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Tuesday, 13 December 2011

The McCann’s & the Temple of Influence - ANOTHER Christmas Tale......



 'Team McCann' recruits FACEBOOK !

The Leveson inquiry has thrown up some pretty harrowing tales. The ongoing inquiry, set up to examine the culture, practices and ethics of the British press following the News International phone hacking scandal has been pretty revelationary.


It has highlighted the extraordinary lengths that some journalists have resorted to in pursuit of that valuable ‘scoop’; that front page headline or ground-breaking story. 



As a journalist myself, I would have been somewhat more comfortable had the underhand methods of procuring information employed being used to expose something for the greater GOOD, e.g.: the actions of corrupt Politicians, the behaviour of privileged corporate bodies or multi-national businesses or even the outrageous practises of criminals causing widespread injustice.

Alas, the purpose of these dubious, highly illegal and frenzied activities perpetrated by the Tabloids and their servants or agents involved was for one reason and one reason only.

Scandal. Often SEX, but always salacious gossip.

Also appearing at the enquiry was the former landlord of Joanna Yeates, CHRIS JEFFERIES, who explained how, amongst other things, he had been falsely accused of being friends with a convicted paedophile and being a sexual pervert. These allegations, (along with others), were printed in a NUMBER of Tabloid journals; allegations that were described by Robert Jay QC as being "tenuous, indeed fatuous".



Despite the proceedings highlighting some pretty despicable practices amongst the Media one could be forgiven for thinking that the Leveson Inquiry is, and WILL be, nothing but a WHITEWASH at BEST, and what one Political writer described as “Muddying the waters”, at worst. 

My own observation is that the fact that Lord Justice Leveson HIMSELF is known for attending Soirées and parties at the home of Mathew Freud, husband to Elizabeth Murdoch who is the daughter to erm......RUPERT Murdoch...... kind of compromises any claim to his total impartiality in the ongoing matters.

But if it’s muddy waters you want, then you couldn’t really obscure or cloud the issue any greater than by inviting KATE & GERRY MCCANN to give evidence to the inquiry.

Unlike Chris Jefferies, whose character assassination was built on no more than the fact that he appeared somewhat eccentric and looked a little odd, the MAJORITY of the Press reports derogating the McCann’s were related to actual incidents which, ostensibly, could be substantiated.

I have highlighted previously some of the ghastly published assertions relating to the McCann’s and their friends, seemingly based on pure fiction, at which Kate and Gerry are justified in expressing outrage.



However, a LOT of the coverage relating to them and to the Police investigation into their missing daughter can NOT be consigned to what Gerry described as
“front page tabloid headlines.........of stories which appear to have no factual basis, or are exaggerated or distorted”



For instance, the now infamous Specialist Victim Recovery Dogs, Eddie and Keela DID signal that they had found Cadaverine and other materials in the McCann’s apartment, on some of their personal possessions and in a vehicle. 

Furthermore, the materials and samples SOURCED by these dogs WAS submitted to the Birmingham FSS Forensic Science laboratories where they do appear to have initially intimated a match to Madeleine McCann’s’ DNA.

Given that these dogs have successfully made contributions to HUNDREDS of serious crimes across many of the Constabularies in the UK, it would be somewhat churlish to suggest that they had spectacularly and, (more importantly), UNPRECEDENTEDLY got it wrong on this occasion, surely?

And of course, ultimately Kate and Gerry WERE made Arguidos by the Portuguese Police, suspected of being involved in the disappearance of their daughter. The initial report in September 2007 by Tavares de Almeida, then Chief Inspector, concluded, (amongst other things), that:

Madeleine McCann died in the Holiday apartment on 3rd May 2007.

A staged HOAX abduction took place.

The McCann’s were involved in the concealment of the corpse of their daughter.



Quite how the McCann’s thought the Press were going to report on these matters remains unanswered, not least because no-one at the Inquiry asked them.

I DO believe that the McCann’s had good reason to be aggrieved by SOME of the reporting surrounding the case, an example being where stories suggesting that they had SOLD Madeleine were published; clearly contrived rubbish for which not one shred of evidence, to my knowledge, exists.

HOWEVER, given the Press and Media’s subsequent, slavish and sycophantic reporting over the subsequent 4 years or more is seemingly designed to mould the public consciousness into believing that Madeleine WAS actually abducted, (an act for which not only is there NOT a single shred of evidence, moreover, that information which purports to be evidence is clearly contrived), then their appearance at the Leveson Inquiry must surely rank as one of the most extreme all time examples of biting the hand that feeds.

I have commented elsewhere on the ridiculous unbending willingness of both the Press and Broadcast Media to propagate, WITHOUT QUESTION, the frequent, unsubstantiated and often bizarre Press Releases made by the McCann’s fragrant PR Mogul, Clarence Mitchell.

The many gathered hacks at the inquiry must surely have felt a sense of astonishment at some of the McCann’s criticisms for them, and must also have secretly wished that Robert Jay QC had reminded the Golden Couple of the following:-



That since 2007, the Press has published MILLIONS of column inches relating to dubious exploits, adventures and escapades undertaken by METODO 3, the originally favoured ‘Ace Detectives’ employed by the McCann’s, (funded by the vast sums of money donated or raised by the public).



Dutiful reports and stories were published about these Spanish super sleuths “closing in” on a secret farm in the drug addled and lawless Mountains of MOROCCO, where Madeleine was presumably being held captive; then off to SAUDI ARABIA in pursuit of Millionaire Arab Paedophiles who had reportedly “kidnapped” the little girl “to order”. Alas, before they can unpack their cases they’re OFF again, this time to investigate the LATEST sighting, in Medjugorje, BOSNIA.


 Of course, the hapless METODO agency has since been shown to be a rather charlatan organisation, (not the ONLY instance of the McCann’s employing a fraudulent ‘Detective Agency’, but I digress).

It didn’t stop the Tabloids and the Broadcasters from subsequently covering tales from a multitudinous array of destinations as ‘Team McCann’ followed “leads” from Europe, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, The United States and Australia.

Clarence Mitchell must surely go down as the first and only PR mogul ever to hold his very own POLICE Press Conference, complete with pleas for information, a stern looking ‘pseudo-cop’ and photo-fit descriptions. Of course, there were no actual police present. Not least, presumably, because there wasn’t a single iota of evidence to substantiate either the information, photo-fits or apparent witness testimony being offered.



It didn’t stop the Press and TV from slavishly reporting this ‘mock’ Police conference, however, giving very valuable impetus and substance to the abduction theory.

I’m pretty certain that the now beleaguered and battered Press would have liked Leveson’s QC to have reminded the McCann’s of that devotion, in their defence.

Alas, he didn’t. Nor did he appear to have time to remind the McCann’s of the innumerable OTHER page leads, reaffirming the “abduction” angle, that followed with alarming regularity:-

MORE photo-fits and descriptions of dubious characters as apparently ‘seen’ by even more dubious “witnesses”. Tales of shadowy figures, lurking in the undergrowth, hiding under stairwells, seen shinning up drain-pipes or spying through apartment windows.

Not to mention the scores of known, convicted paedophiles that the ‘McCann Detectives’ were anxious to interview on the evidential basis that they might have been within a thousand miles of Portugal on the day in question. Even those that are DEAD are not safe from exposure or suspicion, one being suspected of possibly having made a “deathbed confession”.

Yet MORE characters and witnesses, some professing knowledge and vital information and clues or evidence relating to Maddie’s “abductor” continue to be paraded and published as important “leads” or “links”.





ALL of these sightings, witnesses, leads, links, photo-fits, descriptions and pieces of information have one, unequivocal linking factor in common:-

Absolutely NONE stand up to scrutiny, evidentially; they have not the slightest tangible iota or shred of credibility to support them, or to make them bona fide, other than the fact that Clarence Mitchell or a “spokesman for the McCann’s” is quoted as saying that they are “following the development with interest”.

Of course, it begs the same old question as to WHY the Press and Media would, without question, slavishly publish and broadcast these stories without either verifying or substantiating any of them.

A question LEVESON and his QC certainly weren’t prepared to either ask, or ANSWER.

Of course, there must also have been MORE than one person at the inquiry who smiled wryly at Gerry’s statement:-
“I don’t have a problem with somebody purporting a theory, writing fiction, or making suggestions”.

Not least because the McCann’s, their supporters and contributors have spent, (or provided services amounting to), at LEAST a MILLION pounds Sterling in seeking to oppress and suppress ANYONE who dares to deviate from the abduction theory/story.

Goncalo Amaral, the one time lead detective for the Policia Judiciaria in the McCann case was brought to the brink of financial, physical and emotional RUIN by litigation brought by the McCann’s seeking to BAN his book based on the Police Investigation into Madeleine McCann. Even though that ban has since been OVERTURNED, the books seized by the McCann’s and their agents have NOT been returned to Amaral.

As I write this, SKY News have recently reported that the McCann’s are FURTHER suing Senor Amaral for “at least” £1m Sterling for “Libel and breech of their human rights”. 



