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'Blacksmith' - unmasking himself

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'Blacksmith' - unmasking himself

Post by Tony Bennett on 19.11.12 23:45

The recent two posts by 'Blacksmith' = 'John Blacksmith' = Antony Sharples call for comment.

One is a piece consisting of what purports to be an analysis of events since the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.

The other is a rant at those on the internet who have purportedly 'outed' - entirely wrongly as it now seems - Lord McAlpine. What makes this rant signifcant is that he blames Mcann-sceptics who write on forums like this one for the public naming of Lord McAlpine.

Taking the first piece, here are some of his observations, with my comments in blue afterwards:

blacksmith: "...and many of us are willing to accept that [the McCanns] are innocent of any involvement…their disastrous decisions may well have led to their status as arguidos..."

COMMENT: Blacksmith has at long last nailed his colours to the mast: the McCanns are 'innocent of any involvement'

blacksmith: "No evidence of improper protection of the parents by UK authorities has emerged".

COMMENT: So it's usual for a missing child case to be taken up by the Head of the government's Media Monitoring Unit, whose express job it is 'to control what comes out in the media', and who flits from the McCann case to being employed by Rupert Murdoch's son-in-law and then in David Cameron's 2010 General Election team, working under former NOTW Editor, Andy Coulson, at the centre of the 'phone hacking scandal

blacksmith: "Goncalo Amaral’s provocative attack on them in his book..."

COMMENT: So, for 'blacksmith', this is not the book of a detective seeking to acquit himself and explain why his team made the McCanns suspects, but merely 'a provocative attack'. But then regular 'blacksmith' readers will know just how frequently - and heavily - he has criticised Goncalo Amaral

blacksmith: "Clarence Mitchell’s absurd and Pooterish hints that he was an arm of the British government have been refuted in previous posts on here..."

COMMENT: Oh have they? So, in 'blacksmith's view, is being Head of a 40-strong government media spin machine, reporting directly to Tony Blair's Cabinet Office, not 'an arm of the government'?


blacksmith: "...the [McCanns']powerful public and legal campaign in their favour financed by the fund and rich well-wishers"

COMMENT: Well, exactly who has financed the 'powerful public and legal campaign'? On page 138 of 'madeleine', Dr Kate McCann writes: "...the Fund took the form of a not-for-profit, private limited company. It was set up with great care and due diligence...From the outset everyone agreed that, despite the costs involved, it must be run to the highest standards of transparency..." But do we really know, for example, who has funded the nearly four-year-long running libel action against Goncalo Amaral? And all the other legal actions? Is it really, as 'blacksmith' claims, "the Fund and rich well-wishers"?

blacksmith: "The vexed question of why the parents and their friends chose to act independently of the police from the start remains unanswered..."

COMMENT: Presumably, because in 'blacksmith's view, "the parents are innocent of any involvement"

blacksmith: "...the McCanns’ refusal to co-operate with the police on Day One may well have been a death sentence for Madeleine McCann".

COMMENT: Because, in 'blacksmith's view, Madeleine McCann was still alive

blacksmith: "...Scotland Yard officer De Freitas [was called] to testify in Lisbon. De Freitas was held back from appearing in court, quite correctly, by his superiors"

COMMENT: Was that decision 'correct'? Why? And are Scotland Yard, once again, going to hold him back from Goncalo Amaral's upcoming libel trial in January?

Taking the second piece, let the following be noted:

1. It was Steve Meesham, assisted by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, and then the BBC and ITV, who first came up with the allegations against Lord McAlpine - NOT people on Madeleine McCann discussion forums

2. Someone associated with the BBC's Newsnight team ws apparently responsible for the initial leaking of his name

3. Thereafter, people like Sally Bercow (wife of The Speaker) and George Monbiot (left-wing environmentalist) began leaking the name

4 It was ITV's Philip Schofield who confronted Prime Minister David Cameron with a list of names of suspected paedophiles, garnered from the internet, and

5. Finally, internet bloggers had it right about Jimmy Savile for years, long before the mainstream media caught up with his five-decade catalogue of child sexual abuse.

Now let's have a look at how 'blacksmith' cunningly, and with real malice, sets about blaming people on Madeleine McCann discussion forums for the unjustified attack on Lord McAlpine:


blacksmith: "Quite how an internet movement which began by investigating the lies of Kate & Gerry McCann has become a sex and crime obsessed clique of self-righteous losers that thinks it’s acceptable to defame honourable men like McAlpine defeats me. What a truly wicked thing to do! For years I played a street violin trying to convince forum enemies of the McCanns that the refusal to base their theories on real evidence but simply to throw out accusations like confetti would ruin their cause. It has. I only regret that McAlpine is too gentle a man to make the Twitter users who’ve defamed him pay the appropriate price – personal ruin – for their behaviour, instead of settling with them, as he probably will. I've been rude or satirical about McCann forum people lately to disassociate myself from what I consider is now a disgusting activity.

Now, if Lord McAlpine was wrongly named by Steve Messham, and then leaked by someone within the BBC Newsnight team, then clearly he has been libelled. But what 'blacksmith' does - knowingly - is to blame the leaking of his name on a group who began by discussing Kate and Gerry McCann. 'blacksmith' prides himself on 'providing evidence, hard facts' to the media worldwide. Where's the evidence to blame McCann discussion forum-members as a group for all the attacks on Lord McAlpine's reputation?

