7 Mar 2009

NUJ SUBMISSIONS ON MCCANN CASE TO SELECT COMMITTEE

LISTEN/WATCH (thanks to 3As for this information)

Dr Gerald McCann, Clarence Mitchell and the Carter-Ruck Solicitor [2.30pm] on next Tuesday (10th March). live before the Select Committee:


http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Live.aspx

Hopefully, they will get the grilling they deserve for some pretty sickening press manipulation and cashing in. If newspapers keep getting hit with massive damages from those who have deliberately set out to court publicity, we, the British public pay the price, by losing newspapers altogether, the cover price going up to pay the costs, and most of all failing to get vital public interest stories and comment due to press fears of being stitched up by Carter Ruck at over £1000 per hour! We are not asking the press to break the law or behave unreasonably, but Gerry and Kate made themselves public figures and come what may, they are responsible for going abroad with three children and only coming back with two. That is a matter of huge public interest, particularly given they have so far evaded prosecution for that.

Memorandum submitted by the National Union of Journalists

Introduction

The National Union of Journalists is the TUC-affiliated union representing journalists working in Great Britain, Ireland and internationally. The union has 38,000 members working as journalists or on editorial content in newspapers, broadcasting, websites, news agencies and public relations.

The NUJ has always seen the relationship between democracy and journalism as important and has had a Code of Professional Conduct since 1936. This code helped to inform the current Press Complaints Commission code.

The union's rules allow it to discipline members who breach its code and even expel them from membership for serious breaches. The code was reviewed and rewritten in 2007. The union's Ethics Council is charged by the union's rules with:

the responsibility for the promotion and enforcement of the professional and ethical standards of the union, with particular reference to the enforcement of the union's code of conduct and with researching and debating ethical issues in media freedom and regulation.

The Ethics Council is made up of members of the union directly elected by the members from the various industrial sectors of the union as well as representatives from the union's Black Members Council, Equality Council and Disabled Members Council.

The NUJ believes strongly in the right to freedom of expression and sees it as a vital freedom that underpins all other public freedoms. Without the right to publish a wide range of views, investigate and publish the activities of the powerful and what they are claiming to do in the name of the public, there can be no democracy.

The union is also acutely aware of the distinction between the right to publish in the public interest and the right to publish what will interest the public and thereby sell newspapers. The public may want to know about the private lives of celebrities but that does not mean that they need to know in order to protect their democratic rights.

However, there are individuals who seek to improve their status or earning power by courting publicity and presenting themselves as a certain kind of person, and the NUJ believes that it can be in the public interest to present a true picture of them to the public. When a person has entered public life and attempted to capitalise on their image or popularity, the public has a right to know the truth in order to make appropriate judgments about them.

There is also a public interest in freedom of expression itself; but the union believers that the random destruction of people's reputations simply to boost a newspaper's circulation or a TV show's ratings is not in the public interest and is the point at which freedom of expression has to bow to the right of individual privacy.

The select committee's questions:

Why the self-regulatory regime was not used in the McCann case, why the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) has not invoked its own inquiry and what changes news organisations themselves have made in the light of the case

The NUJ is not surprised that the PCC was not used in the McCann case, nor that the PCC did not invoke its own inquiry. It is likely that the PCC would not have upheld complaints from the McCanns since it is arguable whether there is direct evidence that the articles concerned breached the PCC Code of Practice, which does not prevent speculation.

The PCC is a complaints body. It has no other purpose. It does not investigate ethical issues of concern of its own accord. Its predecessor, the Press Council, produced a series of reports following in investigations of key reporting events, which allowed lessons to be learnt. The PCC has steadfastly refused to be so proactive and while it occasionally produces guidance, this is limited to specific advice on individuals' addresses or on photographing the UK royalty. We believe that the PCC should act proactively, investigating the coverage of major stories or stories that have sparked particular concern about the ethics of their coverage.

