Payback Time – 18.03.2017
Malheureusement rien n'est moins sûr, car des intérêts dépassant très largement ceux des MC sont en jeu.
Dans un monde sans fake news, peut-être, pas dans le nôtre.
Part Two - Following the Money - 04.04.2017
Part Three - What a Coïncidence! - 08.04.2017
The Name of the Game
À la différence de la gestion de crise, qui réagit aux événements, la gestion de la réputation est la priorité et l'activité à chaque instant, pénétrant les médias nationaux de façon permanente pour influencer le public et les perceptions politiques de son client.
Ce qui compte pour nous, c’est que l’industrie de la gestion de réputation existe par l'usage et l'exploitation systématiques des mass média dont, depuis le 4 mai. Gerry McCann a fait un usage amateur mais efficace pour ses propres fins. Alex Woolfall était là pour lui offrir un cours intensif sur leur fonctionnement interne pendant une quinzaine de jours. Une chose est sûre: le Dr McCann a beaucoup plus profité de M. Woolfall que ce dernier n'a obtenu de lui.
Les porte-parole sont devenus des gestionnaires de la réputation - pour les McCann. Mitchell et McGuinness ont tous deux franchi la ligne de démarcation entre d'une part la représentation du couple et d'autre part l'adhésion aux intérêts de ce dernier et le contact trop proche avec l'enquête de la PJ.McGuinness, so lightweight a personality that she probably needed to avoid strong winds, remains notorious for her coquettish meddling with the September police interviews. Less publicly noted has been Mitchell’s contributions on like lines – in his first meetings with the McCanns he pushed for the release by the PJ of pictures of the non-existent “bundleman”, for example. That helped Madeleine, didn't it?
Il existe une toute autre interprétation de ces trois mois: l’objectif continuait à être de contourner, de rechercher les détails, d’attaquer ou de tenter d’influencer l’enquête de la police portugaise, tout en protégeant leur réputation au Royaume-Uni. Et le fonds, la «campagne», la «recherche», le soutien financier de multimillionnaires, l’initiative de contrôle des risques, l’emploi d’un directeur de campagne et d'une chargée des relations publiques, piliers de l’édifice Save-The-Missing-Tot, venaient justement de s’inscrire exactement dans ce plan. Quelle coïncidence!
From Small Seeds...
We helped the McCann family [no, they helped the parents] deal with the media storm which surrounded them on their return from Portugal in September 2007. From scratch, we created a comprehensive media handling package within six hours which enabled us to handle 850 media calls in the first week. By giving journalists positive stories to report, coverage turned from hostility to the McCanns to sympathy about their ordeal. This campaign won the crisis communication category at the 2008 CIPR awards.
1) The IFLG and McCann established “Fighting Fund” founded in early May, no doubt with the best intentions. What did it achieve in this period for the child? Nothing. Nothing at all. The money and effort, the consciousness-raising and campaigning produced zilch. No trace of the child or her remains was ever found. What did it achieve in this period for the parents? Resources from the fund were used for the benefit of the parents, in travel expenses, for example, and to finance the parents’ reputation management by paying for a full-time employee to act, campaign and, in September, tweet illicitly from Portimao PJ police headquarters.
The claim by the McCanns that they were “searching” – something they couldn’t have done from their own resources – using fund money provided them with all-embracing cover for anything they wished to do and continues to do so: stay in five star hotels? Yes. Fly around in private jets? Yes. sue those damaging the search? Yes. And so on.
2) The legal incorporation of the Find Madeleine Fund by Messrs BWB. What did this structuring achieve for the child? Nothing, nothing at all. What did it achieve for the parents? It made it easier for payments to be made by the public and therefore increased the pool of money available.It enabled the fund to be structured in a way that would and did benefit the McCanns financially - and not just for mortgage payments.
3) The arrival and employment of Control Risks, the security specialists. What did their arrival achieve for the child? Nothing, nothing at all. There was nobody for them to track, no kidnapper to negotiate with, no traces to follow. They could have stayed in the UK. What did they achieve for the parents? Within days the company was being used by the parents to take down and go through their police statements, for reasons not yet satisfactorily explained. These were, of course, strictly confidential to the PJ investigation. It is no use saying that the McCanns did not provide written copies of their statements to the police. They did it from recollection which is a clear breach of confidentiality. None of the McCann spokespeople seem to have mentioned what may have been the tip of an iceberg. No doubt that was for "operational reasons", as Mitchell would say. A donor, Mark Warner vraisemblablement, who had offered to pay for Control Risks, ended up paying for these so far unexplained activities concerning the PJ investigation. Given the secrecy which, when it suits them, the McCanns so delight in, we do not know what else they did for the parents while they were in Portugal.
