1.Everyone shall possess the right to freely express and publicise his thoughts in words, images or by any other means, as well as the right to inform others, inform himself and be informed without hindrance or discrimination 2.Exercise of the said rights shall not be hindered or limited by any type or form of censorship Constitution of the Portuguese Republic, Article 37.º

What happened to inciting racial hatred and offensive 'sardine munching' ?

For the Record
Daily Mirror Edited By Fiona Parker 18/01/2008

Further to our article of October 29 "Oh, up yours, Senor" by Tony Parsons, we are happy to make clear that whilst the contrary impression was given by the comments of the Portuguese Ambassador to the Times on October 27 we can confirm that the Ambassador Antonio Santana Carlos did not, and has not, said that the Madeleine McCann case has seriously damaged relations between Portugal and this country.

The Daily Mirror tries to correct errors and clear up confusion as soon as possible. Readers should phone 020 7293 3953, fax 020 7293 3975, email readers@mirror.co.uk or write to Readers' Editor, Daily Mirror, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5AP. The Press Complaints Commission (PCC) is the independent body which governs the newspaper industry. It has a Code of Practice we adhere to. This, along with details on how to complain, is available from Halton House, 20/23 High Holborn, London EC1N 2JD. Website www.pcc.org.uk or email complaints@pcc.org.uk Telephone: 020 7831 0022 Helpline: 0845 600 2757.

Times OnLine: Big rise in press complaints
January 16, 2008

Complaints to the Press Complaints Commission, the press watchdog, reached a high last year. The 4,340 complaints were a third up on 2006. A Daily Mirror column about Portuguese police and Madeleine McCann attracted the most complaints — 485.

Independent: Press complaints soar to hit record high in 2007

January 16, 2008

The second case involved a Daily Mirror column by Tony Parsons, headlined "Oh, up yours, senor", regarding the Portuguese police investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. One of the complainants was the Portuguese ambassador to Britain, who had been urged by Parsons in his article to "keep your stupid, sardine-munching mouth shut".

The column attracted 485 complaints and is set to be resolved, the PCC said.

Why are Tony Parsons and the Daily Mirror being allowed to get away with this obvious manipulation of the public opinion and at the same time publishing racist material against a nation?

The PCC code of conduct goes onto state that:

1 Accuracy

i) The Press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information, including pictures.

ii) A significant inaccuracy, misleading statement or distortion once recognised must be corrected, promptly and with due prominence, and - where appropriate - an apology published.

iii) The Press, whilst free to be partisan, must distinguish clearly between comment, conjecture and fact.

iv) A publication must report fairly and accurately the outcome of an action for defamation to which it has been a party, unless an agreed settlement states otherwise, or an agreed statement is published.

12 Discrimination

i) The press must avoid prejudicial or pejorative reference to an individual's race, colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation or to any physical or mental illness or disability.

Tony Parsons Xenophobic attacks and attempts to manipulate the public:

The worst attack, which is not on-line anymore, NO apology was published:


Portugal's ambassador to Britain, Senor Antonio Santana Carlos, says that the Madeleine McCann case has seriously damaged relations between the two countries. Well, whose fault is that?
It is the fault of the spectacularly stupid, cruel Portuguese police. I have never much cared for the convention of calling cops "pigs" or "filth", but I am happy to make an exception.
They have tried to cover their humiliation at coming nowhere close to finding that stolen child by fitting up her parents.
The decline in relations is also the fault of the appalling Portuguese media, happy to print any piece of poisonous trash spoon-fed to them by "police sources" treating the abduction of a small child as light entertainment.
And the Portuguese public must also take their share of the blame. The sight of locals jeering at Kate McCann as she went in for questioning made me feel as though these leering bumpkins were not from another country, but another planet.
And the good ambassador can also be blamed for the decline in relations.
When he should be exercising a little diplomacy, he huffs and he puffs about the McCanns' tragic decision to leave their children sleeping alone on the night Madeleine was stolen.
"In Portugal we have the concept of a nuclear family," sniffs Senor Carlos. "That the families all live together."
They made a mistake, ambassador. Their lives have been wrecked. That is punishment enough, without your asinine, unwanted comments.
And I would respectfully suggest that in future, if you can't say something constructive about the disappearance of little Madeleine, then you just keep your stupid, sardine-munching mouth shut."


