Sunday, 31 January 2016


Apologies, I have started a new blog for this.  If anyone has facilities to c/p their comments re 'swinging theory' that appear here, please re-send.  Ta. 

UPDATE  10/02/6


The discussion seems to have veered off in the direction of the 'swinging theory' and in response to Nuala, you are right, we may not agree but the matter is open to debate.

It may be that I have led a particularly sheltered life, but I have never in all my years, known any swingers or attended any swinging parties.  I have attended many parties where people have got drunk, taken drugs and ended up under the host, but they don't generally start out with those intentions.  Well not if the fights, rows and divorces that follow are anything to go by. 

My knowledge of swinging parties comes mainly from the old News of the World, and from sneeky peeps at my friend's Dad's collection of Forum magazines.  Fantasy stuff that didn't go on in the 'real' world.  Similarly, I have never known anyone who has had an intimate relationship with their twin tub or who regularly attends fetish parties.  I'm not saying these murky worlds do not exist, the NOTW regularly featured stories of politicians caught with their trousers down, and Madams Whiplash spilling the beans.  I don't however, ever remember entire holiday resorts devoted to middle class swingers.  And what a story it would have been?

Whilst I hate to put it too strongly, the swinging theory is insane.  Have these theorists even had a cursory glance at the main characters?  Do they honestly believe that the clingy Kate, who nearly went into meltdown when Gerry flirted with the quiz mistress, would say 'your turn with my husband Fiona'?

You say that it was extraordinary for there to be 300 tourists in PDL?, do you have stats for the previous years or for similar resorts for the same week? You say that it was well known that Warners held swinging events.  'Well known' where?  Do they advertise?  The Lancet perhaps? 

I don't know if Textusa or other believers in the swinging theory are parents themselves.  I tend to think not, because if they are, they will remember the baby and toddler years as the most stressful and argument filled years of their relationship.  Those who believe babies mend marriages are completely deluded. Babies and toddlers bring chaos, they take over everything, they never give you a minute's peace and they win every argument. Most couples return from family vacations swearing never to do it again, and talking divorce.  Until the following year.  Time is kind like that, it keeps smoothing the rough edges off so eventually all you can see is the laughter.

You also that Nuala, that PDL was filled with VIPs, high fliers and professionals.  Where is the evidence for this?  In the summer of 2007, it was also filled with every enthusiastic crime journalist in the world, how come none of them picked up on that?  I don't find anything particularly strange about 300 tourists being in PDL.  It is a pleasant resort, family friendly, and the weather conditions were perfect for young children and sports enthusiasts.  It may be that this resort had a good reputation via a grapevine, and of course, most of the tapas group had enjoyed Warners' resorts before. 

I fear Textusa and the swinging theorists have tied themselves up in a similar knotted yarn ball as Tony Bennett.  That is, they came to one definitive conclusion several years ago, and have no way in which to wriggle out of it without admitting they were/are wrong. 

I am intrigued by your final sentence Nuala.  You say if the swinging theory is wrong, there must be something else 'that fits the bill'.  Why? As I often say, I am a follower of the school of thought that is KISS (Keep it Simple Stupid), the first and most simple explanation is usually the right one.  Even Team McCann knew that, 'It was an abduction. End of'. 

Whilst the idea of a family resort for swingers is novel, even the NOTW would never have run with that one.  Whilst some might say swinging is not seedy, taking your kids along, is.  Accusing 300 people of abandoning their kids to go have sex with strangers should keep the libel courts tied up for years. 

I tend to think that those who come up with these fantastic sex stories, have read way too much fire, brimstone and Black Lace.  They come from the imaginations of those a little bit detached from the 'normal' world.  I am guessing they have very little sexual experience and any information they do have, comes from bible based resources that entice them to seek out demons wherever they may be.  In this instance, Mark Warners resorts.   

Those of us who were glued to the McCann rolling news in the early days of May 2007, will recall all too vividly the moment Robert Murat was pounced on by the police and by the press.  He was a criminal profiler's dream, single, that is estranged from his wife and daughter and living with his mother.  His singledom set him apart from the rest of the male population and made him an obvious target.  I often whine about the stigma attached to single women, but for single men it can often be far worse.  Their failure to have one careful owner is often seen as hiding something unnatural and bestial in the closet.   

If this were a plotline for a fictional story however,  Mr. Murat would have been far too obvious and discarded in the first draft.  But hey, they were having a good run with tall stories, and the public were demanding a villain.  I think the ways in which they tried to implicate him were particularly crass.  If he had been outside Apartment 5A after the alarm had been raised, how could he have been running off across the lawless plains of the Algarve with a child in his arms? Or worse, disposing of a body?  He couldn't be in two places at once.  Deh!  The tapas members who suddenly remembered seeing him, were actually providing him with an alibi.  I know that will send you know who off into a 'told you so' frenzy, but the tapas gang didn't realise it, and neither did he.

The involvement of the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) agency at the outset of this case has always been a mystery.  Madeleine wasn't even 4 years old, she had no online activity, and the perpetrator who stole Maddie wasn't sitting at home watching porn, he was out stealing kids!

For CEOP the discovery of pornography on Robert Murat's computer justified their presence.  Gerry McCann was already talking about paedophile rings and the loins of the world's vigilantes were stirring.  If the public believed that the internet was being used by predators to steal their children from their beds, they would welcome  laws that would give CEOP wider powers. 

Robert Murat became a suspect, an arguido, after anonymous tip offs from childhood 'friends' who accused him of playing with frogs and snails and puppy dogs' tails. And of course, that lightbulb moment when the excitable tabloid journalist Lori Campbell suddenly remembered Ian Huntley offered his assistance to the police too!   Case proven.  Rally a mob.  The most scary part of all this being of course, how easy it is to build a case against an innocent person. 

I don't for one moment believe Robert Murat had anything to do with Madeleine's disappearance.  I think he is probably just a nice, friendly guy, who, with his mother, were trying to help a very distressed family.  Whilst Ian Huntley had sinister motives for hanging around the police investigation in Soham, Robert Murat's reasons were valid and altruistic.  The McCanns and their friends were in the middle of a crisis, and Robert had the skills to help them with the language barrier at the very least.   

Unfortunately for the 'profilers' there was a major flaw in their composite suspect.  Robert was/is, an outgoing, friendly chap, well liked within his community with no anti social problems to be speak of.  That is, he was the opposite of a paranoid, isolated, sexually frustrated predator who hides behind bushes in the park and steals children in the middle of the night. 

Much is made of Gerry's 'I'm not going to comment on that' response to 'do you know Robert Murat'.  At the time Gerry and Kate were holding Court, all the eyes of the media and the world were upon them, and Gerry was loving it! He was Caesar addressing the Senate, important enough to answer or dismiss questions as he saw fit. 

