Sunday, 6 September 2015
SHOULD THE MADELEINE INVESTIGATION COME TO AN END?
If I were Kate and Gerry I would be very worried indeed. This investigation has been going on for 4 years and it is quite clear Operation Grange are not looking for an abductor, nor are they looking for a gang of child traffickers. More significantly, they are not looking for a live child. Every possible abduction scenario has been fully exhausted, every likely suspect (and a few unlikely ones) placed under the microscope, nothing and no-one has been found that can go the distance and carry the abduction story all the way through to a court room.
Yet still, Operation Grange will not give up, despite the fact that someone is using the outrageous cost element to manipulate public opinion. If Operation Grange were to throw in the towel at this stage, no-one would blame them, they tried their best and we can all go home now. Besides, the 'public' are now asking questions about those constant trips to sunnier climes and those luxurious stays in 5* hotels. The oh, so gentle message could be, if you carry on taking the pee, the public will turn on YOU. You, like Goncalo Amaral, will become the bad guys. Especially, if you lay the blame at the door of the grief stricken parents, because you couldn't be arsed to find the abductor.
Oh, what a tangled web we weave ......... On the plus side, Operation Grange have a way out, the overwhelming opinion of the public (this week) is that the investigation should be closed and that the police should be working on current cases and helping real children. In times of austerity, the cost element is a good card to play when you want to bring an end to something. Kudos to the spinmeisters. However, once the waves have settled, the 'cost' card will be used by their enemies against them, eg. 'now explain yourself'. Tis a double edged sword.
Unfortunately, when you spin the life of yourself and all of those around you, you will eventually reach a point where you will go up your own anus, alimentary canal, and come out through your gobshite mouth. Tis a comical sight to behold, as these rudimentary wordsmiths juggle words to ridiculous proportions in order to absolve themselves and their paying clients of any wrong doing whatsoever whilst simultaneously creating a sensational headline for a news hungry tabloid. Tis no wonder those skilled in the dark art of spin dream of becoming Masters of the Universe.
Every company of worth, even (especially) the public service and the charitable ones, must use cunning to survive. And for cunning read 'spin' - truth and reality no longer cuts the mustard, it has to be enhanced and sexed up. Tis not so much the age of 'survival of the fittest or even strongest' so much as 'survival of the most conniving'. Purveyors of snake oil and tall stories have found their niche. The company men and women who are willing to sell their souls for scraps from the top table will prosper as they always have, while those who strike and/or disobey company rules, will be sacked and replaced by machines with a message from HR saying Ps. We were going to do that anyway, but now we can make it your fault and turn the public against YOU! Ha ha. Pps. We will ALWAYS go for the cheapest option.
A well spun lie is considerably cheaper for a corporation than, say, making recompense for previous misdeeds with something constructive for the community, ie. new school, hospital, etc. or heaven forbid, compensating workers/consumers maimed or killed in said companies quest to make a profit. With the manufacture and enhancement of news stories, companies must now compete, not in the boardrooms or on the shop floors, but across the pages of facebook and twitter, with skilled media monitors who can manipulate and steer public opinion.
The case of missing Madeleine McCann attracted the cream of the crop. Those who immediately discarded the tragedy of the child's fate, and went straight for the 'how can we make a shedload of dosch out of this?'. And they were successful above and beyond their wildest dreams. Madeleine was beyond help (a good persuader for those with a smidgeon of conscience left), but the bigger causes, Abduction and Missing Children, could tug at the nation's heart and purse strings for decades, with the added bonus of fear, 'if a well cared for child like Madeleine could be abducted from her bed', NO child is safe, so stop moaning and hand over your internet details and make a cash donation to our designated child finding charity'.
Whilst we may dislike the characters who created this tall story, we have to admire their genius and, it has to be said, their tenacity. To be fair, they didn't have a lot to work with, the McCanns and their friends had already given their statements to the police, so the 'jemmied shutters, whooshing curtains' and a faceless egg man walking away with a prostrate child was carved in stone. We can almost picture a bemused pink man, rubbing his chin and saying 'so you left 3 toddlers on their own to go out for a meal? hmm', now how can I turn that around and it make the fault of the local people/police and would you like a dash of snake oil on the side?'.
The case of missing Madeleine McCann became a phenomenon because it coincided with the infancy of social media. Those who drove the campaign understood the power of the internet and were itching to find a way in which to make themselves very rich, and very powerful. They had been dreaming about it for years, and probably had a catalogue of imaginary, and sadly, very real, filing cabinets stuffed with Plans A through to Z, and as a last resort, a hit the destruct button. They pay the same fastidious attention to detail, as a well groomed SS Officer. But don't knock them for it, it got them where they are.
They played a good game, but they underestimated the opposition, and they overestimated themselves. Kate McCann was actually right, people ARE inherently good, democracy wins over tyranny every time. And if we don't protect and speak up for the most vulnerable in our society, in this case, a little girl, who will be next? Unfortunately, for the McCanns and those who have fought so hard to keep the facts behind Madeleine's disappearance hidden, no amount of spin, libel trials, hacking crusades and lobbying for changes in the law, has been able to keep the lid on this bubbling volcano. The truth simply won't go away.
