The McCanns and Tapas 7 should be so proud of themselves


During the week that brought yawningly to a close the speculation that Madonna and Guy are to divorce, and that Jade is selling her story for the sake of her children, we finally had photos of those rather more reclusive celebrities to pour over; the infamous Tapas 7.

Wearing odd looking clothes and looking distinctly dodgy, 6 of the secret seven lined up looking like they’d just been made over by the junior stylist at Debenhams, for a photo call, clutching their cheque from Express Newspapers.

Why? Why the need to do this? Did they not realise what the reaction would be? Do they honestly think that turning up, dressed sombrely and spouting platitudes would put right all the wrongs? Is Clarence their adviser too? Well there he was, buzzing around like the little kid no one wants to sit next to at school, so we can assume he is. And, like when he told the world that we all leave our kids, it’s a British thing – he yet again got it woefully wrong.

And so, the speculation began: The photos endlessly poured over – is Jane wearing a ring on the third finger of her right hand? If not – what does this mean? Why wasn’t Russell around? Is he working/having a breakdown/developing a conscience? Or even, as wildly suggested, is he babysitting? And why was shy Di doing the talking? And Rachel – the glamour puss of the bunch – she’s looking good – blooming in fact….well is she… could she be….? and so it goes on and on and on.

The Tapas 7 object to the limelight; they object to the situation they find themselves in. So they line up for press photos, attracting yet more speculation and limelight. Like Kate and Gerry McCann, they think they can control the press. But when the press dares to print what many people think, including sometimes what the police think, they collectively stamp their newly shod feet, protesting that its unfair, and instruct the lawyers.

What was unfair was their neglect of their kids. End of.

They may well be innocent of any involvement regarding the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. They may know absolutely nothing at all. Madeleine may well have woke and wandered off, and she may, possibly have been abducted. I don’t know, you don’t know and possibly they don’t know.

But what we do know, is this: The Tapas 9 repeatedly and knowingly left their children alone last year in Portugal. Tiny children – the eldest not yet four years old.
This was wrong. It was wrong on so many levels that it’s a no-brainer. Caring parents the world over gasped in horror at the thought of leaving children the way these people did. We were then told by the British press that it wasn’t wrong at all – it was perfectly ok. Then we all got vilified for disagreeing. Well so be it. I’d rather be wrong in the eyes of the press and Clarence Mitchell, and know I still have my kids safe and sound, thank you very much.

I am still reeling from the fact that the Tapas 7 refused to return to Portugal for the reconstruction. I don’t grasp the ins and outs of Portuguese law, but I still feel strongly that they shouldn’t have been asked, they should have been forced to return.

Anyway, we’ve learnt a little bit more about the Tapas 7 this week, haven’t we? We’ve learnt that they managed to find the time to get themselves dolled up and lined up to receive their payout. We could be forgiven for thinking that this was a higher priority for them, than the whereabouts of the little girl who disappeared in the first place.

Some will argue that the Tapas 7 were unfortunate. That they got caught up in a situation through no fault of their own – they just happened to be on holiday and socialising with the parents of Madeleine McCann. And any involvement they had is purely by association. I would argue though, that it could have been any of their kids, instead of Madeleine, who went missing. That Kate and Gerry could have been part of the pact, and the Oldfields, for example, the parents of the missing child.
You can tell a lot about people, by the company they keep. This lot all sang from the same hymn sheet – they agreed to leave their kids, they, allegedly, hastily scribbled their “time line” (why the need for this?) on a ripped off sheet of the missing child’s book – and then they had a pact.

These people – these mates, this sorry band of friends, are all as guilty as each other. Even Grandma. Baby monitors – sorry not good enough. Checking every thirty minutes? Even every 10 minutes – not good enough.

They’ve let their kids down. How they can stand there, and justify their payment, by saying that they are putting the proceeds into the Fund to find the little girl they betrayed so badly, along with their own kids, beggers belief. There should be no need to have a Fund to find Madeleine, because with proper parenting, Madeleine wouldn’t be missing in the first place.

There is no payout in the world that will put right what they all did on that holiday.

The stark truth is that they had a choice and they put themselves first, repeatedly. If they ever make another collective statement, it would be good if it was to explain to us how they justified their decision to repeatedly leave their children, and then their refusal to return to Portugal to help the one who went missing.

How they have escaped neglect charges, is astounding. How they have the audacity to sue anybody, is unbelievable. They appear to have no class, dignity or shame.They should slink away and thank their lucky stars that they’ve got off so lightly.

Because a little girl has probably paid the ultimate price.

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