Thursday, 28 October 2010

"Our Maddie" Not Served By UK Media

This is the fourth article in a series by John Blacksmith. If you haven't visited The Bureau of late, I sincerely recommend that you do so for what is always a worthy read.

First article: He Made It

Why Not?
by John Blacksmith

The McCann strategy that has been in place since October 2007 – to silence the expression of all doubts within the UK about their conduct, using all the resources at their disposal, has failed.

The McCanns have had undeniable tactical successes in the last three years: using criminal lawyers to build a powerful defence to the Portuguese claims made against them, suing or wooing the media, returning to the TV screens on both sides of the Atlantic to put their story across. The British public show no overt animosity towards them, and the Portuguese, perhaps surprisingly, have shown little antagonism on their increasingly frequent visits to that country.

The checklist

The Portuguese police: roundly defeated.

The Tapas 7: silent or actively co-operative.

The UK media: brought completely onside or silenced.

The UK police and courts: supportive.

The UK government & parliament: supportive.

The UK public: willing to live and let live.

The Truth of the Lie: unavailable in the UK.

And the price

There is one particularly notable omission from this list of triumphs: Madeleine McCann. The “successes” of the parents completely exclude her. She has received none of the millions of pounds collected and expended by them;the money is almost gone so she will never see any of it;nothing on that win-win checklist has helped her in the slightest. All the victories relate only to the parents, not to her. Knowledge of her fate has not advanced one iota since 10 PM on May 3.

The Portuguese police defeat was a defeat for the child. However understandable Kate McCann’s refusal to answer their questions, however fearful they might have been of the Portuguese system, in defeating the police they took out of the game the body with the greatest knowledge and the greatest resources.

Their domination of the media has served the parents well but not the interests of their daughter: since October 2007 none of the journalists have made their own independent enquiries – which might, just might, have turned up something. The Tapas 7’s blind identification of their own interests with that of the parents has achieved nothing for the child. The steadfast, if passive, support of the UK police and courts has, again, been of great value to the parents: what Lady Hogg et al accomplished for the child is less obvious. And so it goes on, right through the list: every “victory” has been a defeat for the parents’ own flesh and blood.

Right at the bottom of the list we have the Truth of the Lie, whose author, the supposed failure, the “disgraced cop” and persecutor of the parents, is the only person actually working for the re-opening of the case in order to discover what happened to the child.

The parents are manifestly not doing so, since despite their absurd calls for a supranational enquiry into the case, they have failed to take the one action that could get it re-opened tomorrow morning: a statement that they and the Tapas 7 wished to return to Portugal to assist the investigation unreservedly, without lengthy legal argument and negotiation, in clarifying the discrepancies in their original statements: that would produce, one way or another, the “significant new evidence” required for a formal re-opening. The efforts of the McCanns’ own so-called “investigators”, that rabble of crooks and failures on whom the McCanns have lavished something like half a million pounds of Madeleine’s money, are not even worthy of discussion.

But that is not the full extent of their failure. The strategy of ensuring their own freedom and either silence or compliance with their opinions in the UK obviously implied that one day they and their other children would be left alone to get on with their lives: all doubts about them “expunged”, as the BBC was happy to allow nice Mr Smethurst to say on their airwaves.

It is now over two years since the report came out that might have offered them closure, about their own fate and reputation if not that of their child. With the developments in the Portuguese courts the likelihood is that the libel case against Amaral cannot be fully resolved before 2012 at the earliest. Whatever happens the Truth of the Lie will always be available over the internet. And there is nothing to suggest that a live Madeleine McCann will turn up. more