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FOI Act request about meetings between staff of Operation Grange and BBC Crimewatch - REFUSED

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Re: FOI Act request about meetings between staff of Operation Grange and BBC Crimewatch - REFUSED

Post by Tony Bennett on 30.05.14 20:32

Clay Regazzoni wrote:
@Tony Bennett wrote:
The governemnt set up a review which has cost £7.6 million so far into the disappearance of a 3-year-old British girl in a foreign country. It has produced (so far as we know) no result in over three years. The team of 40-odd detectives on what is now a 're-investigation' had made many statements about its work on the public record. Whilst confidential details about a live investigation are nearly always protected from disclosure, some matters are not.

Conservatively, that's three hundred man hours a day that they've potentially got to throw at this.

WHAT ARE THEY DOING?
Collecting tens or hundreds of thousands of pages of documents.

Reading the ones in English.

Sending the ones in Portuguese (PJ docs) and Spanish (Metodo 3 docs) for translation.

Reading the translations when they come back.

Deciding what box file each of them will go into.

Making an index of them.

Checking the index.

Writing labels on the boxes.

Buying more shelves and boxes.

Reading more documents.

Expanding the index.

Writing more labels.

Booking flights to and from Portugal.

Filling in expense claims.

Preparing numerous bland soundbites for TV.

Sitting down with the producers of CrimeWatch and preparing a really good script for the programme.  

More work on the index.

More labelling of the box files.

The visible proof of all this is the floor-to-ceiling wall of shelves of box files, visible when Redwood and Matthew Amroliwala swept in to the cavernous Grange incident room on the CrimeWatch Special

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Re: FOI Act request about meetings between staff of Operation Grange and BBC Crimewatch - REFUSED

Post by Improper Conduct on 30.05.14 20:51

@Tony Bennett wrote:
@Improper Conduct wrote:Didn't you think of calling Shrimpton for aid ?
Legalities I mean....
Just wondering Tone
OK, you are yet another arrival here who has zero interest in us finding out what really happened to Madeleine McCann, and I trust appropriate action will follow. I wonder why so many people come on here to distract from our search for the truth rather than to give active help?

But while on the subject of Michael Shrimpton, my strong opposition to his absurd purported information on what happened to Madeleine McCann is known, as is my comment that his fantastic theories, especially about a German spy network controlling the world, may be safely ignored.

But, well, talk of the devil, here he is on a criminal charge (last month, Southwark Crown Court) for supplying false information to the police about a German submarine trying to blow up the Millennium Dome (something like that anyway):

http://barthsnotes.com/2014/04/23/conspiracy-theorist-michael-shrimpton-prosecuted-over-olympics-bomb-claim/

...and here he is in a speech last week to the right-wing Swinton Circle on his favourite subject: German spies:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2PutVrP1e0

He has a brilliant mind on the British Constitution and on British weights and measures legislation and, if you accept him as comedy act, he can be very entertaining. The vid's worth a watch (for entertainment value) if you've an idle 10 minutes.

I'm not sure how accurate his book: 'Spyhunter' (just published) will turn out to be though


Yes....Its a funny old circular world. He had your back.....

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Re: FOI Act request about meetings between staff of Operation Grange and BBC Crimewatch - REFUSED

Post by Praiaaa on 30.05.14 20:56

Clay Regazzoni wrote:
@Tony Bennett wrote:
The governemnt set up a review which has cost £7.6 million so far into the disappearance of a 3-year-old British girl in a foreign country. It has produced (so far as we know) no result in over three years. The team of 40-odd detectives on what is now a 're-investigation' had made many statements about its work on the public record. Whilst confidential details about a live investigation are nearly always protected from disclosure, some matters are not.

Conservatively, that's three hundred man hours a day that they've potentially got to throw at this.

WHAT ARE THEY DOING?

very puzzling...

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Re: FOI Act request about meetings between staff of Operation Grange and BBC Crimewatch - REFUSED

Post by Guest on 30.05.14 21:00

Tony, with all due respect, I do not see why you would have the Met spend yet more time and money on explaining how much money they spent on a helicopter, travel expenses, etc. ... Let them do their job, I suggest. And, if and and when, they come up with zero results, is IMO the time to start asking questions.

