Sunday, 31 December 2017


Jim Gamble, Martin Brunt, Lorraine Kelly Carol Malone, four mainstream media pundits who believe Drs. Gerry and Kate McCann are too nice to be involved in the disappearance of their daughter Madeleine.  The latter 3 are of course professional pundits, journalists with a platform, whilst Jim Gamble is the unrivalled go to adviser on all matters relating to child protection and the new(ish) issue of trolls on social media. 
Jim Gamble of course has been closely involved with the disappearance of Madeleine McCann from the very beginning.  As Head of CEOP at the time his agency were among the first to fly out to PDL to offer their assistance.  And in fact their profile of the likely abductor led to the naming of Robert Murat as an arguido and the seizing of his computer. 
Mr. Gamble, as Champion of the parents, must I am sure, be familiar with every aspect of this case,  yet as far as I know, he has never said specifically why he believes the former arguidos Gerry and Kate over the Portuguese Judiciary, other than they are not the kind of people who would commit a heinous crime.  So strong is his belief, that he appeared alongside them on breakfast television, presenting age progressed pictures of Madeleine as a white girl or an Asian and appealing for people to come forward and grass on their friends and neighbours.   
Turning to Martin Brunt, I have to say my heart went out to him when Brenda Leyland committed suicide.  I don't think he ever wanted something like that to happen.  But I just watched the documentary he made for the 10th anniversary, and he claims, and puts on a pretty good performance, of being genuinely baffled - despite the obvious being directly in front of his face.  I am so glad my loss of faith in human nature was realised in the summer of 2007, because for Martin et al, it's going to be one hell of shock. 
My heart will never go out to Carol Malone, the creature is evil personified, and I truly hope poor Brenda didn't read her 'fecked up bitch' column before she went to that lonely hotel room to end her life.  Carol has good reason to fear the internet, not the trolls, but the hundreds of bloggers who are a zillion times more interesting and entertaining than she is.  I'll pass on Lorraine Kelly.  She makes me want to hit the white lightning. 
Which brings us nicely to the big white elephant in the room, and the reason millions took to the internet when the British establishment absolved Gerry and Kate McCann on the basis that they were middle class professionals.  Those of us who thought we were all equal now, especially with a New Labour government were given a dramatic wake up call.  Because we all knew darn well, a family from a Council estate would never in a million years receive the kind of establishment support that was given to the parents of Madeleine.
And thus began the 'pro', 'anti', divide.  The'pros', the supporters of the parents, empathised with the child minding difficulties of the hard working professionals, The 'antis' dossing on the sofa watching Jeremy Kyle despised them.  Ergo, the 'antis' became the degenerate underclasses, whilst the 'pros' were elevated for their compassion and humanity.  They forgave Gerry and Kate without question, they'd all been there. 
The fact that Madeleine's disappearance became such a huge class issue shut discussion down.  Any critic of the parents was immediately branded a low life and jealous.  Their only reason for pointing out the facts in the police files was envy of Kate McCann's slender frame.  This ridiculous ploy would get you beaten up in a playground, but in the real world, bizarrely it worked.  Team McCann had won the media war.  Critics of the parents were not only silenced, they were run out of town.  Labelled haters and pitchforkers, no-one dared, even to this day, voice any suspicions about Gerry and Kate without incurring the wrath of the sanctimonious. 
Arguably, they were aided and abetted by one Tony Bennett, the angry, ugly face of a far right group of unhinged extremists who were portrayed as representative of thousands of ordinary people who simply weren't buying the load of baloney people like Martin Brunt (why, Martin, why?) and the Sun newspaper were selling us.   
Using the class issue was a good ploy, no-one wanted to be labelled a 'hater', or worse.  A pleb.  But the other big white elephant in the room, is the lengths that have been gone to, in order to cover up, or is it uncover? the mystery of Madeleine's disappearance.  The glee with which the BBC will pounce on a blue collar hotel worker as a potential suspect, but never the nice doctors whose apartment had traces of cadaver odour and blood. They bend over backwards and sidewards like contortionists to avoid the bleeding obvious.  Bizarre. 
When you make a mistake how far are you prepared to continue with that mistake before admitting you were wrong?  The answer to that question I think will come in early 2018, when I am sure the inordinate lengths some people have gone to, to maintain the 'mystery' around this case will be revealed.  For the moment we will have to continue watching journalists and crime experts continue to make giant asses of themselves because they are too lazy or too stupid to read beyond the press releases handed to them to by spin doctors. 
Will the collective excuse be naivety?  Wails in the night of 'how could I have been that stupid?'  And, we hope, 'why did I think it was alright to leave babies and toddlers on their own'.  Or maybe, 'why did I scold those who pointed out how dangerous it was'?  I'm playing of course.  It's more likely to be the fault of the plebs, at least they [the 'PLUs'] didn't think badly of Gerry and Kate, just because they had a nice house and room for a pony. 
If there were any justice in the world, and if the case of missing Madeleine was not so small in the whole scheme of things, there would be a Public Inquiry.  Questions like, why was the British Prime Minister interfering in a criminal investigation in Portugal?  Who gave the order for the Portuguese police to treat the parents with kid gloves?  Why did the MSM take over protecting the McCanns when the Government stepped back? 
I'm not going to ask questions of this present government, for the moment, I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt.  Not because they are the good guys, but because their hands are clean.  It wasn't they, or their Consuls asking the PJ to go easy on the Brits.  David Cameron had a good relationship with the Portuguese, and his inner imperialist would feel a sense of duty to put right the wrongs of his socialist predecessors. 

