A selection of opinion articles that appeared originally at
The Blacksmith Bureau
The Dust Starts to Settle, 23 January
Friday, 23 January 2015 at 16:09
Late last year we said it didn't matter much anymore what people, including us, claimed about the McCann case
in the media or the net since, at last, a new chapter in the affair is open in which events are no longer a matter of opinion
and public debate but are now being determined as matters of fact
within the judicial process.
to wait for any criminal case concerning the child to reach the courts. The civil case, though, is nearly complete and, thank
God, pretty transparent: for the first time the claims of Kate and Gerry McCann, in this instance covering the period 2008-2009,
have been examined properly and in great detail, and judged.
The libel action, which began in squalid and near-medieval
secrecy, is ending in a hearteningly transparent manner except for one, temporary, problem. While the judge's conclusions
form part of and determine the final judgement to come they are not, of course, the final judgement itself. As such, under
Portuguese law the words of the judge on January 21 may not be published verbatim
at this stage. The significant
findings, however, can be given in the public interest by third parties.
Over time, naturally, the picture will
be filled in without any breach of the law – since more and more details can be released as being significant –
but in the meantime it presents a couple of the usual McCann Case problems of verifiability. As we know, representatives of
the McCanns immediately chose to release a version of proceedings to the Lusa news agency which has now been widely accepted
– most obviously in retractions and corrections in the Portuguese media – as spun, i.e. false. Readers will judge
for themselves why they did so.
Equally this legal requirement preventing the exact words of the judge being quoted
provides grounds for supporters of the couple – or neutrals – to claim bias in the internet reports, as they did
about the earlier Anne Guedes court reports. It doesn't matter: the truth will out. Readers will remember that very much
the same thing happened in 2008 when the McCanns – through Clarence Mitchell that time, not lawyers, Link communications
and Lusa – put out the deliberately dishonest first version of the archiving summary in Britain's Associated Newspapers.
But the words are now there, unspun, for everyone to see.
There is plenty to chew over and much in the judge's
findings to discuss, including the interesting question of whether the judicial examination of the McCann claims of 2008/9
gives us a clue as to the likely veracity of their claims in 2007. In the meantime it is now possible to compare results so
far with what the McCanns went after in their libel claim.
The McCanns' Libel
On July 12 2009 Team McCann, as we know, provided the Mirror
newspaper with the Portuguese
libel writ for PR purposes. The details can be found in the McCann Files. In amongst the shocking personal abuse of Amaral
listed the seven claims at the heart of their case for large scale damages and the silencing of Goncalo
Amaral. Here they are, with progress to date.
1. Amaral's "false accusations", had left them
totally destroyed and damaged them irreparably.Make Up Your Own Mind
Court finding (12): the McCanns failed to establish this claim.
2. The writ adds that the couple also suffer from "permanent anxiety, insomnia, lack of appetite, irritability
and an indefinable fear" from the same accusations and that Kate McCann is "steeped in a deep and serious depression".
Court finding (13): the claim is established. The judge adds an apparently contradictory rider about the conditions
being "pre-existent". Court finding (16) apparently excludes the "serious depression" element.
3. "Madeleine has been deprived of the possibility of a fair and adequate investigation into her disappearance,
putting her moral and physical integrity at serious risk."
Court finding (11): the McCanns failed to
establish this claim.
4. Amaral accused them of accidentally killing their three-year-old daughter
and then covering up her death.
Court finding: None required - the claim was false and withdrawn.
5. Amaral… has repeatedly claimed Madeleine died in the holiday apartment on the Algarve and the parents hid
Court finding: none required. The Lisbon court of appeal had already ruled on the validity of the
6. Amaral made a million pounds (1.25 million euros) from the book and documentary and the claimants
are suing for that entire amount.
Court finding (3) /(4): Amaral actually received some 360 000 euros.
7. The lawsuit also highlights their fears for four-year-old twins Sean and Amelie when they start school later
this year and begin to hear rumours that Madeleine is dead.
Court finding (15/17): It is established that
the twins have not yet found out about the thesis that the child is dead and that the couple feel the need to keep them from
finding out about it.
the McCanns claims, about which their lawyer Duarte, summing up, said in the piece: "Somebody has to stop him and shut
him up. He is a rich man now, earning millions from the distress of this family. We believe he has made up to 1.2million euros
(£1million) from the book and the video. We want the court to punish him by taking at least that much from him."
