Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Missing Madeleine: don't blame the parents (or me...)

I’m a deluded, stupid, disgusting, negligent law-breaker, a child abuser, who should be sacked immediately...

Just a flavour of the abuse that’s been hurled at me over the past couple of days. Over 60 messages since Friday. And the fire is still incoming.

All because over a month ago, I happened to express sympathy for the parents of missing Madeleine McCann…

It all started with this post: on 12th June.

I noted that:
When Madeleine first went missing, there were questions raised about why they left their children in their holiday apartment while they went for a meal.

I certainly remember doing exactly the same when our children were small.
Predictably, my post didn’t raise a titter. But last Friday, well over a full month after it first appeared, an angry campaign suddenly started cranking up against me.

Over the weekend, apparently outraged commenters claim to have reported me to Social Services and to the Police for allegedly neglecting my children while on holiday a quarter of a century ago.

I’ve been asked if my kids were as good looking as Maddie (how bizarre’s that...?) and whether I’d defend Madeleine's parents if they lived on a council estate (even more bizarre...?)

The McCann's have been accused of being criminals and swingers: I’ve been told they have no charisma, and that they’re playing a charade…

Some clearly regard Madeleine's parents as criminals and raise questions about why they are raising money rather than looking for their daughter.

But surely the sickest comments are from those who suggest the entire story is a hoax because there’s no conclusive evidence that Madeleine is even missing…
(Forgive me, but you have to wonder whether these crazy conspiracy theorists believe little Madeleine’s hiding behind the grassy knoll…)

Sensible people have urged me to treat the commenters as loonies and religious nuts and warned me to turn on the monitoring button to filter out the nonsense – particularly the potentially libellous comments.

I’m not in the habit of removing or blocking comments on my blog – I’ve always welcomed dialogue and try to reply, even to those who have diametrically opposed views to my own. We’re all entitled to our opinions and should not be afraid of healthy debate.

In the 18 months or so I’ve been blogging, I recall only ever removing one – maybe two – comments that I considered bordered on libellous (to others as I remember)…

But there is a limit…!

And unlike the self-righteous commenters, I don’t pretend I was the perfect parent. I did my best: sometimes I got things wrong. But I’m enormously proud of how my children have grown into the caring adults they have become.

In any case, it may all be a bit of a storm in a teacup as my memory may have failed me. My wife is adamant that we never actually left our children sleeping in a hotel room, specially abroad – and she’s usually right!

Of course, times were different 20-odd years ago when our children were small. And they were even more different when I were a lad and it was normal for parents to drive to a pub and leave the kids in the car with a bag of crisps and a bottle of pop if you were lucky.

We enjoyed family holidays at Butlins where parents were encouraged to leave children in chalets and go out for evenings – and there were regular alerts of baby crying in chalet xxx often chalked up on a board rather like hymns at a church service.

As I say, different times.

Of course, no modern ‘How to Raise Children’ handbook would advocate leaving children asleep in a hotel room while parents go out for a meal. And I wasn’t saying it’s OK either.

Just as the new Home Secretary Jackie Smith last week admitted she occasionally smoked cannabis when she was a student, she wasn’t saying it was OK.

But the fact is thousands of British parents on holiday do leave their children sleeping in the room while they pop out for a meal or a drink - though I suspect there will be far fewer following Madeleine's disappearance.

The point is, surely this: the McCanns have been to hell and back since their daughter disappeared. They are going through enough heartache without a personal and rather nasty campaign calling for them to be prosecuted for leaving their children in a hotel room while they went a few yards for a meal, even though they checked on them every half hour.

As for their actions since, I see nothing odd or strange in clutching any straw that might just help lead to their little girl’s safe return.

43 comments:

Johnno said...

"My wife is adamant that we never actually left our children sleeping in a hotel room, specially abroad – and she’s usually right!"

Well done Phil aparantly you do have some Guts after all.

I accept your Wife's version of events, as we all know, Poiticians memory can't be relied on at the best of times (let alone when in the glare of the Media) & your Wife is the one who has probably had the difficult task of bringing up the Family while you pursue a Public career.

I sincerely apologise to your Wife & Children if I personally have mistakenly caused them any distress but surely your throw away comment of "I certainly remember doing exactly the same when our children were small" brought this critisism down on you in the 1st place?
Every thought of offering Alistair Campbell a job? He could cast his Eye over things for you before you put your Foot in your Mouth again?

Anonymous said...

Not wishing to descend in to yet another argument but..
Phil I think you will find that the "checked every 1/2 hour" might be a teeny weeny fib (or "mistake" as some circles prefer to call it) as they tripped themselves up early on in the course of events.

