Kate McCann and the Muslims

More misleading headlines. I admit mine may sound like a new folk/pop indie group, but the DM is a past master at this fine art.
The daily mail has, like most of the terrible tabloids, been obsessed with the McCann story. They have had several (sometimes contradictory) stories each day. They know tht it sells papers and have tried to cover all bases in the are they guilty/innocent/suspects saga. Today's story plumbs new depths even allowing for the paper's (not so) hidden agenda.

'Stop the car, there's Madeleine': Witness sees her dragged by Muslim woman

Bingo! Buy one get one free! As well as the deluge of immigration/race/Islam scaremongering, we now have these gutter journos linking unrelated topics to the general hatred.

  • A Spanish mother told today how she is convinced she saw Madeleine McCann being dragged across a street in Morocco.
    The potential witness believes she spotted the missing girl with a woman in a headscarf crossing a road in the northern town of Zaio in May.

Note the date of the alleged sighting. This will become relevant when considering the comments of the faithful DM cadre. The woman had a headscarf. Ipso fact she is a Muslim. This could well be the case but again the Mail is quick to let its disciples read between the lines. It could also be argued that merely seeing a child dragged across the road is not tantamount to abduction. Remember the 100% sighting in Belgium? Have you ever seen a child cting distressed state when with parents. If only all children behaved properly when out. The Spanish woman may have legitimate concerns so let us proceed.

  • She said she told her husband to stop the car. "I shouted 'Stop! It's Madeleine, the missing girl.' But by the time we pulled over and ran back to where she had crossed, they had both vanished."

The reported conversation seems a bit contrived. Rather like the dialogue in the Daily Mirror's Scorer cartoon ("I must get on the end of this cross because our result last week left us in 5th place"), it does not seem right. Maybe it was lost in translation and I am being too picky. I notice that the much-denied 'they've taken her!' cry of Kate McCann has now resurfaced. The relevant part is in the second sentence. They did not have the opportunity to photograph, question, or contact the Daily Mail. I know this crossed my mind with the Belgian sighting as most people have camera phones these days and it is relatively easy to get some evidence - we're all photo-journalists or detectives now (see the increased use of viewers footage on 24 hours news channels). However, if the DM commenters had actually read the story they would not have made such moronic claims. Nobody knows what they would do in a given situation, though plenty of people seem to think they would be heroes if they thought someone was drowning in a lake.

I wonder if there is a price to be paid for such a high profile campaign. I'm not criticising the couple for that alone, but there may be drawbacks. If everyone is looking for a blonde girl of her description, isn't there a risk of inadvertently producing these false sightings. I have heard somewhere there is a psychological phenonemen whereby thinking intently about a person recently lost (e.g. dead relative or even estranged partner) can result in false apparitions. I'm not sure of the name of this but maybe someone out there does.

  • "The girl was wearing a skirt and short-sleeved top, with hat on and her hair tied up. A gust of wind blew up the hat and I saw that it was Madeleine McCann."

If her hair was tied up how could she be certain it was Madeleine? Unless you were close and could see the tell-tale eye, how can you be 100%. I hope if she is my phone-a-friend on Millionaire she is not in the habit iof making hyperbolic claims. That is why I don't speak to my previous phone-a-friend in Belgium.

Without getting into OJ Simpson territory....if I did it.....I'd dye the child's hair, cut it and give her sunglasses.

  • She added [that the Portuguese police] told her they believed Madeleine was already dead.

I've no idea about the veracity of this claim. So much has been said about the PJ which has ranged from the sneering to the outright racist. There are aspects of the investigation that seem strange to an outsider and maybe criticism can be levelled at the apparent leaks. Maybe the same can be levelled at the McCann camp. If true, it is insensitive to say the least. It is unlikely that she spoke to anyone at a high level. It does not make clear when she spoke to the police in Portugal, but it is only recently that the PJ have said that they thought the child may be dead.

  • Her revelations are certain to be studied by the McCanns' legal team, and private-investigators who they have engaged.

I still cannot understand the need for high profile legal team at this stage. Putting aside the funding situation, they have not been charged with anything. If they had been then one could understand it more, but this is not a red herring because it stinks too much.

The DM have, as I have said, kept their options open. They have printed fawning pro-McCann gush but also (occasionally) pieces wondering about the case. They let their headlines tell the story.

