"From the onset the defendants have had to battle against incredible odds. The pressures of fighting day to day an action of this length and complexity are immense. According to Helen: "We're the barrister in court, we're the solicitor, we're the secretary, we're the person in charge of the filing and it is just really exhausting."
'"We believe we have a trust placed in us," says Mike Love, [McDonald's] top PR man and former agent to Margaret Thatcher in North Finchley. "A lot of people trust McDonald's. The allegations challenge that trust. If we don't stand up, then it would be seen that there is some truth in the allegations," he says.
Compare that with Steel and Morris. "A whole way of thinking is on trial," says Steel. "We've turned the tables and put McDonald's on trial. We have no particular grudge against them. They stand for practices that take place every day in our society. We're standing for the alternatives."
She, too, comes over all sincere: "When we criticise McJobs, we're standing up for workers everywhere. It's the same with nutrition. When we criticise junk food and make links between it and degenerative diseases, we're defending nutritionists and the promotion of healthy eating - the whole way that people eat."
Leaflets criticising the company are circulating in ever greater numbers and now, perhaps most damagingly, a group of Steel and Morris supporters have set up a McDonald's Web site on the Internet.
There, for anyone who cares to log on, is 'McSpotlight': 25 megabytes, 1300 files, millions upon millions of critical words, clips of the films that McDonald's thought it had suppressed, extracts of the banned play, every malicious cartoon and article that has ever appeared, all the information supposedly taken out of circulation by previous trials. Every testimony against the company, every revelation, every blunder and admission has turned up on international 'mirror' sites so they cannot be wiped. It's the ultimate anti-McDonald's experience. In 14 languages. And top of the list is the 'What's Wrong with McDonald's' pamphlet.
It's McHell. In the first week it was accessed more than 174,000 times.
"We are investigating," says Love.
But will McDonald's go back to the courts?
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