Anonymous said...

Ah yes...the predictable back-pedal, "My wife remembers it different"
Okay Phil, so what you are saying now is, you & your wife do NOT condone leaving tiny children alone for hours. I'll call that a retraction of your previous statement where you defended the McCanns for repeatedly leaving their babies - night after night for hours by admitting you & your wife did the same to your kids. I'm glad your wife had more sense.

Re: the half hour checks; I'm amazed that the McCanns and you and all their other supporters have missed the essence here, far from protecting the babies, the half hour checks were obviously important in the timing of the 'abduction', there being a clear half hour time span to complete the task.
FDP the McCanns could have so easily avoided this backlash had they quietly & humbly advised all other parents never to make the error of judgement that they made.
Instead of the attempt to justify it with the very juvenile excuse "Well everybody else does it"
No Mr McCann WE DON'T!
I'm very sorry for them and pray for Madeleine, but object to their attempt to tar responsible caring parents worldwide with the McCann Russian roulette style of parenting.
S.M. Perth.

Sir HM said...

Phil

Credit to you for coming back to this.

Having said that, there's no need for you to use your platform to misrepresent what's ben said:

No one - no one - has claimed there's no evidence Madeleine's "missing". She's plainly missing ok. What HAS been said is that there's no evidence she was abducted, which is categorically NOT the same thing.

I'll be back later after a closer read of your post.

Anonymous said...

You said:
"And unlike the self-righteous commenters, I don’t pretend I was the perfect parent. I did my best: sometimes I got things wrong. But I’m enormously proud of how my children have grown into the caring adults they have become"

I can echo this statement myself, I am not a perfect parent, my two children have grown to be responsible and very caring.
There is the nub however! They GREW UP because I was never more than a heart beat away from them at night when they were sleeping as young, defenceless and innocent little toddlers.
Carol

Anonymous said...

Oh Dear! - Any parents that took their kids on holiday to Butlins in the 60's/70's/80's beware!. Apparently if you ever heard those words "baby crying in chalet 17" it indicates neglect and abuse! - Well there's a whole generation of "30-40 somethings" who might disagree!.

Doris said...

Thank you for your response FDP.

"Of course, no modern ‘How to Raise Children’ handbook would advocate leaving children asleep in a hotel room while parents go out for a meal. And I wasn’t saying it’s OK either."

You have also said that your wife recalls things differently and that you didn't leave the children alone in a hotel room whilst you went out for dinner on holiday. Which I can quite believe, after all, that is the right thing to do.

However, the way you originally wrote the comment did seem to make it sound like it is OK. And what is interesting is that you have based your comment on a mis-heard memory. It seems to me that the over-whelming sympathy (which is natural) for the McCanns seems to have clouded many people's judgement - not just you.

I too have made mistakes in my parenting and acknowledge that others have done so too in one way or another. But what the McCanns did is a bit more than a mistake - after all I bet your wife was horrified to think that you thought you remembered leaving your children alone in a hotel room on holiday!

We all know it is tough being a parent (except Michael Oakeshott who says he doesn't have children amd who won't even talk politics with a child) and I have been at both ends of the spectrum being the single parent on a council estate and being part of an apparently middle class couple. Never in any of that time did I do what the McCanns did in leaving their children in a hotel room.

I understand from Gerry McCanns blog on the Find Madeleine site (where he has often mis-spelled his missing daughter's name - I kid you not!) that he is stating his case regarding the newspaper reports they are to be investigated. Whatever the truth of any of it, this is the first time he spoken in a way that goes part way to taking responsibility for his part but he doesn't quite. Of course it is the crime of the person who took their daughter (I've said that myself on my blog) but what the McCanns did was more foolish than leaving ones valuables on the bed.

Heather said...

Thats some serious back pedal you done - nice one!

I am a mother, I know lots of other mothers from all different areas and backgrounds and have spoken to them at length and honestly about this and NOT ONE agreed that they would leave 3 BABIES under 4 asleep to go out and eat. A family holiday is just that - one for the whole family. Not one where you leave children sleeping and perhaps even crying for you for 30 mins (depending on which story you beleive) at a time. The McCanns haven't admitted what they have done was wrong - why are you trying to defend them when they themselves think they have done nothing wrong?

Pete said...