Operation Grange is entering it's seventh (?) year, and is said to end in March 2018.  They have of course kept their options open, but 'another lead' is already sounding pretty thin over decade on.  Had there been an abduction option, I think it would have closed long ago.  Unfortunately, this was a puzzle with the main framework in place - only the truth will fit.    

Wednesday, 27 December 2017



Reasons to get fit and lose weight

1.  You feel better mentally and physically. 
2.  You have more energy, all those jobs you have put off for months, get done.
3.  Half naked men on building sites whistle at you - from a distance or
     from behind.  Do not turn around or they recoil in horror. 
4.  You can dig out all your showstopping outfits from the past.
5.  You can gloat as you walk towards the rows of 10s and 12s in Matalan
6.  You can wear a big sloppy jumper without looking like Grizzly Adams.
7.  The talking scales don't tell you 'one at a time'.
8.  You get endless praise from those around you, even if you do have to
     parade around several times, and hold up all your 'before' clothes.

The list of course is endless, and mostly not shallow like above, and it's here to convince myself as much as those who I hope will come and join me.  This is a slimming club like no other.  No fees, no weigh ins, no shaming of those who forgot to mention the sausage roll, the bar of fruit of nut or the slug of vodka they chucked in their smoothie. 

Please buy the book, it is an enjoyable read and the diet really does work.  Please read the reviews, it's been tried and tested.  Not only is it the simplest diet you will ever embark on, it is the cheapest, no fancy foods, no gym membership, just simple changes that can be incorporated into anyone's life. 

This will be an ongoing page, please enjoy the book and come back and let me know how you are getting on.  As much as I love Jane Fonda, for me the morning of 2nd January will begin with raw eggs and 7 minutes of mad dancing to Nothing Going on But the Rent.  I'll let you know how I get on ;)


Whilst I wholeheartedly agree that the words diet and exercise should be not be mentioned during the period between Christmas and New Year, I bring you the easiest, quickest, laziest and I want a cream doughnut diet, you could ever wish for in your Christmas stocking.  This will relieve you of all the guilt you might feel for tucking into another turkey sandwich and the last ferrero rocher.  Come January 2nd, you can be relieved of that spare tyre within a month!  
It is second time around for The Reluctant Dieter for good reason!  Read the reviews.  This is the diet for those who can’t (and won’t) stick to other diets, and who’s last attempts at exercise was hand jiving. It’s based on the kind of food that is available to all of us all the time, eg a tin of beans rather than a handful of goji beans and pine nuts.  It’s easy, it works for those looking for short cuts and minimum work, and those who think it is their divine right to have a treat. Quite right.
I guarantee the diet works, as it worked for me, the weight was literally falling off at half a stone a week.  And before the doom mongers rush in with their health risk warnings, I was the healthiest I had been for years and my doctor’s advice was ‘whatever you are doing, keep on doing it’.  
Apart from being the most fun diet you will ever do, and the easiest to keep to, the book is a good giggle!  I’m afraid I have an irreverent approach to, well, everything.  Not for me pushing truck tyres uphill, or munching through a bucketful of grated carrots, the smug slim people want us to admire their suffering, but there's no real need for it. 
Unfortunately, 3, or is it 4 years on, I have not stuck to it as religiously as I should.  Ergo, come January 2nd, I too begin again, and hope that others will join me on this page, so we can encourage each other and keep track of our progress!  Please share this link on your facebook and twitter pages - trust me your friends and family will thank you.  Even if they don't want to lose weight, they will still enjoy a great laugh. 
Meanwhile, I am trying to get drunk on a box of cherry liquor chocolates, it’s not working and I’m feeling a tad nauseous, but I have managed to convince myself that the cherry inside is one of my 5 a day! 

Ps. I do not recommend cherry liquors in book. 

£2.39 Amazon
Free on Kindle Unlimited.
Pps.  When reading the reviews, please bear in mind that I am plagued with stalkers who trash everything I do.  Most of the reviews happily, from the verified purchasers especially, are, I hope more accurate.  And if you enjoy the book, please take a moment to write a review, it would be much appreciated. 