Whether the successful action against the Daily Express and others for libel in the McCann case indicates a serious weakness with the self-regulatory regime;

There is no protection for reputation in the PCC's regulatory code -- nor in the NUJ's. The redress for the McCanns was in libel law. The NUJ's code does seek to ensure that journalists differentiate between fact and opinion. The PCC code has a similar clause.

We do not believe it would be appropriate to try to regulate for protection of reputation in the PCC code. What the NUJ has consistently campaigned for is a "conscience clause" for journalists in the code. This would allow reporters who feel they are being pressured to produce material that is not supported by evidence, or whose reporting is being stretched beyond credulity in its presentation, to refuse that assignment. This could have been helpful in the McCann case.

The NUJ wants to see such a conscience clause to be built into contracts of employment, but failing that we believe that the PCC should at the very least have a confidential contact point for journalists, allowing them to make contact when they feel they are being asked to act unethically or if they feel their material is being used in an unethical way; we would like the PCC then to investigate without putting reporters' career at risk. Evidence that journalist had contacted the PCC could be used in an employment tribunal, in the event of employers taking action against them. The NUJ operates such an "Ethics Hotline" itself, which many reporters have found helpful.

The interaction between the operation and effect of UK libel laws and press reporting;

UK libel laws and the operation of conditional fee agreements have a chilling effect on reporting in the UK. The NUJ agrees that people's reputations should not be harmed purely for the entertainment of readers and to increase circulations; nor should someone's reputation be damaged by lies, smears or innuendo. However, in order to report on the fitness of people in public life, whether politicians, those in public office or those who deal with the public through their business or personal inclinations, it is necessary to expose wrongdoing or anti-social behaviour. We believe there should be a "public figure" defence to libel, such as exists in the US. This would mean that someone in public office would have to prove there has been either a reckless disregard for the truth, or malice, when damaging information about them has been published. Refusing to print corrections or clarifications would be evidence of reckless disregard. At the moment, there is less risk to a newspaper in publishing true, but private revelations of some private citizen's sex life, than there is about publishing details of corruption in business or political life. This is not acceptable and the libel laws should be amended.

The NUJ very much welcomes the development of the "Reynolds Defence" to defamation cases, effectively establishing qualified privilege where a publication can shown it has met has met certain standards in producing the article in contention. These standards are those the union expects from its members - checking information, affording a right to comment and so on. They also effectively set a "public interest" criterion that is also welcome. However, we are concerned that Reynolds cannot be fully exploited by the courts because of publications' reluctance to defend cases for reasons of cost.

The impact of conditional fee agreements on press freedom, and whether self-regulation needs to be toughened to make it more attractive to those seeking redress;

CFAs have made it very difficult for newspapers to defend lawsuits, since the surcharge on costs that lawyers are able to impose makes them so high that few newspapers will risk a fight and nearly all will pay off the suit at an early stage -- no matter how strong the evidence, or the compliance with Reynolds criteria. Only publishers with very deep pockets dare contemplate fighting a case; regional newspapers have effectively stopped defending libel cases altogether. This is one reason for the continuing decline in serious investigative journalism, since newspapers will not risk attracting lawsuits.

The observance and enforcement of contempt of court laws with respect to press reporting of investigations and trials, particularly given the expansion of the Internet;

Fewer court cases are reported now in the UK than ever before. The days of local newspapers sending one or two reporters to cover the courts every day are long gone. Staff reporters only attend to cover the big sensational cases.

Often the courts will seek to anonymise a defendant, or to limit publication of certain evidence, only to find that with the posting of reports online, accessible in countries outside the jurisdiction, the information will appear on the internet. UK law prevents the naming of minors of the victims in sexual offence cases, but again this can be thwarted by the web.

In major murder or other serious cases there is a high temptation to publish potentially prejudicial information post-arrest and pre-trial, in contravention of the 1981 Act. Again such details can be published on the internet from abroad. With such information in the public domain, easily accessible to any potential jury member, it is difficult to see the present contempt laws as serving much useful purpose. In any case, there are very few cases indeed of contempt for pre-trial publication; virtually all have been over what has been published during a trial.

