The McCann Controversy

Madeleine McCann saga reflects our society

I can’t stand it any more. I can’t stand the dizzying manipulation of my sympathies.

First I had a pretty clear idea of what had happened to poor little Maddie McCann.

Then all these horrible rumours started to emanate from the Portuguese police, and my emotions lurched off in the opposite direction; and then there would be a pretty compelling counter-rumour, and a learned essay from some expert in forensic science explaining that DNA tests were not all they were cracked up to be, until I have reached the position at 5.30 on Wednesday afternoon – the latest I dare to sit down to write this piece – when I frankly haven’t got a clue what to think.

I look in vain for guidance to the tabloid press, with its legions of reporters in Praia da Luz and long expertise in knowing which way to fan the hysteria of their readers. Which is it?

Are the McCann parents a brace of cold-hearted child killers who have managed to concoct a gigantic fraud involving the police forces of western Europe, the Papacy and hundreds of yellow ribbon-wearing British MPs?

Or are they loving and normal parents who have fallen victim to a terrible crime, and who now see their agony compounded by a half-baked stitch-up operation conducted by Portugal’s equivalent of Inspector Clouseau?

Either way, it is a sensational tabloid story; and yet the papers cannot go either way. The journalists are stuck in the middle, uncertain, cautious, hedging.

The heavy artillery of Fleet Street have their barrels loaded, ready to make either case. But they don’t dare to fire them. They don’t know. I don’t know. You don’t know. None of us knows.

We are all in principle on a huge knife-edge of doubt – and yet that is not, alas, how so many of us behave.

More and more of us now seem willing to blame the McCanns, and with every hour that passes we seem to forget that we have a presumption of innocence in this country.

With ever growing confidence we tap our noses and roll our eyes and aver that we always thought there was something rum about the whole business.

We pass on – with every sign of authority – some weird allegation we have picked up from the internet or the unpasteurised Portuguese press, and that bacillus mutates in the UK tabloids into something yet more frightful before being passed back to the Portuguese; and so the cycle continues.

In a creepy way, it is almost as if we desire to establish the guilt of the parents. I found myself reading acres of print, and looking at big diagrams of the Mark Warner holiday complex, and trying to work out if they could have done it, given what we know about the alleged timetable.

I was brooding on the mysterious chap who was allegedly seen carrying a child in a blanket, and wondering who this fellow could have been; and I was trying to see any possible significance in the discrepancy between the estimates of the number of wine bottles consumed – until I suddenly thought: why?

Why am I trying to construct these factoids – all of which might be irrelevant – around a supposition of guilt?

Why have 17,000 already signed an online petition requesting that the social services examine the welfare of the younger McCann children?

Why are we all now so apparently convinced we know what happened that radio phone-ins have to be halted with the weight of hostile calls?

I am interested in this hostility – this aggressive desire to ascribe guilt – and it seems to me to have several causes.

We want the story to end, of course. It has been the most wretched event of a wretched summer, and we want it to climax one way or another, even if the denouement exceeds even the ghastliest Channel Five real-life family murder drama.

Perhaps we are more inclined to blame the McCanns because our sympathy has curdled.

Everyone was so horrified at the idea of a child being snatched; everyone felt they could so easily have been in the same position as those poor parents – and of course people’s irritation may be all the greater to find that matters are not as they seemed.

And then there is the simple but awful fact of human nature – the emotional weakness that drives the sale of so many newspapers.

It is a frailty that is at the heart of politics, and our analysis of how to deal with that frailty determines such things as taxation, and public spending, and our whole concept of social justice and the redistribution of wealth.

It is an inescapable fact of human nature that we seem unable to judge ourselves, and to value ourselves, except by reference to other people.

If we see others doing much better than us, we often feel threatened and unhappy; and we too often feel reassured to see someone else fail, or get their comeuppance.

If there is an element of schadenfreude in the treatment of the McCanns, then that is unappealing; and it may even be completely misplaced.

I don’t know what happened, but I find it very hard to see how they could have concealed a body for nearly a month before putting it in the boot and then taking it off for burial in some roadworks, and then – if these leaks from the Portuguese police really represent the latest theory – exhuming the body and taking it somewhere else, while they have had camera lenses the size of howitzers trained on them the whole time.

Whatever happens, there will now be people dissatisfied with the outcome. If no charges are brought, or if the McCanns are eventually exculpated, there will always be people who will tap the side of their nose, just as there will always be people willing to defend the couple’s innocence to their last breath.

In considering the vehemence of people’s feelings, the vital thing to remember is that they are not just thinking about the events in question. People’s grief and anger is real. But to a large extent they will also be thinking about themselves.

76 thoughts on “The McCann Controversy”

  1. Darling…

    When the Mcann story first came out I for one felt that something was wrong.
    How could parents leave 3 children all under the age of 5 by themselves. It is not the type of ‘irresponsible act ‘ that is associated with two professionals or with any parent for that matter. Then the story went on, the way I see it – a child snatcher would rather go for one of the twins( portable ) than for an older young child such as Maddie .

    Did anyone see Kate cry for the missing child.? Cut to any press conference held by mothers who have lost their children you can;t hear them for their weeping!.
    I saw no tears from the mother ( kate) and then the couple decided to do a ‘world tour’ rather than take the twins home to safety (the reason they gave for legging it by the way…).

    Then there is the issue of the car in which Maddie was allegedly kept in.

    Why did the Mcanns still not give it back? (So we are told on Sky news).
    Why hold on to it if you have nothing to hide?

    I started off thinking that maybe it was just Kate that did it and the husband didn’t know now I am sure that it was a husband and wife thing ( a type of Soham revisited?) where the pair knew what they had done and got the whole village out on wild goose chase except of course this time the goose chase is to the max.

    I think that it was by accident actually even as the Spanish Insurance exec guy’-( whassisname again?) who was recently charged with murder!!! of his 2 year old.

    The Truth of the fact is this , if it had been a black couple, the social services would have been on the next flight out to Portugal, rebuked the parents right there and then for being unfit and flown back the twins for ‘their safe keeping.’

    As usual the social services did nothing as the Mcanns are white and whites could not possibly have committed such a crime. !

    With laws such as section 19C of the race relations amendment act 2000 in which courts can be discriminatory and favour whites over blacks whites will carry on committing crimes and say that they did not. (another case in point – the woman up North whose dog killed her granddaughter was not found guilty of manslaughter. Clearly she was guilty putting aside the fact that she was as high as a kite on the night(drugs and drink). She knew that the dog was not only violent but did not like the grand child and could attack the little girl . If it was a black woman though you know the story would be different.( Clombie?(sp))

    Stop the rot.

    Let Justice do her work. Ban section 19CRace Relations Amendment Act 2000

  2. People are condemning the McCanns simply for leaving the children unattended. That does not make them guilty of anything more serious. While it may not be wise to leave children of that age for any length of time, millions of parents have done the same and no harm comes of it. The McCanns must have felt the holiday resort was reasonably secure and they did, by all accounts, make arrangements for a checking rota while they were dining – what? – 50 metres away. You do not expect a child to be stolen in those circumstances.

    One good thing may come of this. The I-Care-More-Than-You brigade with their yellow ribbons and candlelit vigils are gradually being made to look fools. How can the police be expected to conduct a calm and methodical investigation in the face of such public hysteria?

    I cannot agree with Elizabeth Obisanya (above) that it is a racial matter. How can she possibly say “the truth / the fact is” social services would have been on the next flight out to take the twins away if they were black? There is almost no precedent for a tragedy like this. The parents were doctors, after all, in the company of other doctors, and the finger of suspicion has turned only in the last few days.

    It grieves me to say this: The media hype has everything to do with Kate McCann looking like an ex-model and the little girl resembling Miss Pears. If they’d been ugly – whatever their colour – the case would not have got half as much attention.

  3. Dear Sir,

    I am sending this via my son’s account. Being 93 I have not yet got the hang of things electronic!!

    I refer to your article in the Daily Telegraph of September 13th about the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

    In all the talk about the disappearance of Madeleine has anyone said where they went on holiday in the last couple of years. If it was Portugal the family could have been marked for the abduction of their child . Either where they stayed or by a local person (eg the Police) or naturally a letting agent. Even the particularly suitable accommodation also could have been requested. Stir your stumps Boris and get cracking.

