Grâce à la liberté dans les communications, des groupes d’hommes de même nature pourront se réunir et fonder des communautés. Les nations seront dépassées.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Fragments posthumes XIII-883)

10 - JAN à JUN - Dr M. Roberts 3

A Passage to Amazonia

Libel To Become Unstuck - 09.01.2010
What price legal lunacy? Well, it's probably an outlay best estimated with reference to Carter-Ruck's fees menu, or the hourly charge-out rate of partner Adam Tudor. Whatever the fiscal damage, there is unquestionably an element of lunacy (a large element in fact) attaching to next week's showdown at the 'not O.K.' corral in Lisbon. First, a couple of relevant observations regarding libel: (i) Repeating another's libel, however unwittingly, is no less a libel for that. (ii) When Oscar Wilde went unwisely to court to challenge the Marquis of Queensbury's insinuation that he was homosexual, it was on the strength of words written for, and ultimately delivered to, Wilde himself, on the reverse of a calling card left for him at the Albermarle club ('To Oscar Wilde, posing as a somdomite.' [sic]). Although 'Bosie's bullying father may well have made his adverse opinion of the flamboyant Oscar even more well known among London society, he did not otherwise commit himself to print on the matter. Hence, although he may have slandered his adversary on any number of occasions, his libel was precisely targeted and thus limited in its published scope. Goncalo Amaral's putatively libellous book (published), followed the official police report containing exactly the same data and interpretation (unpublished). On the basis of historical precedent however, publication for the benefit of a wider audience is, as we have just seen, not a necessary criterion in cases of libel. Thus, Goncalo Amaral's book, if held to be libellous, cannot be considered so independently of the assessment upon which it draws, but only on account of its repeating an earlier libel by whichever member(s) of the PJ signed off on the original report. And yet Goncalo Amaral is the only party now required to defend himself. Tout est dans le fait d'avoir publié sous l'autorité implicite de sa casquette de commissaire et d'en avoir tiré de l'argent. Stranger yet is the circumstance which has led to the forthcoming 'showdown'; one which prompts recollection of a personal anecdote from childhood. During a verbal altercation with a rough character in the school playground, a school prefect with a perfect set of teeth was overheard to say, 'Go on, hit me then.' That this instruction was, shall we say, imprudent, can be decided on the basis of the event which took place immediately afterwards, and the rather expensive orthodontic treatment which followed that. And what does this have to do with Kate and Gerry McCann? Until their legal representatives secured the lifting of their arguido status and release of the process files, there can have been no act of libel entailed in Portuguese police procedures. No one at the time had taken it upon themselves to 'publish' accusations of any kind. But just like the impetuous prefect, the McCanns got exactly what they asked for. Public access to the police files came about largely because they had demanded it. Ils avaient demandé les PJFiles, ils n'avaient ni plus ni moins le droit de les consulter... aux archives de l'antenne du Ministère public à Portimao. Ils attendaient sinon une faveur, du moins que leur soit facilitée la satisfaction d'un droit, ils l'ont obtenu au même titre que le public.

If, therefore, Goncalo Amaral's writing is libellous, then it constitutes a repeated libel, predicated upon comparable conclusions previously written and attested by Portuguese colleagues. But this set of primary conclusions cannot be construed as libellous either. The material was written to record an investigative process. This record was in turn 'published' at the instigation of the individuals discussed within it; individuals so oblivious of the 'sauce for the goose' epithet that they arrogantly supposed 'public access' to be a term applicable to themselves uniquely. If Goncalo Amaral, or anyone else, should choose to include such findings within a general discussion of the investigation in question, are we now to subscribe to the view that statements, once written, can be rendered libellous merely through their repetition by others? Of course, Goncalo Amaral has made money from the sale of his book. So what? The McCanns have made money from the continued sale of T-shirts and other ephemera. Profits from the sale of a book cannot be interpreted as confirmation of libel. A book sale after all is transacted before the purchaser reads the contents (otherwise the book would not sell at all). Reference to Goncalo Amaral's commercial success as an author is completely and utterly irrelevant therefore. Sales/circulation figures could perhaps be taken to indicate the extent of any influence which might be ascribed to libellous remarks, but the precedent afforded by the Wilde case allows us to conclude that libel is absolute, not relative. Unjustified derogatory remarks are not rendered more or less libellous depending upon the number of persons who might read them. So we await then the impending presentation at the theatre of legal lunacy, Carter-Ruck no doubt directing the production. One wonders exactly what proportion of FindMadeleine Fund resources will have been diverted in support of this particular pantomime, and whether it will be itemised in accounts for the end of the current financial year. In the same column as 'leaving no stone unturned' no doubt.

Would You Trust A Diagnosis By This Man? - 15.01.2010
Not without questioning his motives for offering it, I wouldn't. A man whose ego is betrayed by his mouth - who sues for libel, then proceeds to accuse a police officer of perjury, impugning the reputation of an entire national police force in the process. Surely he can't have all his dogs barking (although he's experienced notable success with someone else's). As reported by the Daily Telegraph on 12.01.10: 'Police Inspector Ricardo Paiva, who acted as a liason between the McCanns and Portuguese police in the days following their daughter's disappearance told the court he had received the phone call in late July 2007. Kate called me, she was alone as Gerry was away and she was crying, he said, she said she had dreamt that Madeleine was on a hill and that we should search for her there; she gave the impression that she thought she was dead – it was a turning point for us.
As reported direct from Lisbon the following day (5.04pm): He (GM) also rejected the testimony yesterday that Kate had a dream about Madeleine lying buried somewhere, saying "that never happened... Now he would know of course, having not been present when the all-important 'phone call was made. Subsequent press reports express it thus: I'd like to make it absolutely clear that Kate has never had a dream that Maddie has been buried somewhere, and I don't know if something's been lost in interpretation, but that didn't happen – not with those words, that's for sure. So it did happen, except that burial was not mentioned. Indeed not. Inspector Paiva's evidence referred to a description of Madeleine lying on a hill not in one. The latter scenario is a figment of Gerry's own imagination therefore. Now I wonder where he might have got the idea from? 

Back to the evidence. A thesis without evidence is meaningless, says Gerry. Really? Ever heard of Fermat's Last Theorem? Three hundred and fifty eight years before a proof was elaborated, yet the stimulus for many a mathematical development in the meantime. And what exactly is the 'evidence' for abduction in this instance - An empty bed? An open window? If these are sufficient criteria for a conclusion to be reached, then we must accept that countless persons are abducted by their employers every day of the year, any time between, say, 6.00 and 8.00am. I think it's particularly disappointing that the police officers who considered us responsible for Madeleine's disappearance are the same officers we are depending on to carry on the search for Madeleine, he said. The question, of course, is: 'who is looking for Madeleine and who has been looking for Madeleine over the last two years' and that is us and our investigation team. When was this case re-opened then? Do remind us, Gerry, otherwise we're all liable to overlook your dependence upon the Portuguese police as part of your 'investigation team.' Simplistic though it may be, it rather looks as though the Portuguese came to an informed conclusion quite a while ago, and there has been nothing to sway them from it since. ...there is absolutely no evidence that Madeleine is dead and there is absolutely no evidence that we were involved in her disappearance. That is the conclusion.....of the process and that's what we are here debating; the conclusions of the process versus the conclusions of the book. Err, Earth calling. There's been a court hearing in which a DVD, containing the relevant process files, has been admitted into evidence, including all documentation and official conclusions. Isabel Duarte a tenté de s'y opposer. Do you not think, Gerry, that the reporters you are attempting to brainwash are smart enough to read these for themselves in due course, if indeed they have not already done so? The conclusions you are so concerned with have been widely broadcast on the Internet for months, you know. One principal signatory, among others, Tavares de Almeida has already stated in evidence that "The conclusion was that Madeleine McCann died at the apartment and the McCann couple simulated the abduction to hide the fact that they had not taken care of their children". "There was a tragic accident in the apartment that night and they neglected the care of their children. It was the conclusion of both Portuguese and British police." An echo of the document he himself signed off, and no mention of the 'absolutely no evidence' stance. Surely not a another instance of Portuguese perjury!
Les conclusions de l'équipe de GA sont clairement que ce qui s'est passé est dû au fait que les enfants étaient seuls. C'est l'opinion du reste la mieux partagée dans le grand public.

Tavares de Almeida went on to claim that the McCanns concealed the body of their missing daughter Madeleine. Courtrooms and legalities aside, it is a legitimate statement of fact, under any circumstances, that a temporary resident of apartment 5A concealed evidence of a death; evidence lodged within the apartment itself. Traces of human blood and cadaver odour were signalled by two different sniffer dogs at a point (the same point) on the living room floor that could not be accessed, even by the dogs, until handler Martin Grime pulled the sofa away from the window, to a position nearer that in which it must have stood for the deposits to have accrued in the first place. With the sofa relocated since, the contaminated zone was thereby concealed. If the occupant concerned had a good reason for moving the sofa from beneath the window initially, they must have had an even better one for moving it back again. And that could not possibly have been to confound the investigation of a historical event, of which neither they nor any intrusive 'abductors' could have had any knowledge. (There is no record of any such incident). A further veritable gem of McCann self-contradiction opens with a claim made to the impromptu press gathering on the steps outside the Lisbon courthouse: "The search for Madeleine is ongoing. We don't have any leads and we need to keep searching." This is followed by a report for The Sun (whose Antonella Lazzeri, in an act of rash impetuosity, would proceed to lay the newspaper open to a future charge of defamation by scurrilously mis-interpreting a gentlemanly comment in Portuguese as an abusive remark in Anglo Saxon. It's Gerry who swears in front of women and children when on camera Antonella - do your research dear): "Gerry claimed the Portuguese cops' blinkered view that Maddie was dead - for which there was NO evidence, making it "meaningless" - was damaging the search for her. "And he said they were STILL ignoring leads passed on to them by the family's private investigators." So what leads might these be Gerry - the ones you don't have? Why does Portuguese disinterest seem suddenly unsurprising? NO leads, NO confirmed sightings, NO evidence. That's meaningless in my book. "This is a legal process that we're going through to protect our daughter and our family." Which begs the real $64,000 question. What meagre process exactly did you go through to protect your daughter on May 3rd 2007, from abduction or anything else? None. On your own admission you, the parents, abandoned her on consecutive evenings for an hour at least, in an apartment you admit was not secure against intruders. 'No evidence that you were involved in Madeleine's disappearance'? Well it is certainly true that you're not responsible for her now. You passed that particular buck to the High Court in double quick time. But you were her parents when she was 'taken'. Of course you were 'involved'. How could you not have been 'involved'? Or maybe parental involvement was, as you saw it, merely a diurnal contract, terminated once you had closed the bedroom door and left for your night out. Your collective attitude toward your own daughter is adequately summed up by a contemporary comment of Kate's: "It's still been difficult, it's been emotive, because I know what's in the case files, I know what the conclusions are. So it's difficult to hear something that's incorrect and inaccurate. At the bottom of all this is a little girl, and I think it's important that we don't forget that." Madeleine has been at the bottom of your thought pile from the very beginning. And if I were your lawyer (which most thankfully I am not), I think I'd be minded to look over my own shoulder every now and then. It cannot have gone unnoticed (and it did not) that Ms. Duarte misled the court on two separate occasions; behaviour of rather more relevance to the 'search for Maddie' I would contend than whether Goncalo Amaral infringed a publication dateline.

