Wednesday, 25 October 2017

HOW MANY CHERRY CAKES?

In response to an interesting observation on my last blog, I pictured a very large cherry cake, or the remaining crumbs of a ravaged small one.

This set me musing, as my readers' comments often do.  I once did a blog entitled 'The Million Pound Baby'*  (should have said dollars, it sounds dreadful in sterling).  Although that blog is only 18 months old (March 2016), one million pounds now seems like peanuts. 

When you consider all the beneficiaries from Madeleine's abduction, the amount is incalculable.  From the inside working outwards, the McCanns and their entire entourage, including Government spokesman Clarence, got to stay in the Sunny Algarve for 3 months all expenses and mortgage payments covered. It also gave them a huge fund to protect themselves against any criminal charges they may have faced for leaving the children on their own, or anything more.  Apart from the extended family, among the first to benefit from Madeleine's loss were the lawyers.

Then, there were all those knights in shiny armour who boarded planes to PDL rather than trusty steeds - all eager to assist in a news story that had gone global.  The British police agencies, the crisis managers, the spin doctors, and several more firms of lawyers.  Batch 2 of the beneficiaries were all those who could see there were fortunes to be made.

Then we have the politicians.  I have no doubt there was a major Oops in Whitehall during the early hours of May 4th, but they decided to go with it, because the benefits outweighed an embarrassing confession.  Also, because it offered so much opportunity to bury bad news and take up a populist cause. It fitted in with New Labour's Big Brother approach to democracy.  A national data bank holding our blood and every detail about us from cradle to grave and a good reason to introduce policing of the internet.  Blair used the angelic face of Madeleine to increase fear of paedophiles, just as he used tanks rolling into Heathrow to increase fear of terrorists. 

Gerry and Kate wanted stricter border controls (as do tyrants, see D.Trump), and control over what is printed in the press and said about them online. Again, see D. Trump.  The scaremongering of the McCanns and New Labour was designed to win our vote for compulsory DNA testing (all new born babies) and government access to all our internet activity (even D.Trump hasn't gone that far - yet).  As Gerry McCann fought the freedom of the press, then Home secretary Jackie Smith sat (uncomfortably it must be said) alongside him.  The McCanns' goals were New Labour's goals, so big old tick in the beneficiary box there. 

Then there were the British police agencies.  Such is our capitalist system, different branches of law enforcement must compete with each other for funds.  Therefore, it is, erm, in their interests to promote their specialist skills and demonstrate that their needs are greater. 

CEOP were among the first police to arrive, which many consider odd, as their field of expertise is ONLINE protection.  Madeleine was not yet 4, clearly she wasn't targeted and groomed online.   Their clumsy attempts to turn it into an internet crime by seizing computers and naming men who watched porn, fell at the first hurdle.  Were CEOP and the other police agencies beneficiaries of the  abduction story?  A question that must be asked.

Then there are the National Charities, who received a major boost by putting aside all those missing on their books, and promoting the face of Madeleine.  Did they benefit from Madeleine being missing, rather than deceased?  Undoubtedly, but charities are beyond reproach, even when they attach themselves to major creeps like Jimmy Saville, there is an unwritten law that they must not be criticised.    

How about the media industry?  For sure.  The decline in the sale of tabloids had already begun in 2007.  The Madeleine story was a new lease of life.  Every redtop with a Madeleine picture or headline was flying off the  shelves.  It was as fascinating and addictive as the first episode of The Osbornes.  The profits from Madeleine stories probably went into millions, in a way the McCanns have a right to be bitter, they only got a fraction of the story's worth to the media moguls. 

Then there were new crisis management companies and reputation managers, all of whom no-one needed years ago, but who are now essential should you suffer trauma.  The ambulance should be your second call.  The McCanns are not entirely to blame for reputation managers, the spin doctors were already lurking and waiting to pounce.  They take ambulance chasing to a whole new level, 'can you sign this before they cut you out of your car', hoping the tears and blood in your eyes blinds you to the small print.  Have they benefited? Yes indeedy, but not half as much as they thought they would. 