Finally, three comments published very recently on 'Blacksmith's blog. I think they speak for themselves:


I pity you blacksmith. You think your so all knowing but deep down you have a real inferiority complex that's, why you slag off Goncalo Amaral. Lawgiver.

So you dont care what paedos do. what a disgusting comment from a disgusting person. Grandma.of 6.

I used to like what you wrote once but now it's clear that you don't really care for Madeleine and you don't fight for Tony Bennett, the only man BRAVE enough to take on the forces of the Establishment. Shame on you. Justice for Maddie, Norbury.


P.S. 'Justice for Maddie, Norbury', many thanks for your comments, but Goncalo Amaral is the brave one, he lost his job, and his family life suffered, and he has been mercilessly smeared and pursued - T.B.

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Re: 'Blacksmith' - unmasking himself

Post by Angelique on 20.11.12 0:14

Tony

I visited Blacksmith's blog recently and was quite perturbed by his latest posts. Am I wrong in thinking he has done this sort of thing before suddenly changed course in "mid blog" as it were.

I don't understand why he taken this stance but it may be "overload" - I tried to read his on-going drama but it was a bit too near the bone for me!

I agree with Justice for Maddy, Norbury though - you are a very brave man including Goncalo Amaral.

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Re: 'Blacksmith' - unmasking himself

Post by Guest on 20.11.12 0:28

Ye gods, what's going on here? I have heard that Blacksmith has produced some odd blogs in the past but this one is seriously weird.

He sounds to me as if he's ill.

Here's a reminder of when he was at his hilarious best.

http://blacksmithbureau.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/new-reference-material.html

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Re: 'Blacksmith' - unmasking himself

Post by Tony Bennett on 20.11.12 0:35

@Angelique wrote:Tony

I visited Blacksmith's blog recently and was quite perturbed by his latest posts. Am I wrong in thinking he has done this sort of thing before suddenly changed course in "mid blog" as it were.

I don't understand why he taken this stance but it may be "overload" - I tried to read his on-going drama but it was a bit too near the bone for me!

I agree with Justice for Maddy, Norbury though - you are a very brave man including Goncalo Amaral.
Thanks.

As you may have noticed, I have tried over the years not to be too critical of others who basically share my views about Madeleine McCann.

But to be honest, I really have struggled to see why so many people think he's a good writer on the subject.

If you strip away all the flowery language and get down to what he's really saying, it often doesn't amount to much at all - and when I've read his pieces, he seems critical of just about everybody, and often in very immoderate terms...he could sometimes work himself up into quite a frenzy.

It was when he started on a regular basis to criticise Goncalo Amaral in quite severe terms that I began to wonder what his real agenda was.

'blacksmith' never remotely compared with other seasoned analysts on the McCann case...I might mention e.g. SteelMagnolia, winnower and aangirfan - and last but certainly not least, our very own HideHo and PeterMac, and certainly Dr Martin Roberts on McCannFiles. And many others, on this forum and elsewhere

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Re: 'Blacksmith' - unmasking himself

Post by Woofer on 20.11.12 1:15

"1. It was Steve Meesham, assisted by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, and then the BBC and ITV, who first came up with the allegations against Lord McAlpine - NOT people on Madeleine McCann discussion forums
"



The above isn`t quite correct as the BIJ didn`t name him nor did Newsnight. LM`s name had been bandied about on Twitter amongst many others yet it was LM, not any of the others, who reacted, and it has been the BBC that have apologised and paid LM hundreds of thousands of pounds, for doing nothing wrong. And there have been no accusations on this forum, so I don`t know what the hell Blacksmith is getting his gander up for. Looks like he`s blown a fuse now as his blog is closed.

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Re: 'Blacksmith' - unmasking himself

Post by Angelique on 20.11.12 3:30

Tony

You wrote

"If you strip away all the flowery language and get down to what he's really saying, it often doesn't amount to much at all - and when I've read his pieces, he seems critical of just about everybody, and often in very immoderate terms...he could sometimes work himself up into quite a frenzy."

It is odd that at times everyone falls about after he writes an in-depth analysis about some point in the McCann saga and then he suddenly does a turn about. I think you may be correct in that he's never really come off the fence - it's all been a bit of a show.

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Re: 'Blacksmith' - unmasking himself

Post by tigger on 20.11.12 6:09

Jean wrote:Ye gods, what's going on here? I have heard that Blacksmith has produced some odd blogs in the past but this one is seriously weird.

He sounds to me as if he's ill.

Here's a reminder of when he was at his hilarious best.

http://blacksmithbureau.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/new-reference-material.html

His posts have been getting more obtuse lately - I read the last posts this week. If anything, he sounds upset. It's almost the language of someone who'se been trying really hard and has been slapped on the wrist by the person he most wants to impress. So then the guilt and origin of the problem is transferred from himself (not my fault, I tried really hard) to a soft, safe target such as ComMM.

He's not so much slating us as explaining himself to a third party.

The writing style has changed altogether and I think Jean may be right. Perhaps we should start a collection for him or even a Fund for burnt-out bloggers.