    Yours sincerely

    Joan Carter

  4. I love this ‘it could have happened to anyone’ stuff.

    No it couldn’t. Someone with their wealth could easily have arranged minders. And most decent people wouldn’t dream of leaving their kids in an unlocked ground floor flat while they went out drinking. Why is this never mentioned? Somebody capable of this level of disdain for their kids could well be giving them some pills to make them ‘sleep’. Who knows? They were doctors and would have no difficulty getting the tranqulisers and accidently overdoing it with madeleine (or losing their temper when she woke up).

    I think Elisabeth is absolutely right – they were white, photogenic and they used their status and religion to manipulate everyone with their flimsy story. If they were black they never would have got this absurd level of trust. They should have been interrogated from the start and then we wouldn’t have all this difficulty finding the body. They did it, we just don’t know how they hid the body. Why would they keep the hire car?

    People think it would be impossible to move a body under the glare of the camera lens but in fact in would have made it easier. They would have needed nerves of steel but there cold handling of the media shows they have bags of that. All the cameramen wanted was a quick picture. The press didn’t follow them everywhere. They could easily of buried the body out in the wilderness (perhaps when they were feigning going off to pray).

  5. sue lewis
    To be honest i just wish that people would keep their unpleasant suppositions to themselves. It remains possible that the mccanns only error was, that they considered it safer to check on their children through the evening rather than use a stranger to babysit them, through the resorts service. That is their only crime to date. Society seem to be getting more and more americanised in it’s collective hysteria.Everyone seems to have forgotten the initial reports of known paedophile activity in the area, along with publicized lists of high numbers of missing children. This situation is turning into a witch hunt and i for one would be embarrassed to become part of it. Just leave them alone and let the courts deal with it.

  6. I find the whole affair incredibly boring, although it does dredge up some pretty big issues as Elizabeth Obisanya’s and PaulD’s comments are testament to.

    Elizabeth, I think you are talking rubbish about this racial nonsense. Not long ago people were talking about a child’s torso being found in the Thames being a possible victim of a ritual voodoo killing. Back then people were pointing out that if white middle-class people were involved in child trafficking and satanic rituals that social services would be crawling all over them like ants.

    Then we had the ‘honour’ killings, Scotland Yard suddenly announced that they were investigating dozens of the things after reviewing some old case files. People quite rightly pointed out that if the victims had been white and middle-class the authorities would have been a bit more interested a lot earlier.

    Then a couple of weeks ago (on the 7th September to be precise) the Telegraphs reported:

    <“Faunch, 42, and Wathey, 33, were jailed last year for a string of offences against four boys, aged between eight and 14, at their home in Pontefract, West Yorks.

    The victims were among 18 children placed with the pair, Yorkshire’s first homosexual foster parents, between August 2003 and January 2005.

    The panel, led by Brian Parrott, the former head of Surrey social services, found: “The fear of being discriminatory led them to fail to discriminate between the appropriate and the abusive.

    “These anxieties about discrimination have deep roots, we argue – in social work training, professional identity and organisational cultures, and the remedies for these go beyond the remit of any single council or inquiry report.”

    The inquiry found that potential indicators of sexual abuse were inadequately investigated, understood or acted upon. At no time was an effective annual review of Faunch and Wathey conducted.”<

    Over in rural India toddlers are literally pegged out in the midday sun to die because their parents are so clueless that their believe that their childs mental illness means they are possessed by evil spirits.

    In Cambodia Western sex-tourists turn up by the planeload to abuse trafficked children.

    In Saudi Arabia Yemenese children are mutilated by gangmasters and sent onto the streets of Riyadh to beg.

    In Darfur children are herded into refugee camps to suffer starvation and pestilence.

    All anyone seems to give a monkey’s about is one white, middle-class toddler.

    It’s boring and we’ve heard it all before.

  7. It is inconceivably terrible to loose a child, even for a moment…as every parent knows, we’ve all perhaps been there for a second or two maybe in a supermarket or shopping centre.

    Even in our own garden when there is that fleeting second when your head turns and they are out of view -awful – but then they surface again because they are in a safe envioronment. A parents paranoia, then Relief!

    But to leave children… by themselves… in an unknown place… in another country… in an unknown room…

    Instinctively, as a parent – that does not lie well with me.

    But they are living constantly what parents have all felt for a second or two in that blink of an eyelid when our children are out of view!

    Horrific for them, but why did they leave their most precious offspring? That I find difficult to comprehend.

    I really hope Madeline is found well and soon.

  8. Neil Harding, you have widely overstepped the mark with your comments. The McCann case has already become the most extreme example of trial by press in living memory, and your venomous remarks only make matters worse.

    I see from your website that you are another opinionated left-wing agitator. The wild, unsupported allegations you make are entirely in tune with your kind.

  9. It is interesting to see what this McCann case brought out.
    First there’s the matter of the cold murder and/or paedeophilic activities.
    Then came the question of the parent’s ability and their handling of the child whilist on holiday.
    This then triggered the media frenza and, since the turn of evnets in recent days, the downfall of the McCanns flanked by various consipracy theories.

    What made this all the more incredible is that people are now polarised towards 2 extreme ends as seen from comments left above, and yet any of such notion is completely based on the tabloids’ so-called “facts”.

    Correct me if I am wrong – but didn’t we have a “presumption of innocence” in this country? There is hardly any solid evidence provided by the Portugal Police; even the magistrate there sent the case back to the local authorities asking for “more interviews and evidence”.

    How can we, absolute outsiders with no first-hand, reliable and trusted information, be in a position to draw any conclusion whatsoever? And to suggest that the way the McCanns were treated has something to do with their race is absolutely absurd.

    If one could spare time and read Neil Harding’s post above, and I quote, “Someone with their wealth could easily have arranged minders.” Excuse me, but what on earth is that suppose to mean? That rich people are more likely to commit murder? Does it make it any less likely if they were poor?

    Neil also wrote “they were white, photogenic and they used their status and religion to manipulate everyone with their flimsy story.” I do beg your pardon, although I lost my faith in the government’s education completely, last time I recall racism is a two-way thing – it does not specially aim at the blacks. It could well be aimmed at Asians or the Whites. Neil’s comment, however, states that by being “white”, they must have “used their statis and religion to manipulate” others. I am sorry, but any evidence on this would be appreciated. What made Neil came to his conclusion, I believe, is nothing but his pure prejudice against relatively richer, well-established, and religious people.

    It is the very same prejudice that has drove many’s opinion against the McCanns. Jealousy of their social status now are we? Neil?Although being a Tory supporter for years, I have never hated the left-wingers as much as now. Why should the wealthy be discriminated and prejudiced against just because they worked harder and be more succesful than you are? Maybe you should go and learn about the Gulaks in the USSR days. I hope you know what it is given your evident lack of valid arguments.

    Yet another source of premature conclusion and pre-judgement came from subjective views.
    Elizabeth Obisanya wrote earlier that “I saw no tears from the mother ( kate) and then the couple decided to do a ‘world tour’ rather than take the twins home to safety”. And so what? I don’t think it is neccessary to be pitifully tearful to prove that one’s telling the truth?
    She also stated that “The Truth of the fact is this , if it had been a black couple, the social services would have been on the next flight out to Portugal, rebuked the parents right there and then for being unfit and flown back the twins for ‘their safe keeping.'” How can anyone claim this as nothing but the truth? What is this based on? Nothing but one’s very own opinion I presume i.e. nil facts. Who do you think you are to be in a position to boldly claim this is “the Truth”?

    Moreover, Elizabeth, your arguments about “As usual the social services did nothing as the Mcanns are white and whites could not possibly have committed such a crime. !” sickens me. Prejudice? yes. Racism? yes. And you know what? Racism CAN be aimmed at the Whites as well. And like Neil above, your comment is just as racist and ignorant as his. And before you quote “With laws such as section 19C of the race relations amendment act 2000 in which courts can be discriminatory and favour whites over blacks” I do sincerely hope you understand what the law really is about. Reading DOES help.

    And, quite frankly, how the McCanns treat their children is none of my concern. Leaving kids behind on their own while the parents go swimming IS NOT equivalent as them killing the children. Poor parenting? Maybe. Proof as murderers? Absolutely not.

    I personally, like Boris, cannot understand the whole truth in this case. It is mind-bogging, and we lack the evidence and the expertises working specificlly on this case – we can hardly draw any solid objective conclusion.

