Two things we know for sure about Kate and Gerry McCann:
1. They enjoy nothing more than people banging on about neglect, it is after all their alibi, and, whilst people stick on the topic of neglect, they're not discussing the more condemnatory evidence.
2. They love to play the victim. If ever we needed proof of that, we only have to look at the lies they told about Goncalo Amaral, or the dossier in 2014, that ultimately led to an innocent woman's death; a woman who, through no fault of her own was labelled a 'vile troll', and far, far worse.
So imagine the McCanns' glee when they get two for the price of one. A minor celebrity - she was in Big Brother, and is known for being a bigot; sometimes racist; sometimes crude; sometimes xenophobic; always loud-mouthed; always offensive; often vacuous, and widely regarded as someone who likes to stir up hate for the sake of a few quid, and one who believes Madeleine was neglected, and abducted.
I am of course, talking about Katie Hopkins. The 'I say it as it is' champion of the people.
One of Hopkins' early offerings regarding the McCann case, was shortly after the tragic death of Brenda Leyland. Up stepped our heroin with the following tweet:
February 2016; Hopkins writes an article in The Daily Mail about the McCanns, and her outrage at them leaving Madeleine alone. She even signed the article off with the line,
"Maddie wasn't lost because someone took her. She was lost because she was left to be found."
Click to read article
The rest of the MSM jumped on this story, labelling the article as an 'astonishing attack on Madeleine McCann's parents'.
This was perfect for Kate and Gerry. For almost 9 years, the McCanns had openly admitted to leaving their kids alone, they had also complained about abuse from 'perfect parents', and here was Hopkins giving them both these things. Confirming the McCanns' version of events, whilst whipping up a hate storm on twitter; many who were unaware of the more damning aspects of the case, were leaping to Hopkins' side, accusing the McCanns of neglect, and firing vicious verbal volleys into the ether.
Those who did have a better understanding of the case, questioned Hopkins, asking her if she was going to follow up her article with links to the PJ files, or discuss the many inconsistencies to the McCanns' version of events.
Hopkins, full of bravado, promised there would be more to come - and she was right.
June 9th 2016; Katie tells anybody who could be bothered to listen, via her podcast, that her previous article (the one about neglect), was one she had been previously stopped from writing by The Sun. Suddenly, people thought 'she's being silenced, she must be onto something, why would The Sun stop Katie writing about the case?'.
People waited with baited breath...and they waited...and they waited...
Then, in February this year, as she did with Brenda Leyland, Hopkins arrived back on the scene, riding the wave left by Goncalo Amaral's victory over Kate and Gerry in the Supreme Court.
Would we finally see her dig deeper or reveal more?
That would be an emphatic 'NO'.
We were given the leftovers from her last offering; the same food, only cold, and a little past it's best. She even quoted the same line:
"You know it strikes me that in this instance, Maddie wasn't lost because someone took her. I believe Maddie was lost because she was left to be found."
Click here for LBC show.
Yet again, avoiding the main issues, whilst reinforcing the theory of an abductor taking Madeleine because she was left in the apartment to be found.
It was of course great timing...if you're Kate and Gerry. Goncalo Amaral's book had been ruled factual, and his theory of Madeleine's parents covering up her death, based upon his time on the investigation was allowed to be published.
What better time to discuss the more detailed areas of the case?
Not for Hopkins though, it was neglect leading to abduction all the way. Exactly what the McCanns said, but from someone posing as the enemy.
Next up, came a video with Jodie Marsh, and guess what, it came off the back of yet another big announcement regarding the case - quelle surprise!
It had just been announced, that Operation Grange was to be given an extra £85k to carry on the investigation into Madeleine's disappearance. The metaphorical ambulance, panting on the driveway of Jodie Marsh, the soles of rent-a-gob's running shoes still hot from the chase, and their owner in yet another position to fulfil her promise of speaking out. This was a private video, no restrictions from her editor. What did Hopkins deliver?
