It is almost 9 years since little Madeleine McCann vanished while on holiday with her family in the Algarve. It has been the subject of 3 police investigations (for the PJ this is second time around), and has had the full time attention of 30 homicide officers from Scotland Yard for 4 years.
But still nothing. Despite the fact that little Madeleine could not have made herself disappear, there have been no arrests, no charges brought against anyone, not even those whose neglect led to her disappearance. Bizarrely, one of the primary carer's of Madeleine has even been given an award by a leading British Charity - for services to children presumably.
Nobody wants to add to the grief of the family of a missing child, but in a case where the mother has refused to answer police questions and wishes misery and fear on the detective who was searching for her child, is an Award really appropriate? And presumably, with thousands of missing people on their books, why does this Charity continue to publicise the one child that is most likely to be dead? The blood and cadaver dogs alerted to exactly what they are trained to alert to - somebody died in Apartment 5A and Madeleine has not been seen for almost 9 years.
I think the case of missing Madeleine McCann has perfectly illustrated the contempt the mainstream media seems to have for the general public. No matter how ludicrous a story, someone says 'yeh, they'll buy that', and the printers are set in motion. The newspaper industry is collapsing because the public have woken up to the fact that their daily papers have been lying to them. Anyone studying a media course will be fascinated at the simplicity of Team McCanns's original masterplan (campaign), and appalled at how easy it was for a small group of manipulative people to pull the wool over so many eyes.
Heaven knows what Operation Grange have been up to this past 4+ years, they have had enough time to establish how many stars there are in the universe and quite possibly the meaning of life, but they still appear to be no nearer to discovering the truth behind little Madeleine's disappearance. It seems as if they have gone to great endeavours to make the obviously fabricated story real. Even revealing such snippets as a smelly man prowling the Algarve and climbing into the beds of small, blonde haired British girls. Presumably, this is because leaving small kids on their own and going out for a meal is something unique to the British. Forsooth!
The snippets over the years have been enough to keep the forums and the conspiraceloons buzzing, and they were right, I fully understand the mentality behind the media silence and the sensitivity of the situation. That's why I want no truck with Petitions, investigations by self appointed vigilantes, or any interference with the due legal process. I believe there are officers in Operation Grange who are of the same ilk as Goncalo Amaral, that is, they are acting on behalf of the victim, little Madeleine.
What I object to is the hurt that is being inflicted on real people as this facade continues. In my opinion it was obscene to put Coral Jones, bless her heart, through the ordeal of sharing a stage with Kate McCann, especially now that so much IS known about Madeleine's disappearance. Whilst every compassion should have been shown to Mrs McCann, and still should be, these awards are wrong on every level. Has Kate McCann ever used her experience to warn other parents about the dangers of leaving small children alone? Or is the subject taboo in case the more obvious danger of accident might come up?
But it is not just people like Coral who are being forced to admire the Emperor's new clothes, it is all those families of genuinely missing kids, and genuinely missing people who would give anything for a fraction of the publicity that has been given to Kate and Gerry McCann. Madeleine is probably the best known missing child in the world. Her picture has been distributed on every continent. Everyone who has ever been to Portugal has been interviewed. How many more tabloid headlines can they get out of Madeleine? Where will it end? Can the people of PDL now sleep safe in their beds, knowing there isn't a prowler or a gang of paedophiles on the loose? Don't they deserve an answer? All those who's names have been dragged through the mud to prop up the abduction story?
Should generous donors continue giving to the Madeleine Fund, in the hope she will be found alive one day? Has the Home Secretary got value for the £10m+ of taxpayer's money she has spent on this case? She doesn't look like the kind of woman who would tolerate a fluffy answer to me. She sort of reminds me of my old (always angry) maths teacher.
Operation Grange began with the kind of front pages the McCanns would pay half a million for, it was full of hope with an aged progressed image of Madeleine and a statement from DCI Redwood that they were looking for a live child. It was like another Clarence the 'big boys have arrived' headline, with detectives from the civilised world arriving shipshape and Bristol fashion to sort out the mess. No scruffy clothes and fags hanging out their gobs, or vino with lunch for this lot. With pristine suits, sensible haircuts and cheese sarnie at their desks, they were going to go over everything the PJ had done before them, picking up on their errors and telling them where they had gone wrong.
Yet 4+ years on, these smartly dressed party poopers, seem to know less than the Portuguese police did in 3 weeks! I can see why Operation Grange are probably having a great deal of difficulty in finding an exit strategy. They will at some point have to say whether Mr and Mrs McCann were involved in the disappearance of their daughter. There is no way out of it. And once they do the floodgates will open. It may be that there is a long line of dominoes balancing precariously, because when the first ones go down, the rest will follow.
This case has done the reputation of Scotland Yard no good whatsoever. It has led to even more accusations of corruption and the covering up of heinous crimes on behalf of VIPs. I am far from naïve, but I still believe most people are inherently good, and that homicide detectives never forget the victim. Time will tell of course, but in the meanwhile, crimes are still being committed in this poor child's name and real people are suffering as a result of those ongoing crimes.
It has been 9 years and no-one has been arrested or charged for making this little girl disappear. In 2011, the UK stepped in (why?) virtually assuring the public, that 'our' police could do better, and heaven knows they have had more than enough resources, but still there is no result. As I say I do not want to do anything that will interfere with the investigation (I am totally opposed to Bennett's Petition), but I do question the morality of allowing crimes that cause direct harm to others (such as the McCanns demands for damages from Goncala Amaral) to continue. The Madeleine Fund and the McCanns 'Search' are highly suspicious, yet gullible people are still being encouraged to donate.
Among the many things that bug me with this case, is the total lack of respect that the country of birth (my heart belongs in the fields of Ireland and the hills of Scotland) can be so appallingly patronising to the Portuguese. I am offended on their behalf, not only am I offended, I am now embarrassed on England's behalf. This case has brought out the inherent racism that exists within the British Establishment. They accepted without question the word of two white British suspects over the word of the foreign police. And they opened up Operation Grange with the memorable words that neither the parents or any of their friends are suspects. In other words the investigation began with all the Brits ruled out!
Yet, for all the posturing and all the thousands and thousands of files that Operation Grange have gone through with a fine-tooth comb, they still appear to know zilch. It's like they said to the PJ, 'we will take your embarrassment and multiply it by a 1,000'. Because it appears, they too have been outwitted, outplayed, or out politicised. I can't see any awards being handed out for 'no, we can't solve it either' and I wouldn't want to see the wrath of Mrs. May.