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Re: FOI Act request about meetings between staff of Operation Grange and BBC Crimewatch - REFUSED

Post by Tony Bennett on 30.05.14 21:27

Châtelaine wrote:Tony, with all due respect, I do not see why you would have the Met spend yet more time and money on explaining how much money they spent on a helicopter, travel expenses, etc... Let them do their job, I suggest. And, if and and when, they come up with zero results, is IMO the time to start asking questions.
Really, Chatelaine, I despair of you sometimes.

Every single public agency we have in this country who is subject to the FoI Act could say exactly the same as you've just done.

For goodness sake, the very remit of Operation Grange was only prised out of them by people asking FoIAct questions.

You clearly have no idea how much scandal, waste of money, bad decisions, cost overruns and all sorts of other inconvenient information has been wrung from reluctant government and local authorities over the years.

We are an over-governed country and the FoI Act is a people's piece of legislation, enabling us to keep them in check.

Would you rather we didn't know that Grange had already cost £7.6 million and was costing well over £6,000 more every day of the year?

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Re: FOI Act request about meetings between staff of Operation Grange and BBC Crimewatch - REFUSED

Post by Guest on 30.05.14 21:57

But we know that Tony.
You calculated they cost GBP 6,000 per day and we buy that.
That doesn't make my remark, as a foreigner, less valid.
An educated guess, however, would be that such amount is spent daily on any other important crime.
And a crime it is.
The expense is a drop on a hot plate of general GBP and expenditure.
Let them finish [both of them, PJ and NSY] and then ask the questions, if the result is not satisfactorily.

ETA I despair of you occasionally too  winkwink 



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Re: FOI Act request about meetings between staff of Operation Grange and BBC Crimewatch - REFUSED

Post by russiandoll on 30.05.14 22:04

Agree with every word of this

   An educated guess, however, would be that such amount is spent daily on any other important crime.
And a crime it is.
The expense is a drop on a hot plate of general GBP and expenditure.
Let them finish [both of them, PJ and NSY] and then ask the questions, if the result is not satisfactorily.

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Re: FOI Act request about meetings between staff of Operation Grange and BBC Crimewatch - REFUSED

Post by Tony Bennett on 30.05.14 22:19

Châtelaine wrote:Let them finish [both of them, PJ and NSY]
To date, they've had 7 years and 27 days. How much longer do they need?

Grange may have cost less tfhan £8 million so far.

But don't forget about....

* millions spent by the PJ, and

* millions spent by Metodo 3, Kevin Halligen, Dave Edgar and the rest of the private eyes, and

* £500,000-plus by Leicestershire Police, and

* how much by police forces all over the world checking thousands of false sightings of Madeleine?  

Every single person on the planet was asked to 'Look for Madeleine'.

By now, we're entitled to ask questions about the continuing cost of this search

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Re: FOI Act request about meetings between staff of Operation Grange and BBC Crimewatch - REFUSED

Post by AndyB on 30.05.14 22:24

@russiandoll wrote:Agree with every word of this

   An educated guess, however, would be that such amount is spent daily on any other important crime.
And a crime it is.
The expense is a drop on a hot plate of general GBP and expenditure.
Let them finish [both of them, PJ and NSY] and then ask the questions, if the result is not satisfactorily.
Fortunately neither you nor Chateleine have to suffer the indignity of living in the thoroughly corrupt secretive cesspit that is the UK these days. (If you doubt what I say, I would  remind you that there is a former Conservative cabinet minister who is accused of child abuse and rape from numerous people yet still hasn't even been interviewed, let alone arrested http://www.exaronews.com/articles/5269/met-breached-guidelines-in-rape-investigation-into-ex-minister. This is the reality of Britain today)

I share TB's concerns and don't understand why we aren't allowed to ask the sort of question that he asked. SY long ago lost the right to be given the benefit of the doubt and surely in any democracy those that rule should accept the right of their citizens down-trodden, fore-lock tugging, deferential subjects to challenge those in authority?