Last but not least, there are those famous crime solving experts, Donal MacIntyre and Mark Williams-Thomas.  Each staking their reputations on the fact that the McCanns are innocent.  If I remember rightly, DM claims the abductors (there were several), gave the apartment a good clean before leaving.  MWT's theory, I struggle to remember, actually, he gives me the creeps, so I struggle to watch.  Did they benefit?  No doubt, it is a high profile case, it has an audience. 

In the USA missing children are big business.  The US version of  the old CEOP, received millions in government grants, and the cause has it's own TV channel and millions of supporters.  I believe similar plans were intended for the UK.  Those patenting Madeleine's name and planning annual Madeleine Days had big ideas.  None of which included registering Madeleine's Fund as a charity. 

Did they benefit?  For a while, yes.  But they didn't succeed.  The public have never truly believed Madeleine was abducted, and that was integral to the plan. 



*  A good read, though I say so myself, and with pictures!

Thursday, 19 October 2017

IS IT RIGHT/WRONG TO DISCUSS THE CASE OF MISSING MADELEINE?

The One Million mark for me, has been a time for reflection, and a time I think, in which to explain how my blog began and why I am still here. 

In 2010, I had the offer I have dreamed of since childhood, a book deal with a major publisher!  My dreams of a bestseller however, were crushed.  For many reasons, tis true, it was the wrong time, it broke the Misery Memoir genre (not miserable) and my name was absolute filth on the internet.  No-one would review it, and no-one would publicise it. No-one would connect their name to it.

There were also a number of dedicated sites such as 'The Lies of Rosalinda Hutton' and hundreds of pages devoted to my 'imagined' life as a Hater in their notorious death dossier and they trashed my books on Amazon. They had great fun discussing my mental health issues, urging me to take my meds, and rolling on the floor laughing when they pushed me to the edge.  All tastefully accompanied by eating popcorn emojis. 

But I'm no victim - as if!  I get knocked down, I get back up again (among, my funeral songs), I've never had the resources to launch legal battles, and I wouldn't if I could.  Listening to barristers hurling references from ancient books at each other, is an experience I never want to have again, in this life or the next. 

I do however, care very much about the legacy I leave, almost as much as I care about my kids.  I don't want to be remembered as that evil woman online who tormented a grieving family.  I will put my hands up to every crazy thing I have done in my life, but I have never been malicious.  The words of my beloved Dad are always with me. 'Never hurt someone just because you can'. 

For me, commenting negatively on the Madeleine case was a real crisis of conscience.  I could not forgive myself if I added to the McCanns pain if they were innocent.  I didn't comment negatively, until I had passed my own, very strict criteria, of 'beyond reasonable doubt'.  And even once I did, I stuck within my own self inflicted moral codes, those that allow me to sleep well.  I don't libel anyone, I don't accuse anyone and I try my best to steer 'antis' away from hysteria.  I know the power of words, as Maya Angelou said much better than I, it's the way you make people FEEL. 

The words Honesty and Integrity too, have served me well.  In one of the first writing classes I attended, the lecturer (thanks Mike), wrote them in large letters on the blackboard (yes it was that long ago). You can use writing a memoir as 'payback' for example - but why would you?  When it can so easily be used as a basis for reconciliation.

But I want to use the Million mark, to thank all those readers who have stuck with me, many of whom go back over the years and with whom I share fond (and crazy) memories.  It's been a roller coaster ride.  My blog is as it is. Nothing planned.  As an ageing hippy chick, I can't complete a daily 'to do' list let alone a life plan - I accidently wrote New Year's Resolutions on the last whiteboard I had in permanent ink, by March it was driving me demented.

Whether we should or shouldn't discuss the case of missing Madeleine McCann is a dilemma we all face from time to time, I'm sure.  On the surface, it seems ghoulish, dig deeper, and it seems judgemental and a class issue.  You can see why no MP wants to bring the subject up.  Those hurling rocks at Gerry and Kate, are chavs and Sun readers, the educated elite wouldn't dream of being so crass as to suspect, two middle class doctors of disposing of their child's body. 

