We make no attributions of possible guilt in the case to the McCann parents or anyone else. We have neither the evidence nor the desire to do so. Instead we wait for investigation and judicial process to provide the facts.
For our regular, sensible, readers who remain genuinely puzzled at the length of time the investigations have taken, perhaps we can make two points.
During the three years from 2008-2011 almost no real investigation took place. That was because neither the UK nor Portugal authorities had any stomach for one, given the public support for the pair and the unlikelihood of the chief witnesses altering their attitude to co-operation. The key point, then and now, is that time was no longer of the essence, for the child was obviously dead. Urgency was no longer a factor. The Hunt for the Dom Pedro, by the way, the McCanns’ utterly ludicrous two men and no dogs “search”, about which the less said the better, may have been many things: urgent it was not.
Only in 2011, with the McCanns’ request for an “investigative review” by the UK, was the logjam broken. Two years later, on completion of the review, the full Scotland Yard investigation began.
So the Yard investigation into perhaps the trickiest and most controversial case in living memory has taken some four years in all. That compares with seven years so far for the altogether simpler McCanns/Amaral libel case in Portugal. Truth can be hard to find.
Secondly we urge those of our readers who are genuinely puzzled or disturbed by the apparently soap opera performance of Operation Grange to look for themselves – as always with the Bureau, really – rather than accept our opinions. The best way to do so in this instance is to go to McCann Files and start skimming through the sections on Grange from 2013 onwards.
All you have to do is check which reports clearly derive from Grange statements or admissions. A large proportion of the reports are centred on Grange press conferences so this isn’t difficult. Unfortunately, and for whatever reasons, the reports continue as if they are still quoting the police officers when in fact they are not.
You will find that 99% of the “facts” about Grange which people on twitter, cesspit and elsewhere quote as examples of the “farcical” nature of the investigation, are inventions and have not been provided by Grange either on or off the record. Have a look, for example, at the widely believed claim that the squad has never had focussed targeting and the cumulative building of a case but has been caught skipping like fictional comedy cops from one unlikely group of suspects to another. You won't find any evidence for the claim except the elaborate, repeated but unsourced junk rumours in the MSM and on the net. "Fictional"? Absolutely - carefully constructed fiction.
Ever since Grange began investigating, rather than “reviewing”, this process of planting false stories, all of them to the detriment of the squad’s reputation, has continued, using the methods of deception that we highlighted in recent Bureau posts. This, of course, adds to the complexity of the case and affects the time-scale, for we are not on normal police investigation territory here: there is clearly a plan to misrepresent and devalue this investigation. Not a vast and spine-chilling conspiracy to keep us awake at night, and not one likely to be threatening in the longer term because the Yard has been following it for over a year, but nevertheless, a plan and it can be seen in operation thanks to Nigel's McCann Files. Stories do not get planted without an aim.
Unfortunately for the majority of public McCann critics, who believe they have a hard-bitten “they don’t fool me” attitude to the police investigation, this interference is not coming from the stock villains - government, MI5, billionaires, police commanders, all straight from Central Casting - but, while they are looking in the wrong direction, from elsewhere.
You will almost never find criticism of Grange on the internet or elsewhere by avowed supporters of the parents and nor will you ever find them repeating and amplifying the "blundering cops" stories as the internet critics so regularly do - much more frequently than the tabloids. That says nothing about the beliefs, credibility or judgement of those who support the McCanns; it tells you something, however, about who the organizers of this Fake News campaign are trying to manipulate. And it isn't the McCann supporters.
We urge you again: don't take our word for it but go to McCann Files and at least have a glance to see the process and the interference in action. We were surprised at the evidence of systematic deception when we saw it there. You might be too.
Wouldn't it be Nice?
Many things which had been bubbling below the surface in the UK erupted in 2016, most of them good, one of them, particularly if you are a democrat, absolutely wonderful and game-changing – the assertion of power by ordinary people in a referendum which brushed aside a prime minister like a leaf in the wind.
In a thoroughly strange way the McCann Affair has always reflected events and attitudes in wider UK society. It began like some sort of creepy bacillus thriving on the remains of the Blair Rich Project, that scarcely believable culture of lies and routine deceit; later, it added, in a small way, to a general sense of cynicism and helplessness following the great crash of 2008.
Lord Mandy strutting in ermine. Says it all.
It would be appropriate if events in the Affair in 2017 added to the new optimism that can now be felt buzzing – away from the wreckage of the MSM and its depressed and bewildered crew – in the UK.
To those readers who share our outlook, not our opinions, and who therefore matter a great deal to us at the little Bureau, a merry Xmas, as always.