Saturday, 21 March 2015


The biggest threat to the Establishment is the exchange of information, and as we have stormed into a new Age of Enlightenment, the authorities have lost control.  At the moment they are struggling to find an 'enemy of the state'.  In the real world, the undeserving poor still hold the top spot, but in cyberland, they are torn between trolls and paedophiles as public enemy number 1. 

So lets look at the danger posed by internet trolls.  Wiki defines a troll as 'a person who sows discord on the internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, etc'.  Are trolls dangerous?  I think most psychologists, both amateur and professional, would agree that 'trolls' are predominantly socially isolated, emotionally immature, individuals who are already in enforced hiding, brought on by themselves.  As they are too afraid to reveal their real names and identities, the chances of them posing a physical threat are remote to zero.  Just as in real life, these offensive, anti social characters are usually seen off by peer pressure.  They cannot gain a foothold because no-body likes them. 

I find it astonishing that so many people get so emotionally charged by something that is said to them on the internet by strangers and why they take it so personally. I also find it bizarre that they are encouraged by others to blow the deranged words of these sickos out of all proportion.  It is the troll who has issues, not the recipient! Trolls project their own inadequacies, they have nothing else to draw on, they don't know you! 

As for gangs of paedophiles on the internet, shouldn't the priority of the police be on those actually committing the crimes in the community where over 90% of children are abused?  The best protection children can have is the truth, and the truth is, stranger danger is the least of their worries.

Yesterday was all about Brenda Leyland, quite rightly.  Brenda Leyland was the victim of vicious campaign by those who demand the internet be censored for the greater good.  Those who would have us believe there are thousands of weirdos out there pretending to be normal, respectable people, who are really dark and sinister with cauldrons of toads innards on the stove and lean to's made of liquorice allsorts. 

Thus, Brenda Leyland was selected.  A bad person pretending to be good.  A respectable, middle aged, middle class, well spoken lady, living with her pet dog in a chocolate box cottage in a sleepy, picturesque Leicestershire village.  Brenda was the 'least likely' troll they could find, not only was it hard to believe that she was a troll, it was impossible.  She was genuinely too nice!  Calls for her imprisonment and hounding came across as spiteful and vindictive. They could have gone for a threatening chav wielding a hatchet on a Council estate, a far more likely candidate and one the public could have readily identified as a 'baddy' but they were out to reveal the murky underbelly of English society.  They wanted to point the finger at every member of the audience, not just McCann sceptics.  They were pointing the finger at every closet rebel and wannabe protester hiding under a cloak of respectability, and saying 'next time, it could be you!'.    

Unfortunately, whoever devised the 'lets make an example of Brenda' campaign, clearly missed classes 1 and 2 in psychology/ marketing/ advertising/ strategy. The public did indeed identify with Brenda Leyland, and they were appalled!  She didn't believe Kate and Gerry McCann. So what? Not many people do.  Their sympathies were firmly with Brenda, but unfortunately she did not live long enough to know that. They were never going to buy Brenda as a villain.  No matter how hard those strategists tried, they failed spectacularly in making Brenda appear menacing or threatening in any way.  Even with the few words of Brenda's that they broadcast, it was apparent, that she was a nice, softly spoken lady, who wasn't a danger to anyone.  The most subversive thing they could latch onto was 'I'm entitled'.  They also, of course, massively over estimated the popularity of the McCanns.  The public backlash against Brenda simply didn't happen.  You can fool all the people some of the time, etc, etc.   

Despite the body of teenager Alice Gross being found the day before, Brenda was the news of the day on Sky and the face on almost every front page.  Had a President been shot, or a tsunami engulfed Asia, it mattered not, Brenda became the news because she didn't believe Kate and Gerry McCann.  Sky News, or whoever wielded the sword, deemed the 'trolling' of Kate and Gerry McCann to be of public interest to such an extent that the item appeared as rolling news.  The item went ahead despite the fact that poor Brenda had mentioned suicide and drinking.  Never a good combination. 

The Crucible, by Arthur Miller
Legally, Sky and Martin Brunt are off the hook, so too, those monsters online who attacked that poor woman whilst she was in such terrible distress. There probably won't be any legal repercussions, but I hope Sky investigate themselves and make every effort to clean up the damage they did to Brenda's life, reputation and legacy.  Those involved will carry the guilt of Brenda's death with them forever more.  To be honest that is something I would not wish on anyone.  For those who care, and I believe Martin Brunt does, it will be a terrible burden, for others it will be business as usual - we can only wish karma catches up with them one day.     

But back to those trolls and the thunderous roar for censorship and imprisonment of 'trolls' like Brenda.  For millions of ordinary people, the internet has given them a forum in which to say what they truly think and feel unrestricted by the codes and conventions that dominate every other area of their lives.  Most of us have dual or even multiple personas that we present to the world, jumping in and out of characters that Bette Davis would have a field day with on a daily basis.  We are as different with our friends as we are with families, our bosses and our co-workers as many receivers of a kick in the shins by their mothers will have discovered. 

