As no-one else appears to be as delighted as Kate and Gerry McCann are at their recent battering of a diligent, hard working, former cop, there has been a quick change of tack. Kate is now more driven than ever to find her daughter, and, gawd 'elp us, more driven than ever to prove just how innocent she and her husband are. Like Savile and Armstrong, she puts her face atop a charity. If she was genuinely philanthropic, she would run out to Nepal, where her abandoned medical training could be put to good use.
Of course Kate is more driven, she has to be. At some point she and her husband may have to (officially) mount a very large legal defence. The McCanns have surrounded themselves with lawyers since May 2007, and not just the run of the mill High Street ones, but the UK's biggest guns, and they don't come cheap. Kate is driven to win the public onside, if and when the time comes, she wants rioting in the streets and a huge backlash against anyone mean enough to ask her questions.
Now, having 'won' their libel case, would be a good time for the McCanns to abandon all that makes them miserable (negative publicity) and give their surviving kids some kind of normality. The past 8 years of their childhood has been dominated by the spectre of their missing sister. I pity them, I truly do, it seems not one adult around them is prepared to stop the insanity. The world and it's dog have done everything humanly possible to find Madeleine, and if it weren't for the fact that Kate and Gerry know she will never be found, the same too could be said of them. The McCanns have shamelessly exploited their kids, even going so far as naming and quoting her son during the libel trial. Those poor kids will forever be known for the tragedy that engulfs them and their family, because not one of them is functional enough to let the crazy, money spinning machine, that is their dead sister, go.
The McCann twins cannot be protected from what is said on the internet, no child, or even adult can. Every time we log on we risk seeing something that might offend/distress us, its a chance we take. The same thing happens when we step outside our front doors. How the hell do you legislate against it? What is offensive to one person is not necessarily offensive to another? And who is to judge what is offensive? Do we really want a panel of moral arbiters? People like the late Mary Whitehouse, Jim Gamble and Tony Bennett? That is, the only people likely to volunteer for the job?
People who need to be protected when they go online should probably avoid it for their own sanity. Oddballs and deranged stalkers exist in all walks of life, including, surprise, surprise, on the internet. The cyber world is not that different from the real world and just as we cannot keep our babies safely secured in a basinet for 18 years, we cannot clean up the net sheriff style so it is safe for them to go on.
The ONLY effective protection the McCann children can have, must come from their parents and from within the home. We cannot stop kids seeing stuff, but we can make them strong and confident enough to handle it. For their children, the kindest thing the parents could do now would be to focus ALL their attention on them. Pack away the shrine that is Madeleine's bedroom and put all the posters and tat in the bin. No kids should have to live with that kind of shadow over them, it has gone way beyond the creepy stage.
As for the cycle ride? Again, Kate has taken up a time consuming and very public crusade that takes her away from her kids, one that satisfies her needs (fame and glory) and not those of her children (love and attention). It has been leitmotif thoughout, why am I surprised.
It must be galling for the McCanns that they cannot fundraise for themselves (and they were so good at it) while Operation Grange continues. It would be a bit like saying 'thanks guys, but we better build a nest egg for when you fail'. The McCanns and Clarence obviously don't have much faith in Scotland Yard if they are preparing to launch a private investigation of their own when OG reaches an
At the moment they have more than enough money to continue 'searching' for Madeleine the rest of their lives, even if it only means an annual trip to PDL to hand out photographs - eg. the kind of stuff parents of other missing kids do, but minus the £1m the McCanns have to spare in their bank account. Those loony enough to believe that they can 'spot' a generic, white female child aged 12 out of the millions around the globe will carry on regardless. Though of course, not wanting to restrict the search too much, the parents and their little helpers covered the 'white' aspect by also giving us an 'Asian' Maddie.
|To, yeh, still speechless after all these years|
I would say Kate is more driven now because she has to be. She is in a prison of her own making and the walls are closing in. The verdict from Lisbon didn't go down well, it comes across as greedy and obscene in the face of all the help the McCanns have had. Other than their (paid?) spokesman and Jim Gamble, very few if any share in their delight at ruining a former detective who was only doing his job. I wonder if they got a congratulatory bouquet from the officers at Operation Grange?
Pat Brown has made a lot of fair points in her recent blog but she is taking an empirical stance - that is, she is judging this case on her own personal knowledge and experience, and of course 'the state' she refers to is the USA. Whilst I agree one country's 'state' is much like another, there are enormous cultural and ethical differences. I prefer the much more open US system btw, but such is life.
The case of missing Madeleine McCann however is unique. Yes, I know there are other cases with many similar traits - the Jonbenet Ramsey case being a good example of rich, influential parents avoiding criminal charges and redirecting the blame elsewhere. However, the parents of Madeleine became rich and influential through the loss of their daughter, they are nouveau riche, the kind of people (secretly) despised by the landed gentry, those who have worked their socks off for their own fortunes, and of course the snobs. Welcomed into the inner circles at the height of their fame, their arguido status and bizarre behaviour has turned them into social pariahs. And lets call a spade a spade, they just aren't likeable. John and Patsy Ramsey were far more sophisticated and eloquent than Gerry and Kate, and they never had to rely on fundraising to keep their campaign going. And from a psychopathy perspective, the UK version are hindered by their extreme love of public attention - they simply cannot keep away from the click of the camera and opportunities to give their enemies the finger. They are arrogant and reckless, it is only a matter of time before it all catches up with them.
