Monday 29 June 2015

30th April - what does it all mean?

I haven't commented on this computer stuff because I simply don't have the technical knowledge to make head nor tail of it.

However, stepping back and looking at the bigger picture, if the date of 30th April is in fact correct, it points to premeditation and pre-planning, something that would fit the theory of Dr. Ludke and something that would take this crime to a whole new level*.

I am not sure I can buy that.  Not only is it chillingly evil, it doesn't make any sense.  The first appearances of Kate and Gerry were very raw. in particular, Kate looked genuinely traumatised, she wasn't acting and those early photographs of her show significant bruising to her wrists and arms. 

Also, from a logical perspective, it makes very little sense.  If you are planning to murder your child, there are a multitude of ways in which you could do it without placing yourself at so much risk.  How cold, callous and calculating would you be to take the child on a family holiday with friends in order to murder her?  Not only  would you be surrounding yourself by witnesses, you would be taking your chances with a foreign police force and a foreign criminal justice system that was beyond your control. 

No-one can dispute that the disappearance of Madeleine caused a media phenomenon, but it wasn't something that could have been predicted.  Nor could it have been foreseen that the public would have responded so generously.  The abduction story was seriously flawed from the outset!  If there was any preplanning, then it was crap. The first biggest hurdle the parents had to overcome was the neglect aspect, they had to convince the watching world that they were blameless, despite leaving 3 toddlers alone whilst they were at a bar. Not an easy feat.  They also had to persuade their professional friends to admit to the same neglect of their children, thus also putting them at risk of neglect charges and possible repercussions to their medical careers.

I have always approached my study of this case from a KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) perspective, I have seen what happens to the overthinkers - their heads explode (see Tony Bennett and CMoMM).  There is a theory that there was no neglect - that is, all the children were looked after in one apartment each night, whilst the parents were 'swinging' (bed hopping).  This is a theory that has sprung up from the armchair detectives and not one that is supported by Goncalo Amaral.  I too think it is unlikely, because 1. Kate would pulverise any woman who even looked at Gerry, and 2. when your kids are toddlers you are exhausted and desperate for adult conversation, not hanky panky.  And seriously, would you bring your mother along?

In addition, if the kids were indeed being looked after each night, why would the tapas friends put their own necks on the line by confessing to a crime they didn't commit?  There was a strong possibly that the parents and their friends could have faced criminal charges, and as doctors there is always a risk of being struck off the Medical Register.

There is also a theory that Madeleine died earlier in the week, which might fit in with the '30th April' date, but again it throws up a scenario that is unthinkable.  Effectively, the parents and the group would have had to continue their holiday, crèche routines, tennis playing, nightly dinners etc, for the next 2+ days as if nothing had happened.  They would also have to rely on all the small children not to ask where Maddie was. 

I am not saying death earlier in the week is impossible, and it would fit in with the alerts of the blood and the cadaver dogs.  I have always struggled to understand how the smell of cadaver could have accumulated in two places (behind sofa and in wardrobe) in such a short period of time if Madeleine died on the evening of 3rd May.  However, I trust the first hand findings and theories of Goncalo Amaral, in that Madeleine was alive on 3rd May and seen by independent witnesses.  If she had died prior to 3rd May, it would involve a lot more people telling a lot more lies.

There are hundreds, if not thousands of people playing Cluedo in their heads in an attempt to 'solve' this mystery - each and every one aiming for that 'gotcha' moment, that one piece of the jigsaw that will crack the case.  If CEOP were indeed preparing for the missing Madeleine story on 30th April, it would be dynamite, but when you look at the implications, it is completely illogical. 

Having said that, when looking at this case, you might as well throw your logical cap out the window.  Tis the twists, turns and WTF moments that keep us gripped.  Who could have foreseen former suspects who refused to answer questions, being awarded cash from the detective who investigated their case? 

I suspect this topic will be around for a while and I will watch with interest, but I can't help thinking if those who devised this cunning plan had more time they would have come up with something far less fantastical and involving fewer people. But having said that, the scale of Operation Grange and the time it is taking suggests much more than a stranger abduction or an accident.


Sunday 21 June 2015


Where has the idea come from that small (British) children in bathing suits are sexual beings?  Why are UK parents obsessed with the idea that people are trying to take photographs of their children for sexual purposes? 

The fear and hysteria around paedophilia stirred up by people like former head of CEOP Jim Gamble, make the UK look like a nation of paranoid weirdos.  Most holidaymakers, foreigners too, have cameras with them to take pictures of their holiday and their kids and their reasons for carrying them are no different to their British counterparts.   

The case of missing Madeleine McCann and the UK's Mainstream Media's desperation to find a foreign paedophile to take the rap, encourages badly behaved Brits abroad to fill their boots.  A 'heroic' Brit punches a Bulgarian for taking pictures of kids, and chief vigilante Jim Gamble steps forward to validate the brave man's actions. Every swarthy foreigner is a paedophile unless proven otherwise. 

It is a nothing story of course, there was no gang of human traffickers, nor any attempt to abduct children.  But these badly behaved Brits abroad gave the UK Mainstream media several days of sensational headlines that supported the British myth that all adult men, especially foreign ones (and some women) want to have sex with children. 

Schools in the UK now prohibit photographing or videoing children (even your own) when they put on plays and pageants.  The assumption being, that everyone with a camera has perverse motives. Parents accept that 'everyone is a suspect' (themselves included) without question and many have a bag of stones at the ready in case they hear the click of a camera where they shouldn't be one. 

Others are demanding that lone adults shouldn't be allowed to visit parks or public places where children are playing.  A lone poet taking the time to stand and stare would be hung from the nearest tree before JG could say 'he's a pervert, so he is'. 

So what is the truth behind this latest 'foreign paedophiles stalking kids like Maddie' story.  During the afternoon, a friendly Bulgarian momentarily put his arm around a 7 year old British boy.  By the evening, the British contingent had built a story of men taking photographs of kids and a cunning plan to abduct 3 (British) children.  All the (drunken) allegations were checked out by the police and none of the Chinese whispers had any foundation whatsoever.  The friendly Bulgarian the hero punched and the angry mob pounced on, had NO photographs of children on his camera and there was absolutely nothing to suggest he was part of gang trafficking British kids. 

