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)

17 - MAR-OCT - Blacksmith Bureau (12)




Payback Time – 18.03.2017

Hello, Clarence. Remember all those years ago when we said you would pay for what you did?
No, not the Wayback machine, the real one, the Payback Machine. One after another up they come before our eyes, the Verdict, the Final Judgement and The Empty Cupboard. The main shelf of the cupboard is now labelled "Grange: facts in the McCanns' defence to emerge from the investigation." It is big, it is friendly and it is empty.
The Bureau always said that the McCann/Amaral case was a fight to the death. That was not rhetoric: one of the two sides was going to be destroyed - literally. That was why we joined the struggle in our own small way.
The Verdict resulted from the demolition of the McCann narrative during the libel trial. It was the beginning of the end. 
Malheureusement rien n'est moins sûr, car des intérêts dépassant très largement ceux des MC sont en jeu.
The Final Judgement provided, for the first time, a defence for the UK media in the libel courts after the McCanns' eight year attempt to muzzle it at source. Eight years after the McCanns and their revolting Portuguese ally, Isabel "no friends" Duarte, ambushed Amaral in order to prevent the publication of his claim that "the child died in the apartment" the couple are being relieved of 400 000 Euros and faced with claims in the tabloid press that - guess what? - the child died in the apartment.
Eight years older and four hundred thousand euros lighter, the McCanns are today faced with the publication in the Sun of claims that they are not body disposers but - guess what? - killers. The Sun stuff is far worse than the UK media ever produced in September 2007 while the couple cowered in their hideous Rothley home waiting to find out if their lawyers would save them.
They did, the shelving and the Archiving Summary followed and the way was open to sue.
Clunk! Years later one of those lawyers sat in the Lisbon witness box listening to the McCanns' claims and credibility being destroyed. Payback time. Two years later he has had the pleasure of hearing the lying "exoneration" claim - that the McCanns and the slug-like opportunist Mitchell dishonestly presented to the media the day after the shelving - dismissed by Portugal's highest court.
Clunk! News International lawyers passed the Sun story last night. Clunk! Amaral's draining of their resources leaves them without enough of their, ahem, own money to sue. That means Carter-Ruck taking on the Murdoch organization on no-win, no-fee basis. Good luck with that one.
The Empty Cupboard - the Reality Cupboard - has finally brought starvation. Nothing has emerged from the four year Grange investigation to strengthen their chances in any libel court, as News International knows. So far the McCann "team" has whined and snuffled at these claims but has made no threat to sue.
Amaral won. The McCanns are now being destroyed in front of our eyes. By Amaral and the public that they deceived. Grange is a footnote. 
Dans un monde sans fake news, peut-être, pas dans le nôtre.
Exits to background babble...wayback...super injunctions...Murdoch and Rebekah will always save the McCanns...Teddy Cardigan threatening arch protector May and the Yard ...tenth tapas dunnit...they've got away with it...R Hall - how the mainstream media will bury McCann news for ever in a UFO, take it from me...Joanna Morais...the British Establishment will protect their own, I have the tapas bar table photographs to prove it...ambassador Henderson...Dr Roberts: how a pyjama jacket was eaten by Jim Gamble...yes dears, yes dears...



Part Two - Following the Money - 04.04.2017

JB writes: It wasn’t long before expert assistance to the McCanns began to arrive, especially, it might be said, once it became common knowledge that money was being hurled at the parents on a giddying scale.
Kate McCann, in Madeleine, describes meetings with the IFLG – lawyers specializing in international custody battle cases who, she says, “told us that we needed to set up a ‘fighting fund’, whose objectives they would devise” and a “security consultant” who brought the interesting news that “an anonymous…donor had set aside a considerable sum of money for us to put towards the cost of hiring a private-investigation company if we wished.” Finally, the London charity accounts specialists, Bates, Wells and Braithwaite, would be instructed by the IFLG to draw up the relevant articles of association for the Fund.
Kate McCann is very careful indeed in her description of who exactly was offering to do what and for how much money, covering these essentially cold-blooded financial discussions in a warm blanket of mild emotionalism and Scouse naiveté (note the “told us” phrase above), but three of the essential City roles were thus already being put in play: maximising income (the “fighting fund”), security and risk protection (Control Risks) and capital structuring (good old BWB). All, of course, done for the benefit of Madeleine McCann.
Beyond Imagination
Every time I try and picture these discussions and negotiations, images refuse to come into focus, so weird and bizarre, so Breaking Bad does this series of meetings seem. Was Kate McCann rushing out of the room to weep about her child, wipe her eyes and adjust her make-up every few minutes? Did everyone take regular five minute breaks while Gerry McCann stress-and-grief-vomited heavily in the loo? Did Gerry break off a detailed question and answer session about relative financial advantage with one of the assembled experts by suddenly throwing himself onto the carpet, howling like a dog and shouting “f*****g paedophiles” for five minutes? Did an IFLG expert kneel by his side, murmur “there, there” and attempt to fan him back into normal consciousness with a large folded spreadsheet?
How, how, could a couple sit there discussing and deciding the labyrinthine ways wealth can be channelled and juggled a week after real life had demonstrated the truth that most of us have learnt through its shocks – the absurd irrelevance and uselessness of money compared with the things that matter: love, loss, parenthood, family, suffering, helplessness, potential evil? How could they bear even to think about money at that time?
Kate McCann doesn’t tell us and I don’t know. So let’s take a deep breath and confine ourselves to noting, then, the arrival of fee-charging professionals, the innocent beginning of a process that eventually led to the emergence of a McCann group not just independent of the national criminal investigating force (as KM points out the McCanns immediately began giving alternative versions of their police statements to Control Risks detectives) but eventually in outright opposition to it.
One other pointer to the future should be observed: the reference to “an anonymous…donor” having set aside “a considerable sum of money”. It wasn’t just tearful pensioners, sticking a fiver in an envelope and sending it to Praia da Luz, who helped make the real Team McCann a serious rival to the PJ in terms of resources. Most people were supportive of the McCanns and those that both believed in them and were wealthy enough to put up more than piggy-bank fivers made contributions that nowhere show in the Fund’s financial reports. The rich, it hardly needs saying, share the same virtues and vices as the poor, including, thank God, the inchoate desire to help in some way.
Notwithstanding the arrival of the professionals, in these early weeks the team, such as it was, was dominated by the McCann family and their activities – the indirect approach to Gordon Brown, the direct approach to the Foreign Office, the hidden intrigues – already! – against the PJ, coupled with public espousals of support for the same force from the unlikely but expansive figure of Philomena McCann, the marvellous creation of the website by precocious Scottish waifs no doubt sipping Bovril in their ragged pyjamas while they slaved over their volunteer keyboards.
Meanwhile the media continued to make the running and hold out the cheque books amid the chaos they had created, with a certain Alex Woolfall, a PR man for the Bell Pottinger agency, coaching the parents on the right way to handle the “press pack”.
Woolfalls’ appearance and role is replete with irony, though not for reasons that Woolfall himself, who does neither irony, information (as against spin), personality (as against ego) nor self-insight, would recognize. A middle-aged, successful but somewhat colourless media man, Woolfall was sent out to protect the Mark Warner group against the huge potential threat that the McCann affair represented.
The interests of the parents and Mark Warner were potentially in conflict, whereas many students of the case with a bent for the dark eccentric are convinced that Woolfall was despatched to protect the pair. Forgetting, as we can at this distance in time, the ritual verbal treacle about tragedy, missing tot, hope, “we all want her back” and so forth expressed by everybody involved, Woolfall’s job was to stay out in Praia da Luz to counter publicity that might damage future business and profits and, secondly, to establish whether the McCanns might take them to the cleaners through the courts for negligence. He did his job well.
That is not quite the way that Gerry McCann and his media adviser describe their relationship but who’s surprised by that? One of them has the reputation for being not merely economical but positively miserly with the truth, as we know from that 2007 “Blog” which, thanks to the determined resistance of the database keeper Pamalam, Gerry has been unable to retrieve and consign to legal quarantine; the other has spent a lifetime being paid to design, polish and present manipulated versions of the truth. No wonder the two got on so well.
The Final Piece of the Jigsaw
Both the McCanns have been effusive in their praise for Woolfall and his tuition in how to handle the media. In return Woolfall has expressed his profound belief in their innocence, based, as he notes, on a great deal of “close observation” of the couple’s behaviour in Praia da Luz. He can say that again – close observation was what he was sent out to do. Oh, and to help, of course.
Woolfall himself, despite his richly comic potential, is not an important figure in the case. The reason he’s mentioned is because he was the first emissary to the McCanns of that now-vital corporate component, Reputation Management.
Maximising income; security and risk protection; capital structuring. What’s missing from the McCanns’ nascent City package? Why, managing reputation, of course. The fourth limb of the whole deal. To which we’ll turn in the next part.
But the reader might have a question first, connected with that phrase “corporate component”. We’re talking here about a “team” of dedicated family, volunteers and helpers looking for a missing child, aren't we? The stuff of weepy feature columns across the land, a narrative of simple people acting selflessly - lapped up and amplified by every gooey tabloid world-wide. So how come that before our eyes this sweet little grouping is beginning, in mid-May 2007, to equip itself with “corporate” weapons, i.e. those designed and sold primarily for the development and protection of multi-million finance and business organizations, not individuals. They’re just a couple of NHS doctors with a missing kid, for f***s sake. What’s going on?



Part Three - What a Coïncidence! - 08.04.2017

The Name of the Game

Reputation Management, broadly, is the defence of a business against intangible threat rather than material hazards such as accidents, internal fraud, acts of violence and so on. Reputational threats can be derivatives or second derivatives of such disasters - such as investors’ fears that a company’s reserves might not survive a similar blow in the future, or they can be independent of any material origins, as rumours, founded or unfounded, often are. In all cases the company is forced to deal with degrees of belief and confidence – psychological, not physical matters, demanding specialist skills.

Note that, unlike Crisis Management, which reacts to events, Reputation Management is pre-emptive and activist at all times, penetrating the national media on a permanent basis to influence public and political perceptions of the client. It stinks but it's necessary for business. It is rarely used much by individuals, however rich.

