Thursday, 23 May 2013

Georges Moustaki RIP

The singer-songwriter Georges Moustaki died today, aged 79. While lamenting the loss of the composer of such gems as 'Eden Blues', 'Le gitan et la fille' and of course 'Milord', it would be lacking of me not to refer to some of his lesser-endearing qualities.
There's quite a chunk about Moustaki in my new book, Edith Piaf: Interviews With Those Who Knew Her, published for the 50th anniversary of her death. A genius without any doubt, he was also a moody soul and a thug who according to everyone I interviewed--most especially our mutual friend, Barbara--like to knock his women around.
Felix Marten even wrote Piaf a song about him, 'C'est un home terrible', while they were together--the gist of this being that, while he loved nothing more than using her as 'target practice' and 'giving her some knuckle', when sleeping he bubbled like a baby. Catherine Jan, who was at Piaf's place the first time Moustaki visited, recalls Piaf ordering him to have a bath before meeting him--ironically he slipped on the tiles and broke his collar bone. Barbara told similar stories. When Piaf was very ill in New York--she'd paid for him to go with her--upon hearing she might not survive after collapsing on stage and undergoing a five-hour operation, Moustaki went off in search or 'pretty women' because, if she did survive, Piaf would no be of no more use to him.
A musical genius he certainly was--a nice man, in his youth, he certainly was not. This is why, last year when we were preparing a radio retrospective about Barbara for the BBC and I and her manager were given the task of drawing up the guest list, Moustaki's name was crossed off.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Well Done!

Congratulation to Dominique Venner, proving that even at 78 you're not too old to make amends for the misery your spoutings inflict on innocent people. The world, Venner said the other day, would be a better place with Muslims and gays. That's racist AND homophobic, and most intensely so. M. Venner, the world is certainly a better place without you. Would only a few others follow your example. But please, NOT in one of our beautiful monuments. Someone else has to clean up the mess.


Right-wing historian shoots himself in Paris's Notre Dame cathedral 'in protest at gay marriage'

  • Man kills himself in iconic Parisian attraction
  • French media reports say historian Dominique Venner shot himself
  • He is known to be a virulent opponent of gay marriage
  • The 78-year-old also fought in a militant paramilitary group
  • The historic site was close to the public
By Sam Webb

A French right-wing historian shot himself dead yesterday in front of hundreds of tourists at the altar of the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris in protest at the introduction of gay marriage in France.
Dominique Venner, 78, is said to have walked calmly past the crowds before taking out an automatic pistol and shooting himself in the head.
It came three days after President Francois Hollande signed gay marriage into law despite the issue proving hugely controversial.

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Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Dominique Venner

Meilleur tard que jamais.
Better late than never.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Omens? Will There Be Big News?

I believe in portentous omens!

This morning I wrote about the death of Henry VI on Tuesday 21 May 1471. He was either clubbed over the head while at prayer, or stabbed up the bum--nothing sexual about this, assassins often plunged their blade where it wouldn't show.
While writing, I wondered why I had a sudden cold shudder, and a little later it dawned on me.
Tomorrow is 21 May and it falls on a Tuesday.

Tomorrow is Hala Pickford's birthday. Will she do an Elizabeth of York and snuff it on her big day?--though not as this dear lady did in childbirth, because something needs to happen to put the child there in the first place, and Hala's honolulu is a place where NO man would wish to park his jollopy.

Will Evelyn Zumaya celebrate with a Chinese painting and ropes party in the woods?

Will someone send me pornographic pictures of the event from the 12.59 to Brussels?

Will the McCann case make a sudden surge forwards as predicted, only to take ten steps back again?

Will I win Euromillions like I did last week--£7.90?

And doesn't Henry look like Evelyn Zumaya, without her specs?

There's also another Pickford connection with Henry. When they opened his tomb in 1910 they found the partial remains of a pig.

I guess all these things will or will not be explained on Wednesday--in America they're several hours behind us.

It would be fun though if everything came true. Then all of OUR birthdays would come at once!