It truly saddens me to see this era of fear and paranoia.  Fear and paranoia that has been artificially created by our wannabe protectors.  The truth is, the majority of people  (worldwide) see kids as kids!  Sometimes cute, sometimes irritating and unless they are their own, they prefer them in small doses.  I feel desperately sorry for today's kids, they are being sexualised by the people who are supposed to be protecting them.  Their natural childhood sense of awe and wonderment is being suppressed by the irrational fears of the adults around them.  The world is out to get them just as much as it is their fearful parents.

I doubt for one second that the 7 year old boy saw the friendly hug from a stranger as anything other than a friendly hug, but I doubt he will ever think that again.

Sunday 14 June 2015


'It's beyond my control', is one of my all time favourite movie lines (Dangerous Liasons), those four little words can be used to excuse pretty much anything, from promiscuity and hedonism to serial killing.  But they are of course, especially useful to anyone suffering from any form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).  Why am I hoovering for the 3rd time today?  It's beyond my control.

I use those words to explain why I write all the time, its an addiction or compulsion more powerful than any drug or alcohol and one that I am unashamedly pushing onto others.  Why?  Because it is a hobby that can give you solace in the wee small hours when your troubled mind engulfs you and for some folks, that's a life saver.  Frustrated writers always have troubled minds.

I urge everyone (especially the troubled) to put pen to paper, its the best form antidepressant or therapy out there.  But, being troubled isn't an essential requirement, anymore than it would be for painting or flower arranging, it just requires venturing further into the dark (or light) recesses of your inner mind.  Lots of navel gazing is a given, but the journey can take you anywhere you want. 

Even if it is only a journal for yourself and your heirs, or just for your eyes only. Imagine you are writing a letter to your distant grandchild in a Star Trek world telling them all about your life, what your hopes and dreams were, what you have achieved, and what you are not so proud of lol.  Though your descendants will go straight to the juicy bits it must be said!  And don't you want them to hear it from your side? 

Everyone they say, has a book in them, but far too many are put off because:

1.  They are worried about what others will think
2.  They are not worthy
3.  They are not good enough
4.  They have nothing interesting to say
5.  The Spelling/Grammar/Thought Police will be out to get them
6.  Their thoughts will get them sectioned/arrested.

In response to those points:

1.  Who cares?  You only get one shot at this life, make it memorable.
2.  Says who?  Only your only mind can tell you that, we are ALL worthy
3.  Again, only your own mind can tell you that.  You can be as good as want to be.
4.  Everyone does.
5.  Piffle.  Language is constantly evolving, if it weren't, our words would be written in the language of Chaucer and Shakespeare.
6.   Hmm, interesting one.

6. (continued)  Contrary to popular belief, the majority of us couldn't care less what other people are thinking or writing about in the privacy of their own home - try selling a book of your inner thoughts (even the demonic ones) to a publisher and see where that gets you.  Actually strike that, the demonic, psycho ones are usually the best sellers.  See Friday 13th Parts 1 to 20. 

The sad truth is NO-ONE CARES.  And that, in a nutshell is why most writers are  neurotic, screwed up headcases.  For the majority of us, our work may not be appreciated until a couple of thousand years down the line when our descendants will pore over it as if it were the Dead Sea Scrolls. When I first started my blog, I vowed to continue with it even if I had only reader left, it saves me going demented over the numbers.  I write mostly for myself (a writer writes always), but also in the hope that someday in the distant future, a misunderstood young blood relative will read my stuff and say, blimey, that Rosalinda was quite a gal! 

For those who want to write, please don't let any of the negativity I receive put you off, its beyond your control. Unfortunately, if you are writing for publication and a sensitive soul, the criticism will cripple you, it's intended to.  Some people like the world just the way it is, they like it that the majority stay silent, they like that the majority believe themselves to be inferior, it suits the dominant ideology.  And, sadly, among the majority there are many all too happy and willing to join a stoning party.  If they can't step out of line, then no-one else should be allowed to.  And of course, lets not forget those who are desperately clinging onto their exalted positions by demanding only the elite should be allowed access to the wonders of writing and the internet (Claire Dent).  In other words, lets restrict writing to a chosen few, because if we let the masses in, it will show how talentless and weak we actually are. 

When I first dared to disturb the Universe (did a 'proper' writing course), my eyes were opened.  EVERYTHING is valid my tutors taught us, including all the work we normally scrunched up and threw in the bin.  I and 9 other misfits and oddbods bonded instantly.  We were all outcasts struggling with a world that did not understand us.  But more importantly, we weren't mad after all.  Its OK to make up stories and develop them in your head (I also write fiction and comedy have cabinets full of it), in fact, it is one of the most fulfilling hobbies anyone could ever have.  And there is no shame in writing anonymously, historically anonymity has been the refuge of many great and memorable writers, I just think it is sad that they had to hide who they were. 

The internet is incredible and I thank whatever Gods there may be who brought it to us.  I applaud the freedom it gives so many to take their creativity to any new heights they want to.  We have to push and break barriers or we will become stuck in a time warp created by our ancestors.  If I were young, horny and technically minded, I would almost certainly have created an (outrageous) fictional character to paso doble around the social networks.  What I would NOT have done is disguised myself as a middle aged moaning minny, or whining windbag. Where is the fun it that? 

Writing gives you freedom you can never experience in the real world, there are no rules, no restrictions or barriers.  It is the mind's equivalent of running barefoot through an open field.   Virginia Woolf wept for all the women out there, because what prevented them from speaking was their lack of a Room of One's Own.  Society was founded on HIS story, not HER's, because women, quite literally never had a room of their own in which to write or access to a pen and a paper!  Not forgetting of course, that they were deprived of education.  Judith Shakespeare, had she wanted to be a writer, would have failed to get a husband and been a worn out hooker by the time she reached her 30's and her married sisters would have been chained to the domestic sphere, constantly at the call of others.  But I have trimmed back my old feminist claws, it's not just about women, it's the class system all over again, it affects everyone.  The point is, it no longer has to be His story or Her story, it can truly be Our story.