That isn't true of coursse, as the exposure of poor Brenda Leyland revealed, disbelieving the McCann's abduction story is not restricted to the Council estates and the travellers' sites.  Not believing the McCanns, crosses every class, and educational level.  Saying it out loud however, is another matter.  It is still politically incorrect and can destroy a journalist's or blogger's career in seconds.

Any 'sane' person in my position would have stopped commenting on the McCann case, as soon as the backlash began.   I didn't of course. Unfortunately, their attacks brought back that outraged little 5 year old, who refused to accept any form of injustice!  I was the only girl in the boy scout pack for example.  My instinct was to fight back, my dear old dad would have said, for heaven's sake don't follow your instincts, but I probably wouldn't have listened to him.  Much of his wisdom, didn't kick in until many years later. Doh!  That I followed my instincts, should make it absolutely clear that I wasn't in it for the money. 

Speaking of the wise.  I once watched a documentary about the fighter pilots horrifically injured in WWII.  They were a terrific bunch, brave beyond compare, and even in the face of all they had suffered, they were still having a giggle at the funny side.  Their Treasurer for example had no legs, they said with mischievous grins.  One particularly outspoken old gent recalled his days flying out to protect Britain's shores. 'The cheek of it!', he said, with such force, the handlebars on his moustache flew upwards.  I found myself applauding and saying 'here, here' or is it 'hear hear', as his words and the way in which he said them became a permanent fixture in my brain! 

The cheek of it!  How dare these people think they can destroy my childhood dream.  Now, I can hear my feisty mum, shouting 'here, here'.  My blog, I hope, has gone some way to repairing the damage caused to my name by my links to this case.  That is, those who take the time and trouble, can see for themselves, that this is not a hate site filled with malcontents abusing the McCann family. 

But should we discuss the details of such a high profile crime on social media? And the most likely answer is, most of us do feel uncomfortable with it, and are very aware that it affects real people, including children.  But it should be clear by now, that 99% of my posters, observe their own high moral code and are considerate in their replies. 

Against that, people are being hurt by the deception that is being put out, and having children, should not make public figures immune from criticism.  The idea is absurd.   Common decency tells us that families, and kids in particular, should never be stalked and harassed, but they shouldn't be held up as human shields.  And they shouldn't be used to prevent the public from discussing the validity of the abduction story.  Particularly, as Gerry and Kate have historically always called on the public to help find their daughter.   

I regularly question myself on the morality of what I am doing here.  I don't need Judges, censors or lawyers from Carter Ruck, I torture myself enough already.  Ultimately, I feel I have no option but to continue.  I have to get past the 'bad name' label that has blighted every area of my life. 

I know for example, that should I publish a book, which I am going to within the next few months, hopefully by Christmas, it will immediately be trashed on Amazon.  However, as I mentioned above, I am not a victim, and I believe just as much as I did at 8 years old, that I was going to write a seminal book!  And I believe talen will always find a way.  Tis true, I didn't think it would take this long to find the right formula, but there you go. 

If I am ever to fulfil my dreams, a cottage where I can hear the sea, a bright yellow noddy car, a country kitchen where I can make cherry pies for my platonic friend Big Ears,  I will have to get my head down.  I would also have a crazy mutt, or several,  the kind of dejected looking oldies who appreciate being pampered and won't criticise my pastry or give me zero points for my hostessing skills.  Dogs are great - even if you throw 'the fecking pie' at them, they are not offended, in fact, they come back for more.  To my readers of old, I haven't entirely given up on the idea of a beach hut in Cuba and a toenail painting, guitar strumming Rastafarian, but now I am considering all the dangers of a swinging hammock - I fear it would play havoc with my arthritis.

But before I go book a flight to Cuba, or go visit a local dog Rescue, I am committed to clearing my name.  I know that my blog is read by many, including the educated elite, and I hope that when this case reaches it's conclusion, both my real name and my pen name will no longer be taboo. 