The subject is too vast to deal with in detail here and interested readers should look up its origins and development on the net, preferably going further than Wikipedia. What matters to us is that the RM industry exists by systematically using and exploiting that mass media Gerry McCann had been using amateurishly but effectively for his own purposes since May 4. And here was Alex Woolfall to provide him with a crash course on its inner workings for a whole fortnight. Of one thing we can be quite sure – Dr McCann got a great deal more out of Mr Woolfall than the latter got out of him.

So Very Helpful

It was obviously from Woolfall that Gerry McCann learned the absolute necessity of a spokesperson to make Reputation Management work. Without one, or a dozen, such people, RM simply cannot exist: there has to be a human mechanism that anonymises the source of "information" - “spin” - being put forward, that distances the client from the propaganda and disguises its real motivation. The mechanism is the “cut-out valve” (soupape de sécurité) spokesperson, whose words can be denied by the client and who can be blamed and paid off if necessary.

The "McCann narrative" often speaks of McCann spokespeople as “taking the load of dealing with the media from the parents’ shoulders”. If you believe that, you'll believe anything.

Instead, with the exception of Sheree Dodds, the spokespeople became reputation managers – for the McCanns. Both Mitchell and McGuinness stepped over the line separating speaking for the couple to espousing their interests and getting too close to the PJ investigation. McGuinness, so lightweight a personality that she probably needed to avoid strong winds, remains notorious for her coquettish meddling with the September police interviews. Less publicly noted has been Mitchell’s contributions on like lines – in his first meetings with the McCanns he pushed for the release by the PJ of pictures of the non-existent “bundleman”, for example. That helped Madeleine, didn't it?


Summarily removed from spokesman's role after only three weeks

That was one of the reasons, along with the Papal visit and similar stunts, why he – the supposed “powerful cover up agent from the government” – was warned by the Civil Service and then, after only three weeks in the job, summarily ordered back to London and never permitted to work with the McCanns again. Only three weeks - it seems he was there much longer, doesn’t it? Yes, because Mitchell, as always, inflated both his contribution, his significance, his value and his role.

So What Were They Doing

According to the McCanns the “fight” and “search” for Madeleine, in which their PR experts joined, was the absolute priority. If that was the case it was a grotesque failure. But is it a credible description of what they were actually doing?


Forgotten featherweight


The first problem in deciding that question is the nature of our sources. Gerry McCann has been proved to have misled the British public in his blogs about the police investigation; Kate McCann is a self-confessed liar about it; Clarence Mitchell and Woolfall are hopelessly compromised as people who lie (“spin”) to order and for a living. Going simply on that record we’re not going to get transparency, are we?

Still, the narrative runs like this: we were overwhelmed by the media, offers of help and advice; we did our best to do what the experts advised us* to and we made up for deficiencies in the PJ investigation with our own innocent attempts to campaign and search for the child. Then, months later, we found, to our amazement and horror that the PJ might have come to suspect us, the parents of the victim! We were treated like common criminals and made arguidos. By early September it was obvious that we could do no more for Madeleine in Portugal and we returned to Britain.

Now Kate McCann may be many things but she is not an idiot. Can she be telling the truth with these claims of total ignorance about the PJ's suspicions until the 8 August?

We have the words of her own book to contradict her.** There is quite another interpretation of those three months - that the aim was always to bypass, find out the details of, attack or attempt to influence the Portuguese police investigation, while protecting their reputation in the UK. And the Fund, the “Campaign”, the “Search”, the financial backing from multi-millionaires, the Control Risk initiative, the employment of a campaign manager and PR person – all these pillars of the save-the-missing-tot edifice just happened to fit exactly into that plan. What a coincidence!

From Small Seeds...

That structure of support for the parents was, by the time of their departure for the UK, ready to be put into practice at an international level: the two celebrated criminal lawyers from Kingsley Napley that Rachael Oldfield had “found” would be meeting them almost as soon as they got off the plane – perhaps to discuss the question of who would be paying their £600+ per hour fees, for it certainly wouldn’t be the McCanns. The power, professionalism and resources first established immediately after the disappearance were culminating in a Team McCann capable of defeating the Portuguese authorities and preparing the way for an eventual grand rehabilitation plan, as well as the ambush on the investigating detective.

We will deal with that in the next article.

One of the most famous documents in the whole McCann Affair dealt in its own sweet way with the return of the couple - the Hanover Communications press release, of which they were once so proud:

We helped the McCann family [no, they helped the parents]deal with the media storm which surrounded them on their return from Portugal in September 2007. From scratch, we created a comprehensive media handling package within six hours which enabled us to handle 850 media calls in the first week. By giving journalists positive stories to report, coverage turned from hostility to the McCanns to sympathy about their ordeal. This campaign won the crisis communication category at the 2008 CIPR awards.

The transformation was complete: that was what the "Campaign for a Missing Child" had become.
Anyway, here's the City balance sheet for the period May 3 - September 10.

____________________________________________________________________________________

1) The IFLG and McCann established “Fighting Fund” founded in early May, no doubt with the best intentions.What did it achieve in this period for the child?
Nothing. Nothing at all. The money and effort, the consciousness-raising and campaigning produced zilch. No trace of the child or her remains was ever found.
What did it achieve in this period for the parents?
Resources from the fund were used for the benefit of the parents, in travel expenses, for example, and to finance the parents’ reputation management by paying for a full-time employee to act, campaign and, in September, tweet illicitly from Portimao PJ police headquarters.
The claim by the McCanns that they were “searching” – something they couldn’t have done from their own resources – using fund money provided them with all-embracing cover for anything they wished to do and continues to do so: stay in five star hotels? Yes. Fly around in private jets? Yes. sue those damaging the search? Yes. And so on. 
__________________________________________________________________________________
2) The legal incorporation of the Find Madeleine Fund by Messrs BWB.
What did this structuring achieve for the child?
Nothing, nothing at all.
What did it achieve for the parents?
It made it easier for payments to be made by the public and therefore increased the pool of money available.It enabled the fund to be structured in a way that would and did benefit the McCanns financially - and not just for mortgage payments.

_____________________________________________________________________________________

3) The arrival and employment of Control Risks, the security specialists.
What did their arrival achieve for the child?

Nothing, nothing at all. There was nobody for them to track, no kidnapper to negotiate with, no traces to follow. They could have stayed in the UK.
What did they achieve for the parents?
Within days the company was being used by the parents to take down and go through their police statements, for reasons not yet satisfactorily explained. These were, of course, strictly confidential to the PJ investigation. It is no use saying that the McCanns did not provide written copies of their statements to the police. They did it from recollection which is a clear breach of confidentiality. None of the McCann spokespeople seem to have mentioned what may have been the tip of an iceberg. No doubt that was for "operational reasons", as Mitchell would say.
A donor, who had offered to pay for Control Risks, ended up paying for these so far unexplained activities concerning the PJ investigation. Given the secrecy which, when it suits them, the McCanns so delight in, we do not know what else they did for the parents while they were in Portugal.

___________________________________________________________________________________

4) The establishment of, and training in, media handling methods and structures, enabled initially by Alex Woolfall, for his own reasons.
What did these media efforts achieve for the child?
Nothing, nothing at all. The media campaign, the “search” campaign, produced no results of any kind, ever. By interfering in the investigation – see Clarence Mitchell and KM pushing the PJ over the non-existent “bundleman” sighting, see Justine McGuinness giving fictional and anti-police accounts of the arguido interviews – these two helped affect the outcome of the investigation and overshadowed it. As the PJ warned from the beginning it would.
What did they achieve for the parents?
Enormous benefits. The McCanns were, for example, given carte blanche to ration information under the excuse of using a spokesperson to “handle the media load” - see what we described as the "spokesman cut-out mechanism" above. During the period when the McCanns claimed not to know that they were suspected by the PJ the media management techniques were used on the broadest scale to feed information to selected journalists in their favour, to smother criticism, to deny facts and to deceive the British public – see the admitted KM lying.


___________________________________________________________________________________

Notes for those interested: *Doing what they were told?
The claim that the important decisions were usually taken by others and the pair went along with them is not perhaps the wisest line to adopt.
“IFLG “told us” to set up a [the] Fund”; “Alex Woolfall told us we would have to engage with the media”; “Woolfall told us we would need to engage a spokesperson.”; “…whatever the case, it was suggested to Gerry that we should use Madeleine’s Fund to employ someone to replace Clarence”;
“Hugh had been brought in by a firm called Control Risks, which was primed to help…”; “By the Sunday evening, we found ourselves [my italics]giving our statements again, this time to a couple of detectives from Control Risks.”
Many other examples of this affected passivity can be found throughout the book, sometimes blurring the lines of responsibility, as in the examples above, at others acting as pre-emptive alibis for actions which the public might question ( “Responsible parenting”, accepting private jet offers, being told to look emotionally blank on TV and all the rest.)
None of these are particularly reprehensible yet taken together, as any reader of the blog or Madeleine can easily ascertain, they add up to show an intense, obsessional and uninterrupted awareness of public perception and reputation management – “Sir Philip Green kindly offered us the use of his private jet. But what would people say?” – a highly dubious faux naiveté, and, most important, their profound unreliability as witnesses of their own actions.
** We never dreamed...

Madeleine has been generously seeded with Kate McCann’s obliviousness – to the point of idiocy – of the threat from the PJ, just in case any reader might not be aware that she was reely, reely, shocked to find that they were under suspicion. Examples:
“If 18 July was the date I now identify as a turning point, the following Monday, 23 July, was the day when the warning sirens should have started to sound”[meaning they still hadn’t]; “With hindsight it is clear to me something was going on in Portimão I would never at that time have anticipated”; “Apart from finding little things like this slightly puzzling or exasperating, I hadn’t sensed any profound change in the behaviour of the PJ, or in the direction their investigation was taking”; “Our attention was focused on the search, and on campaign plans... By 2 August, however, those sirens were wailing so loudly I cannot understand how I missed them. And yet I did. [my italics]
Leaving aside any speculation and the fact that we know that the PJ suspected them early on, we have, first of all, KM’s statement that after thirteen hours (!) questioning at PJ headquarters as early as May 10 that he had heard Oldfield “shouting and crying” under accusation s of complicity in the disappearance.
Kate McCann never mentions this again. Are readers supposed to believe that neither she nor Gerry wanted to find out more and never asked Oldfield about it? Not even to ask Oldfield why he was being accused? Not even to say, Jesus Christ, you don’t think it could be Matt, do you? Matt?