This case has also illustrated how easily ANY story can be researched and disassembled within moments. People who previously only skimmed the headlines, have through this case. awoken to the fact that our media do not tell the truth and they are now asking 'why are the newspapers lying to us' and 'what else have they lied about'. This case begins with a missing child, but it exposes a corruption within our society, that was unimaginable to most of us. It is has given us a direct peep behind those Thick of It' doors and the chilling likeness between the fiction and the reality has scared the bejesus out of us.
The case of missing Madeleine McCann was besieged by spin doctors who had already perfected their craft to a fine art. This (not so new) breed of social media warriors have new tools and new weapons of mass destruction/creation - an abundance of, and access to, hundreds if not, thousands of outlets (customers). Technology has created a means with which to isolate and target an audience for any product or opinion they need/desire. Each and everyone one of us, leaves a 'finger' print and DNA trail of our individual/personal lives - the powers that be now have the technology to track down and incriminate anyone of us they choose. The nightmare of George Orwell's 1984 is here and now, we are living it.
Social media, or indeed, access to social media by millions, has created new, formerly inaccessible markets. The masters, of sales, marketing, spin, etc, can now isolate and target the exact demographic they want to reach. They no longer have to waste money advertising en masse to people who will never buy their products, they can focus on their most likely buyers and work on ways to convert the rest. The potential of the internet could almost form the premise of an early Bond film. 'Imagine, Dr. Evil, if you had a machine powerful enough to enter the homes of and spy on every living being on the planet?' followed by an witchy cackle and the stroking of a white cat.
Unfortunately for the powers that be, this new age of information works both ways. Just as they can watch us, we can watch them Even the antiquated UK Libel Laws can no longer place books or thoughts under lock and key. Censorship, the favoured tool of those who wish to stay in power, no longer exists. The McCanns efforts to bury Goncalo Amaral's book 'The Truth of the Lie' created more sales, more sceptics and more support for the former detective.
If there were annual Dark Arts Oscar ceremonies for making a lie become the truth, I am sure many of those attached to the Maddie case have already left their mark. For would be writers out there: Conflict = Drama = Audience. And of course, there is no such thing as bad publicity, dahlinks. Sadly for Team McCann however, Madeleine went missing during the infancy of social media, now it has grown into a rebellious teenager, and they can't handle it anymore, no-one can.
Those there at its infancy of social media, could see its power and its potential, but like most wannabe rulers/ dictators/tyrants they failed to look at the bigger picture, or more graphically, peep over the square edge of their world to see what was beyond. They have now all kind of disappeared up their own arses, and are stuck at a knot in the large colon. Some are still attempting a scatter gun approach. Chucking ideas out there to gauge public opinion.
If Operation Grange packed up and went home without a result would there be :
a) rioting in the streets
b) a general consensus that Scotland Yard tried their best and should get awards and titles
c) demands for an explanation as to where the £11million went
d) demands for a more believable explanation for a child disappearing than a bungled burglary
e) who cares
The separation of the Fund in my humble opinion, screams preparation - 'Defend the Tapas Two/Nine' springs to mind, or on a broader scale (bigger audience) 'Defend Responsible Parents' against the evils of non Catholics and people who are jealous of them. It will probably be a mixture of the two but no doubt some wag somewhere, will slip the word Tapas in.
Operation Grange (wisely imo) are giving very little away. They may, or may not use this latest piece of spin to their own advantage (they may even have planted it), it answers the question 'what would the public think if we shelved the case?' - and at this moment, there are no strong feelings, no-one is desperate to keep the investigation going, like, say, the parents for example, and no-one is lobbying on their behalf (why not?). They campaigned so hard to get the Scotland Yard investigation, why are they giving it up with barely a whimper? They are already talking about a new and separate Fund to search for Maddie, which begs the question, what was the first Fund for? And how do they know OG haven't found someone, or if they are presently following a potential lead?
Both Kate and Gerry have been doing their utmost to persuade the public that they personally were not involved in their daughter's disappearance. It is the fear of discovery that is their real agony. It is the cause of the rapid aging and the eye bags. From the moment news of Madeleine's disappearance broke, Gerry and Kate's main concern was their image. At a time when most of us were too shocked to even think about the parents being involved, the family, Team McCann were planting propaganda stories in the press. Who was accusing Gerry and Kate of being negligible parents (sic)' on 5th May Philomena?
Just as the McCanns wanted the Portuguese investigation to be shelved, they want the same thing for the Scotland Yard one. But this time with a much clearer statement of absolution and a plug for their new Fund. I jest, I hope, but I think the cosy relationship between the McCanns and the Yard is long since a thing of the past. Both parties have no option but to present an image of mutual co-operation, but I doubt it bears any resemblance to reality. The McCanns may give the occasional nod of gratitude to Operation Grange, but they are probably seething inside, just as they were when the PJ were getting too close for comfort.
