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Madeleine McCann: German police catch suspected murderer but think victim could be alive

Madeleine MCCann wolters

Christian Brueckner has yet to be arrested or charged with the alleged murder of Madeleine McCann. there is no news. So the media returns to its default poistion: watching the parents. The Sunday Mirror leads with news that Kate and Gerry McCann have called on the German prosecutor who assumes their daughter is dead to provide evidence.

Last week. Hans Christian Wolters, a spokesman for the Braunschweig public prosecutor’s office, told Sky News:

“The hard evidence we don’t have, we don’t have the crucial evidence of Madeleine McCann’s body. We expect that she is dead, but we don’t have enough evidence that we can get a warrant for our suspect in Germany for the murder of Madeleine McCann. At the moment, we also don’t have enough proof for a trial at court, but we have some evidence that the suspect has done the deed. That’s why we need more information from people, especially places he has lived, so we can target these places especially and search there for Madeleine.”

Seems fair to ask him what he’s seen, no, especially if you’re the parents of the missing child and are desperate for news. Surely Wolters is not just speculating, riffing in the public arena in the hope that someone takes the line and points the finger? “German Prosecutors Dash Hopes of Finding Madeleine McCann alive,” says the New York Times. Can we see the evidence, please?

Hold on a mo. Wolters is talking to the Mirror:

“Because there is no forensic evidence there may be a little bit of hope (that she is alive). We don’t want to kill the hope and because there is no forensic evidence it may be theoretically possible. I know it’s important for the British people when I say she is dead, but I did not know it was so important.”

There is no forensic evidence so it’s theoretical she is alive. It’s also theoretical that she is dead. The theories can go on and on infinitum until we see evidence. And at the moment the theory is that convicted paedophile Christian Brueckner murdered the innocent child. And German cops are so certain he did it they’ve not charged him anything in relation to the case. Will they?

Says Wolters:

“I think the Portuguese officials still think that Maddie’s parents are responsible for her disappearance. From our perspective, the suspect is in jail in Germany right now. And this is not the case for Maddie’s parents. We think that the parents don’t have anything to do with it. We are convinced that our 43-year-old suspect is the murderer of Maddie McCann.”

Wolters is convinced the German police have identified the suspected murderer. Although the victim might be alive. Clear?

The Times says the rapist and child abuser is “receiving counselling in prison while he is held in isolation to prevent other inmates attacking him”. If he’s in isolations, how… Never mind. Here comes the depraved criminal’s lawyer, Friedrich Fülscher, to tell RTL TV how his client is coping:

“How should a person who is isolated in a correctional facility and who is accused by half the world’s population of the worst crimes?”

Confessing would be useful. But he’s not done so.

Posted: 14th, June 2020 | In: Madeleine McCann, News, Tabloids | Comment


Essex man arrested for peeing at PC Keith Palmer memorial

PC Keith Palmer urine

The man seen taking a leak at the memorial to PC Keith Palmer has been arrested. The stone pays tribute to the life of Mr Palmer, 48. He was one of five people murdered by Islamist Khalid Masood in an attack on Westminster on 22 March 2017. It’s not know why the man was in Westminster, but there was a far-right protest going on at the time. The protestors aim? To protect memorials and statues to white Britons.

The man who thought it ok to take a leak at the tribute site has been nicked on suspicion on outraging public decency. Not everyone is keen to condemn him:

There are no images of Julia Hartley-Brewer urinating in public.

Posted: 14th, June 2020 | In: News | Comment


Jane Elliott of Riceville, Iowa: The blue eyes v brown eyes racism experiment

One day after Martin Luther King Junior was murdered, Jane Elliott, a teacher in Riceville, Iowa, wanted to illustrate the perils of prejudice to her class. On April 5, 1968, Jane split here class of third-graders into colour lines. Children were split into two group: the blue-eyed versus the brown-eyed. One day the brown-eyed children got special privileges; the next day it was the turn of the blue-eyed children.

Wind the clock on and Jane Elliott is talking with Jimmy Fallon, the curretn Tonight Show hots. “I didn’t know how this exercise would work,” says Elliott. “If I had known how it would work, I probably wouldn’t have done it. If I had known that, after I did that exercise, I lost all my friends, no teacher would speak to me where they could be seen speaking to me, because it wasn’t good politics to be seen talking to the town’s only ‘N-word lover.'”

You can see the class in the 1970 television documentary The Eye of the Storm:

via Boing Boing

Posted: 12th, June 2020 | In: News, TV & Radio | Comment


Edward Colston the moral saint and father of Bristol: why the statue to a slave trader was built 170 years after his death

1722 portrait by George Vertue, after Jonathan Richardson

For some time campaigners wanted to add a ‘corrective’ plaque on the statue of Edward Colston (2 November 1636 – 11 October 1721). Last week, protestors went further, pulling down the statue to a man who traded in wine, fruit and slaves, and tossing it into Bristol Harbour. Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, said he felt no “sense of loss”, but that the statue made in 1895 would be retrieved and it was “highly likely that the Colston statue will end up in one of our museums.”

Like many, I’m interested in why and how the statue ever came to exist, a totem bearing the legend: “Erected by citizens of Bristol as a memorial of one of the most virtuous and wise sons of their city.” Edward Ball investigates:

Despite the claims on the statue of Edward Colston and local myth, the idea of having a statue of to memorialise the ‘great benefactor’ did not come from popular demands by the “citizens of Bristol”. It was in fact the brainchild of one person, James Arrowsmith, president of the Liberal dominated Anchor Society. Arrowsmith was a wealthy businessman who owned the largest printing and publishing company in the city. In a speech to the Colston Fraternal Society in October 1893 he proposed that a statue should be erected and in March of the following year a fund raising committee was set up by officials of the four Colston commemoration societies, with Arrowsmith as honorary secretary.

The money did not pour in. Even with lots of letters to the local paper, fundraisers and campaigning among the monied classes, the target was only met when an anonymous donor rumoured to be one James Arrowsmith dug deep and deeper to make his dream a reality. And so it was that a few wealthy Victorians with an agenda to create and promote a sense of tradition erected a statue to the “father of the city”, a “merchant prince” and a “moral saint’.

The unveiling was led by the Mayor and Bishop of Bristol, surrounded by the business and political elite of the city. The mayor’s  speech concentrated on Bristol’s maritime history of mercantilism and Colston’s philanthropy. There was, of course, no direct mention of Colston’s leading role in the slave trade through his management positions and investments in the Royal African Company. The same had been true of the whole fund-raising campaign. However, the Mayor made one major indirect reference in his speech in stating that Colston’s “business was mainly with the West Indies”; essentially code for involvement in slavery and the slave trade. It is interesting that in 1895 there was at least some clarity about this aspect, albeit indirect. This should be compared to clumsy attempts by apologists over a century later to ‘airbrush the history’ by portraying Colston as merely an Iberian, Mediterranean or Levant merchant with no direct connections to trans-Atlantic slavery.

The mayor’s right – the thing belongs in a museum with other statues of long dead gods, saints and angels. The accompanying note will explain its history.

Spotter: Bristol Radical History Group

Posted: 9th, June 2020 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Black Lives Matters if you want to sell newspapers and celebrate the toppling of Edward Colston

Racism george floyd statur bristol

Anti-racism protests triggered by the killing of George Floyd in the US occupy the front pages. The Mirror calls it “The march for change”. Thousands of us took part in anti-racism protests across the UK at the weekend. The paper leads with the picture of a statue of tycoon, patron and slave trader Edward Colston being pulled down and thrown into Bristol harbour. It’s a striking image. And you wonder a few things, including: if history is eradicated from view, does it vanish from our minds? Does celebrating the life of a slave trader encourage or tacitly approve racism? And who chooses which status go where and when?

You might wonder what “change” the Mirror champions, giving that there’s never been a black editor on the Mirror not indeed on any major national newspaper. The board of Reach plc, which owns the Mirror, Express and Star titles, is less racially diverse than the membership at a provincial golf club:

Reach plc board
The board of Reach Plc, owner of the Daily Mirror

The all-white board isn’t proof that Reach doesn’t have a fine equalities policy and impeccable anti-racist credentials. But it does illustrate that when aspirational, intelligent black people look up they often see a bank of successful white faces looking down.

Posted: 8th, June 2020 | In: News, Tabloids | Comment


Madeleine McCann: B is for Brueckner or Brückner and René Hasee is blond and missing

René Hasee

Madeleine McCann returned to the front pages with a new suspect and a flurry of questions, none of which will be answered until we know what happened to her. But guessing is an armchair sport. So a German police worker assumes the missing child is dead. British police think she might not be. The tabloids mangle the most basic facts to fit a narrative. The BBC breaks ranks and renames her ‘Madeline’ over the media’s usual ‘Maddie’, and readers get to know of other missing children who convicted paedophile and rapist Christian Brueckner, aka Christian Brückner and Christin B might or might not have kidnapped and murdered.

On the matter of his name, there is a little confusion. German media only identify him as Christian B. German privacy laws make it illegal to name convicted criminals, let alone suspects. As for his spelling, well, while the tabloids do away with the umlaut (Sun, Mail, Mirror, Star), the broader-sheets (Guardian and Telegraph) use it. The BBC refers to him only as ‘Christian B’, which given that you can find his name all over the web and on the Mail’s hugely popular website, is peculiar. The BBC redacts the suspect’s full name on its website and puts a large black square over photos of his face. The Sun sometimes does and sometimes doesn’t.

Today’s front page news is that police are looking at Christian Brueckner in connection with the vanishing of René Hasee. The German chid went missing from the Algarve in 1996. He was six. Yesterday I mentioned Hasee and that his story was of interest, so too that fact that like Madeleine McCann, he too is blond. The Mail highlighted the importance of being blonde whilst missing in its story, “Two fair-haired little girls who vanished on a family trip… with the same man now under scrutiny.” Aref Ishmaili and other missing darker skinned children do not make the front pages.

So is the depraved criminal a serial child killer? The Guardian says “German prosecutors believe the 43-year-old convicted paedophile may have also been involved in the disappearance of Inga Gehricke”. Believe. May. Any facts? Any..? Yes, you, the Daily Mail:

Madeleine McCann’s suspected murderer Christian Brueckner was a twisted loner who was hated by the other children at school, a former classmate has revealed.

Er..

The former pupil said: ‘I’ve only ever had one fight in my life and that was with Christian Brueckner. He spent a year talking about me behind my back. He would not stop making nasty comments. One day I exploded and told him to go back to the orphanage where he had come from. We all knew he was adopted, so I shouldn’t have said that but I lost my temper with him. He jumped on me and we traded punches until a teacher pulled us apart. Everyone hated him in class and they all kept their distance. But it wasn’t just the children – it was the teachers as well.

Are we trying to build up a sympathetic backstory or nail the swine?

an “alleged breakthrough”

Any more facts? Yes, you, the Mirror. Today the paper calls the naming of suspect Christian Brueckner an “alleged breakthrough” in the Madeleine McCann investigation. That’s a bit of a climbdown because last week he was the “Maddie suspect” and we saw the “Face of Maddie ‘killer suspect'”.

Brace yourselves for more of this sort of thing. Sky says “almost 400 tip-offs about the disappearance of Madeleine McCann have been handed to British police since a new suspect was identified on Wednesday”. Will anything prove to be more than circumstantial? We all hope so. But no body and no evidence are not paths to justice. The only thing we know with absolute certainty is that in May 2007, Madeleine McCann vanished.

Posted: 7th, June 2020 | In: Madeleine McCann, News | Comment


Madeleine McCann: The Sun versus Christian Brueckner and what Tasmin Sillence really saw

maddie mccann suspect witness

The Sun has been talking about depraved criminal Christian Brueckner with a “Key Madeleine McCann witness”. But has the paper been sticking to the facts to get a story? The paper reports:

The woman reported the sighting within hours of three-year-old Madeleine’s disappearance on May 3, 2007, and has always been viewed as a credible witness. Her confirmation came amid claims of glaring blunders by Judicial Police feared to have let the beast cheat justice.

