Saturday, October 6, 2007

Disliking the McCanns

by Anne Enright

London Review of Books

It is very difficult to kill a child by giving it sedatives, even if killing it is what you might want to do. I asked a doctor about this, one who is also a mother. It was a casual, not a professional conversation, but like every other parent in the Western world, she had thought the whole business through. She said that most of the sedatives used on children are over-the-counter antihistamines, like the travel sickness pills that knocked me and my daughter out on an overnight ferry to France recently. It would also be difficult, she told me, to give a lethal dose of prescription sleeping tablets, which these days are usually valium or valium derivatives, ‘unless the child ate the whole packet’. If the child did so, the short-term result would not be death but a coma. Nor could she think of any way such an overdose would lead to blood loss, unless the child vomited blood, which she thought highly unlikely. She said it was possible that doctors sedated their children more than people in other professions but that, even when she thought it might be a good idea (during a transatlantic flight, for example), she herself had never done so, being afraid that they would have a ‘paradoxical rage reaction’ – which is the medical term for waking up half out-of-it and tearing the plane apart.

I thought I had had one of those myself, in a deeply regretted incident at breakfast on the same ferry when my little son would not let me have a bite of his croissant and I ripped the damn pastry up and threw it on the floor. She said that no, the medical term for that was a ‘drug hangover’, or perhaps it was just the fact that an overnight ferry was not the best place to begin a diet. We then considered the holidays with children that we have known.

How much do doctors drink? ‘Lots,’ she said. Why are the McCanns saying they didn’t sedate the child? ‘Why do you think?’ Besides, it was completely possible that the child had been sedated and also abducted – which was a sudden solution to a problem I did not even know I had: namely, if the girl in the pink pyjamas was being carried off by a stranger, why did she not scream? Sedation had also been a solution to the earlier problem of: how could they leave their children to sleep unprotected, even from their own dreams?

But sedation was not the final answer, after all.

If someone else is found to have taken Madeleine McCann – as may well be the case – it will show that the ordinary life of an ordinary family cannot survive the suspicious scrutiny of millions.

In one – completely unverified – account of her interrogation, Kate McCann is said to have responded to the accusation that the cadaver dog had picked up the ‘scent of death’ on her clothes by saying that she had been in contact with six dead patients in the weeks before she came on holiday. My doctor friend doubted this could be true of a part-time GP, unless, we joked, she had ‘done a Shipman’ on them. Then, of course, we had to row back, strenuously, and say that even if something had happened between mother and child, or between father and child, in that apartment, even if the child just fell, then Kate McCann was still the most unfortunate woman you could ever lay eyes on.

And we are obliged to lay eyes on her all the time. This makes harridans of us all.

The move from unease, through rumour, to mass murder took no time flat. During the white heat of media allegations against Madeleine’s parents, my husband came up the stairs to say that they’d all been wife-swapping – that was why the other diners corroborated the McCanns’ account of the evening. This, while I was busy measuring the distance from the McCanns’ holiday apartment down the road to the church on Google Earth (0.2 miles). I said they couldn’t have been wife-swapping, because one of the wives had brought her mother along.

‘Hmmmm,’ he said.

I checked the route to the open roadworks by the church, past a car park and a walled apartment complex, and I thought how easy it would be to carry my four-year-old son that distance. I had done that and more in Tenerife, when he decided against walking. Of course he was a live and not a dead weight, but still, he is a big boy. Too big to fit into the spare-tyre well of a car, as my father pointed out to me later, when it seemed like the whole world was figuring out the best way to kill a child.

‘She was only a slip of a thing,’ I said.

I did not say that the body might have been made more pliable by decomposition. And I had physically to resist the urge to go out to my own car and open the boot to check (get in there now, sweetheart, and curl up into a ball). Then, as if to pass the blame back where it belonged, I repeated my argument that if there is 88 per cent accurate DNA from partly decomposed bodily fluids found under the carpet of the boot of the hired car, then these people had better fly home quick and get themselves another PR company.


Who needs a cadaver dog when you have me? In August, the sudden conviction that the McCanns ‘did it’ swept over our own family holiday in a peculiar hallelujah. Of course they had. It made a lot more sense to me than their leaving the children to sleep alone.

I realise that I am more afraid of murdering my children than I am of losing them to a random act of abduction. I have an unhealthy trust of strangers. Maybe I should believe in myself more, and in the world less, because, despite the fact that I am one of the most dangerous people my children know, I keep them close by me. I don’t let them out of my sight. I shout in the supermarket, from aisle to aisle. I do this not just because some dark and nameless event will overtake them before the checkout, but also because they are not yet competent in the world. You see? I am the very opposite of the McCanns.

Distancing yourself from the McCanns is a recent but potent form of magic. It keeps our children safe. Disliking the McCanns is an international sport. You might think the comments on the internet are filled with hatred, but hate pulls the object close; what I see instead is dislike – an uneasy, unsettled, relentlessly petty emotion. It is not that we blame them – if they can be judged, then they can also be forgiven. No, we just dislike them for whatever it is that nags at us. We do not forgive them the stupid stuff, like wearing ribbons, or going jogging the next day, or holding hands on the way into Mass.

I disliked the McCanns earlier than most people (I’m not proud of it). I thought I was angry with them for leaving their children alone. In fact, I was angry at their failure to accept that their daughter was probably dead. I wanted them to grieve, which is to say to go away. In this, I am as bad as people who complain that ‘she does not cry.’

On 25 May, in their first television interview, given to Sky News, Gerry McCann spoke a little about grief, as he talked about the twins. ‘We’ve got to be strong for them, you know, they’re here, they do bring you back to earth, and we cannot, you know, grieve one. We did grieve, of course we grieved, but ultimately we need to be in control so that we can influence and help in any way possible, not just Sean and Amelie, but the investigation.’

Most of the animosity against the McCanns centres on the figure of Madeleine’s beautiful mother. I am otherwise inclined. I find Gerry McCann’s need to ‘influence the investigation’ more provoking than her flat sadness, or the very occasional glimpse of a wounded narcissism that flecks her public appearances. I have never objected to good-looking women. My personal jury is out on the issue of narcissism in general; her daughter’s strong relationship with the camera lens causes us a number of emotions, but the last of them is always sorrow and pain.

The McCanns feel guilty. They are in denial. They left their children alone. They cannot accept that their daughter might be dead. Guilt and denial are the emotions we smell off Gerry and Kate McCann, and they madden us.

I, for example, search for interviews with them, late at night, on YouTube. There is so much rumour; I listen to their words because they are real, because these words actually did happen, one after the other. The focus of my ‘dislike’ is the language that Gerry McCann uses; his talk of ‘information technology’ and ‘control’, his need to ‘look forward’.

‘Is there a lesson here, do you feel, to other parents?’

‘I think that’s a very difficult thing to say, because, if you look at it, and we try to rationalise things in our head and, ultimately, what is done is done, and we continually look forward. We have tried to put it into some kind of perspective for ourselves.’