    What worries me more, however, is that this case has shown that, despite all the alleged spending in education under the “new-Labour” government, it is evident that, with comments such as those above, people still judge on, and prejudiced against others purely based on the misundersatnding of racism and the law, together with the total lack of appreciation of the idea “Presumption of innocence”. How anyone can draw a definite conclusion and state “facts” and “truth” whilst they have nothing but their very own, evidently flawed, opinion is beyond me.

    Boris, it is up to you and your party to stop this madness. Tabloids have, for too long, flared the public against the more intellectual and methodical system that has served our country so well over the years.

    Now I see why the Swiss has such a harsh immigrantion regulations. Ignorance in any form should never be tolerated.

  10. “Now I see why the Swiss has such a harsh immigrantion regulations. Ignorance in any form should never be tolerated.”

    I guess we could round up all the ignorant people & put them in camps? – I understand we used to have things called ‘schools’ which were used for this very purpose before our enlightened society invented call centres.

    Seriously, this is a non story. Portugese plod is without a clue & grasping at straws. Elizabeth’s tedious attempt to turn this into a race issue briefly irritated me, but some people will make a race issue out of piano keys (as Stevie Wonder may have commented on)

    Hopefully Boz will write something worthy of comment next week.

  11. Spot on, Christopher. Exploiting this tragedy to make totally unfounded claims of racism is almost as bad as racism itself. In an odd way, I hope these agitators continue to pump out this drivel because is shows for all the world to see how perverse their thinking is.

    You say “I don’t think it is neccessary to be pitifully tearful to prove that one’s telling the truth”. It reminds me of a case a few years ago – I forget the details – where a British woman’s conviction in America was blamed on partly on her demeanour in court. Being a Brit with inbuilt sang-froid, she did not make any great display of emotion. Apparently you now have to put on a show of Jerry Springer proportions, otherwise you are seen as cold, calculating – and guilty. Many people feel the McCanns have already overdone it with the press (or is it the other way round?).

    What puzzles me is why Kate McCann, a GP, is never referred to as Dr McCann.

  12. I think the McCann’s are victims of the media alright, and this has nothing to do with presumed innocence or guilt. We have rafts of laws from libel to anti-terrorism which have our press so tightly zipped up they are unable to report on anything of any significance even if they wanted to, and we see the results of this every day with them ‘flogging to death’ spinning out and hyping up any minor morsal that they’re allowed to report on.

    Freedom of speech is a joke in this country, and this is reflected in our media churning out mind numbingly boring dross and being forced to toe the ‘offical’ line. Investigative journalism is dead in the water as even those who dare to question the status quo can’t get it published.

    So, quite frankly, I couldn’t give a damn whether the McCanns are guilty or innocent, I’m just sick of hearing about it, full stop.

  13. Firstly I don’t think people should be afraid to say what they feel to be the truth in expressing their opinions even if it is the only view going one way and the rest of the peoples going another way.

    Christopher: It was not just a matter of her not crying – the shock never left Kate – see her face all the time she was in Portugal. She is slightly more relaxed now even though the “allegations” of her and her husband murdering Madeline is out.

    If it was the case that sleeping tablets were given to the children to make them sleep and not wake up during the time of the parents partying – I know tons of mothers that do it especially when they are tired and have lots on and the young child(ren) are playing up.

    For me as a Christian Right – it was the deceitfulness of sin or ‘the shock of the crime'(it happens )- that caused them to lie that she was missing rather than say o.k it was an accident which it was what it probably was. Unfortunately blood does call out from the earth. Any pity that would should have come forth in that condition is being swallowed up by their lies which has gotten out of hand as it became a ‘global search.’

    The Mcanns do need our help more now than ever not only in coping with the (sin) – crime but also of the loss of their child more importantly – the loss of their child by their own hands and the consequences of their actions on the rest of the family, their careers etc. Normally parents in that situation would be taking this time to mourn instead they are having to play it down…To any Christian out there – pray for them. Jesus died for the ungodly – sinner however you want to define it

    Anyway changing the subject in starting a new thread – clearly single people who pay for their bus and tube fares are paying for someones child to travel on the tube/bus etc.It is reported that the bus/tube fares are going up again before the end of this year( maybe Jan!)bus – to £2.50 on stop (£1.something on the oyster)- Why not bring back fares for all over 5 and free school buses for those who really cannot afford the fares etc.? to pick up on routes from the home and drop off at schools.

    I am one for the school bus system as it is safe the school children do not have to fight with commuters to get on the bus in the morning and evening and it takes them effectively from door to door.

  14. Elizabeth, as a Christian you really ought to stop talking as if these people are guilty. They are not – unless a court in possession of all the available facts, rather than gossip, delivers that verdict.

  15. The case is not going to be held in Britain I don;t think & not sure of how it goes in Portugal guilty untill innocent or like britain innocent untill proven guilty.

    And as it is already one of trial by media (how the Mccanns wanted it…)and as a Christian I say according to the facts presented it is clear that they did it – my judgment by media.

    I would go as far as to say that the body was probably brought home by Gerry when ‘he put his hand up to go to the loo’i.e came home for a visit as it seem odd that he would want to come home half way through the search period and not bring the twins back with…. I have a susupicious mind.
    Who knows….listen everyone has their problems.. I actually came to check on starting the school bus thread…

  16. I’m glad you said that Paul, I’ve just been scouring the news for reports of a shock confession from the McCanns. Without at least some sort of evidence, condemning them out of hand because they’re a bit smug & middle class (and no doubt enjoying their recent 25% pay rise thanks to Gordo’s largesse with our money) unsurprisingly runs contrary to the laws of God & man. Good thing too, or I’d have been burned at the stake years ago.

  17. These arguments are certainly touching the extremities.

    as a long-time lurker, I am, however, a bit concerned about certain issues in Boris Johnson’s past as regards his standing for the Tory Party mayor candidate position. In particular the Guppy conversation. There seem to be 2 conclusions, neither of which is flattering. 1, that he really didn’t care if Guppy did harm the journalist, or even wanted it, or 2, was too weak to stand up to Guppy. I’ve searched for another conclusion but I can’t find one. I need some reassurance on this, otherwise I don’t think I can support his candidacy.

  18. Hey Elizabeth,
    If you’re called for jury service on any hypothetical McCann case, how will you find them?

  19. I have always thought that there was something not right from the start.

    I would never have left my children alone in a hotel room. The main concern is to find Madeleine that is what people should be focusing on.

    Madeleine could be out there alive and so unhappy or she could have been killed but whatever the case she should be found not only for her sake but for the sake of everyone who has tried to help in this matter. At least then there would be closure.

  20. Donald (Pauliney/Helga/Jason/Cresta etc).

    If you want a third conclusion, it is that Boris was trying to get rid of the guy. He was obviously a serious bore, like you.

    No-one is interested in your silly theories. Do us all a favour and shove off.

  21. Hey Captain Badger – funny I was on a Jury service recently.

    Incidently – Judges are not influenced by the media or other judges or anyone else (so the Department of constitutional affairs would have us believe..)

    But I think it is obvious that I would find the McCanns guilty.

    Madelines “abduction” i.e carried away from the room was confirmed by one of the dinner guests Mrs Tanner.
    I say her dead body was “abducted”.
    The confirmed sighting of a man with a girl ( Madeline ) was staged so that the false alarm of abudction was sounded.

    We are told that the guest were leaving to check on their kids etc – One man had an “ill” child that he didn;t bring to the dinner! but he left the dinner to go and check on…..

    You can remain a pleb if you want to

  22. I noticed this in the last thread:
    “But wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could design a beautiful successor to the cyclist-killing bendy-bus, a 21st-century Routemaster?”

    This is shiny eyed, pub-closing time stuff. Of course nearly everybody loved the Routemaster, and not just Londoners. But
    1. who is the “we” referring to? If it’s the UK, then we don’t have companies like that any more.
    2. maybe it’s already been designed: the new curvey double-deckers in Edinburgh look quite nice. No, not particularly British, but about as good as you’re going to get. Maybe the Routemasters didn’t look so beautiful in 1950 anyway.

    There are probably a few votes in Routemaster nostalgia, but it’s really a red-herring at the end of a cul-de-sac.

  23. <“I guess we could round up all the ignorant people & put them in camps? – I understand we used to have things called ‘schools’ which were used for this very purpose before our enlightened society invented call centres.” (Captain Badger)<

    Hey, I work in a call centre. Lucky you don’t use your real name or your account would be getting slammed for that!