My greatest fear is that this fantastic freedom of speech and information that we now have will be short lived.  That is, there will always be those who will fight to limit the amount of information available to the general public.  They are using the same arguments their predecessors used against education.  Its dangerous (for them) and they only want to control and limit it for our own good.  They are doing it to be kind/philanthropic and anyone who thinks differently is a conspirator and a loon.  Naturally, they are urged on by 'if only' people, who believe those higher up the food chain somehow have the power to make their lives perfect by introducing more laws and bans for the entire population.

For the first time in history we ALL have access to 'paper and pen' and we all have access to information our ancestors and even parents could never have imagined.  We have the means and the opportunity to tell our stories, all of us do.  We need to make the most of the freedom of the internet while we still have it. Though it may not be apparent our liberties are already being chipped away.  An underclass has been deliberately created (if you treat people badly, they will behave badly) to bear the wrath of society and shoulder the burden for all the world's evils.  We are moving ever closer to 1984 and Brave New World, those at the lower end of the social scale have vacuous airheads to idolise and aspire to.  They no longer want to educate their children so much as spray tan them and get their eyebrows done.

Society has always been engineered to keep the cogs of the wheels spinning, some would argue it is a necessity, without it there would be chaos.  There has to be a hierarchy.  In modern civilisation, huge numbers of people (units) were needed to physically construct pretty much everything we have today that has been manmade. The system worked because it gave employment to the masses, and wages with which to purchase more manmade items.  The circle of economics really is that simple. 

However due to the advancements in technology, traditional working class jobs have been cut to the bone.  Many no longer exist.  Man has been replaced by machine and now has a lot of free time on his hands.  The problem is, our morals and values have not kept up.  We are still governed by the antiquated Methodist work ethic, that demands we scrub our doorsteps before dawn and get a casserole in the slow cooker before we turn in.  Unless we have worked ourselves to the point of exhaustion, we do not believe we deserve any leisure time.  Leisure time is quite strictly the preserve of the super rich and the bone idle 'its not for the likes of us'.  Finding ways in which to use all this leisure time has never, as far as I am aware, been brought to a Cabinet table.  It's not a necessity ergo it is kicked under the carpet.  Even when it becomes a necessity (2011 riots), they turn the hose on the rebels and throw as many of them as they can into prison to cries from the public to bring back the lash. 

Instead of finding ways in which to use all this free time for the greater good, science, exploration, education, health and taking care of the vulnerable, our rulers are constantly finding ways and means to apply the brakes, and in the case of the tories, put society back into reverse.  They don't want to educate the masses, so much as they want to imprison them. 

At some point a government is going to have to rethink their entire attitude towards the way in which society is run.  The old biblical values no longer apply.  We all have lots of free time and our surplus energy is no longer being spent on hard manual graft or war.  Happily for the government, today's under classes have little, if any surplus energy, due a diet of MSG loaded food and addictive, dumbed down entertainment.  That's one way to prevent a revolution I suppose.

What put the Great into Britain, was our predecessors eternal quest for enlightenment.  They pushed the boundaries, sailed the seven seas, celebrated their inventors.  We have now stagnated.  We are looking to save, not invest.  In the 21st century, we can no longer afford the NHS, ironically, founded and built in the aftermath of WWII, when the country was living on rations and the economy was decimated.  At a time in history when ALL our lives should be improving, governments still persist with the idea that the people they govern should be worked until they drop. At some point, someone is going to have to give the whole Bible thing a rethink and create industries appropriate to the times we live in.

The pen is mightier than the sword.  And in almost every instance, it is the only weapon we have.  So many people are angry and bitter because they have no way in which to express their frustration  - I luv Mr/Mrs Angry letters by the way, I inevitably find myself saying 'Go You' even if they are completely bonkers.  Governments and Authorities work on the assumption that no-one, other than the usual suspects and eccentrics will protest at any new law/legislation that they introduce. The word protester is usually accompanied by a spit and a rolling of the eyes.  Protesting isn't cool, it means you are barmy. 

We actually have a stigma against protesting, or daring to express our outrage in the written word. It is seen as attention seeking, possibly the most heinous crime in our ever so 'umble society, and one that must be dealt with by an angry mob.  I jest, angry mobs are scattered throughout history and they can be found anywhere from 0-0 football matches to internet chat rooms. 

Angry mobs aside, I know among my readers, there are many aspiring and talented writers who feel passionately about injustice, tiptoing and hesitating, afraid their words will disturb the universe (they should be so lucky!).  Tis true, simply saying the words 'I want to be a writer' or 'I want to write' will trigger a neurosis that will torment you for the rest of your days.  Even if 99 people tell you that your work is good, you will believe the word of pollster 100 who says you are crap.

From a psychological perspective, writing is a form of baring your soul.  Its like walking through Piccadilly stark naked, or discovering the priest in the confessional box has got you on loudspeaker.  Some people like it, myself included.  I am used to the words 'I can't believe you just said that',  in the old days they were usually followed by a call to Room 7, (or any Corporate equivalent of room 101) and a uniformed escort from the building.  I have since learned that it is far better to tell your boss/partner, relative, (ex) friends exactly what you think of them in written form (expletives included) that you must NEVER send, particularly in the case of your boss and you use descriptive narrative.

Writing can not only relieve anger and frustration, it is a great cure for loneliness, and you can feel lonely even when you are in a crowd.  But for many, many people the loneliness is very real.  As a young single mum without a babysitter, I longed to dress up and go party with my friends, and I actually cried real tears as I sat on my own night after night.  I was a chatterbox rapidly running out of people to chatter to.  And it wasn't because I was obnoxious (contrary to popular belief) though I took it that way, it was because my circle of friends were young, loved up or horny and preferred to spend their time with the opposite sex.

For me, writing opened up a whole new world.  I always had someone to 'talk' to and I could waffle on for hours uninterrupted on any subject I wanted.  If I couldn't go out dancing, my fictional characters could, ditto they could get revenge on exes (I had a list) with an assortment of grisly ends while leading a revolution and winning the Pullitzer Prize for Literature.  By writing down my thoughts I could chatter away to my heart's content and I have never been lonely since. 

