19 January 2010

Remember Madeleine?



“Did you hear about the English couple that left their children alone in an apartment in Praia da Luz, and now one of their daughters is missing?”

This was how I first heard about Madeleine Beth McCann.

Friday, May 4, 2007, in the morning, the old lady at the grocery shop around the corner greeted me with a hasty ‘hello’ and immediately introduced the talk of the day. Little did we know, at that time, that it would become the talk of the week, of the month, of the year. She also couldn’t imagine that with that question, she would launch me into a story that has taken up quite a lot of time and energy, not only from myself, but from many others all over the world, who refuse to lay down the subject of the ‘Maddie case’.

In Portugal, there was criticism of the McCanns’ behaviour from Day One. Initially, most people adopted a stance of ‘find the little girl first, deal with the parents later’. When it started to dawn on people that the little girl was most likely not to be found – not alive and/or in good health, anyway –, that initial tolerance waned and was replaced with sharp criticism of Madeleine’s parents.

Whether that is a fair sentiment or not, is not the point of this post.

The point of this post, is to testify to the fact that in early September 2007, when Kate McCann left the Polícia Judiciária, not as a witness anymore, but as an ‘arguida’ in the case of her daughter’s disappearance, the people that were waiting outside the police building expressed their negative feelings in an audible way.

Only someone who has not lived in Portugal throughout the summer and fall of 2007 could have avoided noticing that the vast majority of the Portuguese public did not only believe that Madeleine was dead, but also that her parents’ role in her disappearance was, to say the least, a badly told story – something that a journalist working for Diário de Notícias noticed as early as on the 5th of May 2007, two days after the child vanished.

I don’t think Gonçalo Amaral had even dreamt of writing a book yet, on that Sunday morning when the McCanns left Portugal as arguidos. But on that very day, watching the couple abandon our country through the VIP door at Faro airport, live on television, people in cafés all over the country defined their opinion about Kate and Gerry McCann.

It didn’t take one single book to achieve that effect.

And many months later, when the process was archived, very few Portuguese even bothered to comment on the decision; the outcome of the investigation had become too evident, after the removal of Gonçalo Amaral from the case, and the lack of diligences by the Polícia Judiciária afterwards.

“É o costume” – “it’s the usual way” – the Portuguese thought. ‘Big’ judicial cases never produce any results in this country, or at least that is how we perceive it. They are brushed under the carpet, a procedure that is known as ‘archiving’… and never heard of again.

That is why Mr Amaral’s book was such a surprise. It is highly unusual for a single Portuguese citizen to oppose the brushing-under-the-carpet move; it is even more unusual for the opposition to come from a former policeman who headed the case for some time. And ‘worst’ of all, for said opposition to become a best-selling book.

But if anything, ‘Maddie – The Truth of the Lie’ only came to confirm what so many of us already suspected or knew. A journalist friend of mine was highly disappointed when he read the book, for he couldn’t find a single new piece of information in it. So much for major revelations – and so much for a change of mind.

Gonçalo Amaral’s book probably didn’t change a single Portuguese citizen’s opinion about the Maddie case, because the Portuguese media had informed the country about the major points of the police investigation throughout the summer and fall of 2007. Whether or not this constituted a breach of the judicial secrecy, is a matter for the courts. But the unavoidable fact is that, except for half a dozen exceptions in 24Horas, all those ‘leaks’ in the Portuguese press were later revealed as correct, when the police files were made public.

So, at the date when Mr Amaral’s book was launched, the vast majority of the Portuguese public was well informed about the investigation, and had already formed an opinion about the destiny of Madeleine McCann.

The ‘problem’ is, the same cannot be said about the British public. Our insular friends may have an opinion concerning Maddie’s fate – but how well informed are they, about the facts of the investigation? And whom does that situation suit?

Why did the book, after 14 months of peaceful sales in Portugal, suddenly, but surely, attract the attention of the McCann couple's lawyers? Why did it take 14 months of sales to suddenly realise that the book damaged the ‘search’ for Madeleine – a 'search' that is not even being carried out by any legitimate police force in any country?

Does anyone really believe that by forbidding Mr Amaral’s book, the whole of Portugal will go out on the streets again, like it did in early May 2007, to look for a missing English girl, and forget the disdain, the insults and the humiliations that our country suffered at the hands of the British press?

This week, the court hearings in Lisbon prompted the café chatter to return to the Maddie case. The general comments about the McCann couple have become even more critical of them: that "all they want is money", that they only return to Portugal "to sue the policeman who tried to find their daughter", that their very presence in our country is "a provocation". To me, personally, while I have to understand where people’s feelings come from, it is painful to see that Madeleine is even more forgotten in the midst of the court news discussion.

Except, that is, for the old lady at the grocery around the corner. Two great-grandchildren were born into her family since Madeleine disappeared. On Friday morning, she greeted me with new photos of the babies. And while pride and joy filled her heart, a sadness suddenly covered her face, and she said: “Did you hear about little Madeleine, this week? The police say she is dead. I had hope until I heard it from the court.”


91 comments:

  1. "all they want is money"

    So sad but true.

    w_nicht

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  2. Morning,

    I was looking at an old documentary. The McCann's in that documentary state that on the night Madeleine disappeared it was their intention to take the children to the Millennium for dinner?

    The reason they didn't, apparantly, was that they did not have a child buggy and would therefore have to carry the twins.

    They had eaten there on the first evening as the welcome dinner was held there. It didn't work out for the reason given above - they didn't have a buggy.

    They also state that they thought about taking them to the Tapas that night but were not sure of getting a table?

    I'm puzzled by this as it contradicts every other interview they have given, police statements
    etc

    The Tapas group after the 'disaster' of the first evening meal at the Millennium, where they have all stated it didn't really work out, as tables had to be put together to accommodate their party, being so large, and the long walk back with the little ones, thereafter pre-booked a table at the tapas restaurant for the remainder of their holiday, for the adults ONLY.

    They did this we are told as their children, as is the BRITISH way go to bed very early and it would be too late to have them out late into the evening.

    Gerry explained this in another documentary in his own words.

    Further, the children ate dinner (tea if you like each evening as part of the daytime childcare arrangements) this allowed the children then to be put to bed so as the parents could have time to themselves.


    cntd

    A.Miller

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  3. These are the reasons given. They said they were happy that they had managed to get a table arranged, for every evening at the tapas. They were pleased that their apartments were all close together. And they were pleased as they could now put in place their 'listening service'

    Clarence confirmed this also when he stated that this is what the British people do, put the kids to bed early so as the parents can enjoy some free time to themselves.

    Unfortunately he forgot to add that whilst British parents may put their children to bed earlier than on the continent (in summertime) that they DO arrange for someone to look after them.

    We are told this is why the McCann's felt it okay to do this, as this is the British way!

    Based on what Clarence and the others have said, that this is what they did at home, the British way, it would be reasonable to assume that there is every likelihood, that the children were left alone at home also. After all, it is the British way!

    Is it the British way to tell a different story at almost every turn?

    Now back to taking the children to the Millennium for dinner.

    At what point I wonder did the McCann's consider this?

    That morning Madeleine told them of Sean and her crying the previous night. At that point the McCann's stated they agreed to 'WATCH over their children MORE CAREFULLY'
    From that I think we can also take it they were not cancelling their usual night at the tapas with friends in preference to taking the children to the Millennium Restaurant.

    I think we can safely say also that they were not taking the children with them either, to the tapas that night with the grown-ups as that would have gone down like a lead balloon!

    And remember, THEY WERE DOING THE BRITISH THING, putting kids to bed and having adult time alone! So these children were not going to the tapas for dinner whether the tapas could give them a table or not.

    Also, the children's day was already arranged. It was the same as it had been during that week - spent at the childcare, tea eaten there also.

    McCann's had their tennis lessons etc all planned and booked also.

    So when exactly was it that they considered taking the children to the Millennium for dinner on the 3rd May 2007, and when was it they thought they would take them to the tapas for dinner on the 3rd May but didn't think they would get a table?


    Not making much sense.

    cntd
    A.Miller

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  4. The statement did make great headlines though at the time. It sounded so plausible and feasible in the documentary.

    How the poor parents, if only, they had gone with taking the children to the Millennium that night, things would have been different for them.

    If only they had arranged childcare is more to the point. Poor Madeleine!

    Now none of us can for sure state that they did not consider this, though based on information we have and their own words in other documentaries, it would seem not to be the case.

    I think rather it was a story 'shaped, woven and spun' to serve a purpose.

    What they said in that documentary, does not tie in, in any shape manner or form with ALL else that they have said with regard the arrangements made for either dinner or evening childcare for their children.

    This group of people, by their own admission, do not, take children, out to dinner. Their children have an early tea and then to bed early - They are British!

    Just as Gerry declared on the steps of the Court at Lisbon -'We are British'.....and?

    Didn't all of the other children eat at the beach cafe that evening?

    Now perhaps the McCann's with these very tired children (remember they were too tired to go play at the side of the tennis courts and Gerry sent Dave to see what was going on) intended to have an early tea at the Millennium with the kids, bring them home put them to bed and THEN go out to tapas to meet with their friends?

    That abductor would still have managed to get at them though eh?

    One thing I am certain of is that they may have 'considered' (though when it is, this happened is a mystery) taking the children for an early tea, but I do not believe it was RATHER than be with their friends that evening.

    This was the way it was ‘spun for the press and the way they stated it in the documentary.

    Unless you knew the 'whole' story had followed this case, it would be quite plausible.

    And that sadly, IS what is WRONG in this case. Too much spinning, too many lies, too much covering up, too much self preservation, statements deliberately ambiguous so as left to interpretation - Not nearly enough HONESTY and TRUTH.

    All done in the name of Madeleine!

    No matter where you stand by way of opinion on any issue regarding missing Madeleine, what one cannot deny is that there have been many lies told. One can choose to ignore them gloss over them, but they CANNOT BE DENIED.

    Lies are told for a reason. The lies told here? There is a reason!

    ctnd
    A.Miller

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  5. The McCanns and their lawyers have been crafty. They have waited until they think Mr Amaral, will have built a nice little nest egg from the sale of the book. They now want that nest egg and they want it now.

    The McCanns aren't interested in the contents of the book, which contains nothing that hasn't been said before. They just want the rich trappings they feel tbe book has earned.

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  6. If the McCann’s are to claim that a book, Sr Amaral’s book to be precise, has misled the public to believing that Madeleine is dead, and that due to this, no one will come forward with information regarding Madeleine, then it is a fair argument that the many stories, which Clarence has openly admitted he had a hand in ‘shaping’ and the many contradictions ‘misleading’ items in the McCann documentaries/ interviews have most certainly been to lead the public into believing that their child was abducted, with no possibility of any other scenario. That fails Madeleine.

    When their own PI states in the press that Madeleine is most likely in a lair in PDL in the wilderness surrounding it, in a place that no one can get to (how did the abductor get there?) and that in TEN years time he will still be wondering how to reach her........How, after reading this, are the public able to help in any way?

    Will not the public say, 'well if they cannot reach her, how are we able to?'

    When we add to the mix the story by MacIntyre (whether you believe he was serious or taking a dig at the McCann’s, the story is out there) that the alleged abductor came and went, in and out of the apartment all week long before striking, then that does not encourage the public to come forward either. (It also lets the public see just how badly these children were neglected, that not only on the night Madeleine disappeared was there a mad man with these children, but on other evenings also the neglect was such that it allowed this.)

    The public will think that the PI and the Reporter have it all ‘wrapped up’ that they must have got their evidence from somewhere to declare such a thing.

    We also have the little matter of proving that everyone who read the book believed the thesis held by the police investigation.

    There are many out there who have read the book and believe that the child was abducted, as in the step by step McCann Guide.

    Who can prove that someone with information read the book and did not come forward?

    How many people exactly would have information, and have read the book.

    How many people before reading the book had already their thoughts as to what happened?

    We could go on forever with this.....

    If the McCann’s, their PI’s and all the financial backing they have cannot reach this child, do more, then there is nothing in a book, which will change this situation.

    This statement by their PI, Dave Edgar, has been more damaging to any ‘SEARCH’ than any book written which is based on police files.

    When I hear of the Fund raisers, the online shop, the Court cases, the many people profitting from this Fund, I have to ask when does the SEARCH for this child begin, where does it fit in with all else that is happening.

    PR’s being hired for a missing child, celebrity bashes..........

    As Astro has said - Remember Madeleine?

    The writer in the Independent was right also ..... Madeleine Who?

    It has begun!

    Regards

    A.Miller

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  7. very well written...

    You are right about the British people... they have been very badly informed and with a very specific agenda. Why? Why is it still happening even after the revelations in court?
    Whom is protecting whom?

    Even the BBC are guilty of humanising the McCann's as victims "how are Gerry & Kate holding up?" they ask

    Gerry & Kate - you've given it your best shot - you've had nearly 3 years without being brought to justice - and the crimes are enormous and costly. Not only to your daughter but with the fraudulent fund...

    Now is the time to do the decent thing and turn yourselves in

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  8. Astro, speaking from the heart, with a clear mind. A great post, as always. Thank you.

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  9. Estive a ler um text de um blogue.

    Sabe mesmo muito bem a Amizade e os Amigos.
    E torna-se absolutamente importante e necessário que não nos deixem cair.
    Só é chato quando não se está preparado/a para "as manobras de deslumbramento de predadores". Os predadores sabem bem escolher as vítimas.Pena!

    Consigo!

    Maria.

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  10. Yes. a agree with the comment of the journalist.
    On Amaral's book there was nothing but nothing new for me, except for Payne.
    It is a compilation of what we already knew.

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  11. Not all British people are against Mr Amaral. Not all of us take the McCanns statements at face value.

    I for one would never leave my children alone for any reason!

    You only have to do a search of British forums where you will see many people asking the same questions as the Portugese public.

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  12. A Miller

    Interesting points there.

    The McCanns had also said they had an argument the night before so presumably were not on good terms that day, and Gerry being out playing tennis and Kate home alone with the kids wouldn't help matters.

    So when did they make up, as Kate had spent the previous night in the kids room?

    There is also confusion as to whether Gerry was there or not when Dave paid a visit, though it was supposedly Gerry that sent him round.

    The whole thing is confusion!

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  13. Perhaps it is the Gaspar statements that is the real reason they want the book banned.

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  14. Kathybelle post 5

    -....the book contains nothing that has been said before.

    IMO this is so wrong, the McCanns do not want the facts of Dr David Payne and Gerry EVER printed in English.(Chaper 9 - Truth of The Lie).

    Most of the UK is still in the dark over the Gaspars statements about paeodophilia, once the book is available as a paperback in English they are finished!

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  15. Their PI Edgar also stated that he was following a "strong lead" about a supersonic yacht, a druggie / hooker in Barcelona port, a millionairess in Australia, and then .... a secret lair in PdL.
    Not even Enid Blyton tried to palm us off with stories as stupid as this. (Sorry, as ludicrous as this

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  16. A Miller, yet again a sensible, well written demolition of their version of events.
    Please continue posting in this manner as for many newcomers to this site your informed analysis will help them to understand the charade a whole lot easier.
    Always look forward to your posts.

    Thank you

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  17. Mitchell's role as orchestrator also needs looking at - he will serve a prison sentence and he can kiss his political aspirations goodbye

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  18. Following the very clever A. Miller's thoughts ( I looove to read your posts A. Miller!), I remembered what Gerry had to say about another couple that was also eating at the Tapas and that had their children with them, and of course were not having the most relaxed meal, the children causing some havoc, etc. He wrote (In his blog?) something like,oh, those poor chaps, thank God I 'm not in their place, how wonderful that ours are sleeping away in the apart and not interfering with our adult time.
    Well, for me, it was not very relaxing either to have your meal interrupted constantly to go back and forth to the apartms. to check on the children, that's why I have always thought that they were NOT checking on the children at all!

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  19. As I remember, the Gaspar statement came out in Correio da Manhã the Saturday before the case was shelved on the following Monday.
    Caroline

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  20. The "secret lair" nonsense is so ridiculous, yet the UK press published it.
    http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&q=%22secret+lair%22+McCann&meta=&aq=f&oq=
    One would expect Gerry roaming the PDL countryside with an extra large cricket bat in search of the abductor... Instead he plans a dinner in London. Tsst tsst tsst.