Readers will judge whether any of M/s Duarte's aims have been accomplished.
After six years of legal
action against Goncalo Amaral five of these seven claims have now been rejected by the courts, leaving just two for which
be awarded. One, concerning psychological impact, has been established with ambiguous reservations,
the significance of which will not be known until any damages award is made; the other (15/17) makes no mention of potential
How much they hate us, 21 March 2015
|How much they hate us
The Blacksmith Bureau
Saturday, 21 March 2015 at 02:21
The supposedly radical Independent
and the scourge of bent politicians Telegraph
both covered the suicide of an innocent woman who freaked out after
a journalist ambushed her with the same set of priorities and the same headline.
Sky News reporter 'devastated' at death of McCann
Martin Brunt says Brenda Leyland had appeared 'very relaxed' about his report
Sky News man 'devastated'
by suicide of Twitter troll
The Coroner said Mrs Leyland had been 'recently upset by public
exposure in the media' but there had been a number of issues surrounding her death
they turned the story into one in which Martin Brunt was the victim and a thing, a "troll" had devastated
Nobody made them do it; the editors, the sub-editors and the journalists handled it that way naturally and
voluntarily. That's what they do with their readers.
And that's what we are up against. The biggest "haters"
are not the McCann supporters – they are the MSM's long-term victims – but the same MSM which co-invented
the Madeleine McCann abduction story, which sustains it and which has conducted a hate campaign for six years against the
police officer who investigated the couple.
Brunt killed Brenda Leyland.
Seeing What's In Front of Our Eyes,
21 March 2015
Saturday, 21 March 2015 at 17:42
People are reluctant to accept the evidence of their own eyes that the MSM – journalists, cameramen, news editors
and opionionistas like Tony Parsons and the rest, not their owners and not the "people who secretly threaten and control
them" – co-created and prolong the Madeleine McCann Affair. It doesn't fit in with what our imaginations crave:
it lacks the dramatic elements we all need.
A single hidden hand, just like MSM stories, offers the chance of unmasking
and resolution. Real life, in contrast, offers nothing but more real life. That’s why we watch and read the media.
Yes, the couple of people directly involved with the disappearance of the child on May 3, will probably end up in
court and it will be a world-wide defining story.
But the numbers of Hidden Hand candidates alone mean that all
the imagination-derived expectations can never be met. A weirdo Bladerunner UK under the dictatorship of
politicians whose reach extends to the Algarve overnight might satisfy Goncalo Amaral or other Portuguese people. But how
can this vision be reconciled with the power of a couple using nothing but non-government Portuguese citizens and Portuguese
law to fetter him for six years?
A police force so brilliant that it can execute whitewashes for different governments
on demand might satisfy M/S Pat Brown even though Londoners' everyday experience of a force that has been bumbling
its way through while losing cases, notebooks, witnesses and suspects since the 1850s makes a nonsense of it. How does it
fit in with a force that has foiled all attempts by politicians to stop it taking graft from London villains for over a century?
Why hasn't one of those coppers told one of his villain contacts about the "whitewash" when he meets him in
a Bromley pub to collect his little hundred quid sweetener? What stops him? Ah, we know. Because he's scared that the
secret services will kill them both the next day if he does.
And then there are the paedophiles. Oh, those paedophiles.
Cyril Smith certainly fits the bill for Mr Big in one sense but how does a cover-up for him and his colleagues fit in with
UK bullying of Portuguese prime minister Socrates regarding EU treaties? Where does the highly non-paedophile Rupert
Murdoch fit in? Theresa May? And Margaret Hodge?
The last acts of the 2007 PJ, by the way, were not to "abandon"
their own investigation but to give up the search for a unifying guilt factor – swinging, paedophilia, drugs and sedation,
anything – that bound the nine together and concentrate on what an explosively violent, stressed out and isolated
woman might have done to her daughter between 5.30 and 7PM on May 3. Judging from the anguished reception from Team McCanns
of the leaks about it in November 2007 they might well have been near to the mark. We shall see.
it will be catharsis and happy endings denied. Instead the guilt beyond the one or two individual perpetrators at the scene
will be found dispersed among a host of deeply ordinary people, none of them individually key, all with conflicting motivation
and with huge helpings of luck, good and bad, determining the way the Affair went. Leaving us, in other words, not with the
ease of an audience walking out of a cinema but with the furrowed brow with which we greet events in our own daily lives.