As for Operation Grange, there appears to be no will to prosecute this case, it has dragged on far too long. However, the idea that 38 homicide detectives have spent 3, or is it 4 years covering up the death of a child is pretty hard to accept. I know it has been explained, they are all assigned different tasks etc, but they are human beings and they walk, talk and interact. In order for this to be a cover up, each and every one of these detectives must swear to some sort of lifetime pact, that they will never reveal their true agenda. I am not even going to bother listing all those higher up the chain of command, obviously they too must be in on it. But the ordinary cops? Seriously? Not one avenger of the victim among them?
To me it seems as though Pat, in reaching her conclusions is not allowing for human nature. Cops are not (as yet) automatons ruled by the State. I am sure many of the detectives working on this 'disappearance' are mothers, fathers, perhaps even grandparents. All I am sure, joined the police to protect the innocent, not the guilty, and it would take one hell of a leap for 38 of them to jump over to the dark side. From an economic and 'the fewer people who know the better' perspective, a task force half that size could have wiped this clean in half the time and made the spider's web more manageable. And of course Teresa May, David Cameron and bff Rebekah Brookes had no need to respond to the McCanns' desperate plea in the first place! They could easily have said no, and missing Madeleine would have become yesterday's news.
The investigation hasn't done the McCanns any favours, Scotland Yard haven't cleared the parents, on the contrary, support for the McCanns and their Fund is at an all time low. Crimewatch made them appear more guilty, not less, especially when a dead ringer for Gerry was flashed across the screen
Pat is right of course in many of the things she says, and on occasion I feel torn myself. However, Operation Grange opened with a fanfare and they have, I think, been transparent in telling the public the costs. If Clarence is correct and the investigation will end - they will have to produce a report on their findings, and simply saying neither the parents or their friends are suspects, just won't cut the mustard. They have spent around £10m, and they are a public service - they are accountable. OK, they may not be accountable to the extent of publishing their files online, but they will have to tell us the result, and how they got to it.
In comparing the Madeleine case to others in the US, Pat is overlooking the fact that an official investigation into this child's disappearance has been opened (top off worm can) with 38 homicide detectives assigned to work on this case and nothing else. That never happened with the Jonbenet case for example, it went cold, apart from the work of private detectives hired by the Ramseys to find a likely suspect (yes that too rings bells).
Operation Grange is an official investigation, sanctioned by the UK Government and carried out by public service employees. Contrary to popular belief, we still live in a democracy where questions can and should be asked in the Houses of Parliament. We are probably going about this all wrong, we should be tackling our Members of Parliament individually and getting them to ask the right questions on our behalf.
Having said that, we haven't really got a clue what is going on. Operation Grange may be playing a very cool and calculated game, who knows. If they are, kudos, they have had my head spinning on many occasions, I would hate to be in a suspect's shoes. We should at least await the outcome before condemning the investigation and attacking the people working on it, that is just wrong on every level. I have to say, I have always been uncomfortable with Bennett sending off reams of bumf to Operation Grange and continually pestering them for answers to questions that are none of his bleddy business, the man's a menace.
Looking at the bigger picture, the case may well be dragging on because so many people are involved and perhaps cases must be made against each individual before any pouncing can begin. That is one possibility. The case of Jonbenet never went to trial, because the Prosecution simply wasn't convinced they had enough evidence for a conviction, if that happened the Ramseys would walk, and never be put on trial again, eg. Casey Anthony.
If Scotland Yard have to abandon the investigation because they don't have enough evidence, it still won't be the end of it, just as it wasn't the end of it when the PJ shelved their files. The fact is, there are hundreds of cases worldwide where suspects remain free for years and even decades, because the police simply do not have enough evidence to prosecute. This is Gerry's mantra, there's nooooooo evidence. And it is not just rich people who 'get off' either, there are examples of poor parents swanning it too, while the police remain powerless. Its not always political - though I fear this one is.
Whether or not the McCanns will be prosecuted this time around is not the same as the sky falling in. For the rest of us the world continues to turn, we are free to start new ventures or pick up where we left off with old ones. Kate and Gerry and indeed all of their entourage meanwhile are trapped in a particularly nasty groundhog day. For the short tempered Kate, retelling the flimsy 'moment I knew she was taken' story over and over clearly pushes her patience to the limit, you just know 'ffs' is on the tip of her tongue. Gerry too has failed to inspire the masses to march against the media moguls. Now he cuts an isolated and bitter figure, his stop the press campaign falling on deaf and extremely alarmed ears. No-one wants his and his wife's book burning, nor do they want the McCanns' form of extreme retribution, Brenda Leyland style.
Of course Kate is more driven, probably Gerry too, though yet again he hides sheepishly in the background while his wife tests the water. They can both run, cycle, hop, skip and jump, they are still not fooling anyone. They know Maddie can't be found, so what is that drives them?