No, we’re expected to believe that when Gerry told her about this shocking scene KM droned, “that’s interesting dear, now do you want chips or beans?”
Three weeks or so later the German lady at a media conference mentioned gossip that the McCanns were involved. Gerry answered:” I have never heard before that anyone considers us suspects in this. And the Portuguese police certainly don’t.’
KM adds “…we were so totally dumbfounded when the tide turned against us two months later. We knew we were innocent, and we believed the PJ knew that, too”
“On the evening of 17 June, the Portuguese police were quoted on Sky News as having stated that the crime scene at apartment 5A had been contaminated by us and our friends, and that as a consequence vital evidence had been lost. I was livid.”
So livid that she contacted everyone she could think of with any influence to interfere in the investigation and get the PJ to withdraw and apologise. But not so livid that she thought that she and the group were under suspicion.
“On Saturday 30 June,” KM writes, “a piece entitled ‘Pact of Silence’, written by journalists Felícia Cabrita and Margarida Davim, appeared in a Portuguese newspaper.” But the penny still didn’t drop.
“It was on Monday 6 August that the atmosphere changed.” That was after the car had been impounded. She writes, “Again we assumed, at least initially, that this was a procedural measure recommended to the PJ by the British experts.”


 
Part Four - The Great Exception - 21.04.2017
AJS writes: When Team McCann acted on behalf of Madeleine McCann in 2007, using funds provided explicitly for that purpose, it was an unmitigated failure. A failure to such an extent that when the McCanns suddenly found pressing reasons to go home in September, thus leaving the “search” and “campaign” headless and in suspension, nobody noticed! Since not even one lead had ever been started, let alone pursued, there was, in fact, nothing to suspend. There never had been.

Exactly the same applied to the post-2008 “Search”, except that the farce level now escalated to stratospheric levels of buffoonery with private “investigators” busy releasing pictures and descriptions of people who had literally never – never – existed and libelling paedophiles too near death’s door to defend themselves (the tabloids and the McCann supporters loved that one). Meanwhile a host of crooks and hustlers descended on Madeleine McCann’s infinitely sad and inadequately protected legacy and cleaned it out of several hundred thousand quid.

Straight out of Central Casting?
Nobody cared; nobody was prosecuted, nobody was pursued: not only could the Fund and its “guardians” not find an abductor, they couldn’t even find the people who’d robbed their fund blind. More important things to do, you know.
Or the kids'sticker book?
Meanwhile the McCanns were embarked on the Great Dom Pedro Hotel Search Expedition: money originally donated by the public for the child was again being used to pay luxury hotel bills for the parents – just writing this makes me want to vomit – as long as they could claim to the famously "independent" Fund directors that their luxury stays were part of “searching for Mudlin”, as when Gerry searched for Mudlin in Lisbon in early 2009, funnily enough without finding her there. Until the whole farce came more or less to an end, dribbling away, like dirty, greasy water in the gutter, around 2013, when the Grange investigation started to give the couple something new to fret about.

This One's For Real
But in between these completely shameless, disgusting, episodes that few of us have yet confronted because of their scarcely believable nature, we have the period September 2007 – Summer 2008. That was when, for the first and only time, the supposed interests of the child were ruthlessly set aside and the assembled might of the Team – that circle of City professionals surrounding the couple and the pile of readies – acted for a single purpose, one that, you might say, the funds and facilities could almost have been designed for: saving the arses of Kate and Gerry McCann.
As the pictures of the shrunken couple at this time show, they had temporarily lost the aura of breezy invincibility and “we spoke to Gordon Brown last week” confidence that had carried them along above the clouds to Washington, Madrid and the other Dom Pedro type venues, there to chit-chat as equals with government ministers about the Grave Problems of Child Abduction. That fantasy voyage, so reminiscent of Preston Sturges's 1930s immortal black comedies about liars entrapped by their own dreams, lasted until the PJ coldly reminded them of reality by turning up and seizing their car, clothes and possessions. Now a chastened Gerry McCann allowed others to direct this latest project and did what the professionals told him to do.
The Team, under the overall direction of Ed Smethurst and Brian Kennedy, rapidly designed a twin-track plan in which a powerful legal group under Michael Caplan concentrated on the strengths and weaknesses of the Portuguese case while a reputational strategy under the direction of Smethhurst himself and media lawyer Angus McBride was put in place to reinforce the McCanns’ greatest long-term weapon – apart from their total and complete innocence, of course – public support. If Track One failed to expose the weaknesses in the PJ case and kill it off then Track Two would concentrate on enhancing public support.

Expunge it!
You get what you pay for: the lawyers’ bills, according to Gerry McCann/Vanity Fair, were paid by Kennedy, Branson and Stephen Winyard, and they were sizeable indeed. While Caplan probed the official Portuguese position and evidence through conventional legal channels, McBride used the gopher Mitchell, one of the few people that Gerry McCann almost trusted, to engage the PJ in a long-range propaganda war.
The Portuguese, in disarray following the loss of Amaral, never knew what hit them. Mitchell’s feline lies, pre-emptively exploiting the weaknesses in the latest PJ theories at every turn, shocked them with their shameless and populist boldness (Gerry McCann’s “retrieved memories” appropriately derived from a May 3 act of urination) as well as with Mitchell’s apparent inside knowledge – courtesy of Caplan’s discoveries during his negotiations.


The Dignity of the Law - the Portuguese Supreme Court
Criminal cases, in the conservative Portuguese culture, were meant to be conducted with the gravity and respect accorded to Roman/Napoleonic law. And to them this was a case, if ever one existed, that deserved true respect – the appalling disappearance and possible death of a child. Yet the supposedly oh-so-stuffy British, using the tabloids and television to lethal effect, appeared to be treating it like a national attempt to win the Eurovision song contest by smearing the judges, whipping up racist aggression among the audience and letting off shit-smelling stink-bombs at the back of the studio.


A British Approach to the Law's Majesty
At least in Portugal the McCanns had intrigued against the PJ and prosecutors silently through third party journalists, thus preserving a semblance of legal dignity: now that the pair was beyond reach their agents seemed to be openly and contemptuously mocking them through Mitchell and the tabloids. Arguidos just don’t behave that way, just as, on the Algarve, people don’t display their burnt-raw paunches or their flabby, oversized tits in the way that the British inferior classes, beer-cans in hand, do – hence the apoplectic, almost strangled, outrage from people such as Carlos (“Mitchell lies with all the teeth in his mouth”) Anjos of the police federation.
That's the price you pay for looking at fictional national characteristics rather than modern realities. While the Portuguese are still, to this day, searching for the languid White's club intelligence agents and all-powerful perfidious Albion diplomats who subverted the case from the beginning - actions that fit in with their own world view and which, in a weird kind of way, they find comprehensible - they've somehow missed the fact that a dynamic, ruthless and essentially classless collection of professionals from the most powerful city in the world blew them out of the water - legally and openly. Because they didn't have a case.

Nothing Personal
The public needling of the PJ in the British media was all quite deliberate, of course – Reputation Management on this scale often involves Reputation Destruction and, one by one, key figures like Anjos, Amaral and Ribeiro, were targeted and put through the media mincer with brutal, single-minded professionalism, while other Portuguese thought to be keen on treating the McCanns like unpleasant and unwanted viruses – just get rid of them! – like Paolo Rebelo, were treated with flattering respect and restraint. It was nothing personal and the McCanns themselves were not directing this effort: it was just a job to be done by clever professionals for enormous rewards. Welcome to the way the modern City of London works, Mr Anjos.

As we now know the Portuguese prosecutors were in fact in a hopeless position. In many ways Gonçalo Amaral was like the detective in yet other Hollywood movies, those in which freaked-out superiors thrust their heads into their hands and mutter, all right I’ll give you another three days to crack this but then that’s it. In the movies they keep getting another three days until the credits roll and the tears of gratitude flow but, as so often, real life was different: the killer pieces of evidence never turned up, Ribeiro, who’d loyally granted the extra days, went down with Amaral instead of ending up a national hero, the couple were allowed to walk and without the missing pieces they could never be forced back. You win some, you lose some. The Portuguese had done their best to serve the child's interests and had acted decently and with characteristic Portuguese mercy in letting the couple leave; but the evidence to get them back again just wasn't there. 

Il y avait quand même la reconstitution... Encore aurait-il fallu que le procureur n'indique pas qu'il suffisait d'un absent pour qu'elle n'ait pas lieu..

It was the interviewer Sandra Felgueiras who best expressed the sense of baffled shock at the revealed weakness of the Portuguese position, weakness that even today people there and in the UK are in denial about. The only way the McCanns could be brought back – they were never going to return voluntarily – was via European extradition proceedings and these depended absolutely on the presentation of clear prima facie evidence of potential wrong-doing before removal could be granted.

That is the “no fishing expeditions” rule: you cannot extradite suspects in order to get them to talk, or to carry out a reconstruction or to examine the contradictions in their evidence. But that was exactly what the Portuguese needed to do because the evidence hadn't been found.
Est-ce exact ? Cela ne vaut-il pas seulement pour les témoins ?

Ce qui est vrai, c'est que les arguidos avaient plusieurs manières d'éviter de faire une reconstitution, hormis la plus simple, le désistement de leurs compagnons de voyage, compte tenu de la règle du jeu édictée par le Ministère public. Le procureur du reste n'était pas dupe lorsqu'il exclut un re-questionnement de Kate MC : pourquoi, ayant refusé de répondre la première fois, répondrait-elle la seconde ?

Sinister Superbrain and Dancer - Home Secretary J. Smith with Male Chorus
In its absence the case remained purely circumstantial. No guiding hand from above was needed to protect the McCanns: they had democratic law completely on their side. It didn’t matter whether the offensively ungifted Home Secretary Jacqui Smith or the brooding Big Brother fan, Gordon "incapability" Brown wanted to protect the McCanns or not – the judges would decide the law, not they, and if the judges decided it wrongly then the well-resourced Team would appeal until it was applied correctly.
The City was doing what it always does: ensuring that those who could afford the fees gained the full protection of the law, national or international, criminal or civil. And the public, including Winyard, Kennedy and Branson, whose motives are not known to be any different from those of the pensioners and their cash envelopes, had given them the money to pay the fees, just as the public has given them the money to pay the McCann-Amaral legal costs. Strange, isn't it, that no donor has ever sued for the return of their gift on the grounds that the Fund retrospectively broadened the number of beneficiaries without consent or consultation ?  But then people who've been suckered are notoriously reluctant to admit it publicly. 

