Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Madeleine McCann: A Rainbow takes the glitter off the McCann's pot of gold

When I was a lad growing up in Wales, the teachers tried to impress upon us that we should feel both lucky and proud to be living in a country where men and women could speak their mind without fear of persecution. We were told that freedom to express an opinion was a right fought for on the battlefields of Europe, signed with the blood of brave men determined that Britain would not be ground into the dust under the heels of the leather jackboots of those who burned books to control those who sought to speak their mind or present a perspective different to that of a tyrannical regime. That is what we were taught.

Of course in reality it never quite worked liked that. Try speaking your mind or offering a different opinion in a 1960s British school, and you soon found out that freedom of speech applied to approved applicants only. I should have taken heed of such lessons - it would have prepared me for a Britain where, "Publish and be damned" has been replaced with "Drop it - or be McCanned".

In Europe the freedom repressing jackboots are now on other feet. Not on Flanders field but a battlefield set in a courtroom in Portugal, a country that values freedom of speech, democracy and the right to be heard. Portugal treasures these principles because for far too long the country suffered under a regime that denied such rights. These are rights they have fought for, earned and damn well deserve. They have every right to fight to preserve those values as the Team McCann storm-troopers go marching in to another country, to dictate what can and can't be written, read, broadcast, seen, or heard.

When and who gave them the right to decide for society what is appropriate for that society to think or believe?

As their attack dogs snap at the heels of former Portuguese detective Goncalo Amaral, persecuting him over his book, The Truth of The Lie, in which he expresses an opinion based on his intimate knowledge of the tragic case of Madeleine McCann, their actions increasingly give the onlooker the perception of desperate acts by desperate people.

Why do the McCanns constantly resort to litigation to enforce a version of events that many don't believe - and have every right not to believe - a healthy and legal skepticism based on the McCanns own actions, inactions, contradictory statements and versions of the events of the night Madeleine was allegedly abducted. No debate or questioning of the McCanns is tolerated. Team McCann present the public with disputable information wrapped up as fact.

Take the, "Madeleine's Fund: Leaving No Stone Unturned Limited Accounts March 2009" as an example. The fund that "paid for legal representation for Kate, Gerry, Sean and Amelie in Portugal, enabling them to obtain an injunction banning Mr. Amoral [sic] from repeating his fabricated claims about Madeleine's abduction".

Not only are Kate and Gerry directors of the controversial and questionable fund, but so too are other members of their family and friends. John McCann the Chairman of the fund and brother of Gerry, reports in the "Chairman's Statement" that "Madeleine McCann was abducted in Praia da Luz, Portugal."

See what I mean about disputable issues wrapped up as fact? Why is it that the Chairman of the fund, (the legality of which is worthy of scrutiny), as well as the British media, are so reluctant to use the word "alleged" as would be normal practice in any other media or legal environment?

Since Madeleine went missing on or before May 3, 2007, there has not been one shred of evidence that suggests Madeleine has been abducted. Neither the Portuguese police nor the British police, have been able to find any piece of evidence or information that even suggests Madeleine was abducted.

Not even the McCanns private detectives have been able to produce any tangible, believable or credible evidence of an abduction. Detectives like Kevin Halligen, chosen by businessman Brian Kennedy. Halligen is facing extradition to the U.S. on charges that include money laundering, and who is a major player in the Trafigura scandal in which the McCanns lawyers, the morally challenged Carter-Ruck, have been so active in silencing newspapers and Members of Parliament.

I have asked this question before and I will ask it again. Why do the McCanns without fail, enlist the services of the best and most expensive lawyers, PR and media consultants to protect their own interests and reputation, and without fail, hire cowboy private investigators with no proven track record in the field of missing persons, to find the daughter they betrayed by failing to provide her with the care, protection and security they were morally and legally required to provide?

Do the McCanns have any sense of failure about their choices? For example - their nightly decision to leave three children unattended - even though they were fully aware that the children had woken up crying on nights prior to May 3, 2007? They were not the only ones among the Tapas Nine to leave their children unattended either - even when they were sick.

What sort of people are these for God's sake? A bunch of Hoorah Harrys' who couldn't give a toss about their children's welfare during a Happy Holiday Time for adults in Portugal, now arrogantly dictating to others what opinion they can or can't express, and blaming everyone for the consequences of their actions - except themselves.

If the McCann's are to believed - and most right thinking people would find it hard to believe the "official" (by that I mean "Team McCann") version of events without at least questioning, then the scrutiny and disdain they have found themselves subject to, rests on their shoulders.

We have grown tired and weary of false sightings immediately before or after anything negative about the McCanns is aired in the media. We laugh at the ludicrous assertions of rag-tag private detectives such as David Edgar, who one minute believes she is kept captive in a hell-hole by evil pedophiles, (this is the McCanns criteria for "no evidence to suggest Madeleine has come to any harm") the next by a family who wanted a child to love.