He lays a halting and agonised emphasis on the phrase ‘what is done is done,’ and, at three in the morning, all I can hear is Lady Macbeth saying this line after the murder of Duncan, to which her husband replies: ‘We have scorched the snake, not killed it.’ Besides, what does he mean? Who did the thing that has been done? It seems a very active and particular word for the more general act of leaving them, to go across the complex for dinner.

There are problems of active and passive throughout the McCanns’ speech. Perhaps there are cultural factors at play. I have no problem, for example, with Kate McCann’s reported cry on the night of 3 May: ‘They’ve taken Madeleine.’ To my Irish ears ‘they’ seems a common usage, recalling Jackie Kennedy’s ‘I want the world to see what they’ve done to my Jack’ at Dallas. I am less happy with the line she gives in the interview when she says: ‘It was during one of my checks that I discovered she’d gone.’ My first reaction is to say that she didn’t just go, my second is to think that, in Ireland, ‘she’d gone’ might easily describe someone who had slipped into an easy death. Then I rewind and hear the question, ‘Tell us how you discovered that Madeleine had gone?’ and realise that no one can name this event, no one can describe the empty space on Madeleine McCann’s bed.

Perhaps there is a Scottish feel to Gerry McCann’s use of ‘done’. The word is repeated and re-emphasised when he is asked about how Portuguese police conducted the case, particularly in the first 24 hours. He says: ‘I think, em, you know, we are not looking at what has been done, and I don’t think it helps at this stage to look back at what could and couldn’t have been done . . . The time for these lessons to be learned is after the investigation is finished and not now.’

I am cross with this phrase, ‘after the investigation is finished’. Did he mean after they’d packed up their charts and evidence bags and gone home? Surely what they are involved in is a frantic search for a missing child: how can it be finished except by finding her, alive or dead? Why does he not say what he means? Again, presumably because no one can say it: there can be no corpse, killed by them or by anyone else. Still, the use of the word ‘investigation’ begins to grate (elsewhere, Kate McCann said that one of the reasons they didn’t want to leave Portugal is that they wanted ‘to stay close to the investigation’). Later in the interview the word changes to the more banal but more outward-looking ‘campaign’. ‘Of course the world has changed in terms of information technology and the speed of response, you know, in terms of the media coming here and us being prepared, em, to some extent to use that to try and influence the campaign, but above all else, it’s touched everyone. Everyone.’

The sad fact is that this man cannot speak properly about what is happening to himself and his wife, and about what he wants. The language he uses is more appropriate to a corporate executive than to a desperate father. This may be just the way he is made. This may be all he has of himself to give the world, just now. But we are all used to the idea of corporations lying to us, one way or another – it’s part of our mass paranoia, as indeed are the couple we see on the screen. No wonder, I think, they will not speak about that night.

Then I go to bed and wake up the next day, human again, liking the McCanns.

Anne Enright’s novel The Gathering is out from Cape. There will be a book of stories in the spring.


Meg J. said...

You need to get off the internet and take care of your own children. Let's pray this never happens to you. Your just looking for attention. The McCann's are moving heaven and hell to find Madeleine and for you to suggest that she is dead shows just how callus you are.

Periander said...

I thought that your post was well put but sad to say that I'm willing to wager that I disliked the parents before you did.

But then again, I'm a parent also.

Peg said...

You're right. We're all fascinated, repelled, guilty, horrified & sympathetic by turns. Which of us with children hasn't imagined what we would have done? How we would have reacted, what we would have said, what we would have done? When we look at the McCanns, we waver between congratulating ourselves on our superior parenting skills, and cringing at our own bedtime battles, murderous thoughts and moments of inattention.

Katharina said...

I'm not sure if this attempt of "litterature" on the expense of the McCanns isn't much more innapropriate and "onipotent" than what you describe to be Mr. McCann's language to describe the disappearance or loss of a child.

Don't you feel unhappy when you reread what you wrote? It's disgraceful, considering any possibility or outcome of the situation.

danes said...

'Cheering on holiday' because YOU KNEW they were guilty.--sick Your the worst kind if citizen. Voyeuristic, un-charitable, mean spirited & opinionated. I for one will never buy one of your books if this disgusting diatribe is an example of your poisonousness prose.

Elizabeth said...

If you want to speak of narcisism you must start by a self exam of your own photographs and declarations. You come out of this absolutely presumptious and pathetic. It's so evident the painstankingly effort you took on witty writing, and your only result is an ugly attempt to smear such already damaged lives. But you succeed most in smearing yourself. It's such adelicate moment, when each commentary can inbalance things irreparably...

Are you so full of venom and spite ( you do have a very spiteful and petty, self satistyed and ugly expression on your plain face) that you cannot savour your prize and let hard fate that has befallen Kate and Gerry McCann be a sufficient trial for them?
Who do you take yourself for?

When you look at the McCann's faces there's a lot more restraint and dignity, whatever may be the outcome, than we can see in your envious little face. Is all of your impulse into literature as harpious as this?

MacHoolahan said...

MacHoolahanNot unfair, I thought. Maybe they've reacted to the temper of their times by hiring a PR agent and playing to the media. Myabe they're just being clever.

Me, I just dislike the surety of religious people - I'm sorry but I do. I wonder - deep down if that's what this is really about. The atheist's world view can only settle in terror or indifference. There's no God to take care of it all when things go wrong - life is real, the full on "it".

The McCann's struggle to use language because they are religious people. If I was being unkind I would say it's because they have some weird parameters (weird because I'm an atheist) that makes all horrors (and joys) seem within something greater. They are unintellectual but educated, honest but naive. Spirituality is a vivid part of being alive, going to church is mortgaging your mind.

I don't have that - if it was me I'd be walking the bloody streets. Do I envy them their faith? No. Whatever happened is bloody awful and I cannot begin to even fear what they have been through, either way it turns out. It's horrible - but their reactions are contained in a way the rest of us probably can't understand.

It's a theme of the age, although I sound poncy saying this - it is increasingly coming out in various ways this decade. Religion being seen as a mental infirmity.

Riya said...

you are a selfish and sick person.The McCann's are trying their level best to find their beautiful innocent daughter and u care about how the McCann"s behave in public? every individual has his or her own way of dealing with their grief. I hope this never happens to you to be in the same shoes but once again you are a selfish mother. I would have thought that as a mother u would understand what the parents ate going through but you are more busy basking in some sick attention on the expense of the McCann. I will never read any of your publications after this reading you this post. and u dont deserve the prize. be a good human a caring human first.

MacHoolahan said...

and you are a fool.

the noble emperor bish said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
the noble emperor bish said...

Hmm... I suspect the comments on this blog will soon go through the roof, what with it being reported in the Telegraph online (eugh).

This is a very contentious but also brave piece. I can completely relate to the feelings described by the author. I'd like to point out to all the people (I will refrain from saying anything rude about them) who feel this is 'sick' etc. that the author goes great lengths to make it clear that she knows that these opinions are unsavory, and is to some extent ashamed to think some of them. This does not, however, make them any less valid, and those of you who would condemn someone for being honest about her thoughts on this matter are missing the point entirely, and probably ought to resist the urge to post further reactionary comments.