I tend to get a tad maudlin as Hogmanay approaches and loved ones come to mind.  I never know if that is a good thing or a bad thing, but I tend to think 'good' because the memories always make me smile. 
I feel blessed that I have had such incredible people in my life, my dear old mate 'Big Lynn' who's light burned so bright, it only burned half as long'.  My mother who's craziness eventually made sense, didn't live to a grand old age, but she lived every minute she was here.
And my dear old dad, who never stopped believing in me.  To this day, the last birthday card he sent me is by my side 'and without any doubt at all, your impending success in the future xxx Dad', he wrote.  He loved my writing and he loved my success, small as it was, a play on the radio and a column in a local newspaper.
Sinclair Mathieson of The People's Friend found my story of Constance compelling, beautifully written and deserving of a wide audience.  Unfortunately, it was 'too political' for The People's Friend, but he wished me well.   Happily, it was picked up immediately by a former BBC producer Paul Kent for a new digital radio station called Oneword.  He was able to produce it in 'one' without any editing or alteration, and so good was his production, it was nominated for a Sony award, and Oneword won Radio Station of the Year. 
Constance is an original story of an East End servant girl in Edwardian times, but more downstairs than upstairs.  Constance is a dreamer with ideas way above her station, who steals the family silver and runs off to America.  Unfortunately, the ship she sails on is The Titanic.
On Christmas Day 2001, as the rest of the UK sat down to watch James Cameron's Titanic, we tuned into Oneword Radio for the premier of Constance!  We cracked open the champagne and thereafter no-one was allowed to speak for an hour.  My Dad always believed 'Constance' would be the making of me, bless him.  And it should be, it's a great story and the heroine is as delicious a character as Scarlett O'Hara. 
Constance does deserve a wider audience, it is a gripping read with the kind of story that cries out for the big or small screen.  It was fantastic on radio.  If anyone knows Ken Loach, it's just his kind of thing!  Meanwhile, to all those who enjoy historic drama, and my unique writing style, who want a cracking story and a compelling character to engross you, please do give Constance a read.  It's long enough to sneak away for a couple of hours, but not so long that it eats up all your holiday.
Please forgive the 'homemade' book cover, and any errors or omissions within.  Think of it as 'First Edition', that might one day be precious!  Before the professionals get hold of it!  It has been discovered by those 'in the know' twice, I am hoping third time it will take!  Unfortunately, it has rather faded away under my 'real' name and there are no reviews, so please someone, anyone, lol, be the first! 
In answer to my original musing question, yes it is good to think of lost loved ones, because as the good memories come flooding back, so too do the feelings of well being, and dare I say, old hopes and dreams, we thought were long gone.  Today, as I think of my old Dad, and the Scotch he would be getting in, lol, I can see his beaming face and tears of pride as my play came on the radio.  He never stopped believing which is making me wonder why I did. 
That memory has given me the confidence to market my work, failure to do so being my biggest flaw as a writer.  Lack of confidence, lack of time, I hate being dragged away from writing, but something  I really must tackle next year.  I have a whiteboard on which I accidentally wrote 'New Years Resolutions' in permanent marker - ergo, it is only really valid for about one week a year. 
I jest of course.  It's all very well writing books, but I really ought to 'sell' them - even Charles Dickens visited town halls to read passages from his books.  I pay homage to Dickens of course, but also to Moll Flanders and the feisty Scarlett O'Hara.  The lack of strong female 'leads' in my upbringing, drove me to create one!  Constance stood out immediately from 20,000 scripts for good reason.  Please do read it, share it, retweet it and tell your friends about it, especially those producers looking for projects.  Constance is as fresh, original and appealing as it ever was and just waiting to be scooped up.
It is sad that I have to say this, but as a writer I have been blacklisted for years for my views on the missing Madeleine case.  My blog stands as testimony to the fact that my views are not 'hate' filled, it's neither my nature nor my style.  I know that people return here again and again, not just to catch up on Madeleine news, but also because my writing is appealing, entertaining and dare I say it, compelling.  Well yes I dare, because it has taken years to perfect my style doncha know dahlinks!  Goes without saying that my plotting and story telling is divine! 
OK, maybe a tad over the top with the confidence there, I think have overdosed on Bette Davis this Christmas, the glamorous Bette obviously, not Baby Jane.  Though some might argue that.  Please be among the first to read Constance, she is character you will never forget.
£2.47 on Amazon
Free on Kindle Unlimited

