Thursday, 12 July 2018

BREXIT - WAS THE REFERUNDUM RESULT LEGITIMATE?

All Theresa May’s character failings are being exposed right now, just as much as they were during her disastrous last General Election, when her failure to connect with any audience was brutally laid bare.  She couldn’t debate with Jeremy Corbyn nor could she relate to members of the public, on any level.  She has no people skills, there is nothing endearing about her, she has zero charisma.  Her cold, hard, humourless face, and headmistress attitude, endear her to no-one.
 
Let’s compare her for one moment to the very human, but sadly deceased Mo Molam, who’s personal charisma and straight talking brought the hardest of political ideologies together and produced the Good Friday Agreement.  Should add, she wasn’t opposed to a few drinks and a spliff either.  Iron Lady Mark II, is the opposite. She is so entrenched in the pockets of billionaires salivating at the fortunes to be made once we are free of the European Laws. Laws that forced them to treat their workers as human beings.  Trump simply signed Executive Orders deregulating workers’ protections and rights.  The tories are going for that kind of power, but they have got to get the higher Court that watch over them, out of the way.  
 
The one thing that is seldom mentioned when talking about Brexit, is the consequences of giving the tories absolute power to do whatever they wish. There will no longer be accountable to a 'higher power'.  Already they have been called to account by the UN for their inhumane treatment of the sick and disabled, how much crueler will they become when they can abandon Human Rights Laws entirely? The very wise Yanis Yaroufakis, when asked about Brexit before the Referendum, that leaving the EU could be good for the UK, but never under a Tory Government, and he has been proved right.
 
The Tories are always about what’s in it for them, not for the masses. That is, how can they make a fast buck. With no Employment Regulations and a crack down on those claiming benefits, they are creating a free (slave) labour force, another third world option for entrepreneurs like Ivanka Trump to outsource their manufacture of tat products.  It's lack of employment laws that make outsourcing to third world countries economically appealing. 
 
Trump is at least signing Executive Orders and sweeping away workers rights in a public setting, we here in the UK have no idea what rights TM is taking from the UK public, or what tariffs and trading deals will survive for British business. We are clueless as to the deals she is making or the effects they will have on the British economy. That the future of Britain rests on the shoulders of the most inept Prime Minister we have ever had is terrifying.  
 
By contrast, Jeremy Corbyn is instantly likeable.  He has done his homework and then some.  He fears no-one.  He doesn’t sit trembling in the wings, he doesn’t croke and lose his voice.  He cares for all citizens of the world, those in Europe as well as here in the UK. He is the opposite of isolationist, his warm, open approach will be welcomed by the more enlightened leaders of Europe.  
 
Britain is hurtling towards a major disaster. The implications of TM’s sole decisions will directly affect our lives and those of generations to come. Whatever she is up to, she doesn’t even have the support of her own advisers, though bizarrely, she does have the support of Tom Watson and Jess Phillips, who really should just go join them.  
 
We all know politics shouldn’t just be based on the ‘likeability’ factor, but it is as it is.  TM is not likeable.  Ditto, DD and BJ, though they are at least less automaton than TM. She won the leadership of the tories by default (no other credible contenders) and she got a massive vote of no confidence when she called the General Election. She now depends on the odious DUP to pass legislation.  She is far too weak to get any kind of Brexit that will be acceptable to the many, nor even the few.  Rats DD and BJ have now jumped ship. Sadly, for her, the other EU leaders, are not quite so cold, callous and money grabbing as TM and her puppet masters, they are not going to just hand over the money and step away.  We don’t know what TM is up to, but they do. Which is perhaps why she is so isolated and left out when she attends world leader summits.  
 
There needs to be a General Election.  The future of the UK cannot be left in such chaotic hands.  Both parties’ Brexit plans should be put before the people, with the facts and consequences of each party’s proposals presented to the electorate.  Whilst we may take comfort in the fact that future generations will burn effigies of Theresa May in what remains of England, now is our one, and possibly only, chance to alter that dystopian future.  
 
People power works. OK, it hasn’t in the past, but now we have the technology and means to get our voices heard.  We couldn’t stop Tony Blair’s war against Iraq, but we can stop a hardline, right wing government from making a deal with Europe that will only benefit the top 1%.  
 
The result of the Brexit Referendum is unstable.  In the same way as Trump’s election to President.  That is, there is evidence that Russia interfered.  Someone, probably a Russian, has discovered a way in which to influence/distort democratic elections. Their method is not rocket science.  The activist group Momentum, use it quite openly.  They target and invite people to become politically active.  It isn’t illegal.  Their method can unseat virtually any MP they choose. That’s why they are so feared by the tories and Blairites.  It is a different story altogether if a foreign power has distorted election results for their own gain.  
 
The big question is, should an election that has been manipulated stand?  Given that the manipulation most likely came from a hostile foreign power. What is Trump’s interest in Brexit? What was Nigel Farage negotiating with the Russians he met? Why are all the creepiest, slimiest, and most greedy attention seekers sucking up to Donald Trump?  Given that the answer to every question is money, just how much do they owe to the ‘rich beyond your wildest dreams’ Vladimir Putin?
 
The next few days should be interesting. Trump is once again intent on turning US allies into enemies. The grown ups look on bemused by the antics of the brat at the table, each face intrigued by the bizarre anti social social behaviour of the President of the United States, and probably secretly wondering how the fuck did he ever get elected.  Angela Merkel, I suspect, can see Trump’s world collapsing around him and what his future holds, it’s all in that knowing smile and he hates her for it.  He is jealous of her success as a leader and irked that she is a strong woman who is comfortable in her own skin. He is too weak and cowardly to degrade her by marking her out of 10 on looks, sex appeal, etc, as he does with every other woman he encounters.  In her presence he becomes a surly and belligerent school boy, he is terrified of her.    
 
If the Russians or a conglomerate of billionaires tampered with the UK Referendum, more than half the population I think, would say, let’s do it again via a General Election.  Meanwhile, the US, probably sooner than we, will have to face up to the consequences of the Russian attack on their electoral system. What they decide may even set a precedent.  Do they reverse the 2016 election that put Trump in power and hand the presidency to Hilary?  Like the US, we will have to decide if the EU Referendum result was legitimate.  There is much to suggest it wasn’t.     

Friday, 6 July 2018

MADELEINE - KARMA HAS THE LAST WORD

Apologies for my long absence, I am afraid I am again undergoing a dramatic metamorphosis I would say another watershed, but I’ve had too many of them already, and besides I am still in free fall and have no idea where I am going to land.  That’s the thing with manic depression, whilst the lows can be suicidely crippling, the highs can be terrifyingly dangerous.  These are the times when you think you can actually fly, or write a bestseller.
 
You would think the huge flurry of brain activity brought on by the mania would be productive, but sadly, that’s rarely the case. Mostly because we set unattainable goals, our dreams of what we would be doing if we weren’t mental. At the moment, my own plans are to a)write a bestseller b)revitalise my blog - opening up new areas of discussion, and c)build a museum. With b) I want to discuss topical issues, host a forum with a wide diversity of opinion.  I have enjoyed writing my blog over the years, and I have been fortunate in having so many readers who have contributed such interesting and informative posts. Readers’ views are the most interesting part of my blog I think, well they are for me, and I am sure my enemies will agree, lol.
 
The more unattainable the goals we set, the more guilt we have to beat ourselves up with. It’s like knobbling a horse before a race, except you are that horse.  Unlikely, I know, but if your list of things to torture yourself with at 4.00am runs low, you can always call on your failures, the things you didn’t do and the people (and properties) you lost. Then there are the memories of your inappropriate behaviour, those times when you really should have kept your opinion to yourself or checked when leaving the bathroom, that you hadn’t tucked the back of your skirt into your knickers.  
 
But hey, ho, this isn’t all about depression, though Lord knows, with the cruel turn this world has taken and Donald Trump, for me, the temptation to stick my head in the oven is never far away. The only thing that stops me is not wanting to be found with the yorkshire pudding debris on the bottom of the oven stuck to my cheek.  But I jest, when I go, I’m going like Elsie (fans of Cabaret will recognise), if only I could stop sitting alone in my room.  
 
I have now, I think, shaken the McCanns right out of my hair, deliberately so. For me it was an intricate puzzle to solve (to my own satisfaction), it was never about hate.  Mostly I think it was astonishment that such a heinous crime enriched so many (it’s always about the money) and astonished at the number of otherwise sane people, admiring the cloth on the Emperor’s new clothes.  And those ‘sane’ people include Chiefs of police, journalists, politicians (a given), ‘criminologists’ and several large Charities.
 
The Madeleine case is so much more than a child going missing, people who ‘were’ in high places may well have perverted the course of justice.  Looking beyond the headlines takes you to a quagmire of theories, wild accusations, and unintentionally funny, pious and sanctimonious headcases who’s vivid imaginations have conjured up all sorts of bizarre allegations that make no sense and are deliberately malicious and salacious.  I doubt even Debbie who ‘did’ Dallas, would indulge in the kind of sexual squalor they dream up.  
 
But I digress, with the Madeleine case, once you take the blue pill (or is it the red one?) there is no turning back. Before you know it, you are asking why?, who?, OMG and ‘is it possible the ‘Authorities’ could be so corrupt?  Every unanswered question will torment you, wake you in the wee small hours, and take you to a place where only the right answer will set you free. And when you get to the bottom of that little maze, you will begin to question everything around you, life as you knew it, will never be the same again.  It’s like binge watching the box set of Armand Ianucci’s ‘Thick of It’, in one hit.  More than a glimpse into the inner workings of Whitehall, the Media, and the casual use of lying and cheating to deceive the nation.  
 
Unfortunately for the powers that be and indeed for the McCanns, in this new age of enlightenment, the public didn’t swallow the lame ‘abduction’ story, most understood that this tragedy was of the parents’ own making - they left children of a tender age on their own. Period.  Time has ended the reign of all those trying to capitalise on the abduction myth, no other child has disappeared in similar circumstances, there is no epidemic, children are not regularly stolen from their beds at night. The availability of the internet has not produced active gangs of pedophiles. All the scaremongering was just that, scaremongering.  Karma, I think, is having the last word.  
 
 The McCanns are users.  That they have been used is arguably, their just desserts.  They are in a position that I would find stifling and intolerable. They are dependent on all those who assisted them, keeping to their original statements.  It appears they have thus far, which may account for the length of time the investigations are taking. But the police haven’t given up - all these years later, the case is still live. Those responsible for Madeleine’s disappearance are still on the hook.  No-one has been officially cleared, no evidence of an abductor has been produced.  
 
Meanwhile, the McCanns have paid, or still owe an enormous amount of money to several firms of Portuguese lawyers. They have nothing new to support a claim in the ECHR, no solid evidence of their innocence from the PJ or Operation Grange. I doubt very much they will go ahead with it. Given their illogical hatred of Goncalo Amaral, their losses to him in the Civil Courts must sting twice as much.  Perhaps that is their karma.   
 
