Saturday, 10 December 2016
THOSE INTERVIEWS WITH SANDRA FELGUEIRAS
I have never actually attempted to analyse the McCann interviews in the way that others have done, but now that my interest has been sparked, I thought I would revisit their most fraught interview, the one that didn't quite go to plan.
I have to admit Sandra Felgueiras is one of my own feminist icons, she is a formidable woman, my highest compliment! It is apparent from her interviews with the McCanns, that they treat her with deference, figuratively speaking, in an office situation, she is the one in the big chair behind the desk.
Sandra disarms them because they know they don't have the power to manipulate her. She is beyond their control. It is clear from the beginning of Sandra's interview with Kate and Gerry on 3rd November 2009, that there is a hostile atmosphere. I would suspect words were spoken before the interview began, K&G knew this would be a tough one. I'm guessing, 'I haven't flown all this way not to ask questions on behalf of my Portuguese viewers..... and they want to know about the stuff in their newspapers, ie. your libel battles with Goncalo Amaral'.
But let's look at the background as to what was going on, on 3rd November 2009 http://madeleinemccann.org/blog/2014/04/20/a-minute-for-madeleine-interviews/ (many thanks Nigel and Pamela), the bigger picture. The first interview of the day, with the BBC, was tame, and indeed they were accompanied by Jim Gamble, then head of CEOP.
Factoring in that 2+2 usually equals 4, it is quite clear that at the time of those interviews Gerry and Kate were under the care, control and influence of Jim Gamble, maybe they had had a falling out with Clarence. In all of their interviews they are promoting not only their daughter, but the 'amazing' work of CEOP and the idea of a similar Missing Child network in the UK on the scale of the NCMEC in the United States.
In promoting A Minute for Madeleine, they hoped to make missing children a priority cause in the ruthlessly competitive charity industry and the police agencies competing for funding. I'm not sure A Minute for Madeleine went as viral as they had hoped, but I'm pretty sure Gerry and Kate had a clear agenda that day.
Body language plays an enormous part in the way in which we communicate, so too the way in which we dress, and the way in which we strut our stuff. Sandra is bubbling with confidence. She is wearing a bright red dress, her hair and makeup is perfect, she oozes fabulous. Kate by contrast is wearing a drab print top and a mumsy cardigan, her hair and makeup, modest and neat. She never looks comfortable in her clothes, it's as though she wears what is expected from her, that is, someone in her somewhat unique position.
Gerry is showing what a regular kind of guy he is by not wearing a tie and having his top button undone, the suit says, not a chav. He is far from relaxed, he is sitting upright, almost rigid, interestingly, his knee crossed towards Kate, and BOTH his hands clutching onto hers. Is he seeking reassurance or is he pacifying Kate? He is stroking her hand in a 'calm down' motion.
I'm afraid one of the things I dislike about Kate, is her girly adoration of 'her man' and the clingy way in which she relies upon him. It's as if she grabbed the prize and is never letting go. Like most women who are seriously smitten, she cannot understand why others do not see her hero in the same way that she does. Regardless, in this interview, both are very much together, her knee too, is turned towards Gerry.
The macho, alpha male Gerry, has very much been de-emasculated by this interview. Not only is he turned towards his wife and clutching her hand with both of his, he is also (subconsciously) protecting his balls. Strong women can have that effect. I remember one class at University when the words of a particularly extreme feminist lecturer, could get all the guys in the room crossing their legs, simultaneously, lol.
Sandra's persistence on the 'dogs' question, pushed Gerry into a corner, where, uncomfortably for all of us, the only thing he had left was flirting. Sandra failed to laugh at his 'ask the dogs' retort, while she had him squirming, she went in for the kill. Poetry in motion! She was in fact asking the questions her Portuguese viewers wanted answers to, something all her British counterparts failed to do on behalf of their viewers.
In fairness, I can see now why Peter Hyatt did not choose this particular interview. despite the fact that it was one of those rare moments when the McCann guard was broken down. Gerry and Kate had a very clear agenda, which they stuck to through all the interviews and the tough questions. But the chances are, the same could be said of every interview they gave, especially if we break them down and look at what was going on at the time.
On 3rd May 2009, they had a script for every interview that was, almost verbatim, the same as that used in the video created by CEOP and which they hoped to make viral. Their defence, could quite fairly argue, they were being used as puppets.