The Sun understands from another British witness that Portuguese detectives circulated a photograph of Christian B years ago but failed to act. The second woman saw the image in 2007, and also confirmed it was a man she had seen behaving bizarrely in the days after Madeleine went missing…

A Sun trawl of witness statements all pointed to a man matching the paedophile’s description.

“Claims.” “Understands.” The hunt for facts continues. Can the Sun cut through the fog and help us form a clearer picture?

The Sun mentions British-born Tasmin Sillence, 12 at the time of Madeleine McCann’s disappearance in 2007 and living in Portugal since she was two months old. Twice she saw the man in the area of the McCanns’ apartment. The Sun says she “told police she saw a white man in dark glasses with his gaze fixed on the complex. Moments later, she looked up and saw a girl around Madeleine’s age on a sun deck in the same block. Tasmin provided police with the photofit picture circulated at the time which bears a striking resemblance to Christian B, 43. It would appear Christian B’s name and background were known to police all along.”

But that’s not exactly what she told police.

christian maddie

The Sun says this is what Tasmin Sillence told police in her statement of 9th of May 2007:

“She saw the man, this time in front of the Ocean Club reception, once more looking at Madeleine’s house.”

And:

She added that his face was pockmarked, he looked “ugly” and was casually dressed and wearing large-framed sunglasses.”

The Sun has got things in a muddle. Facts matter. This is what she told them, her words helping to form the efit image you can see above. (He words have been translated from Portuguese by Google translate):

Concerning the individual, she describes him as being: Caucasian race, light skin, so he wasn’t Portuguese, but could be British, according to her criteria. Approximately 180 cm tall, thin complexion, 30/35 years of age. Short hair, like shaved with 1 cm of length and fair, but she isn’t sure if it was blonde because the sun was reflecting, and made perception more difficult. She didn’t see the eyes because he wore dark glasses of black colour, with a structure of mass, a thick frame. He had a large forehead. Nose of normal size, a bit pointy and sharp. Large ears, close against the head. Mouth with thin lips, she didn’t see his teeth. Chin pointing up, which stood out on a face that she describes as sharp. No beard, no moustache, a clean shave. No other special signs, apart from some small pimples on the face as a result of shaving. He looked ugly, even ‘disgusting’.

Christian Brueckne has pockmarked skin. The witness did not say the man she saw did. He had a bit of pimply shaving rash. And there’s more.

Let’s recall for a second times what the Sun says:

What the Sun says she saw

Tasmin Sillence, 12 at the time, told police she saw a white man in dark glasses with his gaze fixed on the complex. Moments later, she looked up and saw a girl around Madeleine’s age on a sun deck in the same block.

But the police report does not present the same picture. In it we learn:

She also mentions that she lived in the apartment where the missing child was staying, that belonged to her Grandmother, who is already deceased. That she didn’t actually reside there, but spent extensive and repeated periods of time there, with her Grandmother and her Mother. The apartment was bought in 1994 and sold in 2002 and therefore she knows it perfectly, both from the inside and from the outside.

She wishes to clarify. On the 30th of April, Monday, at around 8 a.m. and when she was walking to the bus stop for the school bus that leaves at 8.15, a path that she walks every day when there is school, she noticed the presence of a male individual, at the back of Madeleine’s house, on a little pathway to the apartments that exists there, looking in an ostensive manner at the house’s balcony. This happened when she was walking down the street, on the left side, which was right in front of the balcony, and the distance between them was the width of the road. That when she was walking down she decided to look at the pathway, because as she lived there, she likes to watch the house and the neighbouring garden. She walked with her mother, that she is certain she didn’t see the man, and she was walking two dogs on a leash, which forced them to cross the road, a bit further down. At that moment she saw the man more closely, as they crossed the road, and then lost visual angle when they finished crossing.

Says that the man didn’t see the deponent, because he was staring at the balcony.

She presumes that nobody was on Madeleine’s house’s balcony, but she cannot state it beyond doubt.

On May 2, she saw the same man for the second time. She did not see him again:

She started walking up the street on the left side going up, and saw the man, this time in front of the ‘Ocean Club’s’ reception, once more looking at Madeleine’s house in an ostensive manner, where he stood he could observe, she thinks, the house’s two side windows and part of the balcony. She thinks that he could also be looking at the other residences that are located in the same direction.

And then this:

When asked she says that she saw Madeleine once, on a day that she cannot indicate, on the balcony where the man was staring at, the first time. She even waved at her because it was a small child, in a caring gesture.

She did not see the man stare at the balcony and then “moments later” see Madeleine McCann on the same balcony. She used to look at the McCann’s rented holiday home a lot, as she says. She once lived there. She could recall the two dates and times she saw the man and how she did not see anyone on the balcony on either occasion. She did see once Madeleine McCann on the balcony the man had observed but not when he was there. She did not see him looking at Madeleine McCann.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 6th, June 2020 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, News | Comment


Madeleine MaCann: Christian Brueckner, blonde Inga Gehricke but not darker Aref Ismaili

Inga Gehricke

After moral panics, conspiracy theories, false accusations, arguidos and hundreds of journalists typing the words “every parent’s worst nightmare”, we are now invited to wonder if Christian Brueckner kidnapped and murdered Madeleine McCann. As pastimes go, debating an innocent child’s fate is one down from dogging. But you can play armchair detective from the comfort of your own home and shape the single-thread story – child vanishes – to fit with your own prejudices.

And so to Christian Brueckner. Did he also kidnap and murder a child in his native Germany, a girl called Inga Gehricke? We don’t know. And innocence, even when the suspect is a convicted paedophile and rapist should be presumed. Evidence and proof are the stuff of justice. But the ‘maybe’ keeps us reading. The tabloids lead with the story of what might or might not have happened.