As much as those trying desperately hard to involve Robert Murat, there is absolutely nothing other than fabricated accusations to back their theories up.  It is their need to implicate Robert Murat that perplexes me the most.  



In response to Mimi on MMM

You are a good egg Mimi, many thanks.  Tis true it is the 'blurting out' that has got me into much trouble over the years, especially with jobsworth bosses. I simply can't do things 'the way they've always been done' without question, and they don't seem to like that, but such is life, the conformists usually sided with the bosses and I was out on my ear.

Being ostracised is pretty much a way of life for me, from the playground, to the convent to the office to the world wide web, lol.  The nuns tried to 'cure me' by taking away all my privileges (watching tv, pocket money, going out) and sending me to Coventry for 3 months.  It was the school holidays and not a soul was allowed to speak to me, nuns, staff, kids, my friends (especially) and my own brother.  Happily  big bruv, friends and a very kind 'Aunty' went behind the nuns' backs and broke the rules.  I was only 13 at the time, and if it wasn't for the fact that my head was permanently stuck in a book, I would probably have gone insane.

It didn't cure me.  It made me angry, I spent my days plotting my revenge, just as Scarlett O'Hara waved her fist in the air and swore never to be hungry again, I waved my fist in the air and swore I would never be silenced again.  I would speak the truth, not their lies, and I didn't care about the consequences.  No matter how much they beat me, or isolated me, I was never going to give in and I was going to tell the world what they did! 

Having experienced living in fear, and reading copious books about martyrs at that time, all the punishments hardened my resolve.  I remember my 14year old self, telling the Romeo who broke my heart, 'you can't ever hurt me - I've been tortured by experts!'.  I was a drama queen even then, and was toying with the idea of becoming Jewish (anything to piss off the nuns).  I had just read the heart wrenching and very disturbing Auswitch followed by the very inspiring Exodus and wanted to go live in a kibbutz with a Ben Canaan and fight Arabs, I was gonna get the nuns later.  The whole 'Jewish' thing was short lived however, once people got over the shock of seeing of a freckle faced, stroppy teen with mad paddy hair, wearing a Star of David, I got bored with it.  Very few were interested in my reasons for becoming Jewish, apart from one kindly 'Aunt' who pointed out there was rather more to the Arab/Israeli war than handsome, olive skinned freedom fighters. 

My crime on the 'coventry' occasion incidentally, was taking an unexpected visiting mother into the dining room where her 5 year old son was being forced to eat regurgitated cheese by a particularly sadistic Uncle and telling my own mother where I got my black eye from.    It was listed as 'Disloyalty' in the Punishment Book, a universal excuse for atrocities everywhere as I have since discovered. 

Some of you may wonder why I have argued the case for Andrew, particularly as he has been so scathing of me in the past.  The simple reason is that I passionately hate the words ban, banish, ostracise and caste out.  It is a horribly cruel punishment and rarely warranted. There are far kinder ways to modify peoples' behaviour - taking away their means to communicate being the least effective.  It is the internet equivalent of 'off with their heads'.

I know Candyfloss would argue that I delete posts, I can't censor them btw, I have no way to edit the comments, and it is true, I do delete outright abuse, I'm not going to supply a platform for loons to rant and rave aimlessly.  But do you know what, I very rarely get posts like that these days and can't remember the last time I have had to delete anything.  Every forum or blog finds its own level, the contributors eventually harmonise, they either up their ante (and vocabulary) or they sink to the level of  the lowest common denominator - as has happened with CMoMM and JATKY2.   

My honesty is not intended to hurt, I usually add humour to take the edge off.  I actually think dishonesty is far more hurtful because it achieves nothing and it plants the seeds for more sinister and worrying emotions.  When given the option, most people choose truth everytime.  And it doesn't have to be hurtful, we have the ability to make our words harsh or kind, it is entirely up to us.  We are a highly evolved species, educated way and beyond our predecessors, not only can we speak, we can communicate with thousands at the touch of a button,  but many have still not worked out that no-one is forcing them to read, watch, look at, or listen to, something that they don't want to.   It will make no difference to them, but it will deprive those who want to read, watch, look at etc, said item and there is something a bit mean about that.   

Those who state twitter etc, would be so much better if certain individuals/ or minority groups were removed, are deluded if they think this will give their lives an upward boost.  When you are on the lookout for something to offend you, you will always find it (confirmation bias).  There is absolutely nothing I can, or will do (and this is not directed at you Mimi, you accept, 'I am as a I am') to appease my critics.  Where would a writer begin if 'certain' topics were off limits?  Don't mention suicide in case someone's Aunt's neighbour two doors but one, had a family member die that way?  It reminds me of that Fawlty Towers 'don't mention the war' episode.  The more you can't talk about a person or a subject, the more you want to. 

I think I have probably been trolled more than anyone commenting on this case, yet I still oppose any restrictions on Freedom of Speech.  We all have the right to choose whether or not we want to be offended, I choose not to be.  I see the  anonymous trolls as the inept, social inadequates they are.  They are hiding from me, I am not hiding from them.  Tis true I have developed the hind of a rhinoceros, but I cannot understand how people can be so offended by words they read online.  And I don't understand how removing the writer of those words, would make their lives any better.  The idea of going into meltdown because some Norman no mates living hundreds of miles away mentioned the 'rape' word, is absurd.  There are far greater dangers on our own doorsteps. 

During 'Sungate' lol, I got a taste of what it was to be amongst the world's most hated.  My grinning mush in the centre pages of the Sun reduced one poor anti's mother to tears apparently.  I was right up there with the Yorkshire Ripper, Ian Huntley and Heather Mills.  The hysteria gave me an insight into how Brenda Leyland must have felt.  Many haven't forgiven me to this day, and I doubt they would have forgiven Brenda, had she lived.  The most enlightening part of that experience however, was the shocking realisation that so many of the 'antis' were exactly what the MSM thought they were.  Nasty people using the case of  missing child to go under cover and torment strangers online. 

Having been on the McCanns Blacklist (Death Dossier), I could fully understand why people had to keep their identities hidden (I had nothing left to lose), but I hadn't realised how many were actually using anonymity to unleash all their hatred and hidden prejudices against victims they selected online.  And luckily for them, they quickly found like minded chums more than happy to join in with their malicious games.    As this case nears an end, the different camps will become more distinguishable.   Those with their 'right, dead right' theories have given us every detail of their research, yet they have never told us 'why'? 

Monday, 25 January 2016


In response to 23:55, (A Matter of Neglect) and your uncertainties regarding the evidence of Mrs Fenn, the McCanns upstairs neighbour, who was in all evening, on the night Madeleine disappeared. 

You question the discrepancies  between what Mrs Fenn said in her statements and what she said when she was caught in the headlights of an oncoming juggernaut.  I think the poor woman may have found herself under a barrage of attention that frightened the life out of her.  Not just from the media and the Portuguese police, but from British police agencies acting on behalf of the parents - and of course the Fighting Fund of the very proactive Team McCann.

