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re. from MCF

Post  mollydog on Tue 13 Mar - 16:20

Yes Margaret i havnt felt so enthusiasic for ages.started with Leveson enq..I wondered if things would start moveing. Esp with SY involved . Fingers crossed...

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Re: From MCF

Post  margaret on Tue 13 Mar - 16:28

Thanks mollydog and Chrissie, we've got to remember Portugal took a battering from our media last time, they won't put themselves up to it readily again.....

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I just signed the petition on Joana's site with an essay to say why...

Post  comperedna on Tue 13 Mar - 16:32

I signed a similar one on the Number 10 site some while back. It certainly didn't get the required 100,000 signatures to get debated in the House of commons! :-D

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Re: From MCF

Post  Panda on Tue 13 Mar - 16:43

comperedna wrote:I signed a similar one on the Number 10 site some while back. It certainly didn't get the required 100,000 signatures to get debated in the House of commons! :-D

Hi comperedna....this one should get 5000 no trouble and is bonafide, not some American Petition which doesn't require addresses and allows 'Anonymous' and duplicated names.

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Are you optimistic today, Panda?

Post  comperedna on Tue 13 Mar - 17:06

Me, I vary from gloom to hope from day to day..

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Re: From MCF

Post  frencheuropean on Tue 13 Mar - 17:12

An interesting post of Blacksmith on TMCF:




" The question of who can get away with what politically in the United Kingdom has caused serious difficulty between the Bureau and our Portuguese friends in the past. Perhaps I can make one last effort to explain the facts before new stresses appear.

This very lengthy post is aimed at Portuguese and other non-British posters to assist them in understanding UK law and politics. I have no intention of debating the matter and I am explicitly not addressing British people.

The UK police are not servants of the state

As the civil liberties group Civitas writes, “When officers join the police force they swear an oath of allegiance to the Queen, not the prime minister. Unlike many other forces, British police have never been servants of the state: officers' powers are personal, used at their own discretion and derived from the Crown.”
British government passes democratic legislation which each local police force is then expected to implement in its own way. Scotland Yard is the alternative name for the Metropolitan Police service, the local police force for London, which in a typically British manner also carries out duties on behalf of the whole nation, such as anti-terrorist work.

The British fear anyone with too much power

Why is this typically British? Because the essence of British politics is to disperse power in order to deny individuals the ability to grab too much for themselves. The intellectual Labour politician Richard Crossman expressed this principle most clearly half a century ago when he described the British constitution as one that deliberately makes it impossible for any one person to know exactly where the “levers of power” are.

Obviously if you can’t locate the levers you can’t take the power, just as if you can’t locate the national radio station you can’t make your coup stick. The fact that Crossman was unprincipled himself, famously being assisted by Carter Ruck to win a libel case by perjury, made no difference, just as the fact that politicians and police as individuals can be crooks makes no difference either. What matters is how much such bastards can get away with and Crossman finished his career by introducing parliamentary committees, the sort watched in action on the net recently, to disperse powers even more. It is this attitude to political and administrative power—one of fear – which still distinguishes the UK from all other European nations.

For this reason the British will not permit the establishment of a national police force whose head might become over-powerful, as Hoover did in the USA last century, despite the efficiency advantages that such a force would provide. It is not permitted purely for political – that is questions of power – reasons. So the functions like anti-terrorism which would be most efficiently dealt with nationally are instead given to a local police force, which reports to a an elected local police authority in an oversight role, just as Scotland Yard does.

There’s nobody there

This means that there is no head of criminal investigation in the UK corresponding, say, to the head of the PJ. The UK government has no right to know the details of what a local police force is investigating. It has no right to nominate, or dismiss, the heads of specialist squads. The prime minister has no right to ask for the details of any investigation and he has no right to see any Scotland Yard investigation report. I need hardly add that by the time the prime minister is briefed on the outcome of an investigation in its broad details the briefing notes will have had to come up through a chain of command and oversight to the Home Secretary. And that means that the information will be safely and widely dispersed.

A prime minister cannot “order an investigation” and the idea of an investigation being tailored to his wishes is simply laughable. He does not have the constitutional or physical/structural power to do it. A prime minister cannot lay down the terms of reference of an investigation. An investigation by the local police force for the capital, Scotland Yard, has to go through the legal system, not the political system – i.e. its conclusions must not go to the government.

The only member of the government who is allowed to involve himself in the details of a case – after it has been prepared, not before – is not the prime minister and not the home secretary but the attorney-general and then only where there is a so-called public-interest question and the government as a whole have authorised him to consider it. The attorney-general is both a lawyer and a politician. Dispersal again.