"She has been let down by the criminally incompetent Portuguese police force."
"And by the poisonous hacks of the lurid Portuguese press."
"In the absence of a body, and despite all the madcap theories of the Portuguese police, hope somehow remains that Madeleine McCann may yet be restored to the family that is torn to bits without her."


"The Policia Judiciaria of Portugal has been nothing but an obstruction from the very start."
"They failed to close their borders for 24 hours. They sprinkled their cigarette ash on the carpet of the McCanns' hotel room. They have fed all manner of trash and lies to their tame press. And they have treated Madeleine's devastated parents as the major suspects."
"What is certain is that losing the blundering efforts of the Policia Judiciaria of Portugal will be no great loss. They have done more harm than good."


"British newspapers come in for plenty of stick but they are paragons of virtue compared to the toxic hacks of the Portuguese press.
For some time Kate and Gerry McCann have been victims of a sustained smear campaign.
No doubt the poison comes from the Portuguese police but it would be impossible to find an outlet without the tame hacks of the Portuguese press."
"Their slurs concern a real little girl and real parents devastated by their loss. The Portuguese cops have proved incapable of discovering what happened to Madeleine. With their crackpot allegations and lies, they and their pet journalists rub salt into wounds that must already be unbearable.
Are the Portuguese press so beholden to the police?
As the mouthpiece for those Keystone cretins, the journalists of Portugal plumb depths that make even the most hardened British hack gasp.
Portuguese newspapers print a river of trash about the McCanns and present it as the truth.
When they could help to find out what really happened to that little girl, they just act like propagandists in a Third World dictatorship, obliged to print whatever rubbish they are told to print. They should hang their heads in shame."


"The way the stupid, thuggish Portuguese police have treated the McCanns has been a disgrace. But all the evidence suggests that if they had been Portuguese, it would have been far worse."


"That little girl is out there somewhere, either dead or alive, but all of the energy of those Keystone cretins, the Portuguese police, are being poured into attributing guilt to Kate and Gerry McCann."
"I do not much care what the Portuguese spoon-feed their tame hacks in the local rags - that man and woman are innocent, and it is an obscenity that the world is playing Cluedo with their lives and the fate of their little girl."
"But chuck enough dirt and it will stick. The Portuguese cops seem stupendously stupid - but they are smart enough to understand that.
It is right that the McCanns should be potential suspects. But it should all have been done months ago - not when the Portuguese cops have become a sick joke because of their blundering incompetence."
"As the months have dragged on, they must have felt like lumbering yokels, despised by their north European neighbours. They are not the type who would enjoy that feeling.
Chief Inspector Goncalo Amaral, the fat, sweaty cop who is co-leader of the investigation into Madeleine's disappearance, faces investigation himself for the torture of Leonor Cipriano, the mother of an eight-year-old girl who disappeared in the Algarve in 2004.
Official mug shots show the mother with her eyes battered so badly that she is unable to open them. She allegedly confessed to the crime and is now serving a 16-year-jail sentence. "
"The Portuguese plods are not desperate to solve this crime - such a task was way beyond them."


"They do not need some idiot to remind them that they left their daughter alone while they had dinner. There will not be one day in their lives when they will not bitterly regret it."


"THE parents of Madeleine McCann have apologised after complaints that an advertisement about their daughter's abduction was shown in cinemas before Shrek The Third.The McCanns have nothing to apologise for"


"It's unbearable to watch these brave, decent parents coming to terms with the possibility that their daughter may be dead. They made one mistake and they will be punished for the rest of their lives."


"IN their televised interview, the McCanns said that their guilt over losing Madeleine would stay with them for the rest of their lives.
They also said that it never crossed their minds that their sleeping children were in danger while they dined in a nearby tapas bar.
As we will no doubt debate for many years to come, not all parents would have let their children sleep alone while they were in a restaurant, no matter how close.
But every parent should have nothing but sympathy for Gerry and Kate McCann because we all know that any child can vanish in an instant.
If we think we are immune from the fate of the McCann family because we would not have been in that tapas bar, then we kid ourselves."
'None of us has the right to criticise the McCanns.. They have suffered enough.'

My opinion: Tony Parsons should be dismissed forthwith.

You can write an email to tony.parsons@mirror.co.uk or make a complain to the tabloid Daily Mirror Editor: you can call Steve Purcell, Website Editor at +44 (0) 207 293 3570 or email him steve.purcell@mirror.co.uk or make a formal complain to the P.C.C. (Press Complaints Commission).

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