The flood of imagination surrounding the sordid banality of much of the case can be seen flowing even today. Already
people are talking childishly about hidden hands having murdered Brenda Leyland – so much more glamorous than the reality
that a rat-faced little man in a spunk-stained raincoat was the agent of her death through his crassness, moral weakness,
lack of empathy and the callousness and cynicism that accumulates in all media people like knots on trees.
some are already forgiving him because he's just one of the "little men", doncha know: a poor little puppet.
Puppet? The McCanns didn't kill Brenda Leyland; Rupert Murdoch didn't kill Brenda Leyland. Martin Brunt is no puppet:
he killed Brenda Leyland.
Knowns & Unknowns, 22 March 2015
Knowns & Unknowns The Blacksmith Bureau
Sunday, 22 March 2015 at 03:11
"We know there are known
unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. And there are known knowns, things we know we know."
And when it comes to catching bad people you start with the known
ones, not the unknown ones
Yes, in the death of Brenda
Leyland, as in the fate of Madeleine McCann, there are known unknowns. We don't know who may have encouraged Sky news
to go after McCann critics on Twitter rather than the thousands who regularly accuse the Tory government of killing disabled
people in the comments pages of the Guardian.
We don't know whether Martin Brunt had people behind
him before he got involved with the story. We don't know for sure whether Martin Brunt is even human, come to that. And
we certainly don't know what the man in the dirty raincoat really said to to Brenda Leyland when they were alone, do we?
And no, sigh, we don't know for absolute certain that Brunt isn't a "puppet", whatever that means.
The only reason we don't know these things, of course, is because Brunt doesn't want to tell us and the MSM,
strong in their concern for the "devastated" raincoat, are never going to ask him. So, unless you're a lover
of unknown unknowns, there's no point in wondering about them because you aren't going to get an answer. Because Brunt
and his MSM fellows are too ashamed or too dishonest or too compromised to say.
On the other hand, having waited
patiently for a legal process to give us a picture of what went on, we now have known knowns.
could have been at that crime scene - Martin Brunt was there. He did it.
else might have wanted to hurt Brenda Leyland – Martin Brunt did it
else is reckless of who gets hurt or damaged in the campaign against McCann critics – Brunt was that day.
Whoever may have produced a dossier about Brenda Leyland and other McCann critics - Brunt used it against
her as a weapon.
Whoever else may have wanted to terrify Brenda Leyland with lies about
police and CPS – Brunt did it
Whoever might have asked his bosses to kill
the non-existent story – Brunt didn't do it but pursued her without mercy
Martin Brunt killed Brenda Leyland. He
drove her to her death.
Sunday, 22 March 2015 at
Saying that Martin Brunt killed Brenda Leyland is a justifiable statement of fact.
as the law is concerned the relevant offence is involuntary manslaughter, that is a death occurring after a chain of events
triggered or caused by actions or inactions of another. It is notoriously difficult to gain a conviction for such an offence
and it is vanishingly unlikely that Brunt will ever be prosecuted.
Nevertheless there has been a widening of the
net for manslaughter prosecutions in recent years, both by statute (passing new laws) and via existing law. Critical in this
development is the expanding consideration of negligence and recklessness – death resulting from neglecting to consider
the possible results of one's actions sufficiently and death resulting from wilfully ignoring or not caring a damn about
the possible consequences of one's own actions.
There are highly aggravating circumstances in the Brunt case, notably his absolute refusal to give details about why
he acted as he did, whether he had accomplices and his dishonest claim to the victim that the shadow of police inquiry
and prosecution lay over her.
Brunt Was Negligent
is also the manifest but unspoken connection to the Madeleine McCann case. Brenda Leyland, as a student of it, knew that Sky
News was contacted with an "abduction" story by the holiday group on May 4 and that Sky and its employees had been
intimately connected with the McCanns at intervals ever since. She knew from the public record that critics of the McCanns
since 2008 could expect no mercy in the media once their identity was known.
Brunt knew that she knew that.
Brenda Leyland also knew that, nobody, not a single person, would stand up for her in the media once she was identified
as an "enemy" of the McCann pair. Nobody had done so for the others.
Brunt knew that she knew that.
Brunt Was Reckless
'I've always been considered quite a gentle person but
these attacks stirred up terrible emotions in me. It was as if my whole body was trying to scream but a tightly screwed-on
lid was preventing the scream from escaping.'