The News Channel describes Amaral as having:-

“made a fortune selling a book and TV documentary claiming the young British girl is dead - and wrongly claiming her parents staged a cover-up”.

They also reiterate the McCann’s assertion that he is a
“Self-obsessed, manipulative money-grabber with no morals”.

However, one has to turn from the mainstream Press and look to the INTERNET in order to really evaluate the seemingly unlimited capability of the McCann’s in attempting to control and influence the minds of the General PUBLIC when it comes to discussing their missing Daughter.

Ever since Madeleine McCann went missing in the summer of 2007 there have been those that have doubted that she was abducted. Some individuals did so for no other reason than that they took a dislike to the McCann’s or because they believed, as is so often the case in such apparent child abductions, a family member is complicit in their disappearance.

Others, however, keeping an eye on developing information coming from the Portuguese Media and other European news reports, simply doubted the McCann’s testimonies.

I have previously written about the Daily MIRROR hosting what was to become the LARGEST online discussion Forum relating to Madeleine McCann and her disappearance. It was subscribed to by MANY Thousands of people, globally.

When discussions turned to the possible meddling of the then Home Office Minister Jacqui Smith and Forum Members started to email the HOME Office about Portuguese assertions that Smith was procrastinating assisting them with their desires to interview the ‘Tapas members’, the Forum was SHUT DOWN!

Clarence Mitchell has since boasted in a meeting that he was complicit in closing it down.

I have also previously referred to the Online Store AMAZON, who sold a publication written by American Criminal Profiler Pat Brown “The Profile of the Disappearance of Madeleine McCann”.

This popular EBook was a basic review of the available evidence in the Police case combined with a theory proffered by Ms. Brown as to what might have happened to the little girl and her parent’s possible involvement in her disappearance.

Amazon, who have previously, proudly and righteously stated that:

"Amazon believes it is CENSORSHIP not to sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable............. we do support the right of every individual to make their own purchasing decisions."

That was their response to a whole HOST of people, companies and Charitable organisations who had expressed complaints and disgust at Amazon’s insistence on selling what was effectively CHILD PORNOGRAPHY, a book entitled “The Pedophiles Guide to Love and Pleasure”.

However, it took ONE single, simple letter from the McCann’s favourite Legal Bully boys, Carter Ruck Solicitors, (“Britain’s Most FEARED firm of libel lawyers”....The Times), and “The Profile of the Disappearance of Madeleine McCann”, erm...disappeared!



Of course, since those earlier days, Forums and online discussion sites have been usurped by SOCIAL Media and other Network sites, where discussions and debates about the McCann case continue.

On FACEBOOK for instance, there are quite a lot of pages dedicated to the McCann case. Some are unquestionably sick, puerile and offensive; others are merely platforms for discussing all of the different aspects of the case, reviewing the known evidence etc, (rather like the old Mirror Forum).

A few weeks ago, bizarre things began to happen to MANY Facebook members who were subscribed to, or were part of, any page relating to discussions about Madeleine McCann. Their pages were infused with comments and ‘Statuses’, some abusive, from people whom they had never previously had any contact with or known.

More importantly, they were discovering that their OWN comments and statuses, (some of which were made in PRIVATE groups), were being published on a Facebook page known as the “Official Find Madeleine Campaign”, a page/site run on behalf of the McCann family and clearly annexed to the official Find Madeleine.com WEBSITE, their FUND-RAISING website. 



Furthermore, (and to many, alarmingly), they found themselves ‘LIKING’ this official page and being publicly SHOWN to be liking it, (i.e. supporting it), even though many had never even previously VISITED the page and in fact DISAGREED with the page, given that it portrayed and supported views about the case that were very different from their own.

MANY of these people did NOT support the McCann’s in their fundraising efforts and some expressed concern that their details, comments, statuses and opinions had been made public on a Facebook page which they not only did NOT like or support, but which they did not agree with.

Some such individuals contacted the Administrators of this “Official Find Madeleine Campaign” an abridged example of which is here enclosed:

To webmaster@findmadeleine.com

Dear Webmaster
I am a member of a group on Facebook which has nothing to do with the “Official Find Madeleine Campaign” page. I have noticed that my posts, and those of my friends, are showing in the “Friends Activity” of the official page and should like to know why.

I did ask this question on your official page but it has clearly been deleted without the courtesy of a reply and you now appear to have removed the facility for me to comment further or make any post there now.

Please can you explain why posts made in an unrelated group can end up on your Facebook page?

Kind Regards
*******
This is the verbatim reply, which I have seen.

Dear *******
We know all about your activities and the content you are posting on Facebook.

You will get the courtesy of being told you are banned when you afford us the courtesy of not lying about Kate and Gerry online.

