Saturday, 30 April 2016


It's about this child

Unfortunately for these eternal litigants, they have been seething for several weeks now.  First they had the horror of their case going before a Judge who was already familiar with them.  Well, that's what happens when you spend 8 years in Court rooms, you eventually go full circle.

For all their bravado following the Appeal Court ruling, they haven't a hope in hell of winning in a higher Court, there is nothing to appeal against. The three High Court Judges were unanimous in their decision to uphold Goncalo Amaral's right to Freedom of Speech.  They have never had a strong case, even before the last trial began, they were trying to wriggle out of it, and after they produced their 'best' witnesses, we could see why.  What new affront can they produce that will supersede all the trials that have gone before and ensure them a large payout?  Pretty much the whole world thinks they were involved in the disappearance of Madeleine, Goncalo's book is but a drop in the ocean? 

In the years gone by, bad news for the McCanns, was usually swiftly followed up with a new sighting, but the sightings stopped when Operation Grange began.  Since then all the headlines have involved a selection of odd bods, loners and misfits, who have been scrutinized and even named, on a regular basis.  The burglar story has gone round the block several times, dismissed as nonsense by the Portuguese, it has been picked up again this week by the UK MSM and sold as factual to the British public. 

It could be that the burglar stories are a last ditch attempt to get the word 'abduction' back into the public's mind, but it scuppers the 'live and findable child' mantra, because it acknowledges that Madeleine is dead. 

In addition, Operation Grange is coming to an end.  Even the sycophantic Lorraine Kelly cannot avoid the obvious questions, her audience will want to know how the parents feel about that.  Can they really tell the world they are encouraged by the investigation?  That they are going to continue their 'search'? 

It is perfectly understandable that Gerry and Kate are not as buoyed as they once were, but turning down the opportunity to appear on National TV has to be a first.  Where are the invigorated, fighting McCanns, who, after 48 hours of losing their daughter, somehow found the strength to launch an international campaign and an online shop?

Their daughter Madeleine is still missing.  Goncalo Amaral is still telling 'lies', why have they not turned this negative into a positive?  Very few people involved in libel actions have the opportunity to give their side to the press, yet Gerry and Kate it appears, have rejected hundreds of offers this week.  In my experience, you can't shut seething people up, eg. Tony Bennett.  Seething people have plenty to say, especially if they feel they have been treated unjustly. 

They have reserved £750k to search for Madeleine.  Going by their past expenditure, that won't last 5 minutes, and is it 'safe' from the Portuguese Courts?  Their PR people have let them down badly, if they have advised them not to fight their corner.  Interviews with the national and international media are priceless in publicity terms, and would at least have given them a platform to state their case sympathetically.  Not forgetting of course, that they have only ever sought media attention to find Maddie.

Thursday, 21 April 2016



It's really interesting to return to the McCann files and re-read these old newspaper articles from the early days.  The old reports of the Madeleine debate at the LSE in January 2008, are particularly enlightening.  At this gathering of the great and good within the media world, no attempt is made to cover the contempt they feel for their readers and the public at large. 

We are too stupid apparently, to grasp the finer details of Kate and Gerry McCanns' innocence, and the reason for the public backlash stemmed from jealousy of the well to do, neatly pressed, doctors.  Sun readers especially, come from a lower social demographic and lack the ability to distinguish between fine dining with friends and going out on the lash.  The hatred towards the McCanns was clearly based on ignorance in the ways in which their 'betters' take care of their children.  Look how quickly all those middle class journalists and commentators jumped on the bandwagon to say, 'we do it too'. 

While Sun readers may not have Doctorates and Degrees, they have a more caring attitude towards childcare, and they have the ability to spot a blatant liar when they see one.  Let me make it clear for the intellectuals and academics who seem to have gone off in a whole bizarre direction with this one.  We ALL have the ability to spot lies, it is a natural survival instinct, and none of us would be here if those instincts hadn't been finely honed.  And of course, instinct is the key word here.  It is not something you learn from a book, film or lecture, it's already there.  Though to be fair, it may be heightened among the lower echelons as their ancestors had more to contend with in order to keep the gene pool going.   

All those thousands of Sun readers writing into Kelvin McKenzie could see with their own eyes that Kate and Gerry were lying through their teeth.  Grieving parents do NOT behave as they did.  We have all suffered loss and bereavement and we know what it looks and feels like.  In what universe does the loss of a child compare with being overdrawn on your student account?  In what universe do you lounge around sunbathing (accompanied by a government spokesman) while strangers trek the surrounding countryside searching for your child! 