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  21. What a good post - it makes some very good points - especially the last line!

    I beleive that the UK public have simply given up and like many other issues will elave it to their masters and mistresses - the rich and famous and the criminals in parliament.

    The problem with the UK is that the people have obeyed a 'sovereign power' for years - even after kicking out a facist arrangement (Charles 1st) they later put it back (Charles 2nd). I beleive this is called 'fidelity to established authority'.

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  22. On Gerry's documentary while coming back from the studio where Madeleine's new photo was made(Washington?), Kate and Gerry inside of a car, I observed Kate had something against Gerry, I could see on her face.
    Angry with him. And he was worried all the time, observing her.
    Was she obliged to accept Payne?

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  23. To Anonymous 2
    They HAD a buggy, traipsing about with it on monday 1st or 2nd in a village or town nearby. This is supposedly the time when the otherwise unexplained last pictures were copied, which were handed out minutes after the diasppearance was supposedly detected.
    It was stated somewhere that the buggy was closed all day, so no one was able to view its contents. It was de twin buggy to boot, but apparently the twins were walking or being carried that day.

    So who or what was in the zipped up twin buggy for a whole day or part of the day before Madeleines diappearance?


    Anybody seen this piece of information?

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  24. Caroline @ 19 - If you`re right about that - it speaks reams.
    Louise

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  25. I have received a reply from the CEOP regarding Gerry McCann's attendance at the "Taken" conference on 26 January.

    This is the official CEOP position on Madeleine McCann: "The position regarding the McCanns is that they are the parents of a missing child who is presumed to have been abducted".

    Surely it is time for someone in the UK government to reflect on the news from Lisbon and challenge this assumption?

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  26. No. 18, not only would it not be relaxing to have get up from your meal to check your children every half an hour or so, most parents would not have been able to relax full stop for wondering if the children were alright- Do parents ever really switch off to their children, even when they are safely asleep in the next room we can find things to worry about. To eat a meal in a restaurant knowing that my children were left unattended somewhere would have choked me. Or it would have been wolfed down in 5 minutes so that I could get straight back to them. Relaxing? not for most parents!!!

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  27. CEOP Training

    Thank you for your reply.

    I really am at a loss to understand how the presumption is that Madeleine McCann was abducted, when the news from Lisbon last week undermined completely the case for abduction and was described by one witness as a "fairy story". There is no evidence of an abduction, on the contary, evidence proves the impossibility of an abduction.

    Add to this the witness statement (from Dr K.Gasper) that describes a situation where Gerry McCann had participated in a conversation where a fantasy was described, through words and obscene gestures, which involved the SEXUAL ABUSE of Madeleine McCann and you can understand my shock at Gerry McCann being presented as a speaker at a CHILD PROTECTION event.

    I have also written to my MP about this matter.

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  28. :)] "Why did it take 14 months of sales to suddenly realise that the book damaged the ‘search’ for Madeleine – a 'search' that is not even being carried out by any legitimate police force in any country?"

    You do know. We know. It is pretty obvious. Amaral's "piggy" was ready to break (to steal).

    The book does not damage the search for Madeleine if anything, it keeps her memory alive. All publicity is good publicity. If I happen to encounter Madeleine (in the supermarket say) do I go: "Oh! Forget it. She is dead!"? Of course not. I inform the cops and/or make a citizen's arrest.

    There is another thing people often forget. Madeleine was not a baby. She was past Lacan's "mirror stage". She had an ego. She had entered the "symbolic stage".She could talk. She knew who she was. Who her parents were.

    If she is still alive that much she will remember. The question is: why hasn't she come forward? Think about it...

    ac

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  29. To Astro,Thank you for a fine posting! Like so many of us here in Britain I rely on these columns for news of Portugal without "spin,lies or sheer distortion".Despite the impression given to the World by our "Gutter Press" that we all hold racist views of everyone who is not British,and sneer at other peoples customs and cultures,those amongst us who do,are only a small ignorant minority. Given the disgraceful behaviour and abuse from the McCann Circus since 2007,it would be understandable if the Portuguese people did'nt want anything to do with the British----ever again ! All I can say is "Please dont judge the rest of us by the standards of the McCanns and their friends"-------most of us loathe them ! An old man told me many years ago "Dont look for wealth,if you seek wealth, look at your children and guard them, they are your wealth". That was the best advice I was ever given. Its a pity the McCanns did'nt know him !

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  30. Anon 23

    I had heard about them being seen pushing a buggy on what was I think the day previously. somewhere further away from where they were staying, but not that it was closed.

    If you could find more about that story, and where it came from, it would be very interesting to hear about.

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  31. This is the kind of post that we love from Astro. Thank you for being sensible and for bringing us the feel of the portuguese people. Amarals book did no harm to Madeleine. It was the parents atitude that led the portuguese public to the truth. Justice will prevail.

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  32. Good post. God bless Maddie

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  33. Annon 28

    14 months of sales would provide a tidy little nest egg for the McCanns........It's not about the content of the book, it's all about money

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  34. Anon 14

    I agree with your post. They/mccies/DP/LAWYERS read it recently (kind of)and they realised that the Gasprds statements have a big UNRECOGNISED weight SO FAR.
    Action? Injunction....but it is too late anyhow.
    They cant do anything.
    They are finished and done with.
    Bad luck.....? or is it that the truth always prevails before anything else?

    Continuara

    RIP Madeleine

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  35. The Gaspar statements are damning.

    This information has not hit the UK yet.

    If it did, it would not look good for Gerry McCann.

    If the UK media get hold of it, and decide to run with it, and with the information originating from friends of the McCanns, it will be a severe blow to their credibility.

