Tuesday, February 14, 2012

#McCann : Not Like The Good Old Days by Blacksmith

Now you see it…

As a bearded loony once wrote, “history repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.”

Oh for the great, late, days of 2007 when the Team of the parents, their paid mouthpiece, their relatives and their lawyers set out to enlist the public as their human shield against extradition – when the pages of the Mail were used to plug weaknesses in their stories (“the missing hours”) and invent new defences (“Gerry thinks abductor was there with him”) ; when the Times reporter was willing to smuggle secret details (the baby monitor) into his stories at Gerry’s prompting and when even the BBC was used by Ed Smethurst and his “expunge” campaign in Panorama. Such, such were the days!

But now?

The tired team, or its pathetic remnants, sees no other course but to repeat the strategy, only this time with no new information – after five years—and when British public opinion is now irrelevant to their fate. They have been “exonerated”, their enemies have been sued or scattered, they have not a blemish—even of tea-stain size—on their characters. Yet they cannot, simply cannot, stop spinning in their own defence.

So to the Mirror story about a far off libel case where UK public opinion doesn’t matter and can’t help: “Revealed: How shamed cop made a fortune spouting lies about Madeleine McCann's parents.”

There it is once more, an article that from the internal evidence could only have come from the McCanns, that pours on the old insults about Amaral – “outrageous...shamed...booted off...spouting lies...slurs...three hour boozy lunches”.

But what a come-down,  what a parody of past glories now the ammunition cupboard is bare. Boozy lunches? Again? Is that the best they can do after five years? Even Clarence Mitchell is ashamed to admit being involved —not once are his normal, transparent disguises, “a source” or “a pal of the McCanns”, used in this rubbishy piece; instead the information is credited to a “legal source”, which cannot mean Mitchell. It bears, indeed, all the hallmarks of the McCanns themselves.

And then—farce after tragedy once more—they follow the old Team method of putting in new factual material near the end of the piece. Oh dear. Like we said recently, the remnants of the Team not only have nothing new of significance to offer but all they can do these days is passively react, not enact. So what is the “new material”?

It is a lacklustre confirmation of what the Bureau wrote over a week ago, when we gave the names of the witnesses they were calling and pointed out that the only people with a chance of factually rebutting Amaral’s claims of death in the apartment, the Tapas 7, were not being called, with the obvious inference that the lawyers, or the Tapas group itself, dare not risk their examination in the witness box.

With the second inference, that our list of the names of “friends, relations and those who worked with the couple after Madeleine’s disappearance” demonstrated that they were going to go for an emotion-based claim in which those witnesses will testify to having seen “evidence” of Amaral’s impact on the pair’s emotional well-being. And sure enough the Mirror thuds the message in with a picture to prove that that’s what they going to try, captioned 

Destroyed: Kate and Gerry McCann.” 

Kate and Gerry McCann
…now you don’t

And what is an “emotion-based claim” in this case? It is an admission of defeat. It tells us that the prosecutor Menezes and his colleague told the truth in the Archiving Report, when they wrote that the McCanns’ behaviour and their lack of co-operation with the Portuguese police “lost them the chance to prove their innocence”.

What? shouted the parents’ allies, how ridiculous, when do people have to prove their innocence?

At the libel trial in April 2012, that’s when. As we now know, the burden of proof in that trial is on them. Menezes is right and the parents know it: the chance is gone. They  are admitting it by concentrating instead on the more hopeful and subjective “we saw how destroyed Kate was”. The one piece of new information in the report is a shame-faced attempt to slip out the fact that they themselves don’t want to risk cross-examination either and will try and avoid testifying.

The only thing in the Bureau’s report the sad Team haven’t attempted to spin is the list of police and judicial witnesses we provided. Obviously if they had certainty that all of them would testify that the suspicions of the parents are utterly groundless then they would be broadcasting it from the rooftops, with Clarence visibly in the forefront instead of skulking in the rear. They haven’t got that certainty so they are left with hope – hope these witnesses will answer the harridan’s obvious shrieked questions in the right way:

Duarte: [bellowing] Did your final conclusions include any claims of death in the apartment?

Rebelo: No.

Duarte: [SCREAMING] Why not?

Rebelo: We found no firm evidence of it.

Duarte: [discharging spittle] Exactly.

But it’s high risk with all of those witnesses because cross examination – now that Cabrita is gone—may reveal a less black and white picture. So the parents are too unsure to spin about them yet.

But even if the public were convinced by this passive and shoddy reminder of the great days, what would it achieve? As we’ve asked before, why? Why, faced with the inability of the public to help them, don’t they just shut up?

We admit we don’t know. But we found ourselves pondering  the words of a recent message to us by one of the wiser commentators on the case: “it’s beginning to look,” he wrote, “like the [book Madeleine] is derived rather less from any diary and more from a defence script being held in abeyance until called for.”


NOTE: Dr. Matthew Oldfield  is a dreadful liar and if called as a witness during the libel trial could find himself as a PRIME suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.....what a headline that would make!