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Old Dr. Martin Roberts Post

Post  Panda on Tue 21 Feb - 12:59

Iv"e been having a bit of trouble with my Computer and trying to sort it out and this post suddenly appeared.....don't ask me how!!! anyway, Iv'e read it
and think it deserves another read.

Pearl Harbour by Dr. Martin Roberts

Angelique on Sat 4 Dec - 19:06



Pearl Harbour

EXCLUSIVE to mccannfiles.com

By Dr Martin Roberts
25 November 2010


with a new client brief, any IPA accredited author will have at the
back of his or her mind the club motto: Legal, Decent, Honest and
Truthful - a banner which has absolutely nothing in common with the
court-room oath, 'I promise to tell the truth, the whole truth and
nothing but the truth'. When it comes to writing promotional copy, the
ground rules are simple: Accentuate the positive, eliminate the
negative, and if you must mess with Mister (or Mrs.) in between, then
keep it out of the office. (Once the lights are on nobody sleeps).

the academic arena, where published discussion is evidence-based and
even handed, tending, but no more than that, toward whichever
interpretation appears to be favoured by the most recent data,
promotional work is nothing if not biased. Whatever the product, as far
as advertising is concerned there is never a 'downside.'

these considerations in mind, certain material, only now available on
the internet, makes for intriguing reading. Unlike Robert Redford's
undercover associates in the film Three Days of the Condor, I do not
have the time to read everything written about the Madeleine McCann
affair. Chance alone has led me to some recent contributions posted on a
newly established 'blog' entitled Gonšalo Amaral, Fact of the Fiction.
These would appear to be a mixture of comments 'lifted' from third-party
sources and accompanied by contributions from the two principal
authors, one of whom is identified as Vee8.

I do not propose to
cross swords with these people, who may hold whatever opinions they wish
of Gonšalo Amaral. Suffice to say that the recent 'Inside Out'
broadcast by the BBC offers ample evidence of divergence in this regard,
and how 'strength of feeling' can come across with as much apparent
authority as authority itself. As stated, I do not have time to read
everything, everywhere and, having skimmed the content of Gonšalo
Amaral, Fact of the Fiction, I am disinclined to read everything there
also. That is my prerogative. But several aspects of this particular
blog have caught my attention nonetheless, not least the home page
announcement of its creation in the immediate aftermath of the
injunction against Amaral's book being overturned on appeal; that and
the fact it is linked directly to the McCanns' own Facebook site.

article of Vee8's to which I was unexpectedly directed was posted on 18
November. Entitled 'A Tale of Two Bookies' it presents, in common with
the general thrust of the blog, a negative interpretation of Gonšalo
Amaral's publishing endeavours. Now, that in itself is not a heinous
sin. We are each of us entitled to hold an opinion after all, as forum
members of all complexions should appreciate. They will also be aware
(and I state this merely as a matter of fact, not in order to appear
condescending) that some contributors are more eloquent than others
(this is especially so given the number of those struggling to make
their voices heard in a foreign language - an effort for which they are
to be applauded, certainly not derided). My point is that, with so many
people from so many different backgrounds joining in the debate, the
population of contributors will inevitably include 'media types', and we
know that to be the case.

When we read something by an author
who writes for a living, it will have a practised 'ring' to it.
Typographical errors will be few and far between and certain stylistic
inflexions may hold sway. Whereas the observations made by others may
express, coherently or otherwise, their 'strength of feeling', i.e.
their emotional stance, something constructed with due regard to the use
of language is likely to be as 'deliberate' in its preparation as in
its execution.

So what am I driving at?

The Tale of Two
Bookies is nothing if not deliberate. Apart from a series of emotive
quotes 'bagged up' and dismissed at the outset, it contains no genuinely
negative observations (none with the potential to negate the author's
own argument, that is). In short, it has the ring of a PR exercise. It
is also lodged in a resource linked directly to that of the McCanns

Let's then take a closer look at some of the arguments advanced by Vee8.
have reason to believe that Amaral stated that a portion, (I think I
remember reading the figure of 10%) of his profits will go to children's
charities. A noble gesture, if true. The McCanns, on the other hand,
make it very clear that ALL the profits from THEIR book will go to the
fund that is financing the search for their missing daughter."
aside the vague 'reason to believe', we have Amaral ostensibly donating
a mere 10% of his royalties to charitable causes, whereas the McCanns
will donate all of their profits to the fund. But the fund, as we know,
is not a charity. So the truth to be understood (rather than that
portrayed) is: Amaral's charitable giving 10%. McCanns' charitable
giving 0%.

