Thursday, November 18, 2010

A bloggers thoughts: 13 May 2007

Harsh, but needs saying, because the newspapers aren'tOK, lets get a few things straight before you flame me!
I am 100% beside the wee girl getting home safe
I feel for the mother, though the fathers attitude disturbs me
But, equally, I have nothing but contempt for a rich couple that put their self gratification before the welfare of their children, then profit from the media frenzy they created and manipulated.

I don't know if you have heard* but there's a big thing in the UK at present about a little girl getting abducted in Portugul while on holiday, snatched from her bed - while her rich doctor paying where out having a meal. They ignored the holidays offer of a baby-sitter, didn't take a nanny or relative to look after the tots, beggered off out for wine and tortillas - but it's not their fault. Riiight

*Note, outside of European, have to say, it isn't front page news!

The basic news
Madeleine McCann, aged 3, now 4, was abducted 16 days ago as she slept in her bed in her parents' holiday apartment in the seaside village of Praia da Luz, Portugal, whilst staying at the Mark Warner holiday complex.

They claimed at first the back window was forced. The truth is they left the front door open when they went out for a meal, leaving the children - the girl and two 2-year old's - alone and unprotected. Apparently they did they everynight…

I really, truly hope the wee girls turns up fine. That said, there's a number of things about all this that sit really uncomfortably with myself and others.

First off, they are both doctors, certainly well to do, naturally intelligent, yet they leave their children unattended while they go out for a meal? Harsh, but We were only 50 yards away doesn't work for me. The complex had a baby-minding service, one they chose not to use. They obviously could have afforded taking a nanny or relative with them if they intended go out while the children slept. Again, they chose not too.

Not a lawyer but I'm fairly sure going out for a meal and leaving your kids at home unattended comes under neglect. (Not that an uncomfortable number of parents don't do this all the time).

Why did they never bothered taking a nanny or relative, or even using the complex's service. Plus, for me, the father certainly seems too comfortable in interviews, not in denial, not bottling it in, not angry. If it was me… [ No smiley covers this! ] His wife at least look upset. Not sure what he meant, but when I showed one of my American friend the recording of an interview the thought he was a 'reptoid', because of his seemingly cool, calculated commentary!

I wouldn't even begin to comment on the working of the Polícia Judiciária, but given my experience with gross encompetance with some English police if just doesn't surprise me.

Media circus question on Yahoo Answers
If the same thing had happened to a young working class, council estate, single Mum, she would of been crucified by the British press, Because they are middle class they are almost 'celebrities'. The double standards of the press are disgusting.

Whilst I can understand the parents wanting to keep the case in the public eye in any way possible, I think the police man who said at this stage media exposure will not make a huge difference was quite possibly right.

I really hope they get their daughter back safety, although it seems unlikely at this point..
His wife seems suitably upset some of the time, but, for me and everyone else I've spoken too, Mr McCann might as well be talking about golf for any the emotion he's showing. And no, I don't think it is just bottled up, he seemed calm. As other have pointed out, if it was my little girl…

Actually, if it was my little girl I wouldn't have left her to swan off for a meal. From the speed they set up this media circus, limited companies, websites, teams of QCs they obviously have money and connections - but they couldn't afford a nanny, or to take their parents along to babysit ? Talking of which, even the grandparent I saw interviewed seemed too comfortable!

Watch the video, listen to the words:
we have brought in our lawyers Who the heckl has a team of lawyers!?
we warmly welcome these (financial) offers I'm sure you do!
And they have a 'travel trauma consultant', no less.
The experts will tell us any specifics

I sorry, what?
You have all these experts… The girl was taken in Portugul, possibly taken through Spain to goodness knows where, yet the official site is only in English? If it was me you can be ruddy sure that the site would be also be in French, German, Spanish and Portuguese as a bare minimum.

Seems to me there are a lot of people making money from this - lawyers, consultant, the people running the text in fund-raising (taking 47p in the pound) - and no-where near enough people kicking door down, hmmm.

As for the seeming incompetance of the police forces. Meh!

As a parent my heart goes out to them and moreso for little Madelaine, but really I hold them in utter contempt for their neglect and for creating/falling into this media trap.

I know a lot of parents say ****, we do that all the time And this makes it right how, exactly?

I know the house burned down while I was out, killing my kids, dog and goldfish, but it was only a few pints and the pub was only 50 yards down the street. That not neglect, not really
And all this sop about being a loving Christian family, God is with us, our faith sustains us…

i.e: "We love our (IVF) children that much we left them to enjoy ourselves."

Also, as my wife points out, if you are going to steal children, why only the one, and not the two sleeping next to her. Not that that's a good thing, but one wonders. How often, really, are the other two children Sean and Amelie mentioned, other than photo-opportunities? It can of course be argued that they are protecting them from the press, but I get to differ. If I'd had my little girl stolen away I would be manic, as would my wife, and almost any other parent. Not just, distraught, but REALLY… words fail be. After that you wouldn't leave the other two out of your sight for a second!

