Hi Rachel. I really have tried to view this from the McCanns perspective - no matter what I think of them, they are a family who have lost a child. That pain is unimaginable and I am always aware that they have two young children. Most people who speak about this case have pertinent questions, they are reasonable people who post responsibly. The McCanns are always asking the public to help them, the public are entitled to ask why.
You asked how I would feel, should anyone defame myself and my book Cry and You Cry Alone. A fair question. Its not something that bothers me Rachel. I spent 3 days in a witness box - everything about my life and my time in St. Anne's is documented. I'm also delighted to tell my readers that I am meeting up with my beloved Mole, my childhood friend and best pal at St Anne's for the first time in 40 odd years. So happy to say that when we spoke on the phone we simply picked up where we left off all those years ago, and were giggling like 14yr old schoolgirls again! There has been a spate of 'ex St. Anne's' popping up from the McCann camp to smear me, but they skidaddle as soon as they are asked to discuss the 'wonderful' nuns. Should also tell you the former Uncle's activities are being investigated by Yewtree, so bring it on.
But I digress. I think the McCanns legal actions are ill advised - they have become vexatious litigants - its not an endearing trait. In addition it seems to achieve the opposite of its (intended?) purpose. Basically it is the 'Streisand effect' in action.
What I struggle to understand Rachel is the fact that the McCanns have always had it within their power to 'make it all stop'. Such is life, we have seen many, many, tragedies over the years, most involved shun publicity, do their grieving in private and the media respect this. That option has always been available to the McCanns. Their continuing this cash driven search for a needle in a haystack is something we ('the anti's') cannot comprehend. Not only does Madeleine remain missing, but no other child has been rescued from lairs or otherwise during the 6 years this search has been going on.
Do the McCanns and their deranged supporters really want to hear that Madeleine has been chained up in a dungeon and sexually abused for the past 6 years? Dear lord, are they all mad, or is it me? The 'adopted by a childless couple' scenario falls dead in the water, due to the simple fact that the 'abductor' squeezed past two cots containing the choice of a boy baby or a girl baby, to pick up the walking, talking toddler who knew exactly who her mother and father were. Old enough too, to scream blue murder if a stranger attempted to carry her out of a window. Scotland Yard may well come up with an alternative believable scenario, we can only wait and see.
Meanwhile, the questions about this case will not go away until there is a conclusion Rachel. Like most compelling mysteries, there's a huge audience out there who want a satisfactory ending. The McCanns cannot now complain about the huge audience - they created it! And it is an audience they have fed, watered and nurtured this past 6 years. The unprecedented publicity surrounding this case and the release of the original police files was bound to draw out all the armchair detectives, particularly as they began to discover that the story they were being fed by the UK media made no sense whatsoever. If Gerry's wider agenda was to punish everyone who doesn't believe the abduction story, then he needs to go back to his whiteboard, because it is not sustainable.
In many ways the McCanns are the victims of their own success. They have the wide audience they wanted, but inevitably, among that audience will be critics. No-one can legislate against that. And in civil actions such as these, the Defendants are like nine pins - as they get knocked down, others replace them. Litigants caught up in multiple claims need limitless funds. and even then there is no guarantee of success. Most people in the public eye accept that some of their audience may not like them, on the basis that you can't win them all. Threatening those who doubt them with 'public exposure' and putting them on 'Hate Lists' are the tactics of those with something to hide and does nothing to further the Search. Somewhere along the line, the lost Madeleine got lost all over again, as it stopped being about the missing child and turned into an internet war, the like of which we have never seen before.
You asked if I would sue if people defamed me. In response, I must tell you that I worked for 20+ years as a legal secretary in the City of London and I have seen hundreds of litigants like the McCanns who believe they can 'solve all their problems' with legal action. It always brings to mind, a short poem:
'Here lies the body of William Jay
who died maintaining his right of way -
He was right, dead right, as he sped along,
but he's just as dead as if he were wrong'.