McCann is not publishing a book to find fame, she's raising funds to
continue the search for her daughter
stomach lurched when I saw that Kate McCann had written a book about her
daughter's disappearance, entitled
Madeleine and serialised
in the Sun. Not
because I thought she shouldn't have written it but because I could
sense them coming ' "them" being the professional haters, the abusive,
gloating chorus, who have denounced, castigated and accused the McCanns,
online and off, ever since that night in May 2007 when Madeleine McCann
disappeared from Praia da Luz, Portugal. If Kate McCann's book was
coming out, so surely would they'
time of writing, there was only the first
Sun extract to look at. It
featured the night Madeleine went missing and Kate's recurring visions
of Madeleine being tortured and murdered by paedophiles, the latter so
all-consuming, Kate writes, that she wanted "to rip her own skin off".
proceeds from the book will go towards finding Madeleine, which seems
logical. How else are the McCanns supposed to raise money for their
international campaign ' holding a few car boot sales' Clearly the
McCanns have made peace with the fact that the last thing they want to
think about is the thing people are most likely to pay to hear, see or
read about. I'd imagine producing that book was pure torment, but it had
to be done. Why then the roar of hostility and censure that accompanies
pretty much every move the McCanns make'
high time the McCann haters pushed off. I am all for free speech but
they've had their say and, raking through innumerable online "wailing
walls", most of what they've said is repetitive rubbish. Here are some
examples: "The McCanns shouldn't have left their children alone while
they ate in a restaurant 100 yards away." Obviously, and the McCanns
have expressed regret over their mistake many times.
"A chavvy single mother who'd let her kid be
abducted wouldn't have had all this sympathy." In truth, public and
media alike tied themselves into PC knots not to appear "prejudiced"
towards Karen Matthews when Shannon went "missing". In the end, it
was one of Matthews's "chavvy" mates who had the guts to confront her
about her lies.
is firm evidence that the McCanns killed Madeleine and then concealed
the body." No, there isn't. Don't the people who spout such nonsense
have anything better to do, such as musing on grassy knolls or looking
for Elvis in the supermarket' Hey, Bin Laden may still be alive ' get
your conspiracy-hungry teeth into that!
there is the mindset that the McCanns are "asking for it" because they
keep placing themselves in the public eye ' as if they have a choice.
They don't exactly seem the types to want to appear in newspapers or on
television. One can't imagine them having fun with Ant and Dec, or
rustling up a double-baked souffle on
MasterChef. Now, though,
they are stuck in the zone of "reluctant celebrity", forced to keep
hankering for attention.
This is the McCanns' special circle of hell ' they
are off the current news agenda but for them the story isn't over. They
are not natural exhibitionists but circumstances dictate that they must
keep coming out and "performing". Superficial generational differences
aside, they remind me of Winnie Johnson, now terminally ill but still
cropping up in the media, begging Ian Brady to tell her where her son,
Keith Bennett, is buried on the moors. If anyone feels sympathy for Mrs
Johnson, they should feel the same for the McCanns.
could deny that, in the past four years, the McCanns have been judged
thoroughly. With this book, there is an opportunity for this mood, this
element, to pass and for the haters to back off. It seems clear that,
far from self-justifying, or attention-seeking, this book is what it has
always been about for the McCanns ' a practical solution to fundraising.
thought ' Ed canoodling with Neil Kinnock
Ed Miliband has invited fiancee Justine
Thornton to his stag do. Meanwhile, Abigail Clancy has banned Peter
Crouch from having one. One hates to get all
Nuts magazine about this, but: "Oi, chicks, enuff, get off
the male turf."
aware of Crouch's "mistakes with the ladeez", but Clancy's paranoia is
surprising, not least because she's gorgeous ' like a human Claudia
Schiffer. If a woman can't trust her man for one night while he's blind
drunk, wearing fake breasts, having his eyebrows shaved off, then what
is the civilised world coming to'
Miliband-Thorntons are to have a hen/stag hybrid, a "hag do", at their
home with "minimal guests". Presumably the party theme is "Couldn't be
razzed". One imagines Ed greeting guests in his pyjamas, while Justine
hands around Doritos in bowls. Or perhaps still in the bags'
should have her own do. What's she going to miss ' Ed in his cups,
cuddling Neil Kinnock, both vying to give the most electrifying
deconstruction of Keir Hardie' She's got the next 40 years of that. The
hen/stag do is all about inebriation, disgrace and, above all, the
separation of the sexes. It's tradition, don't fight it.
Cheryl's gone ' a nation yawns
It has finally been announced that Cheryl Cole will be a judge on the US
X Factor. Who is remotely
interested' It's not that I am too high-minded for populist nonsense
(the bar of popular culture has to be placed pretty low before I can't
limbo under it). It's rather that I've been burnt out by all the
contradictory reports. Every day, there's been rolling news of "Cheryl's
got it!" or "Cheryl's lost it because of her accent/hair/body odour"
(delete as appropriate).
of Simon Cowell being denied his way on anything to do with his shows is
patently absurd. He wanted La Cole as a judge, so she was always a
shoo-in. The rest was just a ruse to create dramatic tension. All this
around a show that isn't really broadcast here, except if you count
ITV2, home of Miss Marple omnibuses.
relevant information is that Cowell and Cole won't be appearing on the
UK X Factor and, going
by what happened to Britain's Got
Talent, they will probably be replaced by Zammo from
Grange Hill and the clown
doll from the test card.
Nevertheless, we're supposed to be dribbling with excitement because she
has got a job thousands of miles away on a show that doesn't register
having my cultural buttons cynically tweaked by light entertainment
moguls as much as the next person. However, geography matters. There's
already quite enough pointless rubbish and life-sapping brainrot to be
getting on with nationally for anyone to be overly concerned with what's
the US with you, Mr Cowell and Ms Cole, and the best of British. Just
don't expect the British to be interested.