And just for your information, we can only see the hate you and your “friends” spew on Facebook via the page you all belong to. We don’t see your shares and ugly comments. And we sure don’t see your comments on our page. Thank goodness.

Have a good day!

The Find Madeleine Web Team.

Even though the “Official Find Madeleine Campaign” page posted this explanatory note:

"We are posting this again because our post from yesterday is further down in the comments. Welcome to those who came from unofficial pages. Because Madeleine is a child, Facebook made the suggestion to us to combine unofficial pages with our official page. This is to protect Madeleine from online abuse and her image being used without her parents permission. We have NOT harvested Email addresses nor gone on to individual pages and added people. There is no way for us to actually do that. Facebook did the merge of pages at our request. If you do not want to be a part of this page, please unlike the page (see image). We don't need to hear how you don't want to be a part of a lovely group of people who do care about getting Madeleine home. A huge thank you to those that continue to support us in our search for Madeleine. ~FM Webmaster"


I remained skeptical. The idea that FACEBOOK itself would either suggest, or comply with any request to ‘amalgamate’ people from a whole plethora of groups into ANOTHER group at that groups request, especially given the diverse and wide ranging differences of opinion, was incredible. Unbelievable and imponderable.

Such an act would amount to Censorship and control-freakery on an unprecedented level. It would represent the most singular, undemocratic instance of the stifling of free speech imaginable, not to mention an astonishing display of power and influence by those seeking to exert such censorship.

And after all, FACEBOOK, (like Amazon), was no stranger to controversy. It has faced many campaigns and complaints for its insisting on allowing pages to remain, on such subjects as RAPE jokes and pages that glorify and pay tribute to MURDERERS such as Raoul Moat, along with its general attitude in permitting comments and topics of pretty much ANY nature to go unchecked.

It certainly wasn’t going to be influenced or dictated to by the McCann’s and their agents.

Right?



To satisfy myself of the ridiculousness of the “Official Find Madeleine Campaign” assertions, and to avail myself with the TRUE facts relating to this whole affair, I contacted Facebook’s PRESS Office, via ‘Blue Rubicon’ the ‘Communications Consultancy’ that acts for Facebook.

I pointed out this apparent anomaly amongst differing Madeleine McCann groups and quoted the “Official Madeleine” page claims about the ‘amalgamation’. I asked them:-

Can you confirm that Facebook DID, in fact, receive such a request from this group to "merge" members or subscribers from other such groups, and/or that this was as a result of YOUR suggestion?

That being the case, can you direct me to the relevant section of your 'USER agreement' granting permission for such 'merges' to take place without the consent of the subscriber?

If you did NOT either suggest or actually effect the merge, can you explain how this group has managed to obtain apparent support from Facebook members who never wished to be associated with the site?

Are you in a position to offer OTHER instances of such merges having taken place amongst groups?

The reply, when it came, was shocking! This, (verbatim), from a Richard Appleton:-

·         We merged a number of pages that purported to be official Madeleine McCann pages, at the request of the family


·         We have done this previously for charitable causes – this is not a breach of precedent


·         These pages were joined into the official Madeleine McCann page


·         Unofficial pages that make no claim on being an official part of the Find Madeleine campaign remain separate 


·         These requests were carried out via our Page Operations team


“We merged a number of pages......................................at the request of the family

So there you have it. Facebook DID amalgamate certain groups relating to Madeleine McCann and ‘annexed’ them to the “Official Find Madeleine Campaign” at THE REQUEST OF THE McCANNS.

I immediately responded to this email, pointing out that this action had amalgamated whole groups of people who did NOT support the McCann’s in their fundraising ventures, (nor did they share the common purpose of many of those who ARE genuine members of the “official” page), turning them, unwittingly and unwillingly, from being critical of the McCann’s,  into SUPPORTERS!

I also asked FACEBOOK to comment on the fact that, far from being a “Charitable Cause”, the “Find Madeleine Fund” was, actually, a Limited COMPANY.

I further requested Facebook to provide details of the “previous” occasions where they had carried out such a merge.

To date, I have received no further replies.

To summarise: At the request of the McCann’s, the largest Social Networking Website in the World summarily and without warning, notification or otherwise “amalgamated” any pages relating to Madeleine McCann or her parents to the ONE, McCann controlled “Official” site, turning ALL, irrespective of what their opinions or feelings about the case are, into a SUPPORTER of the McCann’s, their ventures and their fundraising activities.

ADDITIONALLY, such a merge exposed those who do NOT share the aims and goals of the “Official” page to the vitriolic abuse, vilification and Cyber-bullying carried out by those purportedly acting on behalf of the McCann family.