As far as the spend is concerned, it is massively exceptional for any UK police force to spend that sort of money on an investigation. I've been the victim of two crimes and the police haven't spent a penny investigating either of them so for the sort of money that the Met have spent where they don't even have jurisdiction is incredible. That it is the endemically corrupt and institutionally racist SY that is spending the colossal sums just gives more cause for concern

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Re: FOI Act request about meetings between staff of Operation Grange and BBC Crimewatch - REFUSED

Post by Guest on 30.05.14 22:28

@ Tony
The Americans needed far more time than that for the Ramsey case and I haven't heard of a conclusion. Neither of the costs of the investigation. Nor of someone asking about that. No offense meant, Tony. Let the detectives take their course. I believe the major part of them do want to nail criminals and especially if a young girl is involved. With all due respect. And you know that.

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Re: FOI Act request about meetings between staff of Operation Grange and BBC Crimewatch - REFUSED

Post by russiandoll on 30.05.14 22:45

AndyB I understand your points, I just believe that Tony's actions are at risk of being counter-productive.

   btw.... why do you state with such certainty that I live outside the UK?

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Re: FOI Act request about meetings between staff of Operation Grange and BBC Crimewatch - REFUSED

Post by lj on 30.05.14 22:55

@sallypelt wrote:
@roy rovers wrote:'You have been warned previously' - what totally inappropriate language for a public servant to use to a member of the public making a legitimate request as allowed by the law. This investigation is a joke. The people running it and those at FOI are THICK!

I totally agree with you, roy rovers. Add the unprofessionalism of Jim Gamble to this sad little lot, and one has to ask, WHO THE HELL ARE THESE PEOPLE PUT IN POSITIONS OF AUTHORITY?? What a shower!   "You have been warned" What next???

I agree, it very clearly indicates where OG stands, and that's not on the side of truth and justice.

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Re: FOI Act request about meetings between staff of Operation Grange and BBC Crimewatch - REFUSED

Post by lj on 30.05.14 22:56

@SixMillionQuid wrote:"The Information Commissioner recognises that dealing with unreasonable
requests can place a strain on resources and get in the way of delivering
mainstream services or answering legitimate requests. Furthermore, these
requests can also damage the reputation of the legislation itself
."


What!???  what 

As far as I am know TB has made one request for specific information. There is no limit on the number of FOI requests that can be made. Who ever responded to this request is clutching at straws. If anything they're damaging the reputation of the legislation.

If there was any good reputation left to damage

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Re: FOI Act request about meetings between staff of Operation Grange and BBC Crimewatch - REFUSED

Post by AndyB on 30.05.14 23:00

@russiandoll wrote:   btw.... why do you state with such certainty that I live outside the UK?
I'm not certain. It just undermines my argument a great deal if you do live in the UK. :-)

Am I wrong?

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Re: FOI Act request about meetings between staff of Operation Grange and BBC Crimewatch - REFUSED

Post by lj on 30.05.14 23:06

Châtelaine wrote:@ Tony
The Americans needed far more time than that for the Ramsey case and I haven't heard of a conclusion. Neither of the costs of the investigation. Nor of someone asking about that. No offense meant, Tony. Let the detectives take their course. I believe the major part of them do want to nail criminals and especially if a young girl is involved. With all due respect. And you know that.

With all due respect, Châtelaine, I don't think the collateral damage of the Ramsey case comes anywhere near that of the Madeleine case. IMO as one of the victims, who has suffered a great deal of damage, Tony has all the rights to ask questions. If the volume is too big to handle they should take a look at the volume Carter Ruck dumped on Tony.

Edited to add: I have no idea if anyone has asked about the costs of the Ramsey case. I do know there has been a lot of comments about corruption in the investigation, so I would not be amazed if there were questions about that. Have you followed each and every event around that case, Châtelaine? Each forum each FOI request?

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Re: FOI Act request about meetings between staff of Operation Grange and BBC Crimewatch - REFUSED

Post by russiandoll on 30.05.14 23:06

ANdy this sounded pretty certain to me !   Fortunately neither you nor Chateleine have to suffer the indignity of living in the thoroughly corrupt secretive cesspit that is the UK these days.

