Thursday, 14 January 2010

A Big Event

"WE WANT A BIG EVENT TO RAISE AWARENESS that she is still missing. We would look at high-profile people who have already pledged support. IT WILL BE SOME SORT OF FOCUS AROUND AN ANNIVERSARY, to tell people that Madeleine ’s still missing. I think IT WOULD BE LATER THIS YEAR, once media attention has dropped, to bring it back up, hopefully, for a short period. IT WOULDN’T BE A ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY, IT WILL BE SOONER THAN THAT." - Gerry McCann, interviewed by Jason Groves, from the Daily Express, three months after Madeleine McCann disappeared.


Doughnut said...

It's an interesting thing to say, certainly and I can see how you think it implies Gerry somehow knows that Madeleine will not be coming back in the short term - which seems impossible given he alleges she has been abducted - but it is clear from other things Gerry says in interviews around this time that he has been groomed well by his public realtions team - most of whom at the time were either prfessional lobbysist (like Justine McGuiness) or atached to government spin departments (like Clarence Mitchell). If you look at the terms he uses in interviews (like 'pan-European' and Centralised DNA databases) it is clear that he and his wife were being reimagined and rebranded as a potent lobbying force for one difficult policy after another. They were also likely to have 100s of other interested parties (charities, celebrities,celbrity pr agencies) offering and suggesting all manner of things to aid somekind of 'search'. This doesn't mean Gerry and Kate are innocent, I just don't feel this is quite the smoking gun you seem to think it is. A familiarity with Lobbying and Public Relations in Britain might explain this better. Gerry often seemed like a mouthpiece for others at this time, as if he was working from a very tight script. Anybody who has ever interviewed celebrities will know how well groomed and primed they are for media sessions. They can barely respond with anything impromptu - they simply stick to whatever has been agreed. I can only imagine that support from Mitchell and Downing Street was provided at a price - and that probably meant the couple doing and saying exactly what Mitchell and Downing Street wanted them to do. Having to prior experience of PR they would assume it was all done in their best interests. Ironically, the activities and the interviews the McCanns carried out made them look increasingly guilty. Now who would go and do a thing like that?

Bwatch/Sargeants Inn etc

guerra said...

Doughnut, why would anyone who just lost their child need a PR firm? Unlike the McCanns, innocent, sane people would cooperate with police in every way possible in order to find their child. This couple treated their daughter's death as a business venture, and they were successful. They have made a lot of money with this ongoing charade.

So, the lobbyists recruited the McCanns; there must be a great demand for couples who have lost a child, who knew?

Doughnut said...

It's a reasonable point you make about PR services - but when you examine the details - there's no evidence that they were the first people to request PR services. I was the first person to flag up how quickly they registered the domain name. But when Madeleine first went missing there was no PR team whatsoever - not from the McCanns point of view. Bell Potinger were hired to look after Mark Warner's interests and British Consul Henderson (plus other assorted embassy figures) dealt with the Press. A little later the Foreign office sent in Sheree Dodd - who lasted about a week before being replaced by Clarence Mitchell.

Mitchell was sent to Praia da Luz on May 22nd - only after Murat had been taken in for questioning. Prior to Murat being made arguido - there is no recorded evidence of McCanns receiving preferential treatment.

It is extraordinary that the Foreign office sent in Clarence Mitchell. That's for sure - but we should be asking questions of the Foreign Office - not the couple themselves. WHY did they send in a government spin specialist? And why did it take them a full two weeks? Why did they only get directly involved after Murat was taken in for questioning? Was it a discreet way to keep tabs on developments with Murat? Was that their real concern? What embarrassing things his 'arrest' might reveal?

Let's be totally impartial and assume - just for one minute - that the McCanns are innocent of any major crime (with the exception of neglect). If the British Emabassy tells you that Downing Street is seconding one of the Media Directors to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to help you - are you or they likely to turn around and say 'no, it's okay, we'll manage on our own'? Or would it be quite normal for them to say: 'well thank you very much. We need all the help we can get'.

Whether the McCanns are guilty or not, it's fair to say that within days and weeks of Madeleine's disappearence the usual politcal vultures started to descend and take control of the situation.

I have grave reservations about the role played by Mitchell who is a grotesque and deeply manipulative man in my opinion - but I think too many people think it was the McCann couple themselves directing this whole spectacle. My own opinion is that whilst they exploited the interest in them - it was more powerful interest groups who were driving the thing. The McCanns were little more than lucky passengers.

In the first few days of Madeleine going missing - I and others like me mailed the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and made suggestions about websites and perhaps even a charity record. And this was within days of the child vanishing. I think many people was pretty sure she wasn't coming back alive and that this would be a good way of raising money for other children and adding momentum to the issue of Missing Children. It would provide a wake-up call.

Perhaps some from the NCMEC put the idea to the McCanns about registering a website and all the other ideas too. There's no way of knowing for sure. But I think we can be fairly sure that the couple will have been flooded with different requests from different lobbies - all wanting to exploit the event.


Doughnut said...

I couldn't find a place to ask this question, so thought I would try here.

In the article:

You allege that it was Bill Henderson's office who recommended Murat but the actual Police Files allege that Murat volunteered his services himself. They also seem to mention he may have provided his services before to the GNR or PJ.

Where did you get your information regarding Murat as the Police don't seem to be aware of the Henderson story?

I only ask as Tony Bennett quotes it in one of his articles.


Doughnut said...

Wondered if you'd ever come across this company: Hl2 - Importation and Exportation of Texteis

Paulo Reis said...

Doughnut said: "Wondered if you'd ever come across this company: Hl2 - Importation and Exportation of Texteis" - This name is wrong. Either it is "H12 - Textiles Import and Export" (English) or "H12 - Importação e Exportação de Têxteis". Give the right name and I can tell you if I ever come across that company..


Paulo Reis

Doughnut said...

Apologies. HL2 - Importacao e Exportacao de Texteis Lda

That's how it's recorded in the domain registry by the domain registrant.

HL2 - Importacao e Exportacao de Texteis Lda

L not 1.

Doughnut said...

I think this cloud looks like it may have a silva lining.

Doughnut said...

I know it's a long shot, but given that Murat's friend Jorge da Silva has a clothing shop (bays and teens) and because Beowulf registered a domain that appears to have been related to textiles (import and export of etc) do you think Beowulf knows/has worked for the family at all?

The domain was registered in 2003 - which I think is when da Silva and his family came from the US to Portugal.

Barroselas isn't that far from Porto is it? da Silva lived in Porto before moving to the algarve, apparently.

Just wonder if it accounts for the fairly aggressive campaign he and some 3As launched.

Doughnut said...

Seems the textiles site Beowulf did was for Jose Antonio - although there does seem to be a remote link to Rita Dwyer at Century 21 (why Murat says he met her at a fashion event I have no idea, as she clearly worked with Michaela at some point).

Did you manage to come up with anyhting on the Hl2 company?

I only know that Antonio does fashion and apparel like da Silva - but beyong that - I have little else.