4) The establishment of, and training in, media handling methods and structures, enabled initially by Alex Woolfall, for his own reasons. What did these media efforts achieve for the child? Nothing, nothing at all. The media campaign, the “search” campaign, produced no results of any kind, ever. By interfering in the investigation – see Clarence Mitchell and KM pushing the PJ over the non-existent “bundleman” sighting, see Justine McGuinness giving fictional and anti-police accounts of the arguido interviews – these two helped affect the outcome of the investigation and overshadowed it. As the PJ warned from the beginning it would. What did they achieve for the parents? Enormous benefits. The McCanns were, for example, given carte blanche to ration information under the excuse of using a spokesperson to “handle the media load” - see what we described as the "spokesman cut-out mechanism" above. During the period when the McCanns claimed not to know that they were suspected by the PJ the media management techniques were used on the broadest scale to feed information to selected journalists in their favour, to smother criticism, to deny facts and to deceive the British public – see the admitted KM lying.
Notes for those interested:
*Doing what they were told? The claim that the important decisions were usually taken by others and the pair went along with them is not perhaps the wisest line to adopt. “IFLG “told us” to set up a [the] Fund”; “Alex Woolfall told us we would have to engage with the media”; “Woolfall told us we would need to engage a spokesperson.”; “…whatever the case, it was suggested to Gerry that we should use Madeleine’s Fund to employ someone to replace Clarence”; “Hugh had been brought in by a firm called Control Risks, which was primed to help…”; “By the Sunday evening, we found ourselves [my italics]giving our statements again, this time to a couple of detectives from Control Risks.”
Many other examples of this affected passivity can be found throughout the book, sometimes blurring the lines of responsibility, as in the examples above, at others acting as pre-emptive alibis for actions which the public might question ( “Responsible parenting”, accepting private jet offers, being told to look emotionally blank on TV and all the rest.)
None of these are particularly reprehensible yet taken together, as any reader of the blog or Madeleine can easily ascertain, they add up to show an intense, obsessional and uninterrupted awareness of public perception and reputation management – “Sir Philip Green kindly offered us the use of his private jet. But what would people say?” – a highly dubious faux naiveté, and, most important, their profound unreliability as witnesses of their own actions.
** We never dreamed... Madeleine has been generously seeded with Kate McCann’s obliviousness – to the point of idiocy – of the threat from the PJ, just in case any reader might not be aware that she was reely, reely, shocked to find that they were under suspicion. Examples:
If 18 July was the date I now identify as a turning point, the following Monday, 23 July, was the day when the warning sirens should have started to sound”[meaning they still hadn’t]; “With hindsight it is clear to me something was going on in Portimão I would never at that time have anticipated”; “Apart from finding little things like this slightly puzzling or exasperating, I hadn’t sensed any profound change in the behaviour of the PJ, or in the direction their investigation was taking”; “Our attention was focused on the search, and on campaign plans... By 2 August, however, those sirens were wailing so loudly I cannot understand how I missed them. And yet I did. (M*)Leaving aside any speculation and the fact that we know that the PJ suspected them early on, we have, first of all, KM’s statement that after thirteen hours (!) questioning at PJ headquarters as early as May 10 that he had heard Oldfield “shouting and crying” under accusations of complicity in the disappearance.
Kate McCann never mentions this again. Are readers supposed to believe that neither she nor Gerry wanted to find out more and never asked Oldfield about it? Not even to ask Oldfield why he was being accused? Not even to say, Jesus Christ, you don’t think it could be Matt, do you? Matt? No, we’re expected to believe that when Gerry told her about this shocking scene KM droned, “that’s interesting dear, now do you want chips or beans?”
Three weeks or so later the German lady at a media conference mentioned gossip that the McCanns were involved. Gerry answered:” I have never heard before that anyone considers us suspects in this. And the Portuguese police certainly don’t.’
KM adds “…we were so totally dumbfounded when the tide turned against us two months later. We knew we were innocent, and we believed the PJ knew that, too”
“On the evening of 17 June, the Portuguese police were quoted on Sky News as having stated that the crime scene at apartment 5A had been contaminated by us and our friends, and that as a consequence vital evidence had been lost. I was livid.” So livid that she contacted everyone she could think of with any influence to interfere in the investigation and get the PJ to withdraw and apologise. But not so livid that she thought that she and the group were under suspicion.
“On Saturday 30 June,” KM writes, “a piece entitled ‘Pact of Silence’, written by journalists Felícia Cabrita and Margarida Davim, appeared in a Portuguese newspaper.” But the penny still didn’t drop.
“It was on Monday 6 August that the atmosphere changed.” That was after the car had been impounded. She writes, “Again we assumed, at least initially, that this was a procedural measure recommended to the PJ by the British experts.”
AJS writes: When Team McCann acted on behalf of Madeleine McCann in 2007, using funds provided explicitly for that purpose, it was an unmitigated failure. A failure to such an extent that when the McCanns suddenly found pressing reasons to go home in September, thus leaving the “search” and “campaign” headless and in suspension, nobody noticed! Since not even one lead had ever been started, let alone pursued, there was, in fact, nothing to suspend. There never had been.
Exactly the same applied to the post-2008 “Search”, except that the farce level now escalated to stratospheric levels of buffoonery with private “investigators” busy releasing pictures and descriptions of people who had literally never – never – existed and libelling paedophiles too near death’s door to defend themselves (the tabloids and the McCann supporters loved that one). Meanwhile a host of crooks and hustlers descended on Madeleine McCann’s infinitely sad and inadequately protected legacy and cleaned it out of several hundred thousand quid.