In the concluding part: the final long-term rehabilitation plan for the McCanns following their “exoneration” – and the fate that has befallen it.




The Pivot - 16.06.2017
Options
The long-term rehabilitation of the parents’ reputations depended primarily, of course, on the result of the Portuguese investigation. If, as the UK defence team believed, the evidence to proceed against the couple was lacking, their liberty was guaranteed. From the reputational viewpoint, however, much would depend on the wording of the Attorney-General’s report: a handsome and unequivocal release from their arguido status, together with an apology, would be the ideal while, at the other end of the spectrum, a grudging acceptance that there was merely insufficient evidence to prosecute would be a disaster. The signals coming out of Portugal from early 2008 were that the report would be somewhere between the two.
Having been warned by the McCanns’ lawyers that libel actions were coming, and still in disarray after discovering the evidence they’d been promised by their PJ sources didn’t exist, the media groups were showing understandable signs of searching for the exit doors. A pre-emptive “shock and awe” response by the Team to the report’s findings could ensure they found them, and very rapidly indeed – by forcibly convincing owners and editors that they had no chance in the courts, then or in the future, and no choice but to leave the parents in peace.
This would amount to the evolution of the “twin-track” criminal defence strategy fronted, but not designed, by Edward Smethurst, for use after the end of the case against them. In Smethurst’s famous if inelegant words on Panorama in November 2007:
Part of the reason why we're here disclosing evidence to you today…is a recognition that there were two strands to this case, part of it is the criminal case, but part of it is the media speculation and the media perception, and we see it as incumbent upon us to portray the truth to the media and in particular to try and expunge any ill-founded theories about Gerry and Kate's involvement...
In other words, if the criminal case ended with the defeat of the Portuguese prosecutors, as now seemed likely, the “expunging” of “any ill-founded theories about Gerry and Kate's involvement” could be extended into the distant future with the tools available – a now pliant media and the civil law – and targeted at the complete recovery of the pair’s reputation rather than just getting them out of trouble. Reputation by amnesia.

This exceptionally ambitious scheme, which developed, rather than being created from a blueprint, depended on a belief in the couple’s innocence by those financing and leading it: the reason for that is obvious - in the absence of innocence the entire scheme of Reputation Repair could be torpedoed at any time by the emergence of damning evidence which might wreck the reputations of the saviours themselves. Personally I find no reason to doubt the sincerity of their beliefs between 2007 and the eventual high point of “the project” in 2010/11, when Kate McCann’s still-available acknowledgements section in Madeleine – a vital part of the rehabilitation plan – ran to some 850 words. But most of those names are quieter now.
Despite all the good wishes, finance and expertise two further intractable obstacles apart from the Attorney-General's report lay ahead of the project for erasing doubts so the couple could lead a “normal” life one day. One, in the shape of the fearsomely unpredictable Gonçalo Amaral, lay in the future; the other concerned September 6 2007.
The former we shall deal with elsewhere. The latter, less well-known except to readers of the Bureau, its implications still not widely understood outside the family circle, has always posed a single lethal question: how do you permanently “expunge ill-founded theories of involvement” about a couple who are known to have discussed, in depth and detail, admitting to the authorities that the child was dead and one of them had disposed of the body – and asking their lawyer for his opinion on the merits of doing so?

Memories Are Made Of This
On the miserable flight back to the UK ahead of their first meeting with lawyers Caplan and McBride that afternoon (!) the chances of ever escaping their troubles, let alone recovering their reputations, must have seemed almost zero. But the McCanns are special people, with a talent for repeatedly getting out of tight corners that amounts to something approaching genius, at least in the shorter term. No sketch of these events in the McCann Affair makes any sense without briefly considering the personalities of the couple, in particular their acute impenetrability to outsiders, their closed self-sufficiency and the iron bonds that join them.
As I wrote in the Cracked Mirror seven years ago, “nobody knows the McCanns” and it remains as true now as it was then. Everyone who encounters them seems to see a different couple, often, though not exclusively, with similar attributes to themselves. Some, those who have watched them disappearing into the distance, real or metaphorical, from Mathew Oldfield to Gonçalo Amaral to the News of the World editor Colin Mylor, must have been left wondering – what did I miss? But most remain favourably disposed to the pair or at least stay silent, still convinced that they have seen the Real McCann.
The origins of their extreme self-sufficiency are unknown. Perhaps it was their separate early struggles in two of the most poor and violent cities in the UK – cities where at that time your religion could determine which streets were safe to use on the way to school and where the future was something to be fought, not embraced – that brought them so close together, but in the end we are left guessing. My own feeling is that there is another key element to their relationship, perhaps deriving from their eventually successful struggle with infertility, a conviction, steadily growing since 2007, that while each is alone and vulnerable separately, there is almost nothing they cannot accomplish together.
The media began hunting for “what the McCanns are really like” stories within weeks of the disappearance and ten years on they still haven’t got any. Recollections of the pair by non-family members then were sparse, banal and numbingly uninformative; those who liked them seemed to be describing minor television personalities rather than real acquaintances: about Kate McCann oh she’s lovely was a common response from those supposed to be her friends but they seemed quite unable to point to the simple, easily recognized, qualities which make someone a friend. Nobody from their past seemed to have any really strong feelings about them, pro or con, but then, whether in New Zealand, the Netherlands or elsewhere, they always seem to have been just out of view, on the other side of the street, often leaving no memories whatever.
This impenetrability-beyond-appearances, the latter themselves mask-like and mutable, is like an unspoken background theme in the testimonies of their Lisbon witnesses, Loach, Trickey and Pike, for example, as well as in the famous newspaper portrait of the couple by Alex Woolfall in 2007.
All four believed themselves to be exceptionally sharp observers of the human personality: Pike and Trickey as trained professionals in its disorders, Woolfall as a practised and cynical survivor of the PR snake-pit, Loach, well, because she’s Emma Loach. Yet their supposedly objective witness evidence is packed with wilful discipleship and gullibility well beyond any possible professional brief, an unquestioning, almost submissive, loyalty that was clinically exposed under legal examination and ultimately demonstrated as being in conflict with the facts in the judgement. How could professionals, or in Loach’s case, “professionals”, have allowed themselves to wander so far from their areas of expertise and so far from the facts?
Each of them seems to have encountered a different mask: Pike, the self-described “trauma counsellor”, saw them as, yes, terribly traumatised and in dire need of counselling by people, preferably people like him; Trickey, the child psychologist, and the most objective of this quartet – which really isn’t saying much – encountered a dutiful, self-possessed couple concerned above all for their children, not themselves, and conscientiously seeking the best advice from specialists, preferably specialists like him. Loach, for what it’s worth, was simply besotted by Kate McCann. Readers will not be surprised that she was the trusted literary coach behind the execrable prose of Madeleine.

Listening to these well-meaning – except when it came to describing opponents of the couple – witnesses it was sometimes as though we were not in a court at all but in the audience watching the deluded victims of the con-artists in American Hustle – but the feel-good warmth and humanity of that fine film were quite absent: the screen that we were watching, despite the all-too-frequent mantra of suffering and compassion, portrayed an unremittingly stark, ice-cold world of people being ruthlessly used by those in need of them.
Woolfall, who was meant to be keeping an acute eye on the pair for Mark Warner, seems to have lost control of his senses when observing them, describing a series of masks – not his description, naturally – that nobody else has ever encountered. “Their early [week-long] assumption,” he insists bizarrely, “was that she had wandered off and had an accident or been taken in by a well-meaning stranger.”
Speaking of a later period and criticism of the pair’s TV appearances (by mere viewers, not experts like him) as rigid, controlled and “not quite right”, Woolfall was dismissive. “They were not at all controlled,” he says, of the most controlled pair in the history of UK television interviewing, “When I was with them, [my italics] they were between being completely distraught and trying to do what they felt was the right thing." Ah, that conscientiousness again.
Just as when he was with them they never mentioned the possibility of an abduction – the abduction that one of the Kate McCann masks had been literally screaming to everyone else about since 10.10PM on May 3. 
Craignaient-ils que Woolfall n'avale pas cette couleuvre-là ?

So much for the presentation. And behind the masks? Perhaps one day we will get a better idea. There are hints, at least, of the dark, secret and hidden depths of their relationship in their performances under examination: in their first police interviews Gerry McCann somehow found a way of being present during the formal questioning of his wife – and not just present but sitting closely behind her, in firm physical contact; in television interviews they can be seen bound together as one, literally grasping, clutching and hanging on to each other throughout, as if they might drown separately. That isn’t, needless to say, wicked Gerry McCann cueing his wife with secret nudges: it’s something much, much deeper than that.

The Pivot
September 6 2007 is increasingly the “pivot”, as it were, of the entire McCann Affair to this day and Kate and Gerry McCann know better than anyone else how crucial it is. Three years later, when the subject was no longer too hot to touch, they tried to get themselves out of trouble in Madeleine by tackling the issue head on and, for once, apparently levelling with Kate’s readers, warts, tears, despair and all.
They failed. They will always fail because it’s on the record elsewhere, they know it’s on the record, they can’t unsay what was said in front of witnesses and they know that others involved, police and lawyers, have kept their own silence all too well – a silence that bodes ill. In attempting to single-handedly re-write history to evade these realities Kate McCann only entangled herself more deeply.
The precise issue is this: the Kate McCann answer to our question above – why would any truly innocent couple have discussed a plan formally admitting that their child was indeed dead, after claiming for months that she’d been abducted? – is that they were forced towards making such a desperate admission not because it was true but because the only alternative was a life sentence for murder in a foreign, worse, Portuguese, hellhole of a prison. And the life-sentence would be doubly wicked in its effects – not to her, for she could bear it, proud, innocent wounded creature that she was, devoid of any self-pity – but with her slowly rotting behind bars who would search for Madeleine? Tell me, sweet God, who?
The police claimed to possess, she writes, and had told her lawyer they possessed, “overwhelming” evidence that would bring about that fate unless she did a “deal”, in which case she would get a minor sentence. Faced with such a terrifying and inhuman threat, already in shock at even being suspected, surely any innocent person might at least consider briefly the lesser of two vile alternatives before rising to the occasion and proudly rejecting any deal, come what may.
The resemblance to third-rate hack literature and a thousand Hollywood B-weepies of Kate McCann's overblown tale of tragedy and heroism is no coincidence – because it too is bad fiction, poorly executed: it is a demonstrable invention from beginning to end.

