… so tie a ****** ribbon round the old oak tree

Treading carefully, as I am forced to do in a time of possible tragedy, I wonder how many besides myself are rather less than either comfortable or indeed receptive to the mass display of public ‘support’ for the search for the now-probably dead April Jones.

What possible value, to either the search or the family, is the purchase, distribution and positioning of literally hundreds of yards of pink ribbon; just because that colour was the little girl’s favourite colour? Are the words from that woman vicar, where she said that ‘as long as there is hope, we shall continue to demonstrate that support’ to be taken as a command from ‘on high’ that further miles of pink ribbon be draped over every fence in that remote Welsh town?

I am sure that it all looks very ‘caring’, but I fail to see how the wearing of small or large lengths of pink ribbon will help the family, the police or the detection and subsequent prosecution of the man who took this smiling child away from her family! I have written before on the false and ridiculous outpourings of collective ‘grief’ upon the death of so-called ‘Slebs’, but again I completely fail to understand the reasons why so many buy bunches of flowers and pile them up against the railings. Apart from a benefit to the profit margins of the local florists, what possible motive applies? When my eldest brother died, his coffin held a single bouquet, but a fairly substantial donation was made to a Cancer Charity in his name; now that is the sort of thing I understand and accept: but rows of ribbon and huge and elaborate bunches of floral tributes? Not for me; thank you very much!

There is a police statistic known as the ‘Golden Day’. It gives a timeline by which news of the abduction should be broadcast, by which time all available police resources should be concentrated on road blocks and traffic searches, by what time the premises of the family and near relatives should be carefully and thoroughly searched; the list goes on; but the hours, and the hope, decrease after the first six hours, and at the end of the first 24 hours, all experienced crime prevention officers mutely accept that the search changes from the rescue of an abducted child to that of a search for the body of an abused and tortured child.

There is, however, another anomaly rising through the tangle of stories and allegations regarding the man who has been arrested over the murder of this small child; and it is simple. What if the police have got things totally wrong? What if Mark Bridger is totally innocent? Not too many people know Wales, and the Welsh; but the little that I know about such places and people tells me one thing; if Mr. Bridger is released without charge, or on a police bail, he had better make arrangements to move pretty quickly, because the type of person who cannot tell the difference between a paeadophile and a paeadiatrician live in Machynlleth, just as they do in Newport.

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