We all know Gerry and Kate would have had entirely different treatment if they came from an ethnic minority, or if they were unemployed and living on a Council Estate.  That's the way society is.  What those who claim to be far more intelligent than the antis fail to understand is that we are not mad at Kate and Gerry because they have got a nice house, we are mad at the horrific crime that is being covered up.  Their social status is irrelevant, parents can't just make their children disappear with no questions asked.  And if saying that makes me ill bred and uneducated, then so be it. 

 Meanwhile, anyone still taken in by this hammy acting really should start to question everything. Have they, for example, had a serious knock on the noggin?  Have they been overdoing it with the hallucinatory drugs?  Have they been invaded by a body snatcher or demon?  Some McCann supporters have been known to thrash around on the floor speaking in tongues.  Anything is possible. 

The Sun may support Kate and Gerry, but 98% of their readers don't.  They can push the abduction and bent cop story all they like, but within seconds their readers can discover the truth via their tablets and smartphones.  

But this snippet is not without a happy ending.  We are now entering the phase when all those stuck up, we know better than you do, pompous dinosaurs will have to face up to the fact that their readers were right and they were wrong - and ouch, that's gotta hurt.  And just to add to their pain, it wasn't lack of fine breeding that stopped us seeing the Emperor's new clothes, it was what my old Dad used to call 'a bit of bleddy common sense'. 



For whatever reason, Kate and Gerry McCann have focused all their anger and hate towards Goncalo Amaral for the past 9 years.  Goncalo is the detective who had charge of the original investigation and who was closing in on them, when by pressure of the British government, he was removed from the case.

Since then the McCanns have fought a proactive campaign to discredit him, aided and abetted by a complicit British media and, going by what was said by Craig Murray, quite possibly the incumbent government too.  Tabloids carried hundreds of headlines and front pages insinuating that Goncalo and his team were a brutal mob of hard drinking, sardine munching foreigners who couldn't be arsed to search for Madeleine.

In 2008, Goncalo published The Truth of the Lie.  A book the world was waiting for, because quite frankly, no-one believed a word the McCanns said.  For all this smokescreen of innocence, the world was whispering.  Goncalo had every right to defend his reputation.  Ultimately, that is the only worthwhile legacy we leave behind in this world.  And his book wasn't malicious.  It was an honest account of a very sad story, he even shows compassion towards the troubled Kate, and a human understanding of the situation they found themselves in.

Above all, it is a factual account of the original Portuguese police investigation, it doesn't differ from the police files that were released into the public domain.  What troubled Kate and Gerry was the fact that it exposed the deceit the McCanns used and continue to use, in their media campaign.  A public face that says 'all is well and the police don't consider us suspects', and the chaotic reality of what was going on behind the scenes. 

What irks them most of all, is that Goncalo's account of the investigation is beautifully written and easily accessible to anyone.  If it were serialised in the Sun for example, the papers would fly off the shelves.  It should have been a worldwide bestseller, it is far superior to Kate's Madeleine and it was of huge public interestIf it were widely read, the myth of Madeleine's abduction would be blown wide open, any dreams of a Gerry and Jim run National Centre and television channel for missing children, would be dead in the water.  As indeed, they now are.

Goncalo's book will still be a best seller.  The ruling in the Portuguese higher Court will have a huge knock on effect.  There is a good likelihood that publishers and indeed, newspaper moguls will now take a chance.  Leveson did not receive the public support that was anticipated.  The public are no longer angry about press intrusion that went on, because once the anger subsided, they realised that gagging the press was not a good idea.  No one is hacked off anymore, as a glance at their website shows. 

Hopefully in the next few days/weeks Goncalo will enjoy the magic of a publishers bidding war.  The McCanns have had their legal claws removed, they can't sue everyone.  When he walks onto the set of Oprah, he will receive a standing ovation, and I hope she comes out of retirement to do a one off special. 

Whilst I agree that people should no longer share Goncalo's book free online, I hope he remembers that all those who shared it are the ones who have been fighting alongside him and getting the truth 'out there'.  GoFundMe was so successful, because the contributors had read the book.  He should also know, that all those of us who have read it free online, can't wait to buy the first UK edition, and if we are lucky, signed by his own fair hand!   I'm still holding out to write the Hollywood screenplay, in my head I have already cast Antonio Banderos in the lead!

