Sunday, 17 September 2017

McCANNS .V. FREEDOM OF SPEECH

Of all the injustices in the case of missing Madeleine McCann, the one that outraged me the most (and outrages me still), is the parents' demand that only their side of the story can be legally published and distributed.  And it outraged me that they embarked on a vendetta, not only to silence the former detective who searched for their daughter, but to destroy his life. 

Let's clear up one of the nasty myths created by Team McCann.  And I refer specifically to those witnesses for the team, who travelled to Lisbon to cuss a book they claimed not to have read because it is beneath them.  Weird how McCann supporters use NOT reading as a sign of their moral and intellectual superiority.  So let me set them straight.

Goncalo Amaral's book The Truth of the Lie, is not filled with childish playground insults, nor is it filled with cold, hard, brutal allegations.  GA recounts the investigation not only as a detective, but as a compassionate human being.  Goncalo is much too talented a writer, and of course legally aware (he has a Law degree) to write the kind of garbage the McCanns imply, it is obvious from page 1, that he is a gentleman and a scholar.  If even one of the McCanns' allegations were true, why do they not produce the offensive lines as evidence?

But I'm going to take a big auld left of left turn here, and move onto Freedom of Speech, because once again my blog is bombarded by those issuing warnings and threats to myself and John Blacksmith to curb our language.  Well actually I'm not sure my turn is left of left, because being politically correct is where I and the Labour Party part company.  I demand the right to offend!  And just like anyone who practices that right, I will reap the consequences.   

I'm afraid I have zero sympathy for those who claim to be mortally wounded by words.  Especially those privileged white middle classes, who want to enjoy their privileges without being criticised, eg. politicians and former suspects.  For those having their homes repossessed and queuing at foodbanks, a neighbour calling them a auld trollop is the least of their worries.  Karen Matthews for example, had she been a bit brighter and had shed loads of money, could have sued every UK tabloid.  True, she only had 3 weeks, but Gerry and Kate were lawyered up and raking it in by Day 3.  Who knows what the outcome would have been if she had had several million at her disposal? 

But this is about Freedom of Speech.  Must stay focused!  I am passionately opposed to those who would go through dictionaries with a black pen, believing that if certain words and phrases are redacted, we would all live happily ever after.  Oblivious to the fact that forcing people to be politically correct, under duress, leaves a lot of tensions simmering. Just thought, I'd throw that in.

The thing is, writers, artists, poets, musicians have been dodging censors for centuries.  They can and do find ways and means to get the message through. Happily those doing the censoring have always been far too ignorant to spot them.  But while I'm freestyling, I get away with it, because I am one of those fuzzy liberals who won't commit to anything.  If Jim Gamble gets me in the dock, my first response will likely be, 'Is a cup really a cup?'

Whether I stumbled into it, or the fickle finger of fate intervened, this case became a personal battle for me against the backdoor way in which Gerry and Kate have used the fate of their child, to add further to the arguments of those who would strike black lines through the English language.  As if obliterating words will obliterate everything those words stood for.  Those dumb enough to release their inner psychopath online, will receive exactly the same treatment they would in the real world.  Some will challenge them, some will support them, but most will shun them.  The extreme paranoids will lock themselves away in panic rooms, which given their sensitive natures may be the best place for them.  My own blog demonstrates the power of laissez faire, it has found it's own level, the psychos have upped their game or crawled back under a stone.  The sane are winning, I hasten to add!

Whilst harsh words can indeed cause any one of us to go ouch, so what?  As Marx said, (Groucho, not Karl), If you don't like those views, I've got plenty of others.  I interpret that as, if those ones offended you, wait til you see what's coming next.  Ban words, ban phrases, ban views, and others will replace them, language is a living, constantly growing organism, it evolves as we do.  Those wielding black pens, might just as well be wielding quills and inkpots for all the effect they will have on the 21st century dictionary, regular, urban or otherwise. 

Ninety nine percent of us, don't sue people who offend us, not just because it is a pathetic waste of money, but because we can't be arsed.   Suing people for financial damages is the preserve of the wealthy, funds have never been available, even via Legal Aid, for the impoverished to make such claims.  While the well heeled offended battle it out in the Courts, the rest of us couldn't give a monkeys, though we might tune in for the juicy bits.  A successful libel action has never turned anyone into a hero, in most cases it has left them reviled.  Even the fabulous and much loved Oscar Wilde, managed to turn the public against him.

No-one needs a Court of Law to fight their case or defend themselves.  In this age of rapidly growing technology, we all have, at our fingertips, the means to put forward our side of the argument.  The McCanns especially, who have contact lists full to bursting.  But they don't even need that, the media world is now a level playing field (which is why I also feel I need to up my game lol), they can put out blogs just as I do, they can contribute to their Facebook page, as themselves, they can speak to the press directly, not through a source or a spokesman.  They can show their real sides to the world, just as GA has, and let the world judge for themselves. 

Even with all the legal victories and financial awards the McCanns received in the early days, and with Carter Ruck on constant watch, the parents' reputations are more damaged than they ever were.  Ergo, the idea that a libel win against Goncalo Amaral will repair their reputations is ludicrous, with every libel claim they have made, suspicion of them escalates. 

It clearly crucifies Kate and Gerry to have this cloud of suspicion hanging over them, but they have always had the power to remove it.  As the Portuguese archiving report stated, they lost the opportunity to prove their innocence.  Had they returned to PDL for a reconstruction and answered all the police questions, they could have been ruled out from the start and we wouldn't all be here 10 years on.  That cloud of suspicion didn't begin with Goncalo Amaral, it began with their own weird behaviour and the circus and money spinning industry they created out of their daughter's disappearance.  GA's side of the story wasn't heard until much, much later. 