Sunday, 24 December 2017


Dear Portugal,
Apologies for charging in like 18th century colonials on your investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.  We can't solve it either, been nice working with you, ta ta, Operation Grange.       Chances of this happening, on a postcard please.
As often happens, a blog begins with a reply……
Bjorn is away in the wilderness 20:00, so good time to attack eh? lol
I have never seen Bjorn write 'reams of accusation', analyse the Smith sighting 'to death' or even discuss the Gaspar statements, but while he's not here I suppose, it is a good time to say he does.
This case is going nowhere you say.  The magic forensic wand didn't work in 2007, it won't work now eh?  'Why would that change?' you ask, 'there would be a political war and the backlash would be too big to control
Bizarre, because on the other side of the Atlantic, the President of the USA and most of his family, look likely to be arrested any day now, obviously they are not AS big as Gerry and Kate.  Your  'case is going nowhere' argument is obliterated by the fact that Scotland Yard have invested £12m and over 6 years of police time and resources to solve it. No-one does that for something that is ‘going nowhere’.
No police force, no government, no giant corporation, no private individual, invests in a project and keeps throwing money at it, with the objective of failing.  The idea that the ultimate goal of Operation Grange is to obfuscate the disappearance of Madeleine further is ridiculous, actually more than ridiculous, it's batshit crazy.  Why would 30+ SY homicide detectives conspire to cover up the possible murder of a child? Do people honestly have that little faith in human nature?
There are other missing child cases worldwide that remain unsolved. Unsolved, in the sense that they have become cold cases, the police are not looking for a live child or an abductor because they know who is responsible but they can’t prove it.  This is where Madeleine’s case differs, two police forces in two countries are still conducting live investigations, this is not a case they are going to give up on.
Nor, when they reach the end, are they going to provide a false narrative.  1) Because it would be wrong on every level and 2) Too many details of the case are known to the public.  The ONLY explanation that will cover every question will be the truth.  Lots of other options have been tried but none have succeeded.  Madeleine’s disappearance is no longer referred to as an abduction, most significantly, not even by her mother, who this week gave an interview to The Mail, and apart from telling the Mail she still buys Christmas presents for Madeleine (Jeez), referred to Madeleine as missing, not abducted.  
A £12m police investigation is not going to end with failure and stuttered apologies, had that been their aim, it would have ended £11m ago, why bring attention (for 6 years) to something you are trying to cover up?  I was never really a Trekkie, but having two boys, Captain Kirk and Spock were impossible to avoid.  But I did take a liking to Spock, his clear thinking logic made a lot of sense, especially to an OTT drama queen, who usually thought and did the opposite. Many a former lover was spared a drunken 3.00am phone call when I began to precede my actions with ‘what would Spock do?’.  In this case, only the logical explanation works.
I think those who see Operation Grange ending with apologies to the parents, the funding government department, and the caring pubic who want to know what happened to Maddie, are slim to zilch.  How embarrassing to announce to the world, that despite all the time, funding and resources that were made available to them, they are still none the wiser than the PJ in 2007. Or worse, ‘we know the answer but we’re not telling anyone - not even the parents’.  
All those police officers, both here in the UK and in Portugal, have their lives and careers ahead of them. Why would they cover up a heinous crime, knowing the truth could come out at any time, and knowing it will be on their records forever?  And the human psyche just isn’t made that way. Most people are intrinsically good, that is they are ruled by their own conscience.  It’s a sad, bad world at the moment, but the good still outnumber the bad.  Any police officer asked to cover up the death of a child, would probably respond with two words, the second one being ‘off’.  
Added to that, Gerry and Kate are not sympathetic characters and the police are no different to the rest of us, some people we empathize with and want to help more, than we do with others. Kate and Gerry’s initial reaction to the police (the PJ), which they seem to be quite proud of, was one of scorn and arrogance.  They might just as well have said, we are a few tiers up from you on the intellectual and social scale - think Marie Antoinette talking to the plebs.  They are the kind of people who hold up the queue by demanding to speak to a ‘superior’ while demeaning a flustered shop worker and pissing off everyone in the line.  
Admittedly, the police they were demeaning at the time were Portuguese, but is there any reason to believe that a British police force would be treated with more respect?  Gerry and Kate are snobs, they weren’t relieved when the police arrived on the scene that night Madeleine disappeared, they were angry it wasn’t someone more important.  Kate referred to the two police officers as Tweedledum and Tweedledee, not in the heat of the moment, but 5 years later in her book Madeleine.  Clear and callous defamation of character and libel, and published at a time when she knew those police officers could be tracked down by the thugs guarding the McCanns’ interests online. Kate further goes on to demonstrate her attitude to the police, by boasting about her petulant behaviour as a detective tried to interview her.  She had no respect for him, so she sat chanting ‘f**king to**er’.  I’m amazed he didn’t spot her superiority right there and then.  
Of course, we have no idea what the relationship between the McCanns and the UK and Portuguese police is like now.  Clarence, as always, lies with as many teeth as he has in his mouth, and Gerry and Kate rarely speak.  Even in Kate’s latest interview, she is using the same script. ‘We miss her every day, yes her room is still the same, yes I still buy her presents’. She is missing the opportunity to beg Operation Grange to tell her what is going on, and she is missing the opportunity to speak ‘directly’ to 13 year old Maddie.  She can’t give any updates on the investigation because she doesn’t appear to have any.  That is either horribly cruel of the police, or she is hiding something big. She isn’t thanking any of the officers personally, for all the work they are doing on Madeleine’s behalf, no friendships have grown out of this investigation.  
I doubt any serving police here in the UK (or Portugal) have any inclination to pledge allegiance to Gerry and Kate personally, and I doubt they have ever become confused as to who the victim is in this case. The only reason they could have for continuing the investigation is because they have the will to solve it.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017



UPDATE 22/12/17

Even at this time of year, those with malicious intent are still scribbling away with their little poison pens.  Again, I thank you for pointing out my faults, and again I point out I will not be following your advice as I have no desire whatsoever to be like you.  Stamp your feet as much as you like, and accuse me of being 'so mature' in a Vicky Pollard accent, but your criticism again and again lacks any sign of creativity or originality.  Learn a few more adjectives ffs!  Pick up a book now and again. 

I have no problem at all with being 'roasted', but make it funny, or at least credible.  Yes, I am a struggling writer, unless you are successful, the words struggling and writer naturally go together.  And yes, I have to do the same as every other independent website, I have to ask for contributions.  I love what I do, but the pay's shit!  I continue because I believe in myself, I believe in my talent, and I believe in my ability to connect with my readers.  Mostly because I never treat them as if they are stupid.  I treat them as equals, because they are, even if some don't know it yet. 