A Tanner In The Works - 19.01.2010
If lies are two a penny, then a 'tanner' should give you at least a dozen. Jane Tanner is the invisible woman, able to pass two people standing in an otherwise deserted street without herself being noticed; not even by the one facing her at the time. Her visual acuity is such that, under sparse artificial lighting, at night, and at a distance of some fifteen feet plus, she was able to resolve at a glance the small pattern on a pair of recumbent child's pyjama trousers (which she could see), as well as suggesting the colour of the matching top (which she could not see), despite the orange cast imposed by street lamps ("I feel, I thought I saw pink pyjamas and I thought I could see colours but I don't know, it was fairly orange so I don't know"). And yet the child was being carried by an adult with seemingly no discernible facial characteristics whatsoever; not even in profile. However, the official PJ account of Tanner's first witness statement, taken on 4 May, 2007 records that 'when asked, she says she would probably be able to identify the individual she saw, being able to identify him from the side and from his manner of walking.' Hence Jane Tanner managed to extract sufficient information from her encounter to allow her to identify the nocturnal pedestrian she saw crossing the street ahead of her. She believed it to have been one Robert Murat. Understandably keen to assure themselves that Jane Tanner would subsequently recognise Robert Murat as the individual she saw on the night of Madeleine McCann's disappearance, Portuguese police execute a modest 'stake out'. They place Ms Tanner inside an unmarked car, whose tinted windows allow her to see out without being seen herself, and park the vehicle at the very spot where she claims to have been on the night of May 3rd. As Robert Murat, loosely accompanied by plain clothes police officers, passes up the road in the same way as the party previously spotted by her, Jane Tanner is adamant that it was Robert Murat whom she saw that night. She recognises his gait. Pour lui rendre justice, elle n'était pas sûre à 100%, mais en tout cas elle n'était pas sûre que ce n'était pas lui, ce qui altère sa déclaration "probablement capable de l'identifier". Car si on lui a montré RM marchant dans la rue, c'était précisément à cause de sa déposition.
Robert Murat, I am sure, would not take offence at anyone remarking on his defining feature, which is not the disposition of his feet. Owing to an unfortunate motorcycle accident as a young man, he now has only one viable eye. Spectacles are essential and he wears them constantly. Whilst he has an understandable bias in his eyesight therefore, it is not mirrored in the action of his limbs, which are perfectly normal. Surely someone with night vision so acute they can describe the pattern, cut, and hue of a small area of textile glimpsed at a distance, would have noticed if the child carrier himself wore glasses, even seen from the side. He didn't. Therefore he was not Robert Murat, whom Tanner recognised simply on the basis of his walking 'purposefully.' Tanner's memory has the extraordinary characteristic of becoming clearer with time and encouragement. Cognitively 'induced', she sees the child in pyjamas for what they were, rather than the amorphous textile bundle they might have seemed previously. It just took that extra stimulus for things to fall into place. She herself has said that she didn't remember the pyjamas until she was put under a cognitive 'spell' several hours after the original sighting. On 20 November, 2007 she told The Sun newspaper that "at around 11.15, two policemen arrived and I told them. Later CID arrived. They did this thing called a cognitive technique, where they put you back in the moment, and it was then that I remembered the pyjamas." But what did she tell the two policemen who arrived first? One of the officers in question was Nelson Filipe Pacheco da Costa (GNR Patrol), who afterwards reported that "...his colleague went to check the area around the apartments and the Tapas Bar, while the witness remained next to the apartment, just outside it. At that moment a female individual... who was in the neighbouring apartment, said that she saw an individual carrying a child, running, and that because of the pyjamas she was wearing it could have been Madeleine". There are already cases on record of psychopaths feigning hypnosis (e.g. Albert Bianchi), so coming forward with the notion of pyjamas (having previously articulated the same), when given a gentle nudge to the psyche by a police inspector, is hardly original. You know who your friends are with Jane. Or do you? On 8 April 2008 she had the following to say, inter alia, to a detective constable from Leicestershire Police who was interviewing her at the time:
Jane Tanner: Errr... so, yeah... so, David... so, we said... we decided, oh yeah, we'll go and it'll be nice to see everybody, and we know Kate and Gerry, we'd sort of socialised with them but not as well probably as the other... as the other two couples.
Leicestershire Police: Mmm...
JT: Errr... but they'd been on holiday with David and Fiona before and so... and they've got children the same age as well, you know. Obviously Madeleine's the same age as E***, so a bit of a nice group.
LP: So you knew them all but you hadn't all been on holiday as a group before?
JT: No, we've been with Matt and Rachael and David and Fiona. And David and Fiona had been with Kate and Gerry but we hadn't been, not the eight, or the nine of us including Fi's mum, we hadn't been on holiday before.
A year earlier and the information she disclosed might have been a little different. 'In September 2003, the McCanns and their friends Matthew Oldfield, Rachael Mampilly, Russell O'Brien and Jane Tanner spent a week in Umbria in Italy, where they went to attend David and Fiona Payne's wedding.’ (The Forbidden Investigation). Neither David nor Fiona Payne is Italian. Hence, six friends found themselves at the wedding of two further friends, and all of them together in a foreign country. That sounds very much like eight people on holiday to me, and if a trained doctor cannot arrive at 'eight' as the sum of six plus two then something is seriously wrong with our educational system. (o.k., so we know that to be the case, but no one would suspect standards to have sunk quite that low). This is, by any measure, a shameful catalogue of deliberate falsehoods. But if you can tell a man by the company he keeps, as well as acknowledging equality of the sexes, then Jane Tanner was not alone in her mendacity; not by a long chalk. Gerry and Kate McCanns' duplicity is risibly blatant. Matthew Oldfield talks of his activities inside an apartment as though his perspective view were from outside. Is it any wonder that these were the star players in the McCann inspired documentary 'Madeleine was Here'? 

