Thursday, April 23, 2009

Paul Rowen MP: Whither The Fool's Filthy Smears Campaign?

Yesterday it seemed as if Labour of Love and the filthy smearists at Rochdale Online and Paul Rowen's Drake Street headquarters were eyeball to eyeball. The smearers - disingenuously using the McBride/Draper debacle as a platform for claiming that LOL's stories about Sir Cyril Smith etc were in any sense "untrue" or actionable - were the ones who blinked.

There is a theory going round and round in ever decreasing Lib Dem circles in Rochdale that Paul Rowen actually "blinked" live on TV - choosing the card with his asbestos in schools hypocrisy, rather than the one with his phoney attack on Labour bloggers.

One of my correspondents from the Rochdale yellow peril even goes so far as to suggest that John Leech MP might have been blinking so much NOT because his rival @lucympowell is now twittering, but because he was scared that Rowen would attack the bloggers instead of opting for the pretence that he's up for righting Cyril's asbestos shame.

That would have drawn attention to our stories about John Leech MP and his cronies as well as to the arguably even worse Paul Rowen MP. Understandably John would have been anxious that the fool Rowen didn't blurt something out.

So, where should Paul Rowen MP go now with his filthy smears on innocent local Labour parties, innocent local Labour supporters, and innocent investigative, satirical, occasionally amusing and often hard-hitting blogs? We promised an option appraisal yesterday morning, and here it is:

Option A. Perhaps an Early Day Motion would be the thing? Easily done that. You have been! More meaningless positioning from a useless MP.

Downside risk: Many MPs refuse to sign. In fact MPs produce alternative EDMs hailing free speech and praising investigative blogging as a force for good. Guido Fawkes, Labour of Love and the Suzblog mentioned together in dispatches! The EDMs proliferate like hyperlinks, drawing attention to the blog stories, the blogosphere explodes in indignation, and as the stories are as it goes quite true Rowen's scored an own goal. And what's more scrutiny falls on the political activity of Rowen's various staff, past and present, including behaviour that Damian McBride himself would find absolutely disgusting. Labour of Love becomes famous.

Option B. Perhaps Mr Rowen can again catch the Speaker's Eye? A question to the Prime Minister at today's PMQs could be just the way to take this campaign to the next level! Let's hope Speaker Martin see a man waving from a slippery slope and calls the demon debater of Rochdale yet again.

Downside risk: MPs boo and hiss, crying "Asbestos", "Bare Bottoms" and "Gazza", not necessarily in that order. MPs produce alternative questions in the house hailing free speech and praising investigative blogging which after all smoked out McBride and will surely do for Draper too. The furore draws attention to the blog stories, which are as it goes quite true. And what's more to the political activity of Rowen's staff, including behaviour that McBride himself would find absolutely disgusting. Labour of Love becomes rightly famous.

Option C. Perhaps Mr Rowen can grow some and contact the online publications concerned specifying the problematic material, give those publications the chance to effect any changes they see fit, and then Mr Rowen could consider whether to escalate his action. At this stage, but not before, he might write to the Labour Party General Secretary Ray Collins for example, asking him to disassociate himself from the blog.

Downside risk: Rowen is unable to find any substantive issue to quibble with or provide in support of his request. Lawyers laugh in his ruddy face. Labour laugh in his ruddy face. Bloggers go on a rampage through Rochdale finding dark secret after dark secret under stone after stone. Virtually every cobble in the town has one. The process draws attention to the original blog stories, which are as it goes quite true. And what's more to the political activity of Rowen's staff, including behaviour that McBride himself would find absolutely disgusting. Labour of Love becomes exceedingly famous.

Something of an option appraisal there then. Gratis and free. Help yourself Paul! There is a pattern developing. It does not look good for your side. How can you now save your ruddy face? Having taken yourself and your dream team to the danger? Let's remind ourselves of the story so far:

Our hero Paul Rowen MP has tried to jump on the McBride bandwagon of the court of king caracticus public opinion by initially smearing his "local Labour Party" - now changed to "Labour supporters locally" - as having set up a blog or blogs:

"In which myself, my agent Dave Hennigan, Sir Cyril Smith and many other senior Lib Dems have been subjected to scurrilous, untrue, despicable allegations."

"Scurrilous"? "(Of person or language) grossly or obscenely abusive; given to or expressed with low buffoonery." (OED) Now, one might indeed allow that on occasion there's been some low buffoonery, particularly from those naughty boys at Rochdale RAW, but the only gross or obscene abuse seems to have been at the great fat hands of a certain larger than life Lib Demmer - when he was a Labour councillor as it goes.

"Untrue"? Once again we must say we are shocked at this disgraceful allegation. Put up or shut up Mr Rowen! What exactly have LOL uttered that you claim to be untrue?

We were brought up to know the difference between right and wrong Mr Rowen. We would desperately like to correct anything that is "untrue" as soon as we are told of it. We invite comments, we offer a right to reply, we promise corrections, even apologies. What are you waiting for Mr Rowen? If anything LOL have written on this blog is "untrue" we'd like you to point it out immediately.