Punishing Goncalo Amaral, does nothing to find the missing child, nothing to repair their reputations, and nothing to convince the public they are nice people. Honest.  They weren't asking for GA to be jailed (though that would have been a nice bonus for them), they were asking for the proceeds of book, not filing their claim until a year later when the royalties had mounted up.  The punishment they wanted, was for him to be stripped of all his financial assets, and Portuguese Law, such as it is, immediately froze the royalties from his book, the title deeds of his family home and all his earnings which left him unable to defend himself while the McCanns pursued him relentlessly. 

For me it is the cruel streak that runs through this claim of Gerry and Kate's, this hounding of the former detective, is premeditated, deliberate, and intended to bring pain and distress.  This isn't the result of the runaway train, or moments of madness, they need Goncalo Amaral to feel pain in order for them to feel better.  That isn't noble, it's not even moral. 

The McCanns appeal to the European Court won't fare any better than their appeals in Portugal.  By their very nature, these Courts have to be bang up to the minute, unlike the crusty old wig bedecked British Judges, who have to blow the dust off ancient text books.  The world has changed since the McCanns claim began, the ancient elite no longer run the show.  A policeman has the same rights as a doctor.  Despite being stripped of all his assets, Goncal Amaral could fight back, because the internet made his plight known, and the public responded generously. 

The McCanns told their side Madeleine, in their own words, Goncalo Amaral told his, The Truth of the Lie in his own, (far more eloquent) words.  How can one be legal and the other not?  Or should Madeleine be banned too, because they didn't prove Madeleine was abducted, along with every book in the crime section that mentions crimes not proven?  Bear in mind, this would include their very own Summers and Swan. Where does it end? 

Whilst others have got on with their lives, Gerry and Kate are still claiming to be victims.  Fair enough, their choice.  But they still want new Laws to be introduced, that would enable them to sue more people.  The thrust of their legal argument with GA can be summed up in two words. Without proof.  It is with those two words that they have GA and the entire UK media by the short and curlies.  They seem to have taken over from the previous two word chant, 'no evidence'. 

Given my absolute abhorrence for the word 'Ban', (censor comes a close second), this war on Goncalo Amaral (bless him), is a war on Freedom of Speech.  The McCanns have, without any laws being passed, been successful in preventing the publication of The Truth of the Lie in the UK for over 9 years.  How fecking antiquated are we, that two people, can have that amount of power, simply because they have the best lawyers money can buy?  Why should a former detective be prevented from earning a living as a writer? 

In some bizarro world where the McCanns win, detectives, as an entire profession, will be forbidden, by Law from writing their memoirs - the cads!  Former suspects meanwhile, can fill their boots.  Punishing GA will send a message to detectives everywhere (especially those close to them), that the Good Lord will rain down upon them with great anger and furious vengeance, should they get a tempting offer from Rupert Murdoch. 

Punishing Goncalo Amaral does nothing to find the missing Madeleine, or even to commemorate her.  The initial argument that 'no-one would look for her if they believed she was dead' is now moot.  After the Scotland Yard digs in PDL (far more in your face than GA's book), is anyone still looking for a live Madeleine?  Saying Madeleine is dead without evidence, should not be a punishable offence in the Civil Court, the Criminal Court or the real world. 

Most people are offended every day by what others say about them, they are outraged, hurt, distressed, etc, for a short while, but then they move on.  They don't spend the rest of their lives seeking vengeance and retribution. At what point will someone say 'yep, this is truly insane'.  It's been 9 years ffs, and their child is still missing.  Why are they putting themselves through this, why are they putting their families through it?  They already face ruinous legal costs, still unknown, why incur more?  Now they have started the clock, the minutes and hours are notching up as chargeable units for lawyers and spin doctors.  Their motives are grimy, but they are what they are.  As for their family and friends, wtf?  Especially those who travelled to Lisbon with the intention of seeing an innocent punished.  May their Gods forgive them. 

Shouldn't someone close be saying that within the next few months, that they might need high priced lawyers, who specialise in something other than libel?  I'm trying to be tactful here, but the investigations by the Portuguese and British police, might leave them with an urgent need for, err, say, extradition lawyers?  If the circumstances change from a Civil Court to a Criminal Court, the libel won't matter one iota.  Ergo, aren't they putting their eggs in the wrong basket.  Just saying. 

Friday, 8 September 2017

OPERATION GRANGE - NOW A WATCHING BRIEF

UPDATE - 09-09-17
McCanns - The Gloves are Off

I have for the past few months gone easy on the McCanns, because, well, I felt sorry for them.  Pretty much everything they ever planned has gone belly up, nothing more so than their failure to be awarded £1.25m compensation from the former detective who searched for their daughter.  Today's announcement that they have filed an appeal with the ECHR changes the dynamic, my sympathy, I now see was misguided, the gloves are off.

Sun reporter Nick Pisa, describes Goncalo Amaral in his sensational headline as 'shameless ex police chief'.  Shameless Nick?  Shameless for doing his job, searching for the missing child? Shameless for defending his name and reputation? Shameless for refusing to give Gerry and Kate all the earnings from his book, the proceeds of the forced sale of his family home and all his future earnings?  Ten years down the line, the officers of Operation Grange may find themselves in a similar position, should they say the child is dead 'without evidence'.  Would they too be shameless if they failed to pay extortionate sums demanded by the parents for their 'pain and suffering'?  British libel laws are far more stringent, as the McCann supporters keep pointing out. In Lisbon they only asked for £250k each (and they are 5, as Isabel Duarte pointed out), Goncalo only had to find £1.25m to get them off his back.

I think it is shameless that reporter Nick Pisa should write such a nasty vindictive piece about a former detective without doing any research, or worse, deliberately and cruelly smearing an innocent man as part of a murky agenda or filthy lucre. 

But what curdled the milk in my cornflakes, was the McCanns' stomach churning order of priorities.  They are parents of a child who is missing, and who they believe is still alive, and the Scotland Yard search they pleaded for, is coming to an end.  Turn the clock back a couple of years and imagine the police saying to Kerry Needham* 'we're giving up on the search for Ben', and her replying, 'oh, that's OK, I'm busy suing a Greek detective anyway'. 

This renewed attack on Goncalo Amaral isn't good for anybody.  The McCanns know they haven't got a hope in hell of a victory in Europe, and neither do they have the funds for such an expensive waste of time.  Or do they? Have they had an injection of cash fro an interested party?  I'm just throwing that in there, I don't think they have.  Nor is it to put off that massive, still as yet undisclosed, legal bill in Portugal?  From what I have read, an appeal to the ECHR, doesn't put off payments owed by a Supreme Court ruling.  Ergo, they still have to pay that bill now anyway.  (If any legal eagles know different, please let me know).

This is spite, there is no other way to dress it up, and it should send a chill through everyone who still believes the McCanns' priority is their missing daughter.  All the grounds for their original claim are now moot, they have been overtaken by events and revelations.  It is clear no officers in Operation Grange believe Madeleine is alive - they are on a watching brief, not out looking.  Are they going to sue each of them? 

Right now my sympathy is with Goncalo Amaral, will they ever leave him in peace?  Having the McCanns on your back must be like stalker Bennett times ten.  Placing a personal vendetta above the fate of your child is f*cked up, whatever way you look at it.  The McCanns accept, without protest, the closing of the Scotland Yard investigation, their only real hope of finding their daughter, yet they are prepared to embark on another bitter legal battle. 

My sympathy also lies with the family of Goncalo Amaral, because these announcements are usually accompanied by a nasty smear campaign, as we today with the shameless Nick Pisa in the Sun. My sympathies are also with the McCann clan, the young ones and the non complicit, at least.  Living with 'legal proceedings' is hell on earth, it turned me into a morose, babbling, semi alcoholic, my family won't speak of it.  Quite rightly, [shudders at memory].

Proving a point really isn't all that.  And there is nothing worse than living with someone with a self righteous point to make.  It eats them alive, it eats you alive, and it dominates everyone's lives in ways you can't even see until you come out at the other end - if you do.  I am trying to describe what a destructive, emotional minefield, the McCanns have opted to take their family through.  Again. 


_______________________________________ 








I'm always astounded, and more than a little impressed, at the way in which Gerry and Kate, or the collective brains of Team McCann, can make bad news sound like good news.  How can anyone, in their right mind, be grateful for having their agony extended? 

One of the articles I read regarding Scotland Yard's latest request for funding states they need just enough to keep three or four detectives on a watching brief.  How can that possibly be a satisfactory answer for parents of a missing child?  Gerry and Kate believe their daughter is alive and findable, and have already said they will continue their 'Search' when Operation Grange ends. That's a pretty defeatist attitude and it's an assumption that OG will end without their daughter or her abductor being found. 

I'm not entirely sure of the source for 'watching brief', but to me it doesn't suggest anything pro-active.  It suggests 3 or 4 detectives waiting for something - a direction from a higher power maybe, and that higher power is the Portuguese Judiciary who will ultimately be responsible for prosecuting or not prosecuting.  Why keep 3 or 4 detectives on watching brief, if the crime or crimes do not involve British citizens? 

Scotland Yard have been working with their Portuguese counterparts for a year it seems, doing what, who knows.  If the case were international there are agencies for that, and there are no signs that the investigation has ever gone out of PDL. 

I think you would now have to be as blind as a bat, to believe Operation Grange are looking for a Portuguese abductor from 2000 miles away.  The idea that they are constantly finding new leads 10 years on, is equally absurd, it makes the investigation sound haphazard and unfocussed, how did they miss them at the beginning?

The McCann camp bizarrely, take the further extension as proof that the Police do not agree with Goncalo Amaral's theory.  I'm not sure how they reached that conclusion, but if that's the thinking we are going with, they haven't proved an abduction either.

I suspect the end is in sight.  Politically, it is madness to keep a small group of detectives on a watching brief - there are plenty of real time crimes they could be dealing with.  Awaiting technical results could mean anything, from the technicalities of arresting over a 100 people, to the latest techniques for extracting DNA.  If this is the far reaching crime that many of us believe it to be, then the logistics of how it will end, must be proving a nightmare.

Using an anecdote to explain, I once worked (as a temp) for a dodgy firm of solicitors in offices just off the Strand, WC2, and I wasn't really surprised when the office was raided by the police, while simultaneous raids were taking place in their offices all over the world.  All the offices were raided at the same time so they couldn't tip each other off. 

I would say this is a technique used by police the world over in cases where there are multiple defendants and of course this case becomes more complicated because there are two nations involved, two teams of detectivs who have been working together for a year. This watching brief suggests a tiger waiting to pounce, I suspect the real perpetrators must be very worried indeed.





*Apologies to Kerry, I have used her as an example, because I have never doubted her.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

MADELEINE - IT'S A CLASS ISSUE

Let's imagine for one moment, Karen Matthews had been holidaying on the Algarve and one of her children disappeared while she was having a drink at the bar.  Would she have received the full backing of New Labour? A personal spokesman, Family Liaison officers from her home town, a visit from the Portuguese Ambassador?  Would we still be here 10+ years on, with those who see a miscarriage of justice being sued and threatened with imprisonment for not believing? 

We all know the answers to those questions, which is why Madeleine's disappearance and the establishment's handling of it, became so emotive.  In a nutshell, the non believers were unattractive chavs, jealous of Kate and Gerry's good looks and success. 

For many years, the issue of 'class' has taken a back seat in this case, but it shouldn't.  We all know that if the McCanns hadn't been PLU (People Like Us), representative of that first generation of working class professionals, who went to University and have moved on from the Council estates.  'We all do it' they shouted in unison, while defending the obvious neglect and child endangerment, 'what happened to them could have happened to us'.  They empathised with Kate and Gerry in a way, they never could or would, with Karen Matthews.  With K&G, they played down the crime, with KM there would have been outrage. 


