Some will be delighted to know that I spent yesterday chilled out with friends and my carrot, parsnip and ginger soup took comfort food to a whole new level - the recipe will be on my Reluctant Dieter's Facebook page shortly.
Yes, I am shamelessly promoting my latest book, it was written with the philanthropic intention of helping others to reverse the chronic health conditions associated with obesity and to regain control of their lives. I have lost nearly 5 stone and kept it off, and I want others to know that they can too. So shoot me.
But lets get back to the subject of Hate. It is one of the scarier and less attractive of human traits methinks and one that I struggle to comprehend. Clearly I am a highly emotional person as recent events have shown, but as a manic depressive, anger, hate, etc, are usually turned inwards towards myself. I have felt hatred for others in the past of course, but it has usually been temporary, and I have got over it with time. Hatred is so negative, and it usually means the object of your hatred has taken over your head.
I have always taken umbrage at the use of the word hater in the case of missing Madeleine McCann. Add an 's' on the end and you have baying mob thrusting pitchforks in the air. It implies that the 'mob' are an ignorant rabble with no understanding of the cause they have taken up. They are simply unified in their hatred of something that is different to themselves - as poor old Quasimodo (and his accomplice the goat) found to their cost.
It is of course much easier and a darn sight safer, to be part of a mob, part of the 'In' crowd, there is safety in numbers, and the shy and more reticent can simply egg the ringleaders on with the comfort of 'back up', should their own malevolency be revealed.
There are of course a lot of 'good' people among the 'anti's', people appalled that a child has simply vanished and that there is clearly a massive cover up going on. They are the online equivalent of the old fashioned pressure groups - people prepared to add their voice for justice and change, and those are the ones I admire and respect. The bonfire builders, I have no time for.
I have always defended the 'anti's' as a group and I blamed the mainstream media for portraying us as an angry, self righteous mob harassing the parents of a missing child. It didn't matter how many facts, contradictions, and downright lies, the anti's presented to them, they were never going to be taken seriously because they represented the worst aspects of human nature.
When news of this case first broke, it attracted every ranting, raving lunatic from every corner of the earth. And they were the most vocal, they were ones calling for hanging, flogging and examples to be made of the parents at a time when nobody knew what was going on. The publicity stunts of one man in particular, in taking a civil action against the distressed parents for neglect and posting 'hate' leaflets into the doors of their friends and neighbours in their home town, shocked and appalled most people. It also killed stone dead any chance of any justice for Madeleine group ever being taken seriously by the mainstream media and the public.
And in the early days, we didn't know the details that we know now. It was the reason I was reticent, when I first began commenting on this case, not because I was a 'pro' as some are implying, but because I could not have lived with myself if I were adding to the pain of genuinely distressed parents [honesty and integrity]. I became more vocal once I passed the 'beyond reasonable doubt' stage.
And for what it is worth, I have nothing against anyone who was a 'formerly a pro', I suspect they form a large majority of those who don't believe the McCanns now. Many came to this case for genuine, altruistic reasons, they simply couldn't bear to see what they thought were bereft parents being pilloried by a mob, they did what most of us would do, that is they stepped up to defend other human beings in distress. The chances are their views have changed as more details about the case have been revealed and they too want the truth, but not through medieval and barbaric means. For whatever the McCanns might be, they are still human beings and the parents of young children.
Information, or should I say the truth was coming through in dribs and drabs courtesy of Joana Morais and our other good friends who took so much time and trouble to translate the news from Portugal, the PJ files and Goncalo Amaral's forbidden book The Truth of the Lie.
Unfortunately because of the antics of a few lunatics and extremists, anyone who voiced doubts about the abduction was tarred with the same 'hater' brush. The media did not pick up the facts contained within that leaflet, they picked up on a spiteful, tub thumping, religious fanatic leading a baying mob who wanted retribution.
The reason for my remaining a lone wolf(ess) or for those who prefer straight talking, independent, is because I did not want to be associated with the 'haters' who had latched onto this case, and sadly there were quite a few. I don't personally hate Gerry and Kate McCann, I don't know them, the idea is absurd. I hate what they have done and what they have continued to do, and I hate that the message missed was 'Never, ever, leave small children on their own'.
As a writer, I study human nature, I have spent a lifetime trying to understand what 'evil' is, what it is born of, what creates it and how it is able to take hold. Its an ongoing project and one I may use as a thesis for a Master's one day, if I can ever control myself and write 'academically' that is. But I digress, fortunately this case provides me with endless research, everytime I reach an 'ah, that's it' moment, I have to stop and have a rethink, its quite vexing, yet gripping, all at the same time.
Fortunately, most of the extremists and nutcases have long since moved on to 'new pickings' but a few remain, the more prominent among them repeating their usual tactics by unifying their troops to create a common enemy and demonstrating what happens when someone steps out of line. I have given Gerry and the McCann Media Monitoring team way too much credit, they really haven't had to do much at all to stifle their enemies, they do it so well themselves.
Sometimes it is good to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. In the words of my dear old dad's favourite poet Rabbie Burns 'O, wad some Power the giftie gie us, to see oursels as others see us.
Apologies, I know many despise the term 'anti's' because of its negative connotations, but unfortunately, no other collective noun has ever taken hold, probably because of the 140 character limit on twitter. If anyone can think of something I would be obliged :)