The author then proceeds as follows:
"'The truth of
the Lie' by Amaral, has sold several million copies to date, netting
him somewhere in the region of 1.2 million euros in royalties. The
McCann's search fund, at one point, topped over two million pounds.
Since then the McCanns have been completely open and transparent with
the funds, publishing a full annual account in the press for the
scrutiny of the public. Amaral, however, has yet, as far as I know, to
do the same. If he did promise to make a payment to children's charities
it has, so far, yet to be made good. So what HAS Amaral done with all
his profits?"
What this offers us, first and foremost, is
confirmation that the metric underlying the McCanns' libel action
against Gonšalo Amaral is his profits, not their suffering. It can
surely be no coincidence that they are seeking damages of 1.2 million
euros! Beyond that however we have the McCanns portrayed as 'completely
open and transparent'... 'publishing a full annual account in the press
for the scrutiny of the public.' This is in contradistinction to Gonšalo
Amaral, who has done no such thing.

Let us also be completely,
rather than partially transparent. The McCanns do not publish accounts
in order to salve their consciences. The 'Fund' is a public limited
company. As such it is legally obliged to publish its accounts. Gonšalo
Amaral is neither of these things. (Would you pay to have your P60
published in the local newspaper?). Unless Vee8 is intercepting Amaral's
personal correspondence, how does he or she presume to know whether or
not this author has made and/or honoured any pledges to charity? Perhaps
it has something to do with the unspecified 'reasons to believe.'

The remainder of the piece is sheer 'school of Goebbels' propaganda - decently written, but na´ve in its propositions.

we have here is a McCann PR vehicle. Its establishment immediately post
the appeal decision could be taken as an expression of the couple's
fear that Amaral's book will indeed appear in the U.K. Why so? Well, in
just the same honest-to-goodness fashion that a genuinely libelled party
will take action immediately, in order to minimise any damage done to
their public image, so anyone feeling 'hot under the collar' about
Gonšalo Amaral in general and his book (in Portuguese) in particular,
would have set up their blog and vented their spleen long since.

has previously been suggested elsewhere that Amaral could not, in any
case, publish A Verdade da Mentira in the U.K., for fear of infringeing
U.K. libel laws. With the lifting of the injunction he clearly has a
'window of opportunity' and I would venture to suggest that, since any
half-way decent translation would have to be typeset anew, any version
to be put before an English speaking audience would be thoroughly vetted
and edited to leave not so much as a hint of libel. Should an English
edition of A Verdade da Mentira play strictly by the rules therefore,
the McCanns would find themselves on a very sticky wicket indeed - and
they know it.

What Gonšalo Amaral, Fact of the Fiction represents
is a pre-emptive strike against a moving target. The Japanese, having
learnt from an escapade by the British at Taranto a year or so earlier,
learnt again, after Pearl Harbour, that such an action can only be truly
effective if the whole fleet's at anchor. Had the American aircraft
carriers been at home when the Japanese called, history would, no doubt,
have taken an altogether different turn. Likewise, the best the McCanns
can do in the face of an impending literary assault, is attempt somehow
to discredit the author in advance. (They dare not wait until his book
has been read the length and breadth of the country). The trouble is
they know not what, exactly, might appear in print, nor when. And
Gonšalo Amaral, I am reliably informed, is not one to broadcast his



The McCanns' 'Official Find Madeleine Campaign' Facebook page,
displaying link to 'Gonšalo Amaral, Fact of the Fiction' blog.

Clicking that link leads to a further page...


Which leads directly to...


I can't do the links - not sure how to. I have put in what I think should be the links.


Last edited by Angelique on Sat 4 Dec - 19:14; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : inserting links)

When the character is not clear to you - look at their friends - japanese proverb edited

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