Thursday, 21 February 2013


Yes, Tony got stung!  I am actually wondering if he still has that lawyer mentality of 'I say old chap, must stick within the rule of the law, otherwise, just not cricket, who ho'.   To be honest British rebels rarely have the passion of Chiquitita or Che Guevera who incidentally I very much doubt, would have bowed their heads and said 'sorry m'lud'!  Maybe its a Anglophile thing, not very British and all that.  To be the fair, the Brits have been very lethargic this past few hundred years or so.  I think the last person to draw a big rabble crowd, was Wat Tyler.

Anyway, if I were Tony, and ordered to pay that slimy pair's phenomenal legal costs, I'd say, 'like hell', I'm going scream it from the rootops and and get me money's worth!  There is no law in the land that could fecking tell me to pay that shower of b'stards a penny!  And yes, before all my newly acquired psychoanlists jump in, yes, I know it is not an endearing trait, but I live with it.  And yes indeed, that attitude has never done me any good, in fact, it has, on occasion, made me homeless, friendless and destitute.  But I digress. I wrote my first 'as I am about to be burned at the stake' speech when I was 12!

Sorry Tony, whilst I respect that you respect, the Law of the Land - this is a classic case where the Law is an Ass.  We have met, and for those who do not know you, I would have to say you are one of the old school gentlemen lawyers from the Dickens Age - sadly, you were up against legal eagles weaned on shark milk. Respect.   

I hasten to add, I was loathe to voice any of the above in case you were seriously considering such a crazy idea!  Seriously, as a fellow human being, I am sending a few kind words, and hoping, as you sift through the inevitable  criticism, that you know in your heart, that what you did/do, was done for the right reasons. Anyhow, there are more ways to skin a cat!  Bide your time, take a breather, write your memoirs.  You are an established expert on this case.  I have a feeling media-wise, there will be a scrum to the finish line.  The newspapers have much in abeyance, and are chomping at the bit.  

Lets not forget, today was NOT a libel trial.  

Saturday, 16 February 2013


I wonder what impact these television appearances have on their fundraising?  I doubt it is anywhere near those heady days of the Summer of 2007.

I wonder also, if the Marr Show contacted them, or the other way around?  They have a highly skilled publicity and marketing machine, so I would imagine the 'Madeleine' brand is constantly being promoted.  They are trying to buy 'goodwill', unaware, that it is something that must be earned.  I do not think they like it when people realise that they may be approaching the media, and not the other way around.  I have seen the pair physically squirm if an interviewer mentions that the McCanns contacted them, as the impression they like to give is that they are much in demand, and sifting through offers.  Its an old showbiz trick.

Attaching themselves to Levenson has been a boost for their publicity machine, but it comes with a double edged sword.  The fact is, many viewers will switch off, on the basis of enough already.  Their daughter is the most high profile missing child in the world, there are probably car stickers on the Mars Rover.  

Unfortunately, other than the Dowlers, many of the hacking victims do not elicit our sympathy. Hugh Grant will always be linked with the seedy hooker episode and Charlotte Church was the original 'wild child' (though should add, I do like Charlotte).  The Dowlers would have been the most sympathetic people to be the face of the Hacked Off campaign, but they do not seek publicity for themselves, and the idea of appearing regularly on the television probably appals them.  The McCanns probably got the slot by default, and a lot of pressure from Gerry.  The photograph of Gerry with Harriet Harman and another spoke volumes.  To me it said, this is a man who gets what he demands, while others squirm.

The McCanns are demanding they we all believe them, and are mightily irked that some of us do not.  I am sure we have all been in the position where we have caught someone in a lie.  Be that a child, or a partner, or whoever.  It usually ends with the other person begging over and over, for us to give them an opportunity to explain.  I think this is where the McCanns find themselves, if they could only explain, everyone would like them again.  

The Marr Show will probably have a higher audience this Sunday - appearances by the McCanns seems to have that effect.  Unfortunately, much of the interest is no more than speculative curiosity, and indeed, its very likely that they will do more harm to the Hacked Off cause, than good, as we have seen from the letters pages of several media sources this week.  The truth is we don't want the news hidden from us, and for many that surpasses any sympathy we may have for the parents of a missing child, who, on their own admission, left their very small children alone in a strange apartment.    