My writing has been described as Take a Break.  That's absolutely fine and exactly what I am going for.  It isn't necessary to use complex verbs and nouns and loads of jargon to get a point across.  Some people go to such extreme lengths to show how clever they are, that their words come out as gobbledygook. They might know what they are trying to say, but their reader doesn't.  My style, if I have one is unashamed homage to my own favourite writers, P.G. Wodehouse, Sue Townsend, Harper Lee, Jerry Seinfeld and Christopher Hitchens.

It is also a tribute to my dear old Dad who always had the time and patience to answer all my questions, from my childish 'but why's' to my teenage 'what's going on in Northern Ireland?' and beyond.  If he didn't know the answer, he would find it, then explain it to me in a simple way that I could understand.  I was the luckiest kid ever and I wanted the whole world to have a dad just like mine. If I couldn't share him, I wanted to be just like him.  Of course, as an adult, we squabbled about everything, politics especially, but on one thing, we were solidly united, education, education, education. 

I hope that my freestyle of writing will demonstrate that not everything has to be an academic essay.  There is no need for elitism and pomposity!  I actually find 'clever' writers the least readable.  If a reader has to go over a paragraph 3 times in order to translate what the writer is saying, they will quickly ditch the text.  The aim shouldn't be to get the highest score on a scrabble board, it should be to get your message across/tell your story.  You would be surprised how many A level students ruin their papers by using 'big' words to impress the examiners because they are not using them in the right context.  My advice to anyone who wants to write, be it their memoirs or angry letters to their MPs and newspapers is KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid. 

One the biggest fears people have when thinking about writing their memoirs is the fear that they will hurt other people.  This is where honesty and integrity come in.  It isn't necessary to hurt anyone, it can in fact be a way in which to mend bridges and restore harmony.  When you go back over the events that led to any falling out and consider their circumstances at the time, you often see things differently and very few traumas warrant a lifetime of not speaking. 

But I don't rule out revenge either, everyone has encountered evil b'stads in their lives, people who have deliberately hurt them or who have set out to ruin their reputations.  For those, I would say, fill  your boots, they deserve it, you probably won't even have to be nasty, the truth will generally be enough. 

If you are writing your memoirs, begin with the happy memories, the memories that moulded and shaped your character.  The person you were at the age of 5, is the same person you are now, you may not throw yourself to the ground kicking these days or feel the urge to punch your brother in the eye, but you probably still want to. 


Wednesday 10 June 2015


The disappearance of Madeleine McCann coincided with the birth of social media and those who had been twitching on the sidelines wondering where the profit in the internet might lie, were thrown a golden goose loaded with golden eggs, as long as they were able to keep total control of the goose that is.

In the summer of 2007, the tabloids ruled, they gave the public the headlines and the news, and on the whole the public accepted what was written without question, because the papers are 'not allowed' to publish things that aren't true, right? We knew politicians lied to us, that was a given, but we somehow believed that the newspapers were on our side, the side of the people.

Despite its sleazy image, Fleet Street also had journalists with integrity, journalists who would publish and be damned, journalists who would dig their teeth into a story and go after the truth no matter what, their integrity wasn't for sale. Sadly, they are now few and far between. Its not entirely their fault, stories about Kim Kardashian sell more newspapers than stories about corruption.  The public gets what the public wants.

When Madeleine McCann went missing, we saw for the first time, the internet used at full throttle, and it was being used for a good cause, it demonstrated how one tiny girl could unite the entire world through compassion and generosity.  Momentarily, we all became as one, and it was a phenomenon. Everyone, the world over, wanted to help, but the only realistic way for most to assist was to donate cash.  Kerching. 

Not only did Team McCann launch the most successful media campaign ever seen, they simultaneously launched an under cover online campaign to stamp out any opposition to the 'official' abduction story, and their fructiferous goose. The anonymity of the internet allowed them to steer public opinion in favour of the McCanns without revealing their original source. 

The anonymity of the internet allows people to behave in ways they would not dream of in their 'real' lives.  They can express their dark, malevolent thoughts without anyone knowing who they are and if they are lucky they will find like minded folk and form a pack.  Therein, the nastiness and pitchforking lies.

Anonymity can be used for good, in that it gives a voice to legions who might otherwise wish to keep their heads below the parapet. In the early days especially, commenting negatively about the McCanns made individuals targets of one of the most malicious social media campaigns ever seen.  Facebook pages were scoured, backgrounds researched and a Blacklist compiled. For myself as a writer with a book coming out it was the kiss of death. 

People had good reason to protect their online identities. Threats to make examples of 'haters' were prolific on every social media site, employers, neighbours, friends and relatives would all be informed of your antisocial behaviour online. It was a precursor to the example made of Brenda Leyland.

The use of anonymity online is a debate I won't go into here, suffice to say that anonymity allows people to behave in ways that are not constrained by normal social boundaries.  They can create false personas in whatever form they wish and present themselves as characters beyond reproach or wannabe gladiators entering an arena. 

Whilst providing us with information beyond our wildest dreams, the internet is also filled with deception, or more accurately, fictional characters, that is people living out imaginary lives online.  They are easy to spot, they don't 'do' Facebook or Twitter, lol, and they hang on to their anonymity as if their lives depended on it.  However, 8 years on, the fear is now more imagined than real, I doubt there is a boss left in the land who cares one way or another what his/her employees think about the McCann case. For many, it may well be that they now regret their ill chosen words, others are simply hooked on taking bitching to the extreme and don't want to give it up.

So how did the forums begin?  As the summer of 2007 went on, the power of the internet began to work against the McCanns.  Whilst they could slap the tabloid newspapers with gargantuan lawsuits, they had no control over what was said online. For the first time in history, news could not be contained by borders.  Anyone who cared to look beyond the UK headlines could quickly find details about the missing Madeleine case that were, for some reason, being withheld from the British public.  The work of Joana Morais, Astro, Pamalam, Nigel Moore (McCann Files), Steel Magnolia (RIP) Teddy and others must never be underestimated, without their courage and integrity, the truth about this case would have remained buried.