Yet their mum, Kate, flies over her local priest and leaves the tots alone with whoever while she goes to a three hour mothers day mass - taking a substitute boy in place of her daughter. As Cloe Sullivan would say (Smallville), That's one for the wall of weird

Madeleine McCann and family in the press

Daily Mail 13th May 2007: Madeleine's parents 'left patio doors unlocked'
Police in Portugal are working on the theory that Madeleine was snatched through patio doors left unlocked by her parents as they dined just 40 yards away.

Until now, it was believed that shutters at the front of the apartment had been jemmied open by the little girl's abductors.

But Chief Inspector Olegario Sousa, spokesman for the investigation, has confided in British former Chief Inspector Albert Kirby that neither the windows nor their shutters had been tampered with.

… Mr Kirby told The Mail on Sunday: I had a very interesting chat with the officer in charge. The window shutters are not an issue.*
*(The parents at first claimed they had been forced)

The article goes on to add that Gerry and Kate McCann and all their friends on the holiday left their patio doors open throughout the evenings for fear of fire.

As I say: They had 'all their friends' with them on holiday, but no-one to babysit. They had a 'fear of fire' a concern the place might burn down killing their babies - but left them alone anyway!!!

My heart gones our for the child and mother, but for, me, the dad is too emotionless, to caught up in the media.

Personally, cold as this sounds, while I think the mum is going nuts, I genuinely believe the father, Gerry McCann, is revelling in the 'glory' and global fame. They aren't getting 'bad publicity' they are selling newspapers. The papers aren't screaming NEGLECT, they are headlining, Poor, poor (rich) parents. Send Money. More Money. Oh aye, have you seen this girl?

For me, and I've watched the tapes over and over again to make sure I wasn't just paranoid*, the dad is just too calm, too in control. That is not a distraught parent frantic for his missing girl. *(Which I am anyway, who can blame me!)

  • Hands up all of you who are parents. Wow, so many.
  • Hands up all those who have a little girl. Again, many, many.
  • Now, hands up all you mum's and dad's that can calmly direct and manipulate hoards of experienced press journalists, directing questions, while thinking, a paedaphile has my daughter, what's he done, what's he doing, oh gods, oh gods, it's all my fault.

Are they aware what the majority of us really think? I don't think they care what we think! Probably paying some of the trauma team they have to make them feel better while they rest in a luxury villa.

Personally, while wholeheartedly sympthesing, I hold the pair in utter content. You have a wealthy, obviously well connected couple, but it's too much trouble to take a nanny or relative along?

I'm sure the media frenzy may help get the lass back OK, or it might make the abductors panic (not good), but the amount of people making money out of this, the speed the limited company was set up etc, I find THAT disturbing.

Moreso is the fact the official website is only in English! As the news goes, she was taken in Portugul, possibly moved through Spain and on to North Africa. Whether this is true or not, why the heck isn't the site translated into French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Greek and even Arabic. Or even just Portuguese and Spanish!? All this money flowing, all these 'experts' and no-one remembered the basics like English is a 2nd language for most of Europe!

I'm pedantic but missing obvious facts like Portuguese, Spanish and Africans don't have English as a first language and maybe, you know, it might help if the natives of the area she was taken from could read the official news in their own tongue. Yes, some of the posters are translated now, but too little, too late.

Have YOU seen little Maddie? … … Que?

While everyones concern goes out to the missing girl, there's a lot of uncomfortable question like this being glossed over.

Sadly children disappear like this all the time, all over the world. The only difference here in that the parents are wealthy and obviously well connected. Had it been an unmarried couple, of benefit, in a cheap resort, no-one would really care, unless it's to sell a few papers with sensational headlines like Neglectful dolies lose kids while out on the town. And we all know it is true! I'm not advocating hauling the parents over the court, but I making a point. Money talks!

Talking of money

In a remarkedly fast time, the McCanns and/or their aides have set up a limited company to manage and direct the funds, as they see fit. One can't help but note:
Leaving No Stone Unturned Limited:
Company Registration Number - 6248215
Article: 3.1.3 To provide support, including financial assistance, to Madeleine’s family.
Most of the other published article refer to bringing those involved to justice. I'm sorry, erm, but isn't that what the Police are for? Does this mean all the funds go to paying for overtime to La Polícia Judiciária? Somehow I think not.

The banks etc are involved not because they care, but as a PR stunt, it's big news - and they want a piece of it.

All the QC's, experts and consultants (the same genius's that forget many Portuguese don't speak English well) are no doubt on fat, all expenses paid fees.

Then there's the company taking the texts... The site, which is not dynamically updated offered a figure of $73,000 donated by the public. Of which 47% goes to the phone company. Not bad for a few days (automated) work, hmmm.

Text "MADDIE" to 60999 and £1 will be taken from your phone (53p will go to the Madeleine Fund). (Standard network charges may apply)
The balance on the fund account current stands at £73,505.58.

I don't for a second doubt that the mother is distraught but Mr McCann is altogether too calm for my liking and in the fame, sorry the face of all this media attention and incoming money, I have questions I don't like thinking!

Further to this we have people offering millions 'to anyone with information which could lead to the safe return of the four-year-old'. A colleague of Madelaines mum even offered £100,000. Terrible as this is, statistically, it is just yet another kidnapping, one of many that happens day in, day out.

Anyway, the official sites (as opposed to all the typo-squatting ones) are: