Friday 17 March 2023

Our Freedom to Speak (working title - just came to me today :-)

IN THIS 'POST' - section, draft Kickstarter funding application appears down the page

specifics and more of the story and ethos on the other site

More intelligently merging the two websites is first job. Maybe this site can be used by a helper or two (them helping improve it)  as the site to share within industry. And the other site i edit to keep to the basic story as reference for any writers or creatives who may join in.


Update, 18 March 2023

Note to recent correspondents. For 10 years I write and create chronicles. Journalism on the hoof. The old fashioned sort rather like Uplanned, never to any agenda. I just set out walking, or sometimes on a bus, and see who I may meet. And we have Socratic dialog I often chronicle. I also write quite good poetry and also do a LOT of photojournalism.

These activities take up half my waking hours for the last ten years. The other half living by using hand tools doing hard work outdoors.  My calling became the truth or the complete falsity on 'environmentalism'. The truth of gentrified rural areas; the truth of the rural 'poor'. I part-publish this work elsewhere under pen names. ALL my energy goes into that work. This project many years in a (metaphorical) box on my shelf. But every moment still as yesterday, but no pain or pity within. 

I mention this only as my only failing is disastrous presentation online. As  wealthy Londoners or Bristol people bought EVERYTHING, especially as of 2020 it is impossible nowadays to find affordable rentals. Everyone else's life is so pressurised, even here.

Mine is sublime - always has been. No stress, no angst. Long ago I accepted these things which mean that, yes, one may have to live off-grid in a pig sty or dog kennel. No problem for me. I would not have my life one second different. Less is more. A super simplified life enables one to focus on what matters - now, this. . However I have one old laptop with wonky keyboard, only a few hours of electricity every day. And thus do not even have time to edit my may typos. And this makes me sad. Tough titties. Presentation if for neurotics. Parents dying of grief trumps all neuroses. It is real

One  day i shall tart it up. Soon, maybe...




Timestamp (this post - just my workbook i share with some)  is.... midafternoonish - a rainy day here way way away from it all in the Hills of Wales.... go and use the local hotel's wifi.

.... 'musing' as someone said to me a few months ago - my hoped for collaborator, but NO ONE EVER likes this stuff so she...well....

Me musing. This early dark dank evening...

"hmmmm..... dont be silly,  I only watched it a few months ago having a lonesome, she....only she ever ...always makes me feel nice inside, and Ive met enough moviestars to never ever be even mildly piqued by one of them... though i never met the greatest of em all Bette D, from which REAl 'feminists' learned so much.... hmmm so i wonder what happened to her.... same year we both became a bit 'famous' hahh hahhh.....  if only someone in Portugal could be found who may just understand the total NAzi agonny so many parents have gone through and still are.....and somehow the idea that somethings started in a  funny little prison in dusty Evora 'prisayooo' sounds so much nicer.... the darling prison director let me use her fax to bamboozle half of fleet street...and it snowballed.... the look she would give me hahh hahhh...BUt above all the TRUEST coracao that  i got from the most wonderful souls i have ever ever ever met in life.... THY alone built me up...i was in the worst abyss ever parted from my daughter first time in 4 years.... they alone...Louis Almeida.. Valeri... Orlando...and Miguel....gorgeous crazy  Miguel... i remember every second of every one of them ....and they could not do enough to help me any way they could... shared their food...shared everything...and there we were on telly every night the terrible tales of CAsa Pia - child abuse home, but i knew it was far worse in so many ways in UK.....  but no one in Portugal is going to believe me when i say.... hey your beautiful people did in fact do something that rippled up Europe  and caused eventually change that did help many Brit parents  suffering the worst grief at unlawful child no one is gonna 'get'that...and help me  "


the if the angels are actually on side.... has just done  a bloody movie where she had to STUDY the pain of all this stuff with her ferapist... 

On the day i sort of 'launched' or at least decided to fill in the rest of the Kickstarter and forget embarassment ...just DO it...