Sunday, 10 February 2013


How sad to hear of the suicide of Frances Andrade, the violinist, and I wish I could have spoken to her, before or during 'her' trial.  The old Catholic in me lit a candle and said a prayer.

The truth is, many will now be looking towards criminal and civil actions in the wake of the Savile revelations.  Having spent a day and half in the witness box, be warned, it is not too much of an exaggeration to say that as a witness, it is YOU who is on trial.

Those Masters of the dark legal arts, swish their black gowns and posture in stances taken straight from Dickins.  Skilled and honed by centuries of selective breeding, they are accomplished thespians and wordsmiths, but more creepy.  They have that all important killer instinct and they like to play with their victim before they look to His Honour for permission to go in for the kill.  You are the scallywag who wandered onto an Eton Playing field, there is no mercy.  

Am I right to say that?  Hell, yeh.  In the wake of the trial, suicide was an option.  I had been savaged and broken, but I could still write, and it saved my life. Will my book Cry and You Cry alone help others? I have tortured myself with that question so often.  Should I tell others about the mental torture to expect in the witness box?  I was not warned what to expect, and I don't blame the professionals for that.  I wouldn't have wanted to tell me either.  Mentally, I was much too unbalanced to cope with it.  

The Learned barrister had reduced me to a sobbing heap.  All my hard work to achieve my BA(Hons), my love of P.G. Wodehouse, my well mannered children, I had come so far, but in that court room, I was still one of the plebs, trying to get something I wasn't entitled to!  I wasn't allowed to suggest that a man who had been found with a 15 year old boy in his bed, was a paedophile.  His reputation had to be protected.

Despite my 'scallywag' background (see, I can laugh at it now), I took the decision to write my story warts and all, and I was fortunate to find a publisher straight away.  Tell or don't tell, my moral dilemma continues to haunt me, but then I think, of my own trial, and I wish I had known then, what I know now.  And that was the clincher.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Does public opinion matter

It is one of those inbetweeny times, when we all await with bated breath, the verdict of His Honour Judge T, a time to reflect, and to gauge public opinion.  

We have seen the huge climbdown in Portugal.  The Portuguese public, are rather more informed about this case than the British, and those in the know, the PJ stubbornly refuse to be taken on any more wild goose chases by this wily pair.  

The trial against Tony, was a last desperate plea for the lethargic Great British Public to organise witch hunts against their doubting neighbours.  Yet armed with the biggest legal guns that money can buy, their star witness still cannot say for sure it was an abduction!

TM have played their Queen and lost.  Their Queen being, the libel action in Portugal.  Either they, or their lawyers put her in the worst peril, and must have known the odds.  Like a compulsive gambler, a serial litigator, will not leave the table until everything is lost.  

From day 1, public opinion has been manipulated.  The neglect aspect softened by spin doctor wizardry - suddenly, everyone was putting their hands up and saying, yeh, I always do it.  The rest of us in the real world were saying WTF?

Absolutely appalled that the Star made such a huge FU, with that picture, and hope Tony takes them to the cleaners.  

To those new to this case, I have met Tony Bennett.  He is not a fire breathing stalker of innocent victims, he is an educated, intelligent guy, who has the guts to put his good name, his money - and freedom - on the line to ask those AWKWARD questions.  Whether you agree with him or disagree, his motives are good and without malice.  He is sincere, he is one of life's gentlemen, and he is courageous to 'carry the can' for we in the motherland, who have to think so very carefully, before we post!

Monday, 4 February 2013

IF THEY POLEAXE TONY - the legal implications

Far be it for me to claim to be an expert, but I did spend 20+ years as a legal secretary.  To be fair, I spent half the time daydreaming, but despite the sheer monotony of the job, some bits stuck.  I also went through a protracted few years of litigation in my own battle with the Catholic Church, and attended a 3 day trial.