And this is the crux.  To believe two doctors, well a group of doctors, conspired to cover up the death of a child, changes the paradigm.  Crooks wear masks and carry swagbags, or they are dirty, smelly lowlives, covered in tattoos and off their heads on drugs and alcohol. They are the threatening faces of crime that we are all familiar with. Gerry and Kate are the opposite, middle class, law abiding church goers, smart, articulate and trustworthy. It's like looking at a picture of an orange that has been labelled 'apple'.  It doesn't make sense. 

Most of us like things the way we are, our villains and do-gooders clearly labelled.  Life is complicated enough without having to think the unthinkable. In doctors we trust, we turn to them for our major life decisions, we address them with their title, the Doc is the good guy, he's on our side.  We often forget that they are just as human as the rest of us, and just as prey to life's temptations.

With Karen Matthews, we all shook our heads, and said 'well, what do you expect', she was a perfect example of the hated underclass, while Karen was bunking off school and producing babies, Kate and Gerry were studying and saving lives.  Karen comes from a society that barely scrapes by, a society that has had hope and ambition torn from under them by consecutive Tory governments.  Gerry and Kate come from good working class stock, families of achievers with good solid values who reinforced their respectability. 

I don't think anyone can deny that the social standing of the McCanns has had an impact on the way in which this case has been handled.  If Karen Matthews had lost a child in Portugal, is it likely the police, the politicians, and the media would be still be pussyfooting around 10+ years on?   Afraid to offend her or her high priced lawyers?

Which brings us back to the money.  Within days Gerry and Kate were armed with an enormous fortune with which to protect themselves.  I think Karen got a free delivery from Iceland.  They engaged lawyers within days, if not within hours.  Their first thoughts were not to look for their daughter, but to prepare a Defence. 

The UK Government, knowingly, or unknowing, helped to build a wall around the McCanns that exists to this day.  Their refusal to accept that the affluent middle classes could be involved in such a heinous crime was almost in danger of becoming law.  The McCanns were the poster family, representative of everything that is good about the UK, high achievers, pillars of the community and church goers.  The acceptable face of draconian libel laws and roughing people up at the borders. 

Karen Matthews was no better than she ought to be - the police had no hesitation in investigating her and those around her, there were no government calls to back off and the crime was solved quickly.  The interference of the UK government led to loss of valuable forensic evidence, the clothes Madeleine wore that day, the beads she had in her hair, the blue bag, the pink blanket, and who knows what else.

Believing Gerry and Kate were involved in their daughter's disappearance, is a hell of a knock to our faith in human nature and for many of us, we will never be able to look at the world in the same way again.  That's how devastating it is.  But to believe a lie in order to make us feel better, is far more corrosive.  Pretending reality doesn't exist, doesn't make it go away - we are quite literally setting ourselves up for a fall.

We accept without question that Karen Matthews is guilty because she comes from a background of poverty and anti social behaviour.  We cannot accept Kate and Gerry are guilty because they come from an affluent background and know which knife and fork to use.  White collar crime is not pursued in the same way as blue collar crime, because there is an assumption of innocence. The wealthy have no need to covet their neighbour's goods or lust after his wife, they have yachts and hookers. 

Most crime is committed out of poverty.  Those dashing young things on Made in Chelsea have no need to put a brick through a car window to steal the radio.  They have limitless credit cards.  On tough council estates, where 10 quid makes all the difference, it's a different kettle of fish. Prisons are filled with an illiterate, uneducated, underclass, there are very few, if any, billionaires and professionals.  As Norman Stanley Fletcher pointed out in the iconic Porridge, he didn't expect the Judge who gave him 5 years to move into his cell with him.

The case of missing Madeleine is, or will become, the most extreme example of the way in which the Law differentiates between the social classes in the UK.  People should not be above the law because they have money and influence, Gerry and Kate should have been subject to the same scrutiny as any parents who claim child abduction without any evidence.  Those in high places who ruled them out because they are not the 'type' have much to answer for. 

Sunday, 3 September 2017

LATEST NEWS - THE BATTLE BEGINS - McCanns .v. SY

When I wrote my Update the other day with a 'what's happened to Dave Edgar' comment, I wasn't aware that he had given an interview for the Belfast Telegraph.  Apparently, he still very much around and still giving his opinion based on his years of experience as a former RUC police detective.

Madeleine is still alive he claims, based on the solid fact that no body has been found, that apparently trumps not being seen in 10+ years.  And he claims she is being held within 10 to 15 miles of the resort in PDL, either as a sex slave in a dungeon or completely brainwashed as part of a new family.

Whilst blind belief might be an attribute in matters of faith, it is quite bizarre in a former detective.  I don't have first hand experience of real detectives, but I imagine they are a cynical lot, they deal with the dark side of human nature on a daily basis, they know that if kids are not found within the golden hour, there is little hope of them being alive. 

I'm not sure if Dave Edgar is being overly compassionate (and totally unrealistic), or edging to pick up where he left off if the case closes with no result.  At the same time Edgar was being interviewed, Gerry and Kate were also saying that they were going to continue their search with private detectives. 

All this talk of Madeleine being alive and restarting the search, suggests that the parents are not in sync with Operation Grange.  And I very much doubt Dave Edgar is in sync with his former colleagues or indeed any police detective anywhere.  Not just for the nonsense he comes out with but for giving evidence against another detective in a greedy, malicious claim that would enrich the former suspects.  Minions like Edgar astound me, not only for lack of decency and morals, but also because they are too stupid to realise they will be among the first thrown under the bus.

