Public relations and saving reputations
This, they told the police, had been going on for 4 nights prior to Madeleine being reported missing by her mum Kate McCann.
The McCann family and friends were quick to deny any accusations in neglect, describing their actions “well within bounds of responsible parenting”.
This was Gerry McCann’s sister just 2 days after Madeleine was reported missing:
Philomena McCann: The childcare facilities, you're leaving people with other folk that you don't know. Gerry and Kate are in a clear line of sight of their kids, they regularly go across to check, maybe if the kids have been disturbed or crying or anything. To suggest in any possible way that Kate and Gerry are negligible pare... negligent pare... negligent parents, sorry, is just abhorrent to all of us. They love their family, they would never willingly, knowingly or in any way neglect them.
Poulton voice over: Others disagreed but perhaps this woman back in the McCanns village in Leicester captured that mood best.
Leicester resident: I think the McCanns are hypocrites and the people of Rothley are hypocrites…
Unidentified reporter: Why so?
Leicester resident voice over: Why, because at the end of the day, if it was people on council estates we’d get our children taken off us. They’re doctors, they should show an example. They went on holiday, they got a big house, they’ve got money… at the end of the day, why didn’t they pay for babysitting facilities or take a nanny with them? They wanted to go on holiday with the children, they shouldn’t go out and leave them.
Unidentified reporter: So do you think if this was you, you’d be in jail by now?
Leicester resident: I probably would’ve and I’ve rung Social Services up and Peter McAntee from social services in Leicester said if it was my children they’d be placed on the ‘at risk’ register and taken away. Why not the McCanns?
Poulton voice over: Working in mainstream media in England I discovered that many of my colleagues also left young children in hotel rooms and apartments while on holiday.
For me it went someway to explain and some of the sympathetic tone that columnists used when describing the McCann dilemma…