  24. I do not see how the McCanns could have been involed in their child’s disappearence, mainly (as obviously i do not know them so cannot comment on their characters either way) because I cannot see how they disposed of the body.

    the theory as to how they did it seems to go something like this…

    The McCanns are loving parents with no history of violence, but found their child a bit difficult to cope with, so gave her sedatives.

    On the day in question we are meant to believe that sometime after the child was last seen at half past two in the afternoon, the McCanns gave her sedatives to help her have an afternoon nap. Then sometime before they left for dinner the McCanns found out they had accidently killed their child and so set about a huge cover up.
    They somehow hid the child’s body (so well that no-one found it for a month), and then went and enjoyed a dinner, agreed when one of their friends offered to check on the children during dinner, and then at ten o’clock raised the alarm and demanded that everyone started searching. After a month, during which they did everything they could to publicize the disappearence, they took madeleines body from where it had been stored for over a month and in the full glare of the media they carried the month-old body, put it in their car and went and disposed of it somewhere else. They then carried on with their campaing and started criticizing the Portuguese police openly. They were then told that they were official suspects, because their car had a high milage, and there were some hairs found on the car seats (it is apparently false that the material was found in the boot) which shared at least 88% of their DNA with Madeleines.

    There are some major holes in this theory
    1)If she died from sedatives, why not just say she thought they were sweets and swallowed them accidently. It has happened before and the McCanns would still have been portrayed as victims. Even if they were contained in a child proof container, she could still have got into them as very few things are really child-proof or they could just have said that the top was broken and they had not noticed until it was too late.

    2) Where did they hide the body. Surely someone would have found it. And if it was so well hidden that after a month of searching it had not been found, why move it?

    3)Why have no traces of other bodily fluids been found in the apartment? Normally when someone dies their bowel and bladder contents are emptied so traces of this or very recent and extreme cleaning would have been found.

    4) How is it possible that no-one noticed the body. Unless they had stored it somewhere like very hot sand or a freezer, the body would have been very decomposed after a month in th Portuguese heat and regardless of whether anyone saw something, they would certainly have smelt it, even if they just walked past them with the body in a bag. Also a decomposed body would have left a lot more debris in the car than just a few hairs and skin cells. They would also have been signs of major cleaning in the car, which would have emant that no DNA would have been available from the samples as the cleaning fluids would likely have destroyed the DNA (both the McCanss are doctors so would know how to destroy DNA). This is alos not taking into account that the McCanss would actually have had to do this. No-one ha ssuggested that the McCanns are callous child killers or beaters, it has only been suggested that they killed her accidently and meant her no harm. I find it hard to belive then, that this couple would have had the stomach to dig up their first-born child’s body after it had been decomposing (it is unlikely that the body would not have been found if it had been buried on a beach or placed in a freezer)for a month and carry it around in a bag before reburying it.

    The McCanns may or may not have killed their child, personally I do not believe they did. Certainly none of the evidence leaked to the press suggests that they could have done it. Have a hair with a similar DNA profile in a car that has contained people with a similar DNA profile and has contained toys and cloths holding the childs DNA does not suggest that the parents have killed ther child and driven her body around.

  25. And Elizabeth,
    If you are such a Christian why are you friends with people who illegally drug children? Seems rather odd to me, as I have never heard of good parents doing that. Perhaps you shopuld report your friends to social services, unless you agree that drugging children is good christian parenting. And if you are such a Christian why are you judging people so much on the basis of their colour, class and religion. You sound as if your a discriminating bigot who belives race and religion should be the deciding factor in finding someone guilty rather than actual guilt. It is this kind of attitude that prevented the killer of Jonbenet ramsey from being bought to justice and destroyed her parents lives to an even greater extent. If someone is white and middle class they must be guilty, simply to make other people feel better about themselves.

  26. Elizabeth: “You can remain a pleb if you want to”

    I don’t have much choice. One of my more fey pals observed wryly some years ago that I had clearly been genetically engineered to pick potatoes. So thanks, I’ll stay a pleb.

    On trial by Jury, I don’t know if your resolution of the McCanns guilt in advance of a trial is a good thing or not. In your favour, it’s clear that if you’re right, we can save the cost of a criminal justice system, and just lock people up on your say so. However, there remains the (albeit vanishingly small) possibilty that you may be wrong, and the McCanns didn’t conceal the death of their child, and perhaps the truth of the matter could be revealed through evidence presented at any trial which may or may not occur.
    Since I lack your insight, I think if required for jury service in any such trial, I’d endeavour to pay due consideration to the facts laid before me & strive to come to a conclusion honestly based upon those rather than briefly perusing the ‘News of the World’ to learn what my verdit should be.

  27. <“Anyway changing the subject in starting a new thread – clearly single people who pay for their bus and tube fares are paying for someones child to travel on the tube/bus etc.” (Elizabeth Obisanya)<

    Bus fares? That’s just the beginning of it. My taxes pay for their education and healthcare too, and I don’t mind that, I was a child once. However now we have a ludicrious situation called ‘tax credits’ where all my tax gets handed over in one fell swoop to the single mother that sits opposite me at work so that she can bung more cocaine up her nose.

    Even if tax credits don’t get spent on narcotics (and believe me, a lot of them do) I’m not mad keen on paying for other people’s children to have the latest Nike Air-Max sneakers and interactive games consoles either.

  28. Steven L: “Bus fares? That’s just the beginning of it. My taxes pay for their education and healthcare too, and I don’t mind that, I was a child once. However now we have a ludicrious situation called ‘tax credits’ where all my tax gets handed over in one fell swoop to the single mother that sits opposite me at work so that she can bung more cocaine up her nose.”

    I think you’ll find nothing of the sort – about 40% of the money you pay for ‘tax credits’ gets swallowed by administration, and roughly the same is then given to the wrong people who apparently cannot be expected to hand it back. Less than half finally gets invested in Air Max trainers & 42″ TVs for the disenfranchised.

    I have a kind of theory about how Gordon should just tax low paid people less, so they don’t become dependent upon his largesse. Seems I’m just too left wing though.

  29. Captain Badger: Whatever.
    & reply to K.

    How can discrimination be done to the middle classed white by a black – in a racist society? Get real.
    ALthough it does sound funny a white person accusing a black of racism…..ha ha ha!

  30. Elizabeth:

    “How can discrimination be done to the middle classed white by a black – in a racist society?”

    I’m having a bit of trouble understanding this – I don’t understand how the disappearance of Madeleine McCann is a race issue. To the best of my knowledge, both Madeleine & her parents are caucasian, and, even if they done ‘er in, which I doubt, I can’t see how it’s a race issue.

    Am I missing something? Are you saying the Portuguese are racist?

  31. First of all I do not think discrimination is something that can be “done” to someone. racism means discriminating against someone because of their race, therefore in a racist society people of one race discrimnate against people of another race. So a black person discriminating against a white person in a tracist society would hardly be surprising.
    In my opinion black people and white people (and people of all other colours and races) are equal. Therefore all are equally capable of racism. To say some races are incapable of racism is racist in itself and I, unlike you, abhor racism. You, yourself have stated that white middle class people are discriminated against. According to you Madeleine McCann was in need of rescuing by social services, but because she was white and middle class she was discrimated against and her saftey was sidelined. Whereas, according to you, if this had been a black child she would have been looked after and her life saved. Obviously if this were true I could understand your frustration that the child was discriminated against simply because she was white, but I honestly do not believe that this is a race issue and I honestly believe that madeleine has not been a victim of racism like you claim.

  32. There was an article in the Guardian a couple of days ago: “A bumbler with high ambition” which said of Boris Johnson “He has a fine mind”.

    I just don’t see it. His articles on this site are full of platitudes and hackneyed stuff that reminds me of a group of students banging about the Clangers being so rubbish it was good.

    I don’t think I’ve ever known him make a connection that I hadn’t already made for myself, and he seems to know about most things at a very superficial level.

    I think he should recognise his limitations and count himself very lucky to be MP of Henley.

  33. K, good to see you back. However in case you missed the recent smear campaign by BLINK, Compass, Polly Toynbee et al I would be careful of getting dragged into a silly conversation about racism with this woman.

    Next think you know you will be quoted in a glossy brochure called ‘Why supporters of Boris Johnson make Adolf Hitler look like a happy clappy sandal wearing liberal’ as having said:

    <“I do not think discrimination is something that can be “done” to someone.”<

    The pamphlet will probably go onto say that you called a respected anti-racism campaigner:

    <“a discriminating bigot”<

    when challenged on your prejudical views about the McCann case, or something along those lines.

