if he were some great statesman when he was in fact a great lunking tosser who did huge harm on asbestos, in iliberalism and in his famous common touch bare buttock slapping and ball sack feeling service at the lad's home.

You get a blog. You write up this Roger Stott chap. That's my advice. And do start putting your name on your comments. You've got everyone following suit with you, which is fair enough, but perhaps you could be brave and put your name to your rants? Perhaps start a trend.

Anonymous said...

I agree. You are absolutely right. Roger Stott was indeed not fat. So every other thing you say must be true. I'm sure Socrates would tell me that it would be the only logical conclsion.

Let's cut the crap. Your latest post only reinforces what was already clear. You have absolutely no interest in getting to the truth about any cover-up about asbestos. If you did then you would be even-handed and ask for evidence no matter who it pointed the finger at. Your motive is purely about pursuing political and personal vandettas.

Oh, and the actual quote is that sarcasm is the lowest form of wit, no the lowest form of life. You know what they say, Chris, "Get a wit".

tory boys never grow up said...

And so what does Anon propose to do - sit back while Smith and Rowen rewrite history in their favour. There were other MPs at the time, such as Max Madden, who represented their constituents and fought against asbestosis and Turners - and there were others such as Smith (and possibly others) who decided to represent Turners rather than their constituents. And yes I have made my contribution to the campaign.

Chris Paul said...

Stott gets a mention in my latest post. He died of cancer and was born in Rochdale. These seem to be his main connections to carcinogenic Cyril.

Of course I know the quote about sarcasm you muppet anon and I also think that the accusation at a political blog run by a political activist of being political coming from YOU is hilarious.

The Lib Dems of Rochdale don't have any politics to speak of and as Cyril personifies are a corrosive influence wherever their self serving franchises get a foothold.

How's that Dave? Now you have moved to Rochdale you can become 24/7 lanky corrosion instead of commuting or office-sleeping corrosion.

Anonymous said...

Madden's particular fight wasn't with Turners, I think you will find it was with Cape.

If you think T&N's record was bad, you really want to look at Cape's.

Another point has occured to me. The Lib Dems are saying that Cyril merely contacted Turners for some background information, others calim that he was getting them to write his entire speeches on the matter.

Does it really seem plausible that Turners gave him all the details he needed and then sent him all they know about the dangers of asbestos but told him "we'd rather that you didn't mention any of this."

Could it be that he was just as much in the dark as the unions and the local Labour Party? Could it be that he was being lobbied by the unions to not push things?

And another thing! Chris Paul seems ready to rubbish the entire Alistair Darling balls-up this weekend on the basis of the history of the journalist that wrote the piece.

Has he researched the CV of the journo of the New Statesman piece?

Before you start accusing me of trying to muddy the waters, can I say that I don't think his CV is of the slightest relevance, but in the intrests of not being seen as a total hypocrite, Chris Paul should be interested. I think he would find it enlightening.

tory boys never grow up said...

Madden fought the entire Asbestos industry which acted pretty much as a pack. Smith was very clearly the industrires spokeman if you look at Hansard - and to say otherwise is just rewriting history.

Anonymous said...

T&N didn't need a spokesman from a minor party on the backbenches. At the time, they were making massive contributions to the Conservative Party.

And Chris. I didn't accuse you of being political, I said you were pursuing political (and personal) vendettas. I don't think they're quite the same thing. But then, you do know what people mean better than they do themselves.

And while you're here - when exactly was John Leslie accused of racism. I know it's totally irrelevant to anything under the sun, but you did bring his name up to begin with.

tory boys never grow up said...

"T&N didn't need a spokesman from a minor party on the backbenches. At the time, they were making massive contributions to the Conservative Party."

But that is what they got see the Hansard debate link below - Cyril even managed to make John Gummer sound like the voice of moderation

Anonymous said...


Took your well meaning advice and found it very informative.

Like this:
I should make it clear that I am appealing not for any lowering of British standards but for an increase in the standards to be applied to our EC competitors.

Or this:
of people are employed by the British asbestos industry and it is not true that the British trade union movement opposes the present position. That is certainly not true for shop stewards at TBA Industrial Products Ltd. in Rochdale.

