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McCann's PR chief stands for election as Member of Parliament

clarencemitchellOne of the key players in the Madeleine McCann affair has been proposed as a candidate in the coming British general election in the first week of May.

The person in question is Clarence Eden Mitchell and his candidature has been confirmed by Heather Newberry-Martin, an election agent at the Conservative Party office in Brighton and Hove.

Mitchell was the public relations expert sent to Portugal from the UK by the Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown to help the McCanns deal with all the PR after the disappearance of their daughter in the Algarve in 2008.

Many people asked at the time why a PR professional was needed to help locate a three-year-old child, and why the British prime minister was so keen to have someone who worked for the Labour government get involved in the case.

Clarence Mitchell is not standing for Labour, but for the Conservatives for the Brighton Pavilion seat. No party loyalties here then. Could you imagine Alistair Campbell standing for the Tories?

Another interesting fact about Clarence Mitchell, is that since September 2012 he has been a director of Swanswell Charitable Trust. This Warwickshire-based charity was established to help people with alcohol, drug abuse and dependency problems.

Sounds noble. What could be wrong with that? The problem with the whole charity industry in the UK - actually, word-wide - is that it has now become,... well, an industry.

Many charities have altruistic aspirations and objectives, but they often do little or no good - apart from making some over-paid directors and/or senior employees richer than the average member of the public.

The Swanswell charity describes its main objectives and activities as, “a national recovery charity that helps people change and be happy."

Another curious and comical thing in the charity's report was its training programme, “Our Beautiful Training collection continues to grow and develop and we now have over 25 courses in our portfolio.”

The charity's Corporate Plan as per its financial statements for 31 March 2014 declares, “Our ambitious vision dares to imagine generational transformational change, and by adopting this vision takes up a leadership challenge, saying, 'let it be us', and 'let it start now.'

Does anyone know what this means? Sounds like all the nauseating rubbish we had to put up with when 'New' Labour was in power (or was about to be elected): ‘education, education, education’ (for people who didn't hear it the first time); and the even worse, ‘tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime’ (Readers should feel free to add any of their particular favourites from any political party.)

Continuing, the charity's mission is, “To achieve a society free from problem alcohol and drug use, we will enable a climate of clear thinking around the use of alcohol and drugs.” In other words, people are too stupid to think for themselves and they need charities to do it for them.

The charity also informs us that, “The (British) government spends around £400 for every taxpayer on drug policy alone, so it's important for decision-makers to get it right.”

It might have helped if Tony Blair hadn't sent in the British “security forces” (which used to be called the army) to “protect” the opium fields which the Taliban (in Afghanistan) were in the process of destroying. Well, they do call for “clear thinking”!

Although the financial statements claim that no directors such as Mitchell (or any person connected with them) were paid out of the funds of the charity, one person was paid between £70,000-£80,000, while another was paid £80,000-£90,000.

Another £10,451 was paid into a pension costs for these two individuals. Well, we don't want them to be poor in their retirement years, like some British ex-pats might end being thanks to Conservative government policies on retirement thresholds.

Given that Swanswell is a charity, I fail to see why the accounts couldn't show a breakdown of the wages showing how many people were paid how much, say 3 x £25,000, 4x £30,000 and so on. The breakdown we're given is that approximately £7.5 million in wages divided between 303 staff, of which 273 were 'advisory.' Advising on what?

Another interesting thing found in the accounts is that the charity has nearly £759,000 worth of computer equipment, with approximately £20,000 more being purchased in the financial year ended 31 March 2014. What's it all for?

While this is not the place to make allegations, perhaps I could introduce another member of the McCann team into the equation: Gary Hagland. Hagland was employed by the McCanns for his expertise on money laundering. Again, quite why an expert on money-laundering was needed in a child-abduction case remains a mystery. Perhaps he would have been better employed by former Portuguese Prime Minister José Sócrates.

I quote here from one of Hagland's own articles in a British newspaper, “Money launderers are extremely well-funded, well-advised and make use of technically elaborate and sophisticated schemes to cover their tracks.”

Like an imagined scheme for the disappearance of a small child to help launder millions? Or even a reputed charity that is supposed to help people recover from alcohol and drugs?

Again, while this is not place to make accusations, maybe readers will know where my mind is going when I quote a well-known fictitious detective on British television. Played by British actor David Jason, Inspector Jack Frost states, “Statistically, most people are killed by someone they already know, so statistically most people are probably safest with a complete stranger.”

Maybe the police simply don't understand statistics.

With a recent article in algarvedailynews stating that a senior police officer was calling for the closing down of Operation Grange (the continuing investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann,) we should go further and question why so many resources and public money have been thrown at the case – and should they be recovered from the McCanns.


The most important question in all this is why the British Conservative Party has chosen to put forward a candidate for the next general election with such dubious credentials.

Not only were many of his comments to the media about the disappearance of Madeleine McCann and subsequent events, questionable, some commentators claimed they were nothing but lies.

Should someone like this be representing the Brighton public in the House of Commons?

Finally, may I apologise to the readers for even mentioning the duo (Gerry and Kate McCann). I am sure, like me, most people in the Algarve and in the UK are fed up with hearing about them. Even if all the 'facts' about case were true, many people still question why so much attention and resources have been given to this one case when countless children disappear every year.

Film fans will remember The Matrix. In this 1999 movie, the disgruntled and disenchanted Cypher (played by actor Joe Pantoliano) wants to return to the Matrix, and so he agrees to betray Morpheus(Laurence Fishburne) and the others.

However, he wants to remember nothing about the event. In other words, remember nothing about the fact that he betrayed his colleagues.

Can you imagine waking up in aworld and having never heard of Gerry and Kate McCann and the disappearance of their daughter? Gerry and Kate who? Heaven indeed...



Clarence Mitchell - perhaps best known as the media spokesman for the parents of Madeleine McCann - lost his bid last night to morph into a Conservative Party MP.


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