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Re: 'Blacksmith' - unmasking himself

Post by PeterMac on 20.11.12 7:55

@Woofer wrote:"1. It was Steve Meesham . . . who first came up with the allegations against Lord McAlpine - NOT people on Madeleine McCann discussion forums
"
My recollection is that Steve Meesham said it was someone with the name McAlpine. NOT That it was LM.
There is, or was, another one. Jimmy. (Sir James) who fits the bill rather better. Look him up.
He is, very conveniently, dead.

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Re: 'Blacksmith' - unmasking himself

Post by Guest on 20.11.12 9:27

@PeterMac wrote:
@Woofer wrote:"1. It was Steve Meesham . . . who first came up with the allegations against Lord McAlpine - NOT people on Madeleine McCann discussion forums
"
My recollection is that Steve Meesham said it was someone with the name McAlpine. NOT That it was LM.
There is, or was, another one. Jimmy. (Sir James) who fits the bill rather better. Look him up.
He is, very conveniently, dead.
***
I forgot where I read it, but IIRC he even also said that McAlpine was dead.

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Re: 'Blacksmith' - unmasking himself

Post by C.Edwards on 20.11.12 10:51

Tony... I know that you don't see eye to eye with Blacksmith, but I think there are some issues with what you've written above.

Firstly, what's with the "name outing"? Who cares what Blacksmith is really called? This kind of Scooby-doo-esque unmasking of bloggers is hardly relevant to what's written is it? Outing/speculating on identities is usually the realm of many McCann supporters and I don't think it has any place (or purpose) on here.

Secondly, "recent posts"? The McAlpine one, yes, the other is from his "distance lends perspective" post in December 2010 unless he's regurgitated some of it recently? Do you have a link? That's hardly recent, is it?

If you re-read the piece (it's available on this very forum here: blacksmith piece) it's hardly a glowing piece praising the McCanns and it's hardly indicative of a man who's suddenly decided to jump ship in favour of the McCanns! I don't think you'd find the average McCann supporter glowing with pleasure reading that piece that you seem to think is indicative of Blacksmith nailing his colours to the mast. Maybe I'm wrong, but I see an awful lot of the usual Blackmith ire & vitriol in that piece and I think you may have misinterpreted it.

Perhaps it would be useful for others on this thread to reread the piece via the link I've provided and make up their own minds?

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Is 'blacksmith' useful?

Post by Tony Bennett on 20.11.12 11:05

@C.Edwards wrote:Tony... I know that you don't see eye to eye with Blacksmith, but I think there are some issues with what you've written above.

Firstly, what's with the "name outing"? Who cares what Blacksmith is really called? This kind of Scooby-doo-esque unmasking of bloggers

Antony Sharples is quite open about his identity, this is in no way an 'outing'

is hardly relevant to what's written is it? Outing/speculating on identities is usually the realm of many McCann supporters and I don't think it has any place (or purpose) on here.

Secondly, "recent posts"? The McAlpine one, yes, the other is from his "distance lends perspective" post in December 2010 unless he's regurgitated some of it recently? Do you have a link? That's hardly recent, is it?

OK, might have got that wrong, but the points I made about Blacksmith's true views all hold good, I think

If you re-read the piece (it's available on this very forum here: blacksmith piece) it's hardly a glowing piece praising the McCanns and it's hardly indicative of a man who's suddenly decided to jump ship in favour of the McCanns! I don't think you'd find the average McCann supporter glowing with pleasure reading that piece that you seem to think is indicative of Blacksmith nailing his colours to the mast. Maybe I'm wrong, but I see an awful lot of the usual Blackmith ire & vitriol in that piece and I think you may have misinterpreted it.

It is very hard to know where 'blacksmith' stands, but I think reading all his posts be believes that:

* Madeleine was abducted

* The McCanns have made a mess of looking for her

* Goncalo Amaral and his team carried out a pathetic investigation and his book 'The Truth About A Lie' was a load of rubbish and [quote 'blacksmith'] no more than 'a provocative attack on the McCanns'

Perhaps it would be useful for others on this thread to reread the piece via the link I've provided

I very much doubt it it would be useful to anyone on here

and make up their own minds?

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Re: 'Blacksmith' - unmasking himself

Post by C.Edwards on 20.11.12 11:23

@Tony Bennett wrote:
@C.Edwards wrote:Tony... I know that you don't see eye to eye with Blacksmith, but I think there are some issues with what you've written above.

Firstly, what's with the "name outing"? Who cares what Blacksmith is really called? This kind of Scooby-doo-esque unmasking of bloggers

Antony Sharples is quite open about his identity, this is in no way an 'outing'

Fair enough, first time I've heard the name but if he's open about it, then no problem.

is hardly relevant to what's written is it? Outing/speculating on identities is usually the realm of many McCann supporters and I don't think it has any place (or purpose) on here.

Secondly, "recent posts"? The McAlpine one, yes, the other is from his "distance lends perspective" post in December 2010 unless he's regurgitated some of it recently? Do you have a link? That's hardly recent, is it?

