I would hesitate to assert that I actually ‘enjoy’ a reputation of being a vociferous critic of Kate and Gerry McCann.
I have always found it most amusing and occasionally frustrating, (and still do) that, given that I consider myself a sometime serious investigative journalist of quite a few proud achievements over an 18 year period, that my moniker should only ever be associated with my musings over and a video relating to an, (as yet), unsolved and unfathomable missing child case.
When I consider the multitudinous blogs and websites that vilify and subject the McCann’s to all kinds of conjecture and curious conspiracy theories, I am forever surprised at the severity of the responses, abuse and messages that find their way into my mailbox. After all, I have NEVER specifically accused them of anything.
I have never, for instance, lambasted them for leaving their children unattended, which they DID, certainly to a much greater degree than they would have us believe, (although I always found it odd why they didn’t accept the available night-time babysitting services, especially given that their 3 children spent the majority of their holiday daytime in the day care nursery).
Nor have I ever really criticised the rather chilling and clinical formation of the ‘Look for Madeleine’ project, especially so SOON after the little girl’s disappearance; basically a slickly rolled out Limited Company designed to create money and, erm....., create money.
No. My criticisms and barbed comments have generally been reserved for their toadying supporters, the ‘Z’ list, (and occasional ‘A’ list) celebrities who managed to think they could enhance their profile by aligning themselves to the McCann’s cause celebre.
I will admit to having frequently given special mention of course, to the British PRESS, whose Editorial policy is very clearly being dictated to them by way of a combination of bullying, back-scratching and financial incentives. (Not to mention the THREATS by some of the big companies to refrain from spending any more of their advertising budget with them, as has been pointed out to me by a former Senior News Editor).
I may also have lambasted certain factions of the previous ‘Nu Labour’ administration, (including the Premier Gordon Brown) who, on occasions, apportioned more time intervening, arranging World leader meetings and Papal visits for them and making personal telephone calls to them than the time spent for some of the duties they were elected to undertake!.
It is true, also, I have to admit that I might have reserved a harsh word or two for the utterly unique, unenviable and one time ubiquitous Clarence Mitchell.
Whoever decided that Mr. Mitchell would be the best spokesperson and general representative for a couple at one time facing serious criminal charges is a mystery to me all on its own.
For here is a man whose very raison d’être is to fabricate, concoct and invent; a man whose most prolific previous appointment was to basically SPY on the British population by way of monitoring their opinions, thoughts and deeds in his role as the Head of the Central Office of Information’s ‘Media Monitoring Unit’.
His role? To basically ‘eavesdrop’ and gauge public opinion, compare it to what the Government’s desired views were/are and to control and influence that opinion towards the Government’s way of thinking.
OR, as the official description states:
“The Central Office of Information (COI) is the Government's centre of excellence for marketing and communications. Since 1946 we have worked in partnership with government departments and the public sector to drive best practice and cost effectiveness in the way citizens are informed, engaged and influenced about issues that affect their lives – from health and education to benefits, rights and welfare”.
Yes. Quite. I prefer my description.
But Clarence is not a man who lives and works by any convictions, morals, principles, general beliefs or LOYALTIES. Clarence is a man for HIRE. For ANY cause, as long as the price is right.
It is telling, is it not, that the man, who was instrumental in formulating the Nu Labour marketing and communications as head of their ‘Media Monitoring’, should subsequently work for the , erm...CONSERVATIVES during their last Election campaign as erm.......Head of Media Monitoring?!
Like a mad scientist from a James Bond movie, Clarence is basically a man who is precision skilled in snooping on what a Nation thinks, controlling the information that leads them to think that way, then MODERATING said information in order to make them think in another way!
It is a sure FACT that the huge plethora of stories that appear in virtually every British publication, relating to Madeleine McCann, have either been penned by, or certainly OK’d, by Clarence Mitchell.
Every Maddie “sighting”, persistent theory of abduction, every tale of evil paedophile rings in far off lands; every detective, private investigator, super-sleuth and other assorted odd witnesses who appear in the press with the latest theory/evidence/experience about where Madeleine was, is or could be, would have received the Clarence seal of approval.