We even try to keep the comments in order - even those emanating from shy Rochdale Lib Dems and parliamentary employees - but it can be like herding cats. We do our best.

If you cannot or will not identify anything "untrue" we call on you to cease and desist from your vile smears and pathetic name calling. It's unparliamentary behaviour is what it is.

"Despicable"? "Vile, morally contemptible". You could say that. But once again this epithet appears to apply to some of the behaviour referred to, rather than to those reporting said behaviour. Don't shoot the messenger Mr Rowen! Surgeon go heal thyself.

"Other senior Lib Dems"? Ho ho ho. Senior Lib Dems like Hennigan and Rowen themselves? better catch yourself on boys. "Junior", "weak", "hateful", "disgraceful" are more appropriate than "senior" for the likes of you two.

Mr Rowen's vile smear continues speciously:

"If they were repeated in the Press we would sue but dealing with blogs is much more difficult."

Perhaps Mr Rowen would be kind enough to let us know immediately which material he believes to be actionable? So that our legal team can review the situation? Or otherwise retract his smear and apologise?

LOL clearly do not wish to carry actionable material on this blog. We have demonstrated that by bending over backwards to accommodate requests for corrections - even when they are quite patently ridiculous.

Threats of comedy law suits you might say.

For example, when Cllr Dale Mulgrew requested, comically and without any foundation in law, that LOL remove an image of the "comedian" and "entertainer" Mr Jimmy Cricket (not his real name, but Mr Mulgrew's real father) standing in a public place, performing a public service, in a generous act of rewarding his own helpers with a golden welly, available elsewhere on the interweb, a very charming picture too, LOL removed the image.

We didn't have to. But seeing that we were causing such pain through what we had thought was our innocent fun, we did so.

Mr Rowen might also like to explain which material that he is concerned about has not been "repeated in the press"? Without being sued.

Take Sir Cyril Smith. Somebody oughta! Boom, tish! The stories that we have carried on this blog about Sir Cyril Smith (so far) fall into three main categories:

1. "Just a few smacked bare bottoms" Stories about how - as a Labourist (no fear or favour here) - Mr Smith was involved in the running of a lodging house for young workers, name of Cambridge House. Mr Smith was not the "hands on" Beadle of the place, like some Dickensian Mr Bumble, but he was involved as a kind of Trustee, with oversight of the operation. Responsible for seeing that the highest moral standards and probity were maintained.

There followed very serious allegations about his behaviour in that role. Many witnesses came forward to describe his "grossly or obscenely abusive" behaviour. You might call it corpulent punishment. The police had bulging files of damning affidavits from complainants and witnesses. And somehow or other, as the case progressed towards seemingly inevitable conviction, these files were shared with journalists.

Stories on this were in fact carried proudly by both Private Eye and by Rochdale Alternative Paper. That police witness material has been available in transcription for years on the world wide web. Contrary to Mr Rowen's assertion of his team's readiness to seek legal redress Mr Smith has NOT sued anyone or even as far as we understand even threatened to do so.

For "reasons of National Security" or the like Mr Smith did not have the chance to clear his name. And his alleged victims did not have a chance to bare all in court. And see Smith named and shamed, his appalling parliamentary career stunted or rather completely prevented.

Very unsatisfactory. We accept that. But the evidence of wrong doing by Mr Smith is absolutely compelling. Please do seek it out and read it, if you think you can stomach it.

Labour would have nothing more to do with him. Smith certainly had no chance to become a Labour PPC. But he will have known of the incumbent MPs illness through Labour circles. Smith I believe became Mayor as a Labour councillor, switched swiftly to Independent, and made himself available immediately to Jeremy Thorpe, David Steel and the rest as a candidate.

Even Smith's chief character witness, that same Mr David Steel, by then leader of the erstwhile Liberal party, made a clean breast of things on behalf of his colleague:

"Just a few smacked bare bottoms" he said, or words to that effect.

2. "Front row seats for the nice rich Asbestos producers" Stories in which we revealed how Cyril Smith, by then a Liberal MP - having been Liberal, Labour, Liberal, Labour again, Independent and Liberal (did I miss any defections and/or drummings out there?) had been so in thrall to the Asbestos killers Turner Brothers that he had them draft him at least one major speech. Which he delivered close to verbatim in the House of Commons on their behalf, even though the debate was shifted to an amendment rather than the substantive motion.

Several guests from Turner Brothers were apparently wined and dined at the Houses of Parliament on the eve of the debate and were to be seen with front row seats in the gallery for Cyril Smith's sickly orations. Sickly mainly for the people of Rochdale. In essence the speech called for dragging of feet on health and safety improvements, lest workers in other countries got the chance to die at the expense of the dying workers in Rochdale whose right to die terrible deaths was Smith's great and fatal crusade of the time.

Clearly this "got at" speech and others are in Hansard. They were widely covered in the press at the time. The Turner Brothers draft version is also available and is scarcely distinguishable. Basically Cyril Smith MP acted as a representative of a huge and massively wealthy corporation instead of the poor, dying constituents who had elected him. Worse still he put them in a place psychologically where they felt they ought to be grateful for saving their way of life, and death.