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Charles Trenet Centenary

Charles Trenet would have been 100 today.
He was an incredibly gifted singer and composer, but one of the most decidedly unpleasant people I have ever encountered.
I had the displeasure of interviewing him by telephone in 1990, and his first question was, 'Would you and your good lady like to see my show next week in Paris?'
I thanked him very much, and then he suddenly launched into the third person. 'Of course, you'll have  to dip your hand in your pocket. I'm not a f****** charity!' Politely I put the phone down, and the following week he called me--in Paris. He apologised, I accepted, along with the little gift he sent to the hotel, and I carried on admiring him. His excuse was that he was an old man, and that old men sometimes get grumpy when tired!
And Trenet was an angel compared with Sacha Distel, who insulted Jeanne--on national television--in such a way that he found himself very quickly surrounded by a group of angry people interested in rewarding him with a knuckle sandwich.
But that's another story!

Thursday, 16 May 2013

The Wars Of The Roses

I'm not quite sure what to make of this. The White Queen is a new television series set to air next month, and tells about three of the leading female figures in the Wars of the Roses, based on the books by Philippa Gregory. The bit I've been privileged to see shows all three wearing armour, which of course never happened. Also, though he's cute and the right size--6'4"--I'm a bit iffy with the way Max Irons looks in character. Edward IV was famed for his long hair, and in this one they've given him a crop. I guess we'll just have to see how it pans out, though like many I'm very grateful they're covering this period in our history. It's sad though that Philippa Gregory is getting some stick over this--something I can sympathise with because, once you step away from the norm, the obsessives start going for the jugular. Two of my books are optioned for films, and if the films ever get made--it's a dodgy business--even I might not recognise my characters! Currently I have two Wars of the Roses projects, as the discovery of Richard III's remains has caused considerable interest in this period. John Dynham of Nutwell: A Saga Set During The Wars of The Roses comes out next month, the first of a four-part series. This covers the years 1458-1465 and tells the story from a new angle. Then I have The Yorkist Kings & The Wars of The Roses on the stocks right now. It's a massive undertaking--they both are--but the fortunate thing about them is that they've been written for a number of years and sitting in a box in my loft: the recent spell of insanity regarding Valentino McCanngate brought my name to the attention of the right people, so I have these nutcases to thank for this change of fortune. All I have to do is edit the original scripts, though in the case of both books it's one heck of a job!                                                                                                                                            

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Richard III: This Charming Man

This has been one of the most thrilling years of my career. A bit of a worry when I turned down offers for the revised Valentino book because the publishers who approached me wouldn't do it unless they did the Piaf 50th anniversary one as well. I just didn't want a new outfit being pestered by Valentino loonies, so I did it myself. But, the same loonies drawing attention to me resulted in three more publishing deals--including one for a multi-part series about The Wars of The Roses. The first one comes out next month, round about the same time as my novel about the German Occupation. Roger, my godfather, will be smiling down on me, I hope--it's his story, only the names have changed.
And now, the discovery of Richard's remains has given renewed interest in my other Wars of The Roses saga that's been sitting in the loft for ten years--just as the novels were. When I first started out back in 1987--new career, new name, new home, new lots of other things--I was writing biographies and novels. I published the first Piaf, then they wanted a follow-up. Someone had submitted a biography of George Formby which had caused a bit of a hoo-hah: the publisher kept him hanging on until I had agreed to to do one and it hit the press, then they let him down gently--not a very gentlemanly thing to do, but I'd had it done to me with Josephine Baker, and sadly it's a dog-eat-dog world. The same thing happened again with Maria Callas and Freddie Mercury, and with Liz Taylor the publisher actually negotiated a deal which would see the book emerging a week after she died. Elizabeth knew aabout this all along, and was kindness itself. It's not my fault if I corner the market, they tell me.
But back to Richard. I've now had to completely rewrite the opening chapter of his section of 'The Yorkist Kings'. No more withered arm, humped back and eating live frogs--not that I believed any of that stuff in the first place, though if you're writing something that's supposed to be academic you have to examine every angle. And now I have the 'new' Richard watching me while I work, and I have to say, that image haunted me for many nights before I got used to him. In medieval terms, he now fits into the same matinee idol category as John Dynham and Edward IV.
Neither do I believe that Richard personally killed The Princes In The Tower, only that--again in the dog-eat-dog violent world he lived in--something had to be done about them. The idea of infanticide is repulsive today, but back then it would have been little different than lopping off a thief's hand for stealing bread. The boys were considered dangerous. Insurrections took place in their name, therefore the obvious solution would have been to remove them--like I say, a repulsive thought today, and before the loonies start mouthing off, not one that I agree with. Save that I don't believe that they were removed. Otherwise where does Perkin Warbeck, another medieval matinee idol--fit into all of this?
The television movie about Perkin, with Mark Umbers in the title-role was excellent. It would be nice if they could now do a film about Richard. And I adored that very apt line pronounced by Perkin while referring to Edward, the man who may or may not have been his father, and his excesses: 'If it was dead, he would eat it--if it was alive, he would f*ck it!'