More of the exact same nothingness. Neglect, leading to abduction. Actually that's not strictly true, Hopkins did add something else this time, and I think it's the first time I've heard her be honest:
"I don't really mind what happened"
Finally the truth. Katie Hopkins doesn't give a what about that fateful night, as long as it serves her. She's a fake, someone out to make a name for herself by acting controversial, whilst at the same time, picking the splinters out of her backside.
I gave three examples of some of the biggest talking points regarding the case. Events that would, ordinarily have people discussing the hard facts, all of which Hopkins leapt on in a flash, and brought back around to the same tale of neglect, and abduction. She promised to give us more, she gave nothing, and now, she's at it again:
Only this time, she's using the name of a dead woman - Brenda Leyland, to get more attention. What's really sickening, is that Brenda did discuss the real facts, both in her own name, and through her twitter account. She did it in a perfectly legal manner, as was ruled at the inquest into her tragic, and untimely death.
Coincidentally, an avid supporter of Kate and Gerry, who hounded and threatened Brenda days before her death; mocked her passing afterwards; and even had the brass neck to attend the inquest, seems rather pleased with Hopkins' input on the case...
...and well she might. Hopkins is towing the McCann line, she's feeding the public exactly what the McCanns want them to be fed.
"...Maddie was lost because she was left to be found."
There are many, many other aspects to this case:
The evidence of the EVRD dog, and CSI dog, Eddie and Keela:
The lies about a break in. Possibly one of the most fundamental points of the case. It was after all, because of this lie; passed onto the media, from Kate and Gerry, via their friends and family back in the UK, that a vast number of the population were conned into parting with their money:
That money, many believed they were donating to help find Madeleine, was spent on legal fees, and gambled on failed and obsessive law suits. It paid the annual salary of Clarence Mitchell - a cabinet office media monitor, who left his role with the Labour party, to lie to the press on behalf of the McCanns, thus creating a paradoxical circle of events. 'Give us money, and we'll feed you more lies'.
These, and many more things happened. They're documented in the files, they're facts, so when Hopkins tell us she's going to reveal more, and she won't be silenced, why does she stick to the same mantra, neglect - abduction? The McCanns' version.
The ironic factor in all of this is of course, is that there is a valid argument, believed by many who have read the PJ files, that the children weren't left alone, as one adult was missing from the tapas bar each evening. In fact it was a theory that was explored by Paulo Rebelo, the man who took over the investigation from Goncalo Amaral.
Rebelo's theory, was that apart from the night Madeleine was reported missing, the adults took turns babysitting each night:
Sunday April 29th: Matt Oldfield may not have been at dinner as he was alleged to be too ill, and did nothing on the Sunday.
"Reply 'So Sunday was pretty much a write-off and I was thinking, oh, the start of my holiday and I'm not doing anything that day'.
4078 'Yeah. So Monday was really your first proper holiday day''
Monday 30th, or Tuesday 1st: Russell O'Brien was not at dinner
Wednesday 2nd: Jane Tanner was late to dinner, as her daughter was ill.
Rachael O'Brien (Mampilly) was not at dinner as she was unwell.
Quiz mistress confirms one of the group was missing at dinner,
Due to the inconsistencies within the group's statements, the PJ requested that they take part in a reconstruction, the group of friends all refused, as detailed below in the final report:
"The aforementioned persons were interviewed carefully and in great detail, on various occasions (see index), with the intention to collect all the relevant elements that could help the investigation to uncover the truth regarding the facts.
The analysis of the grouping of these inquiries emphasized the existence of important details which were not entirely understood and integrated, which needed to be, from our viewpoint, tested and compared together [concatenated] in the actual location.
As such, a concrete understanding of the lack of synergy of some aspects of elevated relevance should be attempted through a processed diligence via the reconstitution of the facts, which, due to a lack of collaboration of several relevant witnesses, was not able to be accomplished, in spite of all the force brought by the authorities."
It is only a theory, but one that Kate, Gerry, and their friends didn't take the opportunity to rule out. Whatever the truth behind whether the children were left alone or not, the fact remains, that by getting bogged down with talk of neglect, the bigger picture is being missed completely.
There is so much more to this case than the issue of neglect.