It remains to be seen just how far ‘Team McCann’ are prepared to go in their efforts in influencing further the general public, and in silencing those who do not agree with them.

They have had the Press eating out of their hand for some considerable time now, who continue to publish whatever Press Releases are fed to them.

It is NOW clear that they are prepared to disseminate their views and mantras amongst the ONLINE information services also, targeting those that sell publications about them, forums that discuss them or sites that hold an opinion about them which does not correspond with the image that they have worked so hard in cultivating.

At least ONE online blogger is facing imprisonment and HUGE financial losses for doing no more than commenting on materials that are available to read elsewhere in the Portuguese Police files.

Clearly, when Gerry McCann stated:-

“I don’t have a problem with somebody purporting a theory, writing fiction, or making suggestions”, he omitted to add:-

“as long as it’s not about me and my wife....................





God bless, Madeleine McCann......................wherever you may be.....................

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Madeleine McCann and the POWER of the PRESS

I am forever being asked about why Journalists do NOT take a greater interest in the Madeleine McCann case; about why some Media ‘hotshot’ doesn't take up the mantle and pursue the whole case with a thorough tenacity in the hope of unearthing some concrete facts, or "expose the truth".

Or even reporting on those facts and areas where the truth that is known is different to the one being reported and perpetuated in the Media.

As much as I have always lambasted the British Media for their reticence when it comes to certain aspects of the McCann case, (and shall continue to do so), I feel that I should at least offer SOME defence to those many hard-working journalists without whose professionalism and dedication, much of the injustice that goes on in this world would remain hidden.

The answer is surprisingly, and bizarrely, simple. 

Money.

Journalists do NOT, have not and never will, control what gets publicised, printed or broadcast. 

EDITORS and program commissioners do. 


That is, a newspaper editor will work to a certain criteria, invariably advised, or encouraged, by that journals proprietor, and will instruct his hacks to pursue certain stories and look for certain angles relating to that criteria.

Conversely, he may also buy in from a freelancer, if the story meets with that criteria or is along the lines of the story policies of the newspaper in question. 

It is a universally accepted fact of life that most Media is very much driven by the celebrity culture, so stories and pictures of that nature will always take precedence over anything else.

I do not do very much work for newspapers, thankfully; (not least because I can't write copy very well; or indeed write at all, like MOST bloggers!); most of my work having been in the Television Documentary/Current Affairs genre. 

However, I have been commissioned in the past, (along with the company for whom I predominantly work with), to produce investigations for a number of mainly Sunday publications, and occasionally we have also submitted investigations to the mainstream print media where we think them appropriate or suitable for the publication at hand. 

In other words, those outlets that might BUY the story.

I well remember undertaking a long term, intricate, investigation relating to the once renowned owner of a Premier League football club, whose other business interests and projects abroad were questionable, to say the very least.   

We unearthed some fascinating, relevant and pretty sensational material, well researched and well backed up, involving many potential victims, quite a few of whom were British, who stood to lose a lot of money. 

The investigative article was copy written, signed off by the papers’ Lawyers, sealed and delivered, and was due for publication that particular Sunday. 

72 hours before publication, Michael Jackson had the temerity to up and die!!!; meaning that pretty much every newspaper for the subsequent 3 weeks was full of stories relating to very little else.





Although we still received payment, the investigation never DID get fully published, (although some aspects of it were reproduced by Sports columnists).

The bottom line is that, no matter HOW amazing the story; how utterly incredible, mind-blowing or "news-worthy" it may be, like every other commodity in the world, it has to have a market. 

And if editors and commissioners do not want to PAY for the material, (or are advised not to buy in or publish stories of a certain nature), then it never gets to see the light of day.

And even if the market exists, and a story is purchased/commissioned, its publication can very much be dependent on what other ‘newsworthy’ events take place. At the end of the day, there are only so many column inches to fill!

It would also take a very brave editor or commissioner to publicise anything that would derogate the McCanns at the moment. After all, they have all danced to Clarence Mitchell’s tune for some time now; some publications slavishly reproducing Clarence Mitchell's every utterance without even checking or corroborating his assertions with other sources, (as has been exemplified in the INDIAN "sighting" for instance). 

As far as I’M concerned, it would make a very interesting story, examining how or why it was that Clarence Mitchell declared to the British media that they, (Team McCann), were liaising with the Indian authorities and awaiting DNA results from them relating to a GIRL who has been potentially identified as Madeleine McCann in India, before then discounting the whole episode after Kate and Gerry had apparently seen a photograph of the girl in question and had thus concluded that it WASN’T Madeleine after all;  whilst at the same time the INDIAN authorities were completely refuting any claims that such an event occurred at all;- No liaising. No DNA tests. No sighting. No apprehension of individuals. No photograph. No girl!