OK, might have got that wrong, but the points I made about Blacksmith's true views all hold good, I think

If you re-read the piece (it's available on this very forum here: blacksmith piece) it's hardly a glowing piece praising the McCanns and it's hardly indicative of a man who's suddenly decided to jump ship in favour of the McCanns! I don't think you'd find the average McCann supporter glowing with pleasure reading that piece that you seem to think is indicative of Blacksmith nailing his colours to the mast. Maybe I'm wrong, but I see an awful lot of the usual Blackmith ire & vitriol in that piece and I think you may have misinterpreted it.

It is very hard to know where 'blacksmith' stands, but I think reading all his posts be believes that:

* Madeleine was abducted

* The McCanns have made a mess of looking for her

* Goncalo Amaral and his team carried out a pathetic investigation and his book 'The Truth About A Lie' was a load of rubbish and [quote 'blacksmith'] no more than 'a provocative attack on the McCanns'

It's not possible to infer from the piece you're referring to just what Blacksmith believes. I'm yet to see any piece of his that is what I would call even mildly supportive of the McCanns and I think you may be mistaking his propensity for hyperbole as an indication of a different stance on the case than I believe he holds. The "provocative attack on the McCanns" is a line at the introduction of the piece and is put in as a headline attention grabber in my opinion. He's hardly dismissed the whole book as rubbish anywhere that I've seen. Go and read his piece from February this year as an example:
wolf by the ears

Perhaps it would be useful for others on this thread to reread the piece via the link I've provided

I very much doubt it it would be useful to anyone on here

Am I misunderstanding you here? Are you saying there's no point in anyone on here going and reading that piece you referred to (from Dec 2010) and independently making their own minds up about what Blacksmith means?

and make up their own minds?

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Re: 'Blacksmith' - unmasking himself

Post by tigger on 20.11.12 12:19

@C Edwards.
This is what Blacksmith wrote about Steel Magnolia - not exactly in the best possibly taste knowing that she was dying of cancer.

…the bad and the ugly

Unfortunately, as Tommy Cooper was prone to say, we were too late to help Steel Magnolia. According to Bull, the baddies had wormed their way into SM’s confidence by phoning her and pretending to be Scotland Yard officers with inside knowledge of the case. SM, old, disabled and easily confused, foolishly gave the “police officers” personal details, including her address.

As a result a woman, who is rumoured to resemble the CCTV- captured fuzzy image of the last caller of the unfortunate Pimlico spy left to die in a locked suitcase in his bath, infiltrated SM’s local authority and, more importantly, its welfare service.

Thus it was that just over two weeks ago Steel Magnolia received her normal Wednesday cod-in-buttered-sauce and no-teeth-required mashed potato and tucked into it in her little front room surrounded by photographs of distant family and her enormous collection of Toby Jugs.

The buttered sauce was real enough but the ungutted Japanese Puffer Fish which it concealed attacked SM’s nervous system within seconds with the result that the unlucky pensioner was savaged by dreadful convulsions which wrecked her helpless body and destroyed most of the irreplaceable Toby Jugs. By the time Bull, who had never been on a London bus before, tracked her down Steel Magnolia was dead.

Her death made hardly a wave in the insalubrious suburb in which she spent her latter days and a local doctor, brought in by MI6, signed her off with a routine case of fatal food poisoning. Such are the ways that the world is run, which the cleverer posters on the McCann case have long discovered. Bull believes that plans are in place for future posts to be made under her name. Be aware of what is happening if you read posts purporting to come from her. Do not, repeat not, reply to any private messages or emails purporting to come from her.

But this endless struggle for the truth will go on. Do you ever get the feeling that we are involved in something strange, something beyond the normal categories of truth and fiction? Sometimes we have to express the truth, as Winston Churchill once said, "with a bodyguard of lies". Stay strong. Together we will see it through. More as we receive it.

http://blacksmithbureau.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/sky-is-darkening.html
unquote

As for your (in my view somewhat condescending) comments to Tony - I found Blacksmith quite funny and at times inspired, considering he started as the Cracked Mirror, his blog was often amusing, sometimes too surreal to make any clear points.
I'm surprised at his last posts, especially the reference to the ill-health of Lord mcAlpine in view of the above quote. Bad people get ill just like good people, so I would say that's irrelevant to the case.

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Re: 'Blacksmith' - unmasking himself

Post by C.Edwards on 20.11.12 12:37

Thanks Tigger - I certainly didn't intend to be condescending to Tony and I hope he doesn't feel that way - I just didn't think it was right to sit back quietly when I disagreed with a lot of his post. I don't understand Blacksmith half the time and the bit about Steelmagnolia is all over the place. I don't know if he wrote it in knowledge of her condition or not but, whether or not he's trying to be tongue in cheek or mean and cold hearted it doesn't really indicate his feelings in the McCann case either way to me.

Anyhow, I'm not trying to defend Blacksmith, have no cause to do so, but I don't think it's a bad thing to raise objections if I don't agree with a post, is it?

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Re: 'Blacksmith' - unmasking himself

Post by Tony Bennett on 20.11.12 12:53

C.Edwards wrote: It's not possible to infer from the piece you're referring to just what Blacksmith believes.