I have a heart attack - almost literally... no coincidences ever grab me by the collar and smash me to the floor any more....until one just has.

Please note (unless you are a non Portuguese who won't want to know that bit, yet.  so i may have to edit this out later) Portugal is literally the 'star' of the movie...

see section below

That said a recent chance bit of Googling also allows me to super simplify the technical 'legal' drama  side - though it is FAR more a tale of sticking ones finger up to the whole bossy boorish mean minded establishment...and must make sure the finger is clean, though - that's the key

If one were researching a film like this   in 2005  no journalist or filmmaker would EVER get to speak to a parent suffering unlawful child removal by the state or EVEN speak to anyone with divorce proceedings in courts because as far as everyone was concerned - from the very top down to every campaigner or injustice sufferer t was TOTALLY ILLGAL WITH HARSH PENALTY to ever even discuss the fact that one has been in legal (i.e. care - child removal) proceedings. Everyone was terrified of that law. Most were too frightened  of arrest for contempt they would not even go to their Member of Parliament thinking it was illegal to even share the case details with their MP. 

 I was darling, icon,  of the protestors and campaigners  2003 - 2005 -I got to meet and deal with hundreds. EVERY SINGLE ONE was terrified of even naming their child assuming they were in threat of serious trouble if they did - even to me! There was no question of ever speaking with a journalist.

A serious criminal test case happened in 2005  ( the most senior criminal judge at the Royal Courts of Justice) due to a schoolboy whos parents were in a  low level standard divorce case being named in a  school publication ('publication'  - no reference to the ongoing divorce, just a  boy subject to these draconian rules being named in ANY print venue). The father was found guilty.

Then i came along....   everyone - many hundreds of campaigners and such people were so in shock that I  - alone, was speaking in public (i did loads of TV in person  December 2003 - summer 2004) ... my name daughters name out..

They found it so hard to comprehend they actually could not speak to me about the subject - as if it couldnt be happening... one of 'us' was named in public... yet without any 'permission' was so mind blowing they could not bring themselves to even refer to was too hard for them to take in.

And then just 18 months  later i made it official...for ALL of them, primary legislation accepted ACROSS THE BOARD as absolutely essential modernisation of the law... at the highest level in the whole legal system.

No beautiful Portuguese souls, no me

No me, no film  Listen...

hmm.. i must watch it.... 



DRAFT - work in progress, English to be finessed later. Typos, still  working on.

I only have an hour or so a day of battery at present. very word is always hurriedly spat out - i write elsewhere more elegantly.

I am sharing this now here, not that it seems many people look in, as a draft working piece - this is what i am writing in the Kickstarter application today 

(7 grand working capital - some will put something in when they see others do) 


Title (working  - may be a bit earnest, this wont be earnest, we shall have to see. Maybe it should be 'Coração'... hmmm.??..)

Our Freedom To Speak. Feature film based on true life events


Real life story of how one man changed a whole legal culture within two years of dramatic arrest abroad. Forming team / collective.

Initial concept / pre production. Please see last few paras here for producer's  ('founder'  / driving force) credentials. Though it is a team of equals i wish to create, initially. And would love to adopt some newbies even, so they may learn on the job how to hustle something real, to the big screen. The purpose of the end product and perhaps even the journey there, too, is to inform and educate the next generation (20-40 somethings) on how indeed to get all the way,  from nowhere. 

There are many variants on this quote i like:

"I would rather shoot for the moon and miss than aim for the gutter and make it"

"shoot for the moon and if you miss you will still be among the stars"

Expenses and know how required to set up simple legal structures and then attract investment. Maybe even lure some 'names' on side. 

The story, or just a glimpse, as MUCH more is being written up at

Including pledges on use of email addresses, showing all donors, and use of Kickstarter  -  more important for now as I have no experience of crowdfunding or this site, and until 1 April this will all seem a shambles, general thoughts on this campaign finance etc',  here

and here

there you can also see a few 'pitch' videos:

Story basics

It is 2003 in the hottest summer ever  in Portugal, and a man languishes after a brutal arrest at gunpoint, and then incarceration in a small regional gaol house, in such harsh conditions men are in fact seriously ill from heat exhaustion in the stifling cramped conditions.

