Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Kate McCann, I've got news for you: The Langoliers are