Madeleine McCann: Sarah Vine’s Maddie and Me – a Daily Mail horror story
MADELEINE McCann: a look at the missing child in the news.
But the police don’t know the name of any snatcher. Apart from that the headline is accurate.
Can that be topped? Sarah Vine has a go in the Daily Mail:
SARAH VINE: Maddie, my little girl and why life is a risk you can’t avoid
It’s a Maddie and Me story from Mrs Michael Gove.
The disappearance of Madeleine McCann has been one of those awful stories that, as a parent, I’ve never quite been able to look in the eye.
As a parent… Oh, dread phrase. Because only parents can understand and feel for a missing child.
It’s mostly cowardice on my behalf, born out of the fact that my daughter, now ten, is the same age as Madeleine.
Er… So, the missing child is alive.
She was born on May 12, 2003; my daughter on May 7. They both had those enormous, almond-shaped eyes and that fringe. It was all a bit too close for comfort.
This freaky kid with the huge eyes might be next on the kidnapper’s list. Best grow her fringe over those big peepers and lock her up, Sarah. And lock yourself up with her. Let’s not have Maddie II lonely.
So Monday night’s Crimewatch was something of a revelation to me. It was the first time I really understood what had happened on that evening, and the first time I had properly sat down and listened to the McCanns talking about Madeleine.
So who better than the new convert to talk about the biggest news story of the decade, then?
Whatever the reasons for Madeleine’s disappearance, one possibility is emerging: even if they had not dined 50 yards away from their apartment that evening, it might have happened anyway.
She would have been kidnapped with them at home with her?
If, as Scotland Yard now seems to suspect, the family were the victim of a premeditated crime, the perpetrators could have just as easily spirited away Madeleine while Gerry and Kate were sleeping.
Anyone see a flaw in Vine’s cunning kidnappers’ cunning plan?
Of course, in terms of solving this mystery, this fact is wholly irrelevant. But psychologically, it’s very important. It’s a tiny crumb of sanity, the merest sliver of respite in what must have been six years of unimaginable guilt.
Besides, it’s not as if we haven’t all been there. I can remember having two children under the age of four. I couldn’t wait for the little monkeys to go to bed so that I could, as my husband and I used to call it, ‘reclaim the night’.
My eyes! God. My eyes!
The McCanns were only trying to do what countless loving but exhausted mothers and fathers of small children have done throughout the decades: have a well-earned break with their friends.
Were Vine not new to this we could accuse her of rehashing old crap and passing it off as her own. But these are her original thoughts. Press on:
Generations of children have been left in situations theoretically far riskier than Madeleine without anything untoward happening to them.
Mines. War zones. Jimmy Savile’s van…
I have a friend whose parents regularly used to leave him in the pub car park with a packet of crisps and a lemonade, while they drank happily inside.
In the car park. Sat on the tarmac. What about the cars..?
And when I was about nine or ten, and we were living just outside Rome, my parents used to pop out for supper at the trattoria at the end of the road all the time, leaving my little brother and me alone at home.
She had supper in Rome. Not dinner. Supper.
Nothing terrible ever happened — but the truth is that it never occurred to them that it might.
Was it only years later when she married Gove that they freaked out?
In the days before mobile phones, the internet and satellite TV, your local community was your world. There was safety and security in familiar places and faces. You could pop out for a drink or let your child walk to school alone without giving it a second thought.
The McCanns from Leicestershire were in… PORTUGAL. But she’s right: kids never went missing in black and white. Just ask Myra Hindley…