Within only a few years, with no previous knowledge of the law, no money, and no contacts,  he has caused a "revolution"* within British legal system,  and to some extent even media circles. He had single handedly, against massive opposition, and with no help,  pushed forward a test case at the highest level on Freedom Of Speech matters, that  all experts and campaigners had for years said were impossible to have democratically modernised.  (full  media coverage/proof of course is available in the archive).

But this is no dour merely legal drama. This "revolutionary"* (to quote senior legal spokeswoman on national tv 2 years later) change, came about through blood, sweat, tears,  fear, the greatest joy, incredible fellowship discovered among the Portuguese gaolmates, and a lot of love  - in unexpected places.  And sadly two deaths of people most beloved. One of those deaths  - his closest friend in the Odyssey, was an important part in the victory - his death the week before the grand finale court hearing added extra impetus and life force. Indeed is poignancy personified.  There is much real purest emotion. Emotion of course sells.

And in the Odyssey that began in 2003, magnificent universal lessons of the human soul and condition, were observed from a vantage point that few will ever get.  It was almost a privilege to be there. It is time to share with the world many surprises behind those headlines.

Long overdue as a film - full biggish budget if possible. A book deal was offered to me in 2006 immediately after the national media coverage, but declined at the time as always this was a film.  And i was busy giving the child at the centre her fullest simple life once again in the hills with our small zoo and her friends.  It has movement,  energy, much emotion - including great  mirth at times. But also the ultimate 'feelgood' - only a win.

Part Shawshank, part Full Monty, part Captain Fantastic (my kind of humour),  however also buried within several small subplots including one that is about the most bittersweet little love story, almost, ever. (and she  - a Portuguese woman who i loved, as did my kid - or seemed to, goddam gone and died before we had the chance to get together properly and likely marry when both our lives had settled back down, as per our pledge to each other.... in the gaolhouse)

And I - the 'subject', Simon Clayton. do not actually care what the  end product makes me seem like as a person -  weird, not someone you would wish to share a coffee with never mind a cell with,  unpleasant, though it cannot describe me as 'mad' as one is really rather checked out going through the courts, and they didn't ever find me so :-) .

What i do care about is that this is only about one thing, somehow we show all that mattered: spirit; and facing rather impossible odds, and  how ANY citizen in any country or sector of society, may  just be able to manage to crawl out of their personal unique abyss after some grave development in life, and fight.  And just maybe even end up winning. A how to fight ANY 'cause'.

It may be some employment tribunal, a medical matter that needs battling to achieve a fair and just entitlement or conclusion.  I may be any of the many ways people attack using financial or other 'civil' weaponry via courts or business, even. It  may be, yes, in divorce or other maters of so often petty criminal interpersonal law (i have had friends who are policemen that say just that). 

Simply put: for whatever reason you are at the very bottom of the abyss,  and someone is pouring in cold icy water from above to add to your hell. That so often is the nature of society.  But bit by bit, day by day - and it is always a lonely and extreme place in your mind, that mind searches for just some way to have a go and change this....whatever it is. Sometimes against all the odds it just may work... and I had absolutely NO idea what on earth I was doing from the first call to a newspaper in 2003....but i did it, ALL the way.

Showing that journey - the real version, WITH laughs and emotion, to the next generation is my quest.  Future generations will have their battles for  whatever 'the man' throws at them.  And something that keeps their spirits up for such fights is my only objective.

But i know enough about the real human soul (and film and books) to know that pious preaching and earnest do not work. They don't stay in the subconscious for the day maybe the information is necessary to help one survive. Emotion, and especially laughs, matter more - a heartfelt dramatization, is what always works. What resonates for years.  I have long had that vision in my head - in fact almost every moment of the thing i can recall precisely, as i know it is the perfect story for just such filmic treatment. And i know my movies...