There are those of a nervous disposition who really are scared,
rightly or wrongly, that being identified as an enemy by the McCanns can lead to harm. The McCanns have never made the slightest
attempt to reassure people that this is not the case. The reverse is true. In Madeleine,
which Brunt must have read,
Kate McCann's extraordinary sense of violence and vengeance towards those she labels as enemies is on manifest display
throughout. And her husband, as Brenda knew, had recently called for "action" against those who made accusations
against them. Always in the background to those who knew the case like Brenda Leyland did was the ruin of Goncalo Amaral.Brunt, intimately tied up with the McCann Affair, knew all of this.
In other words he knew of
that being publicly nailed as an enemy of the McCanns was something on a different and potentially more
dangerous scale than being "exposed" in some other trivial or minor context.Martin
Brunt Killed Her
The dry words of the coroner's verdict "She had recently been upset
by public exposure in the media and had been researching ways to end her life"
are the official imprimatur of what
happened: they point directly to Brunt's
public exposure and the actions
which she took following Brunt's
public exposure and the death which resulted
from those actions triggered by Brunt's
what happened. The MSM – Keir Simmons's MSM (net critics "represent the worst of the human psyche electronically
unleashed"), David James Smith's MSM ("the media's role is to examine, challenge and sometimes
investigate too"), the BBC's MSM ("troll dead"), Brunt's MSM (which will cover his raincoated arse),
will muffle and then bury mention of her death. Just watch.
That doesn't mean that we have to.
Martin Brunt killed Brenda Leyland. He drove her to her death.
Some Refutation, 23 March 2015
Some Refutation The Blacksmith BureauThe Big Guns
March 2015 at 01:38
It was an unwise move and they'd have done better to remain silent: for the first
time the locked ward inmates have decided to attempt a factual refutation of a Blacksmith Bureau
wheeled out what is apparently Stop The Myths
resident "intellectual" to do it.
of our very carefully considered charge against Martin Brunt has to be searched for like a tattered Tesco bag under a farm
cart full of manure. The little carrier bag is the tigerloaf argument; the covering manure is tigerloaf's elegant prose:
Having burrowed down through that lot and removed the clothes peg from the nose let’s open the carrier bag:
Leyland herself pulled the trigger that Blacksmith alludes to when she started to post her abuse. If Brenda Leyland had not
decided to open fire at the McCanns then Brunt would not have been involved.There is no point this moron or any other hater
trying to start the story at a secondary or tertiary stage. Unlike them the Coroner went back to the start and realised that
the trigger was the mental problems which led to Leyland becoming abusive and vicious (her son testified to these traits)."Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear
Now people can believe what they like about "when"
a person started to die or when a moron is a numpty. What they can't do, unless they are so deficient in reasoning powers
that they end up talking only to themselves, is pluck titbits of hearsay, state them as facts and then pretend that their
inventions are the result of a coroner's finding.
Tigerloaf – is that your real name? – we aren't
going to embarrass you by quoting you at length, you poor woman,so let's get this over with quickly to avoid prolonged
and unnecessary suffering. Tigerloaf, he repeated as if to an errant child, tigerloaf, what may have been said in legal proceedings
forms no part of a legal finding. You really didn't know that, did you? You really didn't. So even if you search for
juicy bits in an official transcript of legal proceedings to support an inadequate argument they form no part of a finding
of fact. But you haven't seen a transcript, have you? You've been believing what you read in the newspapers again.
The inquest is over. We didn't derive our accusation that Brunt killed Brenda Leyland from
verdict, let alone from titbits of selected statements in court. At the end of the article we pointed out, forcefully, that
the verdict was completely in tune with what we had written.
"Brenda Leyland was found deceased in a hotel
room at the Marriot Hotel, Leicester on the 4th October 2014. She had recently been upset by public exposure in the media
and had been researching ways to end her life".
Those are the inquest findings of the circumstances,
followed by the inquest conclusion: suicide. It is those which will form the basis of such things as insurance claims or legal
disputes. There are no other findings, no hidden files, no riders, nothing. Now, would you like to tell everybody where the
findings mention "mental problems"?
They aren't in the findings. You've invented your own
And you can't even see it.
Martin Brunt killed Brenda Leyland. He drove her to her death.