This part of the article was, in my opinion, wonderfully honest, and manages to sum up my feelings on the McCann's perfectly:

"In fact, I was angry at their failure to accept that their daughter was probably dead. I wanted them to grieve, which is to say to go away. In this, I am as bad as people who complain that ‘she does not cry.’"

It is terrible for any of us to be so contemptuous of two people in such horrific circumstances, but nonetheless, it is in the nature of some of us to feel this way. I find the whole saga of the 'Find Maddie' campaign rather tiresome at best, and downright shameful at worst.

For one thing, the media has sold an awful lot of paper bearing Madeline (the shortening to 'Maddie' I find particularly sickening) and Kate's images, on the back of a single terrible event, the likes of which occurs all too often (but we hear a lot less about it when the people involved aren't quite so photogenic). Secondly, the way the media continues to push the story can only make it harder for the McCann's to eventually come to terms with their loss (whether or not they are found to be at fault, which really isn't our place to decide, though I am inclined - like the author - to suggest that perhaps they are, at least to some extent).

I would like to congratulate the author on such an honest and provocative piece of writing about this very delicate subject. For my part, I grew tired of the whole mess weeks ago, and would encourage the author to spend less time on YouTube, and more time writing something new... But I can see how this case is so addictive and compulsive (dare I say it?) entertainment - of a sort - for many people. This is why I wish the media would drop the story: it is no more than diverting prolefeed, and prevents a great deal of people from thinking more seriously about other matters. Yes, a tragedy has occurred. Yes, it is terrible. Yes, the parents were, to some extent, negligent (but aren't all parents?). The likelihood of Madeline being found alive seems infinitisimally small from where I am standing, so why don't we all leave it to the authorities, and focus on the serious matters we actually stand a chance of influencing - world poverty, climate change, etc etc... You know, the Big Stuff.

Again, nice article, well written. All done now?

Pamela said...

As parents we are constantly aware of the huge responsibility for the care and safe keeping of our children. Yet the fact remains young babies and a small child, were left unattended for a considerable amount of time; with a nearby swimming pool, steep steps and a lake.

That the parent's behaviour has all but been diffused on this matter, after we are told that the child has been 'taken'- rather than gone missing means there are not yet charges of endangerment, or neglect of a child,as far as I am aware. Yet how can they be so convinced, their daughter has been abducted as Mrs McCann immediately uttered- unless one had an earlier suspicion that the family/child was being watched, or someone had attempted this before - and then begin a campaign almost immediately.

What if the child- if we are to believe a neighbour who heard her crying at night, lonely, despite her siblings being there on other ocassions- just wandered out, disorientated, through an unlocked door, or fallen out of a window, and tried to find a parents - we still cannot rule this out - and yet it adds even more heartbreak to this already tragic event. Surely, as one comment suggests, it is also one's instinct to go looking for your child immediately and not stop until everyone has utterly exhuasted all possible avenues.

It is regrettable, that society is being given extremely mixed messages in this particular case - the McCann's can illict much sympathy and even donations despite the fact that the children were left to fend for themselves, whatever might have happened to her in those minutes in-between.

Hamannf430 said...


Pray for the return of Madeleine, still there should be hope, even though fear has drawn the line, for some.

When you look at that beautiful child, she is just like our own.
She belongs to all of us and is a reminder to us as parents what responsibility we have to look after our children. Pray for her and let God give her peace in her state. Ameen

But let us not forget, today, yesterday, there are thousands of Madeleine’s, some in Iraq, Afghanistan, Darfur and on. They have been not missing but smashed, shattered in front of everyone’s eyes. Not a tear, not from the people, the police, the governments, no one. Their parents grieved, cried, screamed, yet but we turned in rejection. Are those Madeleines not the same as this one?

Why dont we give them the same due, love, want, justice and attention, to the
same girl on every possible media channel in the entire world?

Its value, what we want. And how small it is. She is like ours, English and innocent. But how foolish and selfish we really are. She belongs to the Almighty and is safe.

This is an account of our false concern and tapered love, Madeleine is just an illustration and the real winner of all bookers is the Almighty who made the definition, example clear.

In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

By Time Verily Man is in loss, Except such as have Faith, and do righteous deeds, and (join together) in the mutual teaching of Truth, and of Patience and Constancy.

Al-Asr, Koran.

May God guide us and strengthen us. Let the family and brotherhood of mankind
aid in helping and building this world. For, surely we are at loss. Ameen

thirst_for_truth said...

I think speculating publicly on the McCann case is a mistake.
Indeed - not merely speculating, but wallowing in dislike, or whatever you think you were doing, is crass misjudgment.

However, the phrase in the article that jumped out at me had nothing to do with Madeleine McCann. It was: "when my little son would not let me have a bite of his croissant and I ripped the damn pastry up and threw it on the floor."
What genuine sorrow I feel for your children if this is an example of your behaviour. Travel stress is simply no excuse. Just as I can't imagine leaving my sleeping children and going out to eat, I can't imagine behaving like this to a four year old son.

To say your Booker prize is undeserved is the understatement of the year. Get therapy.

Spam said...

Great post.

bambino_r said...

This is an interesting and thoughtful article. It probes into difficult and uncomfortable areas of the parental psyche. Of course you are the most dangerous person that your children know - all parents are - that realisation is profound and should be understood and applauded by all parents. I find the comments left about this article ignorant, predujiced and blind.

CHARLIE said...

Whatever I may think of the McCanns this shrinks into insignificance compared to my revulsion at the growing sport of bullying the McCanns. I assume that you have feelings yet you write with the glee and callousness of the leader of a medieval witch hunt. I hope you don't lose a child yourself and have to experience what the McCann's are feeling. If you did I would not judge the way you conducted yourself as a result of your loss. There is no evidence to suggest Madelaine is not alive. May I suggest that in future you use your talents as a writer less cruelly and more wisely.

Sarah1965 said...

This is a fascinating piece about *our* reactions to the McCanns, and helps me understand the obsessive draw of this particular tradgedy.

I'm horrified to see the state of lieteracy in web users is so bad that they feel it is an attack on the McCanns.

the last sentence says '...and I am human and like the McCanns again'

peter said...

A riveting piece of writing. Sad, poignant, real. We all have a prurient interest in the McCanns and I suspent most have had similar thoughts in response to news stories.

Did they/didnt they?

Who knows, but what the McCanns have done is to incorporate their grief and loss. Employing PR/Media representatives brings the corporate to the personal. To me that was a mistake. The PR machine has long since taken over and brings its own terrible momentum. None of which will help find that poor little girl.

Alice said...

I think your behaviour to your own 4 year old son shows how insensitive you are. Seems you like to condemn Kate McCann because she doesn't fit your ideas of "mothering". They left their sleeping children to eat with friends a short distance away thinking they would be safe, but that makes them foolish, not evil. Stop condemning and have more understanding. They are going through their personal hell and we can only imagine what it must be like for them. Think of Madeleine and leave the parents alone.

Susan said...

Freedom of speech. Have your opinion. Publish it. Oh - just happen to make controversial comments on one of the most publicised tragic stories currently making the press and capturing the attention of the masses. And you are trying to sell your book to the masses.

