Friday, 31 January 2014

Covering-up the Cover-up

There are two-words that are joined at the hip with the Maddie case: negligence and cover-up.

One, as we know, has been made up and is part of the second. However the second, cover-up, is not exactly true.  At least in the way that you are reading it.

That there’s a cover-up, is an unquestionable fact.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Daniel Abreu

Daniel Abreu, the little 18 month old missing boy in Madeira was found alive. That is VERY good news.

Really good news indeed.

He was found Wednesday, the 22nd, around 08.00 by a worker, Manuel Teixeira, around 30/40 yards from the pathway near a small water canal, levada, more than a mile from his house.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Serial Journalism

Remember our May 2009 post “The McCann Game, shortly out of tricks?” where we tried to show how every “trick” played meant there was one less to be played?

That post is now 56 months old.

With the exception of the book (a possibility we never thought possible to be stupid enough to write such a thing) we have all this time witnessed repeats of the same tricks, over and over again: another sighting, another documentary, another presence in a TV show and another suspect.

Friday, 10 January 2014


We would like to welcome our readers back to the blog after the Christmas holidays. We hope it was a time to value the presence of your loved ones as well as a gruelling and torturous marathon of delicious treats for the body.

We’re in 2014. That means that this year, in May, Maddie can be declared officially dead. If an application for a declaration is made as it will be 7 years that she’s been missing.

We don't think there will be a need for such an application. We anticipate that Maddie will be considered, officially, dead before May 2014.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Thank you, Eusebio

Portugal is in mourning. This post is 24 hours too late. It took us 24 hours to gather words of friends and family to include in this tribute.

Eusebio was consensually taken as a very good person. We think he really was a very good person.

He was not simply a genius, he was a simple genius.

People pilgrimaged to see him play. All genders. Families. His passion for the game transpired outside all stadiums and national borders. It was about people in general and families. He did cross those borders for everyone to see him as a man first and a sportsman second. He brought football to people who never watch it or has the slightest interest in it. If anyone would tempt anyone to watch football, Eusebio would.

He was driven to the point of sainthood by the regime before 1974. He was one of the 3 “Fs” of the official propaganda: Family, Fatima and Football.

The Football was Eusebio.

Never involved in any sort of scandal. Never a star. Never his name linked to a headline that wasn’t about his greatness, as a man, as sportsman, as a citizen.

The biggest star in a team in which he never stopped calling his captain by “Mr Coluna” and in which he asked permission to take penalty kicks.

His sportsmanship was truly an example. A genuinely humble true sportsman. He couldn’t stand losing but was always, but always, a kind winner. There isn’t one adversary who ever felt anything but honour to be defeated by him.

But it is not only his sportsmanship we would like to highlight.

Eusebio was a Mandela. He lived in two wall less prisons. One, his race, the other the regime who made him an idol.

He was a black man in a white man’s world. In a white man’s time. A time when a black man was only considered human if a sportsman or a singer and even then always manacled to the colour of skin seen like a circus act. Eusebio was never such. Eusebio was a man. Truly loved and respected as such.

The regime made him a symbol. As we said, almost to the point of sainthood. So much so that Salazar clearly and openly determined that he could not be bought by any club in the world, including Real Madrid, a club Eusebio loved.

But Eusebio didn’t become the symbol of Portugal because of the regime. He became by his own right. He was Eusebio. He was Portugal. One couldn’t speak of one without mentioning the other, one couldn’t think of one without thinking of the other.

When the regime crumbled, Eusebio's greatness remained immaculate. The regime used him but he was always superior to the regime.

He was a truly global phenomenon before globalisation. The biggest star in the first televised, thus global, sport phenomenon: 1966 World Cup in Britain.

He never left Portugal and yet he was known all over the world. The world only realised where Portugal was because of Eusebio.

Eusebio was a Mandela because like Mandela he was a uniter. Way, way beyond football.

Portugal loved him and loved to be represented by him.

Today we all love football. We all love Eusebio.

But more than loved, which he will always will be, he will be remembered and respected.