 Oh yes I do !

 I see where you are coming from, but that does not mean that I want to encourage Tony to go down a path which will possibly see him in trouble again.

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Re: FOI Act request about meetings between staff of Operation Grange and BBC Crimewatch - REFUSED

Post by russiandoll on 30.05.14 23:20

You said this earlier today, Tony : Just for the record, I have received no previous warning either from Operation Grange or the Met's FoI Act section about either 'voluminous correspondence or 'vexatious requests'.

 Tony, that is not correct. You were told in November last year about any future requests being regarded as vexatious.


I take this opportunity to highlight that your requests have been received at a time when Operation Grange is at a clearly active stage in its Investigative Review. Requests which require officers to take valuable time out from critical investigative work is extremely burdensome on the resources available to them. I am therefore required to explain that while the MPS continue to remain as transparent as possible in respect of the Investigative Review (as evidenced by appropriate MPS engagement with the media), the MPS retains the right to consider refusing future requests on this subject as vexatious due to the disproportionate burden a request such as this has on the Service. Under Section 14(1) of the Act, public authorities do not have to comply with vexatious requests. Section 14(1) may be used where a request, or its impact on a public authority, cannot be justified

eta it is on this forum, you opened a new thread for a late reply to one of your FOI requests re Grange. November 2013.

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~John F. Kennedy


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Re: FOI Act request about meetings between staff of Operation Grange and BBC Crimewatch - REFUSED

Post by AndyB on 30.05.14 23:25

@russiandoll wrote:that does not mean that I want to encourage Tony to go down a path which will possibly see him in trouble again.
Totally agree, but I cannot help but feel encouraged that there are people that have the bravery I lack to challenge those that abuse their positions of power.

As to suggesting you were not in the UK; I made a categoric statement about that, which has since transpired to be wrong. I'm sorry. In mitigation I would say that the passion that I felt at the time I wrote it led me to imbue my response with a certainty that I didn't really feel. But it was still wrong of me

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Re: FOI Act request about meetings between staff of Operation Grange and BBC Crimewatch - REFUSED

Post by Guest on 30.05.14 23:33

@lj wrote:
Châtelaine wrote:@ Tony
The Americans needed far more time than that for the Ramsey case and I haven't heard of a conclusion. Neither of the costs of the investigation. Nor of someone asking about that. No offense meant, Tony. Let the detectives take their course. I believe the major part of them do want to nail criminals and especially if a young girl is involved. With all due respect. And you know that.

With all due respect, Châtelaine, I don't think the collateral damage of the Ramsey case comes anywhere near that of the Madeleine case. IMO as one of the victims, who has suffered a great deal of damage, Tony has all the rights to ask questions. If the volume is too big to handle they should take a look at the volume Carter Ruck dumped on Tony.

Edited to add: I have no idea if anyone has asked about the costs of the Ramsey case. I do know there has been a lot of comments about corruption in the investigation, so I would not be amazed if there were questions about that. Have you followed each and every event around that case, Châtelaine? Each forum each FOI request?
***
I am a bit surprised at your tone, lj. No, of course, I didn't check EACH forum, or EACH FOI request. I do have a fair knowledge of the case, though, and I am only trying to protect Tony against himself. It's easy for all to stimulate his actions. But he IS the one, who's running the risks. And IMO he's getting close again ...

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Re: FOI Act request about meetings between staff of Operation Grange and BBC Crimewatch - REFUSED

Post by Tony Bennett on 31.05.14 0:00

@russiandoll wrote:You said this earlier today, Tony : Just for the record, I have received no previous warning either from Operation Grange or the Met's FoI Act section about either 'voluminous correspondence or 'vexatious requests'.

 Tony, that is not correct. You were told in November last year about any future requests being regarded as vexatious.