Strangely cold and unfeeling. Very unnecessary and I actually don't believe you think like this. Or - I chose to belive you don't as the alternative is far worse.

kerry4ever said...

Sad the lenghts some authors will do to get a bit of notoreity, usually when they have a book to promote. James Watson is using a similar tactic by denigrating blacks, gays and women in the hope that the controversy aids sales. The author's petulant behaviour towards her own children is more worthy of analysis than anything the McCanns have done. I'd like to see Germaine Greer dissect Enwright's bile.

Spidey said...

I think this is an honest and well written piece by Anne, and certainly it echoes my own feelings, and those of most people I talk to.

Something has not 'felt right' about this case and about Gerry & Kate McCann from the first time I saw/heard them on TV.....and people should not be ashamed of how they feel....there is a reason that people feel the way they do, and I suspect when/IF the truth ever does come out, then those 'uncomfortable' feelings many of us have had will make a lot more sense!

Anonymous said...

Whether the comments are valid or insightful is irrelevant. The author knew this would be hurtful to the McCanns. To publish the article, knowing this, is reckless and cruel.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the earlier comment that going online with these jumbled and cynical views was a crass error of judgement. This 'think piece" does not encourage one to seek out further examples of Enright's writing. Perhaps she could do us all a favour and work out her ambivalence towards the McCanns and her own children (and their croissants) in quiet solitude?

"Then I go to bed and wake up the next day, human again, liking the McCanns and wishing I'd never opened my big mouth...."

Sheila said...

I also think this is an honest and well written piece by Anne, and certainly it definately echoes the feelings of most people I talk to.

Something has not 'felt right' about this case since it first happened and I dont feel people should not be ashamed of how they feel....I too feel there is a reason that people feel the way they do, and I suspect when/IF the truth ever does come out, then those 'uncomfortable' feelings many of us have had will make a lot more sense!... sorry to repeat but this is exactly how I feel too!

Joy said...

Ah the McCanns. You are all wrong, I hated the sight of them from the second I saw them. These people are idiots...who needs to see them going to Mass, holding hands, and whose insane idea was it to Meet The Pope? All desperate attempts to have us convinced that they are 'innocent'. That's a bit like saying Hitler was misunderstood, a wee bit nasty...need I continue?

We as concerned onlookers much make sure that their remaining children are put into safer hands than theirs. We cannot allow them to maltreat them.

Who said she was beautiful? I think not, but she definetely is narcisstic.

When are we going to hear that they have both been struck off as Doctors...would YOU go to either one of them?

I look forward to our first McCann free week when these devils have been dealt with accordingly.

brucie said...

I would like to echo that this is a very brave piece. There has been a distinct lack of reasonable prose around this issue for too long.

I have found the whole shebang very unsavoury, like the author, from the word go. The use of her eye in the logo for the word 'LOOK', the ribbons, the mass hysteria.

They did a pact with the devil media and pay that price today. We all deserve to express our opinions on this case as we have had it shoved down our throats every day since 3rd May.

Did anyone see the excellent documentary on the missing children in china? Over 70,000, and not a peep from the media. That was truly heartbreaking. The family the cameras followed in that film could not even convince the authorities to get involved. The comparison was palpable. As distressing as this has been to the McCann’s – this is a private matter for their family that has been completely blown out of proportion by the media.

In summery, the whole story reeks of the cloying sentimentality that pervades society in Britain today. The attention given to this family, this story and this child, however sad, it completely out of proportion considering other evils going on in the greater world around us – including, but not limited to, other child abductions.

Please let us all draw a line under this and return to our own lives!

Tiana said...

Anne - despite what some people have commented I bet there is not one that has not had those thoughts go through their mind at some point. All you have done is speak your thoughts. My kids are the same age as yours and I also think I am overprotective - more so now because I have come to realise the world is safer than I thought - abductions from houses by strangers - I could not even find a story about one! - However that will not stop me from continuing to treat my children as though they were rare diamonds.
The simplest explanation is usually the correct one - that means she either walked out and got taken or she had an accident and someone is hiding the truth.
I see the McCann family are already attacking this article - saying you don't know them - but I think you will find we don't have to know someone to realise when they are lying - we have kids - we know what they do when they lie - and the McCanns unfortunately are lying about something - why? Who knows - do we care? Only because they keep sending out comments through friends and relatives that are bizarre and conflicting!

Me said...

I read this post after seeing the news reports of how it was received by the McCann’s and supporters. Typically the media and the McCann’s seem to pick out the bits they want just as most of use pick out the bit we want from the events since the Maddie disappeared. The thing is what you have stated is what I for one am thinking and all the forums and blogs are full of as well.

As a father I sympathise with them for their loss, but too dislike them for abandoning all their girls on the night in question. I wouldn't leave my passport or sandals in an unlocked holiday apartment regardless of the security, let alone the dearest thing to me!

cassiecalling said...

This is a thoughtful, and, it seems, honest article. I particularly agree that those who condemn the McCann's most vociferously do so to reassure themselves that their own children are safe since they would never act like the McCanns. For such people, to be sympathetic to the McCanns means facing the fact that they might not be able to completely protect their own children from evil and hurt-worse, they themselves might expose their children to risk. For a lot of people, it would be intolerable to admit this.

But only a child escapes culpability for speaking without considering the impact of their comments, and even then they must learn quickly. Of course, writers and comedians must challenge taboos. But there is no excuse for losing sight of the real people behind the story, there is no excuse for attracting publicity to yourself and your book at the expense of other human beings-and the author does not seem to be a naive person so this is hardly accidental.

Sometimes it is better to stay quiet. What good was done by this article? And did it outweigh the harm caused? I think not-it has given the more poisonous on-lookers yet another chance to vent vitriol, and it has caused hurt to people who have suffered an unimaginable loss. So they made a pact with the devil when they used the media? Perhaps so, but since when was it right to side with the devil and act as accomplices as this article arguably does and as a number of comments posted here clearly do.

This is for the author to call- she should certainly not be prevented from expressing her views, nor should the misguided prigs who say 'Well I would never have done that...'-missing the point somewhat that there are other things that they do do to expose their children to risk, however much they strenously deny it and refuse to face it. But I would certainly query the authors-and the posters- motives, judgment and capacity for empathy.

Carl said...

I'm glad to see you addressing the emotions that are playing out in your own mind as you read the reports.

There isn't much hard evidence. As a result the whole case on every side is being driven by people's emotions and their projections of their own fears. Police, journalists, high profile side actors, the whole lot of them.

Hannelie said...

It is truly sad that in the face of such fear and hurt parents should have to also deal with such an unsympathetic and cruel world. This essay is totally unnecessary and has no contribution to make in this world. Luckily there are many, many caring people who will keep on praying for the McCanns.

D said...

Your random ramblings are hurtful to this family who are in pain, have lost a child, and in need of support.

Lady Macbeth did not say we have "scorched" the snake either.

You got that wrong, too. Why you bothered to inflict your text on the world, I don't know. I lost the will to read any more about half-way through.

ru harper said...

Judging by some of the comments on here, there's room for a companion piece about the hysteria, voyeurism, pack mentality, sentimentality and hypocrisy of the audience who buy the drivel that the papers have been shovelling out about this case.

