When I wrote an earlier piece about how tired I was of the parents’ guilt is being inflicted on the rest of us in the daily media barrage of claim and counter-claim I thought I was something of a lone voice. Not a lone voice in how I felt but a lone voice in expressing dislike at the McCann’s guilt being paraded on daily television and in the newspapers as if I was supposed to feel sorry for them in some way. It seems I’m not alone – Booker prize winner Anne Enright wrote a 2,000 word essay entitled, “Disliking the McCanns”, apparently ‘attacked’ by the McCann family as ‘publicity seeking’.
Let’s recount what’s undisputed in the public domain – the McCann’s, Kate and Jerry, decided to leave their three very young children alone in an unfamiliar and unlocked apartment in a strange town in a foreign country while they went out for a meal and wine.
The Booker prize winner says, “”I disliked the McCanns earlier than most people (I’m not proud of it). I thought I was angry with them for leaving their children alone.”
This reminded me of a somewhat heated debate I had with my wife quite early on in the sorry saga. She had said she felt sorry for the parents. I replied I had no sympathy for them whatsoever. She called me a heartless monster. I pointed out that even now with two largely grown up children in a small, fairly quiet, uneventful town in Scotland I would never, ever contemplate leaving my children asleep in an unlocked house let alone a strange town in a foreign country. Turned out I was not alone in my views as she discovered when talking to her colleagues at work.
Last night’s rather disappointing Channel 4 documentary, “Searching For Madeleine”, where a number of British experts were commissioned to offer their opinions on what they believed may have happened, inevitably failed to deliver anything of substance although it did offer some interesting observations about how, in the absence of real information, the media were inclined to simply make things up to fill the vacuum.
Sadly, the truth may never be known.