I am indifferent to the fates of those involved in Madeleine’s disappearance, their fates are in the hands of the police, both English and Portuguese.  And of course themselves, should their nagging consciences or constant fear get the better of them.     
 
To be honest, I curse myself for allowing the Madeleine case to take over my life quite as much as it did. I don’t know what came over me, lol. I needed to know everything, as if I were a research scientist. I don’t know what made it quite so intriguing, but clearly I wasn’t the only one!  In retrospect, I tend to think, it was probably our inner outrage at being lied to, and frustration that others couldn’t see it.   
 
I still think it is a huge miscarriage of justice, but it has been swamped by the huge changes in the dominant ideology, the terrifying move further and further to the Right.  This doesn’t feel like ‘England’ anymore, there is a sinister cruel edge that has crept through our society, a move back to the 80’s ideology of ‘Greed is Good’, but with nastier, more sinister undertones.  
 
Theresa May will never challenge Donald Trump, she believes in the same things he does, and probably secretly admires the way in which he freely appeals to his supporters’ basest instincts. Headmistress May thinks it, but dare not say it. Hard to tell who is the more evil, Trump who puts kids in cages and calls human beings ‘illegals’ (wtf!) or May who steals from the poor to give to the super rich. Oh, and who also sells weapons of mass destruction to inhumane regimes to kill thousands of poor people.  
 
But onto a lighter note.  The football.  I surrender, it’s unavoidable.  Have to say though, as a female, I am baffled by the sheer ecstasy of grown men as the ball hits the back of the net.  And being able to discuss said ball hitting back of net for hours on end, and for decades thereafter, mystifies me.  However, that collective happiness is somehow endearing, and a good time for wives/partners to mention the dent in the car or the kitchen they always dreamed of.  Bear in mind this period of tranquillity is precariously balanced on the tip of a football boot and the referee not being a wanker.  Book television timeslots in advance, this gives you great leverage should England reaching the finals clash with Despicable Me.  In that event you can ask for diamonds! ;)
 

Monday, 11 June 2018

TOO EMBARRASING TO CLOSE


In response to JC and my other loyal readers who are kind enough to keep popping in, I feel I owe a bit of an explanation as to why I am not posting very much at the moment.
 
To be honest, I have very little interest in the McCanns these days, I see the case more as pitiful, than compelling.  No-one has got off scott free - every individual involved in this miscarriage of justice will spend every day of their lives wondering when the knock on the door will come. That one lie launched a thousand more, and dragged in dozens of innocent and not so innocent, accomplices, all of whom may well face prison.
 
For now however, the long running Operation Grange continues, forgotten by all but the tenacious and those who salivate at the thought of retribution. Meanwhile, it cannot be stressed enough how much of an embarrassment this case is for the British establishment.  It is unsolved because the British government and British police agencies interfered in the original investigation.  They assisted the suspects in their efforts to evade justice.  Some might say, certain politicians and police officers perverted the course of justice.
 
Ergo, we have 11 years of stalemate.  If OG even hints at the parents being involved in their daughter’s disappearance, the whole house of cards collapses. So embarrassing is this case to the UK, that the Chief of Police appeared on TV to pitch a lame story about a burglary gone wrong.  And that folks is the best £12m and Scotland Yard’s finest, could have come up with. They would have been better consulting fiction writers, any one of whom could have come up with a far more believable plot than that, I know I could.  
 
But I don’t want to scold the police.  I still have enough faith in human nature to believe that the police detectives working on this case are guided by the victim rather than the politics. As mentioned many times, I watch an inordinate amount of real crime documentaries, so have some understanding of the frustration felt by the police when they have to let suspects go because they cannot prove their case.  OG may still be searching for that ‘smoking gun’ - perhaps they do not have confidence in the evidence they have and are fearful of double jeopardy.  That was the reason given for the non prosecution of the parents of Jonbenet Ramsey.  
 
The truth behind Madeleine McCann's disappearance has the potential to cause a huge media storm, and a vast sea of red faces.  And among those red faces, there are a large number who should have known better.  Blair and Brown for example who had the full resources of the Secret Services.  Not to mention those police chiefs and child protection experts adding fear of abduction to the nagging worries of young parents.  It 'happens all the time'.  Err, no, it doesn't.  Children having accidents when left unattended however, does. 
 
I know many still believe Operation Grange is a whitewash.  The embarrassment factor is so strong, that 30+ police detectives are willing to conspire in a cover up.  Firstly, a cover up isn't possible.  The Portuguese are the lead force in this investigation.  They are beyond the reach of whoever has been pulling the strings on the British side.  Even the notorious Dr. Evil would struggle to control the police of two countries. Then there is the constant danger of the weak links.  Those caught within this chain of sorrow who could reach breaking point at any time.  Relationships, circumstances, priorities, all change as the years go by, no-one can make any guarantees for anyone else. 
 
How it will end, we can only wait and see.  There could be a flurry of arrests and a few days of sensational headlines.  A few weeks and a full public Inquiry, if OG have done their work thoroughly.  Unfortunately for Gerry and Kate, they are the public face of everything that has gone on this past 11 years, and some may want to keep it like that.  But I doubt they will succeed.  If Gerry and Kate are accused, they have diaries, journals and evidence of all those who helped them, and given their characters, blaming others is a given. 
 