Mister said...

I found this article linked from a "Times" article headed "McCann family hits back at Enright attack".

Did I miss something? I read the article from beginning to end,and most of the comments, too. And I totally fail to see any "attack" by Ms. Enright. The article is, unlike most of the comments, articulate and considered. But as that's not news, the Times has to label it an "attack"; and a McCann family member has to "defend" someone against it.

It seems to me to have been a very fair article - it actually echoes many of the thoughts that have run through my mind when I was wondering what had happened to that little girl, and what, if anything, I could do as a member of the public.

reason said...

What a spiteful article.

Much has been written about their apparent lack of emotion at times.
Anyone who has ever suffered a crime even a fraction as horrific as the McCann's, knows that there are times when you can't cry, or show your emotion constantly, despite that being what the public or police expect to see.

When you first report an incident to the police, you have to repeat it over and over again to different officers. You feel as though you are watching yourself in the third person, as everyone around you takes charge of your life. They get little details wrong and you say "No, it wasn't quite like that" but it is out of your control. At times, you feel overwhelmed with the urge to cry endlessly, yet at other times you feel drained and exhausted having gone over and over everything again and again. That’s when you cannot cry, even though some people expect you to. You can also strangely detached from the horrific experience, since you aren't even properly informed as to what's happening, or nobody has got time to talk to you, when you want to say something that may be relevant, but you are shunted to one side for a few days.

I can only speak of my experience in the UK, it must be even harder in a different language and with the media to contend with as well.
Several months later, maybe even a couple of years later when it gets to court, you are expected to act as though in a tv courtroom drama and sob at appropriate moments, even though that might not be what you are feeling at that time, particularly if prodded aggressively for a reaction by the prosecution.

As doctors, having covered a vast array of traumas, I expect their training also helps them to keep slightly better in control of their emotions.

Readers are also too influenced by pictures in the press showing their angle on the story. Yes, Kate's attractive, but most middle-class women eat sensibly and care about their appearance; she's not exceptional.

By throwing themselves into keeping busy, they have managed to retain some of their sanity, yet people who have never been through such an experience cannot understand that you feel as if you are alone and going mad if you are left to dwell on things.

These holiday complexes are set up for families to stay in. I am sure many families have done exactly what the McCanns did and left their children a short distance away, whilst eating on the complex. The same is true of Center Parks, Butlins etc.

Put your energies into cracking down on paedophiles instead.

gerryzzz said...

While I will never understand how parents could leave young children alone, this article is unnecessary and unpleasant.

anthony said...

Reading that made me so angry.
I just hope that it never happens to your children.
What I feel towards you cannot be printed on here.

bethany11 said...

I think that this article is discusting and should never have been published! It is just a pathetic attempt to get publicity for your book, which will now not work because so many people will think you are a cold heartless person and mother, and not want to read anything more that you have to say.
People deal with grief in different ways and the McCann's are searching for hope, rather than think that something terrible could have happened to their beautiful little girl. As a parent yourself you should know that it is impossible to imagine the despair and grief that they are feeling.
You are a terrible human being for putting such words into an article. You should not be allowed to be a writer.

Lorraine said...

I think you have written a brave and to my mind balanced article that many people quietly agree with. This story is both fascinating, compelling and repellent at the same time. In amongst all the articles/media sensationalism I have read, I have to remind myself that there is a little girl that has gone missing and this isn't a fictitious TV soap opera I have become hooked on and for that I am ashamed of myself.

Recidivist said...

It's all been said already, but this is an insightful piece. The writer is not deliberately setting out to harm the McCanns. I can admit to having moments of feeling both, as she says "more human" and pitying and liking the McCanns, and the range of negative emotions she expresses here. Anyone who doesn't admit to having thought about the outcome, about what happened to that poor little girl, is lying. Anyone who doesn't admit to thinking "blimey, I wouldn't have left my kids alone", is lying.

Spurred on by the media, we are sanctimonious, judgmental and given to mass hysteria over such cases. This is the only piece which I have read which doesn't hypocritically prey on the horrible events (whatever they were) that befell Madeleine McCann.

And just to clarify, I don't think the McCann's "did it", as far as I feel I am qualified to make these judgments. Nor do I dislike them. Nor do I blame them for getting every bit of publicity for their daughter, if she is missing, because I know that if it were my daughter who had gone missing I would try and do the same.

I just refuse to subscribe to a process of public censorship whereby just because you admit to having certain thoughts, it is deemed wrong for you to do so.

Anne, I will be buying your book - because I like the way you write and the fearless honesty you put into this piece.

brady bunch said...

well said, harsh but true! and just how I feel and many others I know.

None of us know for sure, but something is not right and the stat's on infant death is massively agin the parents...

They may not have "done" it, but even if they had not, you still can't help feeling angry with them and not just because the left babies on their own.

Simon said...

I'm surprised these people are not being charged with neglect for leaving children unattended. What if there'd been a fire? Imagine the horror of getting up for a pee and finding your parents weren't around. Maybe they were used to it...

Oops. Sorry. Pamela said it better.

JMac said...

You should be ashamed of yourself. The comment that particular got to me was "I wanted them to grieve, which is to say to go away".

Go away?! You seem to think that satisfying the sensitivities of narrow minded members of the public should take priority of finding their still living child.

Any parent that agrees with that assessment needs their head examined. This isn't some sort of interactive soap-opera where members of the audience get to influence the story line. These are real people and a real child is missing.

Whatever justification you think you have for treating this as a piece of reality television, think again, and take a hard look at yourself.

If you have any decency at all, you should make a public apology to the McCanns.

Anonymous said...

Recidivist posted: "I just refuse to subscribe to a process of public censorship whereby just because you admit to having certain thoughts, it is deemed wrong for you to do so."

I have no problems with her thoughts; I have problems with her publishing her thoughts and knowing that they might hurt the McCanns at a time when they need support.

tahiry12 said...

What has happenned to McCanns is the worst thing that could happen to my worst enenmy.
This author needs to realise what the McCanns utterances and words are NOT delivered as some literary prose; its dispicable that this author has selected MCCanns utterances of grief to analyse as some literary prose; and worse still, for her to jump on the attention seeking band wagon. Azra

RDH said...

The author needs to openly apologise for having hurt the McCanns. She needed to keep her thoughts to herself if she lacks compassion so badly. I find it an insult that she was awarded a Booker prize. we will not be reading her books!

Steve said...

I almost enjoyed reading a selection of these angry, and to my eyes, confused posts berating Anne Enright. There is a liberal sprinkling of personal attacks, some take her to task for being a bad mother. Other's see a desire for noteriety, or bid for grubby financial gain. COME ON. It is an interesting essay, and quite clear to me, and many other people, that this is not some vitriolic attack on the McCanns. Having read it, I'm confident that it's not any kind of attack on them at all.

It almost seems that many are saying that because Madeleine McCann is missing, presumed dead, that her parents are incapable of human pettiness, or making questionable decision. They are just people, like you, me and Ms Enright - capable of great feats but also ignominious ones. But this isn't the point either. The real point is that we are talking aobout it. Aout the grotesque surveillance, capped with Google Earth (nice touch) that these unfortunate people are being subjected to on a scale unimaginable in an age before modern mass communication. Surely this is the focus of greater ire than these very unfortunate people?