By the time the evidence of Mrs Fenn became public knowledge, Kate and Gerry were the world's most famous and sympathetic victims.  Anyone criticising them or their horrendous form of childminding was likely to be torn limb from limb by an angry mob.

I can perfectly understand the predicament Mrs Fenn found herself in, and it is a tragedy that those assisting the McCanns have done so much to blacken her name.  Imagine how she would have felt reading all this if she were still alive?  Then imagine how she must have felt in the aftermath of Madeleine disappearing when the world's press set up camp outside her apartment?

It is not easy to speak 'on camera', I once inadvertently confused the date my mother died and I didn't correct it because I had a limited amount of time and I had more important points I wanted to make.  This was taken by the dossier compilers as conclusive evidence that I was 'liar'.  They now put 'proven' in front of their reams of libel, lol. 

As for hearing a child cry for 75 minutes and doing nothing - again I sympathise with her predicament.  How horrendous would it have been if she had involved the authorities and this large holiday party had turned on her? She was surrounded by them, quite literally, her apartment was directly above the McCanns and next door to all of theirs.  No doubt over the years, she witnessed many groups of British tourists behaving badly and had learned not to interfere. 

I think we are being led astray by questioning the evidence of Mrs Fenn.  The real question should be, why didn't Kate and Gerry run straight up those stairs to ask her if she had seen anything?  She was the most likely witness, she had been in her apartment all evening and the parents were claiming an abduction. Their first contact with Mrs Fenn, was, according to Gerry, when she spoke to him from her balcony asking what had happened and if they would like to use her phone.  She, made the first approach, and Gerry's bizarre reply was that 'a girl' had been taken.  He didn't mention that it was his own daughter, he didn't ask her if she had seen anything and no he didn't need to borrow her phone, thank you very much.  Or as they say in Essex, End of.  

Kate remembers it differently.  Mrs Fenn, was the nosey neighbour from upstairs with the plummy voice who had treated her predicament as if a 'tin of beans had fallen off a shelf'.   She and Fiona were so outraged at her lack of concern for their distress, that they too, didn't bother to ask the most obvious of questions.  'Did you see, or indeed hear, anything?'.  'The fiend that broke into our apartment would have made a hell of a racket prising open the steel shutters and climbing into a room that contained 3 sleeping babies - your apartment is directly above ours, you MUST have heard something'.     

Instead of begging for Mrs Fenn's help, the McCanns have gone all out to discredit her, Kate especially with her spiteful comments in her book Madeleine. They have regularly appeared on our TV screens pleading for anyone who saw anything to come forward, yet they had no interest in the evidence of someone they knew was on the scene and had a bird's eye view.

They were also hard selling their own particular form of half arsed parenting.  Mrs Fenn's statement that she heard a child crying for 75 minutes was hugely damning. At that time the McCanns and indeed the other doctors, could have faced serious charges of child endangerment.  Charges that would have immediately ended all their high flying careers.  Mrs Fenn was then, and arguably, is still, a huge thorn in the 'responsible parenting' defence.  As for nobody else hearing the 75 minute crying session, who would  have been brave enough to admit it if they had? 

As far as Team McCann's fighting fund were concerned Mrs Fenn was the enemy.  Had there been a real abduction, Mrs Fenn would have been their star witness and new best friend.  She could, knowingly, or unknowingly, have held that precious key they keep talking about.  Whilst Kate and Gerry were broadcasting heartfelt pleas for anyone in Europe, Africa, the Americas and the Far East to come forward if they had ever holidayed in PDL, they were ignoring the woman upstairs!

Mrs Fenn was an ordinary woman who suddenly found herself besieged by hungry journalists, Flash Harrys, and men in grey suits and dark glasses. I think what she experienced, was probably on par with the terrible closing in Brenda Leyland felt when she took her own life. I truly hope Mrs Fenn's final years were peaceful and contented, I see  her as another victim of this scam (I hope I am wrong) and my heart goes out to her family.  I think those judging the witnesses on the statements they gave in the aftermath of what must have been a traumatic experience for all of them, should hang their heads in shame. Do they ever stop and think for a moment how they would have felt in the same situation?  It takes a lot of courage to put your head above the parapet.

It is curious that those investigating the witnesses online, always seem to target those who could cause the most damage to the abduction, responsible parenting, heads of defence.  Their arguments are based on pure speculation and supposition.  Tony Bennett has taken 'Six Degrees of Separation' and dwindled it down to Two.  Simply being the same nationality/ religion/ species, is generally enough for a guilty verdict.  And Tony Bennett is led by a warped mentality that sees everything as sexual.  Start a thread about deviant art on the cesspit and watch the whoopy begin.   (that should increase their numbers ;) ). 

Saturday, 23 January 2016



I have this radical theory that during our reproductive years, the brains of females go on a long semester.  They pretty much have to, or the human species would come to an end and/or topple the male orientated status quo with She Wolves being the new leaders.  And even the most ardent feminists don't want to make men completely redundant.

I don't suppose it is only women who become temporarily insane when the need to multiply kicks in.  Who hasn't seen that glazed, smitten look on the face of a man as his brain floats off out the window and his nether regions take over. His brain becomes the silent partner, as the contents of his underpants take control of the helm.  We may delude ourselves that we are attracted to the noble qualities of our heart's desire, but by the time we have been formally introduced to the Adonis we have been lusting over, his testosterone and our oestrogen have already got together and they are making hot and steamy plans for later. 

His little swimmers have already convinced him that he can learn to live with her whiney voice, her snaggletooth and her ability to drink everyone in the bar under the table and besides which, by the time it becomes a problem, his naughty bits will be sleeping if off.  If his brain could sue his naughty bits for all the trouble they get him into, it could open up a whole new area of litigation.  'I can assure you, your Honour, my brain played no part whatsoever in that drunken ceremony in Vegas.  Nor does it have any memory of waiving a prenuptial agreement or offering to financially support the extended family of a young lady with magnificent double DDs and a very cute accent.  The same of course applies to those barmy women daft enough to marry a Masai warrior with several wives and a small village in Kenya to support with her redundancy payment/divorce settlement.   

But back to those pesky hormones and those first romantic moments.  Whilst his little swimmers are lying to him, her eggs are scrambling around in her bottom drawer looking for the fluffy handcuffs and the list of names she has prepared for the composite children she is going to have with a 6ft blonde hunk with blue twinkly eyes.  The composite children vary depending on who she is standing next to at the bar.  By the time she discovers his surname is the same as that of a sanitary towel, she has spotted the Porsche and her eggs may already have already been invaded. 

