Not believing the McCanns does not make me, or anyone else a bad person, and in fact I would go so far as to say, pretending to believe is being complicit. Those of you accusing me of being a bad person, are putting the parents' feelings above the fate of the missing child. And they are complicit in the spiteful campaign to wreck the life of the former detective Goncalo Amaral.
I may not be a God botherer or a pillar of the community, but I have my own, very strict, moral guidelines. That teen angst, that desire for martyrdom has never left me, death before dishonour. I will not be forced to believe something that isn't true. I was being battered daily in a convent at the time, so you can why I feel quite strongly on this issue.
But, as I say to my Catholic friends, whatever gets you through the night, but please do not try to force your beliefs on me. With the McCann supporters however, they just won't take no for an answer. They demand we all believe as blindly as they do. Fortunately Gerry and Kate do not have the power to burn heretics at the stake, nor even the power to have them standing in a dock. And those helping them, are assisting the madness.
Badmouthing me won't make the situation any better, it is simply more bullying on the part of Team McCann. I challenge them because I believe what they are doing is evil. Their hounding and pursuit of Goncalo Amaral and Brenda Leyland for example, was evil. Both innocent people - and those doing the hounding knew that. They wanted to take his family home and all the proceeds from his books. They had already prevented him from earning a living, but that wasn't enough. That knowledge sends a chill through me
In this instance, for some unknown reason, Team McCann are again complaining about those who troll them in social media. And, as I said in my previous blog, why now? I fear the trolling of the McCanns is again being used to herald in new laws to remove anyone considered subversive, from the internet. Which of course, is a direct attack on our Freedom of Speech. It is no secret that there are factions within Team McCann actively working towards finding ways and means to police the internet. Many want the rabble removed and in the dock, including less talented writers who want 'Opinion' restricted to the elite.
For the majority of people (without issues) however, internet trolling is no more than a gnat bite, especially those in the public eye. For them it is part and parcel of 'fame', they enjoy the perks, they suffer the loons. They don't make a big deal of it, because it isn't a big deal. If I paid attention to all the hate mail I have received over the years, I would be in a padded cell, wearing a straitjacket. Ok, some might say, I should be. Those drawing attention to their trolls are actually drawing attention to themselves, it is a variation on 'poor me'.
But I don't want to get into the psychological aspects of trolling, for the moment, it is the way that it is being used for sinister, political purposes. Gerry and Kate are the faces of Hacked Off, and those pressure groups that demand stricter controls on the press and social media. Whilst other 'celebrities' appear to have seen the light and backed away, Gerry and Kate have continued to make their case as victims of an unscrupulous press and a lawless internet. They want action. They want legislation that will shut down blogs like mine, and it would appear, shut down entire hashtags on twitter. Again, with the God complex.
Information is as it is. Tis my belief, the new Masters of the Universe reside in Silicone Valley, and they won't stop the flow of information for greedy capitalists or those insisting on ridiculous safeguards that protect no-one, least of all today's teens. Kids today, know more about online safety than most of these online safety experts ever will. Hands up every mum, who has learned all their internet etiquette from their kids? Even if you add the proviso, kids over 10, quite a few hands would still remain up. The best protection any parent can give a child is confidence. And happily most parents know that. Those kids who are vulnerable, will have more issues than being groomed by an online predator in Kurdistan.
The idea that you can remove, let's call them what they are, deplorables*, from the internet is as ludicrous as removing deplorables from the streets. It is something you just can't legislate against, and heaven knows, governments throughout history have tried. Perhaps it should be remembered, that the elite, also tried to keep electricity and telephones to themselves, along with the right to vote.
Anyway, apologies for the Marxist lecture, lol, my gut instinct is to protect the freedom of the internet. Since it's invention, I have been walking on Cloud 9. So much to read, so little time. I fear this may be a short lived period in our history, a new Age of Enlightenment, and one that the powers that be, will have to control if they are to maintain the status quo. The Arab Spring showed how quickly a revolution can begin. Boris ordered a job lot of water canons. The US are now using tear gas and pepper spray - I wonder if Theresa May will ask Trump for a discount if crowd control armaments are among the US weapons he is trying to flog? She may well need tear gas and pepper spray when The Donald rides down The Mall in a gold carriage with the Queen.
But I don't want to digress. Having watched the schemes and machinations of Team McCann over the years, this present distress is, I believe, nothing to do with internet trolls. Unless of course, Professor Synnott is preparing a paper that argues the case for government action on anti social internet behaviour. Why else count the tweets on the McCann hashtag every day? Has it never occurred to Professor Synnott that the Madeleine case is unique (unique in the UK, the US have several) and that there might be a reason why these obsessive compulsives are spamming that hashtag every day. If you take away their reason for doing it, you are making the entire paper invalid - what it was that set them off?
The Madeleine case is unique, as is the position the parents find themselves in. There are no forums or facebook groups questioning other families ripped apart by the trauma of losing a child. Quite rightly, the idea of it would be horrendous, we would not want to add to their pain. Unfortunately for Gerry and Kate, they have never been believable, and their abduction story makes no sense to any logical person. How far we take that disbelief is of course open to debate. I agree, this case has attracted more than it's far share of weirdos and stalkers, on many sides, but as a psychologist maybe Dr. Synnott should be addressing the obsessive compulsive disorder. He should also acknowledge this case is in no way typical of online troll behaviour.
I don't know what kind of cure Dr. Synnott is looking for with his troll study, but if he is omitting the root cause, then the cure he is seeking will be legislative.