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False hopes do nothing to help the McCanns

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False hopes do nothing to help the McCanns

Post by Guest on 29.04.12 12:38


Dani Garavelli: False hopes do nothing to help the McCanns


Published on Sunday 29 April 2012 00:00


LIKE a cruel parody of traditional school photographs, the “age progression” pictures of Madeleine McCann line the shelves of our collective consciousness.


Poignant images of a ghost girl, they chart an imagined transition from infant to primary pupil. For Gerry and Kate, they must offer a vision of the middle-class normality that slipped through their fingers the night their daughter disappeared from their holiday apartment in Praia Da Luz. For the rest of us, they are eerie waymarkers on our own journeys, reminding us of the fleeting nature of childhood and how important it is to hold our sons and daughters close while we still can.

There isn’t a parent whose life was untouched by the drama which unfolded in Portugal five years ago this week; no matter where you lived or what you were doing, May 2007 was overshadowed by the rolling news coverage of the search for the missing three-year-old. Manchester United might have taken their ninth Premier League title, the SNP might have won a majority in the Scottish parliament, but it was Madeleine McCann who dominated dinner party conversations, Madeleine McCann who was selling newspapers.

The murder of the Soham girls Holly and Jessica had caused similar shockwaves, but rarely had a tragedy so divided public opinion. Long before the McCanns were named as arguidos, or suspects, by the Portuguese police, people were coming to blows over whether leaving children sleeping alone in an apartment was wilfully reckless or “what everyone does.” In the emotionally charged weeks that followed, even those who normally eschew gossip devoured every morsel of information. And everyone had an opinion on Gerry and Kate, their clothes, their body language and the way they seemed to court the media circus.

Given the twists and turns of the case, that was perhaps inevitable. What is more surprising is that half a decade later Madeleine’s disappearance retains its grip on the public imagination. Whether it’s the scaling down (or up) of the investigation, potential new leads or yet more controversy over allegations made by former Portuguese officers, the story still regularly makes the tabloids’ front pages. And every time it does, the comment boxes are full of the same, polarised responses: one half expressing their “pain” at the plight of the McCanns; the other half lambasting them for their ability to manipulate the news agenda.

Personally, I don’t object to the McCanns’ efforts to keep their daughter in the limelight. Although I think it must be tough for their twins Sean and Amelie to live in the shadow of an older, absent sister and understand why people get angry about the disproportionate amount of attention Madeleine’s disappearance has attracted, it doesn’t seem fair to blame Gerry and Kate for the prejudices of a society which considers middle-class white girls to be of greater worth than poor, black boys. And I know if it were one of my children, I would exploit every tool at my disposal – be it money, articulacy or contacts – to make sure the world kept looking.

No, it’s other people clinging on to the case I find offensive. I don’t mean that flicker of empathy we all feel when we look at a new photograph or the spark of hope that is ignited every time another “sighting” is reported. Those are natural human reactions. I am talking about the grief tourists who feed off the McCanns’ unhappiness and the conspiracy theorists who take an almost visceral pleasure in scrutinising their witness statements in an attempt to “prove” their guilt.

Just as bad is the willingness of public figures to make political capital out of the tragedy. David Cameron should never have yielded to pressure from News International to set up a review of all the information gathered about Madeleine’s disappearance. Perhaps the multi-million inquiry is a good idea, but it should have been launched on operational grounds, not as a PR stunt to bolster the Prime Minister’s image.

As for Operation Grange’s Det Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, why is he raising false hopes? Last week he told BBC1’s Panorama programme the review represented the best opportunity to solve the case, even though he knows the 195 new leads he says he’s found will have to be passed to the Portuguese police, who have little interest in pursuing them. To add that he “genuinely” believes Madeleine might still be alive is the height of irresponsibility, one because it is based on nothing other than a lack of evidence that she is dead, and two, because there is every chance it will prompt the rash of false sightings which so hampered the initial inquiry.