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Something Nice To Look At!

After all those horrible women I've been writing about these past few days, time now to turn the page and let you see something nice!

Presenting Omar--or should this be 'Oh ma God!'?
Mrs B's not too keen--she doesn't like men with beards. Well, only me!
This boy allegedly got kicked out of Saudia Arabia for being too cute?
Would you people kick him out of bed?
It's a long shot, but we can all dream. I want him to play Rudolph Valentino in the film. But would this 'Shiek' be willing to lose the beard and the chest hair?

Meet Omar Borkan Al Gala – The Man Arrested For Being Too Handsome

Above is Omar Borkan Al Gala who will forever be known at The Man Who Was Forced To Leave Saudi Arabia For Being Too Handsome. According to Arabic newspaper Elaph, Omar and two model friends were evicted from the Jenadrivah Heritage & Culture Festival by members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vices because officials were worried that: “female visitors could fall for them.” So far so Zoolander.
The actor, photographer and poet is currently back in his native United Arab Emirates where he posted a link to the newspaper article on his Facebook. He’s now acquired 649,000 (most female) fans.
For the full story pick up this week’s Grazia and have your say by voting below...
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Sunday, 5 May 2013

The Paiva-Spencer-Morais-Bennett Debacle

................................................................................................................................................................................................ Gerry McCann: "It is something we raised at Leveson that Madeleine and her safety is often treated with complete contempt"....Carlos Anjos, president of ASFIC/PJ: “What the McCanns did was...they've put on their internet page “We asked the authorities”, but they didn't, because to ask means to send a request to the Prosecutor's Office or to the Judiaciary Police, and that didn't happen. I think what we have here it's some sort of deception.”....................................................
Dear Reader,
This is linked to the McCann case, but has nothing to do with Kate & Gerry McCann. If you're not interested in this case--it's rather boring if you're not--please disregard this Blog posting. I don't intend cluttering this Blog with these people.
None of the comments and opinions below are my own. I wish the McCanns no harm, I have apologised personally to them for my previous comments. For reasons known only to themselves, Ricardo Paiva, Justine Spencer, Joana Morais and Tony Bennett have embroiled themselves in this matter. I never asked to be a part of it.
David Bret

McCann affair: PJ Inspector caught in internet trap

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McCann affair: PJ Inspector caught in internet trap

Post candyfloss on Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:18 pm
Blimey the news is coming in thick and fast today big grin

McCann affair: PJ Inspector caught in internet trap

10 March 2012 | Posted by Joana Morais Leave a Comment

Enlarge this imageReduce this image Click to see fullsize

A fake profile in the internet enticed an investigator of the Maddie Case into indiscretions

by Tânia Laranjo/Eduardo Dâmaso

One of the PJ inspectors who investigated the Maddie case was the victim of a trap on the Internet. The inspector Ricardo Paiva spoke on Facebook with a woman who introduced herself as an American model, but the talks eventually ended up in the possession of the English media. The inspector was blackmailed, so these conversations were not made ​​public, and now is facing a disciplinary process concerning the breach of civil servant duty. The fake profile on Facebook may have been created by someone connected to the McCanns' cause.