(Of course, it would be an equally interesting story, to my mind, examining how exactly the McCanns could be so sure they could identify their daughter from a photograph taken 4 years after they had last seen her, but I digress).

But what would such a story prove, anyway? NOTHING; other than that Clarence Mitchell jumped on an, apparently, fabricated bandwagon in order to further the interests and exposure of his clients? 

It wouldn't be the first, second or tenth time............after all, it's what he's paid to do.




Additionally, to make such a story gel anyway, one would have to ask Clarence Mitchell a few rather probing questions. And anyone who has ever had to deal with Clarence knows that Clarence doesn’t DO questions. He only makes statements. And Press releases. Which, infuriatingly, are faithfully reproduced by the British Media, sans question, time and again.

But WHY oh WHY I hear you all ask!?

Well, partly because this isn’t a story, ostensibly, ABOUT a scheming, manipulative, astute, morally devoid PR mogul, or even a story about the vagaries or failings of Madeleines’ parents. 

It’s about a little girl. A cute, sweet, helpless and totally innocent little girl who has been missing for several years now. It is impossible, not to feel a wave of sympathy, heartfelt empathy and pity, especially anyone who has ever been a parent. 

And it is THOSE people to whom the Media pander to and cater for. 

It is patently wrong, erroneously assumed, that the majority of people who know of Madeleine McCann, believe that her PARENTS were somehow complicit in her disappearance. 

Online ‘Polls’ and opinion forums might suggest that most people believe there is more to the Madeleine McCann case than is covered in the newspapers, but that is a FALLACY. 

It IS true that the majority of people who look beyond what the newspapers and TV report, beyond the drivel fed to them by Clarence, which gets duly regurgitated; and actually study the Portuguese Police documents which are available online, or read other intelligible writings on the case in the form of some forums, blogs and publications; THEN begin to formulate different opinions on the matter and start to consider that there may be more to the case than at first seems.

But, sadly, those people are still very much in the MINORITY. 

Everyone knows the name Madeleine McCann, who she is and what purportedly happened to her. VERY FEW people know the names Jane Tanner, David Payne or Rachel Oldfield, much less what parts THEY had to play in the case or what their Police statements contained. 

Because unless they are given reason to question the newspapers or televisions in front of them, they have neither the desire, need nor inclination to know.

Of course, there is also ANOTHER, very good reason why the British Media don’t wish to publish anything that remotely paints the McCanns in anything other than a perfect light.

Actually, it’s approximately a MILLION reasons.

Pounds Sterling! 

For THAT is the sum, duly coughed up by Richard ‘Dirty’ Desmond, proprietor of  the Express Newspapers, to Kate and Gerry McCann and their ‘Tapas’ friends for reproducing material that was originally published in the Portuguese Press, based on apparent leaks from the Policia Judiciaria. 

THAT was deemed, (inexplicably, in many people's opinion), to have been LIBEL, although, bizarrely, the case never went to Court which, had it have done, it would have proved much less expensive for the Newspaper Group where the McCanns would have received only a fraction of what they subsequently did. 


More importantly, the Newspapers’ Lawyers could have fallen back on the age old defence to Libel- that it can not be Defamation when the statements are true, or that the statements made were done so in good faith and belief that they were true; assertions that would have been validated to a certain degree with a cursory study of the Portuguese Police files.

The Express never actually accused the McCanns of anything. They merely reported that the PORTUGUESE were accusing them and actually lambasting the Portuguese in the process, rather than libelling the McCanns and their friends.

For some reason best known to themselves, the McCanns never saw fit to sue the Times, the Telegraph, The Guardian, The Independent or The Observer, as well as all the Mirror, the Sun, The Daily Mail and other newspapers and Journals for publishing exactly the same material!

It would, for instance, be potentially far more remunerative and way more effective had they chosen to sue SKY News, for Martin Brunt’s famous declaration concerning the “100%  DNA match to Madeleine McCann”, as apparently evaluated from samples removed from the McCann’s hire vehicle, where he clearly asserted that such results were indicative of their complicity in their daughters disappearance.

Some newspapers actually published infinitely more sensational material, much of which is STILL available to read online now.  

I have previously written about how Richard Desmond acquired the Newspaper Group in the first place, after making a sizable Labour Party donation, shortly before being deemed by the self same Party to be a “fit and proper person”, in accordance with Newspaper ownership regulations and requirements!