I jest of course, people get together for all sorts of honourable reasons, but we can't entirely rule out drugs, alcohol and a father in law with a shotgun. Fortunately, love, or more accurately lust, is short lived, or at least it mellows.  If it didn't we would still, in our 50's, be phoning our besties at 3.00am to recite every word our Love God has spoken that day to ask her what she thinks he mean't?  Love makes us crazy, it turns us into stalkers and assisters of stalkers.  I once assisted a best mate in a stake out of her on/off boyfriend's flat, including, I am ashamed to say, going through his bin.  Gotta help a sister, lol.  In fairness, these days the kids have facebook. 

As much fun as passionate relationships are, they are a very exhausting life choice.  The passion takes over every aspect of your world.  You cannot have a logical thought or speak a sentence without throwing in the name of your beloved and telling your bored listener how amazing his eyes are.  The crazy little thing that is love, is all consuming.  Once love kicks in, the snaggletooth becomes invisible, so too, the 'cute' way he/she lies on the sofa, plays X-box for hours on end and has annoying habits that make you want to creep up behind him with an ice pick.  (Ok, maybe just me, on that one).  

We are all subject to temporary insanity during our most fertile years.  Our hormones' need to mate overrides all our other basic instincts.  They are probably only two degrees away from humping the armchair or latching onto the leg of an unsuspecting visitor.  That they can be tempted to try it out in the cramped confines of an airline lavatory is a given. 

Our naughty bits don't do any risk assessments.  They dive straight on in there and then leave everything above the waistline to sort it out.  The testes of a randy male couldn't give a hoot about the morals of a situation or the presence of CCTV cameras. They are all hyped up and raring to go, beyond the point of no return.  The female's strongest egg meanwhile has pulverised all her sisters and is dressed up her best party frock and yelling this one's mine'.  The idea that we have control over all that mayhem, is ludicrous. 

Whilst 21st century women should be thinking of keeping a very tight grip on their carefully feathered nests, the prehistoric woman inside is screaming 'but look at the biceps on that'.  The prehistoric ovum is seeing a good fighter (protector), a small army of well proportioned knuckledruggers and a lifetime of brontosaurus steaks.   

I don't think we will ever find a logical explanation for the reasons why we fall in love.  Most of them wouldn't stand up in Court, and most of them are created by ourselves anyway, we would be arguing for the defence.  We choose the partner we want, and then we mould them, if we can, into whatever we want them to be.  So much so, that some (odd, imo) couples speak with one voice.  It's not OUR choice, WE wouldn't like that.  The idea of getting into sync with another human being to that extent, would quite frankly scare the bejesus out me.  It would be like sharing a mind. 

I have always gone (hook, line and sinker) for polar opposites, because in my 'crazy years' I believed I was omnipotent and that the power of my love could fix anything.  Boy, was I deluded!  It took a couple of decades to understand that the life my own Marlon (Brando) wanted and the life I wanted, were entirely separate entities. As much fun as it had been knocking seven bells out of each other, we were never going to find anything we agreed on and neither one of us were going to give in. In fact, I now apologise profusely to the police and emergency services who were regularly called out to particularly barbaric games of trivial pursuit.   

Eventually, I didn't so much see him as a challenge, as a pain in the arse.  I still insist a sparrow has only 3 toes -  It didn't say both feet!.  And I swear if he had uttered the words 'while you're up love' one more time, he would have ended up under the patio.  I was reading a lot of Agatha Christie at the time, and had several demonic plotlines going on in my head. It was a folie a deux, a madness shared by two, we could neither resist each other or be in the same room together without finding something to argue over.  Very confusing.   

But lets get back to the beginning of where this madness comes from.  I suspect, like ducks, it is the first image we are smitten with.  Be it the divine David by Michelangelo or a half naked picture of a member of Take That (the early years).  For men it could the rapidly developing teenage temptresses they are surrounded by at school, or the nanny in high heels who gives them a darn good thrashing.  

For myself, the thunderbolt struck when I realised I wanted to kiss the annoying boy who constantly infuriated me, rather than punch his lights out.  Sadly, he was in love with my far more beautiful best friend, and she was in love in with my brother.  My 14 year old heart almost broke in two, when the object of my desire asked the DJ to play 'Hey Girl Don't Bother Me' then glared in my direction.  The only one in love with me was a smelly fat kid who kept snails in his pocket.    

I can trace the source of all my own disasters, because I am fortunate in that, there exists a documented record of my troubled adolescence.  I had a dedicated (and wonderful) social worker who kept in regular contact with me for 7+ years. She was a middle aged spinster who wore tweed suits and brogues a la Miss Marple, who shared my love of books and my eagerness to know everything about everything.  And she wasn't a church goer.  She was probably my first feminist role model, and I adored her.  Up until the age of 14, her reports on me are glowing, after the age of 16, they have an air of despair!  Age 12: 'Linda can achieve anything she wants', Age 14 'Linda has become arrogant', Age 16: Linda has discovered boys! (sic). 

It was downhill all the way after that, I had so indoctrinated myself with the passion of the Brontes, that I saw the opposite sex as the 'enemy', creatures to slay and conquer whilst simultaneously wanting to snuggle up with them.  I was also a fan of Bodicea and Joan of Arc until I realised she was completely loopy.  Sadly, my generation had very few strong, feminine role models, we were still being urged towards the kitchen, bedroom and altar. 

For myself, it was either love or hate, there was nothing inbetween.  My first literary heroine was Cathy of  Wuthering Heights.  I wanted a Heathcliffe to 'fix', I wanted to see passion in a man's eyes (especially if he looked like Marlon Brando).  My naïve hormonal self with an official diagnosis of arrogance, didn't want a pussycat to tame, I wanted a raging lion!  I found one, then spent many years trying to get him to lie on his back so I couldn't tickle his tummy.  Unfortunately, every time he caught a glimpse of the sassy hindquarters of a passing lioness, he would be off. 

My raging lion even looked like the divine Mr. Brando and his pupils would expand 10 fold when he gazed into my eyes (probably the coke).  It took me almost 20 years to understand that I couldn't tame him and I didn't really want to.  Life wouldn't have been half as much fun. I believe he is still an old reprobate, bless him, I don't somehow see him sitting on the sofa in a cardi and slippers saying 'yes dear' and 'another cup of tea for you Vicar?'.    

My dear old best friend Big Lynn, once told me that when you fall in love with someone at first sight, that is the way the you see them forever more.  Life throws in kind curve balls like that every now and again.  We always see the handsome young man or beautiful young woman that we first fell in love with. The angry young man in the leather jacket, the bold rebel heart, the man you have to fight to get, then don't know what to do with once you have got him.  Fortunately most men grow up to be contributing members of society who understand that starting a revolution is not as easy as it sounds and that growing a beard and living alone in a cave with a trainset gets boring after a while.        

I actually think there should be a Law questioning couples' decisions to marry under the influence of love (lust), or maybe sometime during the ceremony, the Priest or Registrar should throw in a wildcard question like 'Are you insane?' Proof of sanity could save many from signing on the dotted line whilst hypnotised by a particularly fetching basque and suspenders or a sweaty gardener drinking an ice cold soda.   I really should have been a lawyer, I can think of loads of new business opportunities for them. 