The prime minister has no right of access to the review’s work

When the Scotland Yard review is completed the prime minister can request a copy of its main recommendations through the Home Secretary and the local police authority. He cannot act on those recommendations for they are not addressed to him or his government and he cannot decide whether they will be published or not. He cannot authorise or refuse criminal proceedings. Not only can he not issue instructions as to what should happen there is no one person to whom he could turn to instruct. The results of an investigation must go to the Crown Prosecution Service, not to the “government”.

The McCanns and politics

The UK accepted that the McCann case was a Portuguese investigation. As was their right the then UK government, believing that public opinion was strongly in favour of helping the McCanns, offered UK police assistance to the Portuguese by requesting, not ordering, assistance from UK forces. Again Tony Blair and Gordon Brown had no right whatever to see the details of that co-operation and the operational files of both the Leicester police and Scotland Yard have never been made available to them – by law.

Of course this became a political question after a time because of the international relations angle and the friction that was being caused to UK/Portugal relations. But it cannot be emphasised too strongly that just as the prime minister had no authority over the British part of the investigations so the British ambassador had not the slightest power to influence the UK end of the investigation whether he might have wished to or not. We don’t let ambassadors get away with that sort of stuff in the UK, again by law. And UK policemen, who are never in a position long enough to develop a political power base, don’t like politicians or ambassadors much.

The failure of the McCanns to return to Portugal also had a political “dimension”, just as the Assange affair has, but the reason they failed to return had nothing whatever to do with political intervention: the requirements of a European Arrest Warrant demand that prima facie evidence of a crime be provided by the extradition seeker and the Portuguese did not provide it.

The McCanns, backed up by a public petition, had every right to ask for some sort of action of the government in a situation where nobody was looking for the infant daughter of two British citizens. Cameron, after consultation with the home secretary, agreed to authorise it. Had he refused to do so then the McCanns, with their deep publicly-provided pockets, would have had the right to seek “Judicial Review” in court; in such proceedings a judge would decide whether the government’s decision to refuse resources was “reasonable” or not from the legal, not the political, perspective and possibly rule that the decision must be reconsidered. Governments often lose such judicial review proceedings.

Cameron, a very able politician and a thoroughly decent man, said yes in a way that the McCanns did not anticipate; everybody except those criminally involved will gain from his decision. What the Portuguese will or will not do, how their legal and political systems will deal with events is something that I, as an overseas outsider with a respect and affection for, but no deep knowledge of, Portugal simply don’t know. Claims of a whitewash in the UK by those similarly placed but in the opposite direction simply diminish the stature, credibility and, ultimately, the relevance of those who make them."

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Re: From MCF

Post  Panda on Tue 13 Mar - 17:16

Well I'm all for standing outside number 10 with a suitably inscribed Poster dressed in a hoodie, one of those balaclavas where only my eyes and mouth would be visible and a can of Paintspray

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Re: From MCF

Post  AnnaEsse on Tue 13 Mar - 17:28

Panda wrote:Well I'm all for standing outside number 10 with a suitably inscribed Poster dressed in a hoodie, one of those balaclavas where only my eyes and mouth would be visible and a can of Paintspray

OK, we'll come and bail you out Panda!

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Re: From MCF

Post  tanszi on Tue 13 Mar - 17:29

well im glad that Blacksmith wrote that. i for one now know more than i did before. jimo

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Re: From MCF

Post  Sara_Rose_ on Tue 13 Mar - 17:35

Blacksmith wrote: "Cameron, a very able politician and a thoroughly decent man, ..." Sorry that sentence does not compute!

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Re: From MCF

Post  Panda on Tue 13 Mar - 17:42

Thanks Frenchperson,

It.s a revealing article by Blacksmith but Britain's Police Force is not squeaky clean, neither are some of our Politiciains/ The Freedom of Information act is a joke so no matter what the Law says and who is in charge, if Cameron doesn't want the Report published ...it won't be. Look at Tony blair, he twice lied to the House and got away with it , took Peter Mandelson twice back into the Cabinet although he was guilty not being truthful in his
business affairs .....no, I think British Politicians by and large have no real regard for the population.

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Blacksmith is brilliant!

Post  comperedna on Tue 13 Mar - 17:44

He gave an admirable resume of politicians', and the police's, and the Crown Prosecution Service's different roles, and ditto the Attorney General's and about the deliberate dispersal of power in the UK. He could have mentioned too that the BBC is an independent organization and not an arm of government as it is in so many countries. He is also right about the cleverness of Diamond Dave as a politician and about the basic decency of the man. He is our local MP as well as the PM, and large numbers of people from this neck of the woods will testify to that.

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Sorry Sarah...