We are disgusted by the way Madeleine's younger siblings - (the siblings whose care was entrusted to a three year old) are constantly used as PR tools by the McCanns. We fear for the welfare and safety of vulnerable young mites who as reported in the British media, want to fight those who took Madeleine, but who are then given birthday presents they are told are from their sister.

But now at least there is hope for those of us who for almost three years have been seeking answers to what happened to little Madeleine McCann in Portugal. The McCann's cloak of invincibility is frayed around the edges.

Gerry McCann, the arrogant, bad tempered ring-master of Circus McCann, finds himself snubbed and ignored by those he sought to court. No more applause or back-slapping for you Gerry my lad is there? Shunned and treated with disdain by those who unlike yourself and your wife, have years of genuine and proven interest in the missing children of the world.

Nor did the tasteless "star-studded" party that to all appearances was meant just as much as a show of defiance as to raise money for the quickly established fund, go quite as you planned. A photograph in the Daily Mail, gives an indication of how it went - and how those who dedicate themselves to missing children feel about you Gerry. You know the photograph I am referring to, the one where you "say" "I'm Gerry McCann - you can't touch me" in an angry, fist-clenching show of defiance.

As for the injunction hearing in Portugal, you must have felt pretty pleased at how the January session went. You knew that the British press, eager as always to play the race card, would come to your rescue as they have since May 2007, by blaming everything on, "vile" Johnny Foreigners and their "evil lies".

Not quite so easy to do that with Lee Rainbow though is it Gerry?

Lee Rainbow, the internationally respected profiler for the crack British police agency - the NPIA, recommended that the Portuguese police investigate you and your wife because of contradictions in a statement made by yourself. He also suggested Madeleine's brother and sister should have been interviewed about her disappearance. Would you have given permission for the twins to be interviewed? Or would you have refused - as you refused a urine sample from the twins who slept soundly during an abduction, followed by a room full of people running around shouting?

For someone who claims the only thing that matters is finding the little girl you left unprotected, refusing to cooperate with Portuguese police on several occasions, as well as dismissing British Family Liaison officers who you later went on to berate, (while ignoring the makeup of your audience) and relying on investigators of dubious character and ability, seems a funny way of going about it if you don't mind me saying so.

Oh but you will mind me saying so wont you - you mind anyone saying anything that is not pre-approved by Team McCann or Carter-Ruck. Would you like to know how I feel about Carter-Ruck's attempts to silence everyone who speaks out against you - or have you managed to figure that one out already? With a little help from your friends perhaps - as you do with so many things.

Serial litigation however, is not the only tool in the armory of the McCann Defense Force. When in trouble the British Establishment have always relied on that good old standby - try to discredit the enemy old chap. It suits the British Establishment perfectly as it requires little in the way of courage or moral fiber.

There have been systemized campaigns to discredit Amaral; the highly insured sniffer dogs; DNA evidence - in fact anyone and anything that spoils the McCann party - in much the same way as those who sought justice for the victims of the Jersey care home scandal were viciously attacked in the media and by uniformed Establishment lackies.

Perhaps sensing a change in the wind, Gerry McCann has called for the case to be re-opened. In fact,. even those who have previously been wheeled out to support the Team McCann version of events have had a rethink about the affair and are calling for a fresh investigation.

Perhaps this time, unlike the original investigation, it can be conducted with the full cooperation of the McCanns, including answers to the 48 questions Kate McCann refused to answer, and an official police reconstruction the McCanns refused to cooperate with.

Let us also hope that any new investigation is carried out without any outside interference, hindrance or pressure.

Then and only then, are we likely to see answers to why a little girl vanished without trace, without a clue as to what happened to her.

The McCanns claim they want justice - for themselves of course, because right from the beginning, they have portrayed themselves as the innocent victims in this tragedy. Frankly, I don't give a toss about justice for a couple of deadbeat parents, who in any other country would be openly reviled for deliberately neglecting their children by leaving them unattended and unprotected - even when given the opportunity to have qualified babysitters take over a three year olds responsibility - a responsibility foisted upon Madeleine by her parents.

I am interested in justice for a child. A child betrayed by her parents, betrayed by the system and betrayed by the media.

A child who deserves a lot more than the proceeds of nasty litigation hearings going into the pockets of alleged money launderers, libel lawyers, tacky celebrity dinners with washed up TV presenters and a washed up actor, wristbands, and posters with aged progression photographs that make a girl who would now be six, look like a 13 year old.

Madeleine deserves truth, justice, the answers to questions the British media dare not ask. She deserves the right not to have her name and a lost childhood used as tools in courtroom battles as the McCanns battle to protect their reputations with far more energy and devotion than they protected their children.

Published by i On Global Trends - Mike Hitchen Online - news, opinion, analysis
See also Sydney Irresistible and for personal comment, Mike Hitchen Unleashed
Putting principles before profits