If there is one thing the police should have learned from the Portuguese experience is that there is as much to be lost as there is to be gained from conducting their investigation in the full media glare. So, much as I want Madeleine to be found, I don’t want to hear any more from them until there’s a development so solid it is likely to lead to arrests.
While such a development could come as a result of dogged police work, the recently resolved kidnap cases – Elizabeth Fritzl, Natascha Kampusch and Jaycee Duggard – have all ended as a result of a chance happening: an illness, an encounter or slip on the part of their abductor which allowed the victims to break free. Perhaps one day, Madeleine McCann too will suddenly reappear. Until then, let the poignant age progression photographs stand as the only regular public reminder of a life unlived and the way in which a parent’s hope can triumph over reason.

http://www.scotsman.com/news/dani-garavelli-false-hopes-do-nothing-to-help-the-mccanns-1-2262966








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Re: False hopes do nothing to help the McCanns

Post by Guest on 29.04.12 15:48

candyfloss wrote:
Dani Garavelli: False hopes do nothing to help the McCanns


Published on Sunday 29 April 2012 00:00


LIKE a cruel parody of traditional school photographs, the “age progression” pictures of Madeleine McCann line the shelves of our collective consciousness.


Poignant images of a ghost girl, they chart an imagined transition from infant to primary pupil. For Gerry and Kate, they must offer a vision of the middle-class normality that slipped through their fingers the night their daughter disappeared from their holiday apartment in Praia Da Luz. For the rest of us, they are eerie waymarkers on our own journeys, reminding us of the fleeting nature of childhood and how important it is to hold our sons and daughters close while we still can.

There isn’t a parent whose life was untouched by the drama which unfolded in Portugal five years ago this week; no matter where you lived or what you were doing, May 2007 was overshadowed by the rolling news coverage of the search for the missing three-year-old. Manchester United might have taken their ninth Premier League title, the SNP might have won a majority in the Scottish parliament, but it was Madeleine McCann who dominated dinner party conversations, Madeleine McCann who was selling newspapers.

The murder of the Soham girls Holly and Jessica had caused similar shockwaves, but rarely had a tragedy so divided public opinion. Long before the McCanns were named as arguidos, or suspects, by the Portuguese police, people were coming to blows over whether leaving children sleeping alone in an apartment was wilfully reckless or “what everyone does.” In the emotionally charged weeks that followed, even those who normally eschew gossip devoured every morsel of information. And everyone had an opinion on Gerry and Kate, their clothes, their body language and the way they seemed to court the media circus.

Given the twists and turns of the case, that was perhaps inevitable. What is more surprising is that half a decade later Madeleine’s disappearance retains its grip on the public imagination. Whether it’s the scaling down (or up) of the investigation, potential new leads or yet more controversy over allegations made by former Portuguese officers, the story still regularly makes the tabloids’ front pages. And every time it does, the comment boxes are full of the same, polarised responses: one half expressing their “pain” at the plight of the McCanns; the other half lambasting them for their ability to manipulate the news agenda.

Personally, I don’t object to the McCanns’ efforts to keep their daughter in the limelight. Although I think it must be tough for their twins Sean and Amelie to live in the shadow of an older, absent sister and understand why people get angry about the disproportionate amount of attention Madeleine’s disappearance has attracted, it doesn’t seem fair to blame Gerry and Kate for the prejudices of a society which considers middle-class white girls to be of greater worth than poor, black boys. And I know if it were one of my children, I would exploit every tool at my disposal – be it money, articulacy or contacts – to make sure the world kept looking.

No, it’s other people clinging on to the case I find offensive. I don’t mean that flicker of empathy we all feel when we look at a new photograph or the spark of hope that is ignited every time another “sighting” is reported. Those are natural human reactions. I am talking about the grief tourists who feed off the McCanns’ unhappiness and the conspiracy theorists who take an almost visceral pleasure in scrutinising their witness statements in an attempt to “prove” their guilt.

Just as bad is the willingness of public figures to make political capital out of the tragedy. David Cameron should never have yielded to pressure from News International to set up a review of all the information gathered about Madeleine’s disappearance. Perhaps the multi-million inquiry is a good idea, but it should have been launched on operational grounds, not as a PR stunt to bolster the Prime Minister’s image.