Even if the officers of Operation Grange, were the most affable men and women on the planet, living under their close scrutiny day in and day out, would drive the average person insane. They would do anything to bring the nightmare to an end. The main protagonists herein, have nerves of steel and dry ice running through their veins. Nothing cracks their outer veneer, where we expect emotion, such as the mention of their daughter's name, there is none. Where we expect grief for their daughter's loss - her childhood, her siblings, the milestones she should have reached, there is none. Their grief centres on the way Madeleine's unfortunate loss affects them. 'I couldn't even say Happy Birthday to My daughter'. 'We are not as happy we could be'. These are not anguished cries for Madeleine, or on her behalf, they are anguished cries for themselves.
Kate and Gerry took on the mantle of victims from the moment the news broke. I suspect it is a ruse they have used successfully all their lives. The characters they are now, are the same characters they were before Madeleine disappeared, their need to portray an image of themselves as the perfect couple, then perfect family, was just as intense. Kate flew into a rage when the PJ suggested they might be involved, her biggest fear being, what her mother would think. Kate, I would imagine has spent a lifetime telling her mother what she wanted to hear, while Gerry's doting siblings probably did the same for their mother.
Kate and Gerry have had years and much experience of pretending they are not suspects, nobody does it better. Kate told us herself, while they were falling to pieces 'backstage' with Gerry writhing around on the floor, they were appearing before the world's cameras, telling their fans how much confidence they had in the PJ. Anyone relying on the 'how could they act so naturally at their last supper', need only look at the interviews they gave in the days following.
Sadly, once again the British mainstream media are failing to give their audience the true facts behind the disappearance of Madeleine McCann, or worse, they are deliberately misleading them for sinister political purposes. I'm not for one moment, suggesting the public should be given details of the police investigation, that would be absurd. It would be inhumane to put the families involved in the spotlight - their lives would become even more intolerable than they probably are now. Justice must be allowed to run its course, but if it fails, there are a lot of eyes watching and no doubt a lot of whistles waiting to be blown.
Meanwhile, what should most definitely NOT be happening is the promotion of donations to a new Fund for Maddie by the mainstream media. Have any of them actually looked at the accounts for the original Madeleine Fund? They begin with the lame joke of the misspelling of Amaral to AmOral, then continue along the same 'oh what hoot' theme throughout. All the failures of the Portuguese Police were saved and used against them when the case was shelved. If Operation Grange 'fails' in the same way as the PJ 'failed', shouldn't the laying of misery and fear curses on former detectives and the follow through be discouraged by responsible news editors? The McCanns must have someone to blame, it is the secret of their success, have they already selected an OG Officer to destroy, or will the next Curse apply to the whole team?
Do I personally think the case should be wrapped up? No. Because the original crime spawned an outbreak of additional crime that runs right through the heart of the British establishment. The incumbent British government intervened in this case and the Portuguese investigation came to a standstill, with no charges brought against anyone. The British have done the Portuguese a huge disservice, they have struck at the heart of the Portuguese Tourist Industry. They have smeared the reputation of the Portuguese police and declared the Algarve a haven for sexually deviant men, Men who prowl the streets of holiday resorts, on the off chance that a white British family will leave the kids' bedroom window open and the door unlocked.
If Operation Grange shelve the case of missing Madeleine now, they will have achieved less in 4 years, than their Portuguese counterparts achieved in 4 months. They haven't found so much as a whiff of an abductor, because there isn't one, and blaming the Portuguese is no longer an option. Even with a blank cheque and every resource available, Scotland Yard, like the PJ have not arrested anyone and as far as the general public and dim witted television presenters are concerned, the disappearance of Madeleine is just as much a mystery as it was 8 years ago, but with suspicion of the parents multiplied tenfold.
Not only have Scotland Yard failed to find an abductor (because there isn't one), they have failed to clear the parents. If they give up now, it will be because they are no longer looking for an abductor and they do not have enough evidence to bring charges against the actual perpetrators. Sadly, this scenario is far more common than most of us realised, it happens the world over, especially in the cases of claimed child abductions - see Lisa Irwin, Isabel Celis and the murder of Jonbenet Ramsey. No Evidence is a powerful chant, some might even see it as a taunt to the police, but it is the most powerful defence of all, and it is one that prosecutors will throw back at investigators time and time again.
Those of us who have researched and followed this case from the beginning would rightly question the 'no evidence' defence, from our perspective the evidence is overwhelming, but will it stand up in a Court of Law? Does the Portuguese AG have enough evidence to prosecute those crimes committed on Portuguese soil? How is that Pact of Silence holding up? What have Scotland Yard discovered in those thousands of box files? Or, more accurately, what were they looking for?
While the question of whether the Portuguese of the British will go ahead with any prosecutions hangs in the balance, there are no happy endings for anyone. Until there is a trial, no-one can be convicted or cleared. If this is a whitewash, then it is the worst whitewash ever, because it has established, beyond reasonable doubt, that there was no abductor.