Research from the US, where full publication has always been allowed, suggests that this would not lead to wholesale miscarriages of justice. However, such a change after years of judicial censorship in the UK would probably lead to problems. The UK is one of the few countries that do not have the need for responsible court coverage in its ethical codes. The right to a fair trial and the right to be presumed innocent, as established by the Human Rights Act, could be used to ensure some fairness, but it would be a number of years before the balance between fairness and publication was achieved.

What affect the European Convention on Human Rights has had on the courts' views on the right to privacy as against press freedom

The NUJ supports the Human Rights Act and therefore the European Convention and believes that its effect on the courts has been beneficial.

Whether financial penalties for libel or invasion of privacy, applied either by the courts or by a self-regulatory body, might be exemplary rather than compensatory;

The NUJ believes that the PCC should be able to fine newspapers for breaches of its Code of Practice. The PCC opposes this but the NUJ finds its arguments unconvincing. The PCC adjudicates very few cases each year, and even fewer are upheld (between ten and 20 each year). Not many of these are privacy intrusions - indeed, most of the worst cases upheld are thoughtlessness rather than malice. To fine in those cases would rarely lead to more than five cases a year on present statistics, but since these would be the worst cases and ones where the PCC would have decided the newspaper had deliberately or recklessly breached the code, the fine would send out a message that the PCC has teeth and would be prepared to bite. We believe its objection is rooted in a fear that the PCC would risk losing the industry's support and probably collapse.

As to the courts, we believe that current balance is about right. Any attempt to strengthen the existing law on privacy would be likely, in the NUJ's view, to put serious journalistic investigation at risk. Much of "celebrity" journalism is really public relations, done with the participation of the subject, so legislation to protect privacy further than the courts are doing already is likely to increase the publication of this kind of information, at the expense of genuine journalistic enquiry in the public interest. The jailing of Clive Goodman in 2007 showed that the law can apply strong penalties to journalists who abuse private information.

Whether, in the light of recent court rulings, the balance between press freedom and personal privacy is the right one.

The NUJ supports the right to privacy, though we would like to stress that this is a general right and not one limited solely to media invasions: invasions of privacy by CCTV, the police, the intelligence services or commercial operations without the authority of the law are just as damaging to a free society as invasions of privacy by the media.

Citizens' privacy should only be invaded if there is good reason to believe it is in the public interest so to do, whether this is because they are believed to be committing a crime or social misdemeanour, misleading the public in some way or endangering the health and safety of themselves or others.

The Union's Annual Delegate Meeting discussed privacy in 2001 agreeing the following motion:

ADM recognises that it is a mark of a free and democratic society that all people have a right to respect for their private and family life, their home and their correspondence. ADM also believes that people have both a right to know what is being done in their name and a right to information on which to base their choices and that this might legitimise the revelation of information that by the earlier definition should remain private.

ADM believes the only way to determine which information should be revealed and which remain private is for a journalist to test whether the information is in the public interest - which is not the same as information that will interest or titillate the public.

ADM declares that information revealed in the public interest is that which is required for members of the public to use to determine their intentions and opinions to seek to ensure probity and honest dealings amongst the civil and military authorities, the judiciary, politicians and all those holding positions of public authority or who have courted prominence in all walks of life.

We believe that despite the outrage expressed by many editors desperate to justify what are often quite outrageous intrusions into the private lives of public figures, the moves made by the courts to firm up the law of confidence and apply it to privacy claims are largely justified. Key cases such as Loreena McKennitt, Max Mosley and others from Europe have helped to draw a reasonable and straightforward line between private and public. While there have been one or two cases where the judgements have been more difficult to interpret and apply - the Naomi Campbell case, for instance, where the courts decided it was in the public interest to publish the story, but not in the public interest to publish the pictures that were the main evidence in support of the story - generally the line identified has clearly distinguished between private and family life and public life.