Again, unfortunately for Gerry and Kate, they have very much been pushed out of the limelight, they have lost their audience.  Partly because the world has moved on, but mostly because they never have anything new to say.  When you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything, but lies don't register in our brain in the same way, which is why detectives go over statements again and again.  Not possible of course, if a witness stops co-operating.  For Gerry and Kate, every interview and every TV appearance, presents the risk of contradicting their first (and only?) police statements.  They cannot and dare not, add to or embellish their stories, they are not even free to talk about Madeleine - sadly that is all part of their self made prison. 
 
However Operation Grange ends, there will be an uproar, even if it is only of the minor variety.  On the embarrassment front, this crime of Great Britain will probably be lost in the avalanche of shame and embarrassment coming from Washington.  The one good thing about Trump, is that he has exposed the foul underbelly of governments large and small, now we all have an insight into how power works, an 'idiot's guide' to politics and corruption.   
 
As far as I can see, there is no good reason for Theresa May to cover up the actions of a previous Labour Government.  Every PM becomes fixated on their legacy, and authorising the cover up of a child's disappearance, would leave a dirty big stain on her's.  David Cameron may have granted Gerry and Kate their Review, but he kept his distance.  No private one on one phone calls and no offer of government personnel to assist them with their PR.  And who was he assisting?  The McCanns or the alluring Rebekah Brookes?  
 
I suspect there is much going on behind the scenes.  Like how the f*ck do we solve this case without incriminating politicians and police officers?  How do we admit to the world that the Portuguese police solved this case within weeks and were right all along, and the past 11 years has been a British sideshow? Even typing this makes me embarrassed for them, I expect straws will be drawn for who gets to announce it. 
 
How do they explain that they believe or believed the McCanns implicitly even with the mountain of evidence collected by the PJ and the blood and cadaver alerts of Scotland Yard's finest police dogs and the extremely suspicious behaviour of the parents?  Again, apologies to those police who may well be banging their heads on a brick wall.  They can't speak now, but they may well do in the future, with Gerry and Kate hot on their tails with a law suit. 
 
I came into this case because I was fascinated by the characters involved, it gave me an opportunity to study human behaviour in depth and from the sidelines.  I am constantly seeking resources, it is all part of my OCD, my need to understand drives me crazy. The McCanns, have from the beginning, provided insights into their characters for over a decade and it's been a fascinating journey for me, but it is one I cannot write about as I would like, and of course, it doesn't yet have an ending. 
 
From my perspective of studying human behaviour, I'm afraid my OCD has switched to Donald Trump.  I feel compelled to watch and digest, even though he repulses me.  I'm wondering if we are watching the birth of a new fascist world, and totally bewildered as to how and why it is happening.  I am afraid Gerry, Kate and even cartoon Clarence, pale in comparison to Donald Trump and his entourage of family, friends and The Mob.  I'm nuts and I admit it, but he's totally insane. 
 

This week I am heart broken by the death of Anthony Bourdain.  I once wrote a profile for a dating app, and described the wonderful Anthony as the ideal man.  I loved his sense of adventure, his un-PC pack of Marlboro, his decency and respect for everyone around him, no matter how humble, his knowledge of history, his humanity, his dodgy moped, his twinkly earing and his cheeky smile.  To me, he had the most wonderful life in the world, but there was a sadness in his eyes that was familiar, I'm sure, to all manic depressives.  What stays with me is something he once said about how small and insignificant we are in this world, and how all the knowledge we seek will always be unattainable, though I am sure he didn't make it sound quite as miserable and depressing as I just have.  The sorrow is in the loss to the world of such a truly good man, with a truly good message.
RIP Anthony.
 

 


 


 



 
 
 

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

LEVESON 2, WHO'S LOOKING FOR PROTECTION?

 
I used to describe myself as a Marxist Feminist which for those I posted with at the time conjured up an image of some ballbreaking, dungeree wearing feminist activist circa Greenham Common.  That wasn’t what I was going for all, I am much more genteel than that, more cream tea than Molotov cocktail.  
 
Nowadays I suppose I am far Left, as much as my heroes Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell and then some, except for a few fundamental issues, the idea of a Leveson 2 Inquiry for example, is a bit like shutting the door after the horse has bolted. And #Metoo, which I will save for another day.
 
The News of the World is now defunct, and it’s stable mate The Sun is on it’s last legs.  Sensationalist tabloids no longer make the news or influence elections, the public have moved on.  We have a worldwide web full of honest and reliable journalists, who are bringing us genuine news that we are interested in. Who would opt for a Sun reporter as their news source? If Leveson 1 achieved anything, it laid bare the grubby relationships between those who rule over us and those who feed us government propaganda via soft porn and scandal.
 
Some might blame the change in the paradigm on the case of missing Madeleine McCann.  As the UK mainstream media fed us the story of heroic British parents fighting back against the unjust third world police skills of the Portuguese, the Portuguese newspapers were telling an entirely different story.  A bit of a Homer Simpson ‘doh!’ moment there as Team McCann realised news (and books) can no longer be contained by borders. All those who looked beyond the headlines in this case, could quickly see that the UK MSM were lying - long before Leveson came on the scene.
 
Leveson 1 made Rupert Murdoch a household name, a Bond villain moving world leaders around on a chess board.  Rupert Murdoch rules the UK some might say.  He is the mighty power behind whatever government he told us to elect.  Just as chummy with Tony Blair as he was with David Cameron, well, up until the whole wife thing.  And what of Ed Milliband? He was shrieking like a woman scorned, why does he want the heads of media moguls so badly?  Why are Labour so keen for a Leveson 2, the tories, not so much.
 