Tuesday, 19 April 2016



UPDATE 20:04.16

In response to comment 15:04 below

I have been trying to work out what motivates the tabloids for years 15:04! Not sure I am any the wiser, other than to say all they really care about is the number of copies they shift. 

Clarence is right, this is a soap opera, and the papers will watching their circulation figures carefully.  In 2007, McCann stories flew off the shelves - the McCanns were hot property and the interest continued. (well done Clarence)  Oprah didn't have them on her show because she liked them, they were there because the audience were curious, the whole world was. The same could be said for their breakfast sofa appearances - bums on seats and all that.  Katie Hopkins for example, is quite likely to say something outrageous that will grab the headlines, so she is a regular guest.

In their heyday, they could (and did) ask for whatever they wanted. The media didn't feel sorry for them, they wanted a cut of the action. As long as they shifted copy, they were handled with kid gloves. 

The same mentality may persist even now 15:04. The end of this case may be as sensational as the beginning when newspapers and magazines were in a bidding war for anything Madeleine related. 
Whoever gets 'the confession', will have a glittery future, it will become an iconic 'TV' or 'NEWS' item forever more. Never mind pitching for exclusives for the 10th Anniversary Clarence, the 'truth' could rake in millions and time is running out. 

Journalists can be pretty ruthless when it comes to getting a scoop.  They will do all the boozing and schmoozing that they have to if they can grab the front and centre pages.  Some, like Lorraine, may establish a relationship (still makes her a two faced bitch)with their subjects, but all will do what they can to keep them onside. 

The tabloids days are numbered, there aren't that many big pay days left.  The Media too remember those hazy, surreal days of summer 2007 when Madeleine stories sold in millions. It was a phenomenon and one they would no doubt like to recreate. 

Whether that is possible anymore remains to be seen.  Anyone in the least bit curious about Madeleine's disappearance can see immediately that the newspapers are not telling the truth, so why buy them?

As I said before, the newspaper industry is a dying duck, all the bias, prejudice and manipulation has been exposed. Through the case of Madeleine McCann, ordinary people have woken up to the Media's deceit, and they have so many other options, they don't have to put up with it anymore.  

Oh, and Happy 420 ;)

UPDATE 20.04.2016 

Once again the tabloids are portraying the McCanns as victims, claiming they have 'lost' £500k that was earmarked for the search for Madeleine.  Let's be clear, the £500k wasn't theirs to lose.  It is money they demanded with menaces, the former police detective's home and all his assets.  Not only did they want to ruin him financially, they wanted him to feel misery and fear. 

The McCanns agony lies in the fact that people are no longer giving them  money. They have run the Fund into the ground suing Goncalo Amaral, and any appeal for more 'search' funds will be seen for what it is.  They must now be facing legal costs that run into millions, their home and all their assets are at risk.  Everything they wished onto Goncalo Amaral has spun full circle  and come back onto themselves.    

UPDATE 15.49 

The only news thus far is that costs have been awarded against the Plaintiffs.  Effectively this means the McCanns will have to pay all their own costs (and the costs of the twins and Madeleine - they were claiming cash on Madeleine's behalf too) and the costs of Goncalo Amaral and the two other Defendants.  This is financial ruination in anyone's book, the costs will far exceed the damages they were awarded in the last round.  

It is apparent from the pro McCann sites that the lawyers are frantically looking for grounds to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.  If it is an option available to them, how on earth are they going to fund it?  The costs incurred already must run to millions, far more than the £750k they recently moved to a 'search' fund.  Will Isabelle Duarte carry on?  She looked none too happy last time.  

Looks as though it is the end of the legal line for Gerry and Kate.  They became hooked on litigation following their winning streak, but they have now over played their hand and lost everything.  I don't see any way back from this.   

UPDATE  13.30pm  19th April 2016

Good news coming in on Goncalo Amaral's appeal in Lisbon.  No details known yet, but great to see public support has prevented the McCanns from destroying Madeleine's Avenger. 

Unfortunately, it raises huge questions about today's headlines, that they coincide with the announcement of the appeal result, seems more than a little coincidental.  If proof were ever needed that we were being manipulated, we have it in abundance today. 