Post  comperedna on Tue 13 Mar - 17:48

I beg to differ. Cameron is indeed, in person, a very decent man, as I have good and direct cause to know. I claim better and more detailed information. I don't agree with his politics. I am not a Tory voter, but those of all political persuasions and none in this constituency, if they know him well and are fair, would agree with me.

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Re: From MCF

Post  Guest on Tue 13 Mar - 17:55

I largely agree with Blacksmith's take on the way things work in the UK.

We are a decent Democracy and often those who claim otherwise are people who fail to realise they are entitled to play a role. There's too much "they" do this, "they" do that - who are "they"? It's us.

But of course there are always going to be rogue MPs, Police or other Representative individuals - Being Appointed or Elected does not of itself divest anyone of their own innate character.

I am very happy indeed to be a Resident of, and a contributor to, the UK "system", and am especially happy that I am FREE to complain about things that are unjust or simply wrong and can engage in debate with or about "the system".


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Re: From MCF

Post  Panda on Tue 13 Mar - 17:57

comperedna wrote:He gave an admirable resume of politicians', and the police's, and the Crown Prosecution Service's different roles, and ditto the Attorney General's and about the deliberate dispersal of power in the UK. He could have mentioned too that the BBC is an independent organization and not an arm of government as it is in so many countries. He is also right about the cleverness of Diamond Dave as a politician and about the basic decency of the man. He is our local MP as well as the PM, and large numbers of people from this neck of the woods will testify to that.

David Cameron comes from a wealthy Family, Eton Educated and got his first job in Conservative Central Office courtesy of an Aunt who worked for the
Queen. He also was guilty of claiming expenses not as much as some agreed but he didn't need the money. To my mind he is a reactive PM, not a
proactive and at this particular time Britain needs strong leadership.

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Hi Panda

Post  comperedna on Tue 13 Mar - 18:05

No one chooses his parents, and parents choose the school you go to. It's what you make of your opportunities that matters, and how you behave towards other people, and what you put your time and effort into... and why... Plenty of things to criticise Cameron over legitimately, but we can't all be Aneurin Bevans in our origins...

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Re: From MCF

Post  Guest on Tue 13 Mar - 18:09

Indeed. Accidents of birth aren't valid in forming a view over someone's later achievements. A Class based divisive "us and them" society exists only for those that wish it to be so. If I like or dislike or appreciate or fail to appreciate someone, it's purely personal.

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Re: From MCF

Post  Sara_Rose_ on Tue 13 Mar - 18:12

comperedna wrote:I beg to differ. Cameron is indeed, in person, a very decent man, as I have good and direct cause to know. I claim better and more detailed information. I don't agree with his politics. I am not a Tory voter, but those of all political persuasions and none in this constituency, if they know him well and are fair, would agree with me.

With respect Comperedna, I'm going to bow out on this subject because if I told you my beliefs on Cameron (and the rest of them) it might cause offence and that won't do. See I believe the whole politcal system is a big fat con & the majority of the players rotten specimens of humanity bleeding the rest of us dry. So take no heed of me. ;-)

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Re: From MCF

Post  Panda on Tue 13 Mar - 18:20


You know the old saying, never discuss Politics or Religion if you don't want to start an argument and Comparedna I think this will develop into one so I too am bowing out and suggest we agree to differ. Besides which it has gone off topic and not fair on those posters who want to get back on track.

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Re: From MCF

Post  Sara_Rose_ on Tue 13 Mar - 18:25

comperedna wrote:No one chooses his parents, and parents choose the school you go to. It's what you make of your opportunities that matters, and how you behave towards other people, and what you put your time and effort into... and why... Plenty of things to criticise Cameron over legitimately, but we can't all be Aneurin Bevans in our origins...

Well I know I said I was going to bow out but I just had to respond to what you said there.

David Cameron was a yob in his Bullingdon days, no better than the rioters of last summer.


"'An excessive sense of entitlement" was what the mayor of London ascribed to those looting their way across our sceptred isle – but he could have been referring to himself. In the mid-to-late 80s, Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson – not to mention David Cameron and his now chancellor George Osborne – were members of the notorious Bullingdon Club, the Oxford university "dining" clique that smashed their way through restaurant crockery, car windscreens and antique violins all over the city of knowledge.

Not unlike a certain section of today's youth, the "Bullers" have little regard for property. Prospective members often have their rooms trashed by their new-found friends, while the club has a reputation for ritualistic plate-smashing at unsuspecting country pubs. It has been banned from several establishments, while contemporary Bullers are said to chant, at all hours: "Buller, Buller, Buller! Buller, Buller, Buller! We are the famous Bullingdon Club, and we don't give a fuck!"

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011/aug/10/uk-riots-boris-johnson

How very decent.