The PJ's directorate already opened an inquest to the inspector: “An English newspaper is in possession of photos and cell phone messages from an PJ inspector and a North America woman”. In that material, the inspector in question identifies himself in that capacity [as an element of the PJ of Portimão] and says that he worked on the Madeleine McCann case. These two facts led to the opening of a disciplinary proceeding as soon as they were communicated to the PJ, confirmed a source from the PJ National Directorate.

As CM was able to find out, those conversations took place soon after the inspector made a comment in a McCann support group in the internet [Facebook]. After this, the inspector believes his computer was the target of an hacking attempt and even admits that some hacker has accessed illegitimately to his personal data.

ongoing translation


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Blondes, entrapment, and projection

Post Tony Bennett on Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:05 pm
There appear to be at least three people connected in some way to this story:

Ricardo Paiva: Portuguese detective who has gone down in history as being called by Dr Kate McCann, in her best Scouse: 'F___ing tosser'.

David Bret: Loud- and foul-mouthed author of trashy books who has latched on to the Madeleine McCann case and has been lording it over one of the Madeleine McCann Facebook groups.

Justine Spencer: Believed to be McCann-devotee 'Jayelles'. 'Jayelles' has fallen out in the last few days with Bonnybraes of JATYK notoriety. Her posts are now banned there.

There is a Facebook page in the name of Ricardo Paiva. I assume it is genuinely him, but one can never be sure these days.

On 11 January 2012, Ricardo Paiva (or, alternatively, someone pretending to be him), posted a New Year's message, I think to the FB Madeleine McCann page which Bret infests, which did, somewhat bizarrely, launch into a minor tirade on those apparently hounding Justine Spencer in that group. He pleaded with the group not to post personal and professional attacks on Justine Spencer.

Bret in his typical brutish manner decided to remove Ricardo Paiva from the FB group. Bret claimed that Justine Spencer had tarnished the reputation of another member of that group, one Warren Thornton.

More recently, Bret has admitted to getting into a tangle with Justine Spencer, who reported him to the police regarding hateful e-mails he had allegedly sent to her. He has also posted this message: "So, I'm blamed for setting up Ricardo Paiva. Hands up, they're right".

All will no doubt be revealed in due course, but in the meantime - and on the face of it - it appears that someone, using a considerable amount of guile and skill, has enticed Ricardo Paiva into making some rash comments to someone he believed to be an attractive blonde who claimed she'd taken a shine to him.

And Paiva is facing disciplinary action for his indiscretions and apparently disclosing his PJ identity online.

IF...IF this is really Ricardo Paiva and he is in a spot of bother due to embarrassing comments he has made, then, as the Romans would have said:


Or, in good old Anglo-Saxon: who benefits?

I think the answer to that is clear enough, and it is there one must look to find the person who allegedly entrapped and blackmailed Paiva and has given information to a Portuguese and British newspaper.

Though Bret is such a law unto himself that I wouldn't put anything past him.

P.S.1 Speaking of entrapment, have we heard from our member Michael Gunnill alias Michael Sangerte alias Peter Tarwin alias Jason Peters recently?

P.S.2 'Jayelles' = Justine Spencer was last seen at the Case Management hearing on 8 February in the McCann committal-to-prison case. Ill-at-ease and looking thoroughly miserable, she alienated the court by using her mobile 'phone during the court session, whilst my eight supporters there all behaved impeccably. During an adjourment whilst the 4-man legal team from Carter-Ruck decided how to respond to Mr Justice Tugendhat's suggestion that the McCanns cut down the alleged breaches of my undertakings from 153 down to 'no more than 10' (they came back with 26), Jayelles reacted angrily to a group in front of her who were discussing Madeleine's disappearance from a point of view very different from hers. She then e-mailed to her gullible pro-McCann supporters a ridiculously inaccurate report on the court hearing, claiming I 'cut a lonely and pathetic figure' in the court.

Are you sure you weren't projecting your own situation on to someone else, Jayelles?


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Re: McCann affair: PJ Inspector caught in internet trap

Post Truthseeker2012 on Sun Mar 11, 2012 4:52 am
Internet shenanigans have been a regular part of the 'campaign' over the years.

The sick photo posted in the first week of the 3as by Timbo of Skipton (most likely relevant to what this whole case is about, imo), Tony Bennet being set up to provide a copy of his pamphlet and regular trolling of web forums.


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Nonsense from the Sun

Post sharonl on Sun Mar 11, 2012 6:22 am
Maddie cop ‘sent sex pics’ to Brit woman

Accused ... Ricardo Paiva allegedly sent dirty photos to a British woman



Published: Today at 00:24

A COP who comforted Madeleine McCann's parents is being probed for allegedly sending filthy photos to a woman.

Portuguese detective Ricardo Paiva is accused of posting them over the internet to a 20-year-old Brit.

Married dad Paiva, in his 40s, is said to have responded after she contacted him about Madeleine's disappearance.

It is claimed he begged the woman — a blonde model — to send him a photo and allegedly replied with an obscene image of himself.

Missing ... Madeleine vanished during a family holiday in 2007

Paiva denies it was him and claims that someone hacked into his Facebook account.

Last night his Polícia Judiciária force confirmed it was investigating and had seized his computer. A source said: "They are checking the possibility Paiva's Facebook page has been hacked."

Inspector Paiva is also alleged to have leaked details of the bungled first police probe into Madeleine's disappearance to the model.

Madeleine was nearly four when she was kidnapped from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz on the Algarve in May 2007.

Grief ... Maddie's parents Kate and Gerry McCann

Family liaison officer Paiva was the cop closest to her devastated parents Kate and Gerry in the following days.

But he later clashed with the couple, both doctors of Rothley, Leics, who were made suspects. In her book "Madeleine", Kate told how Paiva went from being a trusted confidante to her main accuser.Her main accuser how many accussers were there? We were led to believe that it was only Goncalo Amaral that got it wrong.

The Campaign for Oppressed Libel defendants


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Re: McCann affair: PJ Inspector caught in internet trap

Post Angelique on Sun Mar 11, 2012 6:49 am
Why am I not surprised by this attempt to discredit Ricardo Pavia.

Even if this was "a lure" it has come from the same source IMO as "the entrapment".

But this must mean TM are getting nervous if they need to resort to these methods.

Things aren't always what they seem


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Re: McCann affair: PJ Inspector caught in internet trap

Post Tony Bennett on Sun Mar 11, 2012 7:23 am
At the heart of this issue is the question of whether this posting (below), on Ricardo Paiva's Facebook page, is really his.

It was made I think on 11 January, maybe 12 January.

I have reproduced it here, verbatim, below in blue.

These may be the authentic words of Ricardo Paiva. But I have considerable doubts.

First, it seems very clear that the whole burden of his posting is to defend Justine Spencer. Would Paiva really submit such a lengthy defence of Justine Spencer?

Who gains from Ricardo Paiva's post (if it is he)? Why, Justine Spencer, of course, whoever she is. She is said to live in south-east London, Bromley area, by the way.

She may be 'Jayelles', who until recently inhabited the notorious JATYK forum but was unceremonioulsy booted off there by Bonnybraes last week. If Justine Spencer = 'Jayelles' was also the troubled and depressed-looking woman who turned up at my committal case hearing on 8 February, upset the judge by using her mobile 'phone in court, and then sent a wholly false report of the proceedings to her McCann-supporting contacts, I wouldn't put anything past her.

Second, would the real Ricardo Paiva really come on to a forum and tell everybody that he was 'bound by professional secrecy laws' and then in the very next breath say 'I am still very much involved in the case'?

It seems most unlikley.