Strangely, it is the fact that I am happily single that seems to bug my critics the most.   Evidence of my irrationality is the fact that I am a middle aged woman who is loving being single.  That can't be right surely? shouldn't I be crying into a bottle of vino each night and trying to squeeze my head into the gas oven while Patsy Cline sings Crazy on replay? Did try it one night, but was mortified to see how much Mr. Muscle I was going to need for the grime at the bottom of my cooker.  If the gas didn't work, the shame would have killed me. 

For them being single is a character flaw, there must be something wrong with me. I have clearly been rejected by every member of the opposite (and indeed my own) sex and it is my bitterness towards those who have partners that drives me on.  They cannot accept that I choose not to commit myself to one person above all others for the rest of my life.  For me, being single is being free, I don't have to 'answer' to anyone.  Arguably, the prison like restrictions brutally imposed on me in the convent may well have left me scarred and scared of commitment, I fear that once again my 'free will' would be taken away.  But to be honest, I am probably just too selfish to adapt to anybody's else's lifestyle. 
From my seat in the house, marriage, or the getting together of two human beings, still looks like a battleground, a promise to obey or a lifetime of passive resistance. I have no idea why anyone goes into it voluntarily.  I don't want responsibility for another person's happiness and I don't want to see an old man cry while I flirt with an Egyptian waiter - even if it is tears of joy that he has sold me for 2 camels.     

Before anyone accuses me of being out to destroy the institution of marriage, let me assure you, I wish those who find love nothing but goodwill.  This is a hard old life and we should find love and happiness wherever we can. People can and do find their soul mates, and sometimes the passion remains, though perhaps somewhat tempered.  As you go into your 50s and 60's, the spontaneous throwing of crockery and loud breaky things could put an arthritic joint out.   

I'm not condemning the pairing of the human species, heaven forbid, the 'pairing' is great fun and it would be a dull old world without it.  From a survival perspective, having a lifelong partner makes a lot of sense, especially the 'in sickness and in health' bit.  You have someone to take care of you, and they have someone to take care of them.  And if you can do it without murdering each other, all the better. Love and marriage make the world go around, and I don't have an argument against that, happily.

Sunday, 17 January 2016


I am one of the few people able to discuss paedophiles without accusations being thrown at myself.  As a survivor of a catholic children's home, and a campaigner I have challenged 'them' in a courtroom.  The word paedophilia is so taboo that many use asterisks for fear their use of the word will see their laptops taken away. 

First of all, it should be established that the greatest risk to children lies within their own homes, and from people who know them.  That is a fact supported by all the statistics and known only too well by those who were sexually abused as children.  And, as I have said before, why the fixation on sexual abuse? The physical abuse of children is far more prevalent, it is equally, if not more damaging and in the worse cases ends with the death of the child.

Stranger danger is one of those far off risks, like  inadvertently falling off a cliff, that is, we really don't have to spend our daily lives worrying about it.  And if it gets to the point where we daren't go out or allow our children out either, a bit of perspective is required.  Those trying to fill every parents head with fear, are doing it for sinister, political motives. If someone shouts 'think of the children' everyone hangs their heads in shame and signs on the dotted line. 

Every government since time began have used a scary 'bogeyman' to keep the masses in check.  The enemy within, reds under the beds, vampires, monsters and the walking dead. The attack of the killer tomatoes (how could you George C. ? lol), invasion of the body snatchers.  There has to be a 'hidden' threat or there would be chaos.  

In the last century homosexuals were the outcasts.  Homosexuality was a taboo subject, ergo, out of legally enforced ignorance, this small section of society were ostracised and even imprisoned.  Homosexual men who were in positions of power lived with the constant threat of blackmail and exposure. 

Now the fear, for everyone, is being accused of possessing indecent images of children. And as these 'charges' are so broad and indiscriminate and based on hysteria, everyone is at risk.  Send holiday beach pictures to your family and friends and you could face charges of distributing child porn.  So ridiculous are these laws that a 17 year old girl was charged with child abuse against herself for sending a picture to her boyfriend taken when she was 16.  The majority of these underage images online are teenagers doing what teenagers do, yet for whatever reason the authorities are intervening and placing these kids on the Sex Offenders Register.  A cynic might suspect that they are deliberately boosting the figures on that Register to make the paedophile problem appear more endemic than it actually is.  The exchange of underage images is a strong argument for those who want to enforce law and order on the internet.  The simple fact is, the internet has little to do with the reality of child abuse.

 Unfortunately, discussion of paedophilia is always irrational, because it is such an emotive subject and any attempts at reason are shouted down because if you 'defend' paedophiles, you are clearly one yourself.  Because of this, we accept without question batshit crazy rules and regulations that have sucked all the joy out of taking pictures of our kids on a beach or in the bathtub.  Forget taking any snaps of your little cherub pulling funny faces in the school nativity play, only official pictures and videos (retailed by the school) will be available.  The assumption being that all, or part of, the audience want the pictures for disgusting reasons.  Reasons no-one would ever have thought of if they hadn't brought it up! Or, they are working on the Gradgrind basis that because of the actions of a few, many must be deprived. 

I see some are currently working themselves up into a frenzy over the availability of child sex dolls.  Seriously? lol.  They are already talking about banning and petitions.  Out of curiousity, has the availability of adult sex dolls led to rape, depravity  and the abuse of women anywhere?  Do people take them into work or on a train or involve them in an attack?  Has a sex doll ever featured in a sex crime?  How about cuddly toys with cute faces  that look like baby animals, should they be destroyed forthwith just in case?  Given the,'erm, let's say, odd choices of those with a penchant for inanimate objects, should vinyl be banned across the board?  How about Henry Hoovers, I have seen a very peculiar story about one of those this week, should they be banned?  

Those on the lookout for sexual deviancy probably see it all around them.  Why they are they so concerned about what others get up to in the privacy of their own homes, baffles me.  How does it affect them, or indeed their children? Violent active paedophiles, and let's differentiate between the violent active ones and the passive ones who spend their lives isolated and in cuckoo land and are of no danger to anyone. And they, make up the majority.  Everyone has sexual fantasies, even 'straight' people, that's why Anne Summers and S&M outlets are so popular.  Happily they do not act them out in the real world, because if they did, we might see a board room filled with executives in gimp suits.  Gawd forbid. 

The idea that a sex toy can trigger paedophiles to act out their fantasies is equally absurd.  It's like saying the Rampant Rabbit corrupted women, OK, bad example, lol.  The argument being used by the chastity belt wearers, is no different to that put forward by the clean up merchants since time began.  Do they honestly believe that a book, a sculpture, a painting, a film or a whoopy cushion will lead to Sodom and Gomorrah?  I feel a bit like Father Ted explaining the world outside the caravan to Father Dougal, 'Real', 'Not Real'. 

I despise this 'let's get the hanging tree ready' for paedophiles ideology, because it is based on pure ignorance and the stubborn refusal of those with closed ears and closed minds to acknowledge the statistics and the reality.  Why are we not seeing academics, rather than policeman, advising us on this vital issue?  The pathetic, socially inept, repentant paedophiles the media place in front of the cameras are not representative of the REAL problem, and it is disingenuous to say they are. 

The fact is, the strange men the MSM wheel out for the public stocks are dysfunctional misfits who don't have access to anyone.  The all too real and more cunning predators meanwhile, have wormed their way into a single parent households and are 'disciplining' the kids.  Others will have made a career for themselves that involves working closely with vulnerable children, usually childcare or child protection. 
Like those who appear on Jeremy Kyle and every preaching documentary, the misfits they parade before us are willing to blame all their problems on the weed, their bad mother or watching the Evil Dead.  They will say pretty much whatever the documentary maker wants them to say, especially if it fits the current political agenda. 

Whilst I agree that violent, predatory paedophiles should not be living in a regular society, I believe the same thing of murderers and psychopaths, whatever their sexual preferences.  And, back to statistics, the murderers and psychopaths far outnumber the predatory paedophiles.

Those calling for a ban on these dolls, have no understanding of human nature whatsoever.  Taking away a child's favourite toy will not stop them wanting it and it definitely won't make them behave any better.  Worse, it will make them become sly and it will make them resent you.  There is no way of enforcing your will on another, not even on a child.  You can cajole and persuade, but you cannot force.  Forcing has the opposite effect.  I actually hate the word ban, and I am increasingly finding myself hating those who use it.  What exactly would be the purpose of banning these dolls?  The only gratification I can see, is for those who want to make these unfortunate misfits suffer, and making people suffer for their sexual orientation, whatever it might be, is just plain nasty.   


Tuesday, 12 January 2016


Welcome to my new current affairs blog, where I will be commenting on news items that catch my eye and where I hope readers will feel free to comment too.  I love to hear alternate views, just spare me the rants and the name calling.  I want this to be a place for civilised debate. 
Please, if you like my 'out of sync' views on society, and enjoy my blogs, retweet them to your followers and share them on facebook.  I want an unbound platform where I, and those who read my blog can comment freely.  I have no party line here, the best argument wins - I am going to see if I can find a 'likes' gadget for my new revamp.   
There are just not enough platforms for non comformist views and those that do exist are led by often pompous, university educated middle class professionals who have no idea what being 'working class' really means.  They have never lived on a Council estate or had to leave IOUs in their kids' piggy banks, including the ones they had carefully hidden under the bed.  To this day, there is no trust in our family, lol.  
Regarding the comments, my quest is to get everyone writing.  I want to break down the barriers, that 'thing' that stops people from using their greatest power - the ability to communicate.  At some stage I might get a writing class going, or indeed publish a 'how to write a book' book, for those still lacking the confidence to put pen to paper. 
Meanwhile, please bear with me as I fiddle about the with the layout, lol, it may be like sticking 100 monkeys in a room with typewriters and waiting for a Shakespeare play, but I am going to try a couple of things out.  Including thinking up a name for my new blog, any suggestions considered!  Yes, I too think Cristobell's Column is naff, but I wanted to get 'Cristobell' in the title.
Cristobell's Column 
You're not alone, he whispered...

As a young rebellious teenager locked up in the care of demonic nuns, I fell in love with David Bowie at first sight. I was even sickeningly good to earn the privilege of watching him on Top of the Pops. He was the opposite of everything those evil creatures were attempting to pound into me with their fists, he came from another world, a world so different to the one I lived in, maybe he did come from Mars.  'I had to phone someone, so I picked on you', and that you was me and yes, it was far out, I heard it too! 

The nuns sneered at his makeup and cringed as he put a friendly arm around Mick Ronson, but I saw only warmth and affection and best of all, an acceptance and celebration of being different.  He told me it was OK not to be the same as everyone else, and at that time, as an oft suicidal 14 year old, I desperately needed someone, anyone, to tell me that.  Oh no love, your not alone, I've had my share, I'll help you with pain, David sang, and he did.  RIP Starman.

You can't live your life behind a phone bro!

I think a big round of applause should have been in order for the amazing Jennifer, coolest woman on the planet, Lawrence, when she scolded the reporter with a mobile phone. 

There doesn't seem to be any etiquette whatsoever in the use of mobile phones, ergo it has led to our being one of the rudest, most bad mannered societies in history.  Whoever is on the end of the phone, always seems to take priority over the person directly in front of the mobile user.  'I must take this' translates as, speaking to someone (anyone) else, is more important than speaking to you, even at the Golden Globes!  It may be the 'norm' but it is appalling bad manners.  I have reached the point where I hate being in the company of people who are constantly looking at and playing with their phones. So cheers Jennifer, my first feminist role model of the year, I am no longer going to tolerate it either! 

The Not so Odd Couple

I can kind of see why Jerry Hall has got together with Rupert Murdoch, where do you go after Mick Jagger? I remember thinking on similar lines when Jackie Kennedy married Onassis.

I'm the same age as Jerry Hall and I wouldn't be looking for a young stud muffin or a guy who's problems I 'might' be able to solve either.  As much fun as it was in your 30's, teaching young airhead Adonises the joys of outdoor sex and how 'do it' between stations when on a train, at 59, you could put a hip out.    

I'm not going to bitch about Jerry and Rupert, they are a power couple.  Just as Mick Jagger didn't want a subjugated woman, neither does Rupert - which of course says much for his machismo and self confidence - go him!  Strong men marry strong women.  Like Jerry, I too couldn't get together with an unarmed man, where's the fun in that?  Jerry is a Queen who needed a King, she was never going to marry one of the footmen.  In fact it is dallying with footmen and the like that cost many Queens their realms and in some cases, their actual heads.  Jerry's head is firmly screwed into place, she is a Queen because that is how she sees herself.  Anyone of us could do the same, if only we had the confidence.  It is that confidence in herself that sets Jerry apart, but sadly I doubt the bitches of Fleet Street will see it that way. 

Tis my theory that when women hit the menopause they get their brains back.  All those hot flushes are actually 'wtf was I thinking' moments, especially when watching our own Masai warrior/Turkish waiter drive off into the sunset with the orange teenager from next door and a large deposit for a fun café on the Marmaris coast.  Once men lose the ability to set our hearts a flutter with a whiff of testosterone or the flex of a bicep, their power over us is pretty much gone.  As much fun as it would be spending a week getting high with Jack Nicholson in Vegas or New Orleans, (personal wish list), I doubt I could keep up with him and I'd never get me bunions into Jimmy Choos.  I'll have to see if he is up for the zimmer frame version. 