But back to the case of McCann .v. Bennett, the Decision that the learned Judge makes on Wednesday, could have huge implications, not least of which is the threat to Freedom of Speech.  His Honour will have to consider whether the previous 'gagging' of Tony was lawful, given that he is only repeating that which is freely available and discussed regularly on the www.  It makes the original ruling questionable.  

Such is the importance of His Honour's Decision, lawyers throughout the land, and probably further afield, will be watching the case closely.  How can he make a decision on a libel case that has never gone to trial? 

If the Judge rules in the claimants' favour, then effectively, it will become illegal for any individual within the UK to discuss this case as a mystery.  I believe Tony describing this case as a 'mystery' was one of the breaches of undertaking. We must accept that Madeleine is alive and well, and that there is no evidence against the parents.  Those who follow the  the current legal activities in Portugal will be prevented from discussing them.  Carter Ruck spend hundreds of hours scrutinising the internet on behalf of their clients.  If they poleaxe Tony, who will be next? 

The tories are in power and are quite attached to the idea of Freedom of Speech. They take pride in the old Empire, 'what ho, old chap, we're British' and we will fight to the death to hold onto our freedoms.  Quite rightly, every year, we solemnly commemorate the sacrifice of those who died so that we may live unchained.   We share the proud tears of the veterans each Remembrance Sunday and thank all the Gods there may be that we are not living under a jackboot regime.   

We can only hope that His Honour has a strong sense of fair play as it really will be a David .v. Goliath battle.  They have the UK's top lawyers and barristers, Tony is unrepresented.  The costs of this case amount to almost £300,000, before the trial has even taken place, when those costs will likely double. The McCanns are fighting legal battles on several fronts.  Tony is far from alone in voicing his opinion.  The reality is, the McCanns, through their high visibility from the off, set in motion a runaway train that cannot be stopped by this litigation. Something their lawyers have failed to point out to them.

The trial will take place nevertheless, and the expensive barristers have been booked.  The problem is, Tony is not going to stop saying what he thinks, no matter how many times he is sent to prison.  And jailing him will create a martyr that they really don't need right now, what with the Portuguese libel trial under delicate negotiation an' all.  

Quite a predicament.   

Friday, 1 February 2013

Leaving the children alone: McCann

I have never been able to get my head around the idea that a group of adults, 6 of whom worked on the frontline of the NHS, could leave small children alone in a holiday apartment.  

I never did it, no-one I have ever asked would do it, and even the most fervent McCann supporters always preface their posts by saying, they wouldn't do it themselves.  So how were we sold the idea it was 'commonplace' and the idiot doctors became national heroes?  

How a party that included no less than 6 doctors, thought it OK to leave such young children on their own is unbelievable, and yes, they should have been punished.  It was not a simple mistake, it was a deliberate plan of action for their entire holiday, that took no account whatsoever of the danger they were placing their children in, the least of which, was kidnapping.  That it was usual in 1950's Butlins, is no excuse, we are more enlightened now, the good Doctors, especially.  

I would imagine that nannies and childminders would be dismissed on the spot, if they were found to be leaving their charge on their own, while they chatted to their mates down the road.   Fortunately most of us would be stricken with horror at the mere thought of it.  However, the marketing campaign was so slick from the start that we had all sorts of celebrities 'fessing up, and saying I've done that too, and suddenly it didn't seem so bad.  It was a brilliant marketing campaign, no-one can deny, but the fear is, there will be young parents out there daft enough to be taken in by this blase attitude towards childcare.  And that, I feel is wicked.

We have all been squeezed of sympathy, and some of cash. Enough now.  Let other tragedies take centre stage.  The McCanns must accept that they will never find that vindication they are struggling for if they continue to blame others for their loss.  Sending a pensioner to prison will not bring Madeleine back, nor will causing an ex police detective to suffer, relieve their pain.  If I remember the Our Father correctly, don't we ask God to 'forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive others'?  

To the troll who said I used to be 'pro' McCann, I have always strived to look at this case compassionately.  And there is of course, much more to it than meets the eye.