I first became involved in the social media wars in the summer of 2007.  I was extremely puzzled by the details of this case and went online to see exactly how far the Tapas bar was from Apartment 5A and stumbled across hundreds of other people, who, just like myself, were wondering what on earth was going on.  As an AOL user I was pointed in the direction of the Europe Board chat room. The reception I received was comparable to that of a stranger walking into a hostile bar in the Wild West with the whisky flowing.  It was every man for himself.  I kinda liked it.  (I'm better now)

In the early days, several of the tabloids allowed their readers to comment about the case on their forums - the most popular of which, was the Daily Mirror.  However, as the hostility towards the McCanns increased, the forums were shut down.  This led to the birth of the 3 Arguidoes, the most prominent anti forum, and probably the one that fed the myth that all those who doubted the abduction story were pitchforking haters.    

As bloody as the Europe Board battlefield was, it was as nothing compared to the 3 As, for that you needed a full coat of armour and the Samaritans on speed dial.  Even then, there was an air of tyranny, it was no place for the faint hearted, and humour was strictly prohibited.  I have since discovered it was run by Tony Bennett and Bren Ryan, so there you go. The 3 As was doomed and Tony and Bren went their separate ways.

Tony set up a 'legitimate' forum via Jill Havern to run alongside the Madeleine Foundation.  The Jill Havern forum, the Complete Mystery of Madeleine McCann (CMoMM) presents the evidence collected by its researchers for analysis and discussion.  It is also a platform for Tony to receive the recognition he feels he deserves for solving the case (Murat dunnit).  However, like the 3 As, CMoMM is a hostile, unwelcoming, environment, where newbies are treated with suspicion and derided for asking stupid questions.  Question mein host and you are out the door.  Their priority now is not solving the mystery of Madeleine McCann, so much as destroying the opposition.

Tony's Madeleine Foundation was the militant wing of CMoMM, committed to taking action against the McCann parents through frivolous law suits and intimidating them by distributing leaflets to all their neighbours. Yes, 'pros' that disgusted me as much as it did you.  It served no purpose other than to harass the McCann family and in my opinion it was rightly labelled as despicable by the tabloids. People who truly want justice are not cruel and sadistic, and when that kind of behaviour comes in, you have to question the motives.

Bren, like Gerry, had an epiphany, she saw the 'light' apologised to Kate and Gerry for all her past misdeeds and became their most staunch supporter. 
Bren founded, or became part of Stop the Myths/Exposing the Myths, the best known of the 'pro' sites and the compilers of the Hate List that led to the death of Brenda Leyland. The Kingdom was divided, and each took up their separate thrones.

For several years Tony Bennett has gone unchallenged as the 'leader' of the antis. He wears a suit.  He was once a solicitor (?), he was once a social worker (?), he is a man of God, he is filled with brimstone and fire - no-one can doubt his passion and he is a proven academic (all that research).  He has no time for frivolity (he doesn't watch TV) and he creationist, that is, he believes God made the world in 7 days and has given each of us our designated roles in this world. He takes misogyny to a whole new level. 

At this point, most people would be thinking 'clearly bonkers', but we are so indoctrinated by society's codes and conventions that we automatically store a suit clad 'academic' in the 'respectable' cabinet in our brains.  If he were covered in tattoos with a tunnel in his earlobe and facial piercings, we would have recoiled in fright, the suit had us all fooled.  There is a moral in here somewhere.

As one of my more enlightened readers commented, there has never been an anti movement as such, because groups by their very nature attract wannabe despots and tyrants who want to rule the roost.  I should mention at this point that leading is not something that has ever appealed to me, mostly because I am useless at it.  Whenever I was put in charge of a group I would take them all down the pub and face a disciplinary the next day. Ergo, I have been able to watch from the sidelines in both amusement and horror. In more recent years, we have seen the emergence of the super large Facebook groups and the thesis, antithesis and synthesis begins again, only the leading characters change. 

For those with a genuine interest in the facts and details, I can see how its all become so confusing.  You just want to know 'did they, or didn't they?' And if you are a rational person, you will look at the case from every angle.  There are thousands of pages of credible research available online, the McCann files are a goldmine and the videos of Hideho a treasure. From the 'pro' side there is very little to read, 1. Because the McCanns have remained resolutely silent and 2) because there are no reasonable or rational explanations for the parents' very odd behaviour.

This is an intriguing case and without wishing to trivialise the tragedy that lies at the heart of it, it is a real life mystery, one that appeals to our inner detective.  A puzzle to stimulate and occupy our minds. For some a form of escapism. It was the butler in the drawing room with the candlestick.  High profile crimes attract huge public interest, especially the interactive ones.  The trial of OJ Simpson kept several nations gripped for several months with families falling out and threatening never to speak to each again. That we allow the lives of strangers to encroach our own personal space to that extent is bizarre in itself. 

But again, I don't want to put people off joining the forums and groups. Once this case gets inside your head the need to understand/solve it becomes like an insatiable fever.  I fully understand the need to discuss it, which is why I don't tell people to stay away from the forums.  For many the need to put our theories to the test and bounce ideas backwards and forwards with others is overwhelming, and I hold my hand up right there. I actually encourage those new to the case to join the forums and facebook groups.  Despite the way it may appear, there are lot of genuine, kind and decent people out there.  People who want justice for the missing child, not vengeance on their perceived enemies.

The best advice I can give for anyone who wants to dip a toe, is read Goncalo Amaral's book and/or watch the documentary that accompanies it.  As for the groups, join all of them, test them out, some are better than others, but it is all down to personal taste. 

As for myself I am done with the bickering, I have way too much going on. I am happy to respond to and interact with anyone on here pro or anti if they are polite and rational.  The personal abuse however, will simply go straight to spam. 

Monday 8 June 2015


Sonia Poulton · @SoniaPoulton

8th Jun 2015 from TwitLonger
In answer to the question: When can I see your Madeleine #McCann documentary?

I write this with some trepidation, knowing full well it will be examined to within an inch of life. And not always by friendly and welcoming eyes.

Myself and a production crew have been filming this documentary for over seven months. Initially we planned to do the whole thing, start to finish, in a couple of months.

Events changed that.

The story developed. Brenda Leyland's inquest was delayed until March 2015, we waited for the Gonçalo Amaral Lisbon result, I waited for various responses and FOIs (delayed, again) to come in.

Just to make this clear. This documentary is not a YouTube video. It has been made to specific broadcasting standards and the process involved is considerably more time-consuming and costly than that involved in a YouTube which (as I know well) is essentially a record-edit-upload process.