The Indisputable Facts
The evidence that it is all, without exception, lies is openly available and much more "overwhelming" than anything the police might have possessed, as any reader can easily establish for themselves.
Let’s take the details one by one. First, the foundation of all the claims, the offered "deal”. There never was an offered deal. Not only is there no documentary or witnessed evidence of one, not even Kate McCann claims any actual knowledge of one, partly perhaps for the same reason that she has always kept very quiet indeed about her own direct experiences with the police that day. Her claim that a deal was offered, is based, she says, on nothing but hearsay: what her lawyer, Abreu, told her suggested that such must be the plan.
But there has never been any confirmation, independent or otherwise, that Abreu did this. The police have denied the existence of a deal repeatedly and vehemently, the prosecutors have dismissed it as not only untrue but impossible under the Portuguese legal system and guaranteed to cause the failure of any prosecution; no-one else has ever heard of it before or since and, finally Abreu himself, who supposedly started it all, has said in his only recorded comment on the matter that no such deal was ever offered and that Kate McCann’s suggestion of one was “based on a misunderstanding”. A misunderstanding! Lawyers have a way with words, haven’t they?
But it gets worse. Not only did the deal not exist but the terms of the deal that Kate McCann invents are hopelessly confused, contradictory and, in the strict sense of the words, make no sense. The “overwhelming” evidence that would supposedly guarantee a murder charge and the hellhole unless she did a “deal” for a lesser sentence had already been spelled out to her by Abreu. What did it amount to?
The video of the sniffing dogs, a crumpled page from a Bible referring to a missing child, her request for a priest on the night of the disappearance and a claim that they had been carrying a “big black bag” on the same night. But that was not at all a shock and certainly not "overwhelming". At the very worst, if the dog stuff was confirmed, it was putative evidence that, as Amaral maintains to this day, the child had somehow died in the apartment and the parents had concealed the fact, not that anyone had harmed anyone, let alone intentionally. None of that was new to the McCanns since their August PJ interviews had made essentially the same accusations. If Abreu really said, “If you were Portuguese, this would be enough to put you in prison,” then he should have been despatched back to law school that night, not retained for years to come, for none of it amounted to a row of beans.
So the “deal” as described by Kate McCann was “in exchange for you admitting the death of the child you’ll only get two years, and if you don’t agree to the deal then with the evidence we’ve got you will also get about two years!" – which is palpable nonsense.

Ask The Dogs
No, the elaborate web of lies that Kate McCann, after three years preparation and brooding, has spun has simply enmeshed her in a highly coloured but incoherent mass of contradictions, much more damaging than the original “green light” to claim a deal that she gave the benighted McGuinness and her terrified family to spin the next morning.
There is, after all that, a much simpler and much more truthful explanation of the night of September 6. It is that, given their interviews and given that their lawyer believed there was some sort of evidence against them, enough at least to constitute them as arguidos, they had to explore, like all criminal suspects, the least painful way to get out of the jam they were in, particularly given the presence of the dogs. And that is what they did, that is what they were discussing with their lawyer. But admitting that is to admit that they knew the child was dead, something that Kate McCann can never do.
(...)
It is the MSM, not social media, which is responsible for the dangerous, crazed, atmosphere in the UK and the States now. And it goes right back to the McCann affair.


(...)
It is the MSM, not social media, which is responsible for the dangerous, crazed, atmosphere in the UK and the States now. And it goes right back to the McCann affair.

Flames are them
I wrote ten years ago that the MSM did not understand the very complex psychological forces they, like children with matches, were so unthinkingly whipping up in the Affair and which, once unleashed, would be uncontrollable. And so it has proved.
At the time I thought it was temporary, an aberration that would pass as the MSM itself rapidly disintegrated, drew conclusions and found a new model. A decade later their fear-of-the internet Death Ride, as I called it, still runs and is now spreading to every aspect of news and every story. It manipulates people’s emotions - it can't help it. It manufactures hate - it can't stop. And hate kills.
In 2007 the MSM turned a sordid family disaster into a “fairy story.” Then they perfected the generation of strife by putting factual McCann news items at the front and bribing feature writers to take opposing stances within. The more angry the disagreement the more the MSM loved it and perhaps saw it as a solution to their troubles. As time has passed the factual news stories have shrunk away to almost nothing, while the hate-generation pages - print and screen - have swelled like elephantine cancers - all of them pretending to be concerned for "tragic victims" and "justice" against whatever "them" is the target of the moment. Oh yes, overflowing with selfless love is the MSM: everything they do they do it for you.
Hate in the UK media didn’t start on the net. The MSM pre-empted it by sending the emotional temperature soaring throughout summer 2007 with their “good cop-bad cop” act, just as they are making it soar through summer 2017. Then they turned, like curs, on the McCanns themselves, making more and more revolting inventions about the couple – Hi, Jerry Lawton – than anyone on the net had produced. Then, with everything bubbling nicely, that disgusting apology for a human being, journalist Tony Parsons, attacked the Portuguese as though they were slime-filled slugs to be trodden into the dirt. It was the original fact-free hate piece, a pure product of the imagination, paid and encouraged. News, you know.
But then the MSM tried to turn the hate tap off because they suddenly found they weren't in charge of the performance anymore, that they were going to be sued and disgraced - and their fact-free reporting had left them lacking anything to defend themselves with in court. But while you can turn the hate tap on with ease, if you're cynical or sick enough, you can’t turn it off again. It isn’t under anyone’s control and never has been.


Flames are what the MSM do
The internet hate that specifically accompanies the McCann Affair, still with us, was nothing to do with distrust of the “abduction” story. It began with the MSM trying to do what it does so often – pretending that the immediate past hadn’t occurred. The media have always done it but since 2007, with "opinion" - read imagination - now in control, it's a hundred times more prevalent. Looking for apologies or reflection from those MSM experts in the supposedly "quality" papers and news magazines who were confidently forecasting the death of Labour and dripping with admiration for the "greatest political force ever created," the Tories, just before the election, is like searching empty tombs.
The MSM tried to go amnesiac about the McCanns in 2008, after the writs had started flying: so much for the searchers after truth. But they couldn't do it, not once the genie was out of the bottle. Much, much worse, than the silence was that most of them swung to writing incredible, fawning, repulsive, arse-licking, armpit-sucking and groin-sniffing stories about the “tragic couple”. Without any explanation for the volte-face. 
 
It was this that changed everything: everyone with knowledge of the case knew that they didn't believe what they were writing, just as many of us are aware that they don't believe what they're writing about the Kensington fire. It was literally impossible for what they wrote to be sincere, for the same journalists, owners and editors who had bestialized the McCanns day after day late in 2007 were still in place when the groin-sniffing began only a few months later. Why were they doing it?

Next time we conclude with the impact of the Archiving Summary, then and now, and the actions of Gonçalo Amaral. Together with the issues of September 6 they guarantee that the McCanns, despite all the efforts and all the money, can never, ever, sleep easy.
Most of the active McCann critics could see only one rational explanation: since it was inconceivable that the entire media could indulge in such a vile betrayal of their own readers - nobody with any pride could possibly go down on their knees, tongue out, like that - then it had to be that the MSM was being forced, by government, by “the rich”, by the masons, by somebody, to act in this way. And it is a logical conclusion to draw, given what they'd witnessed. Once you notice that you are being betrayed on a continuing basis then you feel powerless as well as betrayed. Once you start feeling powerless then hate warms up.
That expanding mutual hatred was what was behind Brenda Leyland’s death and it was appropriate - and never to be forgotten - that old dirty-raincoat himself, Martin Brunt, standard bearer for the old MSM, had carried the hate poison right to Brenda’s front door. Nobody who read the “nonentity McCann-hating troll found dead” MSM reports that thudded off the press and the BBC like so much shit being shovelled onto her coffin, can ever forget the MSM fact: only some people's lives matter.
The conspiracy theorists were right that their explanation was the only rational one for the MSM’s actions - but wrong in practice: there is no rational explanation! Because what the MSM did had never been rational or explicable in the first place, even to themselves. As Desmond of the Express group told Leveson, there was no real money in it for them – increases in circulation had been measured and the extra sales brought in not much more than pennies. It was an obsession produced by the nervousness and fear in their industry as much as the weaknesses of human psychology and obsessions are not rational, by definition. As the Leveson testimony graphically revealed, the MSM itself was bewildered and unable to explain the way it had behaved: it didn't know. It no longer understood its own actions.



They Don't Know How To Put Them Out
They still don’t know. They are out of control. And the public are in the position of laboratory rats.
Did any of you read the Guardian comments pages in the run-up to the election? The heat and hate that the rag was generating with its very own McCann-template "good cop-bad cop" opinion pieces radiated from the page: May should be “got rid of”; “locked up”; the Tories and their voters were scum, vermin, filth, dirt, trash. And who taught them that language? No, not the internet but Tony Parsons and his like. Note "their voters" - voters are the people we all live and work next to! Thousands and thousands of pages of spitting hate – in the Guardian, “the conscience of the nation”. That’s what they’ve become.
Do any of you believe that journalists and editors are grieving and speaking from the heart about the Kensington fire? Or that the BBC correspondents are?
Do you? Have you thought it through? In fact journalists are always boasting about the way they are unimpressed by the human disasters on which they feed like lice, even failed journalists like Clarence Mitchell who was never fazed by burning aircraft. They aren't members of the public - they are paid voyeurs lacking normal feelings. I’ve worked with the BBC and they turn the emotion and mood taps on and off at will quicker than on a Hollywood set. We are things to be played with, whichever party is in power.
Everything we are reading and watching now is not mechanised but McAnnised, creating a constant fever of false and hysterical emotion. The Mail website recently had some twenty stories about the fire, one after another, none of them adding to our knowledge, nor designed to. Just as in the McCann case, helplessness and anger is what they sell. And, of course, most of all, hate.

They Love Flames
Like secret, compulsive arsonists, fanning the flames is now what they do. No Leveson or other tribunal can ever cure it. The Death Ride I wrote about has to be completed before things might change. I wish the bastards would get it over with before more people get killed.