Meanwhile, the million mark has emboldened me to have another go at publishing a book online, this time, in my favourite genre, comedy.  Beneath this serious, academic, exterior (yeh, I know), lies the crazy, wise cracking spirit of my deceased (and hilariously funny), mad Irish mother.  At the moment she passed, I felt her character take over mine, like a Queen passing her crown on to her heirs, I got all her gags.  In my mum's lifetime, I didn't mimic her elaborate body language, her booming 'royal voice', or urges to cause mischief, because it would have felt disrespectful.  But she when she passed, she gave me a shove, a sort of have as much fun with them as I did, wink, wink.   

But I have probably given enough away about where my book will be coming from.  Suffice to say, it will have nothing whatsoever to do with the Madeleine case and I hope this time around, the fair reviews will counter the predicted bad ones. 

But let's get back to the opening question.  Is it morally right to discuss the case of missing Madeleine?  It is a question I ask myself regularly, then I wonder if it is morally right to watch and read propaganda that is intended to hurt and deceive others without challenging it?  The Edmund Burke quote, '.......when good men do nothing', makes me wonder how I would answer when future generations ask how the wonder and freedom of the internet was taken away from us, by the government and armies of vigilantes?  Where did it all begin?


 
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Monday, 16 October 2017

MADELEINE FUND PART II

UPDATE - 18.10.17

I am delighted to say my blog has now received over 1 million hits!  A small step for the internet, but a giant leap for moi :)

Thank you all for returning again and again, and for helping this blog to grow into a sane, logical, and ethical commentary on what I am sure will be one of the biggest scandals of the 21st century.  I think we have shown that it is possible to discuss a highly controversial, and highly emotive subject, as reasonable thinking adults, without the hatred and intolerance that has engulfed other forums and facebook pages. 

I think we are finally moving towards the 'end game' or perhaps I should rephrase that to 'game up'.  Those who think the police are several notches below them on the intellectual scale, may find it's something the police don't take too kindly to.  That is probably the reason why there are still two live investigations, millions being spent and no sign whatsoever that the police are going to give up. 

Interesting times ahead!

Meanwhile, please vote on the poll in the right hand column.  'Did the Multimillion' Madeleine Fund, scupper the investigation?

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Once again, the comments section runneth over, so time to open a Part II.

VT/Ziggy gives much away in his posts, particularly when you sort the wheat from the chaff.  I have actually whittled him down to two McCann main players, one more than the other. 

But before I move onto those leaking bits of information that he seems to be unaware of, in one of his last posts he made a good point.  Why aren't there more posts in support of the parents?  As long as they are civil, or make attempt at being civil, I am happy to publish them.  As a humanitarian I would like to see more posts supporting them, I am saddened that only one person speaks on their behalf.  This blog has a large audience of reasonable and compassionate people, it is as good a platform as any, to clear up the myths that surround this case. 

Back to those leaks.  For some time now, VT/Ziggy, has been building a case against the British police.  He has gone from their interference in the original investigation to the chavvy 'they are having jollies on the Algarve at taxpayers' expense'.  Why?  His posts recently, are showing more and more frustration and hostility towards the British police.  And he is hinting that British police, very early on, are behind any cover up that took place.  The architects and instigators perhaps? But the fuzzy allegations are not just aimed at the police who flew out to PDL, but also at their bosses. 

Shots too seem to have been fired at Clarence Mitchell, and today the Tapas group.  ZT helpfully pointed out just how much the 'tapas' have to lose should they break the pact of silence.  Beginning with paying back the damages given to them by Express newspapers, (odd priority), but if the answer to every question is 'money', about right.  Followed by careers, lives being ruined etc. 

All very good reasons I'm sure, but they make no allowance for conscience and the guilt of having to lie to people.  including those you love, for the rest of your life.  It would drive most people insane.  On the freedom front, they have lost the freedom to be themselves, and I can't think of a worse prison than that.