I awake every day at 6am - 7 days a week, and work on whatever i am up to. I can subsist on nearly nothing. I have done so for 20 years. I can run a full office from a campsite  and small tent .... in the rain. I can work anywhere in any conditions. I want to do this now.

I would like to be able to afford to work full time on this all the rest of this year, now, only on attempting to get proper collaboration and finance in place  - ideally with partners, or simply helpers and collaborators. I am not afraid of attempting to bully the biggest of the corporates to doing something with me - us, on this.

I wish to as soon as possible work with writers, find experienced screenwriters, and put together a  professional storyboard /pitch so as to attract some serious big hitting partner - likely of course we end up junior in the project. But my people will stay on board in some way, all the way. I will always insist on that. (i get so so so bored repeating myself on the story and 'principles' within, so it is in my interest i have a few sidekicks who i can trust to stand in for me ). The core story is quite simple in fact and can live in the smartphones of a few people - the key scenes i will dictate (quite a few i have already on the sister website to this -  they are in links to a filestore where the audios live - all are open to anyone to download- i don't do secrecy)

I particularly would like to  make an URGENT cheap recce trip to Mid Portugal as early as this May. (because it is the 20th anniversary....and i believe we are all just following in Homer's footsteps and pattern of how we does Nobel Laureate Mr Zimmerman - he said so in his acceptance speech)

Take a friend with a camera so as to get rough footage of some of the places.  So writing will be easier from at least some film...

Also (not essential but would be interesting) track down and interview some of the other characters in the story from the Portugal phase.

Maybe even try find some local film people to try and partner with.

I would expect that around 25% to 33% of the film will be located (or seemingly so) in Portugal. (not the tourist regions). In fact it almost has to be.

One reason why this is key is that to my own surprise the truest heart warming aspect to the whole story is half a dozen simply extraordinary beautiful souls encountered there - one before I was collared, the 'love interest',   then half a dozen in the gaol.

They changed my life. I cannot ever forget them. And i still cannot forget that I promised I would go back and see them all quite soon after i was moved back to Britain, but so much completely unnecessary (all papers PROVE it was all nonsense) legal work i had to plough through, i never had the time or money. One day maybe,  there are a few of them i would still love to make that promise good to.

I HOPE that i can find Portuguese collaboration (even finance)  - this is about the most wonderful true PR job for Portugal ever. And it is 100% real. I cannot be bought. In fact in this pitch I am underplaying how well Portugal will be portrayed.

They use the word coração often, and less so but still sometimes, saudade. Both words are deeply soulful words -  even almost of loving universally human resistance. You had to be where i was, to learn what those words really mean.  To live them....

This is a very important aspect of the film. And i know I will be able to find Portuguese people who will assist me fully in the project. Because they value  coração  almost above all else.  And because in many years regularly travelling all around Europe I discovered them to be the one people left who really would go out of their way to help the traveller or foreigner in trouble abroad....  this aspect of these people, defined that whole year for me.  In fact saved my whole life. Without their initial spirited influence I would not have even begun to fight. And i would never have seen my one daughter again. And would have been dead of sorrow within months... certainly within a few years.

The best line of all, well, of dozens:

Three or four weeks on from being arrested, Evora slammer....

The gorgeous Louis.

(listen audios of his story I think they are in the audio files towards bottom of this page - or a post nearby - all links and pages gradually being made more usable  )

"Louis..... it's all I ever hear on the radio......"

"Yes Simon it's number one in the charts..."

"'s so beautiful....

"you dastardly crims in here,  and you all speaking English better than the English, I am not advancing very well with my Portuguese....  I get a sense, but please help....what's it...about!?"

" is almost impossible to explain to you in words..... but almost every man in here knows exactly what it means in his ...heart..."



£3,000 living expenses for me for the next  4 or 5  months 

£2,000 expenses for a very low budget recce trip to the scenes in Portugal (set off late April 2023) - two need to go, 4 or 5 locations need to be visited.

