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Tuesday, 12 February 2013

The McCanns: Forgiveness, Prayers, Misery & Fear

Since the disappearance of Madeleine McCann from Portugal in 2007, the World Wide Web has been awash with theories, suppositions, conjecture and notions about what may or may not have happened to the little girl.

A trawl through the various forums, blogs, Facebook pages and other websites dedicated to the mystery reveals a veritable cornucopia of discussion and topics, from the downright bizarre to the obviously ridiculous.

For my own part, ever since the girl disappeared, I have written blogs and opinions as well as subscribing to several forums, partaking in discussions.

For the RECORD, (not for the first time, and at the risk of sounding like a stuck record), my own stance on this case has always been simple and immovable:

I do not ponder whether Madeleine’s parents were complicit in the disappearance of their daughter. I give no thought as to what part, (if ANY), was played by their Holiday-making friends, the ‘Tapas mob’.  

I do not even contribute to, nor necessarily concur with, the general consensus of opinion that the McCann’s were even negligent in leaving their children alone whilst they dined. 

For me, it is the simple and unassailable fact that, having STUDIED the available Police files and contributory documentation, witness statements and testimonies, including those made by the McCann’s themselves, (as well as those of their friends); the events, circumstances and situations that they describe, and which they and their seemingly endless entourage of wealthy Lawyers, business friends, Politicians and PR companies continue to insist happened; cannot possibly have occurred.

And I also firmly believe that, were anyone else to undertake the same studies, they too would arrive at the same conclusions.

As, indeed, many have DONE so already. 

Including, of course, Anthony Bennett.

It may have slipped most of the world by, given that there hasn’t been a whole lot of publicity surrounding it, but Mr. Bennett is currently involved in High Court litigation with the McCanns.

Ostensibly, they are seeking to stop him from suggesting that they are linked to their daughter Madeleine’s disappearance, but in reality are FAR more interested in procuring Bennett’s life savings for having breached an EARLIER undertaking to the Court that he would cease to espouse such suggestions.

Of course, the McCann’s and their Major League City Lawyers, the infamous and renowned Carter-Ruck, could have singled out any one of the VERY many who have expressed and published exactly the same opinions as Mr. Bennett, myself included.

Alas, Bennett has been a particularly troublesome thorn for the McCanns for a long time.

Three Months after Madeleine went missing in 2007, Bennett set up a fund called The Madeleine Foundation to fund a private prosecution for alleged child neglect.

In November 2007, he started such a prosecution against Gerry and Kate McCann.  The initial hearing was dismissed on the grounds that it was a matter for the Portuguese authorities, and thus beyond the jurisdiction of British courts.

Undeterred, Bennett and his supporters took to leafleting the streets of ROTHLEY, the McCann’s home town, with pamphlets reproducing sections of the official Portuguese files. 

The, (by now), servile British press labelled Bennett and members of his Foundation “sickos” and “stalkers”, terms which were surprisingly deemed by the Press Complaints Commission to be justified in being used.

The UK Media were well and truly dancing now to the tune of the McCanns PR Mogul and spokesman, Clarence Mitchell.
In 2009, Bennett was issued with an order from Carter-Ruck solicitors, instructing him: 
"Not to repeat allegations that the McCanns are guilty of, or are to be suspected of, causing the death of their daughter Madeleine McCann, and/or of disposing of her body, and/or lying about what happened and/or seeking to cover up what they had done"

Which brings us up to the present day, where Messrs. Carter Ruck and their privileged clients are in the High Court to argue that Bennett was:
not abiding by the terms of his undertaking and was continuing to spread false allegations against them”.

Tony Bennett is a curious character. Unquestionably eccentric and seemingly idiosyncratic, who cuts a disheveled, unkempt figure. 

His critics, and there are very many, (mainly Kate and Gerry McCann well-wishers), tabloid journos and bloggers who refer to him, variously, as “perverted”, “sick”, “evil”, “twisted”, “depraved”, “weird” and “a liar” to name but a few monikers they have coined.

I knew of Mr. Bennett through a previous campaign which he was involved in, and which the Media company I worked for were investigating. 

I have met him, twice, and I thought him to have a very good academic brain. 

I also thought him to be a passionate and driven man.

Having led a fairly unspectacular Legal and Political career, Bennett has involved himself with a great number of campaigns; researching, representing and offering legal advice to a variety of people whom he has considered to have been wronged or for whom he believed justice had been denied.

It would be easy to suspect that he is something of an attention seeker or possessing delusions of grandeur, were it not for the fact that much of his efforts and work goes unrewarded financially and, in a large number of the cases he has involved himself with, has placed himself at considerable physical harm, risk and potential retribution from dangerous, criminal elements.

