EARLIER this year the BBC broadcast a documentary to mark the 10th anniversary of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.
Besides a few half-hearted attempts to goad incidental staff from the holiday apartment in Praia de Luz, Portugal, into adding to their police statements, they came up with nothing.
We shouldn’t however have been surprised.
For our establishment channel has already played a key role in ensuring we don’t get to the bottom of this disturbing story.
Enter Clarence Mitchell, established BBC news man who covered the Soham, Fred West and Diana stories, as PR spokesman for Gerry and Kate McCann almost from day one.
I say ‘almost’ as that is quite significant. The couple’s account of how they discovered their daughter missing was already running into trouble before the spin doctor straightened their story out.
Have you thought how unlikely Michell’s presence in this drama really is?
He resigned from his post as head of the media monitoring unit in the cabinet office to come to the aid of an apparently ordinary couple.
His reason for choosing the McCann’s over the Government never resonated. He was just a decent chap wanting to help, he said. Money and career invariably take priority over moral crusades.
Could it be that he has continued to do a good job for the Government by keeping the Leicestershire couple safe from blame?
Rumours have abounded about the nature of friendships between the McCanns and the so-called Tapas seven who accompanied them on that fateful holiday.
It’s understandable for legal reasons why the BBC steer clear of comments by one couple raising concerns over sexual remarks and gestures allegedly made by Gerry McCann and another of the Tapas seven during a previous holiday.
Nevertheless the possibility of a paedophile link begins to explain why a heavyweight such as Mitchell would have been brought into the picture.
The strongest physical evidence – which again hardly gets mentioned these days – is the reported body fluids in the couple’s rental car.
Fifteen of the 19 markers linked them to Madeline which was labelled officially as inconclusive – although odds they could be of another person are estimated at a billion to one.
This and the evidence of the initial police chief leading the inquiry Goncalo Amaral, who claimed in his book the McCanns were responsible for their daughter’s death, are the lines of enquiry that credible investigative journalism would probe.