Harry Shindler aged 92 and a veteran of the Anzio Beach-head invasion in Italy by the allied troops against the German Nazi occupation of Italy in 1944 - Italy had surrendered in September 1943.
The insulting attitude of the Daily Mail towards pensioners residing in continental Europe was the spur for Harry to write this letter.
When Scotland Yard launched its Madeleine McCann investigation, it called for ‘restraint’ from the British media. Meanwhile, a Portuguese law forbids police here from divulging inside information about on-going criminal investigations.
So how come newspapers in both Britain and Portugal have identified and published sensational stories about another implausible ‘prime suspect’ in this case?
In the massive publicity campaign, viewers had been promised a ‘revelation’ but the only revelation during the BBC’s special Crimewatch programme on the disappearance of Madeleine McCann was how slow Scotland Yard detectives seem to have been in getting up to speed on the case and how shallow the BBC was in its reporting. To read the conclusion of this insight, click HERE.
"...if not there will be no progress". There has been an overwhelming response to last night’s appeal on BBC’s Crimewatch in the Madeleine McCann case.
The broadcast to the UK public included the release of a photofit of a man they need to trace, seen carrying a child in the direction of the Priaia da Luz beach at 10.10pm o the night of her disappearance.
The media hype that has surrounded the Madeleine McCann mystery for the past six years has been unleashed with renewed vigour by none other than Scotland Yard.
On announcing that their ‘Operation Grange’ review of the case had been elevated to a full-scale inquiry in July, Scotland Yard asked for “media restraint” in the coming weeks and months as it began what was interpreted as the last chance to find out what happened to Madeleine.
The unanswered question of what happened to Madeleine is at the root of the McCanns vs Amaral libel hearing now underway in Lisbon.
With the hearing in recess for a few days, it is perhaps a good moment to reflect dispassionately on just how polarised public opinion is over the mystery of Madeleine’s disappearance more than six years ago.
The question is not for the libel hearing to consider, of course, but this legal action once again highlights the fact that public opinion is broadly split into two camps.
The McCanns have always insisted their daughter was abducted. During the original investigation, the lead detective Gonçalo Amaral became convinced she died in the holiday apartment, that her body was secretly disposed of, and that the McCanns lied about it.
Playing bingo, snacking while sitting on a monument or feeding pigeons may seem innocent enough to many British citizens, but these are just some of the reasons why people have found themselves faced with hefty fines or in some cases arrested or detained abroad.
Every year Brits are caught out by local laws and customs which might seem harmless in the UK, some of which carry serious consequences.