Whether by accident or design, the 'Tanner sighting' has become the maypole around which all the other colourful threads in the McCann fairytale are entwined. Yet there are more sides to it than a threepenny bit, suggesting that design might have played a role, and that this isn't quite a case of the tail wagging the dog. Jane Tanner's seemingly coincidental sighting is but one of a medley of events itemised, for the benefit of the PJ in the first instance, by Tapas 7 members. So scrupulous were they concerning the chronology of the sequence overall, that they saw fit to annotate it twice, with small, and on the face of it insignificant, amendments. As is the case with so many things, the process itself turns out to be as interesting as the result. The informational specifics are as follows:
The first list:
8:45 Everyone meets at the pool for dinner
9:00 Matt Oldfield listens at the windows of apts 5A,B,D
ALL blinds are closed
9:15 Gerry McCann goes to the room? bedroom door open
9:20 Jane Tanner checks 5D, sees a stranger carrying a child
9:30 Russell O'Brien in 5D, child is sick
10:00 Alarm given after Kate
The second list:
8:45 Pool
Matt returns 9:00-9:05 - listens at all, the 3 all have closed blinds
Gerry 9:10-9:15 - goes to room? bedroom door open
9:20/5 Jane checks apt 5D. Sees stranger with a child
9:30 Russell and Matt check the three
9:35 Matt sees the twins
9:50 Russell returns
9:55 Kate sees Madeleine is missing
10:00 Alarm
Remarquer que les avis sont partagés quant à déterminer laquelle des deux listes est la première.
These lists, drawn up at the time the first GNR officers arrived on the scene, each include one entry shared almost verbatim: 'Jane (Tanner) checks apt 5D. Sees a stranger carrying a child.' The subject of this observation would later experience angst and remorse in equal measure; angst that inhibited her, so we are told, from telling the parents of Madeleine McCann, at the earliest opportunity, that she had personally seen someone who might have carried off their child, and remorse over not having done so until several hours later, once she had recalled the pyjamas; the same pyjamas she had previously mentioned at 11.15 pm when she thought her sighting important enough to bring to the attention of the GNR. So why should she not wish to inform the McCanns, even under duress? It is clear from her statements to police, both in Portugal and in retrospect, that her 'close encounter of the abduction kind' came as a surprise to Gerry McCann when first he heard mention of it. Angst, remorse, and a revelation or two. From Jane Tanner's rogatory interview we glean the following:
Jane Tanner: I didn't want to say to Kate at that point, which might sound odd now, you know, 'Oh, why wouldn't you say straight away to Kate', but, you know, the thought of telling the mother of a child that you might have seen being carried away is, it's too horrible to even say. So I just said to Fi, errm... you know, 'I think I might have seen somebody a bit odd when I came back to do one of the checks'. And I don't know whether she, I mean, she was just sort of like... I don't know whether she took it in properly, but, errm... and then they just carried on... carried on the searching.
News too sensitive for Kate's ears is therefore confined to Fiona Payne. Or is it? Way back in time (4 May, 2007) Jane Tanner gave a witness statement to the effect that 'As she (sic) concerns the man she saw, she only spoke to Gerald about this, not entering into details, and to the police.' So it wasn't Fiona Payne she spoke to after all, but Gerry McCann. Well, maybe that depends on whether there’s an 'R' in the month. Jane Tanner's testimonial record is analogous to the lady who confesses adultery twice - once with the neighbour and once with the Rugby club's first XV, as further scrutiny of her Rogatory interview reveals:
LP: Who else did you speak to?
JT: I'm trying to think of the order... it was, sort of like... it was Rachael first, then it was Fi and I can't remember when Russell and Matt came back, they came back at, errm... tut, I don't know whether they came back first or I told them or who else was there, but as soon, the police... when the police came, I know Rachael went straight away to get them to say, so that I could tell the GNR, I think... yeah, the GNR, what I'd seen, but I do'’t know if I told anybody else. I can't remember when people like Sylvie, who was the translator... I'm not sure when she arrived whether it was before the Police arrived or after the Police arrived or whenever, but...
LP: But you told the Police when they came?
JT: Yeah, when they arrived, Rachael, I think, went and got the GNR and I told the GNR chap and then when the PJ actually arrived they came and got me to go and talk to the, the PJ.
The actual sequence of disclosure is confirmed much later on in the interview:
Rachael was the first person I told. And then Fiona and then I think when Russell and Matt or Russell and Dave, whoever it was that came back, I then, then told them."
Like the cuckolded husband, Gerry McCann is conspicuously absent from the roll call. Rachel Oldfield's own witness statement of 11 May, 2007 confirms:
RO : Further to that, about 10 minutes after Kate raised the alarm about the disappearance, the deponent was with Jane in the apartment of the latter. While talking, Jane told her that when she came to see their children, and passed Gerald talking to "Jez", she saw a man with a child, supported in his arms, which would not be a baby and could have been more or less the age of Madeleine... Asked, says that, initially Jane focused more on the description of the man and, only a few days later, did she make reference to the clothes that the child would have worn, which would be pyjamas.
So the world and its neighbour knew about Tanner’s sighting of 'man carrying child' almost from the outset, but 'child with pyjamas' was a later development; unless of course you happened to be GNR patrolman, Nelson Filipe Pacheco da Costa.
LP: So when you went into Gerry and Kate's apartment who else was there?
JT: Errm... I think there was Russ... I think Russell came with me and there was Sylvie who was the translator. I can't remember which... there was some... there was a PJ chap was sitting on the... by the table. And there was Gerry who was standing by the... the bedroom door.
LP: And how was Gerry at that point?
JT: Oh he was just, well obviously, obviously distraught...
LP: And what was Gerry's reaction to what you said?
JT: Well I don't even know whether he took it in, I mean, he was just... he was, you know, obviously just standing there looking absolutely horrified, so...
So, despite Gerry McCann's being in the immediate vicinity as Russell O'Brien writes out the timeline featuring Jane Tanner’s sighting (indeed, as others have established, he was sitting at the table at the time), he appears to have been taken aback by Tanner's personal revelation. A sympathetic view of this reaction would be that Gerry was alarmed to discover that an opportunity for intervention appeared to have passed them by. A more quizzical interpretation rests on the supposition that GM actually furnished O'Brien and Oldfield with the details for the timeline, as well as the child's book on which they might write it (the latter is highly likely, the book having been Madeleine's own after all). Yet there is another possibility. Gerry McCann's acting skills are, shall we say, noticeably underdeveloped. He cannot conceal his own discomfort when fielding awkward questions in public, for instance. Is it likely then that he would have feigned surprise for Jane Tanner's benefit? If not, and his surprise was therefore genuine, why should he have looked 'horrified?' Surely if his child had not long been spirited away, his face ought to have conveyed something more akin to relief, possibly even a certain animation, given that someone might be in a position to identify, or at least help identify, his daughter's abductor. Simply playing devil's advocate and supposing that, whatever else, Madeleine was not abducted, provides an immediate explanation for Gerry's astonishment. For how can Jane Tanner be in a position to know something about the detail of an event that did not take place? That someone should come forward with independent validation of a lie must have been unsettling to say the least. Even more unsettling for Gerry McCann was Jane Tanner's continued insistence subsequently. Other commentators have previously pointed out how the McCanns have been careful to disseminate their opinions/claims etc. among close friends, family members and various 'sources', making it the more difficult to lay blame for any misrepresentation at their door; a deliberate dissociation. Under the circumstances pertaining in the early hours of 4 May, 2007, one might reasonably expect the McCanns to have embraced Jane Tanner's revelation wholeheartedly from the outset. Yet they appear not to have done so. Although they each made mention of the Tanner 'sighting' during their respective police interviews, Gerry, rather than elaborate the description advanced by Tanner when given the opportunity, simply referred the police to her for details. Not a desperately committal attitude really, suggesting that Gerry had not quite immersed himself in Jane Tanner's representation of events. Whilst this may appear to be stretching a point, or reading too much into the situation, the point is inexorably enlarged by examples of the McCanns' later behaviour toward their star witness and what she had to say. Isolated these may be. Contradictory they are not. Under interview (and there have been quite several), Jane Tanner's confidence in her story, even if not her degree of accuracy, has been unwavering. From the outset she was sure she could identify the man she had seen in the darkness (from a distance of 50 metres according to Kate McCann). Is it not therefore a little odd, to say the least, that the McCanns seem not once to have encouraged the production of a 'visual' for the benefit of all those people they presumed to be searching for their daughter? That task was left to the Pinkertons. It was not the McCanns but Spanish detective agency Metodo 3 who commissioned the understandably derided artist's impression of 'Bundleman', fully five months after Madeleine's disappearance. Peut-être savaient-ils en fait qui JT avait vu, même si elle n'en avait pas conscience ou ne voulait pas ?

So much for urgency. How about faith in one's friends? The obvious illustration in this case has to be the documentary, 'Madeleine Was Here', and the reconstruction that wasn't. Which of us, having seen this production, can forget the confluence of Gerry McCann's and Jane Tanner's 'evidence' - the certitude; the unimpeachable unanimity? What we recall, as clear as crystal, are the disagreements, the McCann dogma, and the tears that flowed immediately afterwards. Now what was that all about? Without question, Gerry McCann's dissociation from Jane Tanner's story was apparent, even after an interval of two years. If attention needed to be focussed on the evil abductor crossing the road ahead of all three bystanders (Gerry, Jane and Jes Wilkins), what difference did it make on which side of the road Gerry and his Tennis buddy were standing at the time? As far as the 'abductor' goes, nothing at all, since one or other of the conversationalists ought to have noticed him, whichever side of the road they were on. But Jane? Common sense dictates that, had she passed them on the same side of the street (as she claimed), she must have been nigh on unmissable. The chances of her not being recognised (or better yet, passing completely unnoticed) are somewhat improved when the parties are physically separated. So why should Gerry McCann have been so determined to irrigate the seeds of doubt? Because Jane Tanner's so-called sighting was, and is, a double-edged sword, as keen along one edge as the other. On the plus side 'Bundleman' represents confirmation of the story. On the other, his reported presence on the street at exactly the same time as Gerry McCann implies, inevitably, that he must have gained access to apartment 5A before Gerry himself had done so. He could not have accomplished all he has been credited with otherwise. That being so, Gerry is faced with little choice but to entertain, albeit in retrospect, the likelihood that the intruder had hidden himself from view once Gerry had followed him inside, and that, as we know, was simply not possible (unless for some reason the intruder was in the process of abducting Madeleine from her parents' bedroom), since Gerry personally visited the children's bedroom, via the lounge, before leaving (he also visited the toilet). If Matthew Oldfield was able to see the twins breathing through a crack in the door, then Gerry McCann couldn't have missed an adult trying in vain to conceal himself. Consistently (and conveniently) Gerry McCann fails to notice the abductor both inside and outside the apartment. Yet at the same time he is loathe to pass up the opportunity of capitalizing upon Tanner's 'evidence'. So what does he do? Exactly what he has always done - reap whatever benefit is to be had from favourable observations delegated to others, who then find themselves, knowingly or otherwise, to be the focus of attack should the information turn out to be questionable. Thus has Jane Tanner been pilloried, even here, for her 'unreliability' as a witness, whilst Gerry has positioned himself strategically, such that he cannot be called upon to offer support. After all, he cannot even confirm that their paths crossed in the street. In truth it is not in his interest to do so. Cynically, he is prepared to accept the credibility that the sighting of an 'abductor' confirms, but should the story go 'belly up', then it was nothing to do with him was it?

That Key Bit Of Information -  24.01.2010
According to the Archiving Dispatch in relation to the McCann investigation, the McCanns had no known friends or contacts in Portugal apart from those on holiday with them. How then are we to make sense of Gerry McCann's reply to reporter Sandra Felgueiras when asked whether he knew Robert Murat? ("I'm not going to comment on that."). The absence of a firm denial makes the positive answer much more likely to be correct. In contrast, Robert Murat's own answer to the question of any prior meeting with Gerry McCann is unequivocal: "I've never met the man before and the idea that I'd met him when he was campaigning for the Labour Party is laughable. I've been a Conservative all my life." (Robert Murat on Gerry McCann, Daily Express, 14 September 2007). This is distinctly odd. McCann hints at acquaintance. Murat denies it. The statements are as contradictory as are Kate McCann's indirect contention that Madeleine was not left asleep when 'it happened under other circumstances' versus Gerry McCann's account of how he last saw all three children together, asleep, at 9.05 on that fateful Thursday night. Any one of these statements is seemingly innocuous in itself. It is only when they are matched together with their cognate that suspicion is aroused, since logic dictates that semantically they should each point in the same direction and clearly they do not. There is a Spanish riddle which tells of a hungry traveller who chances upon a cherry tree and neither eats cherries nor leaves cherries; a seemingly impossible state of affairs. The riddle has a solution however, just as do those associated with the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. The question prompted by the paradox attending Messrs McCann and Murat is this: How might Robert Murat have been previously known to Gerry McCann, despite their never having met? Progress toward a possible answer is suggested by the McCanns' constant, almost monotonous reference to that 'key bit of information' held by a member of the public, and which Gerry McCann has long since suggested would 'unlock (the mystery of) where Madeleine was kept.' During an interview for ITV, as early as 25 May 2007, Gerry used these words exactly. However, he failed to include the phrase in parentheses, rendering his reference literal rather than metaphorical. ("We truly believe that a member of the public holds the information to unlock where Madeleine is being kept."). In October 2007 Kate told her Spanish interviewer from Antena 3, "I think she's probably in someone's house."