Inga appeared on these pages in 2015. A child killer named Silvio S had been arrested in connection with her disappearance. But he had nothing to do with Inga’s vanishing from a family trip to the woods in Wilhelmshof. The Sun told readers Inga is known as “The German Madeleine”. As we’ve noted, many countries seem to have a version of the missing child. Madeleine McCann is the media’s benchmark for all the world’s missing children – but only the white ones:

Australia has an Our Maddie – Chloe Campbell Is Australia’s Madeleine McCann

Brazil has an Our Maddie – Madeleine McCann: Isabella Nadoni Is Brazil’s Our Maddie

Israel has an Our Maddie– Madeleine McCann: Israel’s Rose Is The International Our Maddie

France has an Our Maddie –Typhaine Taton Is France’s Madeleine McCann

America has an Our Maddie – America’s Madeleine McCann Turns Up Alive

Spain has an Our Maddie – Madeleine McCann: Mari Luz Cortes, Maddy 2 And Gerry McCann Writes

New Zealand has an Our Maddie – Madeleine McCann: Patronising Aisling Symes

South America has an Our MaddieA Madeleine McCann Found In Panama

Holland has an Our Maddie – Madeleine McCann: Milly Boele Is Holland’s Our Maddie

Australia has an Our Maddie – Kiesha Abrahams Is Australia’s Madeleine McCann

What else Inga Gehricke and Madeleine McCann have in common is made plain in the Daily Mail: they are both blonde:

It was Madeleine McCann’s blondness that helped turn her into the media’s ‘Our Maddie’, Would a black child have been news for 13 years, his or her face on the national newspapers’ front pages and leading the TV news bulletins? No need to answer. The answer is ‘no’. Black lives matter. Blonde lives sell papers.

Aref Ismaili has been missing since April 4, 2016. He had fled from Afghanistan to Germany under adverse circumstances with his parents. Aref Ismaili vanished in the small town of Wanfried in Hesse, Germany. He has dark hair and dark eyes. His face is not familiar to people the world over.

This is news as much as it is entertainment. Take this story also in the Mail: “Luxury villa where new Madeleine McCann suspect Christian Brueckner raped a 72-year-old US tourist is just a ten minute walk from apartment where the toddler vanished 18 months later.” The circumstantial nature of the link is clouded further by pictures of the luxury villa (price on application; there’s a swimming pool). Again the Mail notes Inga’s “blonde hair and blue eyes”.

In 2017, Jens-Uwe Gehricke recalled in German media how he’d seen his daughter Inga shortly before she disappeared on the footpath that leads from his friends’ house to the barbecue area on the edge of the forest. Inga was carrying two large bottles of water. She wanted to help prepare for a barbecue. Shortly afterwards, two other children watched her again as she made her way back home. That was around 6:30 p.m. Nobody knows what happened then. Said Jens-Uwe Gehricke: “It was only 100 meters to the house. But she never got there.” Read that and your skin crawls and your heat breaks.

But if we’re looking for links why not look at the vanishing of six-year-old René Hasee? Eleven year before Madeleine McCann disappeared, the boy from Elsdorf, Germany, was on a summer holiday with his family in Aljezur, not far from Praia da Luz when he disappeared. René Hasee is blond, so we may well hear of him in the British tabloids before any mention of Aref.

Posted: 6th, June 2020 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, News, Tabloids | Comment


Police looting Nike trainers in Chicago has nothing to do with race or the death of George Floyd

Was the alleged murder of George Floyd not enough to damn the police? Having witnessed the worst of policing, many want more. Take the story “Policeman Caught Looting Nike Shoes Amid Protests”. You’d think that with so many cameras around – CCTV, camera phones, police bodycams – no copper would be dumb enough to steal in broad daylight. But then, of course, we can point to the preventable death of George Floyd as evidence of police ignorance and entitlement. They have been seen behaving more like a gang than a force too often to discount any allegation of wrong doing without some consideration.

But for some the allegation is proof of fact.

looting police nike shoes george floyd

Bad news – or good news if you’ve an agenda to promote and a fixed narrative – travels fast:

looting police george floyd
35,000 shares

The truth? The copper with the Nik trainers is no looter. He was outside a police station in Chicago helping the owner of a burglarised store load recovered items into his car.

We should be watch what we report. But we should be able to say what we like:

Posted: 5th, June 2020 | In: News | Comment


Madeleine McCann: assumed dead, photos of German paedo Christian B and Jimmy Savile

Yesterday Madeleine McCann returned to the front pages. A relaxing of the Covid-19 induced lockdown meant the time was ripe for police and media to bring us an update on Operation Grange, the investigation into what happened to the innocent child who vanished in May 2007. News is that a convicted German child abuser named Christian Brueckner, 43, was in Portugal at the time Madeleine vanished from the Praia da Luz resort where she’d been holidaying with her family and their friends.

The prisoner has been spoken to by British and German police. Today papers lead with the opinion of German police that Madeleine McCann is dead. Well, maybe she is. They “assume” she is. You might assume she is not. In the field of cold case facts, assumptions are not evidence of anything other than opinion and prejudice. British police are keeping an open mind.

Want to see what the man named in Germany as ‘Christian B’ looks like, the man the Guardian says is the “strongest” suspect yet? This is how the BBC reveals the face of the suspect:

Have we come any distance since the early days of the investigation, when these suspects occupied newspaper front pages?

belgium-suspect1

Picture 1 of 6

If The Dandy comic did abductions

But in the newspapers and all over the web we can see the suspect’s face:

The Daily Mail publishes a picture of Christian Brueckner in a bar in 2011 and posted to his Facebook page. He has more than 17 criminal convictions. But what links him to the missing child? Well, allegedly he confessed or boasted to a friend that he’d kidnapped Madeleine McCann as they watched a TV show on the tenth anniversary of her disappearance. The Sun says Christian Brueckner also showed his friend a video on his mobile phone of him raping a woman. You might well wonder how the revolting Christian Brueckner came to have any friends and at what point you grass your drinking buddy to the police?

The bigger question is why we should accept Christian Brueckner at face value. This is a man described by German prosecutors as “a predator convicted of crimes against little girls”. He is a deeply nasty individual who has led a “sordid” (Times) life. The Sun tells us he is in prison for “raping a 72-year-old woman in the Algarve resort [Praia da Luz] in 2005”. German police say they suspect him of selling drugs and burglarising homes when he lived in a rented home near Praia da Luz. They suspect him of murdering Madeleine McCann.

And then the paper says: “The rapist’s alleged confession led to the latest breakthrough, but Madeleine’s parents Kate and Gerry’s hopes of finding her alive were yesterday dealt a crushing blow.” But the German authorities don’t know anything. They are assuming and believing. The investigation and the current appeal for help and witnesses is the enduring hope that this story will reach a conclusion.

‘Christian B’ on the BBC. In Germany, privacy laws mean authorities will not fully identify any suspects. Suspects in criminal cases are often only identified in German media by their first name followed by the first letter of their surname.

German public prosecutor Hans Christian Wolters adds: “The public prosecutor’s office in Braunschweig is investigating a 43-year-old German national on suspicion of murder. From this you can see that we assume that the girl is dead.” And then we learn: “B was investigated by Portuguese cops in 2008 over Madeleine’s disappearance but was ruled out at the time.”

So they bungled it or correctly ruled him out? Says the Sun, “Experts said B matched the profile of a Jimmy Savile-style “paraphiliac”, who targets victims of all ages.” Jimmy Savile was never arrested. He was neither tried nor convicted of any crime.

The investigation continues…

Posted: 5th, June 2020 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, News | Comment


Madeleine McCann: maybe the German in the van took her – or maybe not

maddie mccann

There’s a new suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. It’s a 43-year-old German man. No need to look for him. He’s already in prison. German media has identified him as ‘Christian B’. Hans Christian Wolters, from the Braunschweig Public Prosecutor’s Office, says: “We are assuming that the girl is dead. With the suspect, we are talking about a sexual predator who has already been convicted of crimes against little girls and he’s already serving a long sentence.”

The story leads the news cycle. The Times says he’s a “paedophile”. The Telegraph says it’s the “biggest breakthrough yet”. It’s “time to nail” him, says the Star. Great news. And it is – until you get the facts… How can you charge a man with a crime with no evidence he committed one – and no evidence any crime took place?

The Mail and Sun both lead with questions. “Did German take Maddie in this van?” wonders the Sun, making the suspect’s nationality a key part of the story. “Have they found man who took Maddie?” asks the Mail.

And one more question: did police working on Operation Grange keep the story from media until coronavirus had been washed from the front pages? Was it done to help their appeal for anyone who saw the man or his van to come forward? If they did, it’s worked. Did they also want to show us that for £11m, the cost of the investigation so far, you get results?

The BBC leads its story by telling us, “He is believed to have been in the area where Madeleine was last seen, when she disappeared in Portugal 13 years ago.” Believed by..? “Someone out there knows a lot more than they’re letting on,” says Det Chief Inspector Mark Cranwell.

So did you see a man with a camper van in Portugal 13 years ago? He has short short blond hair and about 6ft tall with a slim build at the time. German and British police have spoken with him about Madeleine but he’s not confessed.

Time to review the evidence:

The Express says he was known to be in Praia da Luz when Madeleine McCann vanished. He had 30-minute phone conversation with a “mystery caller” the night Madeleine went missing. The day after Madeleine vanished in 2007, the suspect transferred the Jaguar to someone else’s name. The BBC says this is “suspicious”.

On the night of the vanishing, he received a phone call at 7.32pm, which ended at 8.02pm. Madeleine is believed to have disappeared between 9.10pm and 10pm that evening.

The Telegraph says he’s a multiple child sex offender.

The Mail says the suspect was renting a “ramshackle farm building” two miles from Praia da Luz where the McCann family were holidaying.

German police also suggested there “may” have been other people involved who are still at large, says the Mail. As one German officer puts: “There is reason to assume that there are other persons, apart from the suspect, who have concrete knowledge of the course of the crime and maybe also of the place where the body was left.”

It all adds up to a lot of belief, assumption and maybe. Plus ca change.

And you can help find Maddie. Scotland Yard is launching a joint appeal with German and Portuguese police with a £20,000 reward for information that leads to the conviction of the person responsible for Madeleine’s. Remember when the reward was huge and the innocent girl who became the media’s ‘Our Maddie’ was spotted in: Canada,ItalySwedenPortugalSpainMoroccoMajorca,BelgiumBosniaFranceAustraliaBrazil,Wales, MaltaItalyGermanyAustralia, France, IndiaDubaiDorsetUSA and New Zealand (taken there by boat).

The last word is with the parents who issue this statement:

“We would like to thank the police forces involved for their continued efforts in the search for Madeleine. All we have ever wanted is to find her, uncover the truth and bring those responsible to justice. We will never give up hope of finding Madeleine alive, but whatever the outcome may be, we need to know as we need to find peace.”

Madeleine McCann is missing.

Posted: 4th, June 2020 | In: Key Posts, Madeleine McCann, News | Comment


George Floyd Riots: video of mob trying to murder and rob sword wielding man in Dallas

Mob dallas george floyd murder

How do you react to the death of George Floyd. You should be angry. You should be sickened by the casual acts of violence that left a man dead after he was abused by police. You should campaign for equality and blind justice. But in Dallas, Texas, lunatics thought it right to try to murder a man who’d thought it sensible to carry a sword into the street. The mob used bricks, feet and a skateboard to crush his skull. What do we see – violence, race, crime or just part of the whole story? The video was taken by Elijah Schaffer of conservative broadcaster Blaze TV. It is shocking. The mob is cowardly. The mob always is:

Dallas murder
This looks like attempted murder

And as for the police:

Posted: 31st, May 2020 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


George Floyd: An Incredible photograph of the 3rd Precinct in Minneapolis burning

Minneapolis George Floyd fire

This striking image of a fire engulfing police Precinct 3 in Minneapolis, USA, was taken by @slate_mk.2 on Instagram. The allegation is that a police offer murdered George Floyd. There’s trouble in America. The divide between free people who arrived in the USA in search of opportunity and slaves shipped there in chains remains. Let’s give no quarter to racism. Hold it up to debate. Sunlight and blind justice are the best disinfectants.

Posted: 30th, May 2020 | In: News | Comment


George Floyd was ‘murdered’ but whodunnit?

George Floyd

The death of George Floyd has been televised the world over. But who to blame for what his alleged murder? The Telegraph leads with Donald’s Trump’s role in the story. “Trump race row as police officer is charged,” runs the front-page headline. ‘George who?’ ask Tele readers.

Trump says Mr Floyd deserves “justice”. He also says that “looters should not be allowed to drown out the voices of so many peaceful protesters”. And he also guffed: “”When the looting starts, the shooting starts.” Which sounds like a threat and a glorification of violence, no?

The head of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, spoke out about what he called the “murder” of Floyd and said his organisation rejects the “continuing discriminatory practices against black citizens of the USA”.

Anger or Fury? Or salad?

The Guardian says it’s “America blaze“. “Fury erupts over police killing in US.” A police officer was killed? No. A police officer named Derek Chauvin (44; armed; white) thought it fair to place his knee onto the neck of George Floyd (46; unarmed; handcuffed; complaining of being unable to breathe; suspected of tying to use a counterfeit $20 note; black) for little under nine minutes. If the video of the incident doesn’t make you angry, you may need to check your angle.

And get this: sources says Mr Chauvin and Mr Floyd had both worked as bouncers at the same nightclub venue. Did they know one another?

Derek Chuavin

What o justice? Derek Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Hennepin County Prosecutor Mike Freeman says, “This is by far the fastest that we’ve ever charged a police officer.” Looks like video evidence gets results. So too anger. Stay angry.

Are the police contrite?

The last word for now is from Killer Mike:

Posted: 30th, May 2020 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Durham Police statement on Dominic Cummings in full: he’s innocent (probably)

dominic Cummings coronavirus
Mirror misquotes police.

What of Dominic Cummings, the Prime Minister’s aide whomay” have broken lockdown rules? “May” is the word of the moment because police in Derbyshire says Cummings “may” have broken the rules. The Star, Mirror and Guardian all lead with what “may” have happened. Or to put it another way, what may not have happened.

It’s always useful to reverse a headline to see the angle at work. So here’s a twist on the BBC’s front-page headline “Dominic Cummings ‘might have broken lockdown rules’ – police”: “Dominic Cummings ‘might not have broken lockdown rules’ – police.”

He may. He may not.

Durham Police have issued a statement on the matter that’s occupied the media for a week. Here it is in full:

“On March 27 2020, Dominic Cummings drove to Durham to self-isolate in a property owned by his father. Durham Constabulary does not consider that by locating himself at his father’s premises, Mr Cummings committed an offence contrary to regulation six of the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020. (We are concerned here with breaches of the regulations, not the general Government guidance to “stay at home”.)

“On April 12 2020, Mr Cummings drove approximately 26 miles from his father’s property to Barnard Castle with his wife and son. He stated on May 25 2020 that the purpose of this drive was to test his resilience to drive to London the following day, including whether his eyesight was sufficiently recovered, his period of self-isolation having ended.

“Durham Constabulary have examined the circumstances surrounding the journey to Barnard Castle (including ANPR, witness evidence and a review of Mr Cummings’ press conference on May 25 2020) and have concluded that there might have been a minor breach of the regulations that would have warranted police intervention. Durham Constabulary view this as minor because there was no apparent breach of social distancing.

Had a Durham Constabulary police officer stopped Mr Cummings driving to or from Barnard Castle, the officer would have spoken to him, and, having established the facts, likely advised Mr Cummings to return to the address in Durham, providing advice on the dangers of travelling during the pandemic crisis.

“Had this advice been accepted by Mr Cummings, no enforcement action would have been taken.

“In line with Durham Constabulary’s general approach throughout the pandemic, there is no intention to take retrospective action in respect of the Barnard Castle incident since this would amount to treating Mr Cummings differently from other members of the public. Durham Constabulary has not taken retrospective action against any other person.

“By way of further context, Durham Constabulary has followed Government guidance on management of alleged breaches of the regulations with the emphasis on the NPCC and College of Policing 4Es: Engage, Explain and Encourage before Enforcement.

“Finally, commentary in the media has suggested that Mr Cummings was in Durham on April 19 2020. Mr Cummings denies this and Durham Constabulary have seen insufficient evidence to support this allegation.

“Therefore Durham Constabulary will take no further action in this matter and has informed Mr Cummings of this decision.”

Such are the facts.

Posted: 29th, May 2020 | In: News, Politicians | Comment


Justice for George Floyd: watch Precinct 3 burn

George Floyd murder police precinct burns

People are angry that George Floyd died after a run-in with police in Minneapolis. The key question is: could George Floyd’s death have been prevented? The answer must be a resounding ‘Yes’.

Derek Chauvin, the armed policeman who felt it within his civic duty to put his knee on unarmed George Floyd’s neck and leave it there as the handcuffed man complained of feeling unwell and being unable to breathe, has yet to be charged with any crime. He is innocent until proven guilty. George Floyd was not given that right. His alleged offences were to attempt to pass a fake cheque at a grocery store and then resist arrest. His other apparent offence, as many see it, was to be black.

Derek Chauvin and three police colleagues who looked on as George Floyd fought for life on, his face pushed into the asphalt by the forces of law and order, are no longer serving police officers. They’ve been sacked.

And in lieu of legal justice, the people watch police station Precinct 3 burn:

Posted: 29th, May 2020 | In: News | Comment


Emily Maitlis, the New European and the 48% want a referendum on Mr Brexit

The New European, the newspaper created to campaign for a second referendum (failed) and keep the UK in the EU (ditto), reports on a petition created to support Emily Maitlis, lead presenter of BBC’s Newsnight who fell foul of the State’s broadcaster’s impartiality rules when she presented opinion as fact in her monologue on Dominic Cummings. “The New Pop-up Paper for the 48%” who voted to Remain in the EU, as The New European was originally billed, shares with readers the call to help Emily and a link advising “The online petition can be signed here”. The paper also features four voices in support of Maitlis but not one to say that the BBC should be politically impartial and in this instance was clearly biased.

