Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Saturday Cyril: Smith Calls in Favours in Whitewash



One of St Cyril's friends has come out with a cuddly asbestos story. How could they? How could the Rochdale Observer run the story - saying essentially that like Cyril Turner Brothers Asbestos were saints - with no comment from any alternative perspective? With no reference to any encyclopaedia of terrible industrial diseases?

If you look through the documents in my earlier post you will find a pair of them in which Turner and Newall apply to the Factories inspectorate to be allowed to recycle extracted air back into their factory ... because "fresh air" on residential streets nearby was they said far more thick with jagged asbestos particles than the stuff they were pumping around the works. Brilliant. These were from 1957.

They had been "suspending" workers who had the temerity to get sick for many many years by then. I'm sorry fella but are you Richard Badami (81) described as "a leading scientist" in any way related to St Cyril Smith (80) described as "a leading politician" - who in fact only followed orders? Same schools? Church? Lodge? Political party? Please advise.

9 comments:

mandy rice-davies said...

Well he would say that wouldn't he.

Chris Paul said...

Or: "He would wouldn't he" as she actually said.

One interesting thing is that tricky Dicky left the employ of TBA, pushing back the boundaries of safety, in 1982. Around the time of the YTV documentary, between St Cyril's two most famous speeches - he being the only parliamentarian that spoke in both debates - and the company doctor announcing that the rate of illness getting was one-in-four rather than the one-in-hundreds TBA had been putting about.

If the Rochdale Observer's journalist Alice - having the same name as the subject of the 1982 documentary - had asked this man why he left TBA at the age of 55, some ten years before retirement age, just as the shit really hit the fan, that could've been quite interesting.

Whereas him saying "we were brilliantly safe" is quite boring.

tory boys never grow up said...

At least he didn't hide he was being paid by Turner & Newall

Chris Paul said...

Until 1982 he was. Then, at around 55 years of age, he vanished from the scientific community. No more papers, though quite a lot of citations.

Looking at his publication history it would appear that evaluating asbestos and also graphite as consumer materials was more his thing than safety. There is a letter in the popular science journal Nature in 1971 that claimed that the asbestos levels in the air around the place were safe compared to govt standards. Although very hard to measure.

Obviously a change from 1957 when TBA argued that recirculating their own air with 10s of 000s of tons of dust extracted - dumped elsewhere - was safer than bringing in fresh air from the neighbourhood as this was full of the shit.

I suspect that the volume in the air and indeed the govt guidance were the wrong thing to measure as the particles of asbestos gravitated to and clung to clothes, human tissue, buildings, vegetation, the ground etc - perhaps rather like electrically charged particles cling to balloons and jumpers - rather than floating around in the air.

They were also heavier presumably than oxygen but in long fibrous forms - tending to cling to one another and other fibres - they would not tend to succumb to air sampling technologies.

Although I have a BSc and two years of NERC research training, including a lot of practical science and work for both British and Canuck govts and Swiss Hydro companies, and in particular measurements of atmosphere and materials for trace elements.

And jobs including working a Turner Instruments (I think, no relation) Atom Spectrometer and a Turner (no relation) Fluorimeter using trace carcinogens and optical brighteners I'll have to defer to the PhD man with the salary from TBA and the larger than life MP when it comes to such trifles as life and death with asbestos.

Anonymous said...

Poor Dick (Badani).
He gets a call off Cyril, writes a banal letter and makes a quick call to the Rochdale Observer. Job Done, or so he thought.

That is the problem with being involved with Cyril. Next thing the Observer are rushing over to the nice part of town (War Office Rd) and hanging on every word of the 'leading scientist'.

Incredible. They manage to use the defence of St Cyril twice. Once as a letter from the good doctor and then they write it into a leading article that takes pride of place on the Rochdale Observer website.

So in the last 2 weeks there have been 2 headlines in the best selling Saturday editions of the town's newspaper and no real investigation or discussion about the real issues that was first published in the New Statesman magazine. Good old fashioned defenrence is alive and well in that Lancashie mill town.

Cyril: There was no Asbestos Cover Up.

followed by

Turners did all they could.

The defence of St Cyril has been remarkable.

Not one mention of those dying of asbestos cancer. Not one shred of humanity or compassion for those who have been damaged. Instead and all out attack on those who have had the cheek to question the fact that what Cyril did was wrong.

Cyril's letter in Saturday's Rochdale Observer say it all.
In true Smith form he responds with insults. His age-old tactic on display. Make it petty, personal and political.

It is an arrogance that has been fed by a timid and collusive local print media.

It almost worked in the 1980's.

It will not happen today.

Too many know too much and the silence has been broken.

The daft ramblings of a few 80 year old asbestos apologists will not stand scrutiny.

And young Mr Hennigan should take heed. He can't run with the hares and the hounds. Deep down Mr Rowen knows that this is all a profound problem and will be making a judgement call on what to do next.

Does he really want to be associated with aggression, lies and scandal? Many that support him, both in the party and in the town are watching. They do not approve of political agents and former politicians bullying their way around defending the indefensible.

People have very long memories.

Anonymous said...

Rotary Club District 1280 and associated Probus club all based at the Masonic Hall at Nixon Street (close to Rochdale Lib Dem HQ).

Rotary members also include Sir Cyril and Paul Rowen MP. They are not Freemasons but several key contacts are. Very much in decline unlike the 'good old days' of Textile Lodge and the Royds/Turner mafia.

Smoke but no fire. Probably best not to read too much into any connections. Most today are interested in roast chicken dinners rather than biting chickens heads off and other unsavoury and ungodly activities.

"Service Before Self"

Which appears to be what poor Dick has done for Cyril.

Anonymous said...

Rochdale Freemasons meet at Richard Street not Nixon Street.

Anonymous said...

Freudian slip - thinking about "Tricky Dicky"?

Richard - Nixon - Dick

no smacked bottoms please

Anonymous said...

The piss poor Rochdale Obscurer's drop in circulation is without rhyme or reason. So much so that the Big Fella is instructing his news agent to buy more copies of the grubby organ.

All this whilst he writes more letters complaining about it and insults those that disagree with his fantasies.