I went down to see the trial last week for the first time, and I highly
recommend it as an enlightening experience to any of you who can
make it. Paul Preston, the head of McDonald's UK was on the stand,
and the whole day was spent with Helen Steel and Dave Morris
attempting to question him on hundreds of documents where most
of the information had been blacked out.
This really is a case of the little man against giant corporatism.
Although I had read in the excellent Guardian article that Helen
and Dave were literally on their own, I still imagined that they must
have an experienced support team there to help them. They didn't.
It was just the two of them.
Richard Rampton QC sat looking smug and condescending for most
of the day, somehow managing to give the impression that his time was
being wasted, until I recalled that he's being paid over 2000 pounds a day!
Paul Preston, an American, (and a good sized one at that!) was wearing an
expensive double breasted suit, but somehow I kept picturing him in Bermuda
shorts and Hawaiian shirt. The majority of his answers were either I don't
recall or I don't know and, although he never actually said the words
"Golly gee", somehow his response always seemed to be predicated that way.
Everything to him was either black or white, "100%" or "not_at_all". He
simply would not allow himself to believe that what Helen and Dave are
saying might be true. When Helen Steel questioned him about McDonalds
packaging, he replied that McDonald's used the same food distribution system
as grocery stores do. He said "If McDonald's food distribution system is
wrong, then the food distribution system of the entire world is wrong, and
that just can't BE!"
I guess Helen and Dave are there to show us otherwise.
I found the trial dates and location at: