Thursday, 6 February 2014
HAVE THE PUBLIC HAD ENOUGH?
I think the public are now groaning when they see a McCann story. Seven years of spin - quite literally, the same old stories are going around and around, and all are intended to take suspicion away from the McCanns. From the responses in the comments of the National papers, it seems as though the public have had enough. The McCanns have received the kind of help other devastated families can only dream of, a massive Fund to support the family and an entire department of Scotland Yard detectives investigating their daughter's disappearance as if the 'abduction' had occurred in the UK.
Its not going well for the McCanns. In my opinion the publicity machine has gone into meltdown. The stories are becoming ever more ridiculous and those of us who have watched this case in amazement this past 7 years have heard them many times before. They are repeating the same tactics they used in 2007, media saturation. In 2007 it worked, as Clarence bragged at that spin doctor conference, they successfully turned public opinion on the McCanns from hostility to sympathy and support. Further they were able to stir up anger against anyone who doubted the McCanns, by accusing them (us) of being internet voyeurs of tragedy who attack victims of crime. We had the strange phenomenon where normally rational people would become incensed at any criticism of the parents, and the subject became as taboo at the dinner table as politics and religion.
However, the abduction story has not stood the test of time. It becomes more and more outlandish as the years go by. In the grief of the moment we are prepared to believe exactly what we are told, seven years on, it is a big ask. Those who took an interest in the case of missing Madeleine McCann have, since she disappeared, seen too many tragic abducted child cases where the parents have been responsible - right before their eyes the facts have confirmed the statistics.
Public opinion matters. If you are popular you can get away with murder - look at Hitler. There is no point our moaning about it, it just is - though on the plus side our leaders are becoming more attractive as beauty wins the battle over brains. But I digress, to this day, I believe the initial hours after Madeleine disappeared are crucial to the way in which this case was handled, and I believe there was a huge Oops moment in the corridors of Westminster when it became obvious all was not quite as it seemed.
Herein lies the shame of the politicians, it was more advantageous to them to defend this hard working, clean living, British family, than it was to look too closely at their very odd behaviour. It became almost jingoistic as mainstream journalists joined in the attacks on the Portuguese investigation, spurred on by the lack of results that could not be obtained because the main protagonists refused to co-operate. The blame was placed firmly in the lap of Goncalo Amaral and the McCanns's popularity soared. That people who should have known better were blinded by their innate class prejudice and xenophobia will be a further stain on the reputation of the British abroad, alongside the myth that we all leave our kids alone in hotel rooms.
But lets stay logical. Just as we who follow this case watch the comments columns of national newspapers to gauge public opinion, so too do Government departments. In 2007 Kate may well have been right, there could have been riots in the streets, the McCann media machine had literally stirred the public up into a frenzy. What with Gerry's epiphany and Kate's suffering, we were observing 21st century internet martyrs. Wracking up the Catholic support was a stroke of genius.
I don't think the McCanns can make a successful comeback now, people are no longer coming together to raise funds for them or pray en masse. There certainly won't be any more audiences with the Pope. David Cameron granted the McCanns the Review they wanted but he didn't meet them and he wasn't photographed shaking their hands. Everyone knows that when this story breaks (which it will), it will be even more sensational than it was the first time around. The Press keep the McCanns in the headlines because they shift newspapers, probably no more no less, and they have the convenience of readily prepared press releases to fill those column inches.
I believe we will see justice for Madeleine this year because DCI Redwood is focused on the child, not the parents, and if that determined look on his face is fake, then he deserves a table at the Oscars.