I should be on the side of my fellow lefties, calling for the rich and powerful moguls and their minions to be brought to justice, but the reality is, nothing can ever hurt them as much as their huge drop in sales and ratings. They no longer have the undivided attention of the masses, the masses have iphones and access to great websites like The Canary and Bill Palmer. Karma is catching up on all those who thought it was OK to deceive us, and it is hurting them in ways we never could have imagined. The public have reached the indifference stage of the relationship, no love, no hate, we just don’t give a shit.  
 
The mere threat of a Leveson 2, I should imagine, has done much to clean up the murky goings on between all those controlling the news cycles.  OK, lol, who am I trying to kid, corruption is everywhere and always will be, it is as it is. Excuse me for a moment whilst I find an appropriate Buddhist chant to calm me down.  I’m back.  Made do with a couple of Seinfeld ‘Serenity Now’s’.
 
The time to tackle the Media moguls and the abuse of power, was at the time, as it was happening, before they had a chance to spring clean and shred anything incriminating.  And of course, while they still had influence. Leveson 2 is about retribution and grudges. An opportunity to say that smart comment you thought of, 5 minutes after you left the room. What can it achieve, other than a change in the Law? Ah, right, gotcha now, laws to protect the privacy of those who find (or make) themselves newsworthy.  
 
Don't get me wrong, my heart went out to the family of Milly Dowler, the behaviour of the journalists was scummy, not just on professional level, but as human beings.  Most of us know that, and most journalists know that, but as with every demographic and profession, there will be always be unscrupulous people who exploit tragedy. Those who go too far and interfere in police investigations should be punished, those wrongly accused should receive apologies.  Beyond that, what more can be done? New laws to punish investigative reporters, financial penalties for those papers who stick their noses where they shouldn’t? Tom Watson wants news outlets to pay all the costs of litigation, whether they win or lose, making it easier for ordinary people struck by tragedy to sue the Goliaths.  
 
But the big lie is, it’s not ordinary people who need protection from the press, or those investigative journalists, because most ordinary people have nothing to hide.  They are rarely caught up in a sensational news story. Most victims of crime, I would like to think, are treated kindly by the media, Gerry and Kate certainly were, and for a long time they worked with press enthusiastically, giving hundreds of interviews and photo opportunities. Unfortunately, the relationship soured.  Was it the lurid headlines? Their condemnation of the press at Leveson 1, or the McCanns penchant for large libel payouts.
 
The idea that the MSM are a threat to ordinary people is a LOL myth, because ordinary people don’t need the protection of privacy laws, they don’t usually have something unscrupulous or heinous to hide.  Privacy laws are for the wealthy and the elite, and to pretend otherwise is an insult to our intelligence.  Hacked Off did well in acquiring the names of so many ‘ordinary’ people, but they were ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. There is very little chance that the rest of us will have tabloid journalists going through our bins or trying to hack our phones. Be in no doubt, the Laws sought by Milliband and Watson are laws that will directly benefit the rich and those up to no good. Those who live in fear that their true characters will be exposed.  
 
Censoring and gagging the press, is practically on page 1 of ‘My first little book on how to be a Despot’, it comes between ‘How to cover up evil’ and ‘How to amass bribes’. Blackmail is more tricky, homosexuals have been gleefully jumping out of closets for the past two decades, so no leverage there, but any hint of paedophilia can be just as life changing as a NOTW front page. And politicians like Tom Watson, want to lead the digging Which begs the question, who’s looking for salacious headlines, the media or the Witch hunter?
 
I should be with and alongside my fellow lefties on a call for a Leveson 2, but on freedom of the press, I fear any moves that interfere with the rights of journalists to root out the truth.  Whilst I wouldn’t be unhappy at a sledgehammer being brought down on The Sun, The Mail and the Express, I would be less happy if these proposed ‘laws’ were used to cripple the new wave of bloggers, vloggers and truth tellers.  And I suspect that’s where the new laws will be focused, a legal way in which to gag the rebels and the subversives.
 
The cries for Leveson 2 come mostly from the Labour Right, or should I say the old ‘New’ Labour, via screaming Ed Milliband and Tom Watson, who for some reason reminds me of Billy Bunter, who’s only thought in life was ‘what’s in it for me’. His eagerness to play Witchfinder General alongside Jim Gamble should send chills through everyone, what is it with him and ancient crimes?
 
What happened to the Dowlings was unforgiveable, but another Leveson won’t put it right. For them and the other victims, it will bring only further heartache.  Their pain is being used to further a political agenda, quite cruelly, I might add.  Besides, the empires of the media moguls are crumbling, there is just too much competition now, by the time they publish a sensational front page story, it’s already 24 hours old.  Neither the Government or the media moguls control the news anymore, they can no longer manipulate public opinion.  I have mentioned the parents of Milly Dowling several times, because their pain, I think, was incomparable to any other, but I see their names are not included in the 'victims' letter to the Prime Minister.  That I fully understand.
 
The McCanns however, are complaining yet again, even though they have been amply compensated several times over.  The apologies and the payouts weren't enough, they want changes in the Law.  They want those who criticise them in the dock and facing prison.  A sort of 'Go Straight to Jail, do not pass Go, and do not collect £200 card' for those journalists or bloggers who cross the line.  They want only one sided reporting on the mysterious disappearance of their daughter, and if it wasn't for Goncalo Amaral and the internet, they would have had it. 
 