Additional comments:

We would ask the committee to consider the importance of journalists being responsible for their professional conduct. Newspaper editors insist that they are solely responsible for ethical conduct within their newspapers. While they are certainly responsible for what is published, they are not, nor can they be, entirely responsible for everything done in the name of the newspapers. The PCC is insisting that its Code of Practice is written into the contracts of employment of journalists, which concerns the NUJ. We believe that journalists are responsible for their work and are therefore entitled legally to refuse instructions they consider unethical, through a "conscience clause" as outlined above in this submission.

Professor Chris Frost,

Member of the NUJ's National Executive and Chair, NUJ Ethics Council

January 2009

20 comments:

viv said...

and some rather different comments on the, ahem, trifling damages the Mcs got which were nothing to what the papers made out of them. I just think the Mcs did not want to bother with the PCC because they wanted the money, that is why they waited until the
Daily Express had been printing reports about them for almost 12 months, the limitation period to complain. If they were that bothered about their, ahem, reputation, they would have moved a lot faster than that, but the more reports get printed the better the case against the Express was going to be and of course the better the damages, poor old McCanns! This bunch claim they support freedom of the press, what to get clobbered with exemplary rather than ordinary damages, how much did Gerry pay them to say that?

Memorandum submitted by The Campaign For Press and Broadcasting Freedom (CPBF)

(extract of relevant bit)

5.2. Whatever the case, however, and in answer to the Committee's question, we would strongly argue that financial penalties for libel or invasion of privacy applied either by the courts or a self-regulatory body, should be exemplary rather than compensatory. We would also argue that the courts or a self-regulatory body should be empowered to ensure that the award of any such damages be carried with due prominence in the offending newspaper(s).

5.3. As the Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom we firmly believe in the 'publish and be damned' principle - in other words, newspapers should be free to publish what they will, but also free to take the consequences. The consequences, however, have to be meaningful ones. In our view, given the enormity of the offences committed by various newspapers, the awards of £60,000 to Max Mosley, and, in the McCann and McCann-related cases, of £550,000 to the McCanns themselves, of £375,000 to the so-called 'Tapas Seven', and of £800,000 to Robert Murat, Michaela Walzuch and Sergey Malinka, were nothing less than derisory. Given the incomes of the papers in question, and, more particularly, given the increases in sales which these stories generated, these damages (and the associated costs) were little more than pinpricks and were no doubt simply laughed off by the editors concerned. Significantly, the News of the World's response to its defeat at the hands of Mosley was to run a full page advertisement in the Press Gazette featuring a woman in a basque over which was superimposed the word 'Domination'. The advertisement was headed 'Mosley's not the only one getting a spanking' and boasted that 'we've been beating our rivals for 165 years'.

5.4. At the very least, then, damages should be fixed at a level which ensures that no paper can actually profit from running a story which is later shown to have broken the law. This means that damages have to be computed, in part, in terms of sales figures and associated advertising revenue. But this ensures merely that newspapers cannot profit from their crimes. Computing the exemplary aspects of damages is considerably more difficult, but, when doing so, it should be borne in mind that (a) popular newspapers routinely insist that those breaking the law should be publicly 'named and shamed', and that their sentences should be primarily punitive and retributive; and (b) that the vast majority of the British press vociferously supported the 'sequestration' of the assets of those unions which broke industrial relations law in the 1980s. Admittedly the British press routinely acts as though its endless strictures apply to everything except newspapers, but in our view what's sauce for the goose ....

6.1. At 5.2. above there is mention of a 'self-regulatory body', and this is clearly a reference to the PCC. However, we have not the slightest doubt that the PCC as presently constituted would never dream of levying financial penalties on newspapers which infringed its Code and/or the law. As we have argued in earlier submissions to this Committee, were the PCC to become a regulator with real teeth, the newspaper industry would simply cease forthwith to finance it. Indeed, one of the most striking things about both the McCann, McCann-related and Mosley cases has been the almost complete invisibility of the PCC - an invisibility which springs from the fact that none of those who were libelled or whose privacy was infringed thought the PCC remotely worth bothering with, a judgement with which we would heartily concur. Even so, one might have expected the PCC to institute some kind of retrospective enquiry or inquest into the McCann and McCann-related cases which, between them, involved every single popular national daily newspaper published in Britain. But no. Absolute silence.

6.2. Furthermore, the Executive Editor of the News of the World, Neil Wallis, sits on the PCC Code of Practice Committee, and this is chaired by Paul Dacre. This illustrates all too clearly why the PCC is part of the problem and not part of the solution when it comes to the questions raised by this Committee. The PCC cannot act effectively on these matters - even if it wanted or knew how to - because it is financially and organisationally beholden to the very newspapers which repeatedly insist on infringing the law, abusing the judiciary and trashing the European Convention on Human Rights and the Human Rights Act 1998. Thus since the PCC is congenitally incapable of constructing and enforcing a satisfactory code on privacy, and governments are far too terrified of being monstered by the press even to contemplate formulating a privacy law, the only option is to allow the courts to do so in ways which are fully compatible with the ECHR and HRA and which thus give adequate protection to freedom of expression. We thus conclude in answer to the Committee's questions that news organisations have made no changes whatsoever in the light of the McCann and McCann-related cases, and that the successful libel actions against the Express and other papers arising out of these cases indicate a near-fatal weakness with the self-regulatory regime of the PCC.

viv said...

Mark Thompson of Carter Ruck gets called an ambulance chaser, lol! I wonder why Gezzy picked this firm...(!)Maybe because they are about as reputable as him. I will not post the whole of the minutes of evidence but Carter Ruck get a serious bashing! Good!


Q88 Chairman: Mark Thomson, your firm has been singled out as being the libel equivalent to ambulance chasers. Presumably you would not accept that.

Mr Thomson: I am not on the CFA Committee. They seem to reject a number of my cases and maybe it is because they were involving privacy. I had a case two years ago. We were in debate, it was not accepted on the CFA and they did not accept it, the client accepted the risk and therefore the potential of losing his house and we won. It was a case against a celebrity magazine. We have differences of opinion. They seem to reject a lot of potential cases when they assess the risk. A lot of the area in privacy is still developing to some extent. There is risk in that as the Naomi Campbell case pointed out. She lost in the Court of Appeal and won in the House of Lords by 3:2. CFA committees do not always take every case. There are differing views about risk. We cannot look into the future and predict precisely what a judge may say.

Q89 Mr Evans: Peter Oborne at the moment is currently taunting the Home Secretary to sue him. Maybe you should be staying by the phone, Mark. You may just get that call on a CFA.

Mr Thomson: Suing on what?

Q90 Mr Evans: Allegations on the Additional Cost Allowance. He has written serious allegations and said, "Come on, sue me." Is that a case you would relish to take on?

Mr Thomson: I think it may be a political speech.

viv said...

Poor Mr Thomson, here is a bit more, you know I do not think they like him, or Carter McRuck..I do not know, I do not think that is right, oh dear Mr Thomson, I am sure you really impressed them with your powerful arguments:-)))


Q66 Philip Davies: We have heard that the typical hourly fee might be somewhere in the region of £600 an hour and on a Conditional Fee Agreement, with 100 per cent uplift, that will be £1,300 an hour plus VAT. If firms like yours are so concerned about access to justice then perhaps reducing those fees would be a good start, would it not?

Mr Thomson: Those figures are not correct. Our fee at the moment is £400 an hour, which is about the standard rate in the industry.

Mr Evans: Are you having a sale?

Philip Davies: It is the credit crunch!

Q67 Chairman: On the £400 an hour point, on top of that you still have your success fee.

Mr Thomson: It is a staged success fee.

Q68 Chairman: And you have the ATE premium on top of that.

Mr Thomson: Yes, and that is staged as well.

Q69 Chairman: If you add in all the additional costs what is the total per hour?

Mr Thomson: It depends when it settles. Under The Times Carter-Ruck cost agreement, if they have checked the story and it is then settled within 14 days the success fee is zero, so it stays at £400 an hour. Because of the way the staged payments work, it is only if the newspaper decides there is merit in fighting the case that the uplift increases at the end of the case. Most cases in reality do settle within 14 days. If the other media got involved - and they refuse to at the moment for their reasons - and adopted the Carter-Ruck Times Agreement, if it is settled quickly there would be no success fee.