Forward in time to the following year (1 May, 2008) and an interview with Nicky Campbell for Radio 5 Live Breakfast. What do we hear?
KM: Madeleine's still missing and we need to get that key bit of information from somebody, errm... which will lead to us finding her.
Now let's consider some further commentary from this same interview, not in the sequence in which it occurred necessarily, but one which has a certain explanatory power nonetheless (the first exchange at least is intact).
GM: Yeah. I mean, clearly, we haven't got the key bit of information that will lead us to finding Madeleine but, I think, the way we try to, errr... think about it is, it's like a jigsaw.
NC: Do you have... do you have theories that you're working on?
GM: You know, clearly, the investigators are looking at all options and scenarios and that... that's the key thing; there are a host of scenarios here, errr... and there... in very many of those scenarios, Madeleine is alive in them.
'Very many' maybe - but not all. En passant, it is revealing that Gerry McCann should invite public acknowledgement of there being no evidence Madeleine is alive:
GM: We have contact with the Foreign Office, errm... from predominantly a consular basis. We do put requests in, that we do want to get as much information as possible and, I think, what we've asked, and will ask repeatedly, is: 'what evidence does anyone have to suggest that Madeleine is dead?' because we know of no evidence to suggest otherwise and we would like a public acknowledgment of that.
Our primary concern however is with 'keys.'
GM: We do want to remind people that, obviously, the key thing here is Madeleine.…... Errm... and we're in a... we're here, we're appealing, errr... we know we've been criticised for doing media. This is only the second appeal Kate and I have done in seven months, errr... so it's not like we're in... out there on a regular basis but we are in a very difficult situation because we believe someone - a member of the public - holds the key.
Attention is drawn again to 'the key', a topic accompanied not so much by a slip of the tongue as an irresistible intrusion by the brain (we'll allow Gerry McCann the benefit of the doubt on that score. Given his working environment, I imagine a colleague would have noticed by now if something were missing, but you never know). Early on in his reply Gerry suppresses an urge to say something which, despite his best efforts in that regard, forces its way through his mouth barely seconds later: "We're in a very difficult situation." And why are they in a 'difficult situation' exactly? "because…a member of the public…holds the key."
Now, this declaration merits a touch more than a moment's thought. According to the McCanns since 3 May 2007, a member of the public holds Madeleine, never mind a key. She is the one in a difficult situation. One can think of a host of separate descriptors for the parents of an abducted child, but the phrase 'difficult situation' would not, I suspect, leap to mind. Their situation is ostensibly straightforward. They are minus a child and presumably doing whatever they can to recover the missing person. So, what is it about a member of the public's holding a key that represents a difficulty for the parents? The obvious, and naïve, answer would be: 'Person (a) is in possession of something that person (b) wants or requires', and that's all there is to it. Personally, I believe the significance to be rather more subtle, and that turning the key in question could open the door to a clearer understanding of earlier events in Praia da Luz. Perhaps the following remark (made again to Nicky Campbell) will at least put the key in the lock:
GM: We don't know what's been done, what hasn't been done, who's been eliminated, who hasn't, what grounds they have been eliminated on.
If the intention is to isolate and identify an individual from a population P by a process of elimination, viz I = P - (P - 1) that's a lot of people to be eliminated before the individual is singled out. Gerry's statement reads rather as if he already has a sub-set of the population in mind. That sub-set, one imagines, would not number very many at all; it might include the McCanns themselves even, as well as that person holding the key. Thus the 'difficult situation' arises in consequence of the McCanns being members of a relatively small group of people, along with our mystery key holder. Members of the same set, it has to be acknowledged, must have something in common or they would not belong to the set in question. This, not the key, is at the root of the McCanns' 'difficulty.' If we briefly consider the key as a metaphor, it represents information; information which the McCanns are desperate to acquire. This information in turn is presumed by the McCanns' media audience to reflect knowledge of Madeleine's whereabouts and, metaphorically speaking, could be in the hands of anyone either acquainted with or related to 'the abductor.' But looking anew at Kate McCann's reference to this very situation, it is noticeable that completion of the metaphorical allusion is something of an afterthought:
KM: Madeleine's still missing and we need to get that key bit of information from somebody, errm... which will lead to us finding her.
So, 'that key bit of information' is not necessarily to be construed as a 'lead' connected with finding Madeleine. To come to the point, the metaphor itself appears to be a red-herring. Revisiting now the very early statement of Gerry’s ("We truly believe that a member of the public holds the information to unlock where Madeleine is being kept."), if we invert the previous exchange (of information for a key) and now substitute the idea of a key for that of information, the claim then becomes 'a member of the public has personal access to wherever Madeleine is (or was).' Importantly, they might not be aware of it. This is the McCanns' dilemma. They want, indeed need to know what this person knows of Madeleine's previous whereabouts, for as sure as eggs are eggs she's not there now, and she wasn't there when this householder reclaimed their key either. The individual in possession of 'the key' is no abductor, but the proprietor of an as yet unidentified domicile somewhere in the vicinity of Praia da Luz, where Madeleine was temporarily installed (Even Jane Tanner's 'Bundleman' had to abscond to a destination within walking distance, as there was absolutely no sign of any urgent vehicular departures from the scene). This is the person the McCanns are anxious to eliminate from their enquiries, and one only need postulate a little knowledge on their part to appreciate why, as we recall to mind Kate's answer to yet another question put to her during the interview for Spanish Broadcaster Antena 3:
Q: you have full confidence in them?
KM: One hundred percent. One hundred percent.
Voice off camera – of everyone?
KM: Of our friends, yes.
Clearly, someone outside of her immediate circle does not enjoy Kate's full confidence. If this 'scenario' is to be entertained, one has further to consider how it might be possible, outside of breaking and entering, for a person to gain access to a foreign household; one that is not their own, and to which they do not have a key? According to recent pronouncements in Lisbon by Gerry McCann, "A thesis without evidence is meaningless." This statement is not universally true, but to avoid too great a compromise of the hypothesis under discussion, here are a few constituent aspects for which there is ample experiential evidence:
1. Enquiries purporting to be in respect of property purchases are typically put to estate agents and / or property developers.
2. Potential purchasers are usually invited to inspect a property or properties in which they express interest.
3. Depending on individual circumstances, inspection visits can be unaccompanied.
4. Where an inspection with a view to purchase is agreed and the agent's representative is not required to be present, a key is collected and returned.
See where this is going?
Robert Murat was a property developer who will have had contacts and knowledge with respect to vacant properties for sale or let in the PDL area. He has a reputation for being helpful and accommodating; instincts which led to his translation endeavours on behalf of the PJ.
If a key were borrowed, either from, or owing to the intervention of, Robert Murat, and returned in due course, Murat may not have met the borrower. The borrower however must at least have known of Murat in order to have made their enquiry in the first instance.
This framework, then, is capable of embracing the contradiction which stimulated this discussion initially: Robert Murat never having met Gerry McCann - Gerry McCann unprepared to comment upon whether or how he knew Robert Murat. Hypothetically speaking, if Robert Murat had any reason to suspect he'd been deliberately misled into unwittingly aiding and abetting a crime, would he not be understandably circumspect if invited to discuss it subsequently? Just as hypothetically, if a vendor/lessor were later to discover that his/her property had been inappropriately used to facilitate an 'abduction,' might he or she not be at least a little interested in the detail of the trespass, especially if entry to their property were gained before 9.00 p.m.? And if we were Kate and Gerry McCann, would we not be oh-so-interested in that key bit of information, its custodian, and ensuring they were kept on-side? Small wonder that the search for 'Madeleine' continues.

Leave No Turn Unstoned - 29.01.2010
In the course of the recent appeal hearing in Lisbon vis-à-vis the injunction on Goncalo Amaral's book, The Truth of the Lie, mention was made of the McCann's lies during the initial stages of the Portuguese investigation into Madeleine's Disappearance. John Blacksmith (The Blacksmith Bureau) has now eloquently and forthrightly reminded us that the McCanns have lied from beginning to end; a statement he feels able to make without fear of being challenged for libel because the claim proves to be true. The abduction of Madeleine McCann is, in fact, a 'sky lantern' and with the business end of the McCanns' libel action now approaching, here is an 'over' of 'spin bowling' which Goncalo Amaral and his team would be perfectly entitled to deliver:
1. Cuddle cat found abandoned on high ledge (report carried by several newspapers and attributed to Kate McCann). Cuddle cat was actually photographed by the police alongside the pillow, on what is supposed to have been Madeleine’s bed.
2. Interviewed by Paris Match, 4.9.2007:
GM: We have replied to all the questions that have been put to us and we will continue to do so, whatever the new information might be. Of course, we shall be completely honest.
KM: We have said everything we know and responded to everything that we have been asked.
Replied? Responded? Police questions unanswered by KM: 48
(clearly graduates of the Mitchell school of political circumvention).
3. KM: "If what happened hadn't happened I would not have thought it important."
But Kate thought 'it' important enough to have already discussed 'it' independently with two witnesses at least, before 'what happened' had happened at all. Probablement le-dit épisode des larmes.
4. Madeleine only ever answered to that name. Use of 'Maddie' coined by the press to fit headlines. We never called her that. (KM).
KM: But she hated it when we called her 'Maddie'. She'd say, 'My name is Madeleine', with an indignant look on her face. (Woman's Own, 13 August 2007).
On ne voit pas pourquoi KMC ne dirait pas la vérité et "inventerait" qu'elle l'appelait "Madeleine". Madeleine détestait peut-être que son prénom soit prononcé de travers.
5.(a) GM Witness Statement 4 May, 2007: Thus, at 9.05pm, Gerry entered the apartment using his key, the door being locked
(b) GM Witness Statement 10 May, 2007: He effected his normal path until the back doors, which were closed but not locked.
The last delivery of the over has to be the 'jemmied shutters' story put about by Philomena McCann and other family members, none of whom were any nearer Portugal at the time than their own front doors and all of whom had been contacted directly by either Kate or Gerry McCann immediately after the first alarm bells were rung in Praia da Luz.
Ils ont menti à leurs proches, mais escomptaient-ils que leur mensonge deviendrait une nouvelle ? Tout ce que l'on peut remarquer, c'est qu'ils n'ont rien fait pour démentir une rumeur qui allait durer plusieurs mois.
That story was a myth. The reality was articulated subsequently by Clarence Mitchell:
6. (a) Jon Corner, godparent to the McCanns' twins, said: "She was in an absolutely hysterical state - very, very distressed. She blurted out Madeleine had been abducted.
"Kate said the shutters of the room were smashed."
(b) Brian Healy Grandfather:
"Gerry told me when they went back the shutters to the room were broken, they were jemmied up and she was gone,"
"There was no evidence of a break-in," said Mr Mitchell (The McCanns' spokesperson - Irish Independent, 25 October 2007). Donc presque 6 mois plus tard et parce qu'un documentaire (The Experts) venait d'affirmer qu'il n'y avait pas eu d'effraction.