Straight out of Central Casting?
Nobody cared; nobody was prosecuted, nobody was pursued: not only could the Fund and its “guardians” not find an abductor, they couldn’t even find the people who’d robbed their fund blind. More important things to do, you know.
Or the kids'sticker book?
Meanwhile the McCanns were embarked on the Great Dom Pedro Hotel Search Expedition: money originally donated by the public for the child was again being used to pay luxury hotel bills for the parents – just writing this makes me want to vomit – as long as they could claim to the famously "independent" Fund directors that their luxury stays were part of “searching for Mudlin”, as when Gerry searched for Mudlin in Lisbon in early 2009, funnily enough without finding her there. Until the whole farce came more or less to an end, dribbling away, like dirty, greasy water in the gutter, around 2013, when the Grange investigation started to give the couple something new to fret about.
This One's For Real
But in between these completely shameless, disgusting, episodes that few of us have yet confronted because of their scarcely believable nature, we have the period September 2007 – Summer 2008. That was when, for the first and only time, the supposed interests of the child were ruthlessly set aside and the assembled might of the Team – that circle of City professionals surrounding the couple and the pile of readies – acted for a single purpose, one that, you might say, the funds and facilities could almost have been designed for: saving the arses of Kate and Gerry McCann.
As the pictures of the shrunken couple at this time show, they had temporarily lost the aura of breezy invincibility and “we spoke to Gordon Brown last week” confidence that had carried them along above the clouds to Washington, Madrid and the other Dom Pedro type venues, there to chit-chat as equals with government ministers about the Grave Problems of Child Abduction. That fantasy voyage, so reminiscent of Preston Sturges's 1930s immortal black comedies about liars entrapped by their own dreams, lasted until the PJ coldly reminded them of reality by turning up and seizing their car, clothes and possessions. Now a chastened Gerry McCann allowed others to direct this latest project and did what the professionals told him to do.
You get what you pay for: the lawyers’ bills, according to Gerry McCann/Vanity Fair, were paid by Kennedy, Branson and Stephen Winyard, and they were sizeable indeed. While Caplan probed the official Portuguese position and evidence through conventional legal channels, McBride used the gopher Mitchell, one of the few people that Gerry McCann almost trusted, to engage the PJ in a long-range propaganda war.
The Portuguese, in disarray following the loss of Amaral, never knew what hit them. Mitchell’s feline lies, pre-emptively exploiting the weaknesses in the latest PJ theories at every turn, shocked them with their shameless and populist boldness (Gerry McCann’s “retrieved memories” appropriately derived from a May 3 act of urination) as well as with Mitchell’s apparent inside knowledge – courtesy of Caplan’s discoveries during his negotiations.
The Dignity of the Law - the Portuguese Supreme Court
Criminal cases, in the conservative Portuguese culture, were meant to be conducted with the gravity and respect accorded to Roman/Napoleonic law. And to them this was a case, if ever one existed, that deserved true respect – the appalling disappearance and possible death of a child. Yet the supposedly oh-so-stuffy British, using the tabloids and television to lethal effect, appeared to be treating it like a national attempt to win the Eurovision song contest by smearing the judges, whipping up racist aggression among the audience and letting off shit-smelling stink-bombs at the back of the studio.
A British Approach to the Law's Majesty
That's the price you pay for looking at fictional national characteristics rather than modern realities. While the Portuguese are still, to this day, searching for the languid White's club intelligence agents and all-powerful perfidious Albion diplomats who subverted the case from the beginning - actions that fit in with their own world view and which, in a weird kind of way, they find comprehensible - they've somehow missed the fact that a dynamic, ruthless and essentially classless collection of professionals from the most powerful city in the world blew them out of the water - legally and openly. Because they didn't have a case.
The public needling of the PJ in the British media was all quite deliberate, of course – Reputation Management on this scale often involves Reputation Destruction and, one by one, key figures like Anjos, Amaral and Ribeiro, were targeted and put through the media mincer with brutal, single-minded professionalism, while other Portuguese thought to be keen on treating the McCanns like unpleasant and unwanted viruses – just get rid of them! – like Paolo Rebelo, were treated with flattering respect and restraint. It was nothing personal and the McCanns themselves were not directing this effort: it was just a job to be done by clever professionals for enormous rewards. Welcome to the way the modern City of London works, Mr Anjos.
As we now know the Portuguese prosecutors were in fact in a hopeless position. In many ways Gonçalo Amaral was like the detective in yet other Hollywood movies, those in which freaked-out superiors thrust their heads into their hands and mutter, all right I’ll give you another three days to crack this but then that’s it. In the movies they keep getting another three days until the credits roll and the tears of gratitude flow but, as so often, real life was different: the killer pieces of evidence never turned up, Ribeiro, who’d loyally granted the extra days, went down with Amaral instead of ending up a national hero, the couple were allowed to walk and without the missing pieces they could never be forced back. You win some, you lose some. The Portuguese had done their best to serve the child's interests and had acted decently and with characteristic Portuguese mercy in letting the couple leave; but the evidence to get them back again just wasn't there.