    Are there others, who when they hear about this, might also come forward with further information?

    Might it even be the catalyst that would reopen the case?

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  36. Anon 25 - At least they said `presumed` to be abducted - they were being careful there. But it beats all logic and morality that they are prepared to have someone speak on an `assumption`.
    Louise

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  37. Viking 29 - thank you - you have echoed my thoughts completely - and all the uk people with open minds. Who are these people that believe the McCanns? Cos I`ve never met any.
    Louise

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  38. Thank you Astro for a super, well written piece. I am ashamed to be British and I will never believe another thing I read in British newspaper. Until this tragic case I never knew the true meaning of spin.
    I applaud all the hard work to help keep us up to date

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  39. http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/Search/Search.aspx?contractUrl=2&language=en-GB&family=editorial&p=gerry%20mccann&assetType=image#10

    Finally found a picture of one of the two double buggies they used in PDL - used to be loads but all seem to have disappeared from Rx Features and Exposay. I bet TTW4 still has some on mccannunravelled

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  40. http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/Search/Search.aspx?contractUrl=2&language=en-GB&family=editorial&p=gerry%20mccann&assetType=image#16

    and some more of the buggy

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  41. I am British, I was only made aware of the Gaspars statements last week. (On a British forum).

    There are many inaccuracies as far as I'm concerned, the Gaspars statements alone really scare me.

    God bless you Madeleine

    God forgive you Kate and Gerry!

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  42. Anon 23 & 30, I remember seeing Gerry pushing a buggy through the town, I can't remember whether it was on the news or in a newspaper, with the buggy completely covered up by the rain flap, if that what it's called. I thought it was strange at the time as if the twins were inside they would be suffocating in the heat as it was a bright sunny day, although as Gerry was surrounded by photographers perhaps it was to keep they away from the cameras, but in that case why take them out at all. I remember that Kate wasn't with him at the time.

    Another strange thing that the McCanns have done to add to a very long list.

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  43. Perhaps to raise cash, the awful duo could do an O.J. and write a book titled "If we dunnit"?

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  44. A long time ago an underground station stop was being proposed for a site near where I lived. Local residents didn't want it and there was a meeting to air our views. The ones in charge listened to what we said at the meeting. Later someone I knew who worked for the city said to me in private, the meeting is not going to make any difference, the plans have already been drawn up and you are getting the station. His words proved to be true. I think the Ceop works the same way no matter what is written to them they will not change the speaker. It's good to let them know though.

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  45. In defence of responsible British Parents who take family holidays.

    In my opinion the McCann Team have damaged the reputation of responsible British parents by trying to portray it is the British Way to holiday by putting children to bed early to have some adult time. ( I take this to mean a night on the p.ss not to mention that leaving children alone during these adult times are acceptable)

    My family like The McCanns have in the past taken holidays with friends who have small children who generally have similar interests. (the men enjoy their fishing, the ladies chilling out round the pool and shopping expeditions )

    When booking a family holiday there are a great deal of things to take into consideration especially if the holiday is a group with young children of various ages, as the old saying goes what suits one person does not always suit another.

    From experience when considering a holiday especially with very young children there are basic things that need to be addressed before booking the holiday, i.e when my children were toddlers a child buggy was a must, if this could not be hired at the resort then arrangement to take one from home were made. Resorts that were Child Friendly who catered for families, that way the chances of young singles wanting a holiay partying would hopefully not be using the resort as a holiday (not knocking the young single scene, I was once a member of this age group and enjoyed it)

    Resorts that operate a "Kids Club" are a great way for parents to have some parent time also for the little ones to have some childrens time. (clubs do not operate this to free parents of their responsibility but to try and make the whole family holiday as enjoyable as possible )

    I am sure that the majority of responsible British parents who holiday with their children would not be in agreement that it is the British way to put children to bed early to go out eating and drinking, in my opinion it is the British Family way to take their children with them if they choose to dine out during the evening,or use a reputable child/baby sitter should they wish to spend evenings drinking. (lets face it DIY baby checking is not really responsible parenting especially if any of the checkers were to become p....d. The drink driving laws are very strict here in the UK in fact it has been proven that drink does impare your judgement. (Just to make this clear I am not anti-alcohol, I enjoy a drink as the next person)

    If children are too tired for an evening out I have always found that family resorts cater for take aways as a dining option, or as in an apartment complex there are cooking facilities .

    From reports about the resort in Praia da Luz I for one would have no hesitation in taking a family holiday there.

    Message to the McCann Team

    Its not the British way ITS THE MCCANN WAY

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  46. Silve at 45

    How right you are. It is the McCann way.

    But Gerry McCann actually said that it was 'normal' for the ENGLISH to leave their kids when they went out while on holiday, just like they did on the nights they were in PDL.

    Notice he said the ENGLISH, not the Scottish, otherwise his sister Philomena may not have liked that one.

    Bloody lying cheek of the man. The Portuguese now seem to have been left with the impression that it is some sort of custom of ours.

    Always some excuse that's the McCanns, even if it is a sick, insulting, insensitive, lie.

    They get away with it as well. They say what they like, and they get away with it.

    No wonder they think they can silence the world, all on the excuse they are searching for their poor child.

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  47. Yes 45,
    It is the McCann way,not the British way to leave young babies alone.
    I would like to know what organised group said it was in the realms of reasonble parenting,will that ever come to light,I don't think so.
    Do the McCanns remember Madeline in all this!!!
    Havent they asked for respect and peace to their reputation,yes we will always remember that you both chose to leave your little babies for your adult time.
    Respect, I don't think so,peace I don't think so,reputation yes it will be remembered always, you left your babies alone.

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  48. Day by day passes, and I keep thinking of the poor little mite. Whenever I open my computer to browse the latest news I still hope to see the headline " Madeleine finally foung safe and well".
    It would be wonderful but unfortunately seems so unlikely...
    Greetings for all who care.

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  49. I posted a comment on here earlier which has not been printed (for the first time). I am quite surprised at this, i merely stated that i find A Millers' posts long winded and off topic, the info posted can be found in the Maddie Case Files, it detracts from the main post and I have yet to read a short post from that person, if they feel the need to make every post so longwinded maybe they could start their own blog. I wait to see if this is posted.

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  50. I wonder if it's not so much the MCCanns but the powers behind them pushing for the permanent banning of the book, to prevent certain things from being read by the British public..

    I've read the book, and I was very disappointed, as nothing in it was new to me (after having followed the case from the beginning and read some of the police files) except for one thing, which shocked me: Right at the end of the book Amaral says that there were rumours circulating at the Lisbon Treaty.. that Gordon Brown signed the Treaty ON CONDITION that Amaral would be taken off the case.
    I remember at the time thinking that it was very embarrassing for Britain when Gordon Brown turned up late to sign, after all the other European Premiers had signed the Treaty, taken their official photos and all gone. And then comes GB plodding along.. and presumably having a private 'tete-a tete' with the Portuguese PM when signing the Treaty. I thought this was very odd, and that there must have been a reason for it. I remember even thinking at the time, has this got anything to do with the Maddie case?.. but then I thought I was thinking too much and I put it out of my mind.

    IF these rumours are true WHY would the British PM go to such lengths to have Amaral removed?.. WHAT was in it for him to jeopardise Britain's signing of the Lisbon Treaty? If this is true (of course we don't know for sure, they may just be rumours..) I'm afraid all the powers will be again put in place for not having the injunction lifted and for having a permanent ban on Amaral's book.

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  51. Anon 50

    I was having the same thoughts when GB was late for the signing. In my opinion GB had GA removed probably in return for "losing" the paper trail on the Freeport.

    But don't worry, this case will still be in court after the May UK election. There is no way on God's earth that GB will be PM after that and it could be a lot earlier if he is ousted by his own party. I feel sure people will speak more freely when the stranglehold from the top is lifted.

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  52. Anon 50, i believe the answer is the paralels with operation Ore. The cover-up of the politicians involved and look who else was involved with Ore, none other than Gamble.

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  53. Does anyone think that these are the same FBI operatives that produced the 'aged' photofit of Maddie?

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article6991299.ece

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  54. janf58

    Then don't read it then.

    I think I am speaking for quite a number of people on here who like reading what A miller has to say.

    The longer the better, as he/she always has good points to make about things that have often been missed by some of us, and makes us think more than we might otherwise.

    It is the little details we might have missed that can make a difference to what we think we know about the case.

    Please carry on A Miller, as it is very interesting reading.

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  55. If they were seen the day before Madeleine 'disappeared' pushing a buggy, then is it another example of something they said they didn't have, but really did?

    Like the credit cards they said they didn't have, then went and hired a car with one.

    Apparently, they had a buggy that was said to have been nicked.

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  56. Yes carry on posting your very astute analysis A Miller.
    I love it!

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  57. I think Goncalo Amaral's honesty and integrity shine through his book and anyone reading it would, I'm sure, come to the same conclusion.

    Maybe that is why the McCanns want it banned. I wish him all the luck in the world with his attempt to get this ridiculous ban overturned.

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  58. A.Miller

    Please continue with your long informative posts. Not all of us are bang up to date with all that has happened and even for those that are, it's always good to be reminded. Thank you for your time and effort.

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  59. My letter to Ed Balls re CEOP Conference unanswered. I asked if GM had been CRB checked. I have, and if Gerry can pass a CRB check, it doesn't mean anything. Ed Balls had Sharon Shoesmith removed without ceremony,for failing to protect children in Haringay. He should remember there are 2 children remaining in the McCann's household.
    By the way, did they seek permission from the Court who hold Madeleine's wardship, before taking action in her name?

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  60. CEOP Conference-table for 9, with a bottle of wine for each diner and a complimentary baby listening monitor. It's all beyond parody!

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  61. Anon 54 you are quite right i dont have to read his/her posts, i personally find it very patronising. The comments are not always relevant to the main article, and as i said, they detract from it. Why anyone feels it necessary to post endless cont. comments smacks of egomania, but hey whatever floats your boat. I come on here to read what Joana and Astro and Kazlux have to say not to be patronised by someone who is incapable of being concise. These are meant to be comments on articles not endless monologues. You want to read it, fine, but i dont, its what Joana and co say that interests me. I can get all the background info from the files. I come here to be kept up to date not join a back slapping contest.

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  62. janf58 at 61

    If you did bother to read them you would realise they are not background info from the files. They are something much more than that.

    It is also not patronising, nor is there a back slapping contest going on, so you obviously have not read it.

    I love reading these postings, along with the rest.

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  63. So many things the McCanns had nicked, all in a short space of time. There was

    Gerry's blue bag, that Martin Brunt says vanished at the same time as Madeleine, presumably nicked, though Gerry has since said there was no such bag!

    Gerry's wallet, that Gerry said was nicked,(but Gerry said was returned later).

    The McCann's buggy, that was said to have been nicked.

    And, of course, Madeleine, that the McCanns say was taken by an abductor.