When I was at Uni, there was the old trick plyed on the smartarses by lecturers. The written test where the top of the page has the rubric: read all questions before starting writing. Most would plough on and answer complex posers before arriving at Question 20 which said, "Do not write answers to the questions until Lecturer X performs a handstand" or similar.

(Can I just say that I didn't fall for it because I like to read the small print - a lawyer in the making one day!)

But I digress.........................

This particular story is intersting in DM terms as it does not attract one-side comments. There are two distinct camps.

And now for the unthinking comments:

  • If these people think it's Madaleine why don't they do something about it?- John Salkeld, Sheffield, England read the words John, don't just hum the tune.
  • Do the people who reported these sightings not carry a mobile phone that can take pictures for crying out loud?- Lawrence, London because it is compulsory to have one.
  • It is apparent that the Portuguese police, with little or no training in true law enforcement, decided that the McCanns did it, regardless of the lack of evidence and testimony. From day two, the Portuguese police were not interested in investigative work. Probably because they have never had the background, education or training that US and UK police go through. Britain is a thriving democracy, with strong democratic traditions. - Marlene, Alexandria, VA we will never take lectures from the US about democracy. I think Kate in Exeter has your number................
  • Indeed Marlene, Alexandria, VA. Thank goodness all crime in Britain and the States is solved within minutes of it happening...- Kate, Exeter [chuckle]
  • Why the hell do all these people not take photos? And why does it take them almost 5 months to tell the police? Why do they not just shout Madeleine's name and see if she turns around?- Sophie, Cornwall
  • If all the people that say they have spotted Madeleine, would have tailed the people, that have the little girl, then gone straight to the police with a address where she is held, this case would have been solved months ago. Don't just think ACT ON YOUR HUNCH. As Charles Laughton did in the film version of Hugo's novel. Think how the parents must feel with all these sightings.- Steve R, Manchester England
  • It is sad but true, anyone who dare say they have seen Madeleine or are acquainted with the McCann's no matter how vague that acquaintance is, are immediately accused of being associated with her abduction.It is therefore of little wonder the witnesses are wary of coming forward.- Kerrie St John, USA Name one person sighting Madeleine who is a suspect? You win my monthly award for thickest American.
  • The false Belgium sighting should serve as caution - many eye-witness reports are unreliable. What is apparent however is the quite blatantly racist attitude of many commentators (example: Marlene of Alexandria, VA) towards the Portugese police, now culminating in an attack on their education and society as a whole. Ridiculous.- David, London, England Well done David, but be ready for the flak from Derek below. I think he mistakes you with John.
  • John, London - You have not been to Morocco recently, there are very few blond children to be seen now the European tourists with children have gone home.- Derek Small, Tangier, Maroc Small by name...........May, Derek, May!
  • So get the expert team over to Morocco then and lets end this soon for Madeleine's sake! All that matters is finding this child -and for Pete's sake anyone who believes they have sighted her must NOT call her name or photograph her -they will be placing her in further danger if her captors realise they have been spotted. Stop reporting on sightings and let the specialist team get on with bringing her home safely. She only stands a chance of being returned home if the spotlight is removed for a while so her captors can feel safer and relax more allowing more definitive sightings.- Dawn, England This is very sensible actually. It i possible to do more harm than good in such situations. I would even question the publicising of these sightings. I also question why the McCanns don't go to scenes of sightings. Do they know something?
  • Please God, let Maddy be in Morocco, alive and well, and waiting to be returned home to her loving family.- Sara, Leicester Lovingly to be left alone while we go to the Tapas Bar.
  • How did this woman know that the other was Muslim? Can you tell a Muslim just by looking at them? Smells fishy...- Carys Mathews, Chester, UK Not only from these here parts but a great point and uses my fish motif! I like Catatonia but that was Cerys!
  • At least twice in the past couple of months I've seen a girl that is the spitting image of my daughter. At one time I was behind in the street and was going to ask the girl I thought was my daughter what she was doing as I knew she should be elsewhere. This proves we all have doubles sometimes more than one including poor Madeleine.- Pen, Durham Another spooky point as I'd written my bit about this before seeing his comment. We all have doppelgaenger. Mine is the guy that gets drunk sometimes and talks bollocks whilst I am doing my aerobics classes.
  • Do you really think that if she has been abducted that her kidnappers are going to parade her in public view? For a start if they did they would probably cut her hair dye it change her appearance. How many times have people said they're 100% sure they have seen her and it turns out not to be true?- Natasha, Stafford, England Again, I didn't copy Natasha's idea but it's nice to know there is a part of me in the Potteries.