Il y avait quand même la reconstitution... Encore aurait-il fallu que le procureur n'indique pas qu'il suffisait d'un absent pour qu'elle n'ait pas lieu..
It was the interviewer Sandra Felgueiras who best expressed the sense of baffled shock at the revealed weakness of the Portuguese position, weakness that even today people there and in the UK are in denial about. The only way the McCanns could be brought back – they were never going to return voluntarily – was via European extradition proceedings and these depended absolutely on the presentation of clear prima facie evidence of potential wrong-doing before removal could be granted.
That is the “no fishing expeditions” rule: you cannot extradite suspects in order to get them to talk, or to carry out a reconstruction or to examine the contradictions in their evidence. But that was exactly what the Portuguese needed to do because the evidence hadn't been found.
Est-ce exact ? Cela ne vaut-il pas seulement pour les témoins ?
Ce qui est vrai, c'est que les arguidos avaient plusieurs manières d'éviter de faire une reconstitution, hormis la plus simple, le désistement de leurs compagnons de voyage, compte tenu de la règle du jeu édictée par le Ministère public. Le procureur du reste n'était pas dupe lorsqu'il exclut un re-questionnement de Kate MC : pourquoi, ayant refusé de répondre la première fois, répondrait-elle la seconde ?
Sinister Superbrain and Dancer - Home Secretary J. Smith with Male Chorus
In its absence the case remained purely circumstantial. No guiding hand from above was needed to protect the McCanns: they had democratic law completely on their side. It didn’t matter whether the offensively ungifted Home Secretary Jacqui Smith or the brooding Big Brother fan, Gordon "incapability" Brown wanted to protect the McCanns or not – the judges would decide the law, not they, and if the judges decided it wrongly then the well-resourced Team would appeal until it was applied correctly.
The City was doing what it always does: ensuring that those who could afford the fees gained the full protection of the law, national or international, criminal or civil. And the public, including Winyard, Kennedy and Branson, whose motives are not known to be any different from those of the pensioners and their cash envelopes, had given them the money to pay the fees, just as the public has given them the money to pay the McCann-Amaral legal costs. Strange, isn't it, that no donor has ever sued for the return of their gift on the grounds that the Fund retrospectively broadened the number of beneficiaries without consent or consultation ? But then people who've been suckered are notoriously reluctant to admit it publicly.
In the concluding part: the final long-term rehabilitation plan for the McCanns following their “exoneration” – and the fate that has befallen it.
Part of the reason why we're here disclosing evidence to you today…is a recognition that there were two strands to this case, part of it is the criminal case, but part of it is the media speculation and the media perception, and we see it as incumbent upon us to portray the truth to the media and in particular to try and expunge any ill-founded theories about Gerry and Kate's involvement...
Memories Are Made Of This
Listening to these well-meaning – except when it came to describing opponents of the couple – witnesses it was sometimes as though we were not in a court at all but in the audience watching the deluded victims of the con-artists in American Hustle – but the feel-good warmth and humanity of that fine film were quite absent: the screen that we were watching, despite the all-too-frequent mantra of suffering and compassion, portrayed an unremittingly stark, ice-cold world of people being ruthlessly used by those in need of them.
Craignaient-ils que Woolfall n'avale pas cette couleuvre-là ?
So much for the presentation. And behind the masks? Perhaps one day we will get a better idea. There are hints, at least, of the dark, secret and hidden depths of their relationship in their performances under examination: in their first police interviews Gerry McCann somehow found a way of being present during the formal questioning of his wife – and not just present but sitting closely behind her, in firm physical contact; in television interviews they can be seen bound together as one, literally grasping, clutching and hanging on to each other throughout, as if they might drown separately. That isn’t, needless to say, wicked Gerry McCann cueing his wife with secret nudges: it’s something much, much deeper than that.
The Indisputable Facts
Ask The Dogs
Flames are them
I wrote ten years ago that the MSM did not understand the very complex psychological forces they, like children with matches, were so unthinkingly whipping up in the Affair and which, once unleashed, would be uncontrollable. And so it has proved.
At the time I thought it was temporary, an aberration that would pass as the MSM itself rapidly disintegrated, drew conclusions and found a new model. A decade later their fear-of-the internet Death Ride, as I called it, still runs and is now spreading to every aspect of news and every story. It manipulates people’s emotions - it can't help it. It manufactures hate - it can't stop. And hate kills.
In 2007 the MSM turned a sordid family disaster into a “fairy story.” Then they perfected the generation of strife by putting factual McCann news items at the front and bribing feature writers to take opposing stances within. The more angry the disagreement the more the MSM loved it and perhaps saw it as a solution to their troubles. As time has passed the factual news stories have shrunk away to almost nothing, while the hate-generation pages - print and screen - have swelled like elephantine cancers - all of them pretending to be concerned for "tragic victims" and "justice" against whatever "them" is the target of the moment. Oh yes, overflowing with selfless love is the MSM: everything they do they do it for you.