The Great Escape - Conclusion - 27.06.2017
Job Done
The City of London finished its work on behalf of the couple on July 21 2008, with the shelving of the Portuguese investigation and release of the parents from arguido status.
The true professionals had excelled themselves: the corporate lawyers had constructed the Madeleine Fund as an infinitely flexible funding tool, as requested; the accountants made sure the Fund structure was fine-tuned for optimum returns to the right people, as requested; criminal lawyers effortlessly dismembered the weak-to-non-existent case put forward by the Portuguese prosecutors; the libel lawyers put the media on notice of the defamation proceedings waiting for them. Finally, the less classy but still necessary PR and Reputation Management people, from Hanover Communications to the worm Mitchell, put these realities into a form suitable for the gullible public – lies.

The result?
For the City, a job well done; for Mitchell, a name well-made, even if it was at the expense of a child’s corpse. For the parents, a catastrophe – unless you believe that the McCanns are guilty of disposing of the child or her body. If you believe that, then fine, the donors’ money was well spent in keeping them out of prison for a while; if, on the other hand, you believe in the couple’s innocence, or the possibility of their innocence, then it is a horrible failure.
For what has it accomplished? Nothing. In the now well-known absence of evidence against the pair, a fifty quid an hour conveyancing solicitor from Halifax could have got them off in 2008, as long as they kept their traps shut. On the other hand, even if Goncalo Amaral’s claim had been proved and conviction in Portugal had followed, they would have been out of prison years ago. The public’s memory, especially when it comes to celebrities and their “mistakes”, is that of a gnat, their judgement of what redemption actually means, worthless.
Then, by the time their surviving children had come to awareness of their fate, after a few years, perhaps, of being looked after by relatives, they would have grown up, like so many, with a painful episode in the family past to overcome. Instead the twins and other relatives exist in a mercilessly transparent specimen-cage. After prison Emma Loach would no doubt have managed the occasional "soldiering on" piece on the pair in the Saturday Guardian. Instead they are a grotesque freak show, an occasional target of tabloid innuendo, put through the mincing machine of the internet world-wide twenty four hours a day. Few neutrals can bear to discuss them.

Now Why Would They Do That?
All the parents have ever done since 2007, for whatever reason, is buy time. The Archiving Summary put time near the centre of its conclusions, its “Reconstruction” section devoted purely to the unresolved (as yet) nature of the questions about the group. In 2013, despite all the efforts of the McCanns, the first answers to those questions began to emerge, with the invalidation of the Bundleman claim. Did the McCanns really think that those questions would just go away? They can never go away until they are answered. If they aren't answered in the couple's lifetimes as a result of police action then they will be fodder for a hundred books for a hundred years - already there is far more to chew on and speculate about than in the Jack the Ripper case. But Jack the Ripper has no known descendants or dependents.
Yet even after the shelving the McCanns, instead of settling for the relative freedom they’d been granted and walking away, tried to buy more time. They used their prior knowledge of the findings to misrepresent the entire Archiving Summary, in a manner so gross – and one that the Bureau alone has highlighted time and again over the years against not just McCann supporters, who don’t matter, but against Carter-Ruck's claims – that, finally, the assembled sages of the Portuguese Supreme Court told the world that what we'd maintained since 2010 was true and that, yet again, the McCanns (“Portuguese prosecutors mock their own police”) had lied through their teeth, this time about "exoneration".


The Ultimate Enemy
And so we come to Goncalo Amaral. Anyone who thinks that the six years expended on Grange is crazily long and must mask secret complications, should consider the fate of Amaral carefully. Despite his desperate need to free himself from their grasp, his unrivalled knowledge of the case and his continuing connections with the Portuguese police, it has taken him eight years to liberate himself from the clutches of the couple. At no time has he ever been able to produce, or call on, any judicially-acceptable evidence of the couple’s guilt that would have forced them to drop the case. That is how deep the evidential black hole surrounding the fact of her disappearance is.
Yet Amaral really is the couple's nemesis. Perhaps that is why Kate McCann, who said she'd had uneasy premonitions ahead of the Praia da Luz Trip - before denying the comment, as usual - also felt a sharp, mysterious and, as it turned out, totally justified, terror of the man's presence many years ago, enough to have made her clutch her hidden crucifix as he passed by. It's all there in coarse and debased soap-opera form in the McCann Affair, isn't it? Shakespeare, disaster foretold, magical amulets and Catholicism via Crossroads. Only death will part these three people.

It is no mere symbolic victory. More was revealed about the McCanns and the way they operate in the witness box than had ever come to light in the worthless staged interviews and puff-pieces of the MSM. Much of the money from a witless public that has sustained them is being taken away in costs, destroying the financial power of the couple to harm others, thank God. And unless other legal proceedings occur in the future – ah, who knows? – the Supreme Court libel case judgement is the final judicial word on the status of the McCanns: nobody has ever freed them from suspicion of involvement in the disappearance of the child, thus confirming the criminal case Archiving Summary’s original finding that “they lost the chance to demonstrate their innocence” when they failed to co-operate. Both complement the Leicester police case statement that “no evidence exists to demonstrate their non-involvement” in the disappearance of the child.
This unanimity from three separate corners of the law reflects the realities that the McCanns have fought for ten years to conceal or stifle and it does so in the clearest possible terms. The parents’ failure is a verdict on their own cunning but weird conception of life, one in which there is a blank where certain human feelings should be, as well as a judgement on the cynical opportunism of all those, like the worm Mitchell, who took their money in the equally naïve but fashionable belief that altering human perception, whether by lies or force, can alter reality itself.

Wrong. Reality itself is not malleable by anyone but waits silently for us all; the most you can do is delay the impact of reality for a time by deceiving others or, more commonly, yourself and that, as in this case, always makes things worse. All those worms that fed on the tiny coffin altered perceptions much less than the truth embodied in the passage of time itself. Look at them. "Bodies don't lie," as ex-lovers say ruefully, and nor does time or the burdensome truths it carries, as Shakespeare, again, knew. Quite suddenly the McCanns are an ageing and increasingly distant-looking couple, galaxies away from our own experiences, blurred photos from a soggy, ancient and, most of all, discarded, cinema poster.
If it weren't for the fate of Brenda Leyland, a genuine, recognizable human being, not an exhibition pair like these two, they'd be pitiable. As it is one just feels nothing at all, not even contempt.



A shorter version of this piece appeared on the Amazon KM forum today.


AJS writes: Among so many mysteries, one thing I am quite certain of is the Anglo-Portuguese agreement to insist that the McCanns are not suspects. The bitchy Mail tested it once again last week with a needling piece hinting that Grange's targets, whoever they might be, certainly aren't in Portugal but a great deal nearer to home.

What possible sense could the "not suspects" claim make without such an agreement? Facts don’t need re-iterating in irritable police interviews; something that is self-evident never needs saying; something which is settled doesn’t need, let alone demand, insistence.
And since the McCanns are not suspects, then there is no possibility of a future trial, is there? In which case there is zero need to avoid any prejudice. Which leaves what? An attempt to help an unfortunate couple finally put the case behind them out of the goodness of their dear, uniformed hearts? If so, who are they trying to convince? The media?

Hardly. The MSM either stays away from the subject or, like the Mail, needles in we know and you know and you know that we know terms that go right over the head of the "average reader"; both are impervious to unconvincing Yard assertions made without background. So who are they aiming to convince?



Well, the Yard explicitly mentioned social media in their response to the Sun last week. Perhaps it's all of us. You can just imagine the anti-McCann websites solemnly posting, no more criticism of the couple please, the Yard has told us again they aren't suspects, can't you? Social media is lost to the McCanns forever, writs or no writs, and the Yard and the PJ know it.


No, pull the other one: they say it because they've agreed to do so, knowing it won't convince anyone but lacking any other way of keeping a lid on a possibly explosive pot until they announce a conclusion. Neither the Portuguese nor Scotland Yard have made any attempt to lighten the rumour burden on the McCanns apart from this one claim – no stressing that Smithman is definitely not Gerry McCann, no helping the couple distance themselves from the glutinous Clement Freud, no insistence that, apart from Jane Tanner’s Bundleman “mistake”, the Nine are good, honest witnesses, no reassurance for the pair that "the child may not have been alive when she left the apartment" has no negative implications for them. Oh no, of course not, none at all. And no statements at the libel trial by Ribeiro or Rebelo (who was supposed to give evidence for the pair) or any other police officer that the couple are not persons of interest. Funny that - until you remember that they were on oath.



The testiness and obvious sticking-to-the-script caution* account for the constipated nature of police/media interviews whenever the subject is broached: whatever happens they will not expand upon the answer in any way, because they can't - for if they do they at once open a Pandora's Box of follow-up questions, beginning with why aren't they suspects? That, of course, is why Rowley, Redwood, do Carmo and Co., when discussing the subject with the usual mixture of silence and bluster, sound rather like the evasive McCanns themselves in their TV interviews, who also have areas where we are not going to go. "Period!" as Pedro do Carmo says.

Do Carmo’s response was particularly noteworthy. He was asked if it had been a mistake to make the couple arguidos, which, contrary to the claims of Gerry McCann and their child-like acceptance by Leveson counsel (now judge) Jay, means either “defendant” or “accused” in English.** His answer was to talk about “nao ‘suspeitos’” about which he wasn't asked. His hapless attempt to stick to the script was the reddest of red flags. It also included the superb, "ask the dogs" reply:

“I do not want to talk about what happened up to 2008. This has been sufficiently debated at its appropriate place.”

Where was that, Pedro? In the Portuguese Supreme Court?

Mind you, those fellow posters who take the view, or rather aggressively insist, that Grange is being deliberately run into the ground, adding helpfully that the Bureau is "desperate to claim that Grange will succeed", might ask themselves what do Carmo’s statement means for them. If he's supporting Grange, then the Grange conspiracy, or whitewash or whatever they agree it is, isn't just a British conspiracy but an international one. Really?



The McCanns are NOT SUSPECTS.


Easy to say, isn't it?



* Latest: "Speaking exclusively to The Sun Online, the SY spokesman said defiantly [our italics]: “We should not have to explain or justify how many times we are going to Portugal. Whatever we do, and we are doing our very best, someone always wants to criticise the actions of the police regarding Madeleine McCann."



