McCann is back as headline news, and the agony for
her parents must still be unimaginable.
But is all this
new publicity really any good for Madeleine herself
if there is any hope of miraculously finding her
alive? To be perfectly honest, I almost feel ashamed
now of the way we all kept her story on the front
pages for so long last summer, and wonder if this
too was really in the little girl's best interests.
selling spectacularly well as we all thrived on the
titbits fed to us every day. It mattered nothing
that a lot of these turned out to be untruths, we
wanted to read them anyway. Television news was also
forced ? by us ? to keep Maddie's name alive. We
searched news internet sites for her name so in
order to keep the viewers happy she was constantly
kept in the daily running orders.
Portuguese police files show they maybe didn't react
in the way they should have, and Kate McCann's
poignant letter to them begging for some information
was truly heartbreaking, but did the bad press that
the police got from day one in the newspapers really
help? Did all the criticisms make them want to
believe that Madeleine's parents were to blame so
that they could throw the whole sad affair back in
You could hardly
blame them for feeling aggrieved at the arrogance of
the English press.
Robert Murat has
been well compensated for the terrible untruths that
were printed about him. He deserves every penny for
the indignities he had to suffer just because he
went out of his way to try to help the McCann's. What
message does this give the rest of us?
If someone's in
trouble don't offer to help, it could land you in
You may remember
that it was a member of the British press who
pointed the first finger of suspicion at him because
he was trying so hard to be helpful. He also has a
daughter the same age as Madeleine, and he's
estranged from her mum, so he had to be guilty!
But that little
girl too is a terrible casualty of the Madeleine
story; her suffering must have been appalling.
Kate and Gerry
McCann just want Madeleine back, but if the latest
round of stories about a Belgian paedophile ring are
true and that she may have been snatched to order,
then surely all this publicity must be far more
dangerous for Madeleine, if she is still alive. I
would much prefer now not to read about Madeleine.
Surely it would be
better if any inquiries and detective work and
searches that needed to be done were done quietly?
But our appetite for Madeleine stories is such that
anything revealed in these police files is
sensationally turned into a new front-page headline.
I hope the little
girl is still alive and, if she is, the best thing
we could do is to let others get on with trying to
find her, and to just forget about her for a while.
This, I'm certain, would make any chance she may
have of survival greater. To stop reading about
Maddie and to forget about her may be the greatest
gift we could now give her.