From the moment they found Madeleine gone, Gerry and Kate have worked tirelessly to place the blame on others. They were innocent parents lulled into a false sense of security by the tranquil, friendly setting of the resort, how could they possibly have known the Algarve was a haven for child predators? They cannot be blamed for leaving the children on their own, it was the natural thing to do, no-one warned them of the danger. Warners especially, failed in their duty of care, by not placing notices around the resort.
Kate and Gerry claim that on the night Madeleine vanished, no-one was helping them. In fact, whilst the police, searchers and volunteers combed through the surrounding area looking for their daughter, they were on the phones establishing the myth that they were on their own and the Portuguese police were biased and incompetent. The fact that Portugal launched the biggest missing person search in their entire history, was drowned out by the proactive McCann and Healy clans, who were more than happy to smear the police in whatever way they could.
That the parents were hostile to the police from the very beginning is more than a little curious. Whilst it did of course distract from their own negligence, it was also planting seeds that have continued to grow and flourish to this day. If the Portuguese police had handled the abduction properly, Madeleine may have been found. Their failure to close the borders and bring out helicopters added to the McCanns' pain. Then of course, there were the hundreds, if not thousands, of sightings around the world, how many of those were lost because the Portuguese police had turned their attention on the parents?
Bizarrely, Kate and Gerry then claimed the 'incompetent PJ' cleared them in the final report of the Portuguese AG. Every text is of course open to interpretation, and the AG report is worded very carefully, one suspects it was agreed by multiple teams of high priced lawyers. We could play semantics all day long, but the truth was, the file was shelved. As Kate and Gerry often said 'no-one is looking for Maddie'. On this occasion, they were being quite truthful. No-one was looking for a live Madeleine, because the police believed she was dead and were not going to waste anymore resources on wild goose chases. It didn't matter one iota what Goncalo Amaral did or didn't say, the message that Madeleine is dead came from the shelving of the Portuguese police file in July 2008. Contrary to what Kate and Gerry may claim, police do not give up on live, findable children.
The blame for the McCanns secondary loss lies firmly with the Portuguese police. 'They don't want a murder in Portugal', Kate opined, 'so they are blaming us'. The PJ in their eagerness to blame the foreign tourists themselves so they get back to their wine and sardines, were looking for a quick way out. The parents were being framed! The idea of leaving a child predator on the loose in order to wrap up a case is of course absurd, and presumably the first line of defence for most suspects, but they went with it nevertheless. Susan Healy of course bought it hook, line and sinker. 'If there is evidence, WHO put it there?' - she asked through her rose tinted glasses.
Naturally the blame for the McCanns' predicament doesn't stop there. Enter the big bad media moguls. All such great buds at the beginning when they were all soothed by the daily kerching of tabloid sales and donation buttons and sworn to be best friends forever. But it was a relationship based on cash flow, and when the cash stopped flowing the relationship soured. Was it them, was it us, Kate and Gerry must ask, before deciding conclusively, it was them. They just moved on, lured away by the next big story and the next sensational headlines. It wasn't like the McCanns didn't try, Kate even graciously agreed to postpone her book launch so she didn't detract attention away from the Royal wedding.
Clarence is right of course. The McCanns relationship with the media is a soap opera. One in which a petulant couple with huge legal resources were constantly demanding front pages and headlines. If they were prepared to pay Bell Pottinger £500k* to keep them on the front pages, what other tactics were they prepared to use? We have seen the way their representatives act on social media - they are completely bereft of honour, integrity or basic good manners. The McCanns are what I call 'gimmeez', as in 'give me, give me, give me', and gimmeez can turn extremely unpleasant when they stop getting what they want.
Gerry doesn't believe they were compensated anywhere near enough for the suffering they endure. They were only awarded for the damage suffered in the UK, not throughout the world. And things were going so well in Washington and the USA, John Walsh, Oprah, movie deals, so many
The McCanns most current, and pressing, war is with the Media. They must take the ultimate blame for everything. Team McCann are anxious to pre-empt any backlash from Operation Grange, and/or any lifting of press restrictions that may be in place. As and when the press turn on them, they can blame pre existing vendettas because they told the 'truth' at the Leveson Inquiry and because they 'exposed' their appalling behaviour.
It may be that Gerry is considering further action for the global damage he and his wife suffered, it obviously niggles him, and legal action has been very lucrative in the past. But then again, he will turn against his lawyers, it's a gimmeez thing and it's inevitable and I would love to be a fly on the wall when he instructs Carter Ruck to sue themselves.
Kate and Gerry's modus operandi is to blame others, they are eternal victims. 'We did nothing wrong' Kate says over and over, 'it was the abductor who broke into the apartment'. For 9 years, they haven't been telling us to look for Maddie, they've been saying 'we are not to blame'. They want it carved in stone and splattered across the front pages. They want those carefree days of Summer 2007 back, when the world loved them and VIPs like Ray Wyre and Clement Freud invited them to dinner. They want the chauffeur driven limousines, the private jets and the 5* hotels. And they want the privacy to enjoy them and the right to brag about them, but without press intrusion or the publication of any story not approved by their press agency. And they believe with the right publicity it is all possible.
Kate and Gerry's need for people to believe them is driving them insane. It dominates everything they do. They can't give up the search because it would confirm that Madeleine is dead and there would be no need for a Fund. People are not likely to donate if they believed the Fund was for legal expenses. The idea that Maddie is in the care of a family who wanted her, becomes more airy fairy with each passing year. And if the 'abductor' had wanted a child to traffic, there were two babies in the same room.
The McCanns will only have legal protection as long as they can afford it. That is the harsh reality, and it may be that Gerry is taking on the mantle of the ordinary man against the might of the press barons, because he can no longer afford Carter Ruck. Gerry's efforts to bring the British press under control have had limited success, and the chances are he and his wife have made a lot of enemies along the way. They have bitten the hand that fed them and they continue to snap away at their ankles, they want more, but as we have seen over and over, nothing is ever enough. Again, that's the way it is with gimmeez.
Sadly for Kate and Gerry, the newspapers can't put things right, nor can the Royal Courts of Justice, the smear campaigns or the hounding of their critics on social media. They may blame the police, the press, the public and Goncalo Amaral for the situation they now find themselves in, but at some point, they will have to acknowledge that they made all their own decisions.
Those who blame other people for their woes will never be happy. For Kate and Gerry, exonerating themselves of blame may salve their conscious, but it won't endear them to anyone. It's not a likeable trait, and probably has more to do with their unpopularity than anything said by Goncalo Amaral. Genuine grieving parents blame themselves, no matter there really was an abductor, they blame themselves, nothing can take that guilt from them, and nothing can ease their pain. Watching the guilt and the real tears of distraught parents is heart wrenching, because we know that is exactly how we would feel ourselves.
The McCanns I feel are putting on a brave front and preparing for the next round. Just as in PDL in the lead up to the '100 Days', they are continuing with their media campaign and ignoring everything that is going on behind the scenes. I can imagine Team McCann wearing minion type goggles to keep them focused on the wider agenda and how they can continue fund raising for a child who is no longer with us.
One day, we would hope Kate and Gerry will realise that the buck stops with them. Other people are not responsible for the roads they took, they took them of their own free will. Even if all of the people they blame had followed all their instructions to the letter, and given them everything they wanted (and many did), they will still be 'if onlys' and 'but fors'. That's the way it is with negative people, they will always find something to complain about and someone to blame for them being disgruntled. It is always someone's else's fault. 'Our lives would be perfect but for........'. Tragically in this case, it seems the name Madeleine completed the sentence.
*Not mentioned by Clarence in his recent marketing lecture.