“Less than 24 hours after Emily Maitlis spoke for people in the UK and spoke truth to power she has been removed from Newsnight. How can it be just and appropriate that a woman is removed for telling the truth, while an unelected man appears bulletproof even after lying and showing no contrition? Her removal tells us so much about the degree of control the government has on our national broadcaster. We have suspected it for a long time. This time it’s hiding in plain sight.Please join me and sign this not just to re instate Emily Maitlis but to also send a message to this and successive governments. You will not silence those brave women and men who choose not to stand by while terrible things happen.”

The terrible thing was Cummings, the Prime Minister’s aide and a leading architect of Brexit, allegedly breaking lockdown rules.

Vote now and vote often

The main problem with the paper’s report is that Maitlis was not taken off air. “I asked for the night off,” she says. The show was presented by UK editor Katie Razzall instead. But it can’t be that Maitlis spoke off the cuff. TV’s shows are scripted and planned. Razzall said she “wouldn’t have agreed to present the show” if Maitlis had been sidelined. Newsnight editor Esme Wrenn said Maitlis “hasn’t been replaced”. Deputy editor Stewart McLean added: “For the avoidance of doubt, @maitlis has neither ‘been replaced’ nor ‘been taken off air'”.

But how can we be certain? Why not hold a vote and see. A simple in / out choice on whether Dominic Cummings should keep his job and then one if Maitlis should keep hers?

Posted: 28th, May 2020 | In: Key Posts, News, Politicians | Comment


Fake news: BBC broke rules in stating that Dominic Cummings broke lockdown rules

Cummings Maitlis

Last Tuesday’s edition of BBC’s Newsnight kicked off with presenter Emily Maitlis telling viewers: “Dominic Cummings broke the rules, the country can see that, and it’s shocked the government cannot.” Boris Johnson’s aide had broken the rules on lockdown by travelling from London to County Durham, said the impartial BBC. For added oomph, the audience was told that the “public mood” was “one of fury, contempt and anguish”. Cummings had made us “feel like fools”.

And there was more. Maitlis went on: “The prime minister knows all this. But despite the resignation of one minister, growing unease from his backbenchers, a dramatic early warning from the polls and a deep national disquiet, Boris Johnson has chosen to ignore it. Tonight we consider what this blind loyalty tells us about the workings of Number 10.”

Problem was that the BBC’s facts were just the BBC’s opinion, which it has sought to clarify in the following statement: “While we believe the programme contained fair, reasonable and rigorous journalism, we feel that we should have done more to make clear the introduction was a summary of the questions we would examine, with all the accompanying evidence, in the rest of the programme. As it was, we believe the introduction we broadcast did not meet our standards of due impartiality.”

Disappointing stuff. Biased news is fake news. Eat yer heart out, Twitter.

Transcript of Newsnight monologue:

“Good evening, Dominic Cummings broke the rules. The country can see that and it’s shocked the Government cannot. The longer minister and the Prime Minister tell us he worked within them, the more angry the response to this scandal is likely to be.

“He was the man remember who always got the public mood – who tagged the lazy label of elite on those who disagreed. He should understand that public mood now – one of fury contempt and anguish. He made those who struggled to keep to the rules feel like fools and has allowed many more to presume they can now flout them.

“The Prime Minister knows all this but despite the resignation of one minister, growing unease from his backbenchers, a dramatic early warning from the polls and a deep national disquiet, Boris Johnson has chosen to ignore it.”

Why not let the facts speak and the people, the very ones Newsnight says are angry, make up their own minds? Does the BBC not trust it’s own audience?

Posted: 27th, May 2020 | In: News, Politicians, TV & Radio | Comment


Non-violent murder by natural causes: the mysterious death of George Floyd

Non-violent murder by natural causes: the death of George Floyd

Death, murder and a killing. How do you report on George Floyd, the 46-year-old man filmed telling the policeman kneeling on his neck, “Please, please, please, I can’t breathe”? He had already been handcuffed. Four Minneapolis police officers have been fired and federal authorities are investigating what happened to George Floyd, an unarmed black man who had allegedly used a forged check in a grocery store. What we know is mostly broadcast in this video below. Police say George Floyd resisted arrest:

“Hundreds demand justice in Minneapolis after police killing of George Floyd,” says the Guardian. Mr Floyd was “killed when a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck as he lay on the ground during an arrest”. Does the policeman’s whiteness matter? Was the man killed, a word that suggest it was no accident? Was it murder? Did he “lay” on the ground or was he being pushed into it.

Minneapolis police department says George Floyd “died a short time” after a “medical incident”, after being transported to hospital. He just died. It was passive. “[They] were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and realized that the suspect was suffering a medical distress”. Dutifully, officers “called for an ambulance”. Was this medical incident related to the large, armed man named Derek Chauvin kneeling on his neck? “He physically resisted officers,” MPD said in a statement. “Officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress. Officers called for an ambulance. He was transported to Hennepin County Medical Center by ambulance where he died a short time later.”

The Daily Mail is no less circumspect, reporting that “footage emerged of a white cop kneeling on the neck of a black man who then passed out and died”. He was not killed. He just died. Al Jazeera agrees, although its headline only identifies the dead man by skin colour: “George Floyd: Black man dies after US police pin him to ground.” It was the “death of a black man” says the BBC. “CHAOS, ” yells the Sun, “Riots erupt in Minneapolis as thousands demand arrest of cops over George Floyd’s death with riot police firing tear gas.” Not a killing. A death that plays second fiddle to the “riots” -of which there were none. There was protest. Given what had occurred and the long, ugly history of African Americans being abused at the hands of white police and the US State, the crowd was remarkably calm.

Who do we fear – the police or the crowd looking on? A policeman is kneeling on a man’s throat. Another policeman stands by them both, watching the crowds for signs of insurrection. The man being pinned to the tarmac is about to breath his last.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports on “The nonviolent incident that led to Floyd’s death”, adding that “a cause of death has not yet been determined”. It’s a mystery. But the coroner may care to take a look around Mr Floyd’s neck area for signs of “non-violent” trauma.