Hate in the UK media didn’t start on the net. The MSM pre-empted it by sending the emotional temperature soaring throughout summer 2007 with their “good cop-bad cop” act, just as they are making it soar through summer 2017. Then they turned, like curs, on the McCanns themselves, making more and more revolting inventions about the couple – Hi, Jerry Lawton – than anyone on the net had produced. Then, with everything bubbling nicely, that disgusting apology for a human being, journalist Tony Parsons, attacked the Portuguese as though they were slime-filled slugs to be trodden into the dirt. It was the original fact-free hate piece, a pure product of the imagination, paid and encouraged. News, you know.
But then the MSM tried to turn the hate tap off because they suddenly found they weren't in charge of the performance anymore, that they were going to be sued and disgraced - and their fact-free reporting had left them lacking anything to defend themselves with in court. But while you can turn the hate tap on with ease, if you're cynical or sick enough, you can’t turn it off again. It isn’t under anyone’s control and never has been.
Flames are what the MSM do
The internet hate that specifically accompanies the McCann Affair, still with us, was nothing to do with distrust of the “abduction” story. It began with the MSM trying to do what it does so often – pretending that the immediate past hadn’t occurred. The media have always done it but since 2007, with "opinion" - read imagination - now in control, it's a hundred times more prevalent. Looking for apologies or reflection from those MSM experts in the supposedly "quality" papers and news magazines who were confidently forecasting the death of Labour and dripping with admiration for the "greatest political force ever created," the Tories, just before the election, is like searching empty tombs.
The MSM tried to go amnesiac about the McCanns in 2008, after the writs had started flying: so much for the searchers after truth. But they couldn't do it, not once the genie was out of the bottle. Much, much worse, than the silence was that most of them swung to writing incredible, fawning, repulsive, arse-licking, armpit-sucking and groin-sniffing stories about the “tragic couple”. Without any explanation for the volte-face.
It was this that changed everything: everyone with knowledge of the case knew that they didn't believe what they were writing, just as many of us are aware that they don't believe what they're writing about the Kensington fire. It was literally impossible for what they wrote to be sincere, for the same journalists, owners and editors who had bestialized the McCanns day after day late in 2007 were still in place when the groin-sniffing began only a few months later. Why were they doing it?
Next time we conclude with the impact of the Archiving Summary, then and now, and the actions of Gonçalo Amaral. Together with the issues of September 6 they guarantee that the McCanns, despite all the efforts and all the money, can never, ever, sleep easy.
Most of the active McCann critics could see only one rational explanation: since it was inconceivable that the entire media could indulge in such a vile betrayal of their own readers - nobody with any pride could possibly go down on their knees, tongue out, like that - then it had to be that the MSM was being forced, by government, by “the rich”, by the masons, by somebody, to act in this way. And it is a logical conclusion to draw, given what they'd witnessed. Once you notice that you are being betrayed on a continuing basis then you feel powerless as well as betrayed. Once you start feeling powerless then hate warms up.
That expanding mutual hatred was what was behind Brenda Leyland’s death and it was appropriate - and never to be forgotten - that old dirty-raincoat himself, Martin Brunt, standard bearer for the old MSM, had carried the hate poison right to Brenda’s front door. Nobody who read the “nonentity McCann-hating troll found dead” MSM reports that thudded off the press and the BBC like so much shit being shovelled onto her coffin, can ever forget the MSM fact: only some people's lives matter.
The conspiracy theorists were right that their explanation was the only rational one for the MSM’s actions - but wrong in practice: there is no rational explanation! Because what the MSM did had never been rational or explicable in the first place, even to themselves. As Desmond of the Express group told Leveson, there was no real money in it for them – increases in circulation had been measured and the extra sales brought in not much more than pennies. It was an obsession produced by the nervousness and fear in their industry as much as the weaknesses of human psychology and obsessions are not rational, by definition. As the Leveson testimony graphically revealed, the MSM itself was bewildered and unable to explain the way it had behaved: it didn't know. It no longer understood its own actions.
They Don't Know How To Put Them Out
They still don’t know. They are out of control. And the public are in the position of laboratory rats.
Did any of you read the Guardian comments pages in the run-up to the election? The heat and hate that the rag was generating with its very own McCann-template "good cop-bad cop" opinion pieces radiated from the page: May should be “got rid of”; “locked up”; the Tories and their voters were scum, vermin, filth, dirt, trash. And who taught them that language? No, not the internet but Tony Parsons and his like. Note "their voters" - voters are the people we all live and work next to! Thousands and thousands of pages of spitting hate – in the Guardian, “the conscience of the nation”. That’s what they’ve become.
Do any of you believe that journalists and editors are grieving and speaking from the heart about the Kensington fire? Or that the BBC correspondents are?
Do you? Have you thought it through? In fact journalists are always boasting about the way they are unimpressed by the human disasters on which they feed like lice, even failed journalists like Clarence Mitchell who was never fazed by burning aircraft. They aren't members of the public - they are paid voyeurs lacking normal feelings. I’ve worked with the BBC and they turn the emotion and mood taps on and off at will quicker than on a Hollywood set. We are things to be played with, whichever party is in power.