I am categorically NOT seeking to put Bennett on a pedestal here. Far from it. I personally believe that he has undertaken a number of cases for all the wrong reasons and has conducted himself carelessly and unprofessionally, as well as being overzealous in writing and reporting  his findings and opinions.

Especially, with his actions and writings relating to the Madeleine McCann case.

But I DO, wholeheartedly, want to defend him and offer him some support. 

Not least because, as already stated, not only do I SHARE some of his opinions on the McCann case but I have actually blogged, written and opined similar material for which he now finds himself in dire trouble.

And he IS, in dire, dire trouble.

Like myself, and many others, Bennett elects to believe that the Portuguese Police investigation, their dossiers, evidential documents and their conclusions represent a far more accurate picture of the truth relating to the missing girl than anything propagated by the McCanns and their vast, expansive, (not to say EXPENSIVE), PR machine. 

And it IS important to note that, far from being the fantasist and serial liar that he is frequently accused of being, he has only ever really concentrated on and repeated the sections and details from those official Portuguese documents.

As I have written previously, despite the McCanns repeated claims to the contrary, Kate and Gerry, along with their ‘Tapas’ friends were NOT “cleared” of any involvement with the disappearance of Madeleine according to the final report by the Portuguese Authorities.

I have blogged elsewhere about the contents of this report and do not wish to elaborate here, (it is also widely available on the WEB from many other sources). 

However, the documents DO make clear, to my mind, that there was insufficient evidence to proceed with any prosecutions and although the ‘Arguido’ status of both the McCanns and Robert Murat were lifted, there is very clear and compelling evidence detailed in the report that DOES suggest serious wrongdoing by the McCanns and their friends; that their testimonies were contrived and that there WAS a cover-up relating to some of the incidents that occurred in Portugal.

There are a number of very successful and widely available books on the European Continent, written by academics, criminologists and psychologists, all of whom utilise the Portuguese evidence as research and all of which reach the same conclusions as many other people, including Tony Bennett.

NONE of these publications are available in the UK, of course, nor are they ever likely to be.

The ex-head of the regional Polícia Judiciária in charge of the Madeleine McCann investigation, Gonçalo Amaral, knows only too well the consequences of writing anything that differs from the official version of events as propagated by the McCann Machine and enforced by Carter-Ruck, as he discovered when he penned his own account of the case, 'A Verdade Da Mentira', (The Truth of the Lie).

The resultant Court Action by the McCanns, (still ongoing), seeks to eradicate his book from circulation, as well as to glean a cool, one MILLION Sterling from the “Hapless Senor”.

Despite the fact that this Libel Trial is almost certainly doomed to fail, Senor Amaral is in a no-win situation.

Firstly, even though the Courts have granted the recirculation of his book , it will never be published in the UK, (certainly not in the foreseeable future), thanks to the obedient and sycophantic British PRESS. 

Furthermore, thanks to the huge disinformation and SMEAR campaign perpetrated by Team McCann, their supporters and Press from the outset, Amaral will forever be known as that “boozy”, “corrupt”, “inept”, “Porto plod”. 

OR, as he was so loquaciously ordered by Tony Parsons in the Daily Mirror, to "keep your stupid, sardine-munching mouth shut!"

For his troubles, alas, he will at least probably get to keep his family’s home and possessions.


Unfortunately, there will be NO such luck for Mr. Bennett.

As I write this, he is awaiting Judgement on his High Court case, due in any day. 

Officially, the McCanns assert that their Action is being brought against him because his writings are “harming the search for Madeleine”.  

But that claim holds very little water given that, as I have already stated, there are HUNDREDS more bloggers, writers and social networkers all opining and repeating the same thing.

Which suggests that Bennett must have some OTHER commodity which they want.


Bennett is NOT a rich man, but he does have life savings which would, to some people, represent a tidy sum.

Certainly, to the McCanns, it represents a USEFUL sum.

For despite the fact that Kate McCann in her book, ‘Madeleine’, suggests that Carter-Ruck do a “vast amount of work, unpaid” on their behalf, documentation shows that their fees “To Date” amount to over a quarter of a MILLION Sterling

And THAT sum, as well as any punitive damages awarded to the McCanns, will have to come from somewhere.

Mr. Bennett is under no illusions as to the outcome of his case, as he awaits the Judges findings.

There is a strong likelihood that he is facing imprisonment; unquestionably, he will be made completely and unequivocally bankrupt.

It matters not one iota whether what he has ever believed, written or asserted turns out to be factually accurate. 