The Washington Post says Mr Floyd “died at the hands of police”. There’s no mention of any underlying health conditions. He didn’t collapse. He was taken down and kept down in brutal fashion. Was his death preventable? That one for the experts.

From one newspaper’s”killing” to another’s “non-violent” incident, the story is packaged and shaped to our tastes and prejudices. We need the facts.

Posted: 27th, May 2020 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment


Clap for Cummings and the lockdown breakers

Was Boris Johnson’s successful in shutting don the story that his top handler Dominic Cummings broke the lockdown rules when he drove from London to Durham? No. The story is the lead on every national newspaper, save for the Daily Star. Let’s being with the name calling. Cummings is a “cheat” says the Mirror. He’s like 29% of us who broke the lockdown. Should be clap for them, the people who want to get on with their lives?

He’s a “Svengali”, says the Mail. Johnson is a “coward” says the Mirror. “What Planet Are They On?” asks the Mail. Cummings “violated the spirit and letter of the lockdown,” says the Mail‘s editorial. He’s “given every selfish person a licence to play fast and loose with public health”.

Johnson’s office says Cummings “has acted responsibly, legally and with integrity”.

And on and on it goes, pages of polemic and dissection on whether a man should have driven 200-odd miles with his wife when they were both ill with coronavirus and wanted to be closer to family in case they could not care for their young child. No crime was committed.

So what’s the fuss. Man in power is a hypocrite? Well, d’uh. If that’s the benchmark, sack ’em all.

Do some people want Brexit mastermind Cummings defenestrated because the want revenge for losing the referendum. Do they see a Cabinet rife with mediocrities and want the man who picks them out – the tedious and witless Gavin Williamson is the education secretary, existing as proof to pupils that so long as you keep you writing between the lines and have a good attendance record you can be chalk monitor? Or is it because newspapers can’t get a grip on Covid-19 – they’re unable to hook any agenda or campaign to it, and are relieved and delighted that finally they have something to give them a sense of purpose? Sack Dom or clap for Dom. Pick a side and run with it. Meanwhile…the elderly wait for God.

Posted: 25th, May 2020 | In: News | Comment


JK Rowling offers a year’s salary to whoever tweeted about Cummings and Johnson being ‘truth twisters’ from the official UK Civil Service twitter account

The tweet was live for around 20 minutes: “Arrogant and offensive,” said the UK Civil Service’s official twitter account. “Can you image having to work with these truth twisters.” That’s a reference to Dominic Cummings, Boris Johnson’s advisor. Cummings is accused of breaking the spirit of the lockdown by driving from London to Durham to see his family.

Harry Potter author JK Rowling makes the tweeter an offer:

JK Rowling civil service tweet

Is that a year of her salary or a year of their’s. Asking for a mate…

Posted: 24th, May 2020 | In: News | Comment


Exterminate: Dalek delivers Government’s coronavirus update

dalek coronavirus

The Government’s Daily coronavirus update gets a new speaker thanks to Miriam Elia on Facebook. Unless that’s man of the moment Dominic Cummings? Exterminate!

Posted: 24th, May 2020 | In: News, Politicians | Comment


Coronavirus means the Cannonball Run record has been broken

The Cannonball Run record for the fastest drive across the US has been beaten seven times in five weeks. The new record stands at 26 hours. That means making the 4507 trip at an average speed of a least 108 miles an hour. Accounting for fuel stops means the new record holders averaged 193km/h when crossing “several” States. You can thank the coronavirus pandemic for the empty roads.

Posted: 24th, May 2020 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment


The Covid-19 movie: couple trapped on never-ending honeymoon

covid 19, coronavirus, the maldives

The made-for-TV Covid-19 movie is being outlined in the Maldives, where Egyptians Khaled and Peri are living in a never-ending honeymoon. The Dubai-based coouple married on 6 March in their adopted homeland. Then it was off for honeymoon in Cancún, Mexico. On March 19, they headed back to Dubai. They never made it. “While we were on the plane we had access to internet and then we started getting messages from people ‘Are you going to be able to get to Dubai? There’s a new law, they’re banning expats,'” Peri told the BBC.

The coronavirus pandemic had hit. They’d left Mexico and had arrived in Istanbul for a connecting flight home. But flights to Egypt were suspended. And Turkey would not let them enter the country. For two days they languished at the airport.

“We decided to go on Google and check all the countries that allowed Egyptians without a visa, and then check if they had flights,” Peri said. It appeared they only had one option: the Maldives.

“Every time we tell people we are stuck in the Maldives, they laugh and they’re like ‘it’s not the worst situation, I wish I could be in your position’,” Peri added. “It’s not as easy or happy, it’s definitely very stressful… enjoy being at home with family. I would take that over anything.”

Posted: 24th, May 2020 | In: News, Strange But True | Comment


Do the fat-busting coronavirus diet and be like reformed fatty Boris Johnson

No longer is ‘fat’ a pre-runner to ‘and jolly’. Fat means death. Fat must be wiped out because: fat people give you cancer, probably (Daily Mail); fat people use up more aviation fuel and thereby kill the planet (Guardian); fat people kill kittens (Star); fat people will end the NHS by falling ill (all newspapers). Today’s news is that a “third of all viruses are linked to diabetes”. So the other two thirds of us who contract Covid-19 get it because… we’re too thin / old / young / poor / unloved? No matter. The key fact is in. Thin is good. The secret to long life is to be thin, which surely is why the Grim Reaper is as thin as a rake. And look who’s leading “by example”. Yeah, it’s reformed chubster Boris Johnson, who reduced his BMI by falling seriously ill and having his sustenance drip fed. And where he leads you too can follow his shining example. Here’s what you do:

  1. Go to a hospital and shake as many hands as possible.
  2. Struggle to breathe.
  3. Got to intensive care.
  4. Look beach-body ready.*

*Beaches are restricted to one per person until further notice.

Posted: 21st, May 2020 | In: News, Politicians, Tabloids | Comment