Madeleine McCann: ‘As A Dad’ David Cameron Has To Find Our Maddie
MADELEINE McCann: Day 5 of the Sun’s serialisation of the Kate McCann book Madeleine. Today the book is overtaken by an appeal to David Cameron.
Sun (front page): “OPEN UP THE MADDIE FILES”
This is this “McCanns’ open letter to Cameron”
Having tried to gain mileage and reader interest in the book – including a delve into Kate and Gerry McCann’s sex life – the Sun leads not with the book but with an appeal:
Dear Prime Minister
As a devoted father and family man, you know the importance of children. Our beloved eldest child, Madeleine, was abducted from Praia da Luz, Portugal, four years ago. Since then, we have devoted all our energies to ensuring her safe return.
As ever, the “as a dad” motif features in these tabloid stories. When Baby P died, Ed Balls, the then Children’s Secretary, told us that “as a dad” he was well placed to understand that the torture of a child was wrong. He wallowed in the mourn porn and told us:
“I have to separate the emotion I feel as a father from my job as Secretary of State.”
“As a dad” is the Sun’s shorthand for caring:
A GRIEF-STRICKEN lawyer sobbed at Baby P’s memorial plaque yesterday. Dad-of-five Phil Simmonds was overcome after laying flowers at the growing shrine dedicated to the tragic tot…
The Sun ladles on it’s As A Daddy’s sauce (did it ghost write the McCanns letter – an ingenious missive rich in tabloidese?):
Recognising him as a “devoted” father and family man who knows the importance of children, they plead with the Prime Minister to help bring Madeleine back where she belongs – to her loving family.
Over on the BBC, Cameron takes the bait:
The prime minister’s spokeswoman said Mr Cameron had “followed their plight very closely” and wanted to help.
As a dad, it’s his duty, right. After all, what happened to Madeleine McCann could have happened to any child.
Back to that letter:
Today we are asking you – and the British and Portuguese governments – to help find Madeleine and bring her back to her loving family.
We live in hope that Madeleine will be found alive and returned to us. One call might be all that is needed to lead to Madeleine and her abductor.
To this end, we are seeking a joint INDEPENDENT, TRANSPARENT and COMPREHENSIVE review of ALL information held in relation to Madeleine’s disappearance. Thus far, there has been NO formal review of the material held by the police authorities – which is routine practice in most major unsolved crimes.
Yes. Let us review all the facts, all the details, all the testimonies, all the claims, all the timelines, all the clues and all the case files in public. If it helps the child, it must be done.
It is not right that a young vulnerable British citizen has essentially been given up on. This remains an unsolved case of a missing child.
Children are our most precious gift.
This is mawkish. But Cameron is being poked with the kind of easy sentimentalism his engages in. He might not be able to resist a response – as a dad.
Please don’t give up on Madeleine.
Kate & Gerry McCann
For those of uncertain what to make of that, the Sun solicits the opinion of “ANTONIO PINTO, Portuguese legal expert”.
Is he a lawyer?
We are not told. But his words are published:
I DO not think it is a bad thing if Madeleine’s case is reopened by other prosecutors and other investigators to scrutinise for possible shortcomings in the existing investigation.
It seems reasonable to do so because it is very strange that a girl is missing and that nothing is done. The problem for the Portuguese police is that, as the law stands, it does not provide for the re-opening of the case without new evidence.
But although there is no provision in the law, the law does not outlaw it – so it would seem reasonable that this could happen.
Clear as mud, then. It could happen under law; or it could not. Back to the story of the day:
Says Kate McCann:
“I hope Mr Cameron will take responsibility for one of his most vulnerable citizens. Madeleine is not disposable. She should not be dismissed and brushed aside as ‘just one child from just one family’. She’s a British child, she’s still missing, and she matters.”
Sure. So. Let’s have that full review. All the details. All the facts. Let the British judges review it all in a legal setting.
The Sun today throws its weight behind the family’s efforts with the start of a petition, above, for readers to sign. It urges the British and Portuguese authorities to co-operate and conduct an independent and transparent review of all information in relation to the disappearance.
Kate then pats the bottom of that As A Daddy’s sauce bottle:
“We hope David Cameron will show he cares about children…”
Mawkish stuff. But if it makes Cameron order the police in to review all the facts – starting with a clean page – then good. The Sun demands facts. It must be done for the missing child. The paper then gives us:
The original Portuguese police inquiry failed to find any trace of Madeleine or her abductor.
Such are the dangers of letting the media debate the case. Stick to the facts. How do we know she was abducted..? Maybe, as a dad, Cameron can help…