The Blacksmith Bureau
Monday, 23 March 2015 at 13:25
Hello to all our readers and particular
greetings to those who've been as shocked as we are by the death of an innocent woman, a death made so much more appalling
by the contempt and callousness of the media reports that followed it – led by our National Treasure the BBC –
in which the poor woman was referred to as though she was a piece of flattened roadkill.MSM:
Only Some Deaths Matter
Now is not the time to linger and compare the glutinous, ear-wax sentimentality
of the reports from Praia da Luz about a missing child at the beginning of May 2007 with the frighteningly cold October 2014
reports on the "thing", the "troll", Brenda Leyland, in which any vestige of regret, sympathy, any trace
of human feeling at all, was absent. We still find it almost impossible to believe that people could have written such stuff
and yet there it remains, on file.
What has happened to media people since their industry started to collapse?
What sort of creatures have joined it? Just what do they want? We followed Leveson closely throughout and in the end, holding
our noses, we wrote that having the lawyers decide what can be written was worse than leaving the MSM to carry on unregulated
for the few brief years which, as Rupert Murdoch reminded the tribunal, remain of their dwindling monopoly.MSM: We Decide the Emotions
But the gradual uncovering of the incredible
criminal conspiracy which was the Mirror,
the McCanns' greatest supporter, and the moral vacuum in the MSM which
the treatment of Goncalo Amaral and Brenda Leyland has revealed, has made us wonder if we were wrong. How can the controversial
parents of a missing "tot" be canonized for the public and yet an ordinary person, one of us,
as roadkill? What forces are driving this weirdness?A Miraculous Second Chance
Now, briefly, the latest Brunt instalment. And here a caveat: like everybody else we haven't seen a transcript
of the inquest proceedings and the Bureau
never uses media stories as evidence. But in this one, very special, instance
we will provisionally accept "reports" of what a witness is supposed to have said.
"Asked by the
coroner if there was anything in Leyland's voice which caused "real and immediate" concern for her life, Brunt
replied: "No, but when I asked her how she was, she said 'Oh I have thought about ending it all but I am feeling
better - I have had a drink and spoken to my son.'"
Now think about this. What was done by Brunt –
the stalking, the surveillance, the ambush of a single woman – was done. We have the photographs showing him doing it.
He had already served up the first helping, already caused her, in Kate McCann's immortal caring words, "to
be miserable and feel fear".He Knew. She Told Him
And yet, unlike, for example, that Spanish train driver who
ran his HST into a wall and killed so many of his passengers a few years ago, unlike a reckless hit and run driver, Martin
Brunt was given a miraculous chance to turn the clock back, re-run the reality and prevent a tragedy. Just like in
a heart-warming MSM drama on Sky TV. The stuff hadn't yet been broadcast, Brenda Leyland was not yet clamped into the
television stocks to be mobbed and jeered at, not yet exposed to the psychopaths who pursue Kate McCann's enemies.
He rang her up to find out how his actions so far had impacted on her. And she told him.
he had done so he could never claim in the future that he was ignorant of the effect of his actions on his victim. To use
a phrase of Goncalo Amaral's "that would be impossible". He had gone back and asked, just like a hit
and run driver going back to a child at the roadside to see the damage and consider helping save its life.
even by his own, untrustworthy – like all journalists – account she told him. She told him that since the ambush
she had been thinking about killing herself.
That is what he had already done to her. That is what she told him.
All this moral cripple had to do was to consider her words: no ifs, no buts, no possible "consequences": she told
him that since his assault on her she was thinking of killing herself.
And what did he do? Did he break down in
tears – "devastated" at what he had done? Did he beg her forgiveness? Did he ring Sky within five minutes
and say, "listen, there's some unpredictable shit happening here. I've spoken to the woman and she's talking
suicide, for Christ's sake. Bluffing? How do I know? Look, we've got to have a meeting about this before anything
goes out. I'm worried. Please put a hold on it."
He Knew. And Did Nothing
Not a bit of it. Brunt ignored or dismissed everything that
she told him in extremis that day. He did nothing – except tell her that the die was cast and
the broadcasts were going ahead. No "I'll think about it Brenda,", no "I'm so sorry to hear
that, I had no idea". Even in his own version – can you imagine what the reality must have been like? – he
told her, implacably, that the broadcast was going ahead. It's almost impossible to believe, isn't it? She told
And just like a driver who, after a sickening thud, goes back to the still-breathing child in the deserted
road, looks, listens, makes a decision and then drives away, Brunt heard her out and left her to her fate. Just roadkill.
to Nigel at