I'm not publishing your whinging and whining Unknown and Anonymous, why should I give you a platform?  You have run your own forums into the ground with such unsavoury reading that the general public are repulsed. You are not bringing my blog down to that level.  Suck it up or take it elsewhere.  

But I am good spirits!  A good friend has just given me a box of cherry liquors, it's a pre Christmas present, unwrapped, and with no other purpose other than to cheer me up!  I heartily approve!  I have a long day of baking tomorrow (shop bought quiche [blushing smiley]) but lots of homemade cupcakes.

Meanwhile, a wee 4 minute gift!  I am a huge fan of 'flash mobs' and here's one I find especially appealing, something to get us in the festive spirit!  I once joined a work choir many years ago to put on a Christmas performance of the Hallelujah Chorus.  I had delusions that I could sing at the time and I was especially fond of the guy organising it.  Happily most of the choir was made up of professionals, so I was able to give up any attempts at trying to hit the high soprano notes.  King of Kings, Lord of Lords, is especially painful (for listeners) when attempted by the untrained voice!  Ergo, when I hear it sung beautifully, it sends a shiver down the spine!  Enjoy.


Apologies to all those awaiting the release of my new book, I promise it is underway and taking shape but it won't be ready for Christmas.  I have been somewhat disorientated by poor health and  a few mountains to climb.

Regardless, I am of course, in full Diva mode, crying into my delicately raised, elbow, I can’t work like this!  I think I'm going to spend next year in an isolation tank.  I watched a docu-drama about Abba last night and totally empathised Agnetha's need to go hide away in the forest.  It was a little alarming that she had a liaison with her stalker, but totally understandable.  I would, and probably have, done the same thing myself in the past (more the book, lol).  So few understand the daily pain of an artistic temperament.  Let me tell you dahlinks, I feel if I were sat with the troubled Vincent Van Gogh and the impoverished, beer swilling Marx, I’d be the one in the middle, saying ‘tell me about it’.  
These have been a difficult few months - I will spare  you all the details, for now, suffice to say, that I still have the power to get back up again, when I have been knocked down.  Something, I lost for a little while there.  I have a tendency to allow sorrow to completely engulf me, and at the moment I am so afraid for the future of mankind, the sorrow has been winning, but not for very much longer I hope.
Meanwhile, thank you to all my readers and contributors for coming back again and again.  As a younger woman, I always daydreamed about being part of the very elite Bloomsbury Club, a place in which I could hear new innovative ideas, talk endlessly, drink good coffee, and pass the opium pipe.  .I kind of feel I have created my own anything goes version here.

Christmas should of course be a time of love and family harmony, but quite often it is the eruption of a volcano that has been simmering for years or an unexpected swipe around the head with a turkey drumstick.  My Christmas message is chill.  As irritating as your spouse, parents, children, distant relatives might be, December 25th is not the day to tell them to change.

Having grown up with a mother who's clinical notes described her as 'quite a character' I'm not unfamiliar with the concept of 'who's going to kick it off this year'.  On this front, and indeed many others, the best advice I ever received was, 'she is as she is'.  When I stopped looking at my mum from a grumpy, embarrassed daughter perspective, I began to see why so many of her friends, especially gay men lol, doted on her.  I stopped scolding her and began to enjoy her delightful eccentricity, and we enjoyed our happiest years together.  My message there is, celebrate your eccentrics, one day it might be you :)

Thank you all again for coming back, seeing those numbers go up really does inspire me, and they are the reason I keep going.  In the McCann case, I feel a sense of responsibility to keep discussion of it in perspective, especially at this time of year.  Personally, I don't have it in me to wish anyone an unhappy Christmas, and I certainly don't want to add to anyone's pain, so I'm steering away for the present.  I hope the family can find peace.  Not through more deception, but through love, honesty and acceptance of responsibility. 

Meawhile, I wish everyone a lovely, snuggly, or wild partying Christmas, I'll raise my glass to you either way, with lots of laughs and not too many rows.  And if you are feeling in a festive and generous mood and would like to reward this particular irreverent author with a restorative box of Ferrero Rocher, or glass of bubbly, a cyber donation to my paypal button would be much appreciated. 

Monday, 18 December 2017


Because I am trying to host a sane, logical, discussion about the subject of child pornography, I am again being accused of spreading dangerous propaganda and sailing close to the wind.  Apparently my blog is policed regularly for evidence of some kind of misconduct.  Now I feel obliged to give that one regular reader a shout out!  Hiya, hope you're enjoying it thus far, but put your seatbelt on, I'm about to sail a bit closer to the wind. 
Firstly, I am as repulsed and disgusted at child pornography as any sane adult, and I'm not trying to legalise it or promote it.  As someone who always takes the side of the vulnerable and who has taken a stand in a courtroom against child abuse, I defy anyone to accuse me of supporting monsters.  My point, again and again, is why aren't the producers of these films, images etc, being arrested?  How about those actually defiling the kids in the images?  We keep hearing about child pornography, but we never hear about kids being rescued?  Why not?  Why aren't the actual victims, the children, the number one priority?
Every generation, going back hundreds of years, blames the arts, music, literature, the culture of their time, for society's ills.  I'm not claiming child pornography as an Art by the way, but I am concerned that the hysteria about images crosses so easily into The Arts sphere.  When someone claims an image is responsible for a criminal's behaviour, we should all be worried.   Some even want to criminalise cartoons ffs - there goes Family Guy and Herbert the Pervert!  The Arts are a mirror, not only do they reflect our lives right back at us, they capture the spirit of the times for all eternity.  That's why great writers (and wannabes like moi), carve our words with pride. 
Most of us, probably 99% behave with decorum in public, not so much online.  Not because we would be in the dock and held accountable if we didn't, but because that is how we were raised and because that is the right thing to do.  It isn't the Law that keeps us in check, anymore than it is the law that stops obscenities flooding the market?  Free will and the free choice of the majority NOT to view these images or visit these sites, keeps them off our screens.  Nobody wants them. They don't flood the markets because most people have no interest in them.  Supply and demand, the demand isn't there.   
With child pornography and child exploitation, the majority of us are so reviled by the it, that even underground suppliers would struggle and whistleblowers would be everywhere.  Ergo, the market is very, very small, very, very sleazy and always will be.  It's not a clear and present danger, just as the 4% of Muslims who make up the British population are not going to make a hostile takeover. 
The biggest danger to children comes from the home and from people who know them.  That's a fact.  The smallest danger to children is a predator on the internet.  I feel like Father Ted explaining small and far away to Father Dougal using pictures of cows.  More importantly, why is abuse always thought of as sexual?  Physical and mental abuse are far more prevalent and often prove fatal.  'So you were beaten to within an inch of your life, but did he TOUCH you? .  What of those disciplinarians who move in on young families and enforce inhumane regimes?  Those who think they can break a child's will by beating them or locking them up?  Is it OK to thrash a child, but not hug them?
Abuse comes in many forms, but only sexual abuse grabs the headlines.  As if dissecting the graphic details of a 40 year old grope will somehow help those children who are suffering today.  Those children going home to empty larders, empty cupboards and parents pushed to breaking point.  Or how about those refugee children desperately in need of safe home for themselves and their families?
As often happens, the discussion from the last blog has spilled over here.  Not least the ludicrous idea of banning whatever it is that turns paedophiles on - experts apparently can see things in pictures, that we regular people can't.  And I'm quite delighted about that.  Actually, I always look for the beauty around me, it keeps me sane(ish) and I think kindly of most people, until they give me good reason not to. 
However, the idea of pinpointing one generic trigger that fits all, is batshit crazy.  A movie might trigger one raging maniac to go on a killing spree, but it didn't affect all the millions who saw it in the same way.  And who is to say the movie was the trigger, it might have been one of the adverts?  That advert for Haribo sweets with adults talking like children, sends me demented!   I confess.  I did, as a teen watch 'The Evil Dead' after it was officially declared a 'video nasty', as indeed did everyone I knew, it was being passed on daily.  And no, no-one went on a rampage. 
The idea of banning things that MIGHT turn on this very tiny percentage of weirdos is in itself bizarre. How do you compile a  generic list of paedophile turn ons ffs?  would it include ice cream as claimed in the cesspit? How about a saucily shaped banana as cited in the Swedish case of two small cartoon characters?