Q70 Philip Davies: What proportion of cases that you take on under a CFA do you win and what proportion do you lose?

Mr Thomson: I do not know those figures. They are confidential. There are a number of committees looking at costs at the moment. Our firm is providing the data anonymized to those various committees. They will be provided in anonymized form.

Q71 Philip Davies: Why is it confidential how many cases you win and lose?

Mr Thomson: I do not know what the answer is anyway.

Q72 Chairman: It was suggested it was a 98% success rate.

Mr Thomson: I do not think that is right.

viv said...

Are you having a sale! (only £400 p.h. plus up to a 100% uplift, insurance premiums etc)

I hope they are just as sarcastic and nasty when they get to meet the three goons on Tuesday!

Maybe Gezzy should re-train as a libel lawyer!

xxx

hope4truth said...

Hi Viv

Been reading you on the 3As and although I must admit I find it hard to belive that Gerry was responsible for the abduction and Madeleine is safe somewhere ready to surface at any time (or will stay there forever and grow up with a decent family as another person)I guess it is not impossible...

The only happy thought was always that some kind childless sole heard her crying and thought if her parents cant be bothered to care for her she would and Madeleine is safe somewhere being treated like the most important child in the world...

It sure as hell beats the sad fact that she may be in the hands of a Peadophile ring or dead..

I dont understand why people want to shut their minds to the many things that could have happend to her...?

No one had the right to take her for whatever reason and that includes her parents.

The only thing I am 100% sure of is The two people responsible for what happend are Gerry and Kate McCann...

Leaving their children alone was a criminal act the fact that one of them is missing because of it (or was killed by one of them, killed by over sedation, had an accident while they were out, was carried off by Gerry and given away) it all comes back to the parents are to blame...

Kate refusing to answer a single question is one of the most discusting things I have read what gives her the right to deny any help to her own daughter (I can think of only one reason not to answer and that is if she had they would know she was lying and had she answered truthfuly she would have admitted she knew where Madeleine was)....

The whole mess has been run on spin from day one false sightings where they would rush off on a private jet to go look and then a really real sighting in Belgium that they just were not intrested in...

I have read so much on this the rogs are all conflicting and I am sure they are being investigated by our own police and the PJ also have very clear evidence against them that wont convict them but one day.....

As time goes on the evidence of the dogs to a no one like me shows there was a body in the apartment and the fact Kate came out with a statement she had been with more dead bodies on her 1.5 days a week as a GP than Harold Shipman ever had shows it worried her. But it could also mean many other things I guess I would have to sit down with Martin Grime and ask him to explaine it to me...

There is a huge power trip going on at the moment and it looks like we all have to belive she is dead (which I do) but none of us know what has happend the fact Madeleine may still be alive and safe (alive and in the hands of a peadophile ring is not a comforting thought) being safe is the best that can come out of this mess...

And although I strongly belive she died in 5A (over sedation was my first thought) anything is possible...

Also there is the question of her eye how bad was it???? Because if you are correct and she was given up they had to tell the world about it and made it the main focus of the poster showing how you could clearly not miss it... If she had been abducted like the McCanns wanted us to believe it would have sealed her fate as no one would be able to do anything with her. If she did not have one or it was very small then if she had been given away once she had a hair cut or had been kept out of sight for a year whilst her hair grew longer a new family in town with a little girl of 5 with near to normal eyes could not posibly be Madeleine.....

There was a time when everyone wanted justice for a 3 year old child who was so badly let down by her parents it was criminal. Looking at all the happy pictures of Gerry and Kate and watching their strange interviews and reading Gerry's self serving blogs showed what a cold hearted bastard he was and Happy Kate so full of Joy on her childs 4th Birthday then refusing to answer a single question for her showed what a cold hearted bitch she was.

No searching for her when she went missing or in the weeks that followed tells me they do know exactly where she is dead or alive I dont know? I have an opinion but that is all any of us have...