Caoimhghin said...

Does Ann Enrigh have anything to add (or retract) now that her public profile has been raised.?

It’s obvious that this is any parent’s worst nightmare.

The ensuing media campaign is odd, and uncomfortable to say the least.

How much sympathy or long term attention would be given to a single mother or a low income couple leaving their child unattended in this manner?

The “moral” among the population would slaughter them.

It’s all very uncomfortable and the lack of emotion displayed by the parents only augments this.

Anonymous said...

Far too many people think the sun shines***** look them in the eyes and say to yourselves are they or are they not guilty..... I believe they are.

jane said...

This author is so sick. She seriously needs helps if she has taken the McCanns desperate pleas for help as some 'literature' articles, for her to deliver her critique. Shame she got the booker prize, as no one would have known who she was before that.

Jax said...

authors write, that's what they do. Who amongst us hasn't discussed the McCanns and the case, either in the office or at home, commenting in positive or negative fashion, however it occurs? It's no surprise that Ms Enright wrote down what she thought about, what probably is surprising to her now is the profile this article has following inaccurate descriptions in the MSM. I, like other posters here, can find nothing that makes this into an attack, and for the ppl who skipped the end, you missed the bit where she says: Then I go to bed and wake up the next day, human again, liking the McCanns.

Where is the attack in that?

Marie-Louise said...

I think Ms Enright is just being incredibly honest. She's not without self criticism in regard to her instinctive responses to this situation and the media which surrounds it.

I fail to see how simply an open discussion of one's own response renders an individual sick or selfish or unfeeling. Its precisely her feelings as a mother and as a person capable of a strong sense of her own guilt which has lead her to express them.

brendan said...

Great use of words...Great style of literature...marvellous prose technique.... Anne Enright is a skilled writer. It's certainly notable, how she blends personal anecdotes, opinions, observations and a quote from the great literacy genius himself (Shakespeare), to form a striking piece of investigative journalism.

Personally, I don’t know if poor Madeline is still alive or not. Nor do I know who is responsible for her abduction or possible murder. One thing I definitely know for sure is that just because something is written in the papers, doesn’t mean that it’s fact. I can’t distinguish which is hard evidence and which is conjecture. Who am I to decide if the McCanns are guilty or not? I am not qualified to do so. Nor have I the relevant psychological training that would help ascertain the sincerity of Madeline’s parents’ pleas. The fact of the matter is, I have had no eureka moments on this ‘case’ so far in that I can’t look straight into the eyes of Gerry or Kate (admittedly, through a tv screen) and indeed into their very souls and say: ‘Yes!….They did it. Guilty as charged.’ I tend to leave that more definitive level of investigation to the higher authorities: ie police, forensic scientists, and when it gets to court, the judges.

However, even then there have been miscarriages of justice in the past, especially when police are under a great deal of pressure to produce results. As an Irish man, I am well aware of this. (Guildford 4, Birmingham 6…. Etc). In fact, the Portuguese Police have a questionable past. One man (Mr. Amaral), who was in charge of this investigation, is under suspicion of torturing another mother in a similar case. This was allegedly done in order to obtain a confession. She was accused of murdering her daughter. The child’s body was never retrieved in this case either.

I am curious about Anne Enright’s musings on this ‘case.’ Where did she get the time to study forensic science, law and psychology, interview the suspects as well as developing into a well-respected writer as evidenced by her literacy skills in this piece of prose? Or was it just her good mind reading techniques?

Okay it’s time to stop the sarcasm. Though I wasn’t being sarcastic about her writing. Having just won the Man Booker prize, she has proved to be a writer of unquestionable talent. As an Irish compatriot, I was genuinely pleased to hear she had done so well.

What bemuses me about the piece is the lack of charity shown towards the McCanns. It smacks of an ‘I really know what happened’ attitude. For some reason her attacks on poor Madaeline’s parents are personal and begrudging. She comments on them
as if she were chatting about new neighbours moving in next door: ‘Who do they think they are?’….’Oh, just listen to the way he talks...’ ‘What is she wearing today?…’etc,…etc,..etc. In fairness to Enright, she is a product of Irish culture; this is a fairly common Irish trait. We seem to love to begrudge those in the limelight or are successful. Nevertheless, it is particularly galling that she is picking on a grieving mother and father.

Here’s the truth. Nobody knows what happened to Madeline McCann except the person who abducted her. Was she dead before she was taken? Is she still alive? Where is she? Lots of questions…Few answers… But only one person really knows and that’s the person who stole Madeline. Personally, I believe that her parents are innocent and don’t doubt their convictions. Nothing convinces me otherwise. Even if you are not personally convinced, you should give the McCanns 'the benefit of the doubt.’ Not only are the suffering from missing their child, but they also have to live with the added indignity of not being believed. There is nothing worse than people not believing you. On top of this, it must be upsetting that your trivial moves are commented about by the ‘squinting windows’ class:

“No, we just dislike them for whatever it is that nags at us. We do not forgive them the stupid stuff, like wearing ribbons, or going jogging the next day, or holding hands on the way into Mass.”

By the way who is the royal ‘we’ that she uses? What’s the purpose of using this word? Why not speak just for yourself and not for others? It’s objectionable as it adds an even more derogatory tone to her opinions. It suggests a certain amount of ‘ganging up’ against the McCanns.

I hope and pray that the McCanns find the answers that they are looking for and ultimately that their beautiful child is found. Nothing more can be said about their situation.

With regards to Ann Enright’s article, I wish I could have concluded by using a Shakespearian quote to say something profound about being ‘innocent until proven guilty’ or ‘being charitable to those that are in need.’ Considering that I alluded to the great man already in the first paragraph, it would have been an ideal note to finish on, something to counteract the original quote. It would have completed this piece nicely. But I am not a Shakespearian scholar or a literacy genius, nor do I pretend to be. Neither is Anne Enright a genius in the fields of forensic science, law or psychology. She should stick to what she’s good at: the art of literature. I wish her well.

Dan said...

Thank god someone has finally written an article objectifying the course the McCanns have taken and the language they have used in this baffling and intriguing situation that has gripped the world.

This is not an unsympathetic article, nor is it hurtful to the McCanns, it is simply offering another view to the obscene pile that has mounted over the last months, only a far more eloquent, honest one.

David said...

I think this woman has some deep problem. She obviously spends too much time at her computer. Like most of us, we think horrible things happen to other people. This woman seems to want make the parents pain even deeper. She will feel no shame. As a human I will feel it on her cold blooded behalf. Thank god I'm not her child.

David said...

I think this woman has some deep problem. She obviously spends too much time at her computer. Like most of us, we think horrible things happen to other people. This woman seems to want make the parents pain even deeper. She will feel no shame. As a human I will feel it on her cold blooded behalf. Thank god I'm not her child.

PJW said...