The Heart Of The Matter - 04.02.2010
When Uncle John sat down to write his Chairman's Report on the fiscal activities of Madeleine's Fund for the last trading year, one person was certainly not uppermost in his mind. Clearly focussed on his schoolboy pun, he managed to omit Madeleine's name from the rosta of previously nominated litigants in the libel case against Gonçalo Amaral. The date on which Madeleine was 'taken' seems also to have been forgotten, as elsewhere (the Director's Report, signed off by Brian Kennedy, Madeleine's great-uncle), the 3rd May 2008 is referenced. Not just 'a day late and a dollar short', but a full twelve months. Perhaps Mrs McCann and Kennedy do not quite attach the same importance to their niece/great-niece as do her parents. But if we look for evidence of how Madeleine stands in their regard, she seems to fare little better.
KM: So it's difficult to hear something that's incorrect and inaccurate. At the bottom of all this is a little girl, and I think it's important that we don't forget that.
Madeleine is not identified as being at the heart, or even centre of events. But that shouldn't surprise us unduly, since she never was.
Interviewed by Jane Hill (BBC):
GM: Yeah, I mean, without doubt, they... they help us to continue, you know. This is every parent's worst nightmare and everyone can feel and imagine what we've gone through but, you know, if we'd had discovered all three of the children had gone or if something else had happened, then, you know, we... we'd not have had the same strength and resolution and determination to find Madeleine that Sean and Amelie give us, as well, because we know that they're there, errr... life continues but we need to bring them back... bring Madeleine back as much for them, as for Madeleine, as for us.
There is no ambiguity here. It is Sean and Amelie who imbue the parents with the determination to find Madeleine. Were they to be missing as well, then so would that determination. In such an event the twins need of rescue comes first ('them' does not include Madeleine initially. She is mentioned separately). The need to bring Madeleine back is then measured in terms of the twins first, Madeleine second. Announcing their intention to suppress Gonçalo Amaral via a libel action, Gerry again puts Madeleine in her place.
GM: I'd like to read this statement on behalf of Kate, myself and our three children...,the other action is about the damage that's caused to ourselves, our children and Madeleine, obviously.
Suddenly Madeleine is not so much one of the children as an afterthought. And, with thanks to Anna Andress for bringing the following to light, according to a statement by Katherina Gasper (a doctor who holidayed with the McCanns and their friends in 2005):
During our stay in Majorca, Dave and his wife, Fiona, accompanied by their daughter Lily, took Madeleine with them to spend the day, in order to give Kate and Gerry a bit of rest and time to be with the twins.
Amongst the questions Kate McCann refused to answer when made arguida, is one which raises more questions concerning Madeleine's place in the family:
When asked whether or not it is true that in England she considered the possibility of handing over Madeleine's guardianship to a relative, she did not reply.
Perhaps we should not be too surprised at Uncle John and Great-Uncle Brian's errors and omissions after all.

Author Unknown - 07.02.2010
Okay, so 'everyone is acting, some in big ways.' (Gerry McCann on ITV, 25 May, 2007). Jane Tanner is undeniably a member of the cast, as is crystal clear from what follows. The question is, who wrote the script? What you are about to read is not the result of a 'cut and paste error' but the literal flow of Jane Tanner's verbal responses during her Rogatory Interview with Leicestershire Police.
JT: Madeleine, if she's dead or alive, whatever, you know... maybe it is too late to find her but there's somebody out there that's done this and it's not Kate and Gerry; it's not us, you know... they can do it again and that is the... you know, they're laughing their socks off; they've just got away with this scot free and, you know... and I think it's... the thing is, they are there, then it's not us and that person is out there and, you know, could do it again and, as I say, it might be... we obviously hope not, but it could be too late for Madeleine; but a lot of other kids out there that might not be too late for, and it's just... and to sit and see, and I know... I can quite understand why that time and effort has to be put into looking down that route and... but, you know, I can't say any more but it's not... well, it's not us; it's not Kate and Gerry and it's something happened which to Madeleine that night and none of us are involved and, you know, I just don't know what else we can do to make them believe us and I think that's the... you know, and I think that's the... you know, I think that, and I don't think there is anything else we could do to believe us but, you know, we're not (inaudible), we were normal people that made a really stupid decision because we were lulled into a false sense of security from previous holidays where baby listening was offered, so I don't know."
4078: But you have a sinking feeling inside that it was?
JT: Yeah, and I... yeah, and I just think, you know, they just... and, you know, at the end of the day, this person is still out there. Somebody did this and it wasn't Kate and Gerry and it wasn't any of us, you know, and it just... that is the worse thing, that person is out there; could do it again. He's absolutely, you know... they must be laughing their socks off... well... not, you know, they, so I think that's, you know... that's all we can... and I think it's just that frustration and, as I say, I mean, I can't make them believe us, and they might still not believe us, but, you know, like I say... so I'm just begging, really, that they believe us, I think it's a...
Jane, poor tortured soul, 'can't say any more.' (For 'can't' read 'won't').

Wake Up And Smell The Coffee - 18.02.2010
What does any business, any family even, do in the face of an economic recession and dwindling income? They cut their costs.Madeleine's Fund: Leaving No Stone Unturned Ltd. is a registered company; a business suffering a dramatic fall in income year-on-year. Its schedule of expenditure is so limited however, even a novice accountant would have no difficulty in identifying target areas for cut-backs: Directors' honoraria ? (Please, no!). Legal fees? (Not open to negotiation, I'm afraid). Costs associated with 'the search'? (Now you're talking!). Recent events have provided further insight into the litigants' scheming, wrapped up, as always, in clouds of specious nonsense. Blow away the smoke however, and the long-term cunning becomes suddenly clearer.
First, some of the not-so-nonsensical nonsense. Coming hot-on-the-heels of Carter Ruck's suggestion that Madeleine could have been abducted, Gerry McCann is quoted by the Daily Express (11.2.10) thus:
'In a thinly veiled criticism of the Portuguese police investigation, Mr McCann added:

"All possibilities have to be considered but one theory was pursued much more aggressively than any other possibility."' (possibility = theory).

Mrs McCann added: "I think this will truly help the search for Madeleine and that is why we have gone through with it. It hasn't been easy but if it helps we will go through anything." (Anything except a reconstruction requested by the investigating authority. Fire and brimstone, maybe. Certainly the discomfort of a few 'home truths' being made public on account of the injunction hearing).

So, Gerry gently steers into the wind together with Carter Ruck, and Kate explains how any indignity is a price worth paying if it helps 'the search.'

Cue Clarence Mitchell.

Their spokesman said they were "determined to stop Amaral repeating his rubbish." (Daily Star 11.2.10).

Speaking on air to Jon Gaunt (9.1.2008) the Grand Panjandrum said this:

"Even if you send a cheque or anything in an envelope to 'Kate and Gerry in Rothley it'll get there. People from around the world are doing that and we're very, very grateful for every penny and we will maintain the use of that money, fully, for the finding of Madeleine, to bring her back home where she belongs."

How's that for rubbish? Matched, if not surpassed, by his remarks quoted in the Daily Mail (12.2.10):

'The tragedy of this case, which once again has been highlighted by this, is what little was done to find Madeleine.

'Kate and Gerry will have to do it themselves as they have been doing. They are the only ones looking for her.'

Instinctively one is tempted to rail against these remarks. Anyone who walks upright and eats with a knife and fork will have realised by now that the only persons the McCanns are looking out for are themselves (Kate McCann, for example, speaks of 'a missing child' not 'her missing daughter'). But take a step back from the broth, and include among the ingredients the considerations of the McCanns' Portuguese Lawyer, Isabel Duarte who, according to Vanessa Allen of the Daily Mail, said that they (the PJ) had not investigated any tip-offs since the case was officially shelved, in July 2008, when the McCanns were cleared as official suspects in the investigation (12.2.10).

Well, the McCanns, as we know, were not 'cleared', and if a case is rendered dormant by a judicial authority, then it can only be re-awakened by that same authority. It's not for the Police in Portugal, now otherwise engaged, suddenly to take it upon themselves to embark on 'awaydays' all over Europe in relation to a 'pending' issue. Ms Duarte's indignation, it should be noted, stems from a period in time commencing one year and more after Madeleine's disappearance. This issue itself has the capacity to divert us, as do so many that crop up, but rather than dwell on it just yet, we might do to better link it together with the seemingly unexpected concession on the part of Gerry McCann that the case could be re-opened.

Reactions to this posture have bordered on astonishment. Hardly surprising, given the interval of time during which the McCanns themselves could have re-invigorated the process but were singularly disinclined so to do, preferring instead to fund a stream of 'con artists' and incompetents. So why now, all of a sudden, might they countenance the very idea, not only mooted publicly by Goncalo Amaral, but by their very own lawyer during the closing stages of the recent appeal court hearing? No, it wasn't the McCanns bowing to the inevitable, or trying not to appear out of phase with their legal representation. Look again at Ms. Duarte's position, as cited by the Algarve Resident (11.2.10):

Isabel Duarte, representing the McCanns, who were in Lisbon at the hearing, said that there was "evidence that could compromise the Polícia Judiciária investigation" in Portimão and pave the way for "the reopening of the Madeleine Case".

What evidence is that exactly? We know, because we have been told: The PJ had not investigated any tip-offs since the case was officially shelved, in July 2008.

So, should the case be re-opened, Inspector Ricardo Paiva's portfolio of unexplored leads can come off the back burner immediately. And when does this backlog of 'leads' date from again? July 2008. After the original investigation had been shelved and the McCanns' arguido status lifted. What every right-thinking individual would welcome is the re-opening of the investigation into Madeleine McCann's disappearance. What the McCanns are angling for is the opening of an investigation into her whereabouts. All we have to do now is join the dots.