You can see why the rich, the famous, the politicians, dodgy professionals, those with murky pasts  and the Mob, etc, demand the full force of the law to cover up their secrets,  but why are the Labour Right getting themselves into such a tiz?  Why do the Labour Right race so eagerly towards a 'Nanny State'?  A State in which they will watch over us so closely, we will feel their vampire breath closing in our jugulars, they were heading towards a DNA bank and ID cards last time around.  Why do they want legislation that will curb the powers of the press?  These politicians don't care about the power of tabloids like the Sun, they care about those new pioneering websites and news outlets that are spreading the Jeremy Corbyn/John McDonnell word to a rapidly growing audience. 
 
I don't care that my  views run contrary to my natural habitat, but in this run down country where people are dying on the streets and children are going hungry, why are Milliband and Watson so intent on punishing the press?  Why are reputations more important than lives?  More important than the lives of those affected by the Grenfell fire or Windrush debacle? The UK is currently in freefall, those who need a Labour government are waiting for those incumbent to step up to the plate, but they are failing them, every time.  They want the Labour party and property portfolio of Tony Blair, with tiffin on the Lawn with Rupert, Jerry and Rebekah, and the privileged lives of their predecessors, before the incorruptible Jeremy Corbyn became leader of the party.
 

Saturday, 28 April 2018

THE MCCANNS AND THE POLICE, PART ONE

Well done Sonia Poulton for creating such an interesting and informative documentary sans wild imaginings and spin doctoring on behalf of the McCanns.  As we all know the disappearance of Madeleine McCann is so much more than the disappearance of one small child.  It is now such a huge subject, that it has broken down into individual chapters and sub-division, where on earth do you begin

Sonia has tackled this multi-faceted case skilfully and professionally, this will ruffle a lot of feathers, but there is nothing within it that could be considered libellous.  As for my own brief appearance, I already think I  am hideous and this doesn't help, but regardless I still expect photographs and the mirror to reflect the pretty young thing I once was.  In fact I recently remarked that I may not be quite as gorgeous as I think I am.  SAS (Smart Arsed Son) replied with an exasperated 'Finally....!'  Regardless, I am just happy I sound sane.

The whole Madeleine media circus began within hours of Madeleine's disappearance.  The whole world sympathetic towards the parents on an 'it could have been me' basis, the middle class world of the MSM identified themselves with Gerry and Kate, hard working professionals to whom something terrible had happened.  As the woman from Rothley confirmed the stance taken by the police and the MSM would have been entirely different had Gerry and Kate not been Doctors.  

By early morning on the 4th May, the McCanns friend Jill Renwick was telling the world an abductor broke into their apartment and stole Madeleine.  And she was also laying foundations to build a case against the police, by saying no-one was helping the McCanns and no-one other than themselves was searching.  That was a blatant lie, those of us who watched the story unfolding could see the huge amount of resources the Portuguese were putting into the search.  And it was a huge slap in the face to all those kind people who searched - the staff from Warners, the villagers, the ex-pats

Goncalo Amaral admitted there were mistakes made in the original investigation.  Failure to preserve the crime scene?  Several factors apply here.  Gerry was demanding to speak to police of a higher rank than those who showed up.  And already diplomatic pressure was being put on the Portuguese police to 'go easy' on the parents.  The failure of the police to  preserve the crime scene lies in the lap of the police, but in their defence they were up against 6 very assertive (though not very bright) individuals who spent several hours trampling all over the crime scene.  Six doctors who should have known just how precious forensic evidence was.  One fingerprint could have led to an abductor within hours.  Kate in her book was appalled that 'we' were being blamed by the PJ for not preserving the crime scene.  But this is just another instance of Kate blaming anyone but themselves.  How much of that failure is down to the diplomatic pressure? 

I'm not surprised Gordon Brown had nothing to say.  This tiny case may one day prove to be an enormous blight on his legacy.  What was discussed at his meeting with Leicester Police in September 2007?  At this point I am dying to know the actual date of his visit? Was  it before or after Kate and Gerry were made Arguidos?  And from Gonalo Amaral's book, it was then the British police who had been sharing their offices packed up and left.  That the Portuguese police went ahead and made Gerry and Kate Arguidos anyway suggests GB had no sway with the Portuguese.

The McCanns relationship with Leicester police is bizarre as Sonia demonstrates.  Leicester Police have shielded the McCanns very well, but they did fight to hang onto the details of their own investigation where they declared Gerry and Kate not cleared.  I suspect however, there was much division within the ranks.  Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe was selling balloons for the Madeleine Fund (I know!), DCI Redwood said with a straight face, neither the McCanns or their friends are suspects.  And that mantra remains unless anything changes.

Sonia is very professional as she doesn't show any bias,  she presents all the anomalies that the MSM have been avoiding for the past 11 years, with a clear and cohesive dialogue that resonates with the viewer.  The interview with former DCI Colin Sutton was intriguing.  I have no cause to doubt him, he is a thoughtful and reasonable man, but I am still struggling to believe that an entire task force (33+ homicide detectives) would tiptoe around the last people to see Madeleine alive.  To make it credible they would have to devise a plot that works with the existing evidence and a plot that would have to stand up to scrutiny not only on the world stage, but possibly in a Court room.  Does Mr. Sutton not ponder whether his colleagues assigned to Operation Grange may have had the same misgivings as himself? 

I think Sonia and I may have differing opinions on the involvement of politicians.  Though my theories were slightly shaken by the responses of Liam Fox and the other tory MP on the questions about Madeleine and Operation Grange.  Their 'don't know anything about it' replies were probably closest to the truth.  Followed swiftly by outrage at the question, and compassion for the parents.  The 'party line' I should imagine. 