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Re: From MCF

Post  kathybelle on Tue 13 Mar - 18:33

comperedna wrote:I beg to differ. Cameron is indeed, in person, a very decent man, as I have good and direct cause to know. I claim better and more detailed information. I don't agree with his politics. I am not a Tory voter, but those of all political persuasions and none in this constituency, if they know him well and are fair, would agree with me.

I'm inclined to agree with you Comperedna. I am not a Tory voter, but when Mr Cameron's son Ivan died, I sent him a donation to his charity. A couple of weeks later I received a lovely letter, thanking me for my donation. Ok so it was mass produced, but I firmly believe that he composed the original letter.

I know I'm repeating myself, because I have quoted the following sentences before on M.M. Gerry McCann spoke to the media, after David Cameron revealed that Scotland Yard would be conducting the review. "He (meaning David Cameron)" knows what it's like to lose a child. I can only imagine how upset Mr and Mrs Cameron, must have felt when they heard this evil child neglector, use Ivan in this cruel way.

I will be very surprised if David Cameron allows this case to be a "whitewash". He knows that whatever happened to Madeleine, is the McCanns fault. If the review concludes that the case will not be reopened and the McCanns are not involved with Madeleine's disappearance and David Cameron accepts the conclusion, it is up to each and every one of us to email David Cameron and register our disgust.

I know Scotland Yard cannot reopen the case, because Madeleine disappeared in Portugal. The fact they are working closely with the PJ, means that they can ask for the case to be reopened, if they want to. It all depends on whether they want to keep protecting the McCanns.

I think we'll know something is afoot, if the cases between the McCanns and Goncalo Amaral/Tony Bennett are dropped or put on hold.


Last edited by kathybelle on Tue 13 Mar - 19:03; edited 1 time in total

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Re: From MCF

Post  NoStone on Tue 13 Mar - 18:50

Blacksmith is absolutely correct.

But can then anyone explain to me why the Met stopped the phone hackiing enquiry after 2 prosecutions and did not did deeper and do a more thorough investigation? Did I dream it or did someone say recently at the Leveson inquiry that the reason was because the police were under political pressure to do other things?

I cannot square a full blown - unfettered Met with full reign with the fact that they did not dig deeper and were under pressure from politicl sources to do other things like concentrate on terrorism - and what Blacksmith has set out!?? Forgive me if I am missing something here.

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Re: From MCF

Post  cass on Tue 13 Mar - 18:55

i agree kathy too . i have always believed that before the sun posted everything from kates beewk that the pj and uk police were working together , i mean the book was talked about for months and months , some one in the know will have had a read of it im sure , and it was disgusting using dc son . as i have said before they have rubbished the uk police the pj for 4 years . in what form justice might come who knows but they will get told to stfu soon im sure - bit blunt but thats how i feel today . a innocent child leaves the uk and doesnt return then its me me me celebs for her mam and dad - enough rope

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Re: From MCF

Post  Loopdaloop on Tue 13 Mar - 21:05

Annabel wrote:From XKLAMATION on Maddiecasefiles

Guys, I have bad news. I was already suspicious that this PJ review was nothing more than an exercise in PR, thus the re-start of the 2010 campaign "A Voice for Madeleine". This was mainly due to watching Pedro do Carmo, stating that Oporto's PJ special unit had been working on a review for the past year.

Last night, a TV show, that I'm about to start translating, has confirmed that said costly "review" exercise, is based exactly on Scotland Yard's motives - I'm afraid that both we, the Portuguese, and you, the British people, are just financing vain and meaningless PR exercises from both our police forces.

Keep signing, sharing the petition, we must pressure the Portuguese authorities for the case to be reopened.



I call nonsense on this one as A> Scotland yard have called it an investigative review and B> The 'Motives' of the British as evidence by wikileaks supported the same hypothesis as Goncalo. Thirdly, we have heard NOTHING from Scotland Yard! Zip. The Mccann's are on the back foot.
'Xclamation' is falling for disinformation.

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Re: From MCF

Post  Loopdaloop on Tue 13 Mar - 21:07

T4two wrote:Fact is, apart from the Portuguese police and Scotland Yard, nobody knows anything. As one would expect - Scotland Yard are not feeding the media any information whatsoever and the Portuguese have also managed to keep quiet for the most part. This is most encouraging because it stops the kind of media frenzy developing which we saw after May 3rd 2007 and in the years that followed. The media, Portuguese and UK alike, naturally don't like this situation and therefore they will do everything they can to goad the police into making some kind of comment so that they can run with a story. Today a group of people were arrested in the telephone hacking scandal. It came as a complete surprise, because the police have not been giving a running commentary on their investigation. That is exactly the way it should be - don't expect Scotland Yard to act any differently when investigating the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. It isn't going to happen.

I agree with this totally.

*edit* and with blacksmith,

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Re: From MCF

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