The criticism of today is strong but as a parent my main problem right from the start has been the McCanns describing Madeleine as saying "she had had the best day of her life" .... and she spent it with a child minder! It was not the evening when they were not there for her but the whole day. It's a problem for society when such parents seem to have lost the concept of parental care but who is going to tell them what they simply do not appear to understand? Something bad happened but the whole mentality of such parents is wrong in my view. I would still have cticised them (had I known about it) without the tragedy that followed. Too often we must see that such parenst "get away with it" but you can be sure they see it as a proper compromise between the needs of their children and their own needs. WE never felt the conflict in our lives because we did not make that compromise. You have the children = you have the responsibility.


Meg J. said...

Do you dislike John Walsh, Polly Klaus's Family, Jessica Lynch's Family, Amber Schartz Family? No why not..their children were kidnapped...John Walsh's wife left her child alone in Sear's at 6 years of age..what no distain for them? Why not? You don't even understand why Europe is in an uproar about don't have any insights at all. You are using Madeleine to further your own career. Bet you would not say these things to the McCann's face to you hide behind your computer. And if you can't quite figure out why the case has become so huge it because of European's lack of laws to protect their children. Europe for too long has turned a blind eye to pediphiles who move from country to country knowing that there are very little to stop them. Your words are Useless and vile..

Alex said...

Thank you for this essay chris! It is about time someone spoke out over the wailing voices of bored housewives with absolutely nothing else to do in their dull lives herding their kids than go hysterical over some privileged white girl and her parents.

Kids go missing with alarming regularity but the press saw an absolutely golden oppertunity to get a pretty child on their front pages and the British public lapped it up. The angry tirades written against you are typical of people who cant handle the probablility that they were wrong, and pledged their support to possible murderers.

This essay is absolutely vital in helping to get the point out there that this case has been in the public spotlight far too long and that the parents have had far more sympathy than they deserve. The case highlights how gleefully the British media will tug at the heartstrings of the many gullible people prone to massive emotional overreaction and people will fall for it every time.

Mandelbaum said...

Great essay.

The disquieting thing about the McCanns is that there's clearly a part of them that revels being in the media.

Who else has lost a child, met the Pope and has then hired a PR agency?

Loz said...

I am amazed that people can be so disrespectful to a family suffering such loss. Yes this age of ‘information technology’ can have an amazing worldwide effect on publicity for their cause – which they should use to its full advantage, but it also has such a negative effect. The ‘author’ would not have aired her views quite so famously were it not for this amazing technology we have. When Ben Needham went missing in 1991 his family were questioned extensively regarding his disappearance and were held as primary suspects during the early investigation – leading to the Greek police failing to follow up a number of early sightings which could have proved significant in the case. I’m sure that if the Internet was around at that time they would have suffered the same public slaying as the McGanns are getting now. Yes the McGanns should have kept their children close by them but its nothing hundreds of parents haven’t done before… many hotels have listening services in the rooms and children are left sleeping night after night, some people with large houses and gardens will be at one end of the house whilst their children are sleeping a distance away…. And I’ve lost count of the number of people that have told me when their children were young they used to put them to bed and go to a party next door or over the road…. Nothing different than the McGanns have done but luckily for those people their children were safe and sound on their return. For me I struggle letting my teenagers out of my sight and on holiday my 3 year old is a source of entertainment in the evenings and I wouldn’t dream of putting him to bed and going out without him… but then my son is sometimes up till 2 in the morning on holiday and I’m sure there’d be people around thinking he should be tucked up in bed by then – you can’t win really can you!!

Loz said...

sorry for McCann spelling error - friends called McGann and it just sticks!!!

June said...

All the people who are bashing Enright seem to have misread this piece. She is absolutely entitled to express what many people have expressed to me in conversations over the past weeks, and she is not unapologetic. I agree with her that the McCanns were insanely irresponsible in leaving their children alone--for allegedly educated people, this seems foolhardy in the extreme--I know 16 year old single mothers who wouldn't leave toddlers to sleep alone. To criticize Enright for admitting to feelings she makes clear she isn't proud of is pathetic--would that everyone were as honest as she is; the world would be a better place if there were less hypocrisy.

Dave said...

A fascinating read and one that should touch every mother's heart.

The McCann PR campaign has been sickening to have to watch and should they be found guilty will embarrass the media who have spent too manyy months quoting 'a family friend'.

palinode said...

At least commenters have stopped addressing Enright directly, as if this were her blog. That was like waving a giant "I Can't Read" sign around.

WendyB said...

I think this is a very sympathetic and interesting article that sums up a lot of reactions to this incident. Commenter Peg puts it particularly well. Other commenters seem to have reading comprehension issues...

becstar said...

This is unbelievable... I do not comprehend how other parents (yes I am one) can believe that Kate or Gerry murdered their child. I can only assume it must be human instinct to blame the parents because to do so means such a tragedy is less likely to happen to ourselves. "No, I wouldn't leave my child alone...therefore this could never to happen to me." How lovely to offer yourself a security blanket while at the same time tear this family apart while they are experiencing excruciating heartbreak (quite arguably the worst pain one could feel in a lifetime). "They use the wrong language in interviews...etc" GET OVER IT! They are not in the media to annoy you. They are desperately trying to find their daughter to the best of their ability. I think how you percieve the McCanns tells us more about YOU than it does the McCanns.

Flavio said...

I am fascinated by your theory and also not influenced by McCanns because used to live in Uk when Maddaleine disappered.

I am sorry, Ms Chis, cannot believe parents can kill their children for mistake even McCanns;am terrify about idea that parents drugs their children for having fun in getting drunk or going out as seems McCanns use to. I completely disappointing about it.

I have got just few questions that running in my mind :

Which kind of parents are they ? As you said : they don't cry, are not disperate for her daughter.

I can see that Mass are waiting for McCanns conferences day by day and following this case across Europe;

How important are they to get attention by Media ?

Why don not they speak to Mass by themselves ? Lots of conferences I saw there was McCanns Speaker.

And, finally, what if Mass are manipulated to be sands on eyes ?

P.s. Sorry for my English which is not native one. Flavio (It/Uk/Es).
P.p.s. Congratulation Ms Chris for Booker Prize Award. I will read your blog as often as I can.

McFox said...

I thought I was the only one thinking the guilt of the McCann's was being inflicted on everyone else.

Dean Chalk said...

I simply cannot believe that a fame-junkie human cipher like you still exists in the 21st Century.

What terrible things you have said -- SHAME on you !!!!

We must all remember that monsters roam our streets with impunity, waiting for a chance to pick-off our kids while our backs are turned.

Only God and the Devil know what that poor child had to endure on that fatefull night.

Now she has died, the McCann family has died, and after many sleepless nights since the abduction, a little bit of me will never be the same ever again.

By the way, your book is absolute rubbish.

McFox said...

We must all remember that monsters roam our streets with impunity, waiting for a chance to pick-off our kids while our backs are turned.
Exactly! Yet the McCann's swan off to a meal with vino and leave a three-year-old and two toddlers alone in an unfamiliar unlocked apartment in a strange town in a foreign country!

Monica said...

It really had to take a writter such as you to put in words what I couldn't describe about the McCanns - it was making me feel guity because I always smelled something wrong in them but could not track it down as you did.