The internet allows people to live out their fantasies, and that is a good thing! Most people are already imprisoned by 9 to 5 jobs and fear of other peoples' frowns and raised eyebrows.  Alternate views and out of the box thinking are rarely tolerated in polite society.  'Do come to dinner, but lets not talk politics and religion lol!'  Thus, anything 'not quite nice' is swept under the carpet.  If radical thinkers are sacked, ostracised and made to stand in the corner wearing a dunce's cap, it preserves the status quo. Free thinking should always be ridiculed if you want to be part of the in crowd.

Thus, even though we are the country that 'won the war' and one that stands up to fascists, communists and enemies of Free Speech, we rarely exercise our FOS for fear of the personal, social and financial implications. Try telling your boss exactly what you think of him, and see how that goes. 

Many people have valid and understandable reasons for keeping their identify online hidden.  Many employers are now 'watching' their staff on social media and their bosses will have pictures of them dancing on a table with a waiter, before they can pick up the phone with a tummy bug excuse. Sadly, there are a lot of creepy watchers out there, but sadder still, most of them are doing it officially. 
If people want to create a starry persona and wander the streets of Hollywood and the bars of Moulin Rouge via Google Earth, good luck to them!  And if they want to say everything about society that makes them sick, good luck to them with that too, at least they are not acting out their sick fantasies on real flesh and blood. 

Most people use anonymity online for protection.  And that is a sad reflection on society, not them.  Unfortunately most peoples' jobs would be affected by their views on current affairs.  No legislation needed, companies and public bodies with an image to protect will not support an employee with unpopular/radical views, as Goncalo Amaral found to his cost.  

Joe Macarthy and his Wider Agenda
The McCann supporters website/forum Exposing the Myths, was a classic example of an old Macarthy style blacklist.  It contained the names, faces and details of hundreds of McCann sceptics - people just like Brenda Leyland, who do not believe the McCanns' abduction story. The main body of Exposing the Myths has been removed since Brenda's death, I know for example, they had over 100 pages on myself, only a skeleton of 'the dossier' remains.  Nurses, carers and those who worked for the NHS were especially selected. The object of Exposing the Myths was to discredit, shame, ridicule and hopefully have sacked, anyone publically doubting the McCanns, by writing to their employers, neighbours, friends, relatives and in my case, my publishers, forwarding all the information they had gathered.  In my case, they have every tweet, blog and every comment I have ever made on facebook and forums, often within 5 minutes of posting.  They are super efficient. Their sister site 'JATYK2' however remains, and continues in the same vein, though their target list has shrunk - worth a visit for anyone interested in the mentality of a gaggle of psychopaths.

Brenda Leyland was used, as too was Martin Brunt.  But I hope that he writes this portion of his memoirs now, while the feelings are still raw.  Lessons should be learned from this tragic episode in the field of journalism.  A 'sensational', and in this case manufactured, story should never go ahead when there is a risk to life. In my opinion, the mention of alcohol and suicide was a flashing red light that should not have been ignored. 

Sadly, the Brenda Leyland headlines and call to arms for legislation against 'internet trolls' went hand in hand.  Those who would introduce laws to imprison people who step out of line on the internet need the support of the public.  First they need to persuade people there is a risk, then they need to persuade their representatives to propose and/or support new legislation that will increase police powers to act.  And they need it PDQ, because the heat from the red faces and the shrieking of whistles being blown in Whitehall is likely to take the roofs off several buildings.

Policing the internet will never be an easy task.  As a law is introduced, advances in technology makes it redundant.  Those wordbound old dinosaurs who make the Laws simply cannot compete with the innovative young bucks to whom technology is an early learning centre pile of bricks that leads to much bigger and wider frontiers. Through those young pioneers, like Aaron Swartz we have freedom of information that no-one could possibly have foreseen.  With freedom of information comes public unrest, and in the worst case scenario, possible revolution. 

Up until now, all those murky secrets and back door dealings could be contained within the corridors of power and whitewashed by a compliant media.  In order for Law and Order to be maintained, the public must believe that those who rule them are squeaky clean, heterosexual (on the whole) and faithful to their wives/husbands/partners.  For example, Clinton won't be remembered for the great President he was, he will be remembered for cheating on his wife, Hilary. 

The public demand respectability and the leaders and the wannabes are happy to oblige.  Unfortunately, human nature being such as it is, few if any, can live up to the moral guidelines they set themselves, so they willingly enter a cycle of neurosis and paranoia fearing their true selves (the ones they hate) will be revealed.  It's like breathing sherry over the Vicar after telling him you never touch liquor, hic.  The righteous then go on to punish their 'human' side through lengthy hours of prayer, self loathing and deprivation, and when they are through with that, they then feel free to inflict the same guilt onto others, whether they want it or not.  

The most powerful in the land have the active assistance of their friends and allies in covering their worst excesses, a good PR firm can fix a reputation within 24 hours.  Unfortunately, even the best spin doctors, image makers and lawyers in the world can come unstuck when faced with unwieldy, unrelenting, in your face truth.  Nothing beats it. Ever. 



