8 September 2007


Returning from Poland, I was at Robin Hood Airport near Doncaster, waiting to proceed through passport control when I noticed several posters advertising the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. "Have you seen Maddy?" they announced with a number to call and the obligatory website address. I felt like screaming "NO I BLOODY HAVEN'T SEEN MADDY!" After all, at the risk of sounding callous, what is so special about little Maddy that she gets the glaring media spotlight that so many missing children never receive? And how come that in an official airport zone private publications like the Maddy posters can be tacked to the walls?

I am always pissed off when Maddy's disappearance and related matters occupies the number one TV news slot in the UK. Soldiers may have been killed in Iraq or Afghanistan, a workplace may have laid off hundreds, shares may have plummeted but oh no - let's focus on the soap opera that is now Madeleine McCann Inc..

We had her loving parents - Gerry and Kate, jetting off to Rome and Morocco and Spain - interestingly, ironically and perhaps appallingly leaving their baby twins behind! And now the Portugese authorities have raised the awful possibility that Gerry and/or Kate may in fact be responsible for Maddy's death. It has become one of the main conversational topics on our island this week and I guess there isn't one pub in the land where someone hasn't said in secretive tones - "I always thought there was something a bit fishy about those two!"

Will we ever get to know the truth about what happened at Praia de Luz in May? Do we care? Will Madeleine ever be found - dead or alive? Don't get me wrong - ultimately, my heart really does go out to little Maddy - such a lovely little girl with her whole life in front of her. Could it be that her parents have covered their guilt so very extravagantly in order to deflect the possibility of blame sticking to them? Personally, I find such a scenario impossible to believe... well almost impossible.


  1. Anonymous10:48 pm

    Me and the missus were having this exact conversation today. She made herself unpopular at work last week by reiterating her belief that one or other of the parents did it. Maybe accidentally, but where would the UK police look first, close to home.

    At my workplace everyone thinks that the parents were less than distraught when interviewed. I mean, speaking as a parent myself it's inconceivable that they could be so calm.

    And as for the bloody world tour, how pointless was that?

    Qudos to you for saying what a helluva lot of the country are thinking.

  2. No - just can't believe they have anything whatsoever* to do with Maddy's disappearance. If I have got it right it seems we are being asked to believe they:
    1)Killed their daughter.
    2)Hid her somehow in a country they had never been to before, but so cleverly she was not found by a finger tip search of the local area.
    3)Went out to dinner acting completely normally.
    4) Lied consistently in the face of world media scrutiny.
    5) In spite of being followed everywhere, then somehow managed to retrieve and dispose of her body without anyone noticing.

    I know most murdered children are killed by family members, and I might be proved wrong, but I just can't comprehend that they could be involved.

    * Except arguably that they left her alone. I wouldn't have done what they did, but I can see that they would have considered their children to be in a safe environment. For what ever explanation, that was for Maddy tragically wrong.

    Sorry for going on at such length.

  3. Anonymous2:46 pm

    From what is being said over there in the UK it sounds like my country in the early 1980's with the disappearance of Azaria Chamberlain, ("the dingo did it) we thought that the mother did it and she did spend a couple of years in jail but was exonnerated in the end so don't judge too quickly

  4. Hang 'em all!!

    Just joking.

    But, responsible for the girl's death or abduction or not.... The bare fact is that I hope they enjoyed their tapas!!

    Whether they were directly responsible for whatever happened, I think it is unlikely that we will ever find out the truth. Indirectly, the concept of leaving sleeping babies in an apartment whilst "whooping it up", no matter how close/far away from their beds. is in my humble opinion unforgiveable.

    Aren't I the cheery one?


  5. This saga dominates the news here in NZ when we have no deaths of our own to comment on. I have to say that no matter what the outcome, what kind of parents leave young children on their own while they go out for an evenings entertainment? There said it, I feel better now.

  6. a teenage girl has been missing from Richmond for over two years. Someone has been charged with her murder, although she has not been found. I don't believe this story ever even made the news outside of the local papers. It is interesting to compare and contrast with the coverage of the McCann story. It does seem as if even so called respectable news organisations like the BBC have basically gone down the tabloid 'whatever sells papers or boosts ratings' route in the way they judge the newsworthiness of stories

  7. As an example - last night on a twenty minute BBC news programme....

    The first ten minutes was just the fact that the McCanns had arrived back in England.