  34. Welcome back, Teresa (aka Pauliney, Helga, Jason, Cresta, U’d Love 2 Know etc). I’m so glad to hear you have a superior intellect to Boris. London needs you. What are you waiting for?

  35. “Although being a Tory supporter for years, I have never hated the left-wingers as much as now. Why should the wealthy be discriminated and prejudiced against just because they worked harder and be more succesful than you are?” (Christopher)

    No, I don’t much like the left-wingers now (although this isn’t particularly aimed at anyone on this list), but I don’t feel much sympathy for the right-wing, either. In fact, I’m not even sure what is left or right-wing any more. The point that you make, however – that the wealthy are wealthy because they work harder – is a little bit distorted. There are many, many people who work very hard, but don’t get beyond a certain point financially, probably because their profession, or whatever work they do, is not rewarded so lucratively. And yet they are necessary to our society.

    To take just one example: administrative staff in the NHS. (I’ve taken this as an example because the NHS has recently been in the news.) Without its massive administrative support, the NHS would collapse into chaos within weeks, causing I don’t know how many losses in lives. Yet many admin staff still get UNDER £20,000 per year (or just barely over). The workload, on the other hand, is horrendous. Now compare that to the £400,000 salary that some newsreader was reported to be getting some time ago and the disparity becomes obvious.

    Most people are probably familiar with that old quote: that, AT THEIR WORST,

    “Capitalism is the ideology of Greed, while Socialism is that of Envy”

    AT THEIR BEST, of course, capitalism is a very effective way of creating wealth, whilst socialism ensures social responsibility and care for the individual to form an inclusive society. Capitalism, if you like, is the appetite and driving force needed for survival, while socialism is the humanising factor that ensures a thinking (and just) civilisation. Without effective socialism and its civilising influence, capitalism becomes a blind poltergeist, and a deceitful one, bullying everyone into falsehood and submission. The market force. Deceit posing as the great Truth. The Darwinian no-nonsense attitude ruling all decisions and ignoring the complexity of human needs and vulnerabilities, turning people into commodities and victims.

    I personally see the necessity for wealth, if only because I am aware of a dichotomy – that it is only a wealthy society that can afford effective education, health and welfare systems, for instance, all socialist inventions. And, without the wealth of previous ages, I would not be able to experience some of the best things our culture has to offer, eg. the Renaissance of Italy, as well as the paintings, architecture and landscapes of Europe in general – everything that I value. It was also educated (and usually quite wealthy) individuals in the past who brought about social reforms and fought for better lives for the poor and the needy.

    However, the problem in our society at the moment, I think, is that we are seeing both capitalism and socialism in their worst forms. And neither greed nor envy are particularly attractive. On the one hand, there is a blind adulation of the free market philosophy and abstract market forces, some people earning far too much for not really doing anything particularly valuable (I really don’t rate footballers or pop-stars that highly), city bonuses reaching sky-high proportions and corporate tax evasion amounting to billions. While socialism, betrayed by its representative (NuLab) is floundering about hopelessly, knowing there is a lot wrong but unable to do anything about it except to clutch to one idiotic straw and bring everything down to the level of race or colour.

    (Incidentally, for those interested, there is an organisation that is doing something about corporate tax evasion – the Tax Justice Network – including, so far, academics, accountants and financial consultants, so even they’ve had enough…)

    Yes, I like money, but I also think that when a society begins to believe that the only valuable individual is a rich one, then there is something sadly wrong.

  36. Regarding the McCann tragedy – if, as I believe, they are innocent of harming their child (accidentally or otherwise), then they are paying far too high a price for a stupid, stupid mistake.

    I wasn’t aware that they were on a Mark Warner holiday. Having been on one myself (though not in Portugal), I don’t think it’s actually that easy for a stranger to know the ins and outs of a resort. I’m beginning to wonder if one of the staff had something to do with it – passing the child out to somebody outside? A staff member would know details of people’s activities, their room numbers, etc. However, the police have probably thought of this…

    As for the media coverage – no, I don’t like it when blood-lust is ‘disguised’ by protestations of wanting the truth – but I’m also feeling a mite uncomfortable by the way in which the McCanns are courting the publicity (it is, after all, a 2-way process). Okay, it was understandable at the beginning – better to do something/anything to try and find the little girl, but I think she’s being lost in all of this now.

  37. Actually STEVEN L I don’t think that Polly Tonbee and even Ken Livingstone is as black friendly as you want to make them to be.
    I recently had an email disagreement with Polly on Ken Livingstones Diversity and equality strategy which he has for 2005-2008 if you go on the MayorforLondon website.

    He stated that 52% should be allotted to women
    27% to Black Asians and other ethnic minority combined
    specificially out of that 27 – 12 % should go to Asians
    so what is left 15% is shared out amongst blacks and other ethnic minorities.

    And we know that it will be less than the 12% allotted to Asians! The whole system is a type of apartheid which to me is why Mandela was placed at parliament square rather than John Blanke or Olaudah Equiano or any one of the other GREAT BLACK BRITON.

    I want to know which black group he consulted with before placing the statue there?

    Mandela is not British and CAN NOT serve as a unifying glue for Black Britons he is a figure of white oppression against blacks – South Africa the last place on God’s earth that technically abolished apartheid.
    The only person that Livingstones white elephant stands for is South African Black Britons!

    I know that Britain is a bit squeamish about our slave past but we need to face it squarely and deal with it for Healing sake.TRUTH OF THE FACT WE as BLACKS ARE all from AFRICA and we WERE ALL SLAVES (not said to evoke an apology I already got mine from Archbishop of Canterbury last year when the church of England apologised.They – the church – twisted the Word of God to fit slavery…Wilberforce saw the light in that we need to walk in the Love of the Lord by treating another how we would like to be treated and clearly Britain’s small stint as ‘slaves ‘ ( not endentured slaves but proper branded..)sold like cattle in places like Morrocco, kidnapped by Barbary pirates in Devon and Cornwall illustrates that no one likes to be sold as slaves treated with no human rights/dignity etc).
    In Morrocco etc they suffererd at the hands of black task masters who were Africans from Guinea Niger etc ( see David Miltons :White Gold book if you are interested..)

    I think this history coupled with Black achievements even during the atlantic trade should be taught in the classroom in diffusing any sense of white supremacy that arises when black slave history is taught . The focus should be on the evils of slavery.

    Black history is more than the slave trade……
    I also think that white nations should be taught determinedly if we are to move on – on how to deal with their slave trading past without them getting all self defensive etc….

    Anyway for me one of our slave forefathers should have stood in parliament square, in fact the honour should have gone to Ignatius Sancho who had his post office and shop not far from parliament square.

    My top 4.
    1) JOHN BLANKE BLank was a black trumpeter of Kings Henry 7th.
    and 8th.
    2) OLAUDAH EQUIANO -kidnapped from Nigeria as a boy and involved with the abolition movement with William Wilberforce,who was the first black to have a book published in Britain ( the interesting narrative of Gustavus Vassa…)and other stuff
    3)IGNATIUS SANCHO who started of life in Britain in Greenwich, an artist and musician( 3 famous scores: Les Contes Des Fees, Sweetest bard,Friendship source of Joy.) he was painted by Gainsborough and lived in Westminster( 19 Charles Street) settled down to open a shop/post office was not far from P square and
    4) QUOBNA OTTOBAH CUGANO ( from Ghana). Later baptised as John Stuart – can;t remember what else.


    For me for our youth an absent father( faith tells me God is the father to the fatherless…) is not what is causing them to go off the track but a lack of sense of identity & belonging we are what 4 or 5th generation of Black Britons….


    teresa said:
    “I just don’t see it. His articles on this site are full of platitudes and hackneyed stuff that reminds me of a group of students banging about the Clangers being so rubbish it was good…..”

    I say:I know what you mean a bit non committal I say ‘Take up the challenge Boris Johnson FIND YOUR PASSION if it is students affairs so be it. I personally think that he has gone shy given his public comments on colonialism (re-served) was lambasted by Dianne Abott and co.TRUTH My fathers generations( both Africans and Carib) are talking about the good old days of colonialism and do call for it to come back then we remind them that nostalgia is a great liar…….

    It does not neccessarily mean that they want all that it stood for.