Justice for Madeleine McCann no matter what her parents did to her is the second most important thing. Because as much as I believe she is dead the first and only thing that matters above all else is if she is Alive she needs to be found and given the same love and support as Shannon Mathews all children are all of equal importance...

Di said...

Hi All

Back home now after a very relaxing break.

I have had a look over on 3A's and I am glad to see RAT has posted again after a long break.

I also came across this thread from Stevo which I thought was quite interesting.

link

nancy said...

Hi Viv and Hope,

Regarding the Press Complaints Commission etc, I don't see why a law can't be brought in that would ensure all litigants had to go through them for their advice and action before being allowed to take a newspaper etc. to Court.

I know that would really bug the rich lawyers, but it would ensure that people like the McCanns and numerous'jump on the bandwagon copycats and celebrities didn't 'make something happen' so they could get what they considered libellous comments in the media, in order to make themselves a nice bit of money - like all of those connected to this case of poor Maddie.

I consider it iniquitous that the McCanns started off the media campaign and spurred it on as fast as they could in order to get on the front pages, travel the world, give interviews to all the right magazines and radio/television channels, not only in the UK but abroad as well, and then have the temerity to say they have been libelled and being unfairly treated. If they'd kept quiet in the first place and not courted publicity they wouldn't have been maligned, but then that was what they wanted - any fool can see that!


Nx

nancy said...

Hello Di,

Nice to see you, and thanks for the link which I shall go to now!


Nx

Di said...

Hi Nancy

I cannot disagree with you.

hope4truth said...

Hi Di

Glad you are relaxed...

I read that earlier it is another posibility (anything would not surprise me now)...

Someone commented about not forgetting the bruises on Kates arms.. My Husband would never lay a hand on me but god forbid I was hurting one of out girls and he would not hesitate to do whatever to stop me..

Same with me if he ever got violent towards either of them I would knock him into the middle of next week and get us all out of the house...

So I guess her bruises could be because he is a thug or she is???

I cant see him covering for her though well not unless he had something to loose???

xxx

Di said...

Hi Hope

I have not read all the thread Stevo said the following which is worth thinking about.



As much as I respect Snr Amaral, I think the man is very cunning and astute as well. In a recent interview he said he saw the contents of the text messages. He could have laid that mystery to rest by continuing to say "...but there was nothing of interest in them..." or "...and they contained details of what really happened..."

He is just as much a controller of information as GM is a controller of lies IMO - but for distinctly different reasons

Di said...

Worth thinking about, distinctly different reasons, what does he mean?

Off now enjoy your evening.

hope4truth said...

Have a nice evening Di

Re the text messages he may not have even seen them but the thought that he could have and they are there for the future could make one of them start to tell the truth...

To be honest reading all the interviews it is obvious they are 0 liars and when a child is missing lies are not something that should come into it.

That is why I think the PROs are told what to say because no matter what happend now we can read what has been said any decent person would be asking why the need to change timelienes lie and refuse to answer simple questions...

xxx

viv said...

Hiya all, and sorry I have been neglecting you but Stevo on 3 As amazed me with his candour in basically reflecting everything I have been saying on this blog. It was a fascinating thread and made a very pleasant change to see some honest views put forward until the agenda pushers arrived who clearly just want to disrupt. Very similar to the behaviour of the Pros on the DE. It is such a refreshing change to see a really good debate going on but there are so many people on their who are just pushing their own agenda and that is a real shame.

This thread literally went like lightning tonight and I felt much the same as I used to on the DE in its hayday, that I simply could not keep up with it, but note what happened at the end, the most ridiculous posts. So sad. It just goes to show that people do have a strong opinion but that opinion is being held back by many on there who want to just keep people on track, those blasted dogs etc. I used to love them but they have been used to stifle debate and prevent anyone from really questioning the one who I feel was most certainly to blame, Gerry McCann. When a regular and popular poster Stevo starts to voice that view people had the confidence to go for it and say what they really feel.

http://the3arguidos.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=29346

viv said...

