Originally posted on this blog on the date show but thought it worthy of a re-read.
Sep 10 2007 George Galloway
NOT since Dr Crippen - long before the blizzard of 24/7 satellite media - will there have been a case like Madeleine McCann's if the now official suspicions of the Portuguese police turn out to have been well founded.
They have turned it into a circus, with daily appearances at mass and the flight to the Vatican to kiss the hand of the Pope, invoking celebrities, inducing millions of people around the world to raise a fortune in a campaign fund and turning their child into one of the iconic faces of our age.
So even Dante himself would find it difficult to describe any circle of the inferno fit for Kate and Gerry McCann if it all turns out to have been a lie.
I have been in and around the Ocean Club in the sleepy Algarve village of Praia da Luz for more than 20 years and it has been surreal enough watching its tiny cobbled streets bristling with television crews broadcasting around the world from a once little-known holiday idyll.
And now this.
On my Talk Sport radio shows I have been critical of the McCanns from the start. Not least because I knew aspects of their story could not be true.
Their supposed constant vigilance of their three toddlers while they ate in a tapas bar and the children slept in an unlocked apartment was not possible. The distance between the two points was both greater and more convoluted than they said.
In any case, the children's bedroom was on the OTHER side of the apartment block and, though both doctors, neither parent possessed X-ray vision.
I said that if a single mother had left her three kids in the chalet at Butlins while she supped scampi and chips in the boozer, she would have immediately been attacked as a feral, feckless, unfit mother by the same media which was painting the grieving McCanns as the very embodiment of modern middle-class Britain.
For months I have watched that media poke ridicule at the supposed bumbling Inspector Clouseaus of the Portuguese police for their apparent leaden-footedness in the investigation.
Of course no Johnny Foreigner could be as good as our own police, who brought us the Guildford Four and Birmingham Six.
Now with this new development, the same media seems coiled like a spring to turn on the McCanns as they previously did on the other "suspect" Robert Murat.
Sensing they may have been made the biggest fools in history, the Press tables can be seen turning, the plates beginning to move.
Of course, the most xenophobic commentators say the science which has led to the Mccanns being named as suspects is inherently suspect due to the foreign hands through which it has passed, oblivious to the fact that it came from British laboratories.
If Madeleine's blood and other DNA evidence really has been found in the boot of her parents' hire car, there are only a few possible explanations. A previous renter of the car - it was 25 days after the child went missing that the family took possession of the vehicle - transported Madeleine in its boot and she was bleeding at the time.
Or Madeleine's body was transported in the boot at least 25 days after she disappeared once the McCanns took possession of the car.
In these circumstances the Portuguese police really would be clots if they did not consider the girl's parents to be suspects.
Of course there could be other, some would say unlikely, possibilities.
The DNA and blood evidence in the boot may not, after all, be Madeleine's and the forensic scientists may be mistaken.
The blood in the boot of the McCanns' hire car may be somebody else's, in which case Goodfellas comes to the Algarve and the family are the victims of the most grotesque coincidence.
The DNA could have been planted in the boot of the McCanns' car, presumably by the police.
The sort of thing which happened to Mr OJ Simpson.
The McCanns have either been the victims of a cataclysmic historic injustice, almost unprecedented, or they have been complicit in a scheme so duplicitous, so evil, so foul that Shakespeare himself could not have written it.
Either way, the name McCann is now well and truly in the history books.