I was planning translating without added comments or opinions two news articles published on the 24th and 25th in the Portuguese press regarding Alexander Ellis departure in December from the British Embassy in Lisbon to become the Director of Strategy at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London, when, whilst researching the British Embassy site I found an opinion article published by Mr. Ellis which referenced the above Auden's poem “Musée des Beaux Arts”. A moving poem which can be interpreted in a multitude of ways, though in this case, in Ellis context can be interpreted quite simply and in a non scholar manner, as: «Life goes on», in spite of the individual or collective Human suffering of others. In that opinion article Mr. Ellis, writes about the tragedy that befell on Madeira island early on this year, on February 20, when flash floods and landslides took the life of 48 people (unofficial numbers) and made dozens of victims, and describes how the British diplomatic body, him and his consular staff, travelled to the island to help British nationals - something to be applauded, surely.
Indeed, in another opinion article written by Mr. Ellis on his weekly Expresso newspaper column, titled «Um Bife Mal Passado», mentioned here before, the demissionary Ambassador explains in a single paragraph the roles of the British diplomatic body, as follows:
“They provide assistance to “distressed British nationals” who have, for example, lost a passport, or have been hospitalized or, fortunately there are few cases, imprisoned. We also offer services for the resident community (which is now about 80,000 people mostly in the Algarve), for example, issues relative to birth and death records, legalization of translations, and several other consular certifications. We also make citizenship ceremonies for new British citizens, and organize processes to enable the union - civil partnership - between two people of the same sex - being that one of them [of the couple] has to be necessarily British and, for legal reasons, neither can have Portuguese nationality.”
Simple, to understand, right?
On this same issue, on the role of the British diplomatic service, I decided to see if it was usual in other British embassies to provide links, let's say, to former arguidos [official criminal suspects] private limited companies and to promote links to missing children sites, sites maintained by British parents about their missing children, like Mr. Ellis has on the front page of the British Embassy in Portugal site .
So, I had a look in to the British embassies in Greece and in Spain, countries where a British child and a British teenager disappeared - you've read about those two cases connected to the McCann case - and unsurprisingly I couldn't find any link providing support to those parents in a similar fashion to the one that is being provided to the McCann couple since 2007 by the successive British Ambassadors, Consuls and diplomatic staff in Portugal. Nor to other British former suspects of an archived and undecided missing child case, like the help that is being given to the “suspects”, albeit not arguidos (procedural/law concept), of involvement in whatever has happened to their three year old daughter - “suspects” according to what one can read and deduce from the investigation case files.
British diplomatic assistance, publicity and support is being given publicly to a couple that has by their actions committed what can be, and probably should, be qualified as a crime, based on the evidence contained in the case files, namely the witnesses statements - but not to never accused formally (or not) parents, parents who probably have to pay from their own pockets and hard work the sites that keep the memory of their children alive.
Again, what the McCann couple did, is considered as a crime in the scope of the Portuguese law - Exposição ou Abandono, Artigo 138.º do CPP - and also under the light of most civilized countries laws regarding the repeated abandonment, as stated by the couple themselves officially and in the media, of their three children with less than four years old in an unlocked/locked(?) apartment, impossible to supervise from the Tapas restaurant - this constitutes, for any sane person, a crime of abuse and neglect.
A couple that is, and has been for the past three and a half years, collecting millions for a Limited Private Company, of which they are CEO's, allegedly to search for their daughter. A couple that during the first 48 hours did not search for their three year old daughter. A Company that has being paying for a multitude of lawyers, from Carter Ruck in order to threat and menace with libel actions those who do not believe their version of events, to Pinochet's lawyer to fight an eventual extradition request at a time when that issue wasn't even a possibility.
A Company that has paid for dodgy detectives who were arrested for equally dodgy actions, like Metodo 3, the Barcelona Agency who announced to the world that they knew where Madeleine and their abductor was, to fraudulent MI5's, Kevin Richard Halligen, who is currently being sought by the FBI. A Company that is paying for dubious rent-a-cops who state that Madeleine is «alive and well» and is simultaneously imprisoned in a «hellish lair» in the Algarve and do not share that information with the Police authorities who hold the jurisdiction of «Maddie's Case», as was stated in court, early this year.
A Private Limited Company that has paid for an entourage of PR's to create a wall of spin and misinformation in the media to clear the McCann couple's image. A couple that has left a trail of parental irresponsibility/impunity and an unaccounted number of victims in that media quest. A couple, that after all, are the only ones responsible for protecting the moral and physical well being of their children, and have failed to do so.
A couple that until now, has failed to reopen the case of their missing daughter, Madeleine - yet, are already preparing to «market» the child's name in a book, in a manner similar to their revolting and tacky online shop.
A book which, according to one of the former arguido family member, defames the Portuguese police, and thus the rest of the Portuguese population who have supported the extraordinary costs, emotional and material, of the single most expensive investigation to a missing child ever done in Portugal - a police and people who have done everything in their power to find their daughter. The three year old child that the parents, the McCann couple, have chosen to leave alone, even though there was a babysitting service available at the tourist resort.
As to Mr. Ellis, the British demissionary Ambassador: Good Riddance!