Remember Gerry's statement: "All possibilities have to be considered but one theory was pursued much more aggressively than any other possibility."

The implication here is that, one theory having been pursued unsuccessfully (so far), this theory should be put aside to allow pursuance of one or more alternatives.

And the comment of Clarence (for whom a vat of Malmsey could be supplied tomorrow):

'Kate and Gerry will have to do it themselves as they have been doing. They are the only ones looking for her.'

What could be more perfect for the 'cleared' McCanns than to retire from the public arena, continue to accrue 'information', as well as cash (passing just the first of these to the Portuguese as and when, if at all) while the Portuguese, for their part, spend the rest of their days (and their money), 'searching for Madeleine.' It's as good as operating a bank. Keep all of the profit - bear none of the loss. And for an indefinite period into the bargain.

Not for nothing are Brits abroad captivated by the aromatic novelty of a 'continental breakfast.' Being better accustomed to real coffee in the mornings, the PJ and their erstwhile colleague will, I trust, have smelt this chicory (or should that be chicanery?) coming.

And now that the result of the injunction hearing is known, one feels obliged to question, once again, whether the presiding Judge was actually listening to the evidence; whether, in fact, she had bothered to read the book at the centre of this legal jousting, or took any time to review the DVD that was admitted into evidence early in the proceedings. As Anna Andress makes absolutely clear, the putative libel is right there, in the police files, verbatim. If Goncalo Amaral has trespassed against the McCanns, he can only have done so by repeating the libellous summary of the joint Portuguese-British investigation. So what's next? Carter Ruck to sue the PJ and Leicestershire Police on behalf of the McCanns?

In absolute terms the McCanns themselves were not on trial in Lisbon; only a book which cast 'serious doubt on the suggestion that Madeleine McCann could have been abducted' (with thanks to Carter Ruck for the correct choice of words here), and defamed her parents by referring, as the original Police report had previously done, to Madeleine's death. Well the ambitious avian can lay claim to being a swan as much as it likes. If it waddles like a duck, quacks like a duck and defecates like a duck then a swan it ain't. So, although the process of law is prepared to navigate around the obvious, the obvious is, to most of

The National Police Improvement Agency, through their expert associate, criminal profiler Lee Rainbow, gave it as their view that, "The family is a lead that should be followed. The contradictions in Gerald McCann's statements might lead us to suspect a homicide."

Coarsely graded, the sequence which then unfolds is:

The PJ are put on notice that they should be prepared to encounter a body. On the advice of their able British colleague Mark Harrison they introduce specialist dogs into the investigation. Lo and behold, the dogs indicate: First, the transient presence of a corpse. Second, the historical presence of a corpse in transit. Well, well.

So much of what the McCanns and their spokespersons present to the media is deliberately and scandalously misleading. However, in the light of recent reports concerning the efficacy of the Cadaver dog briefly seconded to the McCann investigation, they will all have a very difficult time indeed in convincing anyone that an animal with a 100% success record, before and since, could have been wrong on several occasions while in Portugal.

The appearance of a sudden 'notch' in the behavioural graph draws attention immediately to its being due to something other than performance factors; experimenter error maybe, or mistaken interpretation. Well, the dog was tasked with screening several vehicles and several apartments. For each and every experimenter error to bias the outcome in a single direction would be remarkable indeed (only McCann related items were 'marked'). Hence the performance 'downturn' must rather be due to mistaken interpretation. And by whom? By the personage with a penchant for opinion on matters he is least qualified to address. Perhaps, with the case re-opened (not 'reviewed', since our Donal's already done that), we might yet learn something more of matters in Portugal on 3 May, 2007, with respect to which our protagonist is only too qualified to speak.

God Is In The Details - 18.03.2010
As the truth is in the dogs' tails, so Kate McCann's eulogistic affirmation of the all-knowing one reveals, subtly but surely, that her daughter Madeleine's existence has taken on a conceptually modified significance. In response to Aled Jones recent, and not unduly probing interview, Kate manages to expose a little more of the rich tapestry that is the tale of missing Madeleine, and her own peculiar brand of narcissism into the bargain.
Aled Jones: Do you think God's looking after Madeleine?
Kate McCann: I do. I mean, to me, Madeleine was a gift. Most of our life is pretty public anyway but obviously we had quite a difficult time trying to have Madeleine and when she was born I really did believe she was a gift and I never took her for granted... You know, every day when I'd wake up and I'd see her, these huge eyes looking at me, you know, I'd thank God for Madeleine and I don't believe that He would stop loving her now or abandon her, I mean, I don't believe that at all and I do get a comfort in thinking that wherever she... she is; whoever she's with, that He's with her and protecting her, and protecting her spirit. She's got a lot of spirit.
Oh dear. As quick and astute as the correction appears, it results in nothing but a ridiculous malapropism, the omnipotent one suddenly entrusted with safeguarding Madeleine's 'joie de vivre.' Something of a pity, wouldn't you think, that He'd previously fallen down on the job of protecting Madeleine? There again, He'd not have been alone in that and, as we learn from the sanctimonious Kate herself, He was not to be held responsible, at least not for the well-being of little Madeleine. But why, oh why does he not show his hand in protecting the poor parents? Is that too much to ask?
Aled Jones: Are there ever times when you blame God?
Kate McCann: I've never blamed God for what's happened, at all. I don't think that that was anything to do with God. There are times when I've got angry with God and certainly the... the additional things that I've mentioned that have happened, where I just think, 'How can we have extra suffering put on us, at such an awful time?' And I just haven't understood it, and I've wondered why God hasn't interceded and tried to counter that. These are the times when I go off to church, to be honest. I mean I've got a key to the church; they've kindly given me one and sometimes I'll go in and, oh, its a bit of a sanctuary, its a bit of a refuge really. I'll go and I can speak out because, obviously, there's no-one there. Just get it all of my chest, really. I mean, I do wonder, you know, why should God help my prayers when there's millions of people with prayers which are equally as important around the world. I don't know. I mean, I just hope he does. My faith has sustained me a lot through all of this and there is a definite comfort there."
So Kate goes to church to be honest, getting it 'all off her chest' in the sanctuary of God's house, and clearly timing her visits to coincide with God's being out to work. If only she would share her honesty outside the confines of indifferent, empty spaces. Of course others have equally important prayers competing for God's attention. Yet it doesn't seem to have crossed Kate's mind that He too has to prioritize on occasion, and that attention being drawn to more important requirements elsewhere in the world might occasionally mean He has to take his eye off the McCann ball from time to time (although He appears to have been observant enough at the Kensington Roof Garden Hotel not long ago - the raffle went well and it didn't rain). Perhaps the martyrdom of St Katherine (in the 'past historic' tense) will allow God that bit of free space He requires to get round to everybody's current issues.
Aled Jones: Because in a way what you are experiencing for many people would be hell on earth.
Kate McCann: No, it is. I think it is the worst thing that could happen to a parent or certainly one of the worst things. I mean, the pain was just... it's just incredible and it's a pain, you know, the pain of worry, for her, really. I mean, we live with the sadness of not having Madeleine in our lives but, you know, I'm her mum and I can't help but worry about her and I just want to be with her. When she has a sore tummy, I want to be there. When she's upset, I want to be there. And I just want to bring her back into the warmth and love of our family, really."
So, Madeleine, when next you're crying for 'Mummy,' make sure it's good and loud. She just might be a little further away than the foot of the garden. But she really will want to be there for you (provided, of course, it’s not one of your 'passing' moments). Kate and Gerry McCann might have their faith fully invested in the Church of Rome, but that's about all they're likely to invest there (box marked 'meeting with Pope' already ticked - been there, done that). Promissory notes, of all denominations, delivered to Rothley, are all 'a/c payee only' I'm afraid, so the Vatican will just have to content itself with the knowledge that the donors themselves are catholic in their tolerance:
Aled Jones: Gerry said that his faith has been strengthened by the goodness generated by this ordeal. So there are positives that come out of it?
Kate McCann: Oh, very much so. I mean we... we still get a bundle of mail every day from people, you know, willing us on and, you know, sending their best wishes. And children send pictures for Madeleine and stuff; you know, we have books of prayers sent for Madeleine that children have written. Its been amazing, its been a real eye-opener. I mean, I'd have never thought of sitting down and writing a letter to somebody I didn't know who'd suffered a tragic event and yet the strength it's give us has been amazing."
And yet there is a certain charity in Kate McCann’s demeanour; at least there appears to be:
I pray for the people who have taken Madeleine.
Aled Jones: Do you think you'd ever be able to forgive the people that took Madeleine?
Kate McCann: It's a difficult one, isn't it. I guess, I don't know why they've taken her and I think until I know that it would be hard... hard to say. I mean, I'd like to hope that I could but its difficult.
So prayers for the people who have taken Madeleine might not quite be prayers of forgiveness. "It would be hard." Maybe if Kate understood their motives it might be possible, but I doubt it somehow:
Aled Jones: And what about your other children? How aware are they of what's happening?
Kate McCann: Very aware. They talk about Madeleine every day. They know she's missing; they know she's been taken by somebody. They understand it a little bit like burgalry [sic] in that, even if you really want something, it doesn't mean that we can take it, because Madeleine belongs to us, you know, and it's not right that they've got Madeleine and need to find her.
Well, you can't always get what you want after all, however badly you want it. So, takers of Madeleine, take note: You needn't be in too much of a rush to disclose your motives. Forgiveness is not guaranteed.

We Are All Blighted - 07.04.2010
A serial 'blogger' on the McCann case, 'Himself' is a tirelessly vitreolic critic of the parents and all those who have lined up behind them, coining the phrase 'a blight on humanity' in his heading up of a series of quotes attributed to the McCanns. These examples are drawn from diverse occurrences (media interviews) over time. In particular the set of utterances paraded in conclusion have the monotonous ring of scripted falsehood. Just as recently, a single early interview given by Gerry McCann has been 'exhumed' and transcribed by Nigel Moore, editor of McCannfiles. It is an interview with reporter Jenni Murray for the BBC World Service, recorded on 19 June, 2007 and broadcast on the 22nd - the 50th anniversary day of Madeleine McCann's disappearance. What is striking about this dialogue is that those apologetic cliches with which we are now all too familiar are here displayed, already present and fully formed, barely six weeks after little Madeleine mysteriously disappeared.

