This could be an interesting test of the strength of the PCC. Whereas Robert Murat and Kate & Gerry McCann received hefty payments after seeking redress through the courts rather than the Press Complaints Commission, now there's another figure in the whole sorry saga attempting redress, not through legal means but through the Pathetically Craven Commission.
Debbie Butler of the Madeleine Foundation was accused of being 'The McCann's stalker' by the Sunday Express's front page last week
and was labelled a 'sicko' in a Daily Star article about her activities. Now the best way to decide about the Madeleine Foundation is to have a look at the website and judge for yourself. I am not for a moment going to say I agree with everything on there; but on the other hand there are legitimate questions that are posed about the little girl's disappearance, and I think it's fair enough that they should be asked.
Of course the allegations against Butler are nowhere near as serious as those against Kate & Gerry or indeed Robert Murat. But nonetheless it might be interesting to compare and contrast the cases. Specifically, how seriously will the Express take a complaint through the PCC, as opposed to one through notable libel lawyers? Particularly in the light of the fact that even when they got a stern ticking-off from the PCC over the Sunday Express-Dunblane atrocity, they did absolutely nothing about it whatsoever, despite the fact the PCC said they hadn't done enough.
This sentence of the complaint caught my eye:
Debbie's ex-husband asked why they had printed such a bad picture of Debbie in the 'Sunday Express' and why they had apparently chosen the worst one. The answer from the journalist, verbatim, was: "The editor told me he wanted her portrayed as a hard cow".
Ah yes, there's the Fourth Estate in all its glory for us, right there.