Or this:
I expressed the hope that the Minister and the United Kingdom would press for the total banning of building asbestos throughout not only the United Kingdom but the whole of the EC. I am sorry that the Minister has failed to achieve that, assuming that he undertook to do so.

Or this:
Asbestos is a dangerous substance. No one denies that. Anything that helps to protect the health of those who work with it, whether in the United Kingdom or anywhere else in the world, is to be welcomed.

Or this:
Paragraph 3 of the report states: Stresses that asbestos is a carcinogen". 250 I have great difficulties with that statement,

Chris Paul said...

What a load of twaddle from the anons. On the Darling interview. I praised it. Much better than some of hippy Decca's other work, not least the John Leslie interview in which she let him off.

Clearly it was the Political Editor and or page one sub-editor who used "Economy etc" rather than "World Economy etc" in their headline and followed that lin in the sensationalist news story also.

Clearly Darling was referring to the World Economy which our economy and 100s of others have to work with. And he clearly stated that our economy is in a good place to handle the challenge.

He had said the same many times before without the hysteria and the city gang profit taking.

June - Mansion house speech:

BBC Story.

PDF of full text.

Telegraph coverage under a sensible headline Alistair Darling warns of global crisis Britain in first mansion House speech.

Here on the blog it is a small argument on semantics. Out there in the real world it has given those city boy gangs the chance to make billions on the back of an iffy headline ... and it has literally cost the nation.

Hope that helps?


chris P

Chris Paul said...

On the 1983 Hansard the Hon Cyril was talking ARRANT twaddle in various ways.

He slammed the Yorkshire TV documentary for example, praised by Max Madden in the same debate, and talked a good deal of MPs and media scaremongering. He was fired up to do a job for the asbestos industry and whether the Tories were getting money and spreading propaganda as well is not in it. Cyril was the culprit in chief on this one.

He dismissed the information that several EU countries had better rules already. The so good UK ones being a year away from being introduced anyway.

And he talked disingenuously about international factories having less rules (i.e. outside UK and EU) than the ones in Rochdale, almost as if those standards should be relowered even if a few more Rochdalians became "poorly" aka died following long and painful sickness and thanks to him little or no compo, a shilling a week or the like.

Disingenuous too in that TBA or T&N were the owners of many of the unsafe factories to which he referred!!! And the asbestos they were all producing was getting stuck in our homes and schools and hospitals wherever the toxic stuff was made.

It was the 1981 speech I think to which Cyril's letter requesting information was connected?? And the idea that T7N might have kept dirty secrets away from their stooge is 100% 24 carat reason why he should not have taken their lines as his research and should have paid more attention to Yorkshire TV and the like.

This one is NOT Cyril's only skeleton in the cupboard by any means. Let's hope the media turn to his other sins as soon as possible.

tory boys never grow up said...

Anon - you have clearly missed your career vocation, you should be summarising film and book reviews fro advertising trails - or failing that I'm sure the LibDems won't mind you penning some of their propaganda.

Isn't it funny how all the Labour MPs appeared to be on the other side of the debate from the Hon Mem for Turner and Newall.

Anonymous said...

Having just read the Hand=sard link that your alter ego pointed me to I acn safely say that you are wrong.

You insinuate that hsi motive was to lower the UK safety standards. That's absolutely untrue. I have just read the thing. At several points in the debate he specifically makes the point that he is not asking for a downgrading of the regulations in this country.

I know that doesn't fit in to your malign worldview. But so very little that is true does.

Anonymous said...

Dear Tory Boys Never Grow Up

Or can I just call you Tory?

You asked me to read a debate from Hansard. I did. I found no evidence to prove the point you were making. In fact I found quite the opposite. I reported back on what I found. You should read my report. You just might learn.

tory boys never grow up said...

Grow up Anon - I never said Smith was asking to lower standards - I said he was acting as the spokesman for the UK Asbestos Industry - he didn't want it to be placed at a competitive disadvantage ve the rest of the world and he wanted to rubbish Yorkshire TV and what he called "scaremongering" Labour MPs. He couldn't have done Turner's bidding any better - go and look at the Asbestos industries public pronouncements at the time and note the similarity.

If you knew anthing about the subject, you would know that the industry were trying to argue that white asbestos wasn't as bad as blue and brown - and the problem was with bad factories such as Cape rather than Turners - even though all the evidence pointed in the opposite direction (Acre Mill processed white asbestos) and they were doing all they could to minimise the potential legal claims.