In the course of the interview Gerry McCann refers separately to the concepts of empathy and sympathy. The nearest I have come to 'losing' a child (as in suddenly not knowing their exact whereabouts) was over a decade ago, when one of our two infants 'detached' himself unnoticed in a bustling cafeteria within the grounds of a zoo. 'Frantic' would not be inappropriate as a description of the ensuing couple of minutes. I can hardly begin to imagine the feelings of a parent having to cope with the unintentional absence of their child for a protracted period of time; a day and you're traumatised, a week and you're in pieces.

If this is the class of sympathy to which Gerry McCann refers, then why can I not find it within myself to extend it to him? Could it be that the McCanns' behaviour, then as now, is not appropriate to the elicitation of such emotional confluence? If one takes this 50th anniversary interview as an example, it seems fairly clear that whatever emotions the McCanns may have been enduring, at that time and since, they are something other than those typically attributable to parents suddenly and unexpectedly deprived of a child by abduction. That our emotions can affect both what we say and how we say it is a common, if not universal, experience that does not require experimental demonstration. The influence can lead to 'spur of the moment' remarks, 'outbursts', even 'outpourings.' What emotion does not usually provoke is pseudo-intellectual detachment. For that we need Gerry McCann.
Jenni Murray: ……Gerry McCann has just returned to Portugal from a brief trip to Britain to appoint a campaign manager to coordinate their efforts to publicise the case; only the second time he's left Portugal since Madeleine's disappearance. But I spoke to him, while he was here, and asked him what stage the investigations were at now.
Gerry McCann: The actual specifics of what happened and I think the key things here about, errm... who actually has taken Madeleine, errr... why they've taken her and where she is, errr... I don't think we're any the wiser. That's very much why we're having to continue our campaign on an international front to make sure that Madeleine's image and, errr... details of her disappearance are as widely spread as possible.
So a primary purpose of the campaign exercise is to broadcast information you do not have? (Message to interlocutor: The use of more and more words does not make a circular argument any less circular). In very short order the interview proceeds to deliver up one of the sickest statements I can recollect having been attributed to either parent in this case. It comes after an evasive non-answer to a very straightforward question, where the 'need for secrecy' overrides a simple 'yes' or 'no.'
JM: Are there any leads at all? I mean, is there anything that the police are now following up, for example?
GM: There's a lot of, errr... information still coming into the inquiry and, errm... you know, there's a lot of hard detective work going on. We have to realise that if they were hard leads we wouldn't be telling, errr... the public because, errr... they would be handled in a very quiet, errr... fashion and, errr... investigated. The important thing, at this time, is that we don't have Madeleine and, errr... that's the only, errr... result that'll clearly make Kate and I happy, and the rest of the family.
I have previously commented on the manner in which both parents, Gerry in particular, phrase their statements so as to invite the application of a supportive context by the listener who, in so doing, inadvertently assumes this to be the framework within which the speaker himself is operating. Assume nothing. There is no justification for a supposedly literate doctor's being so cavalier with relative pronouns that we listeners have to 'slide them up and down' their respective clauses in order to extract the significance we suppose them to hold. Hence 'that we don't have Madeleine' is the result that will clearly make Kate and Gerry happy. And no, I did not say that. Gerry McCann did. GMC et la perfide syntaxe. Now follows another non-answer, the justification for which is vacuous. Adequate knowledge of the personality of one's child would surely allow an opinion as to how that child might cope with unforeseen separation. Not in this case.
JM: How do you think Madeleine herself would be coping?
GM: You know, that's somewhere where we, errr... we can't really go because, errm... it's back to speculation and we've absolutely no idea who's taken her and where she is and, errm... you know, what sort of surroundings she's in, so there's just too many in... errr... errr... probabilities there to really consider it.
To lighten the mood but briefly, we also have pan-european traveller Gerry McCann referring to his map of Germany dating from before the Hanseatic League.
GM: The phase of the campaign now is very different to that which we, errr... have undertaken in the last few weeks with Kate and I, you know, travelling to different areas, errm... either to raise awareness in countries in close proximity to Portugal, such as Spain and Morocco, and also going directly to countries, errr... The Netherlands and Berlin to appeal for information.
Dirait-il que la Grande-Bretagne est "très proche" de la France ? But this is hardly the forum for levity and we progress via the interview into linguistically incoherent waffle (e.g., "there's no guarantees") that camouflages the authorised mantra, as well as a persistent displacement on the part of the interviewee.
JM: Has the campaign helped you and Kate to cope, in that, at least you feel you're doing something?
GM: It has helped us and it helped us stay positive, errr... perhaps when our, errr... we were feeling very negative. Yes, there's no doubt having a focus and diverting your energy, errr... into the campaign, it certainly does help us but, at the same time, when you don't achieve the... the end goal of getting Madeleine back, it... it's still, you know, very difficult as time goes on. We are determined and, errr... we certainly will not give up and I think, you know, parents would know that; they would do anything to find their child.
JM: You've had help from trauma counsellors. Has... has that actually helped you?
GM: Without a doubt, errr... and I think what, errm... the psychologists, errm... did was give us the tools, errm... to help us cope at the beginning. We could only imagine the worst scenarios and, errm... he helped us to consider other possibilities and that, you know, there's reasonably good possibilities, errr... that Madeleine, errm... has not been seriously harmed and that has helped drive us. We have tremendous hurt that Madeleine is not here and we've had to have, you know, 50 days now, errr... without her and, of course, when you think about Madeleine not being with her family, errr... it's very distressing.
JM: So, for you and... and for Kate, what actually keeps the hope alive? I mean, when... when you're together, can you actually bolster up each other? Is it... or do you simply find that when you're together you feel very depressed about it?
GM: Despite, you know, a huge investigation, there is no evidence, to date, that Madeleine has been, errm... harmed, errr... physically, errm... and that, errr... means that we will always have hope and, errm... the hope is what drives us on in our determination to be reunited with our daughter. So, errr... of course, there are... we have blips and, errr... moments where, errm... we're not quite as positive and that is difficult to deal with but we support each other; we get family support and the huge amount of goodwill.
JM: Are there other international cases you know about which give you hope; where the children were... were eventually found?
GM: There's been a number of cases, errm... where children have been found, after a long time, errm... that, when you think about these, you know, is a double-edged sword. Errr... You know about the case of the Austrian girl who was found after, I think, eight years, errr... and you think: 'Goodness me, 'you never want to be separated, errm... that long and, in fact, every day is too long for us and there's been another case earlier this year where a boy, errr... was found in America after four... four years; well. Errm... So, yes, you know, there are clearly, errr... cases where people are returned.
Every person gets a mention - except the first person; the one with greatest involvement yet least representation. This 'blight on humanity', in my estimation, does not reside in an individual alone, but in all those affiliates that have coalesced in their private and public support for a dubious cause; one that has succeeded beyond measure so far in achieving highly questionable objectives, impoverishing the English lexicon in the process. No longer should we have need of terms like decency, honour and integrity all the while the governance of our society is entrusted to those who would either declare for the corrupt, or turn a blind eye to their existence.

Pop Goes The Weasel -  29.04.2010
Is the McCann bubble finally fit to burst? Given the McCanns' accusation of inertia on the part of police investigators in Portugal and the UK, the only recourse they, the McCanns have, it seems, is the further globalisation of 'brand Madeleine'. There is, after all, a limit to the number of stratagems any business can employ in order to increase its revenue: cut costs, raise prices or broaden the market base. The disingenuous 'pay peanuts, get monkeys' argument so often trotted out in defence of executive remuneration, most recently by the banking sector, rather mitigates against option (a) here, whilst raising the prices of T-shirts and wrist bands wouldn't go down too well on the PR front; hence plan (c) is favourite. "We have targeted specific areas of the world to help further our search" announces the Director's personal assistant (it's quite an eye opener, by the way, to discover just how many PA's gain their exalted posts as a result of horizontal promotion). The minutes of this boardroom meeting however contain conspicuous contradictions. "The court case in Portugal over the past ten months, which led to the injunction against Goncalo Amaral's book and DVD, has been a significant step forward. "The damage caused in Portugal, by this book and 'documentary', to our efforts to find Madeleine may not have been apparent in the UK but we believe it has been highly detrimental." Whilst libel is absolute, detriment, in this instance, is cumulative. Our Oscar didn't wait for a year and more before calling his adversary to account (although, with the benefit of hindsight, he might have wished he had). The McCanns were clearly advised that it would be best to allow some detriment to accrue before they did anything about the libel. No 'nipping it in the bud' for them. For a period in history the Portuguese were the world's navigators, with more than a few colonies to show for their efforts eventually. That the rather far-flung former Portuguese territories will have been influenced by the opinions of Goncalo Amaral, encouraging or discouraging citizens to go out looking for Madeleine, is unlikely. Madeleine in East Africa or elsewhere vaguely tropical is something of a long shot anyway, given no evidence whatsoever that she was 'taken' from Praia da Luz even, never mind Portugal.