    The second item was about two soldiers killed in Afghanistan and received 30 seconds!!



  8. Parents guilty or not guilty? Police doing a good job or clutching at straws? At the end of the day, should we not ask ourselves: where is Maddy? And if she is dead, where is the body? How did she die?

  9. 's good to see fine folks as yourself speak the truth and speak up about what so many others are actually thinking.

    Hope your trip went great - I'll be trying to catch up in the next few days.

  10. It's interesting that highly protective parents (of which I am one) get razzed for worrying too much and taking extra precautions to protect our children. We're told, "You're keeping your child from experiencing THE WORLD." There's an element of truth to the criticism, but the fact of the matter is, when something bad does happen, no one says, "Wow, I admire those parents for being so laid back. They really let their kids experience life."

    I know of people who are fine with leaving their babies sitting in cars while they run into the grocery store or gas station. As long as nothing happens, it's okay, and parents who get uptight about leaving their kids alone are considered, well, uptight. However, when something happens, the response is, "How could they have done such a thing?"

    I'm inclined to think "Innocent until proven guilty" on the murder charge, but definitely guilty all the way on the negligent parenting charge.

  11. Very brave to even mention this YP.

  12. Anonymous11:06 pm

    At first I admit, I didn't know what to think. Now given the fact that the blood found in the car has apparently been confirmed as Madeleine's, it's definitely enough to raise suspicions.

    My father and I discussed on the phone about the way Maddy's father gave the statement when they arrived back in the UK. There wasn't a flicker of emotion from a man who has, along with his wife, been named a suspect in the disappearance of his child.

  13. Anonymous11:06 pm

    At first I admit, I didn't know what to think. Now given the fact that the blood found in the car has apparently been confirmed as Madeleine's, it's definitely enough to raise suspicions.

    My father and I discussed on the phone about the way Maddy's father gave the statement when they arrived back in the UK. There wasn't a flicker of emotion from a man who has, along with his wife, been named a suspect in the disappearance of his child.

  14. Ho! Ho! I seem to have stirred a hornets' nest here.

    A FELLOW YORKSHIREMAN. Your missus sounds like a lady with balls if you don't mind me saying!

    JJCOBBLERS No need to be sorry for going on at length. I like to go on at length myself if I am feeling energetic. I know that you have worked with tragedy and family issues - maybe not like this but your instincts are probably worth heeding.

    CRAIG Was that damned dingo (or was it an arctic fox?) ever brought to justice?

    ARCTIC FOX Earlier this year in Santiago de Compostela I enjoyed some lovely tapas and personally I would gladly sedate my kids if it meant I could enjoy a plate of tapas without them whining away about the Tellytubbies.

    EURODOG Yes where is she? Have YOU seen Maddy?

    DAVID Are you SURE you can't find some news about NZ farmboys mounting sheep?

    ARTHUR CLEWLEY. Thank you. You reinforced my point very clearly.

    FRIDAY'S WEB. Nice to hear from you again.

    @THE MILL Brave? Or maybe foolish? I am a bit afraid of the Maddy Vigilante Group.

    GLEEFUL ALKELDA. Negligent parenting charge. Sure you haven't ever felt like leaving little Lucia in her swanky new American garden den?

    DAWN Okay you don't need to say it twice Dawny baby!

  15. I am cynical.

    I just fear for the collective ability to feel compassion if it has been subject to a monumental confidence trick.

  16. Would this sad case have received all this publicity if the parents had been a couple of chavs on an 18+ holiday as opposed to two 'professional' parents on a short break with their family? I think not. Children all across the globe are reported missing every day for whatever reason. It's a sad fact of life. This tabloid circus following the McCann's plight is disgusting and questions should be asked about how it is allowed to go on. Like the majority of people I know, I am sick to death about having this story rammed down my throat every bloody day. All sympathy for the McCann's vanished a long time ago.


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