If Gerry McCann was the best spokesman Hacked Off could muster for their latest appeal, then their movement is pretty much over. Did Gerry draw the short straw? Or did he push himself forward in the belief that he was best equipped, the most articulate and possibly, the most maligned.
It is astonishing that Gerry still believes he has the power to win over an audience. In his own eyes, he is an orator and a leader, people naturally fall into line behind him. But they don't. Not because, we haven't seen enough of him, but because we have seen too much. The McCanns are takers, but with a capital 'T' - everytime they appear on our screens they want something from us, usually cash. Their USP is their ability to whine, constantly. They are always being denied something they believe they are entitled to. And of course, with the number of lawyers they have in their employ, they can always find something.
They want the front pages and the headlines, but they want them run by their publicity team, lawyers and spokesmen first. And they want more compensation, they were financially recompensed for the damage done to their
The McCanns have now turned on the press because they no longer have control. Quite simply McCann headlines no longer equate to massive sales, they are yesterday's news. Whilst the McCanns held the public's interest, they could demand anything, but 9 years have passed, the world has moved on.
One of my favourite poems* begins with the line 'Laugh and the world laughs with you, weep and you weep alone'. Kate and Gerry have little to laugh about, they have committed themselves and those around them to a lifetime of searching for a child who cannot be found. They dare not be seen laughing because it betrays the kind of image they want to project. They are trapped in a time warp because they cannot, or will not, let their USP go.
If they had accepted their loss and used all the millions donated for an altruistic cause that benefited hundreds or even thousands of children, their grief would now be tempered by the knowledge that so much good has been done in their daughter's name. At this time, the Madeleine Fund (not a Charity), has been for the benefit of only ONE child and her family. Or more accurately, for one family, because there are no memorials for Maddie. In Kate and Gerry's quest to protect their own names, the name of Maddie seems to have been forgotten.
Unfortunately for Gerry, his calls for restrictions on the press have also passed their sell by date. The public's outrage at the intrusion on Milly Dowler's family (and that was their key appeal), has been pacified, wrists were slapped and lessons were learned. Just as they were when Princess Diana died, a time when paparazzi fever was at a peak.
Whilst Gerry McCann is well known for his wider agenda, he is completely clueless when it comes to the bigger picture. It may be that he has never picked up a history book, but if he had, he would see that democracies are dependent on freedom of the press. A lot of people have fought and died for the freedoms we now have. Restricting the news is one of the first steps towards tyranny.
The watching world are all too well aware that Gerry McCann has much to hide, which again suggests Hacked Off have all but thrown in the towel, and we know darn well why he wants prior approval of everything McCann related. Although not officially, and we are not allowed to say it, Gerry McCann is one of the main suspects in the disappearance of his daughter. I expect most of the Crimewatch audience fell off their chairs when a giant picture of his doppelganger appeared, thinking wow, what are the chances of the main suspect looking exactly like the child's father?
The McCanns have been unable to stop the revelation of the blood and cadaver dog findings or Kate's refusal to answer the questions of the Portuguese police. All of these facts are in the public domain, but if Gerry had his way, they wouldn't be.
The heroes of the Journalist world are those who go where angels fear to tread. And thank all the Gods there may be for that, because they are the guardians of the masses, it is fear of exposure that keeps the rich and powerful in check. Those with nothing to hide don't give two hoots what the press say about them.
* Solitude by Ella Wheeler Wilcox