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  64. The question of why now are the McCanns appealing on the book is it related to the accusation regarding Payne/McCann and was a UK company prepared to publish or sell the book with the story.....this could then lead to a bigger question to be answered why has the UK press not released this information...in fact since the payout by the courts to the McCanns and the Tapas 7 nothing that contradictes the McCann story has been printed in the UK ....it is why I am ashamed of the UK press either they are covering up or afraid to be journalists.............the problem is for those now prepared to gather news from the Internet the story the book the film and much other information is freely available on the Internet...soon the press and those controlling it will realise that the information is not and cannot be hidden

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  65. I still haven't had a reply from CEOP. I asked whether Dr Gerald McCann was going to be sitting through the session by Dr William Donaldson on Faked Allegations of Abduction, or whether he was just turning up to do his spiel at the end. It was a genuine question and I would be interested to know, but they obviously don't want to tell me.

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  66. JanF 58 @61


    Hi,

    Not having a good day I see! Such is life!

    I don't believe I post anything whatsoever on this site which is offensive to those reading.

    Personally, I enjoy reading all of the posts no matter who the writer. No matter how lengthy. I find it interesting to hear the views of others.

    We each have a right to our opinion, and you have voiced yours. I have no problem with this, none whatsoever. I think it might have been off topic though.

    I suspect from your posts, that what you write was prompted rather more by your obvious dislike of me rather than the length/breadth/content of my post? My opinion!

    May I suggest if my posts are causing you such distress, a problem which is yours and not mine, that you refrain from reading them just scroll past.

    This would seem like the obvious solution, though I really cannot imagine why you would not have considered this, but rather decided to lodge two 'off topic' posts (is this not what you accused me of?)in so doing wasting, what I'm sure is your precious time, on me?

    As I will in the future, be posting comments of various lengths on various issues I don't see how else you will be able to cope, other than to scroll past.

    Something I must tell you though, if I may:

    I'm an individual who really doesn't give a hoot whether you or anyone else agrees with me or not. I'm not interested in whether you like or dislike the comments I make, or that you worry over the length of same. And perhaps most importantly, I never allow anyone to silence me, much as they try!

    I have a little theory - when people feel the need to silence others, there is always an ulterior motive.

    I can only say on closing, that the predicament in which you find yourself, only you can solve. I do hope you find a way around it.

    Nice speaking with you and good luck.

    Regards
    A.Miller

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  67. Can I just say that even if I don't always concur 100% with A Miller's analysis, I do find his/her posts very interesting, and I appreciate the effort which goes into them. As has been suggested Jan58, if you find them not to your taste perhaps you could just scroll past them ?
    We are never going to get on with everyone, are we ?

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  68. Hi Bridget,

    I agree with you entirely. We do not always agree 100% with the views of others, sometimes not at all. I for one, certainly don't!

    That said Bridget, speaking for myself, I find reading and hearing the view of others to be both interesting and informative. Often in this case, I read a comment containing information which I had not known previously, a question answered so to speak. At other times a comment made by someone makes me re-think an opinion I held, allows me to look at it from a different angle.

    I for one appreciate the platform for discussion which the JM Site provides, also the much needed news brought to us re this case which we (at least here in the UK) would not otherwise hear of. The team most obviously work tirelessly to this aim.

    If I had been rude or offensive by way of personal remark to JF58 or anyone else on this site, be sure that I would have apologised.

    What I don't apologise for is the views which I hold. I would not expect that of anyone.

    We each have a right to opinion and to voice that opinion, be it in a word, a one line sentence, a paragraph, or a book.

    If I am abusing the facility here, I am sure the Team responsible for the site will nip my postings in the bud!

    That I "promise" is my last word on this issue - though not my last post!


    Kind Regards
    A.Miller

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  69. Hello poster (65) apart from the out of hours acknowledgement which said my post had been received, I have since heard nothing. I'm sure I would have heard quickly if I was donating, in fact I think I probably would have been hounded with information on how I could set up a direct debit, increase the amount I send and anything else to do with money.

    If CEOP go ahead and allow Gerry McCann to speak, they will get a registered letter from me and I will question the type of people who are involved with this organisation. If they can allow Gerry McCann who along with his wife, are responsible for Madeleine's disappearance, who will they be inviting next? Karen Matthews?

    When are these people going to wake up and think about the suffering Madeleine will have endured during that so called family holiday and on the night she disappeared. Either way she will have suffered, if not physically, she certainly will have suffered mentally.

    I was looking at a You Tube video the other day, its the one where Gerry McCann said "F**k Off, I'm not here to enjoy myself. His outburst was because someone told him to cheer up, because he was going on holiday. Madeleine and another child was sitting next to Gerry McCann and as the video panned around, you could see the other children of the group, who were travelling with the McCanns.

    The video then showed Madeleine and another child climbing the stairs to the aircraft. Madeleine stumbled as she climbed the stairs and I thought, my God, Madeleine is on her way to a holiday of misery and she will not be returning home, with her brother and sister.

    I presumed this video is owned by one of the McCanns friends, I wonder which one of them put the video on You Tube?

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  70. Thank you Astro .... in that very first report on Friday 4th May 2007 all the elements of a 'badly told story' hit me right between the eyes.

    At that time my own children were in their early to mid teens and thus perhaps my own personal 'bullsh*t' detector was on constant alert - whatever .... despite the best (and largely inexplicable) efforts of the British Press, the intervening years, discussions, process files and arguments have served only to strengthen my initial thoughts on this case.