If only it were that straightforward.

But then this is a media story that needs to go beyond online and into the mainstream media. That's what online campaigners tell me all the time - and they are right.

I have worked in msm for decades and I also make You Tubes, I love doing it all, but the former requires such stringent disciplines and standards to be met, legally, technically and visually, that I knew I needed a production company to back me making this film.

For the reality is - and anyone who knows this case will also know there are media and legal issues attached - I am loathe to give away too much information because I am aware of how problematic that could be for us.

From the outset I knew I would struggle to get a broadcaster to fund it the way I realised, over a number of years, that the story needed to be told.

I had already been warned off by a msm producer of my acquaintance. Other colleagues (and journalist friends) have expressed similar concerns about my curiosity of the case over the years.

In order to make this documentary I needed to be able to take a package to a broadcaster. It could not be footage, to be chopped and edited according to someone else's idea of how it should be portrayed, but a complete, honest and whole film package that I would not allow to be tampered with.

If you know how msm works (and I mean REALLY know) you will know this requirement of mine is me coming with A VERY TALL ORDER, indeed. But then you will also know that that is what this story requires.

The disappearance of Madeleine McCann - and the multiple issues attached to that - is a story that very much needs updating in the way the public perceive it.

I was inspired, as a journalist and broadcaster, to pursue this by the shocking (and I'm still shocked) death of Brenda Leyland. I address this tragedy fully in the film and over the course of months as I, and a small camera crew, attended her inquests.

People will be left in no doubt about my position on Brenda Leyland - and about the events that led to her death, and those events subsequent to her death.

Let me say this at this point:

Yes, I am a professional journalist - despite detractors trying every trick to undermine my hard won and decent reputation in my industry - but I am also passionate as well as professional.

Those who oppose this documentary, and there are a few, have tried to use that against me. They have failed. I am proud to be emotionally engaged with my work, I do not want to be one of those 'professionals' who are so 'professional' that they can do a job like, say, watch child abuse images without so much as a flicker of emotion.

I don't want to be the type of person who is able to emotionally detach from the wickedness of the world in the course of their 'job'. We should never acclimatise to what is wrong, that's how I see my work. I view passion as a help not a hindrance, a strength not a weakness.

Anyone who knows me will know this and in this film I make that point very clearly.

I do this by going to the people at the heart of this story (while being clear not to interfere in any way with the ongoing police investigation) and by asking questions of public interest. (Many millions of pounds of public interest, in fact, and that's just the financial cost of this case to the public).

In this documentary, I tackle the anomalies that exist. All the stuff that is in the public domain - only you wouldn't know it judging by the lack of real investigation media organisations have conducted around this case. On that point, at least, I agree with Clarence Mitchell - the McCann's spokesman who appears in the documentary.

So, forgive me for going the long way around answering the question: when will your documentary be aired?

The short answer is I can't yet tell you. At the moment. That's me being as transparent as I can without giving ammunition to the enemies of this project.

The film is, and has been for weeks, in post-production. We have started broadcast meetings about it. Several broadcast executives have expressed a keen interest in getting involved. Myself, and a small trusted team, are (through necessity) playing our cards close to our collective chests.

Those who want justice for Madeleine McCann will understand and appreciate that. Those with other agendas, will not. Either way, we get to know who's who.

This documentary has taught me so much and not least that the enemies of it are not always immediately identifiable. I have learnt that there are detractors who claim to be on the side of justice for Madeleine McCann - in terms of finding out what happened and where she might be - but are, in actuality, the opposite.

Some of these have already become the most vocal and scathing opponents of a film - this film - that has yet to be aired. Odd behaviour. Or maybe not.

Finally, I would like to say a big thank you to every single person who has informed me on the intricacies of this story - and also made me aware of the many dubious and opportunistic characters who surround it.

This experience has been an education - a harrowing and sad one, at times - and one I believe I have conveyed in our film for the public, at large, who are not clued-up like many of those online.

Thank you for your patience. As soon as I have broadcast details, I will let you know.

Oh, and one more thing, we will shortly release a two-minute trailer to social media to give people a flavour of what to expect. Again, I have to wait for the go-ahead but as soon as I can, I will.

Have a lovely week.
Sonia X

Sonia Poulton
June 8, 2015


I have said this many times before, but I will say it again just for clarity.

When I first began commenting on the case of Madeleine McCann, I did not know whether the parents were involved or not, but I had a lot of questions.  At the time I was unsure, I would not comment negatively about them.  Although I am a libertarian and all round loon, I actually have my own very strict moral barometer and there are lines I will not cross.  Attacking a grieving family was one of them.

As more details of the case emerged and the files were released (I studied them day and night), both from a 'guilty' and 'not guilty' perspective, I began to reach the 'beyond reasonable doubt' stage, and it was only when I reached that point, that I became more critical.  Some the people I posted with in those days are still around, a few have become great personal friends and I post with them still on Facebook.  They have known my feelings about this case since the very beginning, and I am most definitely NOT a pro.
Regarding, where and who I post with.  There are calls (again) for me to be caste out and ostracised because I am talking to the enemy, there are a certain anti's (usually the anonymous ones) expressing anger and outrage at my behaviour.  They seem to think that because I am 'anti' (one of them), that they can dictate where I post and who I post with.  The idea is ludicrous of course, but they have spent so long bitching that they have lost touch with reality. 

I am very much a believer in 'jaw jaw' not 'war war'.  That is, when you have a disagreement with someone it is better to sit down at the table and thrash it out.  The majority, actually strike that, all of the Madeleine groups are divided into two camps bitching about each other, each group agreeing (naturally) with everything their members say.  Well done, good post, pat on the back.  There is NO opposition.

Such is my nature, and I make no apologies, I find that boring and after 8 years, a little bit pointless.  For myself, I am writing for people who already agree with me, and as nice as that is, they are not really my target audience.  I want to reach those who are convinced of the opposite and those who may be hovering on the fence.

I have not 'gone over to the other side', and the idea that I have is extremely childish, it reminds me of playground bullying, 'don't talk to her, she's one of THEM', it's not the behaviour of educated, articulate, adults. As an educated, articulate adult I prefer to face the opposition head on rather than join a gang and whisper about them in a corner. 

