R.F.Wilson writes from London: Pardon me for asking but what exactly was Kate McCann thinking when she agreed to become the ambassador for the charity Missing People that deals with issues concerning people going missing? How did it actually play out between her and her public relations advisors? And what was the charity itself thinking when it offered Kate the position of its ambassador? Because let’s face it, she’s not exactly the best person by far to advice anyone on missing people, having left her own kids without supervision when one of them, 4-year-old Madeleine, went missing.
The whole point of preventing people, especially children, from disappearing is to keep an eye on them or, failing that, hiring someone to do that. Kate and her husband Gerry failed to do both of these thing when on a sunny day in May 2007 they decided to leave their children all by themselves in their holiday apartment in a Portuguese sea resort to have dinner with friends.
The McCanns seem not to understand that they are coming across as pretty unpleasant people, having joined the celeb circuit with the help of some dodgy public relations weasels, who obviously had good contacts in the media. Luckily for them Rebekah Brooks, the vain and unintelligent editor of the Sun newspaper, decided that Madeleine’s disappearance would be a great story to run, for weeks and months, with the two parents sharing their grief with the world but never mentioning the fact that they were the main cause of it. It was only a matter of time before the search for Maddy turned into some sort of international public relations campaign, with McCanns getting all offended if anyone dared to point out to them that they should really start grieving in private and raise money to fund their search in a less obvious way.
But encouraged by their advisors the couple pressed onwards, irritating more and more people for obvious reasons. It became pretty clear at some point that Madeleine was dead and that efforts by her parents to keep the interest in her fate alive smacked more of a publicity campaign than of a proper search. And when Prime Minister David Cameron decided to intervene, probably pushed to it by his friend, Rebekah, and ordered a full blown investigation by Scotland Yard into Madeleine’s disappearance, it all started to look distinctly unpleasant. Why should 40-odd investigators be spending their time looking for a child who had disappeared because her parents decided to have some fun and not spend any money on a nanny who was available at their holiday home? It actually looked bizarre, this decision to reopen the case at a cost of millions. It smacked of some perverted sense of justice, if justice is a proper word here.
The McCanns, who are obviously not very intelligent people, can’t seem to understand that their behaviour is offensive to people, who have lost their children through no fault of their own and yet didn’t make a huge fuss of it in public. And both Kate and Gerry should realise that under the circumstances they should be blaming themselves and calling on others never to leave their kids alone. Instead, they pretend to be victims of tragic circumstances rather than accept that they are the ones who are responsible for what had happened on that day.