Oh Dear! - Any parents that took their kids on holiday to Butlins in the 60's/70's/80's beware!. Apparently if you ever heard those words "baby crying in chalet 17" it indicates neglect and abuse! - Well there's a whole generation of "30-40 somethings" who might disagree!.
# posted by Anonymous : Tuesday, July 24, 2007 10:00:00 AM

What? What a ridiculous post. Is THAT the best you can do to defend ole Fair Deal phil here and the McCAnns - please.....in 1860 the age of consent was 13 so what? Times change, moral values change and society's expectations rise - which is why - it is NOW considered abuse to leave a baby alone in unlocked rooms - unless you are ole Fair Deal Phil or the new paragons of child welfare - the McCanns.
What a stupid and useless defense... you actually thought that up all by yourself...I'm impressed.....not.

Anonymous said...

Well done for, well, sort of, retracting your comment that you too regularly left your children alone. I bet your wife was pleased when she read that - not!

But please, Phil, give up on the insults to posters. One day soon the tide will turn, the rumblings can be heard already. Then anyone who is associated with the McCanns/supported them/involved themselves in their obscene money-raising, will be tarred with the same brush.

My advice to you is to quit whilst you're ahead(well, sort of ahead).

Sir HM said...

Phil, I expect this is going to be quite a long comment. I'm not going to insult you in it; I'm not going to rip into you accusing you of neglecting your own children when they were young; I'm not going to claim that you're unfit to hold public office - these are all things I've seen thrown at you. What I'm going to try and do is persuade you that your attitude is mistaken. Please take time to read, and please do honestly consider what I'm saying. There will be a fair bit of copy/pasting, but only from here and from the comments of your last post on this matter - mostly my own comments. However, I wont go into the other blogs worldwide that deal with this - only this one and my own head.

First off Phil, all credit to you for returning to this post, and also for not removing all the critical comments. I am much the same myself. You will have noticed though Phil, that those commenters who are opposing your attitude, and who are claiming that the adult McCanns (and their friends on holiday - they ALL left their children alone every night of that holiday, and Madeleine was the oldest of them all - and she was only three at the time) should be called to account by the legal services, do not resort to gross insult and obscenity. That sort of behaviour is reserved to themselves by many who support the McCanns' behaviour. Essentially, they try to bully everyone into dropping the matter. They use misrepresentation of what's said (you're a little guilty of that yourself you know), abuse, insult, and on the Mirror Forums even take sometimes to posting the most ghastly disgusting sickening pornography in attempts to get discussion and forums shut down. Would they really need to resort to this sort of behaviour if they had right on their side?

Now then, how far from the apartment were they the night Madeleine went missing? They claim 40-50 yards. It was 67 yards as the crow flies. But they are not crows and have to walk: the walking distance is 123 yards and 2ft. I would hardly call that the equivalent of eating in the garden. The apartment itself is OUTSIDE the resort security zone. Also, there were screens, vegetation, and at least one 6ft high wall with bushes atop it between the bar and the apartment. It was NOT in direct line of sight. In addition, a straigt line from the bar to the apartment, even if said apartment had been visible, would have shown the security-zone-facing side of the apartment; Madeleine's bedroom was on the opposite side side of the apartment facing, and just a few yards away from, a public road. Hardly in direct line of sight.

Was she abducted? The Portuguese police have found no evidence of this - there was no forensic evidence that anyone other than the McCanns and their friends had been in that apartment. Witness statements from neighbours contradict any idea that the apartment shutters had been broken, and indeed, there is no evidence that the apartment was broken into at all. Anyway, the McCanns left the door unlocked.

The McCanns and their friends claim that one of them went and checked on the children every 20mins/30mins/hour - depending on which version of events of theirs you take notice of. This is contradicted by independent witnesses and the staff of the Tapas bar. Up until Mrs McCann went at about 10pm, only one other person left the table at all. And anyway, if the parents (all of them, not just the McCanns) thought it was reasonable and safe to leave such young children alone, why did they bother with checking at all? They KNEW there are risks with leaving such young children alone, which is why they - claim - they carried out checks. Risk of abduction is the least of those risks, and having had children yourself Phil, you are fully aware of that. How long does it take a toddler to stick his/her finger into an electricity outlet? How long for a fire to take hold in the apartment? Need I go on? In the village I was brought up in, a mother once left her toddler in the care of her husband while she went out for a few hours (daytime - not on the razz). While she was out, the husband had a few beers and fell asleep. The toddler stuck his finger in an electricity outlet and got killed (do you remember the old 15amp plugs?). That husband was driven to suicide by his wife before she finished with him. Took months but the whole village knew what was going on and let her get on with it. That is a true story Phil, and I only told it to illustrate why little kids should NOT be left alone. Why the LAW says they should not be left alone. We all make mistakes, and accidents do happen, but what the MCCanns and their friends did with their children was out and out negligence. To see it claimed that what they did ws perfectly reasonable really galls when we know full well that if it had been Wayne and Tracey McDoledrone off the local council sink estate that had left three babies under the age of three alone while they went out on the razz to their nearest pub, and one of those babies had gone missing, the press would be all over them like a rash, would investigate their whole lives and rip them apart, social services would remove the other kids to a place of safety, the police would prosecute for neglect and endangerment. You yourself Phil would be loud in condemnation, and insistent that the police - of whose authority you are a member - take action. Come on Phil, the hypocrisy stinks.