I also wrote about how a cynical old bastard might start thinking that such a Charitable gesture as to donate a Million quid to Team McCann, from a man who made a sizeable chunk of his fortune engaged in Pornography and salacious gossip/celebrity magazines, could be indicative of him returning some kind of ‘favour’ to those in VERY high places who had perhaps furthered his Empire!


Alas, I shall just say that the fact that there are many, many stories STILL available to read in the online editions of virtually every print media publication is very telling; stories which go into great detail about subjects over which the McCanns have thus far spent a fortune in legal fees in trying to suppress!

Sometimes, when I complain to my colleague and close friend; a man whom I regard as one of the very finest Investigative Journalists of the past 20 years, about how clearly there is so much more to the McCann case than now gets published or mentioned, he nods approvingly and in full agreement. Alas he always says the same thing:- 

That he is sure that there IS more to the case; that there is clearly a huge question mark and a certain amount of suspicion over some of the McCanns behaviour and actions, along with those of their friends; that the whole case IS worthy of a sustained, elaborate and highly intensive study and investigation. 

BUT. 

No one wants to pay for that investigation, and as yet, no-one appears interested (or willing),  to pay for the publication of its findings. 

He always adds that if he were a millionaire philanthropist, he’d like nothing more than to dedicate his time and resources to fathoming its secrets. 

Until then, he concludes, he has 2 kids to feed so he produces material for which he knows he will receive payment!

And that is the sentiment echoed by many journalists and producers. A sentiment I saw first hand whilst suffering the ignominy of working on a Flagship documentary program for a mainstream Television broadcaster, who, at the same TIME were also producing a most fawning, sycophantic homage ‘documentary’ to the McCanns.

Of course, a FAR more pertinent question would be, who is dictating the Editorial policy of the mainstream press and broadcasters? 

I have come across murmurings of D-Notices, but I don’t personally believe them. 

I’m pretty sure that there is nothing that has been suppressed, or whose publishing has been negated, on the strength of one of those mysterious decrees that emanate from Downing Street, once in a while. 

That's NOT to say, however, that newspaper and Media coverage of the Madeleine McCann case isn't greatly influenced by certain Mandarins; slavish devotion to Clarence Mitchell and his Press Releases, bizarre 'news' gatherings and conferences rather suggesting that is IS.

I believe, quite simply, (for whatever reason), that at an Editorial level, it has been agreed that until anything of any real consequence, that can be substantiated, comes to light concerning any major discrepancy or deviation from the facts of the case as asserted by the McCanns; then they will desist from producing any accusatory stories and, at the same time, concentrate on pandering to the “flowers and balloons” brigade! 

After all, those newspapers that published extracts from Kate’s book, ‘Madeleine’, saw their sales figures increase! (Although in the case of the EXPRESS, I’m pretty damned sure they didn’t make a return on their £750,000 investment for the serialisation rights! Ah well. Suck it up Desmond. Those favours must be nearly all paid back now!).

It may seem difficult to believe that Newspapers would adopt such a ‘group policy’ but rest assured that it can and DOES happen. 

I well recall the occasion of a very famous and very popular ‘Nice Guy’, footballer who was engaged in an extra-marital affair that was well known about in the offices of every newspaper, and would have provided many, many pages of salubrious gossip, pics and speculation for days had they have published it.

The reason they didn't , is because this footballers SON was very sick with a condition that was thought at the time he might not recover from; and whilst such a heart wrenching fact would ordinarily give greater ‘human interest’ impact and impetus to the story, it was decided that publishing it would put a huge, unfair burden on the footballers WIFE, Mother to the child in question.

Even though years have since passed and  the child actually survived and got better, the story has never been published.

Just one of many true stories that would have made the front pages of EVERY newspaper for a few of days, had not the Editors collectively elected NOT to publish. 

Does that mean that Editors and proprietors have a heart? Not a bit of it! At least, not when it comes to a scoop! But in the instance of the errant footballer, there could have very well been a public backlash along with the huge wave of sympathy for the betrayed wife and Mother of a very sick child that just might have spectacularly backfired in the faces of the Newspaper publishing the story.

Which brings us back to the Madeleine McCann case.

As I write this, there are families in the UK who are planning on undertaking CAMPING trips around Europe in order to try and raise funds for the 'Madeleine fund'. There are children who are doing odd jobs and fundraising, along with contributing their own pocket money on a weekly basis.

Parents and Grandparents, sponsoring ballons, lighting candles, holding fetes, fairs and jumble sales to raise money for their chosen cause; helping to "find" Madeleine.

They subscribe to forums and websites that advocate and  preach divine intervention, spiuritual worship and mystical pratices.