I prefer to love men from a safe distance these days.  I can sort of see why Gerrard Butler's Spartan wife sent him off with an 'in it or on it' (it being his shield) final word.  His wild lovemaking and throwing around of all the bed linen would get on my wick for a start.  All that tidying up and laundry!  (not really, tee hee), but it must be said all that leather gear would play havoc with your Indesit.

But back to Jerry Hall, she has actually gone up in my estimation, just as she didn't settle for a string of wide boys or yorkie bar muchers a la Katie Price and Kerry Katona, when she was young, she hasn't lowered her standards as she had got older. Kudos to Jerry say I,  she treats herself as she believes she deserves, and I think there is a lesson for all of us in there somewhere.  Women of our age deserve to be pampered and treated with respect.  I bet Rupert doesn't tell her to buy herself a birthday card while's she's out buying his beer.  'Pick up 48 cans love, it will save you going out again'.  Just can't see it. 

Jerry's critics should stop for one moment and think about their words.  Whilst Angie Bowie, Jerry's one time contemporary who was also married to rock legend, she is now competing with Z listers in the Big Brother house, and being criticised for hanging onto the Bowie name. Jerry has clearly moved on. 

Jerry compliments Rupert, she doesn't want a doormat either.  Just as I would for any other couple lucky enough to find love, I wish them well.  Though I would suggest a purpose built, fine china free, room for when the sparks fly!    

Friday, 8 January 2016


Unfortunately for Gerry and Kate McCann, whenever there is a crime that involves an element of child neglect, their own case will be cited as an example. This latest case is that of Louise Fielden, the British policewoman who's baby son was taken away by New York Police after she was accused of leaving him alone in a hotel room for 30 minutes while she sterilised his bottles. 

I want to feel sympathetic towards Ms Fielden, and indeed, the UK newspapers have portrayed her as the victim of a terrible injustice.  Even though the charges against her were dropped, her baby son Samuel is now in the care of NY authorities, and what gripes Ms Fielden the most, with a foster carer  of dubious morals who promotes lesbian and gay rights. 

Looking at People v Fielden*, the charges against Ms Fielden are pretty flimsy, and the possession of codeine charge gives it all a whiff of desperation to prosecute on the part of the NY police.  What I fail to understand is why this relatively minor case of child neglect escalated to such an extent that 6 months on, the baby is still in the care of NY authorities. 

I find it stranger still that Ms Fielden is making a case against the foster carer, rather than pleading her case as a distraught mother.  She seems less concerned that her baby has been taken from her, than she is about the quality of the foster carer.  The newspapers both here and in the US carried a picture of Ms Fielden's injuries, received when she resisted arrest.  Unfortunately, the finer details of what actually occurred are not available (unless anyone knows different?), so did the police barge into the hotel room of a single mother with a baby, heavy handed, which would be appalling, or is there more to this story than meets the eye?

I'm afraid Ms Fielden aroused my interest with her use of the McCanns neglect argument, it is British Culture, she states, to leave babies and young children alone for long periods of time.  For me, that is like a red flag to a bull.  I do not know a single person, British or otherwise, who think it is acceptable to leave small children on their own.  Ms Fielden's continuation of the McCann lie that it is part of British culture, gets my heckles twitching.  And I haven't, even yet, mentioned her boasts of being a good Christian and a proud Homophobe. 

But let's return to the 'we all do it' prototype, this absurd charter for neglectful parents.  Going by People v Fielden, had Madeleine been 'abducted' in New York, this elite group of doctors would have had every child endangerment charge in the book thrown at them.  Could they have foreseen any danger in leaving babies and toddlers alone?  Hell yeh!  They were doctors!  Being struck off would have been the least of their worries, prison sentences would have been far more likely. 

The biggest fear the McCanns and their friends had on the night of 3rd May was charges of neglect.  ALL of their careers were at stake, they would not have known what Portuguese Law was with regard to leaving children on their own. Note how they 'lawyered up' straight away.  Look what happened to Ms Fielden in the US, she was arrested and her child was taken into care.  The McCanns have fielded the neglect issue from Day 1.  Quite brilliantly, it must be said, they even had dizzy sofa queens squealing that they did it too.

It is the neglect aspect of this case that, arguably, irks me the most.  Are there any lessons to be learned the parents were asked in one of their early interviews.  Yes, we did nothing wrong replied Gerry, checking' is a responsible form of parenting, we were just unlucky.  The chances of an abductor being out and about whilst our babies were alone and vulnerable was something we could not have foreseen, ergo we are innocent.  The question that should be asked of these doctors is 'What were the chances of babies and toddlers having an accident whilst alone, in the dark, in surroundings they were unfamiliar with? What were the chances of the whole group being charged with neglect if one of those children had an accident and died, as Rachel suggested?  Or, as Gerry suggested as a worse case scenario, what if all 3 had been taken? Just what do these parents have to do or not do, to be liable for neglect charges, if leaving babies alone and one missing is not enough? 

Lessons should have been learned, the main one being that it is morally unacceptable for responsible adults to leave babies and children on their own.  It doesn't matter how many ancient traditions the McCanns and their supporters cite, we have moved on considerably since 1950's Butlins.  There is a reason these 'traditions' have been abandoned by all thinking adults, it is because they were downright dangerous!  We no longer give teething babies a noggin of gin either.  The definition for toddler, should be 'accident waiting to happen'. They are a danger to everything and everyone around them, especially themselves.  And for those still arguing the 'abductor' corner, the biggest danger is of course, ACCIDENT.  In an average home, you will hear the thud of any little tyke falling out of the cot he/she has just learned to escape from and the patter of little feet as they go in search of mischief.  Listening at a door or window would not pick that up. 

I suspect there will be a lot of red faces when it is finally acknowledged that what the McCanns and their friends did with regard to their childcare on that fateful holiday was wrong on every level.  The statements of the doctors make chilling reading, their attitude towards their children, downright bizarre.  There seems to be no sympathy towards the babies and children who were suffering from sickness and diarrhea. Their innate selfishness both appals and astonishes me.  There are no signs of remorse, no signs of guilt (even if we are not guilty, we feel guilt), and no accepting of any blame whatsoever for the tragedy that occurred.  And perhaps, more significantly, no signs of shock. 

From the very beginning, the neglect aspect of this case has been brushed aside.  It was seen as cruel to discuss the subject in the face of the parents' terrible loss. They are being punished enough their defenders say.  And it could have happened to anyone, say the brainwashed. 

Those who argue there was no neglect, have 'bought' Clarrie's tales hook, line and sinker.  If there was no neglect, the rest of the Tapas group had nothing to fear.  Why would they voluntarily put themselves at risk of criminal charges?  Charges that would destroy their careers.  They have all defended their decision to leave the children on their own, going so far as producing a timeline that would protect them, should neglect charges be brought.  We were checking regularly, look, we have written it down. 