The Madeleine Debate Group is open to both sides of the McCann divide.  I think this is a good thing, they can make their accusations, I can counter them with arguments of my own.  We may be antis and pro's, but we are people first and happily there are enough well mannered pro's on the debate group to make discussion not only possible, but interesting and lively.  In my opinion, we need to stop looking at each other as 'monsters', because as long as we all have that imagery, the wars will continue. 

I should add, that among my personal friends there are catholics and staunch tories.  We are polar opposites on our political and religious views, but we remain friends nevertheless, and I should also add, that they have never persuaded me to go to mass or vote tory! 

Saturday 6 June 2015

Where is Madeleine in all this?

The above meme was posted on twitter by Ben Thompson yesterday with the tagline #Hutton #ATTENTIONSEEKING WHORE.  Ben is the facebook tyrant who claims I gave the anti's and himself a bad name by appearing in The Sun. He fails of course to mention that he wanted to do the interview, and was majorly pissed off at not being chosen.  The title of this blog comes the latest line by Aguila on page 46 of the top thread on CMoMM.  The entire thread, and in fact, ALL their hot topics are devoted to how much they despise Sonia Poulton and myself.  Where is Madeleine in all this?  Quite.

The once, partially credible research site of CMoMM is now a complete bitchfest intent on wrecking Sonia's forthcoming documentary and destroying both her and my reputations (where is Madeleine in all this?) and let's not beat about the bush, they want blood.  Pretty much anyone's will do especially during quiet times when there is not much happening on the McCann case and at the moment they want mine. They have already suggested that I will probably kill myself, and have prepared themselves.  I am and always have been a maniacal attention seeker, it was (posthumously) inevitable, for them it is already a done deal. The contents of the posts on CMoMM have merged with the posts on JATYK2 (the death dossier compilers) and they are now indistinguishable from each other. 

The majority, actually strike that, all my critics target the fact that I suffer from manic depression, or as it is more fashionably called these days bipolar disorder. I have no shame about it, which is why I speak so openly. However, my enemies use my 'insanity' to dismiss everything I say, it saves them disturbing their one brain cell and actually responding to the points I raise. 

The hope of those who label me insane, is that others will join in their hate fest and I will be blacklisted, scorned and caste out of society.  Some may even want the return of Bedlam, a place in which the general public can pay a small entrance fee to stare at and make fun of the lunatics. A nice day out for some families and a sure fire winner with the members CMoMM and their sister sites JATYK2 and Stop the Myths.

I speak honestly about my manic depression in the hope that others will recognise things I say, and won't feel quite so alone when the crippling black dog takes over.  Sometimes when you say things out loud, they don't sound half as bad and its reassuring to know that there are others out there who feel exactly the same.  And, I cannot tell a lie, my favourite form of narrative is comedy, sometimes a little giggle is all it takes to pick you back up again and get things back into perspective. That some people should take my honesty and vulnerability as a stick with which to flog me, reflects on them, not me.

Unfortunately, the world is full of ignorant people who still see mental illness and the mentally ill as a form of entertainment for themselves.  Sadly, the anonymity of the internet allows them to seek out targets and join groups where mocking and deriding the mentally ill is positively encouraged. The sorrow of course lies in their own ignorance, as the good Lord said, 'They know not what they do'. For some sickos, their ultimate goal is to push someone over the edge, then claim their victim was only doing it for attention. Thus, their hands are clean.

Of course, we can't stop sadistic people gathering to discuss their sadistic thoughts, but we can turn the mockery back on them ;)  For nearly 8 years some of these fine, upstanding pillars of the community have hidden behind their anonymous avatars, ostensibly to discuss the case of missing Madeleine McCann, but more accurately, partaking in their favourite hobby - talking about the flaws in other people. And of course, their anonymity allows them to be as cruel as they wish.  However, in order to tear other people down as they do, these vicious critics must be beyond reproach themselves.  Anonymity allows them to TELL us they are God fearing folk with good intentions but there is nothing whatsoever to back it up. 

Like members of the Klu Klux Klan, they don their anonymity hoods to seek out rule breakers and non conformists to slaughter for the public's pleasure.  So who are Aguila, Plebgate, Verdi, Noodles, Bennett at least has the guts to put his name and face behind his venom.  These self righteous people who have sat in judgement of the McCanns, myself and others remain in hiding.  They have appointed themselves, police, judge, jury and executioners, yet we don't even know if they male/female/transgender or cloned sheep.  

CMoMM have, it seems have given up any pretence of seeking justice for Madeleine, because they have found a much more stimulating pastime (many thanks to all those who pointed out my former spelling error :) ), they are now devoted to putting Sonia and I, back in our 'place'.  In my case, they have become a little band of grim reapers, whispering 'go on, do it', whilst rubbing their hands in glee.  It is despicable how people of that nature can pick up on little snippets of personal information, then use it again and again to batter you with. But I remind myself, that creeps like this are all around us, the only thing I have control over is the way in which I react to it. 

For me the way in which I handle a crisis (and gangs of people calling you a harlot, whore, prostitute, drug addict, attention whore etc and pronounce you Mental online, can trigger a crisis unfortunately), I try to rationalise it and understand the reasoning behind it.  The bad vibrations always come from those giving them out, not those on the receiving end and I thank all the Gods there may be that I have never in my entire life felt that gut wrenching need to destroy another person.  As chilling as their behaviour is, it is also pitiful.  They live in fear, I don't.

Many people appear to be terrified by Sonia's forthcoming documentary.  Why?  The anger and hostility is almost tangible, and most of it is coming from the 'anti' side?  I became involved in this case because I was outraged that the truth was being hidden, and I have always gone along with the philosophy that ANYTHING that brings the truth to the general public's attention is a good thing.

I do now of course see just how naïve I was, but more of that another time.  Why is there a full blown campaign to stop the broadcasting of Sonia Poulton's documentary?  More importantly, why is the campaign being led by the CMoMM forum and other of the more deranged anti's? 