It seems the entire British Establishment is treating the entire British public as if we were lobotomised half wits.  One of the most interesting factors in studying the case of missing Madeleine McCann has been discovering just how much our mainstream media are happy, willing and able to lie to and manipulate the public.  There is so much back scratching in this case, that I suspect nails are now scraping on spinal columns. 

Once again, our newspapers and broadcasters are telling us they hope to find Madeleine alive, and the detective in charge of the case DCS. Duthie tells us that's what the parents want and that's what the public want, and by the power vested in him by the canonised pair, he will keep going, picking up £95k every six months - its taxpayers money, it's a bottomless pit and he won't be rushed. 

Meanwhile, we must show the kind of compassion to the McCanns that they have not shown their enemies or even their children.  The anniversary is coming up and the collection buckets are being put out.  The £5m+ they had in their personal fund is all gone and so is the £12m donated by our government. Dig deeply folks, these are not just child neglectors, they are McCann child neglectors.  If they can get back on track, they can have a UK equivalent of the American NCMEC, with Gerry doing a John Walsh and hosting his own TV show. Watch out Simon Cowell, there's a new kid in town. 

Perhaps due to the excessive back scratching, it appears there are very few spines left anywhere.  None of our elected politicians have ever questioned the inordinate sums spent on this one missing child, even though many of their constituents are suffering from rising crime and inhuman cutbacks.  Sofa Queens and Police Chiefs fawn over the stricken parents, the tragic victims of a brutal third world police force.  The name McCann is sacrosanct, spoken only in a revered tone for fear of adding to the 'victims' pain or being labelled a 'hater' - only the cruel and heartless believe the word of the 'disgraced' Portuguese police over the highly respected British doctors.     

The headline 'Madeleine's Alive' is right up there with 'the Emperor's got new clothes', we are being asked to believe something that is not tangible, feasible or logical.  Those putting out those headlines believe we really are that stupid. It's actually quite insulting.  'Yeh, well we dug up all the areas surrounding 5A, but now we believe she's alive - she was seen having a stroll with Lazarus', he might just as well have added, please give generously on the 3rd May.

I can see why he wants to deflect suspicion from the parents, but it's pretty bad form to stitch up a fellow officer in Portugal who's appeal against the wicked machinations of the parents, is coming up.  Especially considering the crux of the case balances on the dead/alive issue.

I'm getting so fed up with this cat and mouse game, that I am not really sure I care anymore.  I have no doubt parents and their entourage will be haunted by their actions forever more, but I do object profusely to their continued enrichment through cruelty and deceit.  It irks even more that they are being aided and abetted in this by the British Authorities.  Those same authorities might want to bear in mind that some of we bloggers know a lot more about this case than we publish.  And we are not censored by editors, legal teams, politicians or 'favours' owed.  We hold back out of respect for the judicial process.  We are driven by our search for the truth and justice for the real victim in this crime, little Madeleine. For myself, I am just as outraged at the evil perpetrated in this child's name now as I was in 2007, in fact more so, as those who seized on her tragedy continue to trade on her name and persecute others. 

These ongoing crimes are not victimless.  Goncalo Amaral, the first detective in charge of a Madeleine investigation has been pilloried, demonised and financially ruined by these former suspects.  And in the McCanns' quest to take control of the British media, an innocent woman died - not because she had committed any crimes, but because she dared to question the lies published in our daily newspapers. 

The  newspaper industry is a dying duck.  Not just because people have the news online, but because they are waking up to the dishonesty and manipulation of the MSM.  The public want the truth and the truth is now only a couple of clicks away.  While today's tabloid front pages might shout 'Madeleine is Alive', a discerning public will be checking out twitter and the McCann Files and I doubt very much there will be any surge in newspaper sales and donations.   

Sunday, 17 April 2016


From the moment they found Madeleine gone, Gerry and Kate have worked tirelessly to place the blame on others.  They were innocent parents lulled into a false sense of security by the tranquil, friendly setting of the resort, how could they possibly have known the Algarve was a haven for child predators? They cannot be blamed for leaving the children on their own, it was the natural thing to do, no-one warned them of the danger.  Warners especially, failed in their duty of care, by not placing notices around the resort.  

Kate and Gerry claim that on the night Madeleine vanished, no-one was helping them.  In fact, whilst the police, searchers and volunteers combed through the surrounding area looking for their daughter, they were on the phones establishing the myth that they were on their own and the Portuguese police were biased and incompetent.  The fact that Portugal launched the biggest missing person search in their entire history, was drowned out by the proactive McCann and Healy clans, who were more than happy to smear the police in whatever way they could. 

That the parents were hostile to the police from the very beginning is more than a little curious.  Whilst it did of course distract from their own negligence, it was also planting seeds that have continued to grow and flourish to this day.  If the Portuguese police had handled the abduction properly, Madeleine may have been found.  Their failure to close the borders and bring out helicopters added to the McCanns' pain.  Then of course, there were the hundreds, if not thousands, of sightings around the world, how many of those were lost because the Portuguese police had turned their attention on the parents? 

Bizarrely, Kate and Gerry then claimed the 'incompetent PJ' cleared them in the final report of the Portuguese AG.  Every text is of course open to interpretation, and the AG report is worded very carefully, one suspects it was agreed by multiple teams of high priced lawyers.  We could play semantics all day long, but the truth was, the file was shelved.  As Kate and Gerry often said 'no-one is looking for Maddie'.  On this occasion, they were being quite truthful.  No-one was looking for a live Madeleine, because the police believed she was dead and were not going to waste anymore resources on wild goose chases.  It didn't matter one iota what Goncalo Amaral did or didn't say, the message that Madeleine is dead came from the shelving of the Portuguese police file in July 2008. Contrary to what Kate and Gerry may claim, police do not give up on live, findable children. 

The blame for the McCanns secondary loss lies firmly with the Portuguese police. 'They don't want a murder in Portugal', Kate opined, 'so they are blaming us'.  The PJ in their eagerness to blame the foreign tourists themselves so they get back to their wine and sardines, were looking for a quick way out. The parents were being framed! The idea of leaving a child predator on the loose in order to wrap up a case is of course absurd, and presumably the first line of defence for most suspects, but they went with it nevertheless.  Susan Healy of course bought it hook, line and sinker.  'If there is evidence, WHO put it there?' - she asked through her rose tinted glasses.  

Naturally the blame for the McCanns' predicament doesn't stop there. Enter the big bad media moguls.  All such great buds at the beginning when they were all soothed by the daily kerching of tabloid sales and donation buttons and sworn to be best friends forever.  But it was a relationship based on cash flow, and when the cash stopped flowing the relationship soured.  Was it them, was it us, Kate and Gerry must ask, before deciding conclusively, it was them.  They just moved on, lured away by the next big story and the next sensational headlines. It wasn't like the McCanns didn't try, Kate even graciously agreed to postpone her book launch so she didn't detract attention away from the Royal wedding.

Clarence is right of course.  The McCanns relationship with the media is a soap opera.  One in which a petulant couple with huge legal resources were constantly demanding front pages and headlines.  If they were prepared to pay Bell Pottinger £500k* to keep them on the front pages, what other tactics were they prepared to use?  We have seen the way their representatives act on social media - they are completely bereft of honour, integrity or basic good manners.  The McCanns are what I call 'gimmeez', as in 'give me, give me, give me', and gimmeez can turn extremely unpleasant when they stop getting what they want. 

Gerry doesn't believe they were compensated anywhere near enough for the suffering they endure.  They were only awarded for the damage suffered in the UK, not throughout the world.  And things were going so well in Washington and the USA, John Walsh, Oprah, movie deals, so many affluent bible bashing areas places the parents could have taken their search for Maddie. 

The McCanns most current, and pressing, war is with the Media.  They must take the ultimate blame for everything.  Team McCann are anxious to pre-empt any backlash from Operation Grange, and/or any lifting of press restrictions that may be in place.  As and when the press turn on them, they can blame pre existing vendettas because they told the 'truth' at the Leveson Inquiry and because they 'exposed' their appalling behaviour.  

It may be that Gerry is considering further action for the global damage he and his wife suffered, it obviously niggles him, and legal action has been very lucrative in the past.  But then again, he will turn against his lawyers, it's a gimmeez thing and it's inevitable and I would love to be a fly on the wall when he instructs Carter Ruck to sue themselves.  

Kate and Gerry's modus operandi is to blame others, they are eternal victims.  'We did nothing wrong' Kate says over and over, 'it was the abductor who broke into the apartment'.   For 9 years, they haven't been telling us to look for Maddie, they've been saying 'we are not to blame'.  They want it carved in stone and splattered across the front pages.  They want those carefree days of Summer 2007 back, when the world loved them and VIPs like Ray Wyre and Clement Freud invited them to dinner.  They want the chauffeur driven limousines, the private jets and the 5* hotels.  And they want the privacy to enjoy them and the right to brag about them, but without press intrusion or the publication of any story not approved by their press agency.  And they believe with the right publicity it is all possible.