The McCanns have campaigned tirelessly to defend the neglect issue.  It shared top billing with Madeleine on the night she disappeared.  Convincing the world Madeleine had been taken by an abductor was easier than convincing the world their form of child minding was responsible parenting.  Unbelievably they achieved it, and they still have morons on twitter repeating the 'we all do it' mantra as if repetition will make the lie, the truth. 

I sometimes wonder if the Portuguese had been less compassionate and gone for the neglect charges, there may have been a completely different outcome.  Ce la vie.  Suffice to say, rather than neglect being the lesser of any possible charges against them, I think it was the neglect charges that scared them the most.   


Monday, 4 January 2016


For 4+ years Kate and Gerry McCann have supported the work of Operation Grange, telling their fans and the watching world, progress is being made and they remain hopeful. 

Unfortunately, for the parents as they were the ones who instigated the Review that led to the live investigation, they have had little option to do otherwise.  It was their letter highlighting their plight as parents of a missing child, and their need to find their daughter and published on the front page of the Sun, that set the balls in motion. 

They have this past 9 years blamed Goncalo Amaral and the Portuguese police for the loss of their child.  These 'foreign' police, they implied, lacked the skills and experience of their UK counterparts, and worse, they were blaming the parents because they didn't want a murder in one of their popular tourist resorts.  The Portuguese investigation, according to the McCanns and their supporters was a shambles. 

As Operation Grange winds down, without Madeleine being found or any arrests being made, the McCanns are in the bizarre position of not being able to criticise the British investigation without exposing that they might be on the list of suspects. 

This endlessly intriguing game that is being played out between the police and their prime suspects is truly fascinating.  If it were a game of chess, the parents are now in check, they are surrounded by pawns and knights with Queen Nicola poised and ready to strike. 

From the very beginning, the McCanns and their spokesman, have had to assure their public that they are working in harmony with the British police.  Their primary goal has been to convince the watching world that the British police do not consider them to be suspects.  Effectively, they are repeating their actions in Portugal in 2007, they are telling journalists and anyone interested, that the police are working with them to find an abductor.   They continued to stress their 'good' relationship with the Portuguese police right up until the moment they were made Arguidos.  

That they have been able to maintain the appearance of a harmonious relationship with Operation Grange demonstrates the genius of their PR campaigns.  As I have said before, if there were awards for the dark art of spin, Team McCann would go away loaded.  Sadly for the McCanns, Operation Grange have provided nothing to steer the public's suspicion away from them.  Over 2 years on from the much publicised Crimewatch revelation, the only suspect remaining is a guy who looks exactly like Gerry.    

The idea that the McCanns have lived happily with the investigation this past 4 years is ludicrous.  What sane person, who wanted to remain sane, could happily live with 24/7 interrogation and surveillance for years on end? Unfortunately, in the parents quest to raise further defence funds, Kate's book, she described in great detail their modus operandi.  In order to cover up the fact that the police had brought in the sniffer dogs, Gerry faked a tummy bug.  They had to lie Kate tells us, they had no choice.  In their televised interviews they were telling the world that the police didn't suspect them and they were looking for a live child, even though behind the scenes, they were clearly the prime suspects.  Unfortunately for Kate and Gerry, those of us who have stuck with this case have heard it all before, and indeed, in her book, Kate confirmed what many of us had suspected.  It also explained how they were all able to behave 'normally' at that fateful last supper.  Blacksmith was spot on, Madeleine may well turn out to be longest confession in history. 

No parent who truly believed their child was alive and findable, would accept the closing of a police investigation without protest and anguish.  Especially if they planned to continue the Search themselves.  The loss of Scotland Yard resources would be a bitter pill to swallow.  They have already gone through £4m+ the experience of raising money and wasting money on private detectives, many of whom are now serving prison sentences.  That they want to go down this road again, is astonishing. 

At some point, and I think it may be soon, the public façade of this harmonious relationship between the parents and Operation Grange will crumble.  The seeds are being sewn, with the ever obliging Tracey Kandohla kicking off 2016 with the revelation that Operation Grange employed those well known cads and shysters G4S to assist them on the Madeleine case. 

If anyone imagines I am trying to add to the parents pain, I assure you I get no pleasure from this at all.  If I attempt to put myself in their shoes, I know I would crumble within seconds.  The loss of a child would have taken me out in Act One, and I think that probably applies to most of us.  The idea of living a pretend life would frighten the bejesus out of me.  I feel a genuine sadness for people who have to pretend to be something they are not.  I do not think there could be any crueller prison. 

Even if the parents are never charged, and even if they are completely without conscience, they must live with that never ending suspicion.  For people like Kate and Gerry, who have high aspirations, a clean slate is essential.  They crave high office and public admiration, Gerry's wider agenda had their futures mapped out.  All their dreams are dependent on the public accepting they had nothing to do with their daughter's disappearance.  That their dreams cannot come to fruition because of this cloud that hangs over them must gnaw at them daily.  Indeed, this case is littered with headlines about the McCanns anger and rage, and several firms of specialised lawyers have been profitably engaged this last 9 years taking out their critics and guarding them online. 

It is the McCannns need to destroy others that irks me.  They blame everyone but themselves.  In the case of genuinely grieving parents, they blame themselves first and foremost.  They torment themselves with the minutiae of what they could have done differently.  Even when the perpetrator is found and proven guilty, those tortured parents continue to blame themselves. 

As remarkable as it is that the McCanns forgave themselves within 48 hours, their tactics of blaming other people is unforgiveable, in fact it is malicious and very cruel.  Their vendetta against the former detective Goncalo Amaral is among their greatest crimes in their efforts to portray themselves as victims.  There was no baddy in the form of an abductor, so they chose the detective who was hot on their tails.  When they wanted to destroy their enemies online, they chose Brenda Leyland, arguably the weakest among the opposition, but they wanted her shamed, not dead.  Oops. 

Unfortunately, if your motivation is wicked, it follows through to your actions, and the conclusions usually equal Karma.  They wanted to teach their critics a lesson, but the frightening lesson that came across was how sinister and dangerous it is to allow former suspects in a horrific crime to have such a powerful influence on the Mainstream Media.  This particular publicity stunt backfired spectacularly, the public began to ask 'who are these people?'. 

Despite all the conspiracy theories and myths, they are just normal people, well people with exceptionally high aspirations, but normal nevertheless.  There was nothing particularly outstanding about either of them, there have been no testimonials from their patients, colleagues or friends since Kate and Gerry deemed 'Team McCann' uncool, and blamed it on Justine McGuinness. 

We are observing a table of accomplished poker players watching to see who will be the first to reveal their hand.  Without any doubt whatsoever the McCanns have been preparing for their Defence this past 9 years.  They probably have a garage full of whiteboards with plans A through to Z together with additions and amendments.  Team McCann may have been a bit naff, but the addition of a number is usually pretty safe. My money is on Tapas 2 with an each way bet on Tapas 6. 

Happy New Year Everyone!