Sunday, May 03, 2009

Sir Cyril Smith MBE: Who On Earth Wrote This Hagiography?

During a recent in the Google-sphere LOL came across a rather comical pen portrait of the larger-than-life sexualised punishment, asbestos sell out, and illiberal funster Sir Cyril Smith. Who on earth provided the few facts and many assertions for this complete toss (2002) about the phantom but not bantam cheese and onion pie man of Emma street?

Apart from the general hagiographic tone and the embarrassing spin there appear to be a couple of really serious mistakes in it. Can you spot them?

Sir Cyril Smith MP MBE
Mayor of Rochdale
Cyril Smith was born in Rochdale on 28th June 1928. He first came to the public's notice as the newly elected Member of Parliament for Rochdale in the 1972 General Election, though he had already been a major player in Rochdale politics for many years. He had been just 22 years of age when he was first elected to the Rochdale Council.
A lifelong member of the Liberal Party, in 1966 he was appointed Mayor of Rochdale and was awarded the MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List. In 1988 he was knighted Sir Cyril Smith and was appointed as Deputy Lieutenant of Greater Manchester in 1991. By now his political career was drawing to an end and in that same year he announced his retirement as MP for Rochdale.
Sir Cyril always was a larger than life character, both in terms of his ebullient outspoken personality and his enormous size - he was affectionately known around the town as "Big Cyril", (though he has by now shed much of that mighty frame).
Upon retirement he was offered a peerage, but declined a seat in the House of Lords, regarding the honour of a knighthood as sufficient recognition of his services to politics and his local community. As a lifelong bachelor, he shared his home with his mother Eva until her death in 1994.
Respected for his tireless work in the constituency and for his support of the underdog - very much a peoples' champion. Sir Cyril now enjoys an active life on the lecture and public speaking circuits, which include the QE2.

Add in a few exclamation marks and squint through some Sunday afternoon beer goggles and you could think it was the work of the current Rochdale McBridivist Dave Hennigan. But it's from 2002 so it cannot be, can it?


Dave Hennigan is a fool said...

Lifelong Liberal? My arse. Wasn't this clown kicked out of the Labour Party?

And wasn't Dave Hennigan kicked out of the Tories? Or did he just jump ship?

History Man said...

It's confusing. I'm thinking one or two defections and expulsions may be missing from this account.

Cyril was a Liberal first I think, but he left because they were "lying scum" and joined Labour. For whom he was a teenage election agent flying squad before switching back to the Libs, although they were still "lying scum", only to be told categorically that he'd get nowhere in either Libs or Tories, so being ambitious he went back to Labour for whom he was elected a councillor at 22 and via whom he became Town Mayor, required to eat his weight in cheese and onion pies every week, becoming a founder of the Rochdale Independent Party (RIP off), then there was various unpleasantness of course, infighting over bank accounts, the waifs and strays who made complaints to the police about indecent smacking, groping and so on, but, having been saved by Jack McCann MP (Labour) for old times sake (or something?) he promptly upped and became a Liberal again, a PPC excused of smacking a few bare backsides, Alliance, LSD (??!), Lib Dems.

Though throughout all this time he was in fact a Tory at his dark heart, speaking up for Capital Punishment, Flogging, filthy Capitalists, property developers and the whole sick crew.

"Lifelong Liberal" would not actually reflect his half-a-dozen and counting affiliations. So why on earth would these people say that? He was all over the place was Cyril.

Hennigan a Tory? Really? He'll probably just have left because they were non-existent and had no hope whatsoever of being elected in Manchester. So it'd just be a case of choosing the next best thing. Manchester Lib Dems.

Anonymous said...

I did bump into Cyril on the QE2 where he invited me to join him for dinner.
I told him I didn't pay all this money to eat with the crew.

Chris Paul said...

Besides the eat with the crew thing you would probably get bigger helpings and more chance of seconds on a different table ...

Anyways, that's just one of the lies in this biography nailed. is no one going to spot another one? There are at least TWO MORE outright lies, as well as general sins of omission, exaggeration and myth-making.

Come on people.

Trafford Fairtrade Groups said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I think Cyril Smith was elected to Parliament at a by-election rather than a General Election. I seem to remember going to canvass there for the Labour candidate.

Chris Paul said...

Correct anonymous. Cyril stood against his saviour Jack McCann in the General Election but took the seat when McCann died after a long battle with cancer. Cyril's sleazy background was not a particularly well-kept secret. The Liberals presumably thought that going forward the dark forces at his command overcame the dark side he'd not quite put behind him

Rochdale Rapper said...

yes, this is a classic peice of Cyril Smith spin.

Quite a few howlers- probably decsigned to be a diversionary tactic for lazy journo when asked to hack out a few dozen lines.

Diversionary or a deviation, or a deviance. You decide...

1, as a grossly obese big gob whose political career included a comedy crew of gormless brother Norm and Borgia-like mother (who worked as a cleaner at the Town Hall don't you know- going through the waste paper bins and collecting information for her fat. scheming son) - this lot were known to the public well before 1972. Cyril and his mum made it on the telly whislt he was Mayor of Rochdale. No doubt the film has since been binned but there was a lot of creepy footage with Cyril with children.

2. As well as being known to the public well before 1972, Cyril Smith was known to the police well before that date. Both for his criminal conviction whilst a fundraiser for 'businessman' Fred Ratcliffe and his interest in Rochdale Football Club (what is it with gangsters and football clubs?)Cyril was also well known to the police when questioned for the alleged assaults on young lads at Cambridge House (testical squuzing fake medical examinations and bottom slapping punishment and wet sponge wiping indignity).

3. Yes Cyril was given deputyship of the LL of GM. Local Tory done OK with Maggie but rather disappointing WBro Dave Trippier helped smoothe the path for the fat man with a questionable past who was not on the level but an entertainment to many Rotarians (lucrative after dinner speeches paid by Cyril for in cash and a free go on the tombola plus all you can eat of the buffet).

4. Word on the Square is that given Cyril's "colouful" past and huge question marks hanging over him regarding sex abuse, the 30 stone Rochdale MP has about as much chance of becoming a magistrate or joining the Brotherhood as a smowball in Hell.

5. Same went for a Knighthood. Cyril was NEVER offered one but this vain fat fool desperately coverted the chance to remain in the limelight and carry some sort of influence. He hoped the "cloud" about sex abuse and financial impropriety would eventually go but after the 1982 election the Tories had a improved majority so Cyril wasn't as useful. Some say that is why Cyril hung on so long to being an MP- despite describing it as the "longest farce in the west end" 15 years previously- he still neve bothered to turn up to many debates (Lord Lucan seemed to be on par with Cyril's parliamentary attendance record). Yet Cyril still trousered the salary, expenses and used the facilities to wine and dine lucrative, useful and influential guests.

6. Tireless supporter of the underdog and peoples champion?

Cyril Smith - the man who wanted Stefan Kiszko hanged, had his speeches written for him by an asbestos company and sexually abused young lads?

Enough said.

Anonymous said...

Smith was parachuted into the 72 by-election; the Libs had chosen a new candidate for the next election, but when McCann died, the Libs jumped at the chance to put a 'character' in for a by-election and Jeremy Thorpe came up especially to convince the local party to give the old grotbag a another go at the seat.