** https://e-justice.europa.eu/content_rights_of_defendants_in_criminal_proceedings_-169-PT-en.do?clang=pt&idSubpage=2

Note particularly the definitive "Uma vez constituído arguido, deve considerar-se suspeito da prática de um crime" ["once constituted an arguido a person must be considered a suspect (suspeito) in the commission of a crime"] but the entire content of the statement gives the lie to this endlessly repeated invention of Gerry McCann - most recently in the Sun last week: 'In September of that year, Gerry and Kate, who are both doctors, were sensationally named as ‘arguidos’ by Portuguese police. While arguido is often translated as ‘suspect’, it actually means a person being questioned under caution.'

It doesn't.




(...)
But now we have the Balliol educated M/S Dick as Scotland Yard Commissioner who will ensure, for example, that the next time the police gun down an innocent Brazilian with hollow-charge bullets, as they did under her command some years ago, (his body was “unrecognizable”) she will at least be able to utter the correct soothing and sensitive noises, possibly in elegant Latin verses, to the relatives and the public.

Still, it wasn’t the nature of previous officers that guaranteed they’d be out of their depth in Operation Grange's media quicksands but the task itself.

“We should not have to explain or justify how many times we are going to Portugal," a Yard spokesman said to the Sun ten days ago, “Whatever we do, and we are doing our very best, someone always wants to criticise the actions of the police regarding Madeleine McCann. If we make two trips people say that’s not enough. If we make more that’s seen as being too many so whatever we do we can’t win!”

...Old Tasks

Personally I found that both true and a breath of fresh air. The media job was impossible. All the sensitivities were there like IED tripwires – tots, parents, guilt, outrage, grief, innocence, tears – these, of course, modern Britain being modern Britain, supplied in positively Lake Victoria quantities – all stirred up by an MSM that now feeds off synthetic emotion and synthetic outrage, as if on a life-support drip. And all watched by the McCanns’ very own team of media lawyers, PR people and pet journalists ready to reach for the phone.

Nor, contrary to rumour, are most UK police officers politically aware – like Gamble they get replaced PDQ if they are – so the extremely delicate politics involved in the setting up of the review added a further layer of difficulty to their task.

So, the effort to resolve the intractable question – essentially how do we get the clever bastards without being dropped in the shit ourselves? (old smokers’ pub version) or how do we handle the media bastards? (newer bar version, whispered) or how can we protect an innocent and grieving couple against unfair and untrue rumour? (public version) – has led to greater and greater difficulties.

It’s easy to blame Redwood but there we are. Older and wiser heads above him took refuge in the “since the beginning of the operation we've filled 1700 metal waste paper bins marked MP, eliminated thousands of Brazilians suspects, drunk 423 gallons of PG Tips tea and eaten 9211 meat pies and we are determined to succeed” stuff; Redwood decided to play the McCanns at their own game and use the media as an arm of the investigation.

The result has been that Scotland Yard has ended up sounding as reliable, truthful and honest as the grieving parents – because both sides have used the same dodgy PR methods but the McCanns are far better at it and pay more. The Yard’s greatest failure, for which Redwood carries the collective can, was to muddy and conceal the exact status granted to the couple for the duration of the investigative review and then evade all questions about it.

The good news is that, as the Sun quote above demonstrates, that period is over. Who knows – perhaps it’s over because the job is largely complete, which is what the Bureau thinks, rather than because the previous approach had become unsustainable. Whatever, Rowley, clearly by agreement, has for months now been releasing bits of information hitherto withheld, risking the consequences. And making no preparations whatever to soften us up for bad news.

All without public explosions. That is partly because the final destruction of the McCanns’ case against Amaral has left the parents, supporters and media alike with neither energy nor motivation to mount an assault. The Yard can take credit for that as well because, despite the tangles it has got itself into with media problems, it has slowly and quietly bled the pair into semi-helplessness by providing nothing but deep foreboding for them and fine, “sensitive” words for the public.



*and also a policelady's and, no doubt, also a policetransitioner's - but life is short.






The Bureau has written before that the disappearance of Madeleine McCann is a simpler story than it appears. The head of the PJ, Ribeiro, knew that as early as August 2007 and specifically stated that he did not need any further resources to widen the inquiry. He needed the answers to just two or three key questions, none of them involving outside forces. He never got them and the void has been filled by people’s imaginations.
Facts
1) Established and agreed fact 1: In 2007 an event occurred with such dangerous and life-changing consequences that Kate and Gerry McCann immediately decided they could not face them.
2) Established and agreed fact 2: In the limited time available to form an emergency plan the couple decided that at all costs they must keep the event secret.
3) Established and agreed fact 3: To cover their tracks they decided to construct an imaginary scenario – a “fairy story” – that would mask what had really happened.
4) Established and agreed fact 4:They would not just lie but would actively feed this “fairy story” to an assembled media pack. Needless to say this took iron self-control and a rare ability to publicly dissimulate to – literally – a world audience.
5) Established and agreed fact 5: To reinforce the lies told to the public via the MSM journalists Gerry McCann fed further details of false information via another source to the public.
6) Established and agreed fact 6: Certain members of the family, who knew that the McCanns had not told the whole truth remained silent.
Sources: Kate & Gerry McCann
Kate McCann has made a full confession to doing these things since the archiving of the investigation. Gerry McCann has never admitted his proven lies to this day. The family members who knew that the couple had not told the truth and were deceiving the British public have also remained silent up to now about their knowledge.
These events and actions exactly match the claims made by Goncalo Amaral on behalf of the investigation and accepted as a valid interpretation by the Portuguese Appeal Court in 2010.
And when did these events take place?
No, not then. August 2 2007. The phrase “a repeated and identifiable pattern of behaviour” comes to mind.
Detailed proof of the established and agreed facts 1-6
1) “An event occurred…” The PJ informed the McCanns that they would be coming; clothes and possessions were seized for forensic analysis and other examination; the couple were not allowed to be present during the search. [Source: Kate McCann's own words in Madeleine]
Devastating consequences…” [Source: the same] “Can you imagine what would have happened if we’d announced to the journalists heading for Huelva that the police were coming to do some forensic work in our villa?” No, I can’t. We don’t know what KM imagined would happen because she won’t tell us. As in the famous exercise in lying about the “police deal” on September 6, [source: KM in Madeleine] she falls back on rhetoric to smother the facts.
2) “In the limited time available…” : [Source: the same]: “We’d never lied about anything…But now we found ourselves in one of those tricky [tricky!] situations where we just didn’t seem to have a choice”. She does not elaborate on why they had no choice. The phraseology suggests that she was familiar with situations where a lie was the only choice: had they happened recently?
3) “They agreed a plan…” [Sources KM in Madeleine and GM internet blog] The police raid would be completely covered up with lies, not simply denied. GM: August 2: “Today was a bit of a write off for me as I was laid low with a probable viral illness which meant I could not stray too far from the house!” Of course he did stray far from the house for many hours. The exclamation mark indicates a further embroidering of the story – that he had to stay near the house because of diarrhoea.
4) “Actively feed…” [Source KM in Madeleine]“…which we used as an excuse”. KM converts the bare-faced lying into “an excuse”. It remains a bare-faced cover-up lie.
5) “To reinforce the lies…” [Source GM on his internet blog] August 2 above, “feeling a bit better tonight so hopefully be back to normal tomorrow” and August 3, “We were meant to go yesterday but had to cancel because I was ill.”
6) “Certain members of the family…” [Source KM in Madeleine]: “My mum, dad, Brian and Janet set off for the town to get out of the way before the police arrived.” So those four were present, knew that the police were coming and left the house and therefore knew that what the couple told the media pack and the British public was untrue. They have never admitted their covering up for the pair.
Referring to Note 3 above, readers will remember that Mr and Mrs Healy were the two chief family members who on September 8 claimed that a coercive deal had been offered by the PJ, with Mr Healy claiming that the couple were being “fitted-up”. [Source KM in Madeleine] Our American readers should note that this phrase is slang used by the UK criminal classes and their associates for being “framed” by the police.
As we know, [Source KM in Madeleine] these were not spontaneous comments but media interviews requested by their daughter: “For a good couple of hours we were on the phone, calling family and friends to make them aware of the situation and to give them the green light to voice their outrage and despair if they wanted to.”
Note, once more, that the parents had not told anybody about the August 2 cover-up lies. What else do you think they might have withheld from the public? On what other occasions might they have made false claims about the PJ? Can you think of any?
Finally, the PJ were, of course, monitoring the McCanns’ media statements by August. That meant that they knew that, while Gerry McCann may well have had the shits, it wasn’t a "virus" that caused them but something much more threatening in the long term.
They knew that then, they know it now and so do Scotland Yard. That is the only reason why Kate McCann made her confession in 2011, albeit in her usual weasel-worded and deceptive way: the public would find out the truth from the PJ anyway.
I mean, just look at it. Just look at it! Where's the mystery? Apart from the key questions of where the body is and how it got there, there isn't any mystery, is there? It's all laid out in a repeated pattern of behaviour. 

 



With the Edinburgh Festival ending soon the question arises at all decent dinner tables, “what was the greatest Edinburgh performance of all time?”

(...)

But none of these can touch, in acting power or anything else, the stomach-churning performance put on at the festival in 2007 by the celebrity story-teller Gerry McCann. You can search for a transcript of the programme, which we watched, but you won't find it. You can search for a video but, like the transcript, it's gone. Under whose instructions? Who knows. None of the participants want to be associated with it, even the main interviewer Kirsty Wark, who'd given GM his first publicity leg-up on May 4 of that year. Ah, show business.
Non, c'est toujours là... et vidéo ici.
The facts of that dramatic performance are simple: Gerry McCann lied from beginning to end on a colossal scale to an audience of many millions, and lied so prodigiously that we haven’t got space to list all the deceptions.



His central lie is a self-portrait of Gerry McCann and a history of the Madeleine McCann Affair, all in a few hundred words. He claimed in Edinburgh that he was utterly mystified by the rumours that he and his wife might be under possible suspicion, just as he claimed in May to be mystified by the loss of his child. He couldn’t explain why people might be writing such things since there was, literally, not a single fact or event he could think of that might justify such weird slurs. Nothing? Nope.

Richard Burton could never remotely approach McCann in his acting. That is one reason why the videos are gone. He went through the whole range of his expressions and tones of voice - bewilderment, pain, surprise, reproach - as he confessed that he just couldn't understand what it was all about.