And if the McCanns and friends get away with this, what sort of precedent is it setting for other parents who are negligent over their children's safety? Will you ever again be able to successfully take any sort of action against neglecting parents " Well, you said it was ok when those two doctors did it" will be the argument.

But the law already says it is not ok. Leicester social services in a reply to a commenter on your other McCann thread said:

"" There is no law that states the minimum age that a child can be left alone. However, it is an offence to leave a child alone when doing so puts him or her at risk. But parents can be prosecuted for wilful neglect if they leave a child unsupervised ""

Phil, Madeleine is missing so by definition, their wilful neglect in leaving their children unsupervised put them at risk. There is simply no way around that.

Politicians and others in your sort of position have an expression they are very fond of using - I'd be very surprised if you've never used it yourself: 'We have to send a signal'. Well YOU have to send a signal, a signal that it is NOT ok to leave young children alone while you go out on the razz. At the moment, the only signal you're sending is that it IS ok to do that. Please Phil, have a serious think about what you're doing.

Perhaps I can appeal to your self-interest? You're a politician aren't you? I assure you that the vast majority of the people out there think the same as I do. Why not go out on the street and ask 50 passers-by what they really and honestly think about the McCanns and friends and their actions with their children on that holiday? People at random in the street. Sure they'll tell you that it's tragic for the parents, and of course it is, but they'll also tell you that the parents were wrong, should be investigated and prosecuted, and that if it had been the aforementioned Wayne and Tracey, WOULD have been. Everyone out here has sympathy for them for their loss - I have a now grown-up daughter of my own, and would have been totally mindwiped if she'd disappeared when she was small - but everyone out here is equally condemnatory over their behaviour.

It's not even as if the McCanns have learned from it, claiming they were behaving reasonably. What does this say for the future safety of the twins? If they had stopped trying to cover themselves and had just come straight out with something along the lines of " we made a terrible mistake, we were wrong and should be hauled over the coals for it, and we'll never do anything like that again, we've learned our lesson; and we hope all other parents learn from us and never ever leave their little kids alone", they would have nothing but sympathy out here on the street. And a few tears might have helped them - but this hard-faced brazen defiance and refusal to admit wrongdoing, while garnering support from people like you with a bit of influence (closing of class ranks?) really rubs the vast majority of people up entirely the wrong way.

And as for that fund! Phil, it is NOT a charity: it is a limited company and one of its articles of incorporation says it is to give financial support to Madeleine's family. In essence, those two things together say they can do whatever they like with that money. They can live the life of Riley on it and not a damned thing anyone can do about it. They can go and put every last penny of it on a horse tomorrow, and not a damned thing anyone can do about it. It's THEIR money now. Abput a million punds. Nice work if you can get it,

I'm getting angry now Phil, so I'll stop. I may be back later because there's so much more to say. Just one last thing before I go (thank God, says Phil :) ):

You are a politician, a member of your police authority. There is a lot of emotion in this and people feel enormous sympathy for the McCanns, including you. Me too, to be truthful. But we don't elect politicians, or appoint members of police authorities to let ourselves and the actions of our society be governed my your emotional feelings and sentiment. You are in position to be a hardnosed realist, and you have to look at this McCann business in a hardnosed way. They broke the law, prosecute them. Simple as that. Send that signal to other parents. I'm an ex-serviceman - I didn't want my officers acting out of sympathy and sentiment. I wanted hardnoses who knew what had to be done and ordered it accordingly. Those are the sort of officers who keep you alive while they win. That's what we need from you and the rest of the "Establishment" (however you define that) here and in Portugal.

Bye for now.

Sir HM said...

LIARS! LIAR! LIARS!