If you were to ask me 5 years ago whether I thought that any GROUP,( let alone an individual), would or COULD, ever be powerful or influential enough to curtail a globally popular Internet FORUM, to basically close it down, then I would have laughed.
Yet that is exactly what Clarence Mitchell did, at a stroke.
The MGM Mirror Group’s popular Forum, relating to Madeleine McCann, and subscribed to by an estimated several hundred thousand readers, disappeared without a trace and without warning, save for a brief, single line explanation about ‘abuse' issues.
At the time of its closing, I was told by a Mirror contributing journalist close to the Editor that officially the HOME Office had exerted pressure, but that it was, indeed, Mr. Mitchell who had been the successful applicant. (Mitchell has subsequently confirmed his role in closing down the Forum).
Such is the power and influence that the man exerts.
Here is a man who hangs his coat on any major news-line that comes along, enabling him to spread his own agenda. Any other poor soul unfortunate enough to suffer a missing or MURDERED child, (or missing/murdered person of ANY age), is sure to have their publicity hijacked by the “thoughts and prayers” of Kate and Gerry.
Any tale of people trafficking or child sex exploitation anywhere in the world is sure to be met with the assurance from Clarence that “Kate and Gerry are keeping an eye on developments”, intoning that such developments might lead them to Madeleine.
Not to worry if there aren’t any sufficiently reported tragedies taking place; Clarence will find another angle.
The ongoing saga of the Cell ‘phone Voice Mail ‘bugging’ escapades by the News of the World inspired our man! Despite there been absolutely no evidence to support it, and the fact that the Scotland Yard investigation has revealed nothing to validate it, Clarence is adamant that his Mobile Phone was bugged!
By whom and for what purpose he doesn’t exactly make clear, but it does give him the opportunity to spread several column inches about his clients across every journal that will listen.
And, maddeningly, they all love to listen to Clarence.
But I digress.
I have NEVER judged them, per se. Never passed comment on their general behavior, their demeanor, their curious and sometimes strange responses and reactions to questions posed to them.
I have never assumed anything untoward in their lack of genuine emotion, nor opined as to why Kate behaved the way that she did when being made an official Arguido, (not just the unanswered questions, but also certain irregularities relating to members of MI5 who were in attendance, according to Portuguese Intelligence officers).
OK, I DID make a comment about how lacking in conviction they made themselves look when they made an extensive Press Conference where the McCanns stated that they “would NOT leave Portugal without Madeleine”, 24 hours before being made official Arguidos and around 60 hours before, erm...........leaving Portugal without Madeleine.
But I have NEVER criticised or seriously questioned a specific act that either Kate or Gerry have undertaken.
Claudia Lawrence, a 35 year old British woman, was last seen in March of 2009. The pain and trauma relating to her absence and to the uncertainty of her whereabouts must surely be immense for those who know her and to all whom Claudia means something.
Her fate is unknown.
On Sunday 27th February, a candle-lit vigil marking Claudia’s 37th Birthday was held at York Minster, presided over by the Archbishop of York.
Of course, it is true that in his local newspaper, Peter Lawrence, Claudia’s father, was reported as saying that he was “keen that other people who have had a relative or loved one go missing will attend the vigil – there is an open invitation.”
However, given that there is absolutely nothing, ostensibly, linking Madeleine McCann to Claudia Lawrence over and above the MANY thousands of other missing persons in the UK, a CYNICAL bastard might suggest that such an event merely presents a golden opportunity for Kate McCann to be photographed lighting a candle, pictured in every newspaper covering the event.
But such a vile publicity stunt would surely be way beyond the realms of what even Clarence and the McCanns would deem to be decency.
It would surely be beyond the limits of even the British Press, to allow such a poignant and sad vigil to be upstaged by using such a photo opportunity. It would never happen.
Oooer..I can hear my email INBOX bleeping already..........