"It needs only one greedy, unscrupulous character to come forward," said Philomena McCann.(Daily Mail 28/07/07)
The above was in relation to the reward on offer at the time: £3.2 million, according to the 28th July 2007 article featured in the Daily Mail. After more than three years, I am still utterly gobsmacked by Phil McCann's choice of words to describe someone who might come forward to help find her niece.
'Greedy': did she think this was someone who had already received payment of some kind? Greedy for more? Someone who is greedy is a person who takes more than their fair share. So, she thought that someone who could help find Madeleine would be getting more than they deserved? So, what would such a person deserve?
'Unscrupulous': having no scruples, ethics or principles. What? This makes even less sense than 'greedy'. For someone to have no scruples, ethics or principles in claiming a reward for helping to find a missing child, they would, by definition, be behaving in an underhand and devious manner. Towards whom and about what? Towards the McCanns, who only wanted to find their daughter? Wouldn't the parents of a missing child be delighted for the information, wherever it came from if they could get their daughter back unharmed? And 'one greedy, unscrupulous character'. Does that mean that Auntie Phil thought there was more than one person who could possibly have come forward? Someone who would unscrupulously grass up the abductor? Wouldn't any close relative of a missing child be eternally grateful to such a person? But, no, Phil McCann would view that person as being a 'greedy, unscrupulous character.'
The Daily Mail article was written just afterGerry McCann's trip to the US, where he got licked by Laura Bush's dog at the Whitehouse, he met up with some folks from the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children and met the US Attorney General:
He lobbied senior statesmen on Capitol Hill, including U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, who pledged to do all he could. He even met close aides to First Lady Laura Bush.
How wonderful! The US Attorney General? Well, there's a thing! Not much of a promise though, because really there wasn't much he could do about an investigation led by the Portuguese police. Maybe he looked out for Madeleine, searched the halls of the courts and peered through the tinted windows of his limo, looking for little blonde girls. If he had claimed the reward, would he have been greedy and unscrupulous?
And what about all those people, like Gail Cooper, who spotted suspicious-looking characters hanging about in Praia da Luz? Were they being greedy and unscrupulous when they sold their stories to the tabloids?
I guess since no one has come forward to claim that reward, that all those people out there who know where Madeleine is and who have that last piece of the puzzle, must be people of ethics and principles. Just like a couple of upstanding doctors, maybe, who, through no fault of their own, managed to mislay one of their children and got through nearly 3 million quid of other people's money not finding their daughter.