REPLY: It's hard from ANY 'blacksmith' post to know what he believes, but these are consistent themes: 1. Madeleine McCann was abducted, but the McCanns made lots of mistakes afterwards 2. Goncalo Amaral was wrong about lots of things and his book was 'provocative'. Always keep in mind that, as 'blacksmith' has frequently boasted, he is well connected with the UK's state security services

C.Edwards wrote: I'm yet to see any piece of his that is what I would call even mildly supportive of the McCanns and I think you may be mistaking his propensity for hyperbole as an indication of a different stance on the case than I believe he holds.

REPLY: You mean I may be mistaking 'blacksmith's stance on things? I plead: Guilty

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Shining through loud and clear

Post by Tony Bennett on 20.11.12 12:58

@tigger wrote:@C Edwards.
This is what Blacksmith wrote about Steel Magnolia - not exactly in the best possibly taste knowing that she was dying of cancer.

…the bad and the ugly

Unfortunately, as Tommy Cooper was prone to say, we were too late to help Steel Magnolia. According to Bull, the baddies had wormed their way into SM’s confidence by phoning her and pretending to be Scotland Yard officers with inside knowledge of the case. SM, old, disabled and easily confused, foolishly gave the “police officers” personal details, including her address.

As a result a woman, who is rumoured to resemble the CCTV- captured fuzzy image of the last caller of the unfortunate Pimlico spy left to die in a locked suitcase in his bath, infiltrated SM’s local authority and, more importantly, its welfare service.

Thus it was that just over two weeks ago Steel Magnolia received her normal Wednesday cod-in-buttered-sauce and no-teeth-required mashed potato and tucked into it in her little front room surrounded by photographs of distant family and her enormous collection of Toby Jugs.

The buttered sauce was real enough but the ungutted Japanese Puffer Fish which it concealed attacked SM’s nervous system within seconds with the result that the unlucky pensioner was savaged by dreadful convulsions which wrecked her helpless body and destroyed most of the irreplaceable Toby Jugs. By the time Bull, who had never been on a London bus before, tracked her down Steel Magnolia was dead.

Her death made hardly a wave in the insalubrious suburb in which she spent her latter days and a local doctor, brought in by MI6, signed her off with a routine case of fatal food poisoning. Such are the ways that the world is run, which the cleverer posters on the McCann case have long discovered. Bull believes that plans are in place for future posts to be made under her name. Be aware of what is happening if you read posts purporting to come from her. Do not, repeat not, reply to any private messages or emails purporting to come from her.

But this endless struggle for the truth will go on. Do you ever get the feeling that we are involved in something strange, something beyond the normal categories of truth and fiction? Sometimes we have to express the truth, as Winston Churchill once said, "with a bodyguard of lies". Stay strong. Together we will see it through. More as we receive it.

http://blacksmithbureau.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/sky-is-darkening.html

unquote
I didn't realise that some of 'blacksmith's posts were quite as absurd and addled - as well as cruel -as that particular pile of garbage.

Now then, 'blacksmith's stance on all manner of things certainly does not shine clearly through his posts.

But one thing defiinitely does.

His personality

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Ah say Boy what you say... listen to what you are saying!!!

Post by The Rooster on 20.11.12 12:59

With regards to the comments on this thread I disagree with the majority of what is being said. Blacksmith wrote elegant and penetrating blogs on his observations regarding the position of the McCanns in the case of their missing daughter. One of the best commentators online in my opinion. I do however, agree with the intentions and words of forum member C. Edwards.

Let us be objective...

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Re: 'Blacksmith' - unmasking himself

Post by Me on 20.11.12 13:18

@Tony Bennett wrote:C.Edwards wrote: It's not possible to infer from the piece you're referring to just what Blacksmith believes.

REPLY: It's hard from ANY 'blacksmith' post to know what he believes, but these are consistent themes: 1. Madeleine McCann was abducted, but the McCanns made lots of mistakes afterwards 2. Goncalo Amaral was wrong about lots of things and his book was 'provocative'. Always keep in mind that, as 'blacksmith' has frequently boasted, he is well connected with the UK's state security services

C.Edwards wrote: I'm yet to see any piece of his that is what I would call even mildly supportive of the McCanns and I think you may be mistaking his propensity for hyperbole as an indication of a different stance on the case than I believe he holds.

REPLY: You mean I may be mistaking 'blacksmith's stance on things? I plead: Guilty

Absolute hogwash.

Blacksmith has consistently stated that the abduction theory has no evidence to support it and has repeatedly made clear that the SY investigation must concentrate on the Tapas 7 and their accounts.

The vast majority of his posts were a debunking of the Tapas accounts and statements.

Not once has he ever produced a blog post in support of the abduction theory that i have read.

If you think he has please produce a link to the relevant post.

What he has never done is throw accusations at the parents. He has simply trashed and debunked their statements, accounts and the detail in their book.

____________________
What is certain is that since the start of the investigation there were  incongruent and even contradictory situations concerning the witness statements; the telephone records of calls that were made and received on mobile phones that belonged to the couple and to the group of friends that were on holidays with them; the movements of people right after the disappearance of the little girl was noticed, concerning the state in which the bedroom from where the child disappeared from was found (closed window? open window? partially open window?) etc., and the mystery would only become even thicker due to the clues that were left by the already mentioned sniffer dogs. - The Words of a JUDGE in relation to the McCanns

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Re: 'Blacksmith' - unmasking himself

Post by Guest on 20.11.12 13:23

Blacksmith believes Madeleine McCann was abducted?? Anyone any links?