These are decent, respectful and caring individuals who are touched and moved by the story of a missing girl and her, (apparently), heartbroken parents.

These are people who have read Kate’s book, or who have come across any one of a number of ‘Tribute’ websites or Facebook pages, dedicated to “looking for Madeliene”. 

These are people who have read the heart-wrenching words of the tabloid columnists, heard the impassioned pleas of the daytime TV presenters and Breakfast News anchors. They have absolutely NO reason to believe anything other than what they read or hear.


More relevantly, irrespective of whatever else is published relating to Madeleine McCann, they will purely and solely believe their chosen creed, buying into ONLY the scenarios they have adopted.

To illustrate this, a POLL, conducted in America in 2003 concluded that 70% of Americans believed that Saddam Hussein was complicit in the 9/11 attacks in New York. 

SEVENTY PER-CENT!!! Actually believed that the now deposed and deceased former Iraq leader had direct involvement in the New York atrocities, according to a Poll conducted by the Washington Post!


How can that be?? 

Simple. 

Because President Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, along with OTHER members of that administration suggested such links existed in the Months leading up to the so called; ‘War on Terror’.

And those suggestions were duly replicated with alarming regularity in the American Press.

And those citizens elected to believe them.

In fact, many took great PRIDE in believing them, and still DO, even though, of course, not only is there not a single shred of evidence to suggest that such links ever existed, but that the CIA has since confirmed that such links never DID exist.

Tony Blair, tasked with having to prepare the British to buy into the same war, chose a similar tactic.

Firstly, he presented a DOCUMENT, said to be an intelligence document detailing the Military capabilities of Saddam Hussein and the threats he posed to the West as well as countries in the Middle East.

Even when this document was shown to be a plagiarised academic Thesis from a Californian Historian, people STILL elected to believe its veracity and turned a blind eye when this 12 year old dissertation was used, verbatim, to justify the British Government involvement in the invasion of Iraq.

Along with the other, infamous, ‘dodgy document’ AKA ‘sexed up dossier’, which cited that Hussein not only has Weapons of mass destruction, but that Iraq could launch a chemical or biological attack within 45 minutes. 


Or, at least, that’s what the document stated once Blair/Campbell persuaded his old friend John Scarlett at the Joint Intelligence Committee to make some amendments. (For which Scarlett was subsequently rewarded with a Knighthood by Blair in 2007!!).

But I am digressing again!

The point I am trying to make, is that not only do people BELIEVE what they read, but they also either consciously or SUB- consciously elect to continue BELIEVING in something, even when contradictory evidence to what is being asserted exists.

It SHOULD, (citing the IRAQ War example again), have set off huge alarm bells in the consciousness and consciences of the British people, once it was made public that the so called ‘Military capabilities’ intelligence document  fabricated. 

Even MORE so when Hans Blix, the weapons inspector in Iraq, immediately prior to the invasion, was stating that there didn’t appear to be any weapons to be found.

No matter. Even though there was plenty of evidence, substantiated evidence, to suggest that the Iraq war was all based on a lie, people instead elected to either ignore or dismiss it choosing to believe the headlines of the Tabloids and the bulletins from Sky and the crass, Fox news.

Even, after it became glaringly obvious what the real purpose of the Iraq war was; when the first actions of the invading troops across the border from Kuwait was to secure the OIL pipes; when Oil production and sales from Iraq itself were co-ordinated and controlled by HALLIBURTONS, the American company once chaired by the man who STILL held substantial shares in them.

DICK CHENEY!!

If you ever needed to present as proof, the stupidity, gullibility, disinterest, naivety or indifference to the TRUTH, as exhibited by Nations and their people, then HERE it is:-


That the Vice President of an invading Imperialist Country marches into Iraq, and, using the company that he once LED, (and which he still has links to), secures that Countries’ highly lucrative oil production, whilst telling the world with a straight face, that we were engaged in a WAR on TERROR!. 

(Sentiments echoed by, of course, ‘Nu Labour’).

Impossible to believe that anyone could get away with that?

Well, it is very telling, is it not, that subsequent to these obvious truths and facts, both Bush AND Blair were voted back into power for a further term of office; the people very clearly either choosing to believe the ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’ fable, or caring little either way what the REAL truth was.

And if the vast majority of the people are willing to IGNORE, or remain indifferent to, the irrefutable evidence that proves that the loss of an estimated 1 to 1.5 MILLION human lives in Iraq was all built on a LIE...........

.......... then what chance justice for a 3 year old girl who disappeared under circumstances that were very clearly fabricated?




Godbless Madeleine McCann, wherever you may be............