Everything we are reading and watching now is not mechanised but McAnnised, creating a constant fever of false and hysterical emotion. The Mail website recently had some twenty stories about the fire, one after another, none of them adding to our knowledge, nor designed to. Just as in the McCann case, helplessness and anger is what they sell. And, of course, most of all, hate.
Like secret, compulsive arsonists, fanning the flames is now what they do. No Leveson or other tribunal can ever cure it. The Death Ride I wrote about has to be completed before things might change. I wish the bastards would get it over with before more people get killed.
The Great Escape - Conclusion - 27.06.2017
The City of London finished its work on behalf of the couple on July 21 2008, with the shelving of the Portuguese investigation and release of the parents from arguido status.
The true professionals had excelled themselves: the corporate lawyers had constructed the Madeleine Fund as an infinitely flexible funding tool, as requested; the accountants made sure the Fund structure was fine-tuned for optimum returns to the right people, as requested; criminal lawyers effortlessly dismembered the weak-to-non-existent case put forward by the Portuguese prosecutors; the libel lawyers put the media on notice of the defamation proceedings waiting for them. Finally, the less classy but still necessary PR and Reputation Management people, from Hanover Communications to the worm Mitchell, put these realities into a form suitable for the gullible public – lies.
For the City, a job well done; for Mitchell, a name well-made, even if it was at the expense of a child’s corpse. For the parents, a catastrophe – unless you believe that the McCanns are guilty of disposing of the child or her body. If you believe that, then fine, the donors’ money was well spent in keeping them out of prison for a while; if, on the other hand, you believe in the couple’s innocence, or the possibility of their innocence, then it is a horrible failure.
For what has it accomplished? Nothing. In the now well-known absence of evidence against the pair, a fifty quid an hour conveyancing solicitor from Halifax could have got them off in 2008, as long as they kept their traps shut. On the other hand, even if Goncalo Amaral’s claim had been proved and conviction in Portugal had followed, they would have been out of prison years ago. The public’s memory, especially when it comes to celebrities and their “mistakes”, is that of a gnat, their judgement of what redemption actually means, worthless.
Then, by the time their surviving children had come to awareness of their fate, after a few years, perhaps, of being looked after by relatives, they would have grown up, like so many, with a painful episode in the family past to overcome. Instead the twins and other relatives exist in a mercilessly transparent specimen-cage. After prison Emma Loach would no doubt have managed the occasional "soldiering on" piece on the pair in the Saturday Guardian. Instead they are a grotesque freak show, an occasional target of tabloid innuendo, put through the mincing machine of the internet world-wide twenty four hours a day. Few neutrals can bear to discuss them.
Now Why Would They Do That?
All the parents have ever done since 2007, for whatever reason, is buy time. The Archiving Summary put time near the centre of its conclusions, its “Reconstruction” section devoted purely to the unresolved (as yet) nature of the questions about the group. In 2013, despite all the efforts of the McCanns, the first answers to those questions began to emerge, with the invalidation of the Bundleman claim. Did the McCanns really think that those questions would just go away? They can never go away until they are answered. If they aren't answered in the couple's lifetimes as a result of police action then they will be fodder for a hundred books for a hundred years - already there is far more to chew on and speculate about than in the Jack the Ripper case. But Jack the Ripper has no known descendants or dependents.
Yet even after the shelving the McCanns, instead of settling for the relative freedom they’d been granted and walking away, tried to buy more time. They used their prior knowledge of the findings to misrepresent the entire Archiving Summary, in a manner so gross – and one that the Bureau alone has highlighted time and again over the years against not just McCann supporters, who don’t matter, but against Carter-Ruck's claims – that, finally, the assembled sages of the Portuguese Supreme Court told the world that what we'd maintained since 2010 was true and that, yet again, the McCanns (“Portuguese prosecutors mock their own police”) had lied through their teeth, this time about "exoneration".
The Ultimate Enemy
And so we come to Goncalo Amaral. Anyone who thinks that the six years expended on Grange is crazily long and must mask secret complications, should consider the fate of Amaral carefully. Despite his desperate need to free himself from their grasp, his unrivalled knowledge of the case and his continuing connections with the Portuguese police, it has taken him eight years to liberate himself from the clutches of the couple. At no time has he ever been able to produce, or call on, any judicially-acceptable evidence of the couple’s guilt that would have forced them to drop the case. That is how deep the evidential black hole surrounding the fact of her disappearance is.
Yet Amaral really is the couple's nemesis. Perhaps that is why Kate McCann, who said she'd had uneasy premonitions ahead of the Praia da Luz Trip - before denying the comment, as usual - also felt a sharp, mysterious and, as it turned out, totally justified, terror of the man's presence many years ago, enough to have made her clutch her hidden crucifix as he passed by. It's all there in coarse and debased soap-opera form in the McCann Affair, isn't it? Shakespeare, disaster foretold, magical amulets and Catholicism via Crossroads. Only death will part these three people.
