Almost seven years on, is this case finally reaching a conclusion?
So many times we have been brought to the brink, only for the case to continue dragging along much the same as always. This time however, I feel there is real change. The original Crimewatch gave the impression that SY were working FOR the McCanns - ie. checking in for the approval of Gerry, Kate, Clarence and Carter Ruck. I did not get a sense of that last night - there were no friendly references to Gerry and Kate, or indeed to Mr and Mrs McCann. The tragic couple were not perched on stools telling us that they were not as happy as they could be, and there was no reference to their innocence.
Frankly if the best evidence Crimewatch could come up with after all that publicity, to support the McCanns' abduction story, was Kate doing her very animated impression of the curtains going whoosh (again), what were those very helpful 3,500 calls about?
As for the unprecedented help the McCanns received, I think this was the result of a cascade effect. On the night Madeleine disappeared the McCanns and their friends had address books full of influential people, and as we know they hit the phones with a vengeance. No time for actually searching. The influential friends stepped in immediately, it was a tragic story and everyone wanted to look like the good guy, the hero running to the rescue of a beautiful child and her photogenic, erudite parents. Within a day they were in contact with No. 10 and soon had access to string pulling in every direction, including media moguls and A-List celebrities.
Added to which Gerry and Kate could give lessons in assertiveness, they knew what they wanted, and they knew how to get it. From not even knowing they needed a Fund, their fundraising reached heights never seen before or since in a missing child case. £1m, £2m, 3m - they couldn't get enough. Each time the Fund dropped below 500k, they were back on our screens begging for more. Their spending was as prolific as their Fundraising, one can imagine a gambler in Las Vegas, as long as he's got his gold watch he can carry on. As long as we all believed Madeleine was alive, the McCanns had their gold watch, with the closure of the online shop and lack of age progression pictures in this latest update, the watch may well be pawned.
It was the fundraising that won Kate the grand title of Ambassador for Missing People. The McCanns own Fund had raised millions. Perhaps they even hope the philanthropic pair might gift anything remaining to their own coffers, once Madeleine (and her abductors) are found of course. As my oft quoted ex double glazing boss used to say, the answer to EVERY question is money. Although in my opinion Kate doesn't seem half so enthusiastic about raising funds for them as she was when raising funds for herself and hubby.
I don't believe the McCanns have government assistance per se, they are merely astute at knowing who to contact and how to pressure them into giving assistance. I would imagine once such 'assistance' has been given and received, the relationship would end in antagonism. For the McCanns backscratching is a one way street as demonstrated by McCanns speaking out against the press at the Leveson Enquiry. That was one gigantic knife in many backs and pitiful to see grown men and women tying themselves in knots to sound humble and rebuked over their 'gross' mistreatment of the saintly pair.
They don't have the power they claim to have, nor do they have public support, despite their practice of manipulating figures on their social network sites. As for high level assistance. It should be noted that diplomatic assistance was quietly dropped very early on. Clarence gave up his government job to become the McCanns' full time spokesman. A curious thing to do as the child could have turned up at any time, but regardless, he was no longer representing the government, but the McCanns in a £75k pa. private capacity. He gives the impression that he is speaking as an 'official' of sorts and I think this has led many to believe that the McCanns have the full support of the authorities, and indeed powerful friends. Perhaps, at one time they did, Team McCann was a popular bandwagon to jump on.
The figures used by the McCanns to fool the powers that be into believing they have majority support are manipulated. Are the public also being manipulated to believe that the 'authorities' support the McCanns?
If they are, I don't think that is the case anymore. As far back as 2008 (I believe), Clarence famously said 'The McCanns asked for a meeting with the Prime Minister but were only offered a medium level consul, which they declined. Their access to David Cameron was via Rebekah Brooks - anything McCann related sees a massive rise in the sale of tabloids, and it suited him to grant the Review. The people the McCanns were dealing with, are among the most ruthless in our society, its how they got to the top. It looks to me as though people are distancing themselves from the couple, no one of note has spoken up for them at their Libel trial in Lisbon. The McCanns were not able to produce a qualified psychologist to give evidence on their behalf. Their witnesses came across as ill informed and ill prepared, as the learned Judge said to one lady 'go back to your life', it would appear the Judge is not buying it.
Are we reaching a crescendo? I believe so, something's got to give.