Whilst I don't think the infighting has quite reached the 'every man for himself' stage, there is clearly disharmony between the factions.  I didn't think this would come until much later, that is, the pretence that there is a good relationship between the McCanns and Operation Grange, would end in the same way as the good relationship between the McCanns and the PJ ended 9 years ago.

Now it seems they are no longer keeping up the pretence of being happy with Operation Grange.  And to be fair, no-one could blame them for being angry and frustrated (on this occasion).  They still don't know what happened to their daughter and the search for her is coming to an end.  

But worse, they still have that same cloud of suspicion hanging over them, Operation Grange has done nothing to establish their innocence.  There are no signs of an abductor, either from the original evidence collected from Apartment 5A or from the thousands of statements the police have taken over the years. The sighting of Jane Tanner was discounted by OG, and Smithman who looks exactly like Gerry, remains the main suspect.

I know that people closely involved with this case read and post here, it's the last social media battleground they use regularly.  And the reason is, because the discussion here is far removed from the playground mentality of the cesspit and the 'myths'.  I can't say it bothers me that they post anonymously, but I always think if you are going to defend someone, doing it in your own name, adds weight to your argument. 

But I understand.  Opening your life up to the scrutiny of social media carries everything you feared and then some.  But once, you have picked yourself, and distinguished the psychopaths and trolls from the genuine, you are full steam ahead.  And I speak as someone who has had many stalkers over the years. 

On my blog happily, I don't have a troll problem, because I don't acknowledge trolls as a problem. They have no impact whatsoever on my life, or my writing.  I couldn't care less who they are, and I have no desire to track them down and put them in the dock.  I'm a big girl, I can handle name calling and snide remarks online in the same way as I have in the real world since the age of 5.  Whilst I could happily discuss the history of the old oak tree in the local park for hours on end, I have zero time, or patience, for those eaten up with negativity.  If I took it on too deeply, I would become their 'free therapist', because I still kind of pity them.  But I don't want to digress.

I'll end with three questions:

1.  Are Operation Grange closing in?
2.  Is the Madeleine Fund going to prove problematic?
3.  Are ZT's veiled threats a sign that there is infighting between members
     of 'The Pact'?

Saturday, 7 October 2017

THE MADELEINE FUND

There is something fishy going on with Madeleine's Fund, nothing new of course, but I feel Madeleine's Fund doesn't really get the attention it should, because it has of course played a major part in keeping the Madeleine story in the global news. 

The Fund, for example, stirred up a (barmy) army of McCann followers, who blindly believed that money would find Madeleine.  Gullible folk who could not believe bad of two church going doctors.  Appealing to the religious was a master stroke of PR btw.  On the gullible front, they were halfway there. 

But let's cut to the chase.  WTF was the Fund all about?  How did finding a missing child turn into a quest for cash?  Even Gerry himself, said (very, very early on), that he didn't see the need for money.  That however changed rapidly, into 'let's make this the biggest Fund - ever'. 

On the Director front, the biggest wobble came when Esther McVie announced the Fund wouldn't be used for legal purposes.  Ie. It would not be used to defend the McCanns who had just become Arguidos.  'That's crazy', said Gerry, 'we have this massive fund and aren't allowed to use it'.

Esther McVie went on to quit as a director of course, and from then the Fund was much less transparent.  No-one, not even the wonderful Enid O'Dowd would now be able to distinguish between search fund and legal costs. 

All that remains of the millions that poured into Madeleine's Fund is £750,000, but it may be £500,000, who knows, confusion is good. That lump sum is currently being moved between accounts, and in some tabloids being claimed as the McCanns' own money. 

The McCanns are of course facing a major dilemma.  They presently owe hundreds of thousands of pounds, possibly millions, in legal fees in Portugal, and it has been owing since April this year.   Will the Fund be held liable? or the McCanns, as the claimants, personally?  Or are their assets now so entwined with The Fund that they can't separated?  Their appeal to the ECHR doesn't put their debt off.  It is still payable now. 

To be fair, I haven't glanced at the Madeleine Fund or it's accounts for quite some time, but, as pointed out, by a poster on my previous blog, if the abduction is faked, the Fund is fraudulent. 

For genuinely grieving parents, all the money in the world will not cure their grief, or give back to them the precious child they have lost.  The last thing on their minds would be fundraising, they trust the police, they don't run their own their own parallel investigation.  And they don't need to convince us of their innocence and the police incompetence.  The mothers of Sara Payne and April Jones, didn't need to tell us they did nothing wrong, we never thought for one moment they did.  And they didn't need to hire spokesmen, lawyers and a media monitoring team.  Their reluctant, pain filled TV appearances reached our hearts directly, no PR necessary. 

But back to the Fund, arguably, the MAIN reason, this case has dragged on for over a decade.  All we 'libtards'* have always known that money can keep people out of prison.  One brief glance at prison statistics and the ratio of blue to white collar crimes, confirms that.  This case however, has a twist.  Gerry and Kate were nouveau riche, bedazzled by the sudden accumulation of millions, their misery was bumping up the cashometer.  And it was all going so well, until they were made arguidos.

I would say it was at this point that the donations to the Fund dried up.  The Vatican removed 'The Charity' from their website, and the battle between the McCanns and Goncalo Amaral began.  In their 'we can do anything because the world loves us' mind set, GA was to blame for the minor blip in their masterplan, but if they destroyed him, it would be happy days again.  That was Plan A, but I think we are now approaching Plan Z.

Of course, if the abduction was fake, then it would therefore follow that the Fund to Find Madeleine was fraudulent and all those directors and administrators may find themselves being investigated.  So too all those on the payroll.  What were they raising funds for? where was it going?  Has even one penny of it, been used to help another child?  A victim of Grenfell, a displaced refugee orphan?  A child in need of a prosthetic limb? 

No, of course it hasn't.  Because the Fund (not a Charity) has always been for one child, and her extended family.  It's written into the Company's objectives, legally above board because the lawyers used were specialists in their field.  The Fund can and has been, used for whatever Gerry and Kate wanted.  An extended holiday in the Algarve for family, friends, vicars and bridesmaids.  Runs on the beach, cocktails and tennis, while police, locals, holiday makers and volunteers, trekked through brambles, hedges and wastelands, searching for their daughter.  But let's not leave out Clarence here, who also had a 3 month vacation in Portugal, as a 'government spokesman'. Meanwhile, Warners resort, was dotted with collection boxes, for all those journalists and members of the public who had flooded to PDL, to watch the circus. 

We can only guess at how many millions have passed through the  Madeleine Fund, the promised transparency ended years ago.  In 2007, the Find Madeleine website received over 50million hits, and that may even have been daily. The cashometer on the site was spinning out of control and  taken off the site when it went over £1million.  The huge waves of public sympathy became manifest in the way of hard cash. To such an extent, the money grasping Clarence suggested people simply put cash in brown envelopes and mail to the Gerry and Kate in Rothley. 

Why did the parents of a missing child, need millions of pounds in cash? What could cash do that those physically out searching couldn't? And it should be pointed out, those actually searching were doing it voluntarily, ie. without payment.  And when was enough enough?  £1million, no clearly not, £4m/£5m?  Again no.  Having frittered £4m or £5m, the McCanns continued relentlessly with their fund raising events. For what?  Did they have a target?  No.  Because they couldn't even explain themselves what the money was needed for.  They had the attention of the world's media, raising awareness didn't ring true. 

Yet the Fundraising continued.  Those who have followed this case with the same obsession I have, will remember, the excruciating interviews in Autumn of 2010, when they were pleading for donations because the Fund was down to it's last half a million.  At this point, I'm sure, Kerry Needham was saying 'Ye Gods', but I don't want to digress.  Twenty quid will buy 100 prayer cards, a fiver, 5 minutes to man a 24/7 hotline, blah, excruciating blah.  FFS Gerry, the parents of a missing child man their own 24/7 hotline, they don't need paid employees, you effing psychopath.  Ok, I've had a drink, glass down, walk away. 