The McCanns and their faithful yes-man, are pre-empting any announcement by Scotland Yard by saying they are going to continue looking for a live child.  This suggests the police are not.  Actually, I don't think Operation Grange have been looking for a live child for quite some time.  A big clue was the heavy plant and digging equipment they used in PDL a couple of years ago.  And I think the chances of them announcing this month that they believe Madeleine is alive and findable, but they are giving up anyway, is slim to remote. 

Of course talk of a new search could just as easily be a means to protect the money that remains in the Fund.  We still do not know how much is owed in legal fees in Lisbon - I'm still betting it is a record amount - nor how the parents are going to pay them.  Are there no leakers who could give even a ball park figure?

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

WHY A COVER UP?

UPDATE - 30.08.17

With just over a month to go until Operation Grange comes to an end, or requests further funds to carry on, Gerry and Kate via their always obliging friend Tracey Kandhola, have announced they will dip into Madeleine's Fund to hire more private detectives.  (What happened to Dave Edgar?).

It would be fair to assume the parents of Madeleine know more than the rest of us, and from their statement it would appear Scotland Yard can't find Madeleine, or they believe she is dead.  In any event, the eventual conclusions of Operation Grange, are at odds with the beliefs of the parents.   

According to Tracey, the McCanns have a healthy £700k+ in the Madeleine Fund, and the search will go on, they will never give up.  Now, there has been no mention of 'The Fund' for quite some time, and many, myself included, thought any cash the McCanns have remaining would have to go towards the massive legal bills they owe in Portugal.  But they had good lawyers, a clause probably exists to protect the 'Search'. 

As the countdown begins, sources are leaking everywhere.  Last week, a source told us Operation Grange will request more funds.  This week, a source tells us, 'nope, no requests for more funds', and another source tells us they [the police]are 'finishers'.  Kate once described herself and Gerry as finishers too, so we may be seeing the beginnings of an epic battle. 

____________________________________



In response to an interesting reply on 'Not Believing doesn't equal hate' and to make more room - the discussion continues here.  I wish I could have c/p it, and would be grateful if someone could :)

Whether you believe the parents were involved in Madeleine's disappearance or not, the biggest question is, 'why a cover up'?  Those directly involved in whatever happened to Madeleine, obviously had plenty of good reasons, so strictly speaking, the question should be 'why the cover up of the cover up'?

Which brings me to that interesting post at 22:43 on the previous blog.  It's a new angle - well for me at least. I never considered that Professor Gerry could have been working on something 'sensitive'.  And you may well be right, in that he had leverage in some way.  However, I think murder or death of a child trumps 'sensitive' information and in 10+ years there have been no groundbreaking discoveries involving Gerry that I am aware of.  I also think a research team could not operate with the sword of Damocles hanging over them.  But as always, I wouldn't rule anything out!

I am still very much of the opinion that whoever picked the phone up that night in Downing Street or Whitehall, made the wrong call. The full weight and backing of the incumbent government was thrown behind Gerry and Kate, before anyone had looked into what actually happened.  Neither Blair nor Brown had the balls to admit they got it wrong, instead they chose to carry on with the 'lie' and this is where all the schemers and manipulaters had them over a barrel.

At the time of Madeleine's disappearance, New Labour were getting a bit too big for their boots.  They were blocking ALL forms of protest by introducing 'terrorism laws' to arrest elderly gentlemen wearing subversive t-shirts outside their Labour party conferences or protesting outside parliament.  They were shamelessly exploiting the public's fear of terrorism, interspersed with fear of paedophiles, to find ways in which to control the internet.  They wanted access to all our internet activity, ID cards, everyone's DNA, and a few more rules to rough people up at borders. Who remembers tanks rolling into Heathrow Airport? That was quite a stunt.   

How many were involved in the cover up of the cover up?  Given the number of arseholes in New Labour who were happy to embark on an illegal war, covering up a colleague's mistake was a small ask.  When it became a big ask however, I think pressure was brought to bear.  Politicians are always susceptible to bribery and corruption, ask those with motorways where their parks used to be. Or, perhaps Tony (I wouldn't be seen dead in a Skoda) Blair.  It is one of the vulnerabilities or should we say, perks, of office.  To believe otherwise would be to go back to that pre Madeleine McCann age, when we believed the newspapers were supposed to tell the truth and our elected representatives were honourable. 

I suspect 'the hold' in this case is dark and murky, but not in the way the more deranged 'antis' would have us believe.  People on a quest to gather information about individuals, more often than not, have a malevolent agenda, they are looking for something they will, when necessary, use against their subject.  Years ago when homosexuality was illegal and 'gays' were demonised, homosexual MPs were especially vulnerable.  Now, any whiff of paedophilia, real or simply alleged, can destroy lives.  When Tony Blair left office, the God Complex had well and truly set in, I would imagine he had a portfolio on everyone useful, the entire population's he didn't quite achieve, but he was working on it. 

What began with a massive f**ku* for the incumbent government, soon became a popular cause, and it had all the ingredients to reinforce their 'Paedo on every corner' campaign.  Men rounded up by Operation Ore were still being publically executed.  The fabulous actor Chris Langham was imprisoned on charges that wouldn't have been out of place in medieval court, presided over by a row of a Cardinals.  My heart goes out to him, and to all those men whose lives were wrecked by that particularly nasty witch hunt.  And I can say that loud and proud, not just as a survivor of a catholic children's home, but as someone who can see straight through the hysteria and insanity and the Witchfinder General mentality. The charges against Chris Langham were akin to charging everyone who likes their horror graphic and violent for watching banned films, or arresting drug users, rather than their suppliers.  The dear man has never, and probably would never, hurt a child, the cruellest allegation anyone could have made against him, and it is obscene that he, and so many others, had to go through such an ordeal. 

But Chris Langham was among many, since then we have seen dozens of celebrities and politicians dragged into the public square, accused of decades old sex crimes.  This isn't law and order, it's showmanship, it's playing to the gallery.  There are no dawn raids Cliff Richard style, on Fred the plumber, who was known to have groped every bridesmaid at every wedding.  He can chuckle at the memory, safe in the knowledge his face will never appear on the front page of The Sun. 