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Re: 'Blacksmith' - unmasking himself

Post by Tony Bennett on 20.11.12 14:10

candyfloss wrote:Blacksmith believes Madeleine McCann was abducted?? Anyone any links?
You will look in vain for clear-cut quotes about 'blacksmith's views on what happened to Madeleine McCann, but my OP quoted from this article by 'blacksmith' in I think December 2010:

++++++++++++++++++++

John Blacksmith wrote:

The Madeleine McCann affair falls into four parts to date. First, the disappearance of the child and the subsequent investigation until the McCanns were constituted arguidos in early September 2007; next the flight of the parents and the powerful public and legal campaign in their favour financed by the fund and rich well-wishers, ending in the admission of defeat by the PJ in April 2008 and the subsequent formality of the archiving process; then a period of apparent vindication and retrenchment by the parents brought to an end by Goncalo Amaral’s provocative attack on them in his book and by their decision to sue; finally the flurry of publicity, petitions and the new book announcement, all flowing from the Portuguese appeal court decision.

Distance lends perspective.

The first phase – the search for the child

In retrospect we can see that the famous “search for the child” was effectively over by the end of August 2007 and has never been resumed. The death-knell for Madeleine McCann was sounded not by Goncalo Amaral or his team but by the severely intellectual head of the PJ Alipio Ribeiro, who made it clear during the summer that the inquiry was concentrating on “pure investigation” and analysis of existing data rather than branching out to follow wider leads. No such leads existed and none exist to this day: the enquiry had returned, full-circle, to those known to be present in the Ocean Club on the night of May 3.

The media carnival, so noisy, melodramatic and self-important at the time, has vanished into insignificance, reminiscent of those weighty obituaries of one of their own by newsmen and broadcasters to an indifferent public before they are forgotten for ever. There is general agreement that it was initiated by the McCann family but it is doubtful if it was a critical factor: if decisive forensic evidence had been found to incriminate the McCanns, or forensic traces of an outsider to exonerate them, then no media campaign at that time – in contrast to their defence campaign from the safety of England - would have made any difference to their fate.

No evidence of improper protection of the parents by UK authorities has emerged. The content of the famous foreign office cables is fairly easy to infer, Ribeiro himself denied the claim that Ambassador Buck had in any way intimidated him early in the case and Clarence Mitchell’s absurd and Pooterish hints that he was an arm of the British government have been refuted in previous posts on here.

All the evidence suggests that the Labour government was comfortable in immediately smearing the KY of synthetic “we are suffering with you Maddie” popular sentiment all over the body of the case, prompted by the maladroit Gordon Brown’s hopeless attempt to match the tears for Princess Diana so effortlessly shed by Tony Blair.

The vexed question of why the parents and their friends chose to act independently of the police from the start remains unanswered. The retrospective justification is, of course, (in Glasgow-speak) that the Portuguese police were bluddy useless, didn’t have a clue etc, third world etc, etc. But that couldn’t have been the reason since the two crucial steps - the decision to brief the McCann friends and family on police shortcomings and the outright refusal to abide by the police “no media” instruction - were taken before the police performance could possibly have been assessed as bad or good, in the early hours of May 4. Since the parents were confined to the apartment block for that period they could have had no personal knowledge of either the form or quality of the wider search and thus no evidence to base a decision on.

It remains incomprehensible that the parents could have taken such a grave and critical step – which, according to current police doctrine, would obviously put the child’s life at risk - on such flimsy or non-existent grounds. There is no avoiding the stark reality: “obviously put the child’s life at risk” [at the hands of a panicking abductor] means just that - the McCanns’ refusal to co-operate with the police on Day One may well have been a death sentence for Madeleine McCann.

The only possible excuse for their actions lies in stress-induced bad and panicky decision taking. But that in itself raises difficult questions, since embarking so prematurely and wilfully on a course with potentially fatal consequences for their own daughter takes us into the murky question of character. One interpretation of the last three and a half years is that the McCanns really are totally innocent victims of an abductor but their personalities are so odious and selfish, their decisions so utterly and malignantly wrong throughout their ordeal, that they have brought dislike, contempt and unwarranted suspicion down onto themselves.

Starting, of course, with the police. The behaviour of the couple, beginning with their refusal to accept the PJ way of doing things, continuing with their wild PR and campaign ventures and their attempts to involve the British government on their behalf was, to say the least, unlikely to add to mutual confidence. And the contrast between the rich fare constantly served up to the media and the miserly scrapings offered in their police statements was glaringly obvious. Like them or hate them the Portuguese police tried to do a job, which was to discover the fate of a child; it was disconcerting to find themselves trying to do it in the midst of a grotesque media circus imported to Portugal by the parents; even more troubling to pick up the radar pings from the McCann family anti-police briefings back in the UK.

From outside Portugal it is difficult to judge the performance of either police or prosecutors although Clarence Mitchell soars effortlessly over the problems. Certainly some officers were unnecessarily troubled by the appearance of the British ambassador at an early stage, unaware of the part that presentation plays in modern democratic societies: Goncalo Amaral brooded over what influence the pair must have possessed to produce a diplomat at the door, like a rabbit out of a hat, not knowing that the appearance was itself the required action, end of story. All he was there for was to show that the government [breaks off to vomit] cared. Caring wins votes.