Here's what I typed earlier. 

Why the need for a Fund.  The Portuguese police were undertaking the biggest missing child search in their entire history. The British police were involved, the entire public were behind them.  Why the need the to plan massive fundraising events for Madeleine, the following year?  A pop concert, something sports, something arts, a Madeleine Day for the whole world?  This at a time when Madeleine had been missing for only a few weeks and could have been found at any time.

Why did John McCann and Clarence Mitchell, give up regular well paid jobs, to make searching for Madeleine their full time careers?  Realistically, most of us know, that abducted children who aren't found within 24 hours are dead, and their bodies usually turn up.  For John and Clarence, that was one hell of a chuck of the dice. 

We kind of know that all those millions were not spent on searching for Madeleine.  The one and only set of transparent company accounts released by the Madeleine Fund, showed only 13% of income spent directly on the search. 

True, the McCanns were scammed by several firms of dodgy private detectives, but bizarre that they didn't select their private eyes as carefully as their lawyers.  Bizarre too, that among the criminal activities of their former private detectives, was money laundering.  At that, apparently, they were very good.  Due to my overuse of the word bizarre, I will have to say it was also very strange that the normally very litigious  parents didn't try to get their money back from these scammers via the Civil Courts. 

But what did happen to the rest of the money?  I guess if you want to 'lose' huge amount of cash, two options would be, move it to an offshore account or employ high price lawyers.  Unfortunately, the latter, can prove to be highly addictive, it is the legal equivalent of being armed with a powerful weapon that can destroy all your enemies, all the while you can afford it that is.  When the cash runs out, so does the protection and power to destroy others. 

As a former legal secretary, I encountered many Vexatious Litigants.  Usually when I was working in Libel Law.  Once did a temp stint at Mischon de Reya, which was, hmm, particularly enlightening.  Did I ever mention too, that I did several long stints at TFLA in Covent Garden.  Just thought I'd mention that.  I knew a few of the founding partners very well, and I genuinely liked them.  They had some pretty sassy feminists running the show, and I was in awe!   

VLs never give up.  And are a gift to a lawyer aiming to up his profit margins.  It is incredible how much people are prepared to pay to prove themselves right. They truly believe that a Court ruling, will note them down in history as a good egg. Happily for lawyers, hurt feelings have no upper limit on a damages scale, and for some people, the ability to be affronted and outraged has no limits.  They will literally scour everywhere their name is mentioned in order to claim harassment. 

Just like the eejit who died protecting his right of way.  VLs are literally not happy, until they had lost absolutely everything, until they finally have nothing to mount another new libel claim.  Then they turn into Bennett, and start representing themselves.  When they win, it is not enough, next time they will win more.  As a lifelong people watcher, I have always found them particularly fascinating, it's like watching a slow motion car crash without the blood, or sympathy.  When one particular 'you will respect me' psychopath, left the office with his 5p award, declaring a win, we support staff struggled to hold back the laughter. 

Gerry and Kate may be respected medical professionals, maybe even academics, but they are not very bright.  Without wishing to be kind, God forbid, they are in fact, incredibly na├»ve.  As much as they have used and exploited others, so too they have been used and exploited.  Carried along with the grandiose ideas of spin doctors and lawyers who have walked away with a pretty large chunk of the Fund themselves. 

Madeleine's Fund cannot be separated from Madeleine's disappearance.  The public's response to Gerry and Kate's first appeals created a phenomenon the world had never seen before.  For the first time we were witnessing the incredible power of the internet as the McCanns took the case global within the first few hours, away from PDL some might say.  The world responded as they would to a major disaster, and the donations poured in.  Within days they had raised more cash for one child, than most major charities raise in a year. 

When the debates begin, and they will, some might say, that having this huge Fund, put the McCanns above the Law, and that it has prevented the police and honest investigative journalists from doing their job.  And the reason why, 10+ years on, no-one has ever been charged with the disappearance of Madeleine. 

  






* I should dislike this word lol, but strangely, I don't lol.