Madeleine wasn't a bedraggled urchin that no-one cared about, she was the well loved, photogenic child, of pious and responsible doctors who were in no way to blame for her disappearance.   The subliminal messages sent out from the sweet, innocent, face of little Madeleine in those posters was loud and clear - it could be your child next. 

A double glazing salesman once told me, the answer to EVERY question is money.  Even after all these years I have yet to prove him wrong.  The financial exploitation of this poor child, is one of the distasteful sides of this case.  From all those who flew out to PDL, to the missing charities who made her their poster child, presumably while leaving pictures of the genuinely missing gathering dust.   

Going back to the political questions you raise, I think all of our eyes have been opened wide in recent years.  For me it all began with the Madeleine case.  I feel a bit embarrassed about that, because at the time I was teaching Media at A-level.  If I were in the same position today, the first assignment I would give my media and politics students, is watch Armando Iainnucci's 'The Thick of It'.  

Everything in this case, from the start to where we are now, is more accident than design - hence the spectacular mistakes.  Most of it, I think, has been 'off the cuff', at the beginning especially, when Jane Tanner's sighting had to be squeezed in between two checks on the kids written by the tapas group on Madeleine's colouring book.  Of course Jane's sighting should have topped that list, and they should all have been running in the direction she says he went, but for some reason, getting their alibis straight, had precedence. 

The initial cover up is pretty much set in stone.  The parents and their friends gave their statements, and they are sticking to them.  For Operation Grange, I suspect Cover Up II, is the biggest challenge.  All these delays and further extensions, suggest they have been stonewalled throughout.  They don't appear to have let that put them off, it would appear for Operation Grange, only the truth will do. 




Ps.  If anyone out there knows Chris Langham, could they please let him know that a genuine survivor of a regime run by real paedophiles, has spoken out on his behalf and give him my very kindest wishes.

Monday, 28 August 2017

JESS PHILLIPS, MELANIA AND IVANKA NOT FEMINISTS

As a girl growing up in the 1960's, I struggled to find female role models that I could relate to.  Books and movies were filled with swashbuckling heroes and adventurers, and they were all men - the role of the female was to look pretty and nurture.  They weren't like me and I didn't want to be like them.  I was as tough as any boy, and definitely smarter, and I sure as hell wasn't going to be relegated to any minor role.  My first act of rebellion at the age of 4, was against my older brother (by 11 months), who ruled girls were allowed to make mud pies, but not actually throw them.  My act of rebellion hit him square in the eye.

But let's fast forward to the 21st century, where my despair at the lack of female role models has increased ten fold.  I don't necessarily mean those celebrity women who's lives depend on lipstick, make up and hair extensions, I think we should all play dressing up every day, it's a fun game that can make a seamless transition from childhood to the grown up world - women, and avante-garde men have known that for centuries. Just don't get carried away and wear a tiara to the office, unless of course, you are a 'queen', where anything goes.

Those are not the most corrosive or malevolent threats to women's equality, the Barbie doll hair and the startled eye brows are just another spin cycle - in a couple of centuries, we might all look like the majestically made up Cleopatra and her non gender specific predecessor King Tutankhamun.  A time, when both women and men, could slap on a bit of mascara and lippy and feel a whole lot better.  The malevolency comes from those who claim to speak on behalf of ALL women, while actually only speaking on behalf of themselves. 

In the UK we have the self appointed 'feminist' Jess Phillips, who seems to think behaving like a geezer bird will make her equal to her male colleagues.  She wants to be one of the lads, but she wants special treatment because she is a woman.  Admittedly, as a little girl in a boy's gang, that derogatory term I just used, could equally have applied to myself, but I grew out of it, it is very rarely now, that I want to punch a man in the eye.   I jest of course, I eventually got to like men, even, and maybe especially, those who treat me like a woman.  As every wise woman who has gone before, I have learned it is not necessary to become like a man to be his equal. 

Jess Phillips is flogging her self centred feminist view of the world.  Her right not be offended.  While her constituents were queuing at food banks, she was demanding a Panic Room and personal protection because trolls had demeaned her as a woman on Twitter.  She doesn't present herself as a politician, she presents herself as the bitch at school nobody liked getting her own back. The only thing missing from her twitter profile is the middle finger. She is oblivious to all those working class men, and yes, I said men, who fought, not only on the those hallowed benches she now occupies, but standing on orange boxes in town centres, visiting factories and speaking to the people, without shields and without protection, just as Jeremy Corbyn is doing now. 

There was a time Jess Phillips when there were no women in parliament, who do you think got them in?  And I'm not giving all the credit to men here, what of those women who stood up in public and demanded the right to vote?  Does she think the Pankhurst women were supping tea with those Lords and tory MPs who were having suffragettes imprisoned and tortured?  Does she think, fine dining with Jeremy Rees-Mogg, who votes for every cruel and draconian policy the tories introduce will endear her to Labour voters?  Did she spoil the ambience by telling him about her constituents who have their benefits stopped, or those being made homeless?  Or how about the sale of the NHS? From the beaming smiles, I'm guessing not.  Her intention was to illustrate how easily, she can 'walk with Kings'* without losing the common touch.  And of course to display her good manners, she somehow resisted the urge to flick peas at the place where his chin should be. 

But as shameful a feminist Jess Phillips is, the world's worst example of the current female hierarchy resides in the White House (occasionally), the ultimate trophy wife.  A woman prepared to look and dress like a mannequin on a daily basis, an inanimate Kim Cattrall on a pull along trolley would look more convincing as wife of the President.  For all those young girls writing fan mail to Melania, (or do kids just write to Ivanka who I shall get onto in a moment), is she really the kind of woman, young girls should aspire to?  I kind of see a parallel with Pretty Woman here - go to LA, become a hooker, marry Prince Charming.  I actually cringe at Melania's life choices, for her, the frog didn't change, he's still a frog, and an especially nasty one at that.  If he acts like a cruel and vindictive bastard on camera, what's he like in private?