    Why our fathers call for it: Look at what has happened at Zimbabwe, they are doing a series on it on SKY news.The place was the breadbasket of that region now a begging bowl not because there is no one in Zimbabwe that could do the job…We now have to pick up the tab in sending aid and relief however packaged – when it was going along perfectly fine before…he saw fit to chase out those whom the Lord had sent him to help him sort out his nation due to pride.

    It was reported that Mugabwe stated that all whites must leave the land – (avenging the forefathers etc?!) It was also reported that he had an expensive wife that liked to shop at Gucci, I say the latter clearly is a lie, for if it was true you would have held unto the money making workers/ideas etc so you can have money in the kitty and shop at Gucci

    I did try to make contact with him then before they were all chased out.Seriously – if God could avert national disaster in the bible by causing a donkey to talk and stop the maddness of the King then I could make him see sense.: Making our forefathers children(us)hungry & destitute is not avenging them….Men…!
    Leaders are responsible for their people and have to give account to God by the way…

    I dont think that we can keep quiet because of our colonialist past BJ was partially rightsomething does need to be done – nor can we go froward with a colonialist mindset in helping..

    Why we do not want it back
    colonial masters did many atrocities – congos Leopald – naiming children/women/men for no reason. [Leopald was not muslim and they had not stolen..even in trying to understand and justify.]

    2) Black leaders will have to re-learn how to rule we did before… and black people will have to follow the path to democracy like all nations…
    ALthough one wonders if democracy is all that it is cracked up to be?.

  39. Elizabeth, I think we should also demand an apology from Denmark, Sweden and Norway for sending over Sweyn Forkbeard and Eric Bloodaxe to murder our ancestors, plus a real grovelling one from France for butchering half of Sussex as well as the king.

    But you ain’t getting any apologies from me for the slave trade. I am, like most sane people, disgusted by the brutality of certain long-dead shippers and colonials, and give thanks that it should never happen again. But I wasn’t there, so how can I apologise?

    An apology is defined as “an expression of one’s regret, remorse, or sorrow for having insulted, failed, injured, or wronged another”. For an apology to have any meaning, you yourself must have wronged. To apologise for the behaviour of total strangers who died 200 years ago is mere posturing. So I apologise. Then what?

    You say “I also think that white nations should be taught determinedly if we are to move on – on how to deal with their slave trading past without them getting all self defensive…”

    Self defensive? Do you know a single living person who defends the slave trade? I don’t. In other words, we have already moved on. So why keep banging on about it, except to perpetuate the victim status of blacks? That, Elizabeth, is not moving on – it’s standing still.

  40. Case in point: selfdefensiveness I didn;t do it it was not my generation – so therefore will not apologise for it.

    Yes if Norway is required to apologise why not apologise although I think they sending over the xmas tree every- year is an apology or something or rather is it not?

    And we have rememberance sunday to do what?…think of how great war is? I think not but to reflect on the horrors of war and how is solves nothing. Like the nuclear defence plan that defends nothing….

  41. No. The Christmas tree is a thankyou for helping rid the world of the Nazis, as I really hope you are aware.

    You have heard of them haven’t you? Nasty men intent on world domination? I think there may be something on Wikipedia.

  42. Anyway moving back to the McCann case…it seems to me that one reason why people have taken against the McCanns is because that fame is so craved for in British society, that their sudden fame is seen as equivilent to suddenly pocketing a cheque for several millon on the back of their child’s disappearence. If they had kept a lower profile would they have been turned against so quickly?

  43. Elizabeth, I’m going to say something that may shock you. It is not necessarily aimed at you but at those other agitators who are determined to squeeze an apology out of the contemporary English for the slave trade.

    We can – and do – despise the trade, condemn the actions of those involved, disown them, detest them, learn from them, and resolve never to let it happen again. But we cannot apologise for them. It’s not what the word means.

    As a Christian, you will be familiar with the Confession.

    …we acknowledge and confess our manifold sins and wickedness which we, from time to time, most grievously have committed by thought, word, and deed. We do earnestly repent, and are heartily sorry for these our misdoings. Forgive us all that is past, and grant that we may ever hereafter serve and please thee in newness of life…

    Forgetting for a moment that “apologise” does not appear, this most cathartic declaration is clearly about wrongs we have done in our lifetime, not those of people who lived hundreds of years ago.

    Since I cannot accept responsibility or blame for slave traders any more than my nextdoor neighbour or colleagues at work can, I see only one other purpose in trying to draw an apology out of us. You are forcing us apologise for being born white and English. There is no other rational explanation.

    And making people feel ashamed for being born with a particular ethnicity – the one thing that is entirely beyond their control – is about as racist as it gets.

  44. teresa said:
    “I just don’t see it. His articles on this site are full of platitudes and hackneyed stuff that reminds me of a group of students banging about the Clangers being so rubbish it was good…..”

    “I say:I know what you mean a bit non committal ”

    I don’t mind him being non-commital if he manages some originality. My point is that reading his thoughts on Routemasters and cyclists is like finding yourself next to a group of students in the pub having their Kids TV conversation which never gets beyond the Clangers and Bagpuss. He seems to have badly overestimated the amount of quality content he can produce for this website.

  45. I’ve never seen the point of apology; if you’ve done something seriously wrong then no amount of self flagellation can actually make up for it and, if the offense was minor, it hardly seems worth the effort except as a sop for wounded egos.

    The only ‘real’ apology one can legitimately offer is to try to make amends for any damage caused and to put the person whose position has been prejudiced back to the same state as they would have enjoyed (or an equivalent position as assessed by a court of suitable competence) had the offense never occurred.

    And as far as I’m concerned WRT the slave trade: “I didn’t do nuffin’ wrong and anyone who says I did can bog off.”

    You can quote me.

  46. <“Anyway moving back to the McCann case…” (k)<

    Why? It’s boring, other than offer my condolences to Mr and Mrs McCann there is nothing more I can do.

    Elizabeth, OK, how about this, I apologise for the transatlantic slave trade. Now why don’t you go pester the Arabs for one and leave the good people of Britain alone?

  47. Let me ask you one more thing, Elizabeth. What is Africa doing to atone itself for the local gangmasters who played a key part in the slave trade? To whom does it collectively apologise?

    If my children were involved in some despicable trade in human traffic, I would most certainly examine my own conscience and apologise for any part I played through their upbringing. But it doesn’t work backwards.

    Telling me to get down on bended knees and beg forgiveness for someone else’s misdeeds 200+ years ago is, quite frankly, a demeaning act with an unpleasant whiff of sadism about it.

  48. PaulD has a point. members of certain African tribes played a huge part in the slave trade. They were already trading in slaves by the time Europeans came along. Africa is a whole continent, made up of many different races, and so racism occurred even in Africa. It a huge generalization to group all Africans together just because their skin have similar shades. Just as it is a huge generalization to group all white, asians arabs etc together because they have similar colours. people are people, at the end of the day and all are equally capable of being good and bad. perhaps the whole world should get together, apologize for being so hideous to each other for the past millenia and have done with it. And then we can actually start tackiling the problems we are now facing (what about the slave trade of women and children that is occurring all over the world now, for instance).

  49. Sorry about the multiple posts. There I am apologising, even if it’s entirely the fault of this 200-year-old software. 🙂 [Ed: Paul you are absolutely right to say it is the fault of the server and we are urgently looking to improve the speed]

  50. <“(what about the slave trade of women and children that is occurring all over the world now, for instance)” (k)<

    So grown-up men are exempt from this modern day slave trade are they?

    <“Saudi Arabia is a destination country for workers from South and Southeast Asia who are subjected to conditions that constitute involuntary servitude including being subjected to physical and sexual abuse, non-payment of wages, confinement, and withholding of passports as a restriction on their movement; domestic workers are particularly vulnerable because some are confined to the house in which they work unable to seek help; Saudi Arabia is also a destination country for Nigerian, Yemeni, Pakistani, Afghan, Somali, Malian, and Sudanese children trafficked for forced begging and involuntary servitude as street vendors; some Nigerian women were reportedly trafficked into Saudi Arabia for commercial sexual exploitation” (CIA World Factbook)<

    Funny how those people who cry loudest regarding an apoloogy about slavery never criticise the Arabs. True human rights organisations such as Amnesty expose slavery and human atrocity without any prejudice or ulterior motivation. I’ve just searched the ‘Amnesty International’ website for ‘transatlantic slave trade’ and there was not one hit.