It is no mere symbolic victory. More was revealed about the McCanns and the way they operate in the witness box than had ever come to light in the worthless staged interviews and puff-pieces of the MSM. Much of the money from a witless public that has sustained them is being taken away in costs, destroying the financial power of the couple to harm others, thank God. And unless other legal proceedings occur in the future – ah, who knows? – the Supreme Court libel case judgement is the final judicial word on the status of the McCanns: nobody has ever freed them from suspicion of involvement in the disappearance of the child, thus confirming the criminal case Archiving Summary’s original finding that “they lost the chance to demonstrate their innocence” when they failed to co-operate. Both complement the Leicester police case statement that “no evidence exists to demonstrate their non-involvement” in the disappearance of the child.
This unanimity from three separate corners of the law reflects the realities that the McCanns have fought for ten years to conceal or stifle and it does so in the clearest possible terms. The parents’ failure is a verdict on their own cunning but weird conception of life, one in which there is a blank where certain human feelings should be, as well as a judgement on the cynical opportunism of all those, like the worm Mitchell, who took their money in the equally naïve but fashionable belief that altering human perception, whether by lies or force, can alter reality itself.
Wrong. Reality itself is not malleable by anyone but waits silently for us all; the most you can do is delay the impact of reality for a time by deceiving others or, more commonly, yourself and that, as in this case, always makes things worse. All those worms that fed on the tiny coffin altered perceptions much less than the truth embodied in the passage of time itself. Look at them. "Bodies don't lie," as ex-lovers say ruefully, and nor does time or the burdensome truths it carries, as Shakespeare, again, knew. Quite suddenly the McCanns are an ageing and increasingly distant-looking couple, galaxies away from our own experiences, blurred photos from a soggy, ancient and, most of all, discarded, cinema poster.
If it weren't for the fate of Brenda Leyland, a genuine, recognizable human being, not an exhibition pair like these two, they'd be pitiable. As it is one just feels nothing at all, not even contempt.
Non, c'est toujours là... et vidéo ici.
The facts of that dramatic performance are simple: Gerry McCann lied from beginning to end on a colossal scale to an audience of many millions, and lied so prodigiously that we haven’t got space to list all the deceptions.
Almost There - 20.10.2017
The Madeleine McCann Affair, as opposed to the Disappearance of Madeleine McCann, was created between May 4 and May 10 2007. In that one week the nine people at its heart created a written narrative of events for the police, which they submitted prior to their second round of interviews. Simultaneously the McCann family, against the wishes of the police, created a quite separate narrative for the media.
The motives for the two parallel actions remain unknown to this day. The results of them do not. It is now clear that, as a direct result of their actions, neither the police in the first instance, nor the public in the second were able to find out what had happened on May 3.
The Narrative Provided to the Portuguese Police
That statement does not impute criminal guilt of any kind to the parents or their friends, since, as a direct result of their actions, nobody has been able to establish publicly just what those actions were. That is why the 2007/8 investigation was shelved under “type of crime: unknown”. The nine people, all of them close to the child and her activities and whereabouts, most of them checking on her well-being while she slept that evening, had not even provided sufficient information for the justice authorities to determine whether she had been abducted!
The Archiving Summary stated there was no evidence of a specific crime against anyone. Not against the three arguidos, who were released from their legal restraints, not against their friends and not against person or persons unknown. The same summary noted that the group of nine had refused to assist the police in resolving issues concerning their evidence and the disappearance “for reasons unknown”.
Ten years later it is quite clear that the investigation failed because the Nine collectively created a narrative of events that does not correspond to the now known facts. Again, that does not impute guilt; but it is certain that it did not assist the police in taking the first step in every investigation – forming a clear picture of what the people closest to a crime scene were doing before and during the crime itself. They never did find out.
There is no way round this whether you are a supporter or an opponent of the McCanns. The document they produced is firstly a travesty of what witness evidence should be. What possessed a group of educated people to “recollect collectively” rather than give their individual statements to the police is unknown. Much worse than this breach of all witness norms is that they “filled in gaps” in each other’s stories rather than giving witness evidence of what each of them had seen and experienced. And it is packed with subjective assumptions and spin which completely subvert the idea of witness evidence. Words used in their document supposedly describing events include, in order, "believed", "possible", "possibly", "may well have been", "possibly drugged", "possibly", "possibly", "probably", "perhaps", "probably", "possibly", "perhaps".
When did you last experience a "possible event"? Experienced a "perhaps event" recently? Felt "possibly drugged" lately?
Yes We Will...No We Won't
So the first job of the Portuguese police in interviewing them was to try and unravel this stuff as well as the possible reasons for its creation – instead of being able to concentrate their limited time on finding the child. They were unable to unravel it because seven of the nine refused to help them do so. Previously Jane Tanner had stated on television:
BILTON: So you said you're prepared to answer questions.
BILTON: In some ways would you like to?