Phil, here's an interesting comment from the Daily Express (eight times as far away eh?):

"" 24.07.07, 11:49am

The McCanns dined out every night of their holiday while their poor children slept alone. They are lucky that this happened on the night they chose to dine in the tapas bar and not Tuesday for example when they dined in Chaplins, below their beloved church, near the beach, 8 times the distance away. They never once checked on their children as they claim, ask the staff! Talk to elderly Mrs. Senn who lives above and she'll tell you on that particular Tuesday night she had to sit listening to one of the children "screeming, crying" from 22:30 til 23:45. They went to dinner around 19:00h. Those poor, poor children. Yes, they should be prosecuted. How DARE they preach to other parents and try to teach us safety measures to ensure our children are safe from predators? How DARE they take the positions of heroes? How DARE they commit this crime upon poor Madeleine? Yes, they did it. If a child was abandoned on a rock surrounded by ocean, fell in and was eaten by a shark, who would you prosecute? The shark? They delivered their baby to her predator. I fear for Sean and Amelie. They haven't "learnt their lesson" as some idiots keep saying. They deny doing anything wrong and still galavant around the globe doing their holier than thou parade while their remaining children are left to (I'm positive) much more competent care. Why did they use the creche all day every day and decline the night time services? Why, when staff got worried did they also decline the monitoring services? What were they afraid of us monitoring? Stop protecting these monsters. Stop raising them to saintliness. They're criminals. Why are people so PC? If they had been Portuguese they'd have been charged within hours and their twins removed from them. I just hope that whoever took Madeleine took her because they witnessed her parents' total lack of care and thought she deserved better. There are lunatics out there who'd do such a thing. We have 2 seperate issues here, please stop getting them confused. We have a poor missing little baby who has been taken away from her family. We have a complete separate issue: two so called parents who committed crime (on a regular basis). YES they should be prosecuted. YES, YES, YES. ""

Phil, stop supporting and making excuses for these two. They really don't deserve it. Everything they do is not about finding Madeleine, it's about preventing themselves from being prosecuted (and on a sidenote: how much of that £1,000,000+ fund has been spent on hiring private investigators, how much on legal measures to protect themselves - such as shutting up people who point out inconvenient truths ... and how much on activities to raise further funds?)

The Mirror supports a McCanns forum; now the Express is asking serious questions. The tide is turning Phil. Get yourself on the right side before you lose all credibility with the population at large.

In my rather large comment above I had so much more to say, but thought I'd better not push it too far in case you just lost interest out of sheer tedium.

I suggest you spend a bit of time with the Portuguese press. They are trying to do a proper job. You might also care to visit here regularly:

http://ionglobaltrends.blogspot.com/

Scroll through and read the posts and especially the comments. It is a very sober site with people treating each other with respect.

Of course, it has been mentioned recently on various forums, so we expect visits to start from the McCann supporters who spout their obscenities.

Anonymous said...

Just want to say I wholeheartedly agree with sir hm's post above. And I think it represents the views of many decent, honest, responsible parents.

S.

Michael Oakeshott said...

No sensible person will even read the long posts below. Full of garbage, I regret even trying.

I particularly like the way Sir HM writes on behalf of "anonymous" to congratulate himself. These people are very worrying.

I won't keep posting with these loonies, I have serious things to do. But make no mistake, these people have got serious mental issues that need to be dealt with. Oh for eugenics(look it up on Wikipedia eh?).

Anonymous said...

Sir H.M.
Well said! Great posts.
I had read before that the McCanns had been dining away from the resort on previous evenings.
Do you have a link for the article in the Express?
Thanks.

S. Morrison. Perth

Lord MS said...

My goodness but "Sir HM" sure likes the sound of his own voice! Regrettably, through his long-windedness and pomposity, his good points will probably be lost or ignored. SLOW DOWN "Sir HM", take a deep breath, and be succinct!

Sir HM said...

And, right on cue, here are the McCann supporters with their standard way of working. Don't like the message, attack the messenger.

They never learn do they.

Sir HM said...

S. Morrison

Here's the relevant Express comment page

http://www.express.co.uk/comments/viewall/14347

Pete said...

it was a great post sir hm - and yes predictably here come the pro McCanns with their "protect" at all costs.
The points you made were spot on - even ole Fair Deal Phil will be able to understand it...But the McCann defenders?
Listen you bunch of jerks...do you actually care about MADELEINE at all?
Because if you do - why defend the incompetent morons who left her alone night after night? What about HER rights to expect that her own parents would actually bother to look out for her? What about Madeleine?

Sir HM said...

Michael Oakeshott

Eugenics? Fine, bring it on.

I'll be ok, I'm 99th percentile myself. Where are you on that scale?

Do you even know what it means?

Well, it depends on how you measure the standard deviation for IQ, but being in the 99th percentile means, basically, that only one out of every thirty (one way of measuring the deviation) thousand, to one out of every hundred (the other way of measuring the deviation) thousand people has an IQ as high as or higher than mine. Somewhere between 600 and 2000 people in this entire country are as bright as I am.

So ok, bring on your eugenics.