£2,000 to pay others to assist in presentation matters such as  website and maybe even deposit to professional screenwriter or the like

NOTES and references

* Sophia Cannon on ITV This Morning  - see website


You will find on this webpage possibly the most transparent ever write up of plans, costings, and regular accounts.

I will account for every penny, and do not believe in clever dick secrets and coyness. Every penny in and out will be listed in full in a monthly account published online.

In the 00s from 2003  - starting in the gaol house, I turned myself into about the most successful PR operator of them all. It was a full time job gathering the support of media and other outside entities such as Parliamentarians etc.. I know how PR works - the real version. And under EXTREMELY tough circs, too

And then with absolutely no previous experience of any legal matter (not even a traffic ticket for many years prior this 2003 event), if one can turn oneself into a machine of legal attack, from inside a gaol;  and then from a cottage high in the Welsh Hills, with no money, busy as a single parent,  taking on the whole legal establishment as Litigant in Person, including ALL the work to get to the Highest level of the appeal Court, the film industry will be a walk in the park.

I am not of course being flippant - i am deadly serious, as would you be even pondering sticking in a tenner.  Two years coordinating alone a massive legal counter attack on the whole system, requires a huge amount of paperwork, in quadruplet..and considerable skill and administrative and business sense.... one is  dealing endlessly with hoards of bureaucrats and officials.  And I have the last few years of course done much reading and considering how this goes forward - within the industry.  I have researched how to make film - the business end, fully.   I actually know several very famous people from the industry from random encounters prior to 2003 in another life (and have known many senior journalists and writers  - post 2003 fame or infamy however you may view it all). But they are all a bit too old to use now. Or not hungry enough. This will be ours.

All the fancy titles within serious film, certainly all have their role, but a truly great story -  passion to see it up there on the screen bringing tears to the odd eye,  is about spirit and commitment to that cause above all else.  As well as most importantly of all informing the younger generation yes sometimes you have to aim for the impossible, for a wider greater good, and thus this is a timeless worthy project. I am not a cynic. And these are not sales or begging-bowl hyped up words. These are me. What i have lived for 20 years. Even still, now.

I have a few close enough to me  I trust and know have general business capabilities who are friends who may well put time in at the initial stage. We  - it will always be 'we', have to get this all into the hands of a few experienced professionals who will take the thing as far as possible as quickly as possible. And find the biggest possible partners. No, who won't Disneyfy it... it couldn't be - too much is there in public.   Nor will they shaft me...or anyone else around me. I have my ways of ensuring that.

I have been speaking to various well known production companies the last year or so, and have been given the heads up but haven't found anyone with space in their schedules

Hence i need help. From you. Your money to help me tick over and your advice and maybe even contacts too.

Of course if by some miracle this was oversubscribed and £20,000 or 30 thou even, or even more, came in, then i can actually hire professionals to get working on scripts etc., and then by the autumn launch a professional full campaign here and elsewhere. 

I make one pledge maybe above all.  I have always believed in manners,  But in fact there is a little scene in this film between a simply astonishing man - who taught me real 'honour' in that gaol, and  which will make this point in a scene i cannot ever forget.  All manner of people may wish to try and contact -  ask questions or even make offers. (i asked this man a favour once and his response later on is a lesson i wish i had known before i assumed he would not care).  

Every single person has the right to good admin - all emails will be answered - within a week latest, lets say. All phone calls, all messages.  And trolls or scammers are welcome to try...i have a good nose, and no one ever gets to me...ever. No one has me even raising my voice ...But I simply feel this modern mode of read an email and either say nothing back, lose it, forget, or deliberately rude. Everything always gets answered. Will always be answered. 

giveittothemanproductions@geegeemail [one 'g' obviously].com

07958 52 six three 81 

And i am a machine of pure work, only. Keep an email account clear of other tangential activity  in this age of inboxes being swamped- what comes in may matter, and i have lived as a monk in a cell, and know how to be so focused its daft.