But I have reserved most of my ire for Melania's fashion sense.  I think 'sense' like 'choices' should be in quotes, I don't believe she has either.  She dresses to please control freak Donald, who wears a beautiful woman on his arm like an accessory, a compliment to his own good taste.  She cannot have down days, pyjama days, or days where she just wants to fling off her bra and tie back her hair. For her dressing up is no longer a game, it's a daily chore, she looks as though all the fun has been sucked out of it.  What other 47 year old woman would go to a day of field sports with kids (Easter egg roll), in a pink prom dress and pink slippers?  What other married woman knows her marriage would be over is she gained 5 pounds?  Her's is not a happy life, and I hope mums out there with daughters never hesitate to point that out.  Her days are numbered, albeit that might be part of her own life plan, but for now, the only pleas for help she has, come from her cold, dead, eyes.

As for Ivanka, creepy as it sounds, she dresses for Daddy too, someone probably told The Donald, as an adolescent, that power dressing opened doors and it has become a Trump family norm.  Laying on the sofa in sweats, and eating popcorn is for looooozerrs,  I doubt slobbery has ever been an option.  The same could be said of the British aristocracy I suppose, but at least they dress appropriately for the occasion.  The stunningly beautiful Duchess of Cambridge, like Princess Di before her, dons jeans and sneakers and doesn't care if her hair gets wet or the plebs touch her.  I fear Ivanka and Melania would turn up for a hunt, in organza and killer heels. 

I haven't read Ivanka's book empowering women, and I really must, because I am going to rip it apart in mine, but I have read enough clips to groan, and on occasion, projectile vomit.  Firstly, Ivanka describes herself, as wife, mother, daughter, sister, everything but a woman in her own right.  Daddy doesn't describe himself as husband, father, grandfather etc, and I doubt any men in the political world do that either.  Maybe she thinks it's endearing, in a cute, girly kind of way, but it still kind of screams, hey sisters, find yourself a good husband.  

Digressing slightly, I recently discovered that singles now outnumber couples, in the USA at least.  That is, more people are discovering the joy of going through this life, unencumbered or obligated to another**.  OK, that's a pretty cynical old view, and one I didn't discover until I got my brain back (menopause).  It is actually possible to live a rich and rewarding life on your own.  Unfortunately, or fortunately, the fertile years are the most fun, and we wouldn't haven't had half the exploits we did, if common sense had had anything to do with it.  What of those single women Ivanka, those women outside of the conventional man, woman, 2.4 children norm?  Those female pioneers who dedicated their lives to improving the lives of others in the fields of medicine, science, art, literature, those who don't see themselves as a decorative feature on a man's arm. 

Ivanka Trump is not reaching ordinary women on any level.  She is reaching out to those women who are like her, or aspire to  be like her, and like her father she is deluded enough to believe there are many.  She believes women can have it all, the diamonds, the designer wardrobe, the yachts, the millionaire lifestyle, the symbols of her success. and her worth as a human being.  Ivanka won't be remembered for building schools and hospitals or providing humanitarian aid to victims of disaster, they will remember the advert for a new shoe line that she tweeted during Hurricane Harvey.  Her equally shallow dad, was recommending a book.  

I'm adding my bit towards the ire directed at Melania and Ivanka, because the USA have now demonstrated that literally ANYONE can become President.  There have been rumours that the fragrant Ivanka may one day run for Office herself, on the ticket that all little white girls in rich families should be treated as princesses and I fear one third of the US population might vote for it.  It should be pointed out, that as owner and distributer of (phoney) products made in third world sweat shops, the only ticket she should run on, is Greed.   

Karma for Jess Phillips I believe, will come from a genuine feminist, male or female, one who works to improve the lives of ALL women, not just precious female Labour MPs who got lucky.  Eventually her constituents will get fed up listening to her whining about trolls, and choose someone who doesn't want a fortress between them and their voters.

Karma for Melania looks as though it is already here, going by the constant pained expression on her face.  She grimaces at his touch, and who could blame him.  Even Henry VIII's fifth wife chose cavorting with the couriers over sleeping with the gouty, bad tempered old King, knowing death was a very real option. She may have been young and flighty, but she chose the axe.  I expect she is already making plans to get away from Donald, and unlike his former wife, I suspect it will be as far away as possible.  It wouldn't surprise me if she slipped a 'help note' to one of King Salman's wives, while Donald was partaking in the 'look at my big macho balls' dance. 

Karma for Ivanka, may well be creeping up on her.  She has everything money can buy, nothing is beyond her reach, or out of her greedy grasp.  But like Daddy, what she yearns for most of all, admiration, just ain't coming to her in the way she planned.  As First Daughter, she wanted to flaunt her privileged, champagne popsicle lifestyle on social media to gasps at the pure fabulousness of all that it means to be Ivanka Trump.  As her father makes the US government the world's laughing stock, Ivanka is tweeting 'letters' from kids telling her how wonderful she is.  She is enveloped by her role as the Trump family 'nice' one, the pretty face of capitalism and greed, with her soothing (or creepy) monotone voice, she avoids controversy and expressive adjectives. 

Ivanka has got thus far by portraying herself as the voice of reason and indeed enlightenment, she cheered on her gay and transgender friends in the way a racist says they have a black friend.  Are any of them impressed one wonders, with her silence on her dad's recent spiteful ruling?  And does dare pick up the phone to the fabulous climate campaigner Leo DiCaprio and say 'what do you think of me now'? 

There is also some solace to be had for those fashionistas out there who want to bitch.  Whilst most of us despair of not having anything to wear, Melania and Ivanka have overflowing wardrobes, and nowhere to go. 