He knew how good he was by then, knew that nobody without inside knowledge could possibly believe that he wasn't telling the truth - for only a monster could be able to lie so convincingly about something so close and intimate and raw, and nobody believed Gerry McCann was a monster. That was his greatest strength. To millions of people world-wide, he lied, without a blush or a stammer or breaking sweat: to the people who'd sent money to help find the child and were emotionally transfixed by her possible fate, he lied; to his own relatives he lied; to those who had trusted him he lied; to the police in Portugal who knew, first hand and directly, that every single sentence he uttered was untrue, he lied.



“What I would like to direct all of your viewers to are the official statements from the Portuguese police, which bear no resemblance to the wild speculation and, you know, the police yesterday made it very clear. First of all, we are not suspects; two, that there is no evidence to suggest that we are involved in Madeleine's disappearance and, if there was, they are obliged by Portuguese law to make us official suspects. So, you know, they just... they do not bear resemblance and Kate and I learned, very early on, only to listen to information that's coming through official channels.”



Further selected examples from the surviving, fragmentary reports to be found on Gerry McCann’s Blogs: “Mr McCann said that this wealth of speculation is being reported as fact in total disregard of the ongoing police investigation in Portugal…Clearly, he says, they [the media] are feeding each other…it's absolutely wild speculation with no foundation…pointing out that very early on in the process he and his wife were excluded as suspects…the pressure on journalists to find a story was leading to absolutely wild speculation about what had happened, he said, even early on, there was saturation coverage with nothing to report, and there are commercial decisions being made with filling column inches and time on TV. In the last six weeks particularly there has been been nothing…things have gone back to a degree of normality and some calmness has, errr... settled in.”

"Wild speculation. Things have gone back to a degree of normality. Calmness has settled in. Nothing has happened in the case for the last six weeks." The date of this performance was August 25 2007.

During those prior weeks of "calmness":

- The police had told the pair to prepare for investigative changes.

- On July 30 all regular meetings with the police ended.

- On August 2 the police raided their apartment with a search warrant and threw them out while the search was executed. On August 5 Apartment 5A was forensically examined. On August 6 their hire car was seized and held for forensic testing.

- On August 8 they were interrogated, not merely interviewed, about the night of May 3. The police stated that they did not believe KM’s version of events. She threw a fit of hysterics as they accused her outright of lying about when she had last seen the child.

- On August 20, just five days before Edinburgh, the McCanns appointed a criminal lawyer to defend them, having learned that they were due to be formally questioned by the police in the coming weeks.



Was there ever a bigger bastard of a liar? A more disgusting one? Anywhere? Anytime? The public thought that only a monster would lie on such a scale about a horrible, terrible family tragedy. They were right all along. He is a monster.



Almost There - 20.10.2017
The Madeleine McCann  Affair, as opposed to the Disappearance of Madeleine McCann,  was created between  May 4  and May 10 2007. In that one week the nine people at its heart created a written  narrative of events for the police, which they submitted  prior to their second round of interviews. Simultaneously the McCann family, against the wishes of the police, created a quite separate narrative for the media.
The motives for the two parallel actions remain unknown to this day. The results of them do not. It is now clear  that, as a direct result of their actions, neither the police in the first instance, nor the public in the second were able to find out what had happened on May 3. 
 

The Narrative Provided to the Portuguese Police
That statement does not impute criminal guilt of any kind to the parents or their friends, since, as a direct result of their actions, nobody has been able to establish publicly just what those actions were. That is why the 2007/8 investigation was shelved under “type of crime: unknown”. The nine people, all of them close to the child and her activities and whereabouts,  most of them checking on her well-being while she slept that evening, had not even provided sufficient information for the justice authorities to determine whether she had been abducted!
The Archiving Summary stated there was  no evidence of a specific crime against anyone. Not against the three arguidos, who were released from their legal restraints, not against their friends and not against person or persons unknown. The same summary noted that the group of nine had refused to assist the police in resolving issues concerning their evidence and the  disappearance “for reasons unknown”.  
Ten years later it is quite clear that the investigation failed because the Nine collectively created  a narrative of events that does not correspond to the now known facts. Again, that does not impute guilt; but it is  certain that it did not assist the police in taking the first step in every investigation – forming a clear picture of what the people closest to a crime scene were doing before and during the crime itself.  They never did find out.

There is no way round this whether you are a supporter or an opponent of the McCanns. The document they produced is firstly a travesty of what witness evidence  should be. What possessed a group of educated people to “recollect collectively” rather than give their individual statements to the police is unknown. Much worse than this breach of all witness norms is  that they “filled in gaps” in each other’s stories rather than giving witness evidence of what each of them had seen  and experienced. And it is packed with subjective assumptions and spin which completely subvert the idea of witness evidence. Words used in their document supposedly describing events  include, in order,  "believed", "possible", "possibly", "may well have been", "possibly drugged", "possibly", "possibly", "probably", "perhaps", "probably", "possibly", "perhaps".
When did you last experience a "possible event"? Experienced a "perhaps event" recently?  Felt "possibly drugged" lately?

Yes We Will...No We Won't
So the first job of the Portuguese police in interviewing them was to try and unravel this stuff  as well as the possible reasons for its creation – instead of being able to concentrate their limited time on finding the child. They  were unable to unravel it because seven of the nine refused  to help them do so. Previously Jane Tanner had stated on television:
BILTON: So you said you're prepared to answer questions.
JANE: Yeah.
BILTON: In some ways would you like to?
JANE: I'd love to, yeah, I think.. you know, I actively want to be re-interviewed. If there is a feeling that what we're saying is wrong, you know, be interviewed.. you know, and we can clarify that it's not wrong, you know, we're not making things up, it's just what happened.
BILTON: Have you been asked to return to be questioned?
JANE: No.
BILTON: Would you be prepared to?
JANE: Yes. Yeah of course we would. Yeah, and I mean if it helps to find Madeleine, be interviewed tomorrow, you know, we're obviously key witnesses.”
As we all know she wouldn't and didn't.

The Man Who Never Was
But the greatest charge against the Nine’s "evidence"  is that their document, headed “Sequence of Events: Thursday 3rd May 2007 - 2030 to 2200.As recalled by [the nine names]” was no such thing: it was a document that collectively claimed, suggested or hinted  throughout that someone who is now, according to Scotland Yard, known never to have existed,  had left traces or clues of his existence in the McCann apartment.  For the philosophers amongst us a modern definition of truth is a “statement in accordance with the facts”. The written statement was not in accordance with the facts: in other words it cannot be true. 
Read the document, as both Portuguese and British police forces have done many times. This “collectively” says things like the door is slightly ajar (about 45 degrees),  and adds, just in case the police didn't get their gist,which is unusual, making it fit perfectly with the idea that the “abductor” seen a few minutes later by Tanner had moved the door as he entered the room. It is followed by the ludicrous on leaving the room, GM shuts the door to approximately 5 degrees, (do you routinely measure your door-gaps to an accuracy of 1/72 of a circle? Of course you do)  preparing the way for the later MO enters flat... He does not enter the bedroom but can see through a now quite open door (greater than 45 degrees) into the room. Another perfect fit.  And, inevitably, we have of KM’s 10 PM visit,  She is about to leave, when she notices the bedroom door was open (approximately 60 degrees).

Readers will get the message by now and perhaps or possibly  ask themselves the question, “if the abductor seen so well and described so vividly does not, as Scotland Yard states, exist, then who in Christ’s name had been opening and closing doors?” According to the document  there are no timeslots available for anyone else to have got into the apartment before 9.35PM - after the door had already been moved twice.

The words “seen so well and described so vividly” do not refer to Jane Tanner's description. Out of the 1153 words in the document supposedly covering an hour and a half  “sequence of events”, over three hundred (25%) are spent  describing the person whom Tanner claimed to have seen for approximately fifteen seconds   or so at dusk . We’ll simply state as fact that Tanner's police description of what she saw here has been augmented collectively to fit the narrative of a child abductor: she did not describe all those features in a police statement.
And only when the identity of the person whom Tanner actually saw becomes known – as it will, one way or another  –  will we all find out how well he and the child ever matched the Nine’s comprehensive description. All those details lovingly described, including that the child was looking "possibly drugged", all written down and sitting waiting patiently  to be compared with the age, build, appearance and clothing of the man the Yard  say she actually saw.

Ever wondered why he hasn't been identified yet? Ever wondered why he's being kept under wraps like a smallpox sample?  He hasn't been identified because his appearance might prejudice, and more than prejudice, a trial, and we'll say no more about it. But whether a trial comes or not, he will be identified, and back-identified, by someone wanting the huge fee that a tabloid is likely to offer once Grange and any associated legal processes, are finished. That will be interesting, won't it?
So much for the “assistance” that those nine witnesses gave to the PJ. As far as is publicly known, not  one of them ever made an effort to undo the damage before Operation Grange. In the Leicester  interviews of 2008, where the police  were constrained by treaty in the questions they could ask, not one of them helped unravel the confusion they had caused. The oldest of them, a sprightly sixty-plus M/S Webster, claimed to remember hardly anything about a holiday taken only a year previously; the rest, in every single case, made the confusion even worse.

Inescapable
There is no need to comment further on this performance except to repeat: along with the parallel extra-legal media narrative of the McCann family, this is how the Madeleine McCann Affair  began. Had the Nine not  prepared that pre-emptive evidence together, and had they not refused to explain their actions to the police ever since, then the “Affair”, with all the opportunities it provided for fund-raising, media campaigning, public hysteria and endless conspiracy theories, would almost certainly have ended many years ago.
It’s at this point that we part company with those who say that this dismal and thoroughly strange performance means the Nine are guilty of a crime. That's not for us to say or to suggest. That their performance has damaged the investigation is obvious, as the Archiving Summary attests; that they not only colluded in preparing an untruthful “narrative of events” (see the definition of untruthful above) but also lied individually about the “checking” (attested to by the co-author of the Archiving Summary in court in 2009) is established. But why, and what pressures short of a crime  may have made them do so, have remained unknown.

Until now. No reinvestigation could possibly avoid confronting these indisputable facts. No reinvestigation could progress without taking “the first step” referred to above. No re-investigation could possibly be wound-up without the questions surrounding the Nine’s narrative having being clarified in depth and in detail. In other words that has already been done by the police re-investigations (nothing whatever to do with "interviews as suspects"), apart from the  loose ends.
What the consequences will be we don’t know. But it’s all we’ve ever wanted, apart from the now-achieved vindication of Goncalo Amaral,  and it’s been well worth the wait.  It's done!