Hope, I do think the Pros are told what to say and they have prior knowledge of things that Team McCann hope can be spun into good publicity.

Rose made an announcement something good was going to happen a few weeks before Gerry went to Portugal and both her and Mum have been making the same prophecy telling us we only had a few weeks to wait. Well now we know, Gerry is giving evidence to the Select Committee. How pathetic to think that either event is going to generate any good publicity for this thug and what has happened to Kate, is she so ill, she just cannot be seen any more? Why does Mitchell keep holding this psycho's hand? I would like to think Mitchell has some good intentions and take heart from that swimming costume remark, that Gerry was inappopriate. In fact it was the same abuse of Kate that he has used with Maddie, pick the prettiest, most made up, most cute pics of Maddie for a good marketing ploy. Mitchell surely meant him harm when he dropped that one?

Roll on Tuesday, as I have posted above Carter Ruck have already had a really good trashing at The Select Committee and I do not anticipate that attitude changing on Tuesday. It certainly begs the question, why would Mr Control Freak pick on the worst bully boy money grabbing solicitors of the bunch? Well we know the answer. People can try and keep us on track Kate is a really bad child killer, I just do not bloody believe it and pushing an agenda is wicked. What we care about is

JUSTICE FOR MADDIE AND MAYBE KATE TOO SHE HAS DONE TERRIBLE WRONG BUT I BELIEVE SHE HAS REALLY SUFFERED AND CONTINUES TO DO SO.

We know the one who is able to go back to work and Portugal and Select Committees and we do not know what has become of Kate, do we? A former intelligent and able doctor.

xx

viv said...

Di, maybe it is time we were a bit more honest about Goncalo Amaral, I have tried not to run him down but the fact is he went for just one theory and I do think that was wrong. Then he wrote a book backing that theory and that was definitely wrong in the context of an ongoing criminal investigation of this case.

There is something very wrong with people backing a healthy man making a lot of money and forgetting that what this is really about is MADELEINE BETH MCCANN, a missing little girl, presumed dead or maybe still suffering terribly.

viv said...

As regards Goncalo's ambiguous comments about the text messages, I think what he was actually saying although wishing to leave it unclear was that he had not seen the vital 14 texts the day before and 4 the following day but clearly wishes that he had. The thing is if he had known would it all now be in the public domain, and would that prevent Kate and Gerry being put on trial. I do believe this is why British authorities were starting to withhold information from him and wanted him taken off the case. I hope the damage is not too great. I do not think British government will allow his book here, there could well be an injunction in place.

viv said...

and as for Tony Bennett making a submission to the Select Committee, telling them how right the dogs were, oh dear...

viv said...

Hope, if women even get the chance or are brave enough to try and fight back there are scratches to the man's face or arms. Not a mark on Gerry...many marks on Kate.

viv said...

Hiya Nancy

It would certainly be good if it could be made a legal requirement that all would be litigants against the press firstly had to go through the PCC and this was put on a statutory footing to beef it up a bit. AT present it is just like the Law Society, funded by the solicitors, and so there is question about whether they can effectively regulate themselves or whether the government should step in.

Then there is the issue of success fees being allowed on top of what is already a massive hourly rate. I think that could certainly be stopped. A balance clearly has to be struck between the freedom of the press to responsibly report and at the moment it is far too much in favour of people like Kate and Gerry who deliberately made themselves public property, Gerry even saying at one point, we are not film starts or something, but that was clearly what he wanted and the money that goes with it. Just like Jade Goody unfortunately when you want to make all that money, you become public property and there is a price to pay if you behave in a less than appropriate way. The press are going to tell the public about that. It is very sad now though that Jade is dying and still she is on the front page of the papers everyday. I think the press sometimes forget maybe we can get saturated with it!

I think Gerry has been the driving force and remember comments for instance like with the Vanity Fair interview, that Kate did not want to take part, she did not want to comment. I think she did want her privacy but he left her no choice. To me privacy is a precious thing and to become a millionaire I do not think I would be prepared to give that up because I have everything I need, too much money can bring misery.

xx