*  If, Rudyard Kipling
**Bill Maher show I believe

Friday, 25 August 2017

NOT BELIEVING DOESN'T EQUAL HATE

Not believing the McCanns does not make me, or anyone else a bad person, and in fact I would go so far as to say, pretending to believe is being complicit.  Those of you accusing me of being a bad person, are putting the parents' feelings above the fate of the missing child.  And they are complicit in the spiteful campaign to wreck the life of the former detective Goncalo Amaral.

I may not be a God botherer or a pillar of the community, but I have my own, very strict, moral guidelines.  That teen angst, that desire for martyrdom has never left me, death before dishonour. I will not be forced to believe something that isn't true. I was being battered daily in a convent at the time, so you can why I feel quite strongly on this issue. 

But, as I say to my Catholic friends, whatever gets you through the night, but please do not try to force your beliefs on me.  With the McCann supporters however, they just won't take no for an answer.  They demand we all believe as blindly as they do.  Fortunately Gerry and Kate do not have the power to burn heretics at the stake, nor even the power to have them standing in a dock.  And those helping them, are assisting the madness.
 
Badmouthing me won't make the situation any better, it is simply more bullying on the part of Team McCann.  I challenge them because I believe what they are doing is evil.  Their hounding and pursuit of Goncalo Amaral and Brenda Leyland for example, was evil. Both innocent people - and those doing the hounding knew that.  They wanted to take his family home and all the proceeds from his books.  They had already prevented him from earning a living, but that wasn't enough.  That knowledge sends a chill through me

In this instance, for some unknown reason, Team McCann are again complaining about those who troll them in social media.  And, as I said in my previous blog, why now? I fear the trolling of the McCanns is again being used to herald in new laws to remove anyone considered subversive, from the internet.  Which of course, is a direct attack on our Freedom of Speech.  It is no secret that there are factions within Team McCann actively working towards finding ways and means to police the internet.  Many want the rabble removed and in the dock, including less talented writers who want 'Opinion' restricted to the elite. 

For the majority of people (without issues) however, internet trolling is no more than a gnat bite, especially those in the public eye.  For them it is part and parcel of 'fame', they enjoy the perks, they suffer the loons.  They don't make a big deal of it, because it isn't a big deal.  If I paid attention to all the hate mail I have received over the years, I would be in a padded cell, wearing a straitjacket.  Ok, some might say, I should be.  Those drawing attention to their trolls are actually drawing attention to themselves, it is a variation on 'poor me'. 

But I don't want to get into the psychological aspects of trolling, for the moment, it is the way that it is being used for sinister, political purposes.  Gerry and Kate are the faces of Hacked Off, and those pressure groups that demand stricter controls on the press and social media.  Whilst other 'celebrities' appear to have seen the light and backed away, Gerry and Kate have continued to make their case as victims of an unscrupulous press and a lawless internet. They want action.  They want legislation that will shut down blogs like mine, and it would appear, shut down entire hashtags on twitter.  Again, with the God complex.

Information is as it is.  Tis my belief, the new Masters of the Universe reside in Silicone Valley, and they won't stop the flow of information for greedy capitalists or those insisting on ridiculous safeguards that protect no-one, least of all today's teens.  Kids today, know more about online safety than most of these online safety experts ever will.  Hands up every mum, who has learned all their internet etiquette from their kids? Even if you add the proviso, kids over 10, quite a few hands would still remain up.  The best protection any parent can give a child is confidence.  And happily most parents know that.  Those kids who are vulnerable, will have more issues than being groomed by an online predator in Kurdistan.

The idea that you can remove, let's call them what they are, deplorables*, from the internet is as ludicrous as removing deplorables from the streets.  It is something you just can't legislate against, and heaven knows, governments throughout history have tried.  Perhaps it should be remembered, that the elite, also tried to keep electricity and telephones to themselves, along with the right to vote.

Anyway, apologies for the Marxist lecture, lol, my gut instinct is to protect the freedom of the internet.  Since it's invention, I have been walking on Cloud 9.  So much to read, so little time.  I fear this may be a short lived period in our history, a new Age of Enlightenment, and one that the powers that be, will have to control if they are to maintain the status quo.  The Arab Spring showed how quickly a revolution can begin.  Boris ordered a job lot of water canons.  The US are now using tear gas and pepper spray - I wonder if Theresa May will ask Trump for a discount if crowd control armaments are among the US weapons he is trying to flog?  She may well need tear gas and pepper spray when The Donald rides down The Mall in a gold carriage with the Queen. 

But I don't want to digress.  Having watched the schemes and machinations of Team McCann over the years, this present distress is, I believe, nothing to do with internet trolls.  Unless of course, Professor Synnott is preparing a paper that argues the case for government action on anti social internet behaviour.  Why else count the tweets on the McCann hashtag every day?  Has it never occurred to Professor Synnott that the Madeleine case is unique (unique in the UK, the US have several) and that there might be a reason why these obsessive compulsives are spamming that hashtag every day.  If you take away their reason for doing it, you are making the entire paper invalid - what it was that set them off? 

The Madeleine case is unique, as is the position the parents find themselves in.  There are no forums or facebook groups questioning other families ripped apart by the trauma of losing a child.  Quite rightly, the idea of it would be horrendous, we would not want to add to their pain.  Unfortunately for Gerry and Kate, they have never been believable, and their abduction story makes no sense to any logical person.  How far we take that disbelief is of course open to debate.  I agree, this case has attracted more than it's far share of weirdos and stalkers, on many sides, but as a psychologist maybe Dr. Synnott should be addressing the obsessive compulsive disorder.  He should also acknowledge this case is in no way typical of online troll behaviour.   

I don't know what kind of cure Dr. Synnott is looking for with his troll study, but if he is omitting the root cause, then the cure he is seeking will be legislative. 




*Thanks Hillary.