Quite what the excuse here could possibly be is difficult to discern. Paedophilia, kiddie fiddling, has long been a crime, it’s not some modern invention. Cyril Smith was suspected of such for a long time and it has always been rumoured that it was covered up. Now we’ve got David Steel – now Lord Steel- telling us that Smith had admitted it to him. But he then didn’t do anything about it. Didn’t even gently suggest that perhaps he should retire from public life. Or, perhaps more pertinently, ensure that he wasn’t selected for his seat standing for the Liberals. Something Steel could have engineered at the very least:
David Steel has been suspended from the Liberal Democrats after admitting he was aware that Cyril Smith was a child abuser but failed to assess whether he was a risk to children. Party officials decided on Thursday night that Lord Steel, the former leader of the Liberal party, should have the whip withdrawn and face a formal investigation.
Umm, if you’re aware that a crime has been committed aren’t you supposed to tell someone?
At the inquiry Lord Steel denied he had been ‘hiding his head in the sand’ over the child abuse allegations made against the former Rochdale MP. Lord Steel said he asked the late politician in 1979 about claims that he abused boys at a Rochdale hostel, and found they dated back to Smith’s time as a Labour councillor in the 1960s.
Err, so that he was in the Labour Party at the time means nothing need be done?
Lord Steel also described recommending Smith for a knighthood in 1988 and said he did not pass on any allegations about the sexual abuse of children because “I was not aware of any such allegations other than the matter referred to…which appeared to have been fully investigated”. And he said it had not occurred to him that children could still have been at risk from Smith.
What talent we’ve got trying to run the country, eh? Had not occurred? Blimey.