Third, the wording and phrases used in the posting seem odd, perhaps others will comment on that.

We read that Paiva has denied that it was he who communicated with the blonde and sent her a photograph of himself. I notice that this story has come out in the Sun on Sunday.

IF Paiva wrote this message above and IF he sent the picture he is alleged to have sent, then he can expect to be disciplined by his PJ employers - and the Sun on Sunday has got a nice little pro-McCann scoop. And probably they had to pay someone for the photograph.

But if this is an elaborate set-up, and Paiva is, how low some people and some newspapers can sink in order to advance the McCanns' cause.



Dear friends

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy new year 2012!

In recent years I have noticed that blogs, forums and the social networking sites of facebook and twitter have been THE most powerful tool in order to discuss the case and a most useful arena for the sharing of opinions.

Unlike a book for instance there can be no censorship or proofreading compromising ones freedom of speech allowing everyone to democratically give their opinions in a free and an open manner.

I am all for this and welcome it wholeheartedly.

For obvious reasons I am unable to contribute to your discussions due to professional secrecy laws since I am very much still involved in the case.

I am however able to read your pages and follow many of them with great interest.

Whilst I am an advocate of freedom of speech I have noticed over the past few days the fiercest fighting against those whose views are not shared by you.

Personal attacks are in no way going to dignify the cause in any way at all like the personal and professional attack on Justine Spencer which do not lend dignity to the cause whatsoever.

I would urge you all please to avoid any such future attacks.

This is not a witch hunt afterall and the use of personal data and photographs esp of women (one of whom was not even involved in the case) is abusive after all.

That said I thank you for all your positive support and look forward to seeing you soon in the Court of Lisbon on the 9th and 10th February.

My very best wishes to you all.



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Re: McCann affair: PJ Inspector caught in internet trap

Post tigger on Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:29 am
The text doesn't 'smell' like a man who's been seduced by some or other blonde on Facebook.
It's just too explanatory - one would expect other texts to have preceded it, but the specific mention of Justine is highly suspicious. Why should he care?

This makes TWO entrapments imo. Tony and now Piava. Why should this come out now?

Unlike a book for instance there can be no censorship or proofreading compromising ones freedom of speech allowing everyone to democratically give their opinions in a free and an open manner.

I am all for this and welcome it wholeheartedly.

For obvious reasons I am unable to contribute to your discussions due to professional secrecy laws since I am very much still involved in the case. unquote

A stilted, semi-official statement rather than part of a message.
This has been written imo by a British well educated person. So who might that be? For once that eliminates the McCanns. So someone on TM? pray2bad

This is all wrong, I'm off to put a clothes peg on my nose.

What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power to account? Macbeth Act V


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Re: McCann affair: PJ Inspector caught in internet trap

Post Tony Bennett on Sun Mar 11, 2012 8:53 am
tigger wrote:The text doesn't 'smell' like a man who's been seduced by some or other blonde on Facebook.
It's just too explanatory - one would expect other texts to have preceded it, but the specific mention of Justine is highly suspicious. Why should he care? This makes TWO entrapments imo. Tony and now Paiva. Why should this come out now?...A stilted, semi-official statement rather than part of a message. This has been written imo by a British well-educated person. So who might that be?
What's the betting this was done by Justine Spencer herself?


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Re: McCann affair: PJ Inspector caught in internet trap

Post candyfloss on Sun Mar 11, 2012 10:49 am
Update from Joana Morais on her blog and also a screenshot of what Kate McCann called Ricardo Paiva in her book......................


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Re: McCann affair: PJ Inspector caught in internet trap

Post puzzled on Sun Mar 11, 2012 11:16 am
Could I ask, what is his level of English like? Are there any certainly genuine posts by him that can be used for comparison. Because it looks to me like a native English speaker has written it. There's only one obvious grammatical error( 'do', where there should be 'does'). But you tend to find that even highly competent speakers of English often use structures that are interference from their native language when they write or speak. So I'd like to know what his level of English is.

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