JANE: I'd love to, yeah, I think.. you know, I actively want to be re-interviewed. If there is a feeling that what we're saying is wrong, you know, be interviewed.. you know, and we can clarify that it's not wrong, you know, we're not making things up, it's just what happened.
BILTON: Have you been asked to return to be questioned?
BILTON: Would you be prepared to?
JANE: Yes. Yeah of course we would. Yeah, and I mean if it helps to find Madeleine, be interviewed tomorrow, you know, we're obviously key witnesses.”
As we all know she wouldn't and didn't.
The Man Who Never Was
But the greatest charge against the Nine’s "evidence" is that their document, headed “Sequence of Events: Thursday 3rd May 2007 - 2030 to 2200.As recalled by [the nine names]” was no such thing: it was a document that collectively claimed, suggested or hinted throughout that someone who is now, according to Scotland Yard, known never to have existed, had left traces or clues of his existence in the McCann apartment. For the philosophers amongst us a modern definition of truth is a “statement in accordance with the facts”. The written statement was not in accordance with the facts: in other words it cannot be true.
Read the document, as both Portuguese and British police forces have done many times. This “collectively” says things like the door is slightly ajar (about 45 degrees), and adds, just in case the police didn't get their gist,which is unusual, making it fit perfectly with the idea that the “abductor” seen a few minutes later by Tanner had moved the door as he entered the room. It is followed by the ludicrous on leaving the room, GM shuts the door to approximately 5 degrees, (do you routinely measure your door-gaps to an accuracy of 1/72 of a circle? Of course you do) preparing the way for the later MO enters flat... He does not enter the bedroom but can see through a now quite open door (greater than 45 degrees) into the room. Another perfect fit. And, inevitably, we have of KM’s 10 PM visit, She is about to leave, when she notices the bedroom door was open (approximately 60 degrees).
Readers will get the message by now and perhaps or possibly ask themselves the question, “if the abductor seen so well and described so vividly does not, as Scotland Yard states, exist, then who in Christ’s name had been opening and closing doors?” According to the document there are no timeslots available for anyone else to have got into the apartment before 9.35PM - after the door had already been moved twice.
The words “seen so well and described so vividly” do not refer to Jane Tanner's description. Out of the 1153 words in the document supposedly covering an hour and a half “sequence of events”, over three hundred (25%) are spent describing the person whom Tanner claimed to have seen for approximately fifteen seconds or so at dusk . We’ll simply state as fact that Tanner's police description of what she saw here has been augmented collectively to fit the narrative of a child abductor: she did not describe all those features in a police statement.
And only when the identity of the person whom Tanner actually saw becomes known – as it will, one way or another – will we all find out how well he and the child ever matched the Nine’s comprehensive description. All those details lovingly described, including that the child was looking "possibly drugged", all written down and sitting waiting patiently to be compared with the age, build, appearance and clothing of the man the Yard say she actually saw.
Ever wondered why he hasn't been identified yet? Ever wondered why he's being kept under wraps like a smallpox sample? He hasn't been identified because his appearance might prejudice, and more than prejudice, a trial, and we'll say no more about it. But whether a trial comes or not, he will be identified, and back-identified, by someone wanting the huge fee that a tabloid is likely to offer once Grange and any associated legal processes, are finished. That will be interesting, won't it?
So much for the “assistance” that those nine witnesses gave to the PJ. As far as is publicly known, not one of them ever made an effort to undo the damage before Operation Grange. In the Leicester interviews of 2008, where the police were constrained by treaty in the questions they could ask, not one of them helped unravel the confusion they had caused. The oldest of them, a sprightly sixty-plus M/S Webster, claimed to remember hardly anything about a holiday taken only a year previously; the rest, in every single case, made the confusion even worse.
There is no need to comment further on this performance except to repeat: along with the parallel extra-legal media narrative of the McCann family, this is how the Madeleine McCann Affair began. Had the Nine not prepared that pre-emptive evidence together, and had they not refused to explain their actions to the police ever since, then the “Affair”, with all the opportunities it provided for fund-raising, media campaigning, public hysteria and endless conspiracy theories, would almost certainly have ended many years ago.
It’s at this point that we part company with those who say that this dismal and thoroughly strange performance means the Nine are guilty of a crime. That's not for us to say or to suggest. That their performance has damaged the investigation is obvious, as the Archiving Summary attests; that they not only colluded in preparing an untruthful “narrative of events” (see the definition of untruthful above) but also lied individually about the “checking” (attested to by the co-author of the Archiving Summary in court in 2009) is established. But why, and what pressures short of a crime may have made them do so, have remained unknown.
Until now. No reinvestigation could possibly avoid confronting these indisputable facts. No reinvestigation could progress without taking “the first step” referred to above. No re-investigation could possibly be wound-up without the questions surrounding the Nine’s narrative having being clarified in depth and in detail. In other words that has already been done by the police re-investigations (nothing whatever to do with "interviews as suspects"), apart from the loose ends.
What the consequences will be we don’t know. But it’s all we’ve ever wanted, apart from the now-achieved vindication of Goncalo Amaral, and it’s been well worth the wait. It's done!
Plus ça finit et plus ça recommence...