Kate and Gerry's need for people to believe them is driving them insane.  It dominates everything they do.  They can't give up the search because it would confirm that Madeleine is dead and there would be no need for a Fund. People are not likely to donate if they believed the Fund was for legal expenses.  The idea that Maddie is in the care of a family who wanted her, becomes more airy fairy with each passing year.  And if the 'abductor' had wanted a child to traffic, there were two babies in the same room. 

The McCanns will only have legal protection as long as they can afford it.  That is the harsh reality, and it may be that Gerry is taking on the mantle of the ordinary man against the might of the press barons, because he can no longer afford Carter Ruck.  Gerry's efforts to bring the British press under control have had limited success, and the chances are he and his wife have made a lot of enemies along the way.  They have bitten the hand that fed them and they continue to snap away at their ankles, they want more, but as we have seen over and over, nothing is ever enough.  Again, that's the way it is with gimmeez.  

Sadly for Kate and Gerry, the newspapers can't put things right, nor can the Royal Courts of Justice, the smear campaigns or the hounding of their critics on social media.  They may blame the police, the press, the public and Goncalo Amaral for the situation they now find themselves in, but at some point, they will have to acknowledge that they made all their own decisions.  

Those who blame other people for their woes will never be happy.  For Kate and Gerry, exonerating themselves of blame may salve their conscious, but it won't endear them to anyone.  It's not a likeable trait, and probably has more to do with their unpopularity than anything said by Goncalo Amaral.  Genuine grieving parents blame themselves, no matter there really was an abductor, they blame themselves, nothing can take that guilt from them, and nothing can ease their pain.  Watching the guilt and the real tears of distraught parents is heart wrenching, because we know that is exactly how we would feel ourselves.  

The McCanns I feel are putting on a brave front and preparing for the next round.  Just as in PDL in the lead up to the '100 Days', they are continuing with their media campaign and ignoring everything that is going on behind the scenes.  I can imagine Team McCann wearing minion type goggles to keep them focused on the wider agenda and how they can continue fund raising for a child who is no longer with us.  

One day, we would hope Kate and Gerry will realise that the buck stops with them.  Other people are not responsible for the roads they took, they took them of their own free will.  Even if all of the people they blame had followed all their instructions to the letter, and given them everything they wanted (and many did), they will still be 'if onlys' and 'but fors'.  That's the way it is with negative people, they will always find something to complain about and someone to blame for them being disgruntled.   It is always someone's else's fault.  'Our lives would be perfect but for........'.  Tragically in this case, it seems the name Madeleine completed the sentence.      

*Not mentioned by Clarence in his recent marketing lecture.

Thursday, 14 April 2016


'You're too blooming soft' my dead old dad used to say me, and he was right, where a psychopath lacks empathy, I have got way too much of it, to the point where it becomes debilitating.  I mention this because I found myself in the very strange  position of feeling sorry for Clarence Mitchell.  Curiosity got the better of me, and I watched his keynote speech at the CommsCon 2016 in  Australia. 

The pity however quickly turned to incredulity when I read the bullet points of his presentation.  The arrogance of the man is outstanding, herewith a brief selection:

Blogging in the wrong hands -  WTF!!! 
Keeping the British Press in line -  WTF, twice over
Be straight with the media - I kid you not, and the icing on the cake!

Such is life, those large porkies aren't doing him any favours.  Gerry and Kate are not the only ones who looked stressed and haggard, time has not been kind to Mr. Mitchell, he looks burned out.  He too is trapped in the Madeleine cage, he can't escape it, it's the highlight of his career and nothing  he is likely to top.  He could of course write a memoir, but if he sticks to the same party line as Summers and Swan, it will be equally as dismal. 

His talk was basically a lecture in marketing, the audience appeared to be students.  Using the high profile Madeleine case, Clarence explained the way he handled the press and kept the disappearance of Madeleine in the public eye.  He was selling it as a marketing success story, and if you give it just a cursory glance it is.  Heck Clarence, 9 years and there is still public interest, not much to be fair, and some of it of the most peculiar kind, but interest nevertheless.

'This is what I did' said Clarence, as he relayed his glittering career without so much as a hint of enthusiasm or pride in what he had achieved.  I have attended many seminars and lectures, and the ones who made an impact were the ones who were able to convey their own love of their subject to their audience.  I wasn't feeling the love. 

He wasn't telling his audience the truth, his most helpful 'insider' tip, was to be completely honest with the press!  If the audience were media students, they must have been deeply disappointed and if they were potential clients, the brochure probably went straight in the bin. 

As careful as Mr. Mitchell was in sticking to the script, he did give away a few interesting snippets, especially with the Q&A session at the end.  So he stayed in the idyllic, holiday location of PDL (all expenses paid by taxpayer presumably) for TWO MONTHS with the grieving parents.  What a dream assignment, no wonder he was seeking a permanent position.  I wonder if, at any stage, Warners and all their staff thought the McCann entourage were taking the piss?  And why no mention of their holiday companion in Gerry's blog and Kate's book?

I don't know how well Mr. Mitchell is going down in Australia, but I hope the audience went away and did their research.  From a media perspective there was not much to learn other than 'lucky you', but nothing that would assist journalists in their future careers.  The information was lost in Mr. Mitchell's constant defence of Gerry and Kate.  Whilst wanting to brag about use of Philip Green's private jet, he had to portray humility on the part of the parents, their reluctance to accept all the special treatment they were receiving, but I'm not sure he pulled it off. 

Those who listened carefully, will have noticed the glaring contradiction between his claimed 300 calls from journalists a day, and his constant need to find new stories to keep their attention.  I'm not so sure it was the journalists contacting them, or Mr. Mitchell and the very proactive families sending out the offers to the media.  As the interviewer said to Gerry at the Edinburgh Media Conference 'what are you doing here?'. 

I did wonder if Mr. Mitchell's presentation would form the basis of his own defence.  Perhaps he would claim to be a vulnerable 'at risk' spin doctor, but he seems to be as firmly within the McCann camp as he ever was.  His loyalty surprised me, who would have thought.  Clarence is still focused on the job in hand, raising money for the Madeleine Fund and promoting the 'search'. 

Unfortunately, like it or not, Clarence is inextricably linked to the parents of Madeleine McCann forever more.  When he went into the employment of Gerry and Kate, he stopped being an independent spokesman and became part of the story.  A strange thing for a journalist to do, and I would have liked a question from the audience along the lines 'so in retrospect Mr. Mitchell, how did that work out?'. 

I would imagine the situation Mr. Mitchell found himself in, was unique in the world of journalism.  Realistically, how many victims of tragedy want or need a PR man at their side 24/7?  Traumatised people usually shun publicity and society, the process of grieving is very private and intimate, which of course, is the reason the McCanns' behaviour raised so much suspicion. 

I had never heard of crisis management until the Madeleine story.  To me it is a fairly new  phenomenon and one that puzzles me.  Whilst I can see the need for large corporations and politicians to guard their reputations, in this age of information there is no way of guaranteeing results.  In the past sensitive information could be contained by appealing directly to the editors of the National newspapers.  Those days are gone, as we saw this week - even super injunctions are meaningless.  

The battles are now fought on social media and on an equal playing field.  Twitter especially, is a great leveller.  There is no class structure and there is no voice of authority, everyone is valid and there is no way to control what they say.  There is something a little King Canute about claiming to be able to manage someone's reputation online, and I am not sure Clarence can claim the McCann case as a success.  Whilst he was able to shut down the popular comment section of the Daily Mirror, his actions led to the opening of hundreds of forums, websites and blogs.  Thousands of people were not buying the abduction story and were turning to the net for the truth. 

He refers to the McCann media monitoring team as successful?  I suppose in the early days they were.  They patrolled the forums in packs disrupting debate and viciously attacking anyone who questioned the official story.  Then as now they didn't even attempt to explain the parents' actions, they created the 'hater' myth, the idea that  if someone didn't believe the McCanns, there must be something wrong with them.

Step forward Tony Bennett.  The interfering Mr. Bennett was the just the kind of cartoon baddie Team McCann needed to illustrate the harassment and persecution they were suffering.  The Madeleine Foundation was clearly intended to divert funds away from The Madeleine Fund and the leafleting of the parents' neighbours was just cruel for cruelty's sake.  Mr. Bennett's actions provided the parents with the evidence of harassment they needed in their civil claim against Goncalo Amaral.   In fact, Mr. Bennett's campaign has fed the parents' campaign, they are symbiotic.   

And Mr. Bennett feeds the myth still.  Clarence Mitchell cited the failed solicitor and destroyer of forums as representative of a handful of malcontents who still refuse to believe Madeleine was abducted.  He fails of course to mention the large facebook groups, the informative McCann Files and the popular blogs. He needs Mr. Bennett as the face of the enemy, someone less likeable than the parents and someone who comes across as completely barmy.  Mr. Bennett of course, is always happy to oblige.  As the McCanns are planning the publicity for the anniversary, so too Tony is planning a trip to Downing Street.  Let's hope if the newspapers respond, they will mention how few signatures Mr. Bennett's meddlesome petition received. 

Wednesday, 6 April 2016


If Gerry McCann was the best spokesman Hacked Off could muster for their latest appeal, then their movement is pretty much over.  Did Gerry draw the short straw? Or did he push himself forward in the belief that he was best equipped, the most articulate and possibly, the most maligned. 

It is astonishing that Gerry still believes he has the power to win over an audience.  In his own eyes, he is an orator and a leader, people naturally fall into line behind him.  But they don't.  Not because, we haven't seen enough of him, but because we have seen too much.  The McCanns are takers, but with a capital 'T' - everytime they appear on our screens they want something from us, usually cash.  Their USP is their ability to whine, constantly.  They are always being denied something they believe they are entitled to.  And of course, with the number of lawyers they have in their employ, they can always find something. 

They want the front pages and the headlines, but they want them run by their publicity team, lawyers and spokesmen first.  And they want more compensation, they were financially recompensed for the damage done to their Fund Search in the UK, but not, as Gerry pointed out to Lord Leveson, for the damage done globally. 

The McCanns have now turned on the press because they no longer have control.  Quite simply McCann headlines no longer equate to massive sales, they are yesterday's news.  Whilst the McCanns held the public's interest, they could demand anything, but 9 years have passed, the world has moved on. 

One of my favourite poems* begins with the line 'Laugh and the world laughs with you, weep and you weep alone'.  Kate and Gerry have little to laugh about, they have committed themselves and those around them to a lifetime of searching for a child who cannot be found.  They dare not be seen laughing because it betrays the kind of image they want to project.  They are trapped in a time warp because they cannot, or will not, let their USP go.

If they had accepted their loss and used all the millions donated for an altruistic cause that benefited hundreds or even thousands of children, their grief would now be tempered by the knowledge that so much good has been done in their daughter's name.  At this time, the Madeleine Fund (not a Charity), has been for the benefit of only ONE child and her family.  Or more accurately, for one family, because there are no memorials for Maddie.  In Kate and Gerry's quest to protect their own names, the name of Maddie seems to have been forgotten.

Unfortunately for Gerry, his calls for restrictions on the press have also passed their sell by date.  The public's outrage at the intrusion on Milly Dowler's family (and that was their key appeal), has been pacified, wrists were slapped and lessons were learned.  Just as they were when Princess Diana died, a time when paparazzi fever was at a peak. 

Whilst Gerry McCann is well known for his wider agenda, he is completely clueless when it comes to the bigger picture.  It may be that he has never picked up a history book, but if he had, he would see that democracies are dependent on freedom of the press.  A lot of people have fought and died for the freedoms we now have.  Restricting the news is one of the first steps towards tyranny. 

The watching world are all too well aware that Gerry McCann has much to hide, which again suggests Hacked Off have all but thrown in the towel, and we know darn well why he wants prior approval of everything McCann related.  Although not officially, and we are not allowed to say it, Gerry McCann is one of the main suspects in the disappearance of his daughter.  I expect most of the Crimewatch audience fell off their chairs when a giant picture of his doppelganger appeared, thinking wow, what are the chances of the main suspect looking exactly like the child's father? 

The McCanns have been unable to stop the revelation of the blood and cadaver dog findings or Kate's refusal to answer the questions of the Portuguese police.  All of these facts are in the public domain, but if Gerry had his way, they wouldn't be. 

The heroes of the Journalist world are those who go where angels fear to tread.  And thank all the Gods there may be for that, because they are the guardians of the masses, it is fear of exposure that keeps the rich and powerful in check. Those with nothing to hide don't give two hoots what the press say about them. 

* Solitude by Ella Wheeler Wilcox