I once looked after an elderly disabled gentleman, who's turn on was school girls in their short skirts.  Not an uncommon turn on, even among men who wouldn't dream of touching a child.  The netball matches in Lincoln's Inn Field had a very large audience of City gents.  My client's problem was he was very vocal about it.  He also used the internet to look up school girls etc, and he would often go out and photograph them.  He was often brought home by the police.
He was mentally and physically disabled, and couldn't nor wouldn't, ever hurt anybody.  He shared his home with another gentleman who was wheelchair bound, and during the night, he would check on him and bring him drinks.  He had a kind, caring nature, and just couldn't understand why he shouldn't whistle, leer at or photograph schoolgirls. He would cry and apologise and promise never to do it again, but he always did, he had short term memory loss.  Sadly, he would be just the kind of man an angry mob would take pleasure in hanging from a lamppost, there would be no time to explain or ask for compassion for his condition, that is where this hysteria has taken us.  
But going back to banning, should school girls go back to wearing their skirts one inch above the knee, because one poor old guy, couldn't hide his glee?  Should he be lynched?  Or should schoolgirls be aware that there are some unfortunate people in this world who don't know how to behave appropriately. And that they are not necessarily a threat to them.   Is it so difficult to spend a few moments explaining to a child how and why other people are different to them  and they should feel compassion rather than leaving their fears unexplained? 
I spent my early childhood in the shadow of the great Holloway Sanatorium in Virginia Water, and both my parents worked there, it cared for the gentrified mentally disabled and exhausted celebrities.  Visitors, including the Queen Mother, arrived in Rolls Royces.  Our small village was dominated by the Sanatorium, hospital workers and residents out for a stroll.  Both my father and mother instilled it in me to show kindness and compassion to the residents, just as they did. And I was happy to, I met some great characters, I feared no-one, and I learned very early in life that most people, especially the lost and lonely, just want a friend to cheer them up.  It breaks my heart when I see families and children flinch at the disabled, they truly don't know what they are missing.
Of all the jobs I've had, care work was the most rewarding and indeed most enlightening.  Seeing human behaviour in it's simplest form taught me far more than a study of the more complex characters. It was a huge learning curve.  Take a horrible character and strip them of their motivation, their vanity, their self awareness, their complex schemes, and you are left with the nicest basics and the nicest natures.  I just wish people could understand there is nothing to fear, that just because someone's looks different, it doesn't mean they will harm them.   I loved the time I spent with my clients, unfortunately, as much as they loved my 'big kid' antics, my employers didn't.  
I worry that these paedophile hunters and vigilantes do not consider the mental health of those men they go after.  The old guy I looked after wasn't capable of grooming anybody, but imagine if he was lured to a car park by an angry mob?  Unfortunately, history is littered with the mentally disabled being hung in error. 
The best way to protect children is by educating the parents about the very real risks.  The new boyfriend, the over helpful neighbour, the always willing babysitter and yes, the professionals.   Like a mummy tiger helping it's cub out into the world, we must teach them how to ward off predators.  But we should also point out to them those most likely to be friends.  
Just like the animal world, predators are always on the look-out for the weak and vulnerable and steer away from the strong and confident.  The best gift we can give our children is the confidence to protect themselves.   I wasn't in the least bit perturbed when my 13 year old son began an online relationship with a voluptuous 18 year old called Lollypop Happy (yes the name was that unforgettable). He would keep me updated on his daily chats while I and his big brother teased him mercilessly.  I think what finally burst his bubble, was when I pointed out Lollypop Happy was probably a big auld hairy arsed builder in his fifties. 
Kids (mostly) aren't stupid, especially where the internet is concerned.  They have grown up with it, they understand it better than we do, or probably ever will.  Where they are naïve however, is in understanding the behaviour of others, they don't have the life experience to discern what is or isn't appropriate behaviour.  It isn't difficult to teach.  Children are mimics.  They copy everything you do and say.  If you won't allow  yourself to be disrespected, neither will they.  If you treat your child with respect that will be the standard they expect from all others, like the difference between right and wrong   A confident kid will know that it is not OK for an adult to make them feel uncomfortable and they do not have to tolerate it. 
It is ridiculous that the subject of child pornography is not open for debate, by and large, because the sane, reasonable and logical, dare not voice their fears out loud because of what people might think of them.   Resulting in the debate being dominated by hysteria and extremists who think mobs can be driven into a sexual frenzy by a cartoon.   