As for Operation Grange’s Det Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, why is he raising false hopes? Last week he told BBC1’s Panorama programme the review represented the best opportunity to solve the case, even though he knows the 195 new leads he says he’s found will have to be passed to the Portuguese police, who have little interest in pursuing them. To add that he “genuinely” believes Madeleine might still be alive is the height of irresponsibility, one because it is based on nothing other than a lack of evidence that she is dead, and two, because there is every chance it will prompt the rash of false sightings which so hampered the initial inquiry.

If there is one thing the police should have learned from the Portuguese experience is that there is as much to be lost as there is to be gained from conducting their investigation in the full media glare. So, much as I want Madeleine to be found, I don’t want to hear any more from them until there’s a development so solid it is likely to lead to arrests.
While such a development could come as a result of dogged police work, the recently resolved kidnap cases – Elizabeth Fritzl, Natascha Kampusch and Jaycee Duggard – have all ended as a result of a chance happening: an illness, an encounter or slip on the part of their abductor which allowed the victims to break free. Perhaps one day, Madeleine McCann too will suddenly reappear. Until then, let the poignant age progression photographs stand as the only regular public reminder of a life unlived and the way in which a parent’s hope can triumph over reason.

http://www.scotsman.com/news/dani-garavelli-false-hopes-do-nothing-to-help-the-mccanns-1-2262966








A very dignified and balanced piece, don't we all agree?

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Re: False hopes do nothing to help the McCanns

Post by ufercoffy on 29.04.12 15:56

candyfloss wrote:
Dani Garavelli: False hopes do nothing to help the McCanns


Published on Sunday 29 April 2012 00:00


LIKE a cruel parody of traditional school photographs, the “age progression” pictures of Madeleine McCann line the shelves of our collective consciousness.


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Re: False hopes do nothing to help the McCanns

Post by Guest on 29.04.12 15:58

[quote]
Just as bad is the willingness of public figures to make political capital out of the tragedy. David Cameron should never have yielded to pressure from News International to set up a review of all the information gathered about Madeleine’s disappearance. Perhaps the multi-million inquiry is a good idea, but it should have been launched on operational grounds, not as a PR stunt to bolster the Prime Minister’s image.

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Re: False hopes do nothing to help the McCanns

Post by ufercoffy on 29.04.12 16:05

I am talking about the grief tourists who feed off the McCanns’ unhappiness and the conspiracy theorists who take an almost visceral pleasure in scrutinising their witness statements in an attempt to “prove” their guilt.

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Re: False hopes do nothing to help the McCanns

Post by happychick on 29.04.12 16:27

So we have a journalist who admits to knowing about the existence of the witness statements and must also be aware of the forums like this one and MCF and MM who are scrutinising them. Maybe people are scrutinising them because people like crime correspondent Martin Brunt, whose job it is to report on crime, isn't doing his job. Which makes people search for the truth themselves.

Got a problem with that Dani Garavelli?

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Re: False hopes do nothing to help the McCanns

Post by russiandoll on 29.04.12 16:40

where do the squirrel cheeks in a few of these come from? I am going to look a the family album. It would have been interesting to see Maddie with a short urchin cut, as I think that her hairstyle and colour would have been changed , the easiest way to alter anyone's appearance.

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Re: False hopes do nothing to help the McCanns

Post by tigger on 29.04.12 17:05

@russiandoll wrote: where do the squirrel cheeks in a few of these come from? I am going to look a the family album. It would have been interesting to see Maddie with a short urchin cut, as I think that her hairstyle and colour would have been changed , the easiest way to alter anyone's appearance.

In the one but last she is made to look like a juvenile delinquent. The cheek-implants are over the top, chubbiness disappears with age.
RD, I thought you were convinced she is not alive? Or has AR changed your mind?

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Re: False hopes do nothing to help the McCanns

Post by russiandoll on 29.04.12 23:10

You are joking are you not Tigger? I am reserving my opinions on Dandy Dead Wood at the moment because I am not sure what last week was all about.
I am as sure as I can be without proof that Maddie is not alive, theories re abduction do not fit the evidence.
I meant in my post, that if I were in SY's position where they have to be seen at this point imo to be considering a live child, because there is no evidence otherwise despite the stats, I would have produced a few photos showing same face, different hairstyles and colours...