    Whether the truth will ever be known in full I do not know .... but what I do know is that Snr Amaral is a brave and principled man, and his determination to protect the rights of an individual to express an informed opinion has a knock on effect for ALL of us, no matter where we live or what we each believe in relation to this case or anything else.

    Molly2

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  71. Post 63- Don't forget the £500k Halligen nicked.

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  72. "F**k Off, I'm not here to enjoy myself" (in front of children).

    Just how you would expect a 'devout catholic and regular churchgoer' to act eh?
    It's laughable.

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  73. reply Kathybelle no 69

    the "fuck off, I'm not on holiday" video was taken by David Payne DID HE PUT IT ON YOUTUBE? and if so why?

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  74. Joana, any possibility of Kate's "whoosh-clunk" video, where she says there was a "window of opportunity" being shown again? I remember this being the point where my suspicions about the McCanns were reinforced.

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  75. Anon #74, it is available on youtube:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1rQazjM-bCo

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  76. Thanks 75, I was hoping it could appear at the top of this site because it's quite a shocker. She could have been talking about a missing handbag.

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  77. Were GASPAR statements ever sent to Leicester Social Services by Leicester Police? According to all child protection protocols, they were duty bound to share this information.

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  78. Is it just me? or does anyone else not find some of the black and white photos -greyscale- in the PJ files- disturbing? It's difficult to tell what some of them are 589 577 578 562. Can anyone who knows something about photography explain how they have been made?

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  79. I think the most surprising aspect of this case is that Kate McCann immediately (it is reported) fled back to the tapas bar and told her friends that Madeleine "had been taken".

    If I were, heaven forbid, selfish or stupid enough to leave my children unattended in an unlocked apartment while I went out on the razz with my friends, and arrived home to find one - a mobile four year old - missing, my first thought would be that she had wandered off. Remember there was a swimming pool nearby and few British children of that age can swim.

    This is only one facet of this case which does lead me to believe that the abduction was a sheer fabrication.

    Savana Kusnetsova

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  80. Anon #75
    Thanks for the link
    There are -at the time of me writing this- 706 comments on the YouTube clip, some made today.

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  81. Hi A Miller @68. I think you contribute a lot to the debate. I hope you keep posting. Thanks for your insights.

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  82. Anon 77 - I agree the Leicestershire Police were duty bound to report the Gaspars statements to Social Services, but I doubt whether they did, considering the lengths they went to to prevent those same statements getting to the PJ.

    Anyone can make a report to social services or the NSPCC and make them aware of the Gaspars Statements.
    Louise

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  83. Savana that is also the point at which I smelt a rat, what mother (a) would leave 3 children alone in an unlocked apartment but(b) would find one of her children missing with the window wide open, and then leave the 2 two year olds to possibly the same fate and run off 2 minutes down the road to raise the altert. According to Gerry it was like being in your back garden, why not shout from the top of your lungs from the patio that Madeleine was missing. She was absolutely sure it was an abduction, a crime had been committed, but didn't bother to preserve the crime scene till the police arrived, called the British press before the Portuguese police, didn't bother to get the twins checked out by a doctor even though they apparently slept for 10 hours after the abduction. Then putting out the fairy story to all their friends about jemmied/smashed shutters to give the illusion of an abduction. Liars the lot of them. I never needed Amaral's book to convince me that the McCanns know what happened to Madeleine and she definitely wasn't abducted.

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  84. What is also appalling is that the McCanns are now intending to sue Giancarlo Amaral, presumably with the intent of relieving him of the profits on his book. I have also read that they are considering a film. Then there is the charity benefit. All fundraisers. For what? What has happened to the original "Find Madeleine" fund where decent people gave money to help find a little girl they believed had been abducted.

    Is there nothing these people will not stoop to for money?

    Savana Kusnetsova

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  85. Posts 72 and 73.

    Perhaps Gerry was speaking Portuguese and it sounded like "f....off". I think East Midlands News should screen it!

    Seriously, I do believe he was swearing on the You Tube video and was setting an extremely poor example in front of small children. Also, the other adults, including Kate, found it amusing. Is this type of language is shared by them all? Perhaps another reason they wanted an adult only dinner.

    In addition, if I were a patient of Gerry McCann's I would be horrified to see his true colours. He certainly is no gentleman and if he cannot moderate his languge in front of his own and his friends' children, how does he talk about his patients behind their backs?

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  86. Hi Louise- I also should have added-was Justice Hogg, who Made MM a Ward of Court, made aware of these statements?

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  87. a bit off-topic but a half-serious question...if i were to ask under the FOI what was the percentage of questions that were refused an answer as being not in the public interest would their reply be that it is not in the public interest for that to be known

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  88. Hello poster (85) When Gerry McCann returned to work after his long absence in PDL and the weeks after he returned to the UK A hospital spokesperson said he would not have direct contact with patients, he would be working in the research department.

    I am sure some of Gerry McCann's colleagues will be aware of those You Tube videos as well as the forums where Gerry McCann and his wife are being quite rightly criticised. They will no doubt have seen last weeks events on the news and heard some very chilling facts spoken by the PJ.

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  89. A Miller @ 66, I love all your posts, but especially the penultimate sentence of this one. It almost sounds as if you know who you are speaking to!

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  90. Kathybelle, it is worrying that Dr Gerry's boss at Glenfield Hospital, a Dr Skehan, seems to be a great supporter of his, and is one of the directors of the Fraud Fund, so presumably knows what actually took place in PDL. It must be very unsettling working in that department and knowing that the slightest indication that you did not toe the McCann line would probably jeopardise your professional future. Not a nice position to be in, no wonder they are all so quiet.

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