    The front page of the ‘Amnesty International’ website highlights the human suffering happening a couple of thousand miles South-East of UK plc in Darfur. Next it talks about police brutality in Angola, then missing people and then the oppression of women in Iran.

    The ‘apologise for slavery’ movement is silent on all these issues, yet very vocal indeed when it comes to the subject of financial reparations for Afro-Caribbean folk from the UK public purse.

  51. On Slavery,

    I find it perverse for people to bleat about the slave trade (which Britain, due to it’s position at the time as principal world power was key to the eradication of in the 19th century, at considerable cost to itself.) 200 years ago, then boast about how cheap their new Chinese TV was. None so blind as those that will not see.

    On Britains’ principal role in eradicating the slave trade, let’s be in no doubt: Congratulations are more in order than demands for mealy mouthed protestations of regret.

    Let’s look at dealing with slavery in the here & now, before I apologise for stuff which I didn’t actually do. If your shoes were made in China, you’re part of the problem.

  52. Anyway CRE has released his findings – not that all you “red necks” would be interested in it….I will bore you with it anyway

    CRE clearly has failed to do what is says on the tin.

    Anyway it warned that Britain is becoming more segregated..(no comment!) here is my reply to it….

    Cre’s warning on the potential UK split on race lines is due to the fact that CRE itself has failed in its role as a race relations body hence the result of different units forming cliques to meet the needs of the individual race groups.

    Furthermore both its assessment of standards & findings are challenged. It stated that some parliamentary bodies have failed ( which ones & in what ways) and that others such as the criminal justice agencies have moved forward – in what ways and with what figures?
    The police are as you know are bound by the dictates of the race relations act ( section19b) however since the police themselves are on the quota system – we are told having a quota of arrests/charges etc to brought in, one questions not only the manner of crime fighting but also of the extent to which they are bound by the act.

    And we know that the black community have no confidence in the legal and court system in Britain due to Ssection 19c of the Race RelationsAmendment Act 2000 ( even though most do not know it by name..this was confirmed by a study conducted by the Equal treatment bench book.)
    Section 19C states that the Judiciary , courts and employment tribunals are exempt from the dictates of the race relations act.(Department of Constitutional Affairs..)

    So with that in mind one really questions and ask both CRE & Trevour Phillips on what basis and what figures did he base his findings of the move forward NOT ONLY in the criminal justice system but in the courts as a whole.

    Furthermore how does he propose as a race relations unit to install confidence and equalty in the courts system?

    p.s does everyone now see why Mandela was placed in parliament square rather than ANYBODY ELSE?!!!

  53. Elizabeth, the reason for section 19C (which I have just read) is obvious. The legal system would judder to a halt if a magistrate or judge could be prosecuted for racial discrimination. Almost everything they say and do would be open to challenge. Their decisions must be based on the facts as presented, not on the fear of being prosecuted themselves.

    The same applies to the exemption when “carrying out immigration and nationality functions” (section 19C.4). Deporting someone, for example, could automatically be deemed an act of discrimination.

    There are similar exemptions in the field of defamation. Defendants and witnesses are immune from being sued for libel or slander in court whatever they say about someone, however malicious or untrue. It has to be that way, otherwise they’d hardly dare speak.

  54. Elizabeth,
    have you noticed that you are the only one being racist or using any sort of discrimination on this board?

    You called someone a redneck which is a racist term, you mocked someone elses’s comments on the basis that you believed they were white and what is more said their comments were funny because they were white, you called someone else a pleb which is a classist term, you used your religion as an excuse as to why you are capable of judging people and you admittted that you do not regard giving children sleeping pills a sin. What is more you seem to think that Africa is just one big country that can be generalized about, instead of many countries with many different races (many of whom have similar skin colour, which does not make people the same race as you imply).

    besides which you seem to forget that if it were not for 19c it would be nearly impossible to try race hate (or any other “hate crime) or all crimes would have to be considered “hate” crimes (not that being beaten to a pulp by someone the same race could be anything other than hate). If a jury could not take race into account how could they then decide if someone’s actions were racist?

  55. PaulD why do you see it as allowing Judges to be independent when having it there does not make them independent. Aparently Judges will have to consult an equality monitoring something or rather to see how another Judge ruled etc, to see if it is true that black and asians are unfairly treated in the court system.[How is that for independence? seeing how another Judge ruled?!]

    Whilst many judges cannot be sued directly as section 19c protects them in the U.K ( although they can be sued via europe…)The main reason perceived in the eyes of black people that have not found justice is because section 19c exists. do you see that ? It is giving a reason for questionning a judgement it is causing lack of faith/confidence in the British legal court system…which incidently the court is trying to repair this in their own way..

    I refer to the Surjit – Honour killing ruling.
    Basically an asian wife wanted to leave her brutish husband anyway it is said that he together with his ma plotted to strangle and drown the woman (his wife) when they go off to India.

    Now NO BODY turned up BUT THE court went to trial and both the mother inlaw and her son were convicted. Now I used to have my own mother in law ( I’m divorced so I know how both the ex husband and ex mother in law can be and I write not to defend the oppressors/aggressors in any relationship. BUT I find my self asking this: why did the ruling come today when CRE announced its own findings that the Criminal justice system has moved on…

    Would that case have come to a hearing if it had been a white family or would it have been thrown out given that no body was found.? For all we know the woman could be in the states as Mrs Clinton Davies PAtterson living in upstate New York seeing as the court now has formally agreed that she is dead and she can assume a new identity ( given that she was in an abusive relationship anyway and wanted to be rid of her husband and interfering mother in law…..)

    what say you?

  56. Turn your spell checker on, and proof read your posts before submitting them please, that last one was almost incomprehensible.

    – To us plebs anyway. You could blame Bliars educayshun system if you wish.

  57. Elizabeth,
    What about danielle Jones and Arlene stewart (or was she called Fraser, I am not certain). Both disappearred and both of them have been declared murdered by family members, who are now in prison for their murders. yet neither of their bodies have ever turned up. A body is not needed for a murder trial, just a body of evidence that the person has been murdered.

  58. Elizabeth, in the case you mention the mother-in law admitted to other people she had had the women murdered and her own relatives testified against her. I think it would have been racism if it had not gone to court. And if, as you claim, it had not gobe to court if they were white (although I think it would have) then that would have been an outrage against the victim.

    Surjit deserves justice, she should not be robbed of it because of her colour.

  59. what say you?(Elizabeth)

    Not a lot, because I’m struggling to follow your line of thought. I have tried to explain that it’s not possible to run a legal system where those who dispense justice are working under the constant threat of writs and summonses on themselves. There are plenty of safeguards already built into the system.

    If I may make a weak religious analogy, it’s like you passing a law ordering God to watch his tongue.

    All this started with you claiming the McCanns were getting special treatment because they are white, which you presented as “a fact” and “the truth”. Had they been black, someone else would no doubt be claiming they were getting special treatment because they were black.

    I just can’t see it. And unfortunately it makes a pretty flimsy basis for your subsequent arguments. Sorry.

  60. I fail to see what special treatment the McCanns have received. Their child disappeared on holiday and people ahve searched for her. They have not been charged with any crime (either to do with neglect or anything more sinister) because as of yet there has been no evidence to suggest that they committed a crime or neglected their children. people have claimed that they neglected their children by leaving them alone for half an hour, yet I recall people being outraged when a british women was arrested on holiday in america for leaving her child alone in a car for twenty minutes. So there are slightly double standards at play there.
    And considering the huge number of white babies which are put into forced adoption it hardly seems that social services are targeting balck families any more than they target white families.
    If there is any form of discrimination in british social services, I think it is towards immigrant children (legal and illegal) who seem to fall through the system and end up with no-one to look out for them. It is tragic that Madeliene McCann has disappeared, but I wonder how many other children have dissappeared in Europe that no-one has even missed.

  61. I apologise for slavery:

    I’m very sorry, but neither I, nor any of my traceable forefathers, owned any slaves.

    I’m very sorry, but neither I, nor any of my traceable forefathers, ever transported any slaves.

    I’m very sorry, on my paternal side my forefathers were sold as chattels with their mines, this was judged to be slavery after slavery had been abolished throughout the British Empire. On my maternal side were agrarian peasants who lived in poverty and starved every winter, I’m very sorry for the hurt that this must have caused the citizens of the ‘Dark Continent’, as it was then known.