Eventually a hypothesis was proposed by the police, the well-known accidental death and parental involvement in disposal of a corpse. It hardly needs repeating that there was no hard evidence that would stand up in court to support the theory. It does bear repeating that it remains the only official hypothesis ever publicly put forward in the case or present in the files. Time has not yet provided clarity on the Rebelo chapter of the investigation which followed Amaral’s removal from the case. The parents and their mouthpiece claim, inevitably, that Rebelo rejected the previous line of investigation as worthless and misguided and moved onto one of his own which excluded the McCanns and their friends.

There is no mention in the final police or archiving reports of a new hypothesis from the Rebelo team, let alone a convincing and structured evidence-based theory. In addition his team was urgently badgering the FSS for their definitive findings on the McCann vehicle and apartment as late as the end of November 2008, rather than dismissing them as part of a failed hypothesis.

Finally he was still attempting to get the Tapas 7 back to Portugal in April 2008 to resolve the inconsistencies first raised by Amaral early in the case, so it appears 99% certain that, once again, the parents’ claims are false and that he worked over exactly the same ground and found exactly the same indications as his predecessor, failing, like Amaral, to find sufficient hard evidence to turn the hypothesis into a charge. We shall see: eventually McCann-Amaral litigation should enable us to gain a definite answer to the question, “what exactly were your lines of investigation, Mr Rebelo?”

We can all accept that there was not enough evidence to charge the McCanns along these lines and many of us are willing to accept that they are innocent of any involvement. What is difficult to accept, once more, is the over-egging of the pudding by the McCanns and the noxious team that surrounds them: in order to defend the reputation of two people, whose disastrous decisions may well have led to their status as arguidos, the defence of the pair has to besmirch the reputations of numberless others.

Thus the first police officers on the scene and the first criminal investigators to appear are attacked as useless bunglers; then the forensic team who followed them have no idea of cross-contamination risks; then, Mr Big, Goncalo Amaral himself is not just incompetent but a crook and a torturer, a throwback to Salazar, a fat slob out to “fit the parents up”, a womanizer and wife beater. Phew! The other members of his team are brainless sheep who do what their raving boss tells them to do, despite the fact that he isn’t their boss and is co-ordinator, not director, of the investigation; the officers who participate in the EVRD dog searches are brainless goons;the dog alerts are not favourable to the parents ergo their handler, Grimes, is a greedy conman and bluffer, even if he isn’t a Dago. And so it goes on, all the way up, with the unwritten, behind-the-hand message that the Portuguese are, you know, fucking fascist primitives a hundred miles from Africa, two hundred years behind the times, my friend had to pay off a bent cop after a car accident, my cousin got stitched up for not carrying her passport, I’ve seen the cops smoking dope, the only investigation they can do is to beat suspects into confessions…

There is something wrong with all this, a lack of proportion – better that a thousand, ten thousand, a nation should fall than one of ours be in the wrong! And then set against this demonization of a nation we have the equally fanciful translation of Rebelo into angelhood – however temporarily – and the canonization of both the prosecutors and the Portuguese attorney-general because, amid this sea of stupidity and corruption, they are not against the McCanns. They are good. Poor old Alipio Ribeiro swings both ways in this fantasy land, like some crazed weather house figure: Amaral reported to him while framing The Innocents – boooooo! But, he states later, “perhaps we were hasty in making the parents arguidos” – prolonged and deafening applause!

It’s soap-opera tale stuff again, isn’t it? Bearing all the hallmarks of the soap opera obsessed imaginations of the McCanns. It falls down, of course, on the question of the UK police and their involvement but since the UK police, as is their way, ain’t saying nuffin’ , the Team can rest easy.

Or rather they could until that wicked, wicked Goncalo Amaral – again! The man’s a disgrace! – threatened to blow it open by calling Scotland Yard officer De Freitas to testify in Lisbon. De Freitas was held back from appearing in court, quite correctly, by his superiors. I heard enough of what he had to say, though, and it confirmed Amaral’s contention that the English and Portuguese police were in close agreement in their analysis of the case at this stage, the only difference between them being one of tactics.

No, the circle of the wicked persecutors or oafish bunglers, all apparently determined to draw the wrong conclusions about two innocents, is just too large and too ad hoc. It isn’t credible. Worst of all, and coming up to date, it is a defence case. But the McCanns have, according to Mr Mitchell, been exonerated. So how can they need a defence? Against what?

Lastly, we return to the part the parents played at this critical stage of the affair.

At any time the parents could have turned off the publicity tap. They chose not to do so. The claim that they had no option but to try and ride the media tiger is just that, a claim, and a false one. Repeating it in the Mother of Parliaments doesn’t make it any less false.

Readers of this blog will know that my oldest friend was murdered in appalling circumstances in Australia last year, a story which was for a time bigger over there than the Madeleine affair, as well as attracting the media in the UK. The family made it clear that they simply weren’t going to talk to the media about anything and asked for privacy: the media in both continents respected their wishes and went away. Despite the highly newsworthy and melodramatic nature of the case it was that simple. It would have been even simpler for the McCanns since the UK media, the leaders of the pack, had long had a tacit agreement with the police to impose a total news blackout in abduction cases.

And what did the parents’ approach achieve? What payback was there to offset the alienation of the very people who offered the only realistic chance of finding their daughter? Did they really believe that contacting English security companies and mounting a media campaign offered a stronger chance of locating the child than an investigation by a national police force whose fixed resources in terms of staff, laboratories, international liaison and other facilities dwarfed any private venture?

Cut the McCann/Mitchell inspired critics some slack for a moment and assume there were real weaknesses in the Portuguese investigation. Do any of them compare to the complete and absolute failure of the alternative McCann approach? “We know better” non-co-operation, a vast media machine, government lobbying, private investigators – and result zero. No suspects, no leads, no Madeleine, no nothing.

But by the time the parents fled Portugal (with the famous promise to return when required) the “search for the child” had lost all meaning anyway and not just because of the PJ’s analysis of the case: by slow degrees the Find Madeleine campaign was mutating into the McCann Defence Campaign. One was a worthless failure and a possible death sentence; the other was a glowing success.


And now of course, in an article posted I think on or about 15 November, he wrote:

blacksmith: "Quite how an internet movement which began by investigating the lies of Kate & Gerry McCann has become a sex and crime obsessed clique of self-righteous losers that thinks it’s acceptable to defame honourable men like McAlpine defeats me. What a truly wicked thing to do! For years I played a street violin trying to convince forum enemies of the McCanns that the refusal to base their theories on real evidence but simply to throw out accusations like confetti would ruin their cause. It has. I only regret that McAlpine is too gentle a man to make the Twitter users who’ve defamed him pay the appropriate price – personal ruin – for their behaviour, instead of settling with them, as he probably will. I've been rude or satirical about McCann forum people lately to disassociate myself from what I consider is now a disgusting activity.





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                            "Maddie's Jammies. Where is Maddie?" - Amelie, May 2007 -  "Maddie's Jammies. Where is Maddie?"


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Re: 'Blacksmith' - unmasking himself

Post by aiyoyo on 20.11.12 15:21

IIRC, Blacksmith also did say that he's been (in the last two years or so ) sending Team Amaral useful materials that might be handy for their defence trial.

Anyone else as confused as me ?

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Re: 'Blacksmith' - unmasking himself

Post by kinell on 20.11.12 15:24

@aiyoyo wrote:IIRC, Blacksmith also did say that he's been (in the last two years or so ) sending Team Amaral useful materials that might be handy for their defence trial.

Anyone else as confused as me ?

Considering how many people start off being a so-called 'anti' then changes sides, nothing surprises me anymore.

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Re: 'Blacksmith' - unmasking himself

Post by Tony Bennett on 20.11.12 17:11

I am told that these quotes from my OP were not genuine but were 'blacksmith' spoofs - trying to be funny:



I pity you blacksmith. You think your so all knowing but deep down you have a real inferiority complex that's, why you slag off Goncalo Amaral. Lawgiver.

So you dont care what paedos do. what a disgusting comment from a disgusting person. Grandma.of 6.

I used to like what you wrote once but now it's clear that you don't really care for Madeleine and you don't fight for Tony Bennett, the only man BRAVE enough to take on the forces of the Establishment. Shame on you. Justice for Maddie, Norbury.



I don't know why I was taken in.

And yes, 'blacksmith', they were very funny - a really good joke.

'blacksmith' on Amaral:

"...add to this cloud of unreality which surrounds the judges, Amaral has shown no sign of relinquishing his misguided attempts to blame the UK government for the collapse of the case against the pair. One must hope that Isabel Duarte [McCanns' lawyer in Portugal] will go on hawking her fish rather than calmly inviting Goncalo to provide the evidence for such a claim and when he fails to do so - because there isn’t any - invite the court to decide that a man who can thus convince himself of this theory without evidence might have done exactly the same thing with the McCanns..Amaral maintains that the pair were saved by the UK government without a shred of supporting evidence save his own beliefs".

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?????

Post by tigger on 20.11.12 17:19

TB: are you telling me that those asinine comments were meant to be clever parodies of anti-mccann forum members?
Posted by Sharples? Gosh, I thought he could do better than that- note to MI5 counter-intelligence: don't hire this man.

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Re: 'Blacksmith' - unmasking himself

Post by Me on 20.11.12 17:32

Tony, a word to the wise.

Rather than shooting arrows at Blacksmith you should be studying the detail and arguments of his posts regarding the case files and the statements where he systematically debunks their version of events, the contents of the book and their whole stories since that infamous night.

They could come in rather useful when or if you have to face your libel case.

____________________
What is certain is that since the start of the investigation there were  incongruent and even contradictory situations concerning the witness statements; the telephone records of calls that were made and received on mobile phones that belonged to the couple and to the group of friends that were on holidays with them; the movements of people right after the disappearance of the little girl was noticed, concerning the state in which the bedroom from where the child disappeared from was found (closed window? open window? partially open window?) etc., and the mystery would only become even thicker due to the clues that were left by the already mentioned sniffer dogs. - The Words of a JUDGE in relation to the McCanns

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