  1. Terrific blog Rosalind. Thank you!

  2. Well said Rosalinda, and now maybe Martin Brunt can do the decent thing and leave a private message on your blog.

    I believe the man needs help.

  3. Another brilliant blog.

  4. Rodalinda, absolutely stunning article. Thank you so much.

  5. 'The biggest threat to the Establishment is the exchange of information'

    So true, the web arrived in force around the same time as 'rolling TV news' and the terminal decline of print media.

    Press barons got spooked - and rightly so - am I alone in going straight to the comments section of any old DM/Telegraph/Guardian story - for there, amongst lots of posturing and politicking - are the real morsels of truth - lest they've been culled by over eager interns beforehand?

    Regarding the Madeleine case - there was then a Faustian pact between Fleet Street and the political establishment - print all you like, unless it shows the sainted doctors in a bad light.

    The fora helped of course - the anti/pro divide - was introduced - free thinkers - the type that evaluate all accessible information and changed their views as the information changed - were declared anathema.

    YOU CAN'T BE A FENCESITTER - you must either love/trust OR hate/distrust the doctors.

    Thus the case on the internet became politicised - and the fate of Madeleine was kicked into the tall grass.

    People wrote books (making money), appeared on shows (making money) and offered their printing services on the Mirror Forum for leaflets and posters for the
    missing girl.

    The best posters I've encountered on forums over the years - have been the steady Eddy - stick to the facts - guys. And they had the guts to admit when they got their assessments wrong.

    Those posters no longer exist in forum world - they refused to sign up to either the pro or anti McCann cult. There's only so much ad hominem abuse you are willing
    to put up with when the fat-ankled witches and their numerous socks are gunning for you.

    Public debate is poorer for this.

    And the manipulators and astro turfers - are laughing.

    Job done

    - the revolution - as always, devours its children.

    1. "And the manipulators and astro turfers - are laughing".

      Exactly right, and I begin to wonder if much else remains. The situation has become so thoroughly insular; dementedly fuelled by an evangelical zeal for brimstone anger and 'purity' of interpretation (re Blacksmith, others too).

      Those 'free thinkers' who are so quick decry the 'others' as being 'sheeple', follow like lambs into the oblivion of their little corner of the internet.

      This is no campaign at all. It is simply a catalogue of internecine projections and squabbles that has absolutely nothing to do with Madeleine McCann. And this offers no chance of exerting influence in the real world. Perhaps that is not the point for some people.

      Those who have written books, made money etc. I'm rather more pragmatic about. Oncologists earn money from cancer, policemen from crime. We should judge only with regard to what is useful. If books and TV appearances are the medium through which positive awareness might be raised; then perhaps we should hold our fire?

      It is analytical pragmatism that has been lost I think. We shouldn't need to share the entirety of any one person's stance to still be able to value the possibility of their contribution.

      Sadly it is always the emptiest of vessels that make the most noise.
      Your comment reminded of some lines written by Ted Hughes, sadly apt given what has happened to Brenda Leyland:

      The dogs are eating your Mother
      Pulling her remains with their lips
      So leave her.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Hey Ros,

      Some of us read Ted Hughes...what can I say?

      There is absolutely no criticism levelled here at you, nor this superb blog post.


      It's just some general thoughts on what might have become of this campaign for justice.

      (Google the poem, think Sylvia Plath, and it breaks your heart.)

  6. One word Ros...... fantastic.

  7. You keep using those two words, Ros - The Truth.

    And there lies the problem. The millions of other words written and spoken are superfluous.

  8. well said ty - RIP Brenda - if she only knew how many supported her and agreed with her right to freedom of speech her outcome may have been completely different thse who harrassed and actively threatened her should be held accountable

  9. That was a hoax, appearing on MB's Twitter timeline on Friday was strange.

  10. I don't believe for 1 nanno second that martin brunt was used,he KNEW exactly what he was doing, egged on by jim gamble and the vile creatures on stm and jatuk.
    I just hope that Brendas family do NOT let this mob get away with MURDER

  11. Soory to post this here BUT looks like gamble is backtracking by blaming Madeleine supporters for Brendas death, R I P BRENDAXX

    1. He needs proof, this is too serious now. We've had enough bad acting and campaign lies.


    "living with her pet dog in a chocolate box"

    What dog?


    1. Good question! So, bearing that thought in mind, let's do a quick title search shall we?

    2. Am all for a bit of dadaism

  13. I'm sorry if this is the 4th time I've sent this to you. I'm on PC now so I know it will get through.

    I listen to their true crime podcasts. This is their latest on MM.

    They have a few small details wrong. But their conclusion is good.

    I'm not on any forums so you might want to post it there. Someone might want to correct them that it is not British culture to leave your children at home while you go on the piss!

  14. Very good post. Thank you. I think it is established beyond a reasonable doubt - and certainly on the balance of probabilities - that the thick-ankled and somewhat 'large' women who prepared and handed over the Dossier of Death was Auntie Philomena. She has form for getting involved, as does her very suspect husband, Quicksand Tony