As for the four PMs.  Blair and Brown I think are up to their necks in it, but Cameron and May I'm not so sure of.  The direct plea from the McCanns to DC via the front page of the Sun was directly beneficial to chums DC and Rebekah Brooks.  Madeleine stories still shifted tabloids and portrayed the Sun and David Cameron as compassionate.  I however, suspect DC and RB pulled a fast one on the McCanns.  Whether they were cleared or not cleared, would always be hot news.

Both DC and Theresa May have been careful not to get to close and personal with the McCanns, as their predecessors had done.  There are pictures of the current PM and Kate at the same event, but nothing to indicate Kate was getting special treatment or having private discussions. 

I can see how the argument of those who foresee a cover up, are stronger than my own at the moment (where are  you Blacksmith?), Colin Sutton is a compelling witness.  But my common sense, logic and reasoning can't figure out any way in which a cover up could be achieved.  .How can such a high profile investigation be closed with an unsatisfactory result?  Why does Colin Sutton take Mark Rowleys word verbatim?  Has he never been involved in a case that involves subterfuge?   Has he ever been involved in a case where the police have been told to ignore certain suspects? Thirty plus police officers dicing with their future careers is hard to swallow.

In my opinion, the truth behind Madeleine's disappearance cannot remain hidden forever.  There are too many people involved and too much potential for whistleblowers.  Sonia in her brilliant documentary has given an overview of all the elements involved  that makes this case so complex and asks the same questions as those who read beyond the headlines.  Why did the British establishment protect this couple and are they protecting them still?

Will Operation Grange ever reach a conclusion on the disappearance of Madeleine? Prior to this documentary, I would have yes, and that would have been a definite yes.  But my belief is shaken if not stirred.  There have been so many unbelievable moments in this long running saga that I have refused to rule anything out.    

 

Saturday, 21 April 2018

WHY DID UK GOV PROMOTE ABDUCTION STORY?

No-one is pushing the abduction story anymore, not even the parents. Couple of reasons for this I suspect, 1. it doesn't stand up to scrutiny, 2. it is now a huge embarrassment. The biggest problem the British authorities have is explaining how they could have been so incredibly na├»ve. They bought 'the Lie' hook, line and sinker, while the rest of the world watched in astonishment.  . probably wondering how on earth the British police were ever considered among the top crime solvers in the world.  In a nutshell, the McCanns have made them a laughing stock.  Very few prime suspects can look back and say, they had the full support of their government.  
 
What if Tony Blair had decided Karen Matthews was a good egg, and instructed Yorkshire police to go easy on her? 'Don't bother too much with forensics etc, lads, she couldn't possibly be guilty and there is no need to distress her further'.  And what was it that convinced Tony Blair that Gerry and Kate were above reproach?  He liked the cut of their jib? They were the perfect British family? Professional, 2.4 children, clean cut, smart and erudite, people he could relate to, their popularity was his popularity, an opportunity for him to play the hero on his way out. The rescuer of law abiding Brits abroad. 

But did he rely on his own judgment alone - that is his own inbuilt prejudices and bias?  Or, as PM, did he make full use of all the special services available to him, experts who had perhaps been out to PDL and met with the parents?  Maybe the envoy he sent himself, Clarence Mitchell?  It's hard to imagine him sending a government official to assist the McCanns without a proviso that he report back to him.  Clarence in his day could be very convincing, so what was he telling him?   

Then of course, there were the experts, CEOP especially, who seemed to have taken an active role in the Portuguese investigation.  Asking the public to send their photographs directly to them, for example.  And of course, they played an active role in the events that led to the naming of Robert Murat as the first arguido.   They approached the case from an internet angle - ie. seizing the computers of private individuals would lead to an arrest.  Not forgetting of course the profile they compiled that matched the nearest single male adult in the vicinity

I can't recall off hand how many British police agencies were involved, but Leicester Police took a different approach to CEOP.  The report of Mark Harrison was a game changer - they brought in the dogs.   They were advising the PJ to consider the parents as suspects.  CEOP were pro abduction, and seeking a pervert.  CEOP and Leicester Police must have been offering the PM conflicting advice.  Awkward.  Blair could of course  defend his stance with the McCann supporters' chant of only haters and the bad minded would have suspect the parents, but I am not sure childish naivety is a good look for a former world leader.  That however, is all CEOP have as their own excuse, and an even worse look for experienced police officers and criminal psychologists.  Awkward, times 2 and then some.

If I recollect correctly, it was around mid June 2007, that the first cracks in the establishment support began to appear.  The McCanns were being asked to move out of the resort and find their own accommodation.  Bizarre that Warners had been so hospitable for so long, but I suspect they feared a lawsuit.  And it was around this time that Clarence seemed to be out of the loop.  His 'off the record' remarks to Vanity Fair that they were unable to get a get a meeting with a Minister - 'all they were offered was mid-consular level',  signalled the end of the special relationship. No more chummy calls from Blair, Brown etc.

New Labour I'm sure, really wanted the McCann case to go away.  Alan Johnson, then Home Secretary, sat on the report from Jim Gamble and probably would have continued to do so, if there hadn't been a change of government, who then also sat on it, until May 2011.  Of course, since then we have had Leverson, and we are now familiar with how incestuous the relationship is between our leaders and the 'free press'. We all underwent a high speed GCSE Course in Media Studies, and we all collectively, breathed, 'ah so that's how it all works', as we watched Gerry and Kate in hammy Shakespearian tragedy mode, Rebekah supressing her inner Lady McBeth, Tony Blair who is no longer a real boy, and Rupert Murdoch getting a custard pie in the face.  Can you imagine the atmosphere back stage?  Who cared about the McCanns, was TB really having a fling, with Rupert's feisty wife?  Ooer. 