What do they say about finding a Tory if you scratch a liberal!

My advice to Rowen and his ilk would be to ditch Sir Cyril and his friends on this as soon as possible - this is not an argument that you will ever win. Too many good people have dies to prove Cyril wrong on this.

Anonymous said...

You didn't argue that Smith wnated to ower UK standards - but Chris Paul argued exactly that.

Chris Paul said...

What I said anon was that it was "almost as if" Cyril was trying to retain parity on lack of health and safety. His speech was contradictory in that area. Suggesting laws in Britain - which were AT LEAST A YEAR AWAY anyway - were stronger than the EU minimum; ignoring the fact that these yet-to-be-introduced rules were weaker than in Germany and elsewhere; and raising this problem of plants outside Europe (many in the TBA/T&N network, with him being a shareholder and all) were bound by lesser rules or no rules at all.

It is contradictory. Praising the strength of UK rules that had not come into force, ignoring better rules elsewhere when he should at least have been pressing to match, and moaning that jobs would leave Rochdale what with it being easier to die quickly from the stuff in the developing world.

It was a Corporate apologiser's speech from a fat old fool. "Almost as if" he opposed the new rules. Which is what I wrote here.

Anonymous said...

What you actually said was:
"And he talked disingenuously about international factories having less rules (i.e. outside UK and EU) than the ones in Rochdale, almost as if those standards should be relowered "

By 'less' I prsume you meant fewer, but we'll let that pass. Anyway, you did suggest tha\t SWmith wanted less restriction in the UK. That's a lie.

What you actually said was:
John Leslie is an accused racist.

When? Where? By who?

What you actually said was:
THe OECD have said that the UK is in the best position to combat the downturn

What the OECD actually say is that Britian will be in recession by the end of the year and that it is the only G7 member that will be so.

Chris Paul said...

1. I said it was "almost as if" and for what it is worth the company and their main man mounted a fair old rear guard to delay, reduce or prevent increased measures. As I say these were not introduced until 1984. Cyril's remarks in 1983 are confused, contradictory, corporate and of course corpulent.

2. I have never said that John Leslie was either a racist or an accused racist. I have also not said he was a rapist. But I have said he was an accused rapist, which is fact. Perhaps you could post a link?

3. The OECD said - a year ago - that Britain was in the best position. I pointed that out as did others BEFORE the latest announcement. this is on the public record. In fact the year old opinion may have been borne out by earlier problems in USA and Q2 negatives in four of the G7.

It is also amazing to me that these negatives, the OECD man's briefings, and his view that micro plus, flat and micro negative felt much the same on the ground and this in his opinion s the instruments used by the OECD were not accurate enough (though they are precise) to be given the level of confidence they are being given.

4. Yes, fewer rules and less control. Fine. One of your points stands up to scrutiny. If you are going to pick nits then do us all a favour and pick more carefully.

Anonymous said...

1. You said "almost as if" what?
The full phrase you used was "almost as if those standards should be relowered" - suggesting that Smith wanted less stringent standards in the UK than we already had. That's a lie

2. Type 'accused racist' into your search facility and see what pops up as No. 1. S'easy.

3. I realise what you said about the OECD a year ago. It's complete bollocks and a novel interpretation of their report at the time if ever I heard one. I (and others) were pointing out what the OECD had said one day ago - seeing as there was little chance of you doing so. Just to remind you, the UK will be in recession by the end of the year and will be tho only G7 member to be so.

It's odd that you should question their methodology now but fail to do so when spinning their findings into one that suited your case. I also notice that when their comments are seen as supportive than they are given the full weight of a major international organisation but when they point out the failings of the Labour government it becomes one man and his briefings.

4. If there are nits to pick then I always know where they can be found!

Anonymous said...

Piss Crawl

You have asked me three times to provide eveidence that you said somebody had stood accused of racism. I have provided it thrice. You have, so far, refused to apologise or even acknowledge the fact that you were lying.

I have asked you four times to provide evidence that you admitted your culpability in defending homophobia. You have yet to do so.

I will draw my own conclusions - but I reserve my right to pass them on to others. Many others!