Could it possibly be that some people are ashamed about the way they behave online?  CMoMM don't know anything about the documentary, ergo, all the fears they have are coming from themselves, they have created them.  Whilst they are happy to lecture the McCanns and myself and Sonia on the paths of righteousness, they are petrified of anyone discovering who they are. Have they no pride in their words? Don't they want all their hard work acknowledged?

They have formed an 'elite' (lol) and banned all the miscreants, low lives and those who do not tow the Bennett party line, ergo their slate should be as clean as a proverbial whistle, a forum of bible bashing, clean living, pillars of society engaging in noble discussion that places them above the rest of us.  So why have they gone into meltdown over the forthcoming documentary?  Why are they prepared to go to any means (apart from revealing who they are) to stop this documentary from being aired?  But I will let aguila have the last line, 'where is Madeleine in all this?'

Tuesday 2 June 2015



So the justice seekers are once again the sick trolls according to the headline of tomorrow's Daily Star and Jerry Lawton.  The reasons why they have raised £25k+ and rising have been obscured once more by the martyrdom and continuing pain of Kate and Gerry McCann.  A couple to whom no amount of money is ever enough. Over £4m has passed through their non transparent Fund, most of it spent on protecting the parents' reputation and seeking vengeance on anyone who dares to criticise them. 

In supporting Goncalo Amaral, the public finally have a way in which to show how disgusted they are at the cover up that appears to have the entire British establishment in its grip.  They know the newspapers are lying to them and they want to know why.   

I don't believe the McCanns
But lets turn to the real trolls in this case.  The small gang of internet thugs who have guarded the McCanns reputation by patrolling social media sites seeking out the more vocal, crushing them with threats of 'naming and shaming', and proving they meant business, by selecting the harmless Brenda Leyland as an example. 

In the words of Gerry, it was a disaster, most of those who saw what happened did indeed think, 'yeh, Brenda was just like me, and she didn't deserve that'. You see we are not the sick trolls.  We believe that little 3, nearly 4, year old girl deserved a chance to live.  We do not accept that a little girl can just disappear with no-one held accountable.  Like Goncalo Amaral we want to know what happened to Madeleine and we are not stupid enough to believe the McCann lies.  Who are the bad guys?  The ones who seeking justice for the child, or the ones covering up the circumstances of her disappearance?  Isn't it kind of sick to cover up a child's death?

But lets take a closer look at the McCanns publicity campaign, or more particularly the anonymous gang/army of self appointed guardians who defend the MCann family so vigorously online.  Or at least the hardcore who remain, the ones who do it just for fun - they are so crap at what they do, I don't think anyone would pay them.   
The pro McCann sites are a funny little circle of Uriah Heeps that's for sure, lol.  I can almost picture them sitting there eating worms as their world closes in. Sites such as STMs and JATYK2 are dark, murky and very strange places indeed, the 'characters' are surreal, nameless and faceless, their fear of exposure is palpable.  The raging Tigerloaf, shivering in his/her cowardly boots while demanding that ALL McCann sceptics be named and publicly shamed - demanding for others that which he/she fears the most.

Why the terror of exposure?  What are they afraid of?  They demand that our publishers, employers, family, friends, neighbours etc, be made aware of our beliefs on the McCann case, yet they are so ashamed/fearful of their own.  Do their families, employers, neighbours know what they do?

If their cause is honourable and their motives good, why not use their own names and faces?  If people were attacking my family, friends or those I love or admire, I would not hesitate to stand proudly beside them.  And I wouldn't have been in the slightest bit bothered by Martin Brunt turning up on my doorstep with a camera crew because I write with honesty and integrity. I KNOW I haven't written anything I would be ashamed of.  The best and the most important 'writing' advice I have ever received or given by the way.  You never have to delete anything.

As protective as the creatures on JATYK2 are of their real characters, they often give insightful little snippets away and it is at times like these I can see how pitiful they really are.  For students of psychology, psychopathy and what it is that makes people evil, these sites make fascinating studies.

Naturally, I especially pick up on the comments directed at myself (my own narcissism, lol),  The reasons people hate me now are exactly the same as they were, when I was 5/10/15/55, there is a pattern.  I am attractive, confident and articulate and I don't know/refuse to accept my 'place'.  And anyone with similar traits will know exactly what I am talking about, and can like myself spot the 'usual' enemy in a nanosecond. I never changed for any of them in the past, and I'm not going to do it for the new ones now, lol.  I don't want to be a sheep, I want to be 'special' - my daddy told me I was, and I'm gonna be!  I eschew society's codes and conventions and I laugh out loud at Bureaucracy - that seems to upset some people, especially those with state of the art filing systems.  My blunt honesty disarms and frightens some people, it puts them in touch with feelings of their own that they would prefer to keep hidden.  Its much cosier and safer on their side of the fence, with the crowd. 

Embittered women of my age and generation look to me for reasons to continue in their own safe domestic sphere and keep their heads down.  I'm an example of what happens to attention seekers and the scolding I get is my just desserts for stepping out of line, not forgetting of course, its great fun bitching about others.  Think garden fence and 'er down the road, who is no better than she ought to be and you get the gist. Some things never change.   

To a certain section of white middle class men, I am an abomination, a terrible influence on their subjugated wives and a direct threat to the cosy patriarchal status quo.  Unfortunately (and creepily) for me, their underlying fear/loathing of women is  directly linked to their genital area. I'm not special in this regard btw, any adult woman would have the same effect.   

Injustice infuriates me now just as much as it did when I was 5 - if HE can do it, so can I!  I have always taken the side of the underdog, if I could see other kids struggling to say what they wanted, I knew I had the gob on me to say it for them!  For what it is worth, I have instigated rebellions from the playground to the work place to the local town centre, I just can't help myself.  Ergo, I have had the same 'enemies' all my life, only now there are more of them and they are easier to spot.

I have given myself as an example but all of us who have been on the receiving end of the vicious McCann publicity machine will recognise everything I have said.  The stalking, the Blacklist, the Death Dossier all emanate from the pro McCann side of the fence, but you already know that Jerry.

Trolls are indeed sick, but sicker I think are those journalists who attack decent, caring, law abiding citizens who have the right to ask what the hell is going on.  If the only way to get justice for the little British child Madeleine is through the Portuguese civil courts, then so be it.  The McCanns can't silence everyone.