Following the McCann case has often led to one of those big life questions, 'is it me, or is it them?'. Considering I spend most of my life out of step with the rest of the world, it wasn't a particularly big deal, but I have to say, it was quite unsettling to discover the 'antis' hated me almost as much as the Pros, if not more!
And I don't just mean mild dislike, I mean pure unadulterated hatred of the creepy kind. They don't seem to realise that all that hatred means nothing, they don't know me, but it is probably eating them alive. It's why I have been less mean of late, I actually pity them, hanging onto that anonymity may become very difficult in the days that lie ahead.
I have to say, that the way in which the 'anti McCanns' became so reviled, so quickly, confused me. I put it all down to the unbelievably successful McCann Media campaign. Hands up, it has taken me a number of years to fully understand why those defending the McCanns were so emotive, and why they were so angry at McCann critics. I'll admit in those early days, I was caught up in the excitement of unravelling a crime, and I actively sought out websites and forums who could see the same as I could. It was a topic you could not discuss at the water cooler or a party without starting a fight!
Every national newspaper's comments sections were buzzing, the Mirror especially, and when Clarence had them shut down, thousands flocked to the 3 Arguidoes and then onto other forums as the founders of the 3As fell out. All and any accusations by the McCanns that there has ever been an 'organised' campaign against them would be ridiculous, most of the antis hate each other as much as they hate the McCanns.
I didn't dare post in the Mirror forum, I felt completely out of my depth, I had already got my fingers burned in the CBB chatroom, and bookchat had FA to do with books, but the McCann world was a battleground! I cut my teeth in the completely uncensored free for all that was the AOL Europe Board. As old and wizened as I was, I had no idea there were so many lunatics out there disguised as normal people and UKIP voters. The board was very right wing and mostly made up of neo Nazis and McCann supporters. In retrospect, describing myself as a Marxist/Feminist in my profile was never going to make me popular.
As horrendous and God awful as it sounds, the place became completely addictive, you could get a row with anyone any time of the day or night. The antis were mostly made up of angry mums and nans, who made no bones about their feelings towards Kate and Gerry. I often found their comments a bit strong, but I liked them nonetheless and during especially bloody battles I was glad to have them as comrades in arms! The pros (McCann supporters) were alternately known as the 'Selecteds' - that's because we caught them out trying to set up a private forum that excluded the rest of us! How dare they! The whole Europe and YGL sagas went on for at least 5 years! We did however have truces during the holidays when we would try not to be obnoxious, happily they never lasted.
But I have digressed. Back in 2007, thousands of the antis were as angry and sickened by the McCanns actions as many are where crimes against children are involved. It was not only necessary, it was imperative that the McCanns and the 'group' were protected. As human beings we have to understand that. Because what can happen, and what did happen, was the story was taken up by a wild eyed extremist who wants the return of hanging and flogging to our town squares.
All those angered and appalled at the blatant injustice in this case have been drawn in and manipulated by people who claim they want justice, but in reality, are only seeking fame and infamy for themselves. They want to be the one who 'cracks' the case. Bennett thought he could tag onto the golden egg that was Madeleine's name by setting up the Madeleine Foundation. He wanted a slice of those 50billion hits the McCann website were getting.
This case has also attracted those who are interested in the cases of historic sexual abuse. I too had a link because of my memoir Cry and You Cry Alone, I lived in a children's home run by two psychopaths, an ex Jesuit monk who practiced Opus Dei for everyone, the boys especially, and sexually frustrated nun who had the hots for him. My abuse wasn't sexual, it was the batterings I took for not kowtowing to their freaky rules.
I've never given any credence to the whole 'paedophile ring' theory in this case. These people were going out of their way to get other people to look after their kids, including trained nannies. Abusers keep the kids hidden away, they don't risk them having conversations with 'outsiders' and they don't organise sporty holidays where the kids are rarely in their company! What most parents of young children need, more than anything else, is a break from the kids! Again, don't excited Textusa, I'm talking about the mental stimulation of adult company. That doesn't make them bad people or even bad parents. As a young mum, I never wanted to miss the craic, my motto was happy mum = happy child.
So why did the public hate the 'antis'? I try to imagine how I would feel if a forum or a group of concerned citizens attacked, Kerry Needham, for example. I would probably be very angry with the attackers, the words shame on you, comes to mind. So now I must apply that train of thought to those who truly believe the McCanns are innocent. Their belief may be based on the biased headlines of the MSM and successful marketing campaign of Team McCann, but if they don't want to listen to alternate opinion, they won't. Some people have very closed minds, it's gutting, but something we have to accept or go crazy.
Where several infamous antis have gone way off track is by their deluding themselves that their hmmm, 'research' has solved this case where two police forces have failed. I have no doubt Bennett already has his Nobel Prize acceptance speech at the ready. Much as I hate pointing out again and againTony Bennett is as mad as a box of frogs, too much of his nonsense is still around misleading those who are searching for the truth. Richard D. Hall was his biggest, and most gullible, mark.
But the purpose of this blog was to pick up on a point made by John Blacksmith in the previous comments. These 'researchers' (pretentious twats) have invaded the lives of the innocent citizens who gave statements to the Portuguese police. They believe calling their stalking and harassment of witnesses in a criminal investigation 'research' somehow validates their vile and immoral behaviour. It doesn't. Nowadays, we can all pretty much stalk whoever we want, but we don't. Why? Because the majority of us have a moral compass and the empathy to understand how our actions will affect others.
Unfortunately, whilst there were thousands and thousands questioning the justice in this case, we were all judged by the antics of the malicious and despicable Tony Bennett. First with his spurious private legal against the parents, then with his distasteful publicity seeking antics handing out leaflets in their home town. We were all tarred with the same brush and despised from then on.
Bennett boasts that CMoMM is the best McCann forum on the www. But it isn't, it is the most grotesque. Now that every intelligent poster has been banned or kicked out, all that remains are the lobotomised diehards. Their legacy will be in there with Stop the Myths and JATKY2, bloodsucking ghouls looking for victims.
I found it quite poignant when JB asked 'what can the nannies do'? Indeed. As witnesses in an ongoing investigation, they cannot say anything. My heart goes out to them, as it does to all those targeted by CMoMM. I have nothing but respect for them and in fact all of those put through hell by the conspiraloons. Their quiet dignity has not gone unnoticed.
It may be when this is all over that those libelled by Bennett and CMoMM will have recourse to justice of some kind and who could blame them. However, they seem to have the good sense to know their best course of action is to avoid these vipers like the plague. Even the two words, fuck off, would send them into a feeding frenzy.
I honest to God do not know what Operation Grange are up to. I don't quite buy into the 'they are all involved in the cover up' theory. I still have enough faith left in human nature, and indeed the police, to believe that the victim, Madeleine is still the focus of their investigation.