Just as you, I've been searching the web for both British and Portuguese news, and they seem to be talking about different people...

Congratulations for your courage to speak up, your wisdow to view and put the in-between-lines meanings into clear words.

And above all, congratulations for being a caring mother.

sharyn said...

Anne, What a heartless and boring article, you sound like an awful mother and should control your temper tantrums, throwing your child's croissant on the floor, sounds like you have no idea on parenting. I will never read any of your books and it's a joke that you got the booker prize, a crying shame too.

Dessie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christine said...

Why the hell would anyone take the time and effort to compose an 'essay' pouring vitriol on a family who are going through the torture of losing a child? I was in despair at the vile posts I have read against the McCanns' on the internet forums. 'Intellectualising' it in essay form but using the same terms is just beyond the pale. They made a mistake. They are suffering every waking minute. What happened to human compassion?

mum of2 said...

shock!!!! why would you publish such an article for the public to read? what if this little girl is actually found alive??? what will be your reaction to this senseless inhuman writing? i just pray you never have to for your book, it's definately NOT on my wish list.

the noble emperor bish said...

Ha. ha. ha...

Well, the comments have indeed poured in, and very funny they are too.

Some of the comments have been reasoned, well-thought arguments, highlighting the strengths and/or weaknesses of the author's essay. Unfortunately, most of them have just been reactionary, aggressive, and bearing no evidence that their authors have even read the essay above. I suppose that's their way of discussing. To me it sounds like tabloid speak from people with heads full of prole-feed.

If you're going to comment, make sure you have something to say. If you just intend to vent your anger at this article, then go away and do it at a friend, someone who perhaps cares an iota or two that you think Anne is sick/shameless/vile/lacking in compassion, etc.

If you have something worthwhile to say, good or bad, then please do, but all this anger doesn't help anyone.

For the benefit of 'D' - Ms Enright never suggested that Lady Macbeth said "We have scorched the snake, not killed it." - she rightly attributes it to Macbeth, in response to his wife.

And to 'Malcolm J', whose understanding of censorship seems to be "its okay to think bad thoughts, but not to say/publish them", I would remind him of Voltaire's philosophy with this well known paraphrase: "I may not agree with what you have to say, but I shall defend with my life your right to say it."

Perhaps we can all learn something from that.


Jeez... Some people...

Rob said...

I dislike them also for their inability to accept responsibility for their child`s death or abduction.

Was this a family holiday, if so why did they not take a carer, say give a young nurse a free holiday, but they are Scottish. Who in their right mind would leave the patio door unlocked with three tiny children sleeping,laziness, the patio doors I believe can only be locked from inside, walking round to the front door would take to long for these two.

Why did Kate always ensure the cuddle cat was on view everywhere she went, was it to discredit any DNA which might be found later, as doctors they would be aware of the DNA problem, the toy has not appeared since they have been back in the UK.

I think these are two hard nosed doctors trying to safeguard their cosy lifestyles.

littleelf said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sickofitall said...

When will the media circus end.
For god sake a young child was shot dead playing footpball, it got two weeks in the press. Whereas 2 well to doo doctors leave the most important things to them in an unlocked room while they go on the "piss", and it gets rammed down our throats every day for the last 6 months.

If I were to leave my video camera in a holiday apartment in an unlocked room and it was stolen my insurance company would not settle as I had been negligent.

Had they just come out at the onset and said we have made a real error of judgement it would not have been so bad. However with the "we do not consider it bad parenting line " this has got a lot of peoples backs up.

Not a very nice thing to say but if god forbid the worst has happened to Maddie the parents have got blood on their hands for their negligent care of their children

ROSIE J said...


ROSIE J said...


nighthawk said...

The most offensive thing about your article is the TONE of it...light, witty, clever, in the end,very sad. I would have enjoyed some specific description of your son's reaction to your rant with the croissant. What was the expression on his face? C'mon, get clever and witty, please.

fifitieschick said...

If you dont leave your children you willl know where theyare Always. i have never left my son hes precious. This should be an example to everybody. DONT EVER LEAVE YOUR KIDS. we are not talking simpletons these are supposedly academic profssional people. SEDATIVES. DONT GIVE THEM TO BABIES//CHILDREN EVER. JUSTICE SHOULD BE SERVED WHERE ARE SOCIAL SERVICES

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Anonymous said...

Also, I was wondering whether you do any private consulting? I'd be interested in hiring someone like yourself.
I don't think it's up to anyone to judge what people's posts should be about. Why not allow everyone to just say what they want (in designated threads, ofcourse)?
There was a story about this in our newspaper. People come to steal other people's content from blogs and then publish on their own sites.
Would anyone tell a joke about this? I can't stand being depressed like this.

Here I am! Now what are your other two wishes?

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Those parents who are using several drugs and medicines at home for their children's should to be more aware of the side effects and can cause heavy damage to your child's if you use any medicine without the suggestion of a doctor or medical adviser.

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Childrens should be treated more carefully.I mean how can you guys use any drugs without the suggestion or without counseling with an doctor??

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Anonymous said...

Gerry McCann said "if Maddie had an accident and hurt herself in the holiday apartment when we weren't there, how could that be our fault?" or very similar to that effect. Neither of the parents have 'physically searched', as Kate said on youtube. Kate's 1at words "they've got Maddie" and her immediate explanation was imposed on us - "Maddie's been abducted". Why, therefore, if your 3 year old child has been abducted, would you wait almost an HOUR before contacting the police? Why, when the McCann's knew their daughter enjoyed wandering off/hiding, was the first thought of abduction? How were they so sure without giving it a second thought? Why would you immediately invite a dozen or so friends into the scene of crime and risk contamination? They're middle-aged doctors, not first time teenage parents who maybe wouldn't consider that aspect. Why, once the police had arrived and were ready to begin searching, did the McCann's tell them to leave and that they would go to sleep and begin searching the next day? How are there such ambiguous answers to absolutely everything, ie 'someone else was dealing with that'? Why would any mother REFUSE to answer a single question (let alone the 48 questions she point blank refused to answer) truthfully if it could possibly mean the difference between having your missing child returned or never seeing them again? Why would you refuse to assist police in participating in a reconstruction? Why, when you have the option to request the Portuguese police reopen the investigation, would you not do so? Finally, why would you demand the only way you would consider co-operating with the police if if the case was reopened under the proviso that you are and will remain innocent no matter what?

Remind me again why some people still believe the McCann's story?

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Care Ren said...

I wonder how many of those who condemned you for your blog feel the same today.
I was in CZ Rep on the day it but the headlines, I was there for IVF treatment and wrapped up in my own world so never took much in on the case until the adds for the Crimewatch programme started on in Oct 13. I have an interest in Spiritualism so was on Google looking to see if anyone had any information on that side of things & what I found I rejected instantly
As my own 6 the sense told me the parents were involved on the morning it was announced, but what I did find were discussion groups & found so much information & found my gut told me right. I also felt the case was soon to come to conclusion now 3.5 yrs later it seems the feeling I had was correct as well.It started with the death of Brenda Leyland & things all came to a head 31/01/17 when the PJ coordinater got his own justice.
Love & Light