I take this opportunity to highlight that your requests have been received at a time when Operation Grange is at a clearly active stage in its Investigative Review. Requests which require officers to take valuable time out from critical investigative work is extremely burdensome on the resources available to them. I am therefore required to explain that while the MPS continue to remain as transparent as possible in respect of the Investigative Review (as evidenced by appropriate MPS engagement with the media), the MPS retains the right to consider refusing future requests on this subject as vexatious due to the disproportionate burden a request such as this has on the Service. Under Section 14(1) of the Act, public authorities do not have to comply with vexatious requests. Section 14(1) may be used where a request, or its impact on a public authority, cannot be justified

eta it is on this forum, you opened a new thread for a late reply to one of your FOI requests re Grange. November 2013.
The actual words were "consider refusing future requests on this subject", russiandoll.

You're quite right, at least on the fact that a 'vexatious request' was mentioned. But there's never been anything about 'voluminous correspondence' before, I'm certain of that.

Hand on heart, I'd forgotten any previous mention of the word 'vexatious'. However, it clearly states that 'the MPS retains the right' (as opposed to the MPS 'warns you'), and it refers to 'further requests on this subject' - whatever that means.

IIRC (and you seem to have a better record of my FOI Act requests than I do), this was about staffing issues, and I think it was the second occasion on which I had raised the subject of their staffing levels. Moreover, they had originally said that they would provide me with an answer. 

I have both a right of review and then a right of appeal against any decision of theirs to deem any request of mine 'vexatious'. (Which I will probably exercise).

Moreover, as has been pointed out, they are not claiming that I am 'being vexatious', only that I am claimed to have made a 'vexatious request'.   

On the face of it, ordering a top class military helicopter and then doing a week's digging over 7 years after Madeleine's disappearance does not seem a good use of money, the area having apparently been checked for Madeleine 7 years ago. I suspect that the cost of it all runs into tens of thousands of pounds. I wouldn't quibble with that if that is proven to result in proof of what happened to Madeleine.

But it would take someone 5 minutes to find the two PJ invoices - for a military helicopter and a week-long dig - so that's not going to trouble them much.

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Re: FOI Act request about meetings between staff of Operation Grange and BBC Crimewatch - REFUSED

Post by lj on 31.05.14 0:57

Châtelaine wrote:
@lj wrote:
Châtelaine wrote:@ Tony
The Americans needed far more time than that for the Ramsey case and I haven't heard of a conclusion. Neither of the costs of the investigation. Nor of someone asking about that. No offense meant, Tony. Let the detectives take their course. I believe the major part of them do want to nail criminals and especially if a young girl is involved. With all due respect. And you know that.

With all due respect, Châtelaine, I don't think the collateral damage of the Ramsey case comes anywhere near that of the Madeleine case. IMO as one of the victims, who has suffered a great deal of damage, Tony has all the rights to ask questions. If the volume is too big to handle they should take a look at the volume Carter Ruck dumped on Tony.

Edited to add: I have no idea if anyone has asked about the costs of the Ramsey case. I do know there has been a lot of comments about corruption in the investigation, so I would not be amazed if there were questions about that. Have you followed each and every event around that case, Châtelaine? Each forum each FOI request?
***
I am a bit surprised at your tone, lj. No, of course, I didn't check EACH forum, or EACH FOI request. I do have a fair knowledge of the case, though, and I am only trying to protect Tony against himself. It's easy for all to stimulate his actions. But he IS the one, who's running the risks. And IMO he's getting close again ...

I'm sorry,Châtelaine, I did not mean to set a certain tone. However you know as well as I do it is impossible nowadays to follow everything that goes on around cases. You have heard of no-one ask about the costs of the Ramsey, does really not mean a thing. There are still many fora going on about that case, and I doubt that has not been a subject somewhere.

As far as you wanting to protect Tony against himself, isn't that a bit patronizing? It reminds me of a good joke that I won't publish so I don't shock some of us, but let's say it reminds me of "I'm from the government and I am here to help you".

____________________
"And if Madeleine had hurt herself inside the apartment, why would that be our fault?"  Gerry

http://pjga.blogspot.co.uk/?m=0

http://whatreallyhappenedtomadeleinemccann.blogspot.co.uk/

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Re: FOI Act request about meetings between staff of Operation Grange and BBC Crimewatch - REFUSED

Post by plebgate on 31.05.14 5:37

As another poster commented Tony - shocking response but not at all surprising.