Monday, 11 December 2017


One of the joys of owning a blog and being single is that I can argue with stubborn, obstinate old men without having to sleep with them, or put poison in their coffee.  Some men, when they get to a certain age, become so set in their ways, they should be hammered into the ground, quite literally.  And it irks the hell out of me as a woman, when a man automatically positions himself as older and wiser.  Truth be told, in most cases I'm wiser, and if I'm not I acknowledge it.  And in the case of you, ZT/Ziggy, that will never happen. 
In response to your latest, patronizing, demeaning attempt to make me look ill informed and lacking in education, here are a few home truths.
Yes, it's my thing now, Trump is the benchmark for everything evil and everything tacky. Well spotted. Trevor Noah? Yes indeed I am a fan, he's  a genius who didn't go to Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard or Yale. I have my own criteria for measuring genius VT, and top of my list are comedians, political ones especially who can take in and sum up an entire situation in one funny line. 
I'm sure I will enjoy movies all the more now I have your approval VT, my film posters and stars can remain on my walls :)  Funnily enough, I told a good friend the other day, I would bequeath her my large portrait of Charlie Chaplin, but I'm not sure she was happy about it.  I think she has her eye on my china tea set.
Movies are educational! How many millions have learned about art, history, literature, music, the lives of their ancestors, famous characters from history, famous incidents from history, the list goes on and on.  I knew all about Oliver Cromwell at 13, because my Dad took us to see it in the West End.  Is it likely any of us would have picked up as many books as films we have watched? Or how many books we go on to read after watching a film.  You will argue that films are not historically accurate, but I would argue they are another interpretation, just as two artists could paint the same landscape, and you would have entirely different pictures.  
We watch a movie, we buy the book, we may take it further.  I may have mentioned I have a deep and passionate interest in the French Revolution, I have even written a couple of screen plays that I really should submit to someone.  Studying it in greater depth is a treat I am saving for my twilight years, when I hope to do another degree. I always say my interest began with 'It was the best of times and it was the worst of times', Dickens 'Tale of Two Cities', but to be honest it was 'Carry On Don't Lose Your Head'.
How many kids learned about the Roman Empire while watching 'Carry On Cleo'? OK, for some kids that's ALL they will ever know about the Roman Empire, but at least it's something.  You cite The Alamo and Schindler's List - in what way were they distorted to benefit someone?  Who was benefitting from the propaganda? Was Schindler's List a lie? Or was it a way to tell generation after generation about the Holocaust? Something the world should never forget.   How many people would have known about Schindler or even The Alamo, if it hadn't been for those movies? 
You have an elite attitude to popular culture that is ridiculous VT.  You cite times past as better times, as though we should be looking backwards instead of forwards.  Your fear of the internet, is no different to the fear of books, art or music.  As if someone might write, paint or sing something that will sent the world into meltdown.  As though people need to be protected from themselves. 
Living in fear is a life choice ZT, you can lay in bed at night worrying about some anonymous troll or shill, or you can switch off by reading a book or watching a movie, like the rest of us.  You choose to worry about weirdos on the internet.  That's weird in itself.   You seem to think we are being brainwashed by some dark, sinister force - Mark Zuckerburg as a CIA Operative was a cracker. 
The internet is the best thing that has ever happened to Mankind.  For the first time in history we are all in contact with each other - all over the globe.  The citizens of one country can talk to citizens of another country in real time!  The internet is not a threat to multitudes, it's a threat to those who hold the power.  Crowds can assemble within moments, unpopular laws can be defeated by the masses.  The best example of the massive shift in the paradigm is the people's choice of Jeremy Corbyn as the Labour Party leader and his growing popularity throughout the country.   
I don't know what your real fears are ZT, you have written volumes but never actually said.  In the whole scheme of things, the internet is relatively new, will it evolve into Orwell's '1984'?  What cheers me is that those young internet geniuses who fight to preserve internet freedom are always ahead of the Authorities.   Whatever they design must be superior to the hackers.  Daily. 
Without knowing what your actual fear is VT, it is difficult to understand.  While each of our names are important to us, they are rarely of any interest to anyone else.  If someone says something nasty, so what? If it matters that much we can respond, or we can ignore it.  Sure as eggs is eggs, someone in the real world is saying something nasty about you right now.  That's life.  Being a somewhat flamboyant and some might say, eccentric, character in real life, I'm used to being talked about. 
But, as another of my Hollywood Icons (the divine Marilyn Monroe) would say, 'If I worry about other bitches, I'd be just like them, another worried bitch'. 
It really saddens me to see people such as yourself spreading this mythical fear about the internet.  The dangers, are hugely exaggerated, especially where grooming young people online is concerned.  Young people today are far more savvy than our generation, they have grown up with the internet, they know more than we ever will.  If they are going to be stalked or abducted, it is far more likely it will be by someone who knows them or an opportunist.  Not an impoverished gang of youths in an internet café in Azerbaijan.  To be honest, I am very uncomfortable with the whole idea of vigilantes' tracking paedophiles' down online.  I am certain there are far more practical and effective ways to protect the young and vulnerable, than cornering an old bloke in a car park with a crowd screaming and carrying baseball bats. 
Not being James Bond, I kind of accept the Dr. Evil threat as a possibility.  Though had it worked out for Blair, I would have marched until I had blisters, as I would if any of his henchmen were elevated to power again.  I accept in the sense, that I know, I personally can't stop it.  That will irk most activists, quite rightly, but don't get me started on the number of causes I feel I should be involved in.  It sets my conscience off.  There may or may not be a Dr. Evil plotting as we speak, but it's beyond my control.  I'm always on the lookout for a calming chant, a favourite for a while was 'Serenity Now' from Seinfeld which involved a lot of arm waving, these days I prefer the more tranquil 'beyond my control'.
More likely than Dr. Evil, is a slow erosion of the freedom of speech we presently have.  And we have that courtesy of those movers, shakers and music makers, who I refer to as the new Masters of the Universe, the owners of the social networks.  I am being castigated on my previous blog for calling Mark Zugerburg the antithesis of Donald Trump.  Gold Plated toilet seat.  I rest my case.
The danger lies in the slow erosion, the calls for policing of social media by the same people selling us scare stories.  These government approved scare stories usually come in on the back of a major tragedy. That is the bans, restrictions and legal enforcements are introduced virtually overnight if public feeling is strong enough.  
Apologies ZT for using you as an example of everything that drives me nuts about men of my own age.  It is not all personal.  But it does irk me that you keep you deliberately keep your eyes shut when it runs counter to your own set in stone beliefs.  You have no, zero, zilch, interest in learning, you think you have reached that point where you know everything, therefore opening another book is not necessary.  How do you learn anything if you are never wrong?
As for my Hollywood the Dream Factory, I learned rather more than the title line ZT, and by the way, doesn't every artist strive to create a dream? How many great works of art are dreams? how about the words of writers who take you into their world, and the songs that take you to an alternate state of mind?
You have a very closed mind ZT, and one I can only feel pity for, because you will never change.   I would give you a recommended reading list ZT, but you would discard it, as not worth  your time.  You are proud of rejecting things you won't even try to understand.  It baffes me but you are far from alone in your demographic. 
I don't feel in the least bit ashamed of my love of movies, because I take something from every film I see (not The Happening, for which I have still not forgiven Mark Wahlberg)*, the movies are an endless source of information and entertainment, I feel sad for you that you will never feel the magic.
*Forgave MW after Ted :)
Apologies, it's very late and I have an awful cold, please forgive any errors or omissions. [Sheepish smiley]