Hacked Off has quite rightly dropped off the public's radar - I think even it's most vociferous supporters can now see the dangers their demands posed to Freedom of Speech. It simply isn't possible for journalists to do their jobs if their investigations are bound up by draconian rules and regulations that protect those being investigated. We may not like the ways and means reporters get their stories, but we stomach it because they are the Fourth Estate, the people's protection against autocracy and corruption at the highest levels.
Earlier this month, the Courts ruled against an application by four prominent victims of phone hacking to go ahead with the 'promised' Leveson Inquiry Part II. Gerry and Kate McCann were among the four. Bizarre, because I thought Gerry and Kate would have had more than a bellyful of lawyers and court hearings, not to mention the ongoing enquiry into their daughter's disappearance, but there you go. It would seem Gerry and Kate have been working quietly behind the scenes to silence the press and find ways in which to imprison journalists.
Gerry and Kate feel that the news agencies and journalists have not been punished enough for their past misdemeanours, which probably translates to they haven't been compensated enough. And of course Leveson 2 promised to bring an opportunity for law enforcement to clamp down on social media. That massive thorn in the McCanns' side that opened the British public's eyes to the alternative narrative to Madeleine's disappearance - the not abducted one put forward by the Portuguese police.
The truth is Gerry and Kate were amply compensated by several large news agencies, apologies were given, and all these years on the tabloids and the MSM continue to treat these eternal victims with kid gloves, even though the McCanns were not themselves hacked, or so they claim. The McCanns beef with the press, is 'press intrusion' - even though it was they who invited the press in! A fact that did not go overlooked by the Portuguese Supreme Court.
I'm afraid the McCanns' endeavours to silence the media, both mainstream and social, is one of the reasons I continue to oppose them online. Their need for vengeance against their enemies sends chills through me, though I do have a smidgeon of admiration that this tiny pair would take on Rupert Murdoch and Richard Desmond. But, such is life, when they bit the hands that fed them, they fell off the front pages and their popularity nosedived.
Imprisoning journalists is a bit like burning books. It should shock and outrage every intelligent, educated, reasonable, adult. Throughout history, reporters have had to go into areas where angels fear to tread. They protect our democracy, and the best example we have right now is Trump. It feels as if every journalist in the USA is working night and day to expose every sordid, murky deal this 'president' has done, this is the Fourth Estate in action.
Presumably the McCanns are not now being harassed by anyone, and if they were, I am sure we would know about it. This, it would appear is an old grievance, a bit like their grievance against Goncalo Amaral. Punishing news organisations and Goncalo Amaral for stories that have already been published, read, and mostly forgotten from almost a decade ago has no practical advantage for Gerry and Kate whatsoever, none that I can see anyway. If it is their reputations they are protecting, why bring those 'salacious' stories back into the public spotlight?
Not surprisingly, this further Court loss of the McCanns didn't make it to the tabloids via the faithful Tracey. Why? Because it is not a popular cause and never will be.