"You have been warned previously "- how dare someone write that to a member of the public taking an interest and seeking info.  

I for one take my hat off to you Tony.    You may not ever receive a gong from the twits running this country but there are many family members and friends of victims you have fought for who admire and thank you for  what you do, as do a great many members of the public.    

I am glad to see that you may seek an appeal about this decision and hope you send a link to this thread, so the senders of such offensive letters to the public can see just how ill thought of they are.

I also think that you should ask the Info. Commissioner to have a word in the shell-like of the sender of that letter to you and remind him that he is paid by the public and that the public should be treated with respect at all times.  

So much for Blair's vision of openess, ha ha, a joke at the time and an even bigger joke now that this, imo,  offensive response has been received.

I wish one of the MSM would print a copy of this letter and allow comments.


ETA - Tony, imo you shouldn't bother to respond to posters like Improper Conduct.  Attention seeker imo.

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Re: FOI Act request about meetings between staff of Operation Grange and BBC Crimewatch - REFUSED

Post by ufercoffy on 31.05.14 7:22

I totally agree with you here, lj, it is patronizing to suggest that Tony needs protecting from himself. Tony is campaigning for justice with a parallel case - that of Lee Balkwell - which is being documented on this forum and the description of that section reads:

[color=#3300ff]"Tony Bennett also searches for the truth about what really happened to Lee Balkwell who was found dead, trapped under the drum of a cement mixer, 11 years ago. Simon Bromley, Mr Balkwell's boss at the time, has now been charged with manslaughter. Well done, Tony!"

http://jillhavern.forumotion.net/f46-justice-for-lee-balkwell

No one seems to be protecting Tony from himself in that case. OK, so he hasn't got Carter-Ruck breathing down his neck, or a potential prison sentence in that case, but Tony pushes for the truth from all directions and has got someone charged with manslaughter! 

Tony is dealing with corrupt police officers and a corrupt justice system in the Lee Balkwell case and is getting results for Lee and his father. And that is what he is doing for Madeleine. 

I can't see anyone else fighting for justice for Madeleine Beth McCann, in this country, in the same way as Tony does. Not even her own parents!

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Re: FOI Act request about meetings between staff of Operation Grange and BBC Crimewatch - REFUSED

Post by russiandoll on 31.05.14 8:24

Hey AndyB, chill out !  What's with this ?    As to suggesting you were not in the UK; I made a categoric statement about that, which has since transpired to be wrong. I'm sorry. In mitigation I would say that the passion that I felt at the time I wrote it led me to imbue my response with a certainty that I didn't really feel. But it was still wrong of me.

 You do not owe me an apology!  You made a mistake, nothing more and an understandable one considering the word Russian is in my member name and I have before my latest incarnation been a wooden doll [ the original intention to symbolise this case ] and a series of glamorous Russian women!

Well, confusion is good  ......  big grin  [ I look good in a hat though, don't you think?]

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             The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie — deliberate,
contrived and dishonest — but the myth — persistent, persuasive and
unrealistic.
~John F. Kennedy


russiandoll

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Re: FOI Act request about meetings between staff of Operation Grange and BBC Crimewatch - REFUSED

Post by russiandoll on 31.05.14 8:29

For the record, I would like to make my feelings very clear about Tony's FOI requests. My attitude is very simple. Regardless of any unfairness, bad attitude from the organisation responding to them, the bottom line is these people are clearly weary of having to deal with the requests and the ugly fact of the matter is that he appears to be sailing close to the wind. I hope he does not push things to the point where he gets into trouble. Having backed off somewhat from speaking publicly about this case Tony is now full steam ahead and I do not wish to be patronizing...he is the one with his head above the parapet on this forum and he is the one who will be taking the flak.

____________________



             The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie — deliberate,
contrived and dishonest — but the myth — persistent, persuasive and
unrealistic.
~John F. Kennedy


russiandoll

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