It was of course, all theatre for the masses, an illusion of a free press out of control, causing pain and distress to ordinary people (Gerry and Kate), and the desperate need for privacy laws and more draconian measures to be taken against newspapers and journalists, including imprisonment.  Yes, journalists were imprisoned.  Take note of the date folks 21.4.18, our descendants will laughing at us like the funny little aliens in the old 'Smash' adverts.  Even the divine Rebekah Brookes was threatened with jail.  I'm not sure if I like or dislike the charismatic RB, but if I had a daughter I would say 'be like her honey', OK, maybe not so much, but you get you get the gist.  There is something inherently wrong with a society that imprisons journalists.  And Privacy Laws?  Wtf, is someone doing that they need actual legislation to keep it private? 

The McCanns it must be said, have been used by others who are even higher up in 'the Lie' than they are.  People who have used their tragedy for political and financial gain.  On the official front, the government could be said to have been off the hook from June 2007.  That when signing of the Lisbon Treaty in December 2007, they were neutral on the Madeleine investigation and the case was now exclusively in the hands of the Portuguese.  Does anyone believe that?  Or is it more likely, the very diplomatic Gordon Brown had a quiet word in ear of Jose Socrates, maybe something along the lines of, 'listen we totally f*cked up on this, it would cause us huge political embarrassment, could you just bury it and we'll do ...................... for you'.  Purely hypothetical of course.  I don't think the Portuguese rolled over, completely, but they did shelve case when the time limit for arguido status ran out, 8 months I believe. 

It is all hypothetical of course.  Logistically, it just wasn't possible for the PJ to pursue the case vigorously.  The main witnesses had left the country, and all were lawyered up.  It was just another one of those cases that frustrate detectives the world over.  Left to gather dust unless something significant comes along.  Advances in science and technology, a witness changing their story, or new evidence.  I'm going with new evidence, because the Portuguese were adamant they would not re-open their files without it.

As Operation Grange was launched, with great fanfare, the Portuguese got their own files down from the shelf.  Coincidence?  Unlikely, but who opened their files first?  British or Portuguese?  Arguably, Gerry and Kate's biggest mistake was campaigning for a Review.  But it coincided with the Madeleine Fund running low.  It was all about the fund raising of course, and demonstrating how determined they were never to give up.  They were aiming for 100,000 signatures on their Petition, an unrealistic target, but enough to cause a news flurry.  I have always thought this was one of those 'be careful what you wish for, you just might get it' moments. 

I am not sure if I am being unfair about the MCanns' acting abilities, they went into full book tour mode and pretended to be happy about David Cameron's benevolent decision.  They didn't seem in the least perturbed by it, but they weren't celebrating their victory, the Review they were asking for.  Beyond common courtesy, there isn't anything to suggest this tory government would invest money and their reputations on an embarrassing international incident that had nothing to do with them. Why would they?  When Blair, Brown, Alan Johnson et al, were all clearly in the frame for interfering in another country's criminal investigation.  Sadly, it is yet another revelation as to how seedy Blair and his inner circle had become.  If they could sex up a student's thesis to make a case to go to war, the disappearance of one small missing child should never have been a problem.  Unfortunately for them, one of those small, niggly problems that always have the potential to explode into a major news story, without a tight lid kept on it.  Of sorts.  Given human nature however, my money is on them 'thinking about it tomorrow', a la Scarlett O'Hara.  Tony Blair already had his sights set on bringing peace to the Middle East, what did he care.  Little Madeleine, I would imagine, is way down on the list of Blair's dodgy dealings and matters that cry out for public Inquiries. 

Theresa May can fund Operation Grange until it reaches a result, safe in the knowledge that her party played no part in any obstruction of justice.  There is not very much that I like about old British conservatives, apart from their 'wat ho, just not cricket old chap' sense of noble justice.  An innate sense of fairness that formed the basic ideology of the Empire.  Something the socialists, in the form Blair, Brown, New Labour, ran roughshod over with their tacky attempts to jump on the popular Madeleine bandwagon.  Cash in first, explain later, or not at all.

Madeleine was not just a missing child, she was multimillion pound baby, Her sweet angelic face brought funding to police agencies, charities, purveyors of crisis management companies and makers of cctv cameras.  Not since the big bad wolf and the bogey man, had there been a greater danger to small children tucked up safely in their beds.   Any explanation other than an abduction,  would put an end to all the thriving new industries that sprung up out of Madeleine's disappearance.  And an end to New Labour's hopes for compulsory ID cards, a national DNA database and stricter border controls. 

I can't see this case ending in any other than a sea of red faces, at the very least.  Imagine Cherie Blair phoning Karen Matthews and telling her to hang on in there.  When you apply the special treatment of Gerry and Kate to any other case you can see how totally inappropriate it was.  The Blairs and the Browns can blame their advisors and their own compassion. The compassion will probably work for all those interviewers and breakfast TV presenters who gave them such an easy time.  But for the British police and the British secret services, it is beyond embarrassing. I can't help but think there may be grudges in play, a determination to bring the real culprits to justice.  That is far more likely and reflective of human nature than a 7 year quest to hide the truth.