The revelation that Cyril's speech was written for him by Turner Brothers Asbestos was also carried widely. Including in The New Statesman, the Rochdale Observer, The Daily Mirror, Rochdale Online, even by Granada TV, with Cyril digging a deep hole for himself, defending the indefensible. As he does. No blubbing this time. Hard-faced is not the word for it. None of these publications were sued either.

3. "Let Him Dangle" Stories about Cyril Smith's grandstanding over the murder investigation over the sexual assault and killing of young Lesley Molseed. With Cyril calling for the death penalty. With Cyril harrying the legal process over any small delay. With defence lawyers, possibly as a result of such pressure, completely failing to defend the accused properly. With prosecution lawyers, possibly as a result of such pressure, failing to share evidence proving a man's complete innocence and key witnesses studied mendacity. With Cyril calling for an innocent man Stefan Kiszko to be hung. Very Liberal I'm sure!

To add some extra interest to the story we revealed that Stefan Kiszko's hopelessly ineffectual defence barrister was none other than David Waddington MP, the Tory Minister and sometime Home Secretary, the worst ever?, who also had had a leading part in the Asbestos fillybustery of story one two.

All this is of course a matter of record.

The real killer Ronald Castree, who had been detected, accused, charged and convicted AT THE TIME OF THE MURDER in very similar crimes, was able - through the humungous miscarriage of justice - to walk free and indeed carry on a business running two comic shops, giving him daily contact with potential child victims for his evil behaviours.

It was no less an organ than the Manchester Evening News that reported that the child sex murderer Mr Castree was the son of a prominent Rochdale Liberal family, noted by that publication to have been staunch supporters of Cyril Smith in his giddy rise to the purring full fat cream success he so richly DID NOT DESERVE.

Mr Rowen's witterings, dictated no doubt by his prize strategist Dave Hen, also responsible for the genius that was wheeling Sir Cyril back into the fray for his 80th birthday, conclude thusly:

It is another example in my view on how Labour locally and nationally need to clean up their act if they are to have any credibility in the forthcoming General Election - it's probably too late.

So says Rowen as he realises that if the people of Rochdale knew about even one-tenth of the behind the scenes smearology of his 100% tax-payer funded "Agent" David Hennigan they'd demand a by-election to get rid of the pair of them once and for all.

FOOTNOTE: When there's a quiet moment we'll add some illustrations and links to this post. In the meantime we hope readers will avail themselves of the blog search facilities and/or Google.


Sarah Palin said...

Stories on this were in fact carried proudly by both Private Eye and by Rochdale Alternative Paper. That police witness material has been available in transcription for years on the world wide web. Contrary to Mr Rowen's assertion of his team's readiness to seek legal redress Mr Smith has NOT sued anyone or even as far as we understand even threatened to do so.

Anonymous said...

I thought Rowen's off-the-scale exaggeration about Dave Hennigan being a senior Lib Dem was bad enough, but then I noticed that Dave old speckled Hen had returned the favour with an even bigger fib.

Paul is one of the most high profile MPs in the region, he wrote.


Wash your mouth out you silly boy.

Chris Paul said...

It must be said that although the Old Speckled Hen pecker Rowen claims to have "lost a stone" delivering leaflets, as well as "lost a tooth" in a late afternoon fall, there's still seems to be a bursting button risk as the larger-than-life wannabe hulks up for the tax of filling filthy Cyril's boots.

Anonymous said...

Up with 50p tax.

3 grand a week for what? said...

probably only Rochdale's current MP and Rochdale Council's senior officers will pay it.

A wriggling sack of useless, overpaid ferrets.

Tony 'fake twat' Benn said...

At least the Lib Dems aren't Labour, now that would be a disguting smear.

John said...

You obviously think he's terrible - I take it it'll be a synch for Labour to take the Rochdale seat as well as the Withington one?

I mean these people are so awful, aren't they?

Dave Hennigan is a fool said...

Absolutely. Awful doesn't even begin to describe the hopelessness of Rowen's cause.

Three days ago Rowen's twit feed said he was putting up a report on the budget on his website "this afternoon". Where is it? What has this lightweight got to offer?

Lib Dems work and pensions spokesperson? Don't make me laugh. The man hasn't got the foggiest understanding of his brief.

Chris Paul said...

"John" - obviously Cyril is a poisonous old bastard who should be called to account before he's gone, Rowen stands accused inter alia of being a useless MP, and Henn is a born again McBridivist.

The people of Rochdale sent Cyril back for (very occasional) trips to London for 20 years ... so there's really no telling what they might do. But they deserve a not-useless MP.

Or do you really think they ought to re-elect a useless MP? With an evil drink-crazed henchman? And a wicked godfather in Emma Street?

PS Will the Tories conspire with the Lib Dems again on this one?

tory boys never grow up said...

If any of the Rochdale LibDems belive that any of my comments on this blog are libellous could they please indicate indicate which ones - if not could they they just put up or shut up. If they want to make broad brush comments about everything here being libellous they are just engaging in smear tactics.