Oh, I see - you might prefer to decide your eugenics on physical criteria? Ok, still bring it on: I enlisted at 15 and served for 8 years, followed by another 13 years doing ... er ... private contracts. I don't think I'd have had any problems with eugenics based on physical characteristics then. Do you?

Have since gotten educated to postgrad level.

Prefer blue eyes then? Yup, got that too. Had blonde hair as a kid too, but run to grey now. Happens as people get older and wiser.

So bring on your Eugenics Mr Oakeshott. Fine by me.

Now unless you've got any real argument to put out, push off.

I wouldn't have mentioned any of this stuff if you hadn't been so prattish.

On your profile you have a blog registered telling the world how "Right Wing" you are. Not a single word written on that blog. Right Wing? You don't know the meaning of it. I'M Right Wing.

A Grandmother said...

Check this out phil:

http://bp1.blogger.com/_mXbRBcSh0gs/RlowOZfs4eI/AAAAAAAAAZw/NnmhuElEmVI/s1600-h/Aerial_Photo_Ocean_Club_Eng.gif

Kat said...

I'm sorry Phil, but the 'few yards away' assertion is horribly incorrect. Please see the attached links.

http://gazetadigitalmadeleinecase.blogspot.com/2007/05/some-pictures-from-praia-da-luz-crime.html

See the two tiny people waaay down the corridor? That is the corridor the McCanns had to navigate to reach their aparment, which was located off the resort's main gated and secured grounds. And that corrioder is beyond the swimming pool which separates it from the tapas bar.

http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/42928000/jpg/_42928321_portugal_sat_resort416.jpg

The ariel view speak volumes. The former link only serves to add to the fact the distance was *significant* and much more than a few yards away.

Add to that the report from a woman who was in the apartment above the McCann's that the parents and their group dined well off the resort, at a restaurant located well below the church, and that she was forced to listen to a child wail and cry throughout the night from 10:30 until the parents returned at 11:45.

More than just slightly irresponsible, methinks.

Sir HM said...

And Mr Oakeshott, I ONLY EVER post anywhere under the names Sir HM or SirHenry Morgan. I never post as Anonymous.

Sir HM said...

Here's a good Portuguese blog. Go visit

http://www.gazetadigital.blogspot.com/

and follow some of the links that may catch your eye

And here

http://tinyurl.com/yw2z8t

Take a look through the pictures and wonder where the "like eating in the garden" came from.

Doris said...

Well said Sir HM.

Sir HM said...

"" Over 60 messages since Friday. ... ""

Phil, you love it. All bloggers love a reaction. And be fair, not much of it has been hitting you.

fairdealphil said...

i'll try to answer some of the comments from those who at least have an identity:

johnno asked if I'd thought about offering Alistair Campbell a job.

If you mean Alastair Campbell, johnno: no, and i won't holdf my breath for him to offer me one...

fairdealphil said...

sir?hm

How do you know there's no evidence that Madeleine was abducted?

Are you a Portuguese police officer?

fairdealphil said...

doris:

Didn't mean to suggest it was OK to neglect children.

If the McCanns made a mistake, they've been dragged to hell and back for it - it's not helpful to drag them there again.

I'm sure you deserve a medal for raising your children.

fairdealphil said...

heather asks why I am trying to defend the McCanns...

er, because their daughter has been abducted heather. As a father, my heart goes out to them.

fairdealphil said...

sir??hm again:

sorry, like michael, i gave up wading through your marathon comment at a rather early stage...

fairdealphil said...

i did find the final paragraph of hm's next contribution revealing when he complained about the McCann supporters spouting "their obscenities"...

are they worse obscenities than those which have appeared on my blog from the anti-McCann campaign...?

fairdealphil said...

michael:

i'll leave you are hm (sir!!!) to slug out eugenics. seems to be rather off-post...

fairdealphil said...

pete:

jerks and incompetent morons...?

are these the obscenities hm complains of...?

Sir HM said...

Oh yes Phil, far far worse. Indeed, you haven't had a taste of the obscenities they dish out. Ask the Mirror.

Well, at least the Express seems to be up to the job.

amy boston mass said...

