Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Cyril Smith and the indelible shame of the Liberal Party

L to r: David Steel, Cyril Smith and Jeremy Thorpe
Seventy years ago, Sir Winston Churchill complained of ‘the persistent freemasonry of the House of Commons’ — a cynical readiness among MPs to protect their own. The Cyril Smith cover-up shows this freemasonry is still very much in evidence.

One of the most telling insights into why Smith’s political colleagues turned a blind eye to his abuse was given by Michael Meadowcroft, the former Liberal MP for Leeds West.

He acknowledged he’d heard rumours that Cyril ‘liked boys’, but said blandly: ‘I don’t think we did much about it. Maybe we should have done at the time, but we didn’t.

‘Essentially, as long as a colleague turns up and votes the right way, we don’t really do much about their own problems.’

This chilling confession, on Channel 4’s Dispatches spoke volumes about the rotten culture within politics. But so did an incident when the interview was over, while a cameraman was filming shots of Westminster as background for the programme.

A former Tory Cabinet minister from the Eighties walked up and asked what the film was for. When he was told, he shook his head and said: ‘We all knew, you know.’  (more...)

The end is not in sight:

No comments:

Post a Comment