So what's with the targeting of areas around the world, when set against the overriding concern with public opinion in Portugal? Well, a yen's as good as a buck to a blind economist. What the McCanns want is not people's vigilance but their cash, to pay for the two-man search team already on the ground and, more importantly, the campaign directors' expenses. For people to donate to a good cause they have at least to be under the impression that it is a good cause, and Goncalo Amaral's critical book was simply bad PR, even in Portuguese. It would have been even worse PR had it made it into English, as it was on the verge of doing before the McCanns were granted their injunction. "We don't think it is right that, as parents, we have to drive the search." says Gerry, but that being the case, then someone has to pay for it don't they. For once I agree with Gerry. It is not right that the McCanns have to drive a search - any search. But they are doing so because the police forces of two nations have, so we are given to understand, previously decided that it is not right for them to drive the search either. Now what would have been the basis for those prior decisions, I wonder? Have the British too taken the view already adopted by the Portuguese, that the 'search' for Madeleine is futile, or are we to suppose that, like some position in a three-dimensional game of chess, the disappearance of a child from her bedroom is a puzzle of such complexity as to defeat the combined intellect of a handful of investigative agencies (with due allowance for the fact that certain of these agencies were disposed to making more of a contribution than others)? What the world's police forces clearly need in order to maximise their effectiveness is an under-employed G.P. or two:
"Mrs McCann, a GP who gave up work to concentrate on the search for Madeleine, said: 'We do this in medicine. You know, if there is a case that you don't seem to be getting the diagnosis, somebody will come in and review it. They'll go back to square one... and that's where you find out what else needs to be done and it will help point you in the right direction.'
Unfortunately, those 'not getting the diagnosis' in this instance appear to have been the on-looking orderlies. The patient certainly knew what had befallen her and the diagnosticians were in agreement. Doctors, it seems, have a problem being consistent within themselves in any case.
She (Kate McCann) said: "I wasn't expecting it because all I could see was our daughter has been taken and she is being subjected to something terrifying."
As they say on "There is absolutely nothing to suggest that Madeleine has been harmed" (only 'being subjected to something terrifying,' which, for a young child, is a notch more harmful than witnessing something terrifying as it befalls someone else).
But these doctors, at least, do share a degree of consistency. They consistently rely upon the media to disambiguate their various non-committal statements, and to employ constructions culled from the Madison Avenue school of English, to the extent that their two remaining young children are now being schooled in the very same evasive logic:
Gerry said: "They believe it was a man that took her. It was a naughty man and we need to try and find them. So part of what they say is that mummy is working to try and help find Madeleine."
Not 'to find', nor 'help find', but 'try and help find.' Hence any failure in the attempt is one remove at least from the task in question. Mummy is clearly capitalising on all the prior experience she has gained in 'helping to fight the symptoms of...'
Nor is there a logic quite so fuzzy as Gerry McCann's. The following remark, made recently to Lorraine Kelly and quoted in the Sun Newspaper, was not made in the context of any dialogue on the subject of abandonment or anything like:
"But I think probably, more than anything, I'd say if we could turn back the clock and change what happened then obviously we wouldn't have done it."
From this one can only infer that the McCanns themselves did whatever ‘happened.'
Concerning production of a pack for Brits travelling abroad, Gerry said: "It is very much about keeping her image out there. Who knows who will end up seeing her. But if you don't have an image of her out there it is less likely."
Well, it's no wonder that doctors repeatedly find themselves 'going back to square one' if this is any indication of their perspicacity. The likelihood of Madeleine McCann's being 'seen' by anyone at all is as much related to the distribution of her picture as it is to the time you or I might get up in the morning. 'Recognised', maybe. But that is not what Gerry says.
However, the 'weasel of the week' accolade belongs, on this occasion, to Kate McCann, and her response to Lorraine Kelly‘s inevitable question as to whether they really thought that Madeleine was still alive.
Kate said: "Certainly, in my heart, I feel she is out there.
"There is nothing to say she isn't. So we carry on working and thinking like that."
Rather than discuss, yet again, Gerry McCann's own juxtaposition of the phrases 'out there' and 'alive,' we might focus our attention on Kate's significant omission of the complement, 'alive', and remind ourselves of Kate's previous assertions, as recorded in the Sunday Mirror of 5 August, 2007:
"I never thought for one second that she'd walked out. I knew someone had been in the apartment because of the way it had been left.
"But I knew she wouldn't walk out anyway. There wasn't a shadow of a doubt in my mind she'd been taken."
There's no doubt whatsoever. Madeleine had been taken (away) and was therefore 'out there.' Three years on and the only certainty Kate McCann appears able to express is that, in her heart (not her mind any longer) she 'feels' Madeleine is 'out there.'
How in heaven's name can Kate McCann not be certain that her daughter is 'out there.' Having been exported from the holiday apartment, where else can she be? Of course she's 'out there.' What remains to be determined is whether she is 'out there alive.' So, unless or until it is established, beyond all reasonable doubt, that Madeleine McCann is not out there, the 'search for Madeleine' operation can continue, masterminded from a Head Office in a UK suburb somewhere (Knutsford, Cheshire by all accounts) where a two-man team can co-ordinate the international (nay global) campaign, when they're not quite so busy exploring, evaluating and pursuing their more recently acquired file full of 'leads;' something, of course, neither Portuguese nor British police forces are particularly interested in doing. Which is where we came in.
Half a pound of tuppenny rice...

Knowing - 14.05.2010
Several decades ago I was introduced to a fascinating research paper entitled 'Knowing About Things We Do Not Know We Know About.' That I can recall it to mind after all these years says something about the impression it made upon me. Lately, papers of an altogether different kind have been making an impression of their own; and not only papers either. The following (incomplete) text is of a threatening letter recently despatched by McCann lawyers Carter-Ruck to those responsible for a certain Internet web-site. (Phrases of particular interest are italicised)
Dear Sir
Gerry and Kate McCann
As you will no doubt be aware, the disappearance of our client's daughter Madeleine from a holiday resort in Portugal in 2007 has been the subject of considerable media attention, including a number of false allegations that Mr and Mrs McCann were themselves responsible for Madeleine's disappearance or death. Our clients have from the outset vigorously denied any such suggestion.
You may also be aware that a number of newspapers have since apologised publicly to our clients for making these false allegations, and that in 2008 the Portuguese authorities confirmed that there was no evidence whatsoever to implicate our clients in their daughter's disappearance.
Suffice it to say that the page repeatedly alleges that our clients caused the death of their daughter and have subsequently engaged in a criminal conspiracy to cover up her death.
As well as being highly defamatory of our clients, these allegations are completely and utterly untrue. Our clients had no involvement whatsoever in the disappearance of their daughter, and there is not one grain of proper evidence to implicate them in Madeleine's disappearance.
Yours Faithfully
The possible typographical error attributing Madeleine to but one parent, though curious in itself, is not quite so fascinating as the collection of references to the McCanns' personal responsibility in the matter of their missing daughter. 'Denying' (rather than refuting) a suggestion is likely also to be an example of Carter Ruck's questionable use of English. The 'no evidence whatsoever' line is, as we know, a strategic exaggeration. Being unprepared to proceed against the McCanns on the basis of the evidence recorded at that time is by no means tantamount to declaring the complete absence of evidence. Drawing the remaining key phrases together however illustrates the care taken by the letter's author to emphasise that the McCanns were not personally involved in Madeleine's disappearance. At the same time there is an apparent concern to iterate, if not re-iterate, that there is no evidence attesting to their implication in said disappearance. What we should be clear about here is the distinction between 'involvement' and 'implication', a distinction made within the letter itself and not an artificial by-product of any overly fastidious analysis on my part. In the face of 'untrue' allegations, the declaration of 'no involvement whatsoever' is absolute. It should be sufficient in and of itself. Yet we are treated to a caveat concerning evidence in relation to 'implication.' It's as though the Carter-Ruck legalese here is drawing a wafer-thin distinction similar to that understood by Bill Clinton in his notorious dissociation of sexual 'acts' from sexual 'relations'. And what is one to make of the reference to 'proper' evidence? Are we to suppose that any evidence implicating the McCanns is 'improper'? The proposed absence of proper evidence notwithstanding, if one accepts, willingly or otherwise, that the McCanns had no involvement whatsoever in the disappearance of their daughter, the door to considering their implication remains ajar, casting its own angular light on various McCann statements dotted about the publicity map; statements such as that made by Kate McCann on 10 February this year, the final day of the court hearing in respect of the injunction against Goncalo Amaral.
Reporter: "What evidence do you have that there was an abduction? Can I ask this question because you say that Amaral doesn't have..."
Kate McCann: "Because I know. I was there, I found my daughter gone. I know more than you do. I know what I saw."

This suite of observations alone is worthy of examination. Evidence of abduction exists in the form of Kate herself, who 'knows,' because Kate was there. Yet she was quoted in Sunday Mirror of 5 August, 2007 as saying: "I feel desperately sorry to her that we weren't there." So neither parent was there. Had they been present at the moment of Madeleine's disappearance of course they might have become involved. As it is, Kate reported to Oprah Winfrey: "I mean, errm... as you say, I know I can persecute myself everyday about that and I feel awful that we weren't there at that minute." For the McCanns, then, it remains a case of implication at worst. 'In knowledge there is light' and Kate McCann continues to illuminate our understanding of things, telling a news reporter outside the same Lisbon court house, in no uncertain terms, 'I know more than you do.' To be sure, a former G.P. and erstwhile anaesthetist is quite likely to know more than a humble hack about, say, the sedative effects of over-the-counter medication, just as a staff 'newshound' will probably recognise the makings of a good story before Kate McCann. However, if we level the playing field to accommodate plain old-fashioned common sense, we quickly discover that Kate McCann's style of knowing is somewhat deficient. During the McCanns' recent interviews for Spanish T.V. (Mananas de Cuatro) Kate offers up an unbelievably naïve justification for the consensus refusal to assist with the PJ's proposed reconstruction of events on the night of 3 May, 2007:
We also asked about the possibility of actors being used, which is obviously what we do in our reconstructions. I mean, certainly in the UK we have a programme called Crimewatch, which uses actors and I think [unclear]. Errm... it's probably detrimental to ask people who have been through something traumatic to live it again.
Either it hasn't dawned on Kate McCann that televised reconstructions by actors are for the purpose of jogging the public memory, whereas those required by police investigators serve an entirely different purpose altogether, or she imagines that this glaringly obvious distinction is completely lost on the rest of us. Whichever is the case it doesn't exactly commend Kate McCann's knowledge as a primary resource. There is, however, a much earlier appeal to wisdom on Kate's part, that reflects an act of prescience almost. I refer to her unwavering certainty at around 10.00 p.m. on that fateful Thursday night:
I knew immediately she'd been taken.
Leaving the patio unlocked in case of fire would have been rather pointless if one, at least, of those trapped inside were incapable of making their way to the door and opening it. So, faced with an empty but otherwise undisturbed bed, how did Kate 'know' her daughter had been taken? Madeleine McCann was not inanimate after all, at least not at the commencement of the holiday. Does this point perhaps to 'improper' evidence of implication? It would require no more than immobility on Madeleine's part, plus a modest degree of expectation on Kate's, to convert the child's status from 'absent' to 'abducted' and confer certain knowledge into the bargain. Kate McCann, from the very first, did not fear Madeleine might have been abducted. Remarkably, even with no sign of unauthorised intrusion (Gerry McCann and Matthew Oldfield both claim to have entered the apartment before her), she knew. For someone who purports to know so much, it is noteworthy that Kate McCann shares little of her wisdom, even though she has long since been freed from the constraint of 'judicial secrecy.' Never mind. One or two of us at least know about things that others don't know we know about.