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Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Re-reading Big Cyril

As my book clear-out continues, I find an old copy of 'Big Cyril', the auto-biography of Cyril Smith, one time MP and now apparently also a serial child abuser. I remember this as being quite an entertaining read, back in the day. One bit sprang to mind, so I had a quick look in the index: "sacked from Boards of Governors of twenty-three schools", p 101.

Having been a Labour councillor in Rochdale, Cyril Smith had gone independent in 1966, costing Labour of control of the council. In 1972 they got it back and took action against him, dismissing him as Chair of the Education Committee, and "sacking" him from the Youth Committee, Youth Employment Committee, the Committee of Rochdale Youth Orchestra, the Committee of the Youth Theatre Workshop, and the Boards of Governors of twenty-nine (sic) schools, which I had visited so assiduously as Mayor. Yes, I'm sure he did.

It would be nice to think that someone in the Labour Party knew about his activities and was trying to put some distance between the youth of Rochdale and their future MP. However, I think simple revenge on the man who had deprived them of power for several years would be adequate explanation for their behaviour.

Interesting though how different this page reads in the light of the recent revelations.

Oh, wait. I've just spotted an index entry for Jimmy Saville. Smith met him and even appeared on his TV programme once. He has this to say about him: Jimmy Saville admits openly that his work as a disc jockey is a joke, but his record of public service and charity must be unequalled. Sadly it turns out it was, but for all the wrong reasons.