Phil
Let me start off by telling you that I do feel for the Mccanns. Their precious daughter is missing. I dont feel removing the twins from their family would do anything good. Here in the U.S. where Mr. Mccann currently is you would have DSS up your #ss. But they are so inundated with other forms of neglect who knows what would happen. My biggest problem with this story is that it has been accepted by the media and celebrities to positiveley condone their behavior. Is it against the law or not to leave your children alone? I think if they were not so defensive in the begining people would not be so critical of them. I have heard all these stories of their children being left night after night from even further distances. That is odd. Please have a look at the view of the apt. to the tapas, it was alot farther that 50 yards. The apt. was blocked from sight. You could not see it from were they were sitting. How long do you think it took to walk from their table to the apt.? It had to have taken 10 mins atleast. 5 there 5 back sit for 20 then go back and check again??? It was neglect no matter who you are what you do for a living or how "close" your family is. What if Madeleine did not go missing and the parents were caught leaving their children night after night. I think then views would be different.What if a terrible tragedy did not happen. Would you critizize the parents then. This is pulling at heartstrings for all people following the case.
I know I sound critical, they are being punished enough. I am sick of being called a looney because I beleive leaving children alone is wrong.It just really bothers me to see people defend their actions not only one night but the other nights. Plain and simple come clean face the FACT tell people yes we were wrong dont ever leave your children ALONE. Think about that Phil alone. I have young children do you remember when yours were that little?? Alone no one to go to if you wake up crying,scared,thirsty have to pee or just to cuddle. Alone. Not fair for Madeleine. God bless this poor little girl wherever she is.

Kat said...

*hands on hips*

A-hem.

You did not address my post Phil. I'm disappointed.

I am not out for the blood of the McCanns. I am out for the blood of ALL of the adults in their party who left their children in harms way every night of their vacation.

Okay, not literally blood, but for accountability.

They all contributed, by their mutual agreement that it was okay to leave very small children alone in unlocked apartments, to the circumstances which resulted in that poor, innocent, wide eyed little girl falling prey to - what? - God only knows. They are culpable.

I think it is of utmost importance, especially in consideration of the fund to 'find' Madeleine, that the public be made well aware of the known facts of this case.

Do I believe that people should turn the other way and run from helping people who need it? Absolutely not. I do believe that people asking for help, nay, soliciting financial help, should be completely transparent with how they manage the generosity of others. And to use that generosity for the stated purpose - as in actually trying to find Madeleine.

I am not saying that raising awareness of Madeleine is without merit. I am saying that they McCanns, themselves, have stated - see their first interview - to whit, that they would not hire private investigators (at that time the fund was over three hundred thousand pounds). They have said they did not lift a finger, themselves, to physically look for Madeleine, not in those first hours and days and not since.

It is imperative that this couple not be held up as the poster children for child advocacy groups - they put their own children at risk.

It is important that they be at least investigated for two reasons - so as not to set an improper example as to what responsible parenting involves and to ensure that the children who remain with them will never be subjected to being put in such a precarious position again. It is important that all of the adults in that group be investigated for the same reasons.

It is important that those who are considering contributing to a fund which has grown to a massive sum understand that the monies the intend on giving will likely not go to the funds first stated purpose - to FIND Madeleine.

Yes. We who are critical of the parents McCann et al are fierce in our beliefs. Some of us are a little over the top, some rabid with anger, some churlish and extreme. Much in the same way the supporters of the McCanns are. Only it has been my experience that no matter how reasoned my tone of inquiry, the McCanninites (as I like to call them) are ever quick to badger, bully and insult. I have yet to have a reasoned and restrained debate with a single one of them.

Please have a look at the links I provided in my previous post. Please have a think on the kind of world we live in. Think about how very young all those children were and how every adult entrusted to look out for them quite literally abandoned them for hours every night of their holiday in favour of a leisurely dinner and cocktails. Think about what the woman above the McCann apartment said about listening to the wails of a small child for hours while the parents were blocks and blocks away for dinner - and not within checking/listening distance.

Imagine how terrifying that would be for any child to experience, awaking in an unfamiliar place without a parent nearby - without a parent answering your calls - with no one to comfort you while you cried. Now, if you dare to, imagine how compounded that fear might have been for Madeleine if she was abducted.

And then, please, let us all know what you think.

Michael Oakeshott said...

Kat さんは書きました...
*hands on hips*

A-hem.

You did not address my post Phil. I'm disappointed.

I doubt he read it luv, noone else did. You guys really like the sound of your own voices don't you? What makes you think anyone is bothered with what you think.

I also really like the way you DEMAND that Phil agrees with your view. Shades of fascism.

The chances of the child being abducted are less than the house being struck by a bolt of lightening. Get a bit of perspective. Indeed just a grip and find an important issue, rather than dictating to parents how to bring up their children. A walk round any council estate will show you far more neglect. Some children would be better off if their parents cleared off permanently. But no noise on this issue from anyone here. Seems to be a bit of class hate here. The McCanns are middle class, prosperous and intelligent, and others jealously is all too clear to see.

How sad for you.

amy, boston said...

In response to some saying we are jealous. Of what can I ask. We are jealous that we did not enjoy some drinks at a bar while we leave our children alone for 5 nights and have one go missing?? I do not understand you. I dont have any hate towards the Mccanns. I want them to find their daughter and go back to the normal life they led. I dont think the twins should be taken from them either. I hate being critical and no I am not the perfect parent. I have watched my child nearly die and would never wish that on anyone. As a parent I am shocked that any other parent could leave their child, a precious gift of life that far in a strange place. I just wish that the Mccanns would face the music and tell the truth. All these so called educated people were on vacation and left their infants/toddlers alone every night while they were there. Please have another look at the distance. The Tapas bar , the Chaplin children crying alone for 2 hours. Why??? It is wrong no matter what excuse you have for them. I do not think it is right that so much positive attention has been given to them. I look at the pain in Kates eyes and it hurts me. I feel awful for her it kills you as a mother to watch. But I still have to ask why??? Why did you leave them.

fairdealphil said...

amy,

you say:

"I have watched my child nearly die and would never wish that on anyone. As a parent I am shocked that any other parent could leave their child, a precious gift of life that far in a strange place. I just wish that the Mccanns would face the music and tell the truth."

amy, like you, we came close to losing a child, through meningitis, but thankfully, and with the help of intensive care in our NHS, she pulled through and ten years on has no ill effects and she's been able to become a successful primary school teacher.

...But Madeleine is still missing...

You say that you wish the McCanns would face the music and tell the truth...

They have been facing the music every minute of the past 83 - or is it 84 - days.

A couple of days ago, Gerry McCann said this:

"We know that there has been criticism in some quarters of our actions but at the time, we felt our actions were responsible.

"We were essentially performing our own baby listening service although we have talked of the guilt we felt at not being there at the moment Madeleine was taken."

Isn't that enough?

amy said...

Phil
I know that the parents can not breach any of the investigation and talk about the case. I understand that yes for nearly 3 months now they have endured a parents worst nightmare. One that would of never happened if the children were watched. Now maybe it is because we come from a different backround or culture but what exactly is a baby listening service?? When did this become a responsible way to leave your children alone?? Gerry answered 50 yards away is the distance and he could see the apt. Have you looked at the view. What was he looking at the top of the blding. It is blocked by a wall and bushes you cant see a damn thing. How do they explain leaving 3 children at the Chaplin 800 meters away while a neighbor heard them cry for 2 hrs??? It is not just the Mccanns, there were other intelligent people there as well. It is not just the one night they went out. They left them alone every night.
So NO it obviously was not enough their own "babysitting service". I have told you before I do not want the twins taken from them I can see they are loving parents. I will not discredit them as human or as caring people. I do think that something needs to be done. You work with the police authority, I work in The medical field. I am sure we both have seen far worse cases of abuse than most. I for one know what they did was against the law here in the U.S. and if a child did not go missing that night I feel people would have a different opinion. What if Madeliene wandered off to the ocean and was found hours later alive and well by vacationers. The news would be 2 parents left 3 children under 3 alone while at a hotel bar. The media and people all around the world would be ripping them apart. I dont think Madeleine was abused by her parents whoever took her is a different story. But remember who is supposed to be there to care for her and protect her. No one has any right to take your child but for god sakes don chance it. That is just plain neglectful. They are only kids once, enjoy that take them to play tennis with you and dine with you. You never know how long you will have with them.

Kat said...

Oh, Michael, how sad indeed.

I suspect Phil made no direct reply to my posts because he cannot invalidate or dismiss some of the points raised within.

As to you, well, as a true blue McCanninite I expect nothing more from you.

I have to note that you made no effort to discuss the points raised by myself. You rambled about council estate parents. Accused me of not having a grip or perspective, of being dictatorial and a fascist, and of demanding Phil agree with my point of view. Oh! And I suffer from 'class hate' and am jealous.

What interesting points you raise - if you are in a grade school debate program, but even then all of the arguments you make wouldn't fly.

Have you nothing better to do than to hurl insults at people who are posing thoughtful and well reasoned questions to others? Or is it only the thoughtful and well reasoned posts which raise your ire? You know, nothing there to refute and nothing intelligent to counter with or contribute so you resort to mud slinging?

Funny, that.

I've afforded you the courtesy of a reply. Would gladly do so again if you wish to engage in an actual discussion/debate which would involve having valid, well reasoned and intelligent counter arguments. Until such time (which I doubt is likely to ever happen) I will not afford you a second thought or reply.

Ta now!

Kat

Sir HM said...

What do you think Phil? Oakeshott?

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18727725/