The laws of Libel in the United Kingdom are very complex, complicated, draconian and frequently unfair.

Libel Courts are the playground reserved ONLY for the rich or privileged.

Kate McCann appears to have a very strange and nonsensical manner of apportioning culpability and ill-will sentiments to the people whom she deems to have wronged her.

To the person whom she alleges abducted Madeleine, the person who potentially would subject her daughter to the most vile, horrendous, tortuous deeds, as suggested in her book, where she very lucidly and disturbingly refers to “images” where she imagines her daughters’ genitals “torn apart”.

To THIS person, both in her book and in subsequent interviews, she speaks of “forgiveness” and “PRAYERS”.

To anyone who doubts that Madeleine was ever abducted, who casts aspersions on what she, her husband and her supporters insist is the truth, she wishes only misery and fear:

He deserves to be miserable and feel fear”; she wrote of Gonçalo Amaral,  who clearly from the early stages did NOT believe the McCanns or their friends’ testimonies.

So Kate shall, no doubt, exact further comfort from the knowledge that Tony Bennett is, unquestionably, experiencing both misery and fear in abundance.

For in addition to being a pensioner facing an uncertain future, bereft of everything he owns, he DOES share one misfortune in common with Senor Amaral.

The long, uncertain, legal threats, letters, Actions and subsequent litigation, undertaken without any legal representation, (Legal Aid NOT available in such cases, Mr. Bennet represents himself), has very much taken its toll on his family.

He and his wife of almost 40 years, have seperated....

Despite her unwavering support and loyalty, the tribulations and stresses of the past few years have proven too much.

So too, OTHERS in his family, close members, who have watched him fight his cause and lose, despite their efforts in warning him of the consequences; relationships strained, damaged perhaps irreparably.

Of course there are many who will say Bennett is deserving of such consequences, that he is merely reaping what he has sown. 

It is also true, to a degree, that he is the architect of his own misfortune. 

We are all free to make our own choices and to formulate our beliefs. 

Tony Bennett's ardent belief is that Madeleine McCann was NOT abducted and that the continued insistence by the McCanns, their Press and their network of supporters that she WAS, amounts to a cover-up.

And whether you choose to loathe, love or pity him, he has, in his own words, put his "head above the parapet".

He has assiduously and steadfastly fought for his choice, his beliefs and his freedom of speech and, in doing so, has made a stand for the freedom of speech of others. 

And that is something immeasurably more than most of us have ever done. 

Not least the multitude of faceless, nameless cowards, sycophants and trolls who hide and haunt the gutters of forums and social network sites, spewing their scripted and orchestrated hatred and venom, gleefully celebrating and applauding his downfall.

But this is NOT a blog to appeal for help for Bennett, financially or otherwise.

Nor is this a rallying cry to lambast the McCanns or those who support and empathise with them.

This is a simple appeal; a request; to all and anyone who ever expressed an interest in what is amongst the most perplexing and baffling missing person cases of all time.

An appeal to look BEYOND the innumerable, dubious reported ‘sightings’, the ludicrous potential suspect line- ups of dead or dying sex offenders, “swarthy foreigners”, Middle-Eastern paedophile rings, Moroccan gangsters and clearly contrived ex-pats and British tourists who seemingly remembered, years after the event, seeing Madeleine in a potentially precarious situation with strangers.

This and hundreds of other examples of fabricated garbage that fills the Newspapers, and has done so with alarming regularity ever since the McCanns managed to accrue huge sums of money from Express newspapers for printing nothing more than what every other journal on the planet had printed.

This is an appeal to look BEYOND all that. Beyond the writings of opinion columnists, Z-list celebrities and day-time TV presenters. 

Beyond the writings, blogs and twitterings of all others, INCLUDING my own!

It is an appeal, a PLEA; to read and research the official Portuguese police files, the Rogatory files and interviews conducted by British police forces and a host of other official documentation, dossiers and transcripts that are freely and readily available on the Internet.

An appeal, above all else, for people to make up their OWN minds. 

Not to have them made up for them by my words or those of anyone else. 

Certainly not by those who would abuse, bully, vilify, threaten and berate anyone whose opinion dared to contradict theirs.

Bennett isn't sick, twisted, evil, deranged, perverted or deluded. Or any of the hundreds of other things he is labelled.

He merely believes, as I do, and as I have opined previously, that the Madeleine McCann case is so much more than a case of a missing child. 

Tony Bennett placed every single thing he ever owned and ever cared about, on the cause he resolutely believes in. 

And lost.......

Perhaps Kate will remember him in her prayers.......

Godbless, Madeleine, wherever you may be.