As the 3rd May 2017 trundles towards us relentlessly, I have to ask myself what is going to develop around the 10th anniversary of the disappearance of Madeleine McCann.
It may be that it is a non-event, much like the 9th anniversary was, with only a single media crew choosing to descend upon Luz. Equally, it may be seen as a significant juncture in the story, even if things tail off for the 11th, 12th and 13th anniversary, etc.
So the question uppermost in my mind at the moment is what should Luz do about the 10th anniversary? Should it simply hope it is a non-event? Alternatively, should it bunker down, in the expectation that the tide will wash in and then the tide will turn and peace and tranquillity will return to Luz? Or should Luz be pro-active?
The spate of non-stories used by the media this year suggests even the reporters are running out of ideas. Operation Grange is supposedly to close in April 2017 after going through £100k of Home Office funding. Perhaps or perhaps not. In mid 2016, Luz and Burgau were allegedly found to be paedophile centres because of (non) connections between Clement Freud, the McCanns, the Plough and paedo, Robert Murat, and why not throw in the Pig’s Head for good measure. And last month there was the Mirror’s penny dreadful about ghouls tours of Luz. In the absence of news, it is get more sensationalist and less believable by the minute.
I would expect a large spike in such ‘news’ stories around the 10th anniversary.
This is irrespective of whether Operation Grange has been refunded and is continuing. And whether the Oporto PJ effort continues. And whether the McCanns establish a further PI team to look into the disappearance. And irrespective of whether the McCanns win or lose ‘McCanns v Amaral’, ditto whether Amaral, or anyone else, publishes another book.
The 10th anniversary is a soft target for the media, and I fully expect it to be hit. But what will happen after that, and how to respond to the moment. That is the question.