    Obviously I have a lot of sins to answer for and I give my unreserved apology to the continent of Africa and the sub-continent of India, I would like to include Australia and North America too. I apologise for being a descendent of the people who brought about social change and drove the abomination of slavery from the seas of the world, and who fought to bring about betterment of conditions for the mass of the people. I apologise for being part of a culture that abhors the oppression of women in the name of religion, and for upholding a liberal tradition. I apologise for maintaining my own culture in my own country. I am guilty as charged.

  62. <“Would that case have come to a hearing if it had been a white family or would it have been thrown out given that no body was found.?” (Elizabeth Obisanya)<

    You might wish to familiarise yourself with the John George Haigh case. Haigh murdered a few people and disposed of their bodies by dissolving them in acid and tipping them down the drain. He wrongfully believed that he could not be convicted of murder because nobody could prove the ‘actus reas’ (guilty act). He was hanged in 1949. Haigh was a white man who murdered six other white people.

    Britain’s legal system had managed to jump this little hurdle before most black Brits were even born.

  63. Without a body the police are clutching at straws. The DNA evidence is at best inconclusive. Or as it was put to me, “worth less than a roll of used toilet paper.” The cops have got nothing. Pressuring the parents to disclose the location of the body shows their desperation. You can’t tell what you don’t know. Sounds like the Portuguese police are returning to the Inquisition. Doubtless they’d have tortured a confession out of less well-connected parents. But the McCann’s are upper middle class, doctors already, with connections to the prime minister. And there’s always the tourist industry to consider.
    Another casualty will be public confidence in the infallibility of DNA evidence. Bottom line: The Porto Keystones are most decidedly out of their league.

  64. PaulD said:
    September 13, 2007 4:49 PM

    “The parents were doctors, after all”. So was Harold Shipman.

  65. So was Harold Shipman

    It’s a tough call given the large number of crazed mass murderers in the medical profession but, on the balance of probability, they are more likely to be normal doctors than Harold Shipmans.

  66. Captain Badger: You are soooo funny! That is such a typical racist diversion from the topic in hand bring in the No speak Hinglish/speak English thing’.Love the educayshun system – now that really is truly funny – although nowadays all of dat is blmd on txtg.( all of that is blamed on texting)

    K – I would say that those who are in prison for murder charge where NO body has turned have suffered a gross injustice. A body/DNA /BLOOD is needed as evidence of wrong doing for the reason that people can stage their own disappearances and get others into trouble…

    That was NOT JUSTICE for Surjit but a show that the criminal Justice system has moved forward – it was staged .

    In achieveing the new criminal code objective and the objective of the court in : convicting the guilty and releasing the innocence I say that the man did not do it.

    & Here is justice: The man Sukhdave is said to have divorced his wife AFTER she disappeared and he then remarried. He did n;t do it as : THERE IS NO NEED TO FILE FOR DIVORCE IF YOU BUMPED OFF YOUR MRS YOU ARE FREE TO REMARRY. He should have just gone on to remarry without the need to file for divorce -as I think that even under Sikhism this is the case.
    You only divorce the living.

    Paul: a simple declaration that JUDGES ARE NOT TO BE SUED suffice to establish that objective, end of story.
    Putting an exception such as 19C- in an ACT that is supposed to benefit black people, undermines the whole race relations act. It basically tears up the whole act –

    As for injustices abroad – America also has its own troubles and are seeking to overcome predjudice and racism. I take as a case in point two of my friends copyright cases: Sophia Stewart who wrote the book the THIRD EYE which she sent to the Wachowski brothers and then Warner Brothers made into the matrix film is having to spend thousands trying to get her rights established even though she copyrighted the work as is required in the states and it was ” allegedly ” nabbed.( allegedy the case is still at court.) then the other case Gregory Hudson v Universal studios he wrote the play which was made into the film Life with Eddie Murphy and Martins Lawerence…

    And then of course there is my up coming copyright case at the high court: CASHBACK V CASHBACK….even before we go in I have no Confidence in the Law/legal system but in the Lord God..

    StevenL: yeah all blacks were born yesterday.

  67. Elizabeth,
    So it was wrong to impriosn Arlene Frasers (stewarts) husband and acomplice, because although they boasted about feeding her body to pigs, they could just have been lying and she might have run away and formed a new life for herself? A body, DNA or blood is not needed to prove beyong resonable doubt that a murder was committed, just evidence. In the case of
    Surjit, the two who have been found guilty of murder admitted murdering her. The Indian police came to the conclusion that she was murdered as well. Unless you are saying that only the british police are capable of investigating crimes, then I fail to see what miscarriage of justice has taken place. The case is very similar to Arlene’s. Both women were victims of domestic violence, both wanted to get away from their husbands, both disappeared without a trace leaving behind their families and everything else of value (inc. bank accounts and passports), neither of their bodies have ever turned up and in both cases the people who were most against their divorces admitted their murders and were found guilty of murder. The only difference between them is that one was white and the other was of asian descent. So I fail to see any issue of racism.

    And in the case of Surjit’s husband, it would seem rather odd to most people if he told everybody he knew his wife was dead so he was free to remarry, when he was claiming that she had just disappeared. Just because he knew she was dead, did not mean he wanted everybody else to know that he knew she was dead. he would have to have been stupid beyond belief to have remarried without applying for a divorce.

    You have branded the McCanss killers, yet they have always acted as if they believe madeleine is alive, so by your own reasoning they must be innocent.

    And Elizabeth, if there was no 19C how could we try hate crimes, how could we have a proper identification of potential criminal if the courts were not allowed to mention their race. If a person of race x beats up a person of race y how could a court decide if it was racist if they are not told which race the perpatrator belonged to.

  68. Nice to see the website back up..Boris…

    See that there has been a sighting of a girl that looks like madeleine…

    I stand corrected if it is her. – however I do not think so…O.k even if it is her it does not make right their crime of leaving children unattended.

    The Judge ruled without a body..and the pair also maintain their innocence?.. in this case, the dna evidence being evidence needed..

    And K, you seem to think that the court needed to know the races of the criminals etc.
    To say what ALL BLACKS ARE CRIMINALS & All whites are snow white on their way to heaven ? – that is sooo race films era, How racist!!!!! & achaic! Like those who think that black people are the ONLY pagans or that Livingstone brought the Light to the dark continent!!!

    Actually anyone that was not called Israel was considered as pagan according to Jewish King David,& Paul in the New dispensation called Rome – Babylon..the corinthians pagans. ( and they were white!)

    FACT:ALL men (that are not saved) are under Adam’s fallen nature i.e sinners..

    FACT: MOST white people that should be trialed are simply not as they are white.

    FACT:The numbers of white criminals are increasing becasue the courts refuse to do justice. even those with mental health problems if they are white are not treated harshly like blacks and other races.

    SPIRITUAL FACT:Satan is not racist in his attacks against humanity.I mean what is the Hybriding of animals about ?COme on people?!!!!!..
    Don’t even get me started on that one? What you destroy humanity to save it? I don’t think so. With foot and mouth disease ( & now blue foot) in cattle and animals, can you imagine the catastrophe on humanity by hybreeding?

    GOd only know what types of diseases will come up from that one…
    When Jesus said we were all like sheep gone astray – hybreeding was not what He had in mind….
    Anyway the sooner racists understand basic facts thebetter.

  69. Me and my brother have an ongoing competition, in which one ‘wins’ by getting the other to snort tea up their noses, generally by timing a witty or bizarre statement for when aforementioned other is taking a slurp. I didn’t know other people played it.

  70. I’m sick of hearing about this, yes whatever happened is a tragedy, but every time they waste time talking on the news about this poor (probably deceased) girl, some other girl has died, either through malnutrition, or other horrific death.

  71. As with all these sort of stories, there are 1001 different views, ideas or suggestions as to what might have happened. It has gone from being a story about a missing child to one that encompasses colonialism, racism, indifferent parenting, rich holidaymakers, Liverpulian character assasination…….you name it, there’s one out there.

    This is all so very sad!

  72. REgarding THE MCANNS ( Kate’s)performance on missing Madeleine – as was shown on Spanish T.v

    NEXT! dont call us we will call you.

    (To the casting director) Really you must get better actors.

    Right lets see whether we can get the right emotions from the next couple.

    Your motivation is…not to spend years in a portuguese prison for the murder of your child….right.. whenever you are ready!

    Talk about a little too late!

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