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contrived and dishonest — but the myth — persistent, persuasive and
unrealistic.
~John F. Kennedy


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Re: False hopes do nothing to help the McCanns

Post by Ribisl on 30.04.12 0:00

@portia
No I don't agree. In fact I find the following quite offensive
I am talking about the grief tourists who feed off the McCanns’ unhappiness and the conspiracy theorists who take an almost visceral pleasure in scrutinising their witness statements in an attempt to “prove” their guilt.
I think many of us here are simply intolerant of injustice and motivated by the desire to uncover the truth. That we find some of the McCanns' behaviour distasteful is quite irrelevant in fact. But surely we are allowed to express our opinions too since they so willingly court the media in order to advance their own agenda.
I do agree however on one point: AD's appeal was ill timed and was an invitation for hundreds of false sightings which will have to be followed up.

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Re: False hopes do nothing to help the McCanns

Post by tigger on 30.04.12 7:14

@russiandoll wrote:You are joking are you not Tigger? I am reserving my opinions on Dandy Dead Wood at the moment because I am not sure what last week was all about.
I am as sure as I can be without proof that Maddie is not alive, theories re abduction do not fit the evidence.
I meant in my post, that if I were in SY's position where they have to be seen at this point imo to be considering a live child, because there is no evidence otherwise despite the stats, I would have produced a few photos showing same face, different hairstyles and colours...

Sorry! We had such an influx last week, I read it wrong. All they're doing with their age advanced photographs is producing more confusion. But one finds these photographs don't get published quite as often as THE one. That one is the trigger - a masterstroke of marketing - and it looked as much like the real girl as all these others. Why does she have to be 'beautiful' to be saved? Imo she was a lovely little girl, like many other little girls of that age.
But the reason these new editions of Maddie aren't that appealing is that all these pictures miss the impact of the first one. She looks ordinary, and Maddie was beautiful, special and would light up a room with her presence. An ordinary girl doesn't have the same appeal.
Dandy Deadwood - poor man, he doesn't look at ease does he? I'm amazed that he finds around 4 minutes plenty for the abduction. Even that is in question since the reconstruction has not been done.

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Re: False hopes do nothing to help the McCanns

Post by russiandoll on 30.04.12 16:46

yes I was searching for a word for the girl's looks on the photo, which btw I think is the most realistic to date........bland was the word, I just thought of it now after reading your "ordinary".
She needs to be found because she is a child, the marketing of her turns my stomach. Like many little girls of 4 as you say, lovely but in the way a lot are lovely, striking and interesting is the face I would expect as she grew up, but then faces change so much as they develop and even the most stunning adults [I find an awful lot actually ] at one stage, ususally pre or around puberty when things are changing at some pace, go through an ugly duckling phase.
Regardless of that, this girl's face while looking like a real girl in a photo, unlike the others which look like mock-ups, is missing something, it is the overall expression rather than individual features, but maybe that is due to my not being a specialist in how and when faces change throughout childhood. I just would have expected a more striking face, at least one really distinctive feature, whether you accept the coloboma or not, her eyes were and would have been her stand-out feature, shape and colour imo

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Re: False hopes do nothing to help the McCanns

Post by Ribisl on 30.04.12 17:34

Hi tigger and russiandoll,
This is just the kind of discussion I wanted to see develop in another thread
http://jillhavern.forumotion.net/t4802-madeleine-can-this-really-be-you#106028
Not sure if I should copy your comments and past there. What do you think?

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Re: False hopes do nothing to help the McCanns

Post by tigger on 30.04.12 17:49

@Ribisl wrote:Hi tigger and russiandoll,
This is just the kind of discussion I wanted to see develop in another thread
http://jillhavern.forumotion.net/t4802-madeleine-can-this-really-be-you#106028
Not sure if I should copy your comments and past there. What do you think?

That's fine by me! Better do it quickly and you can always PM RussianDoll to say you've done it. Your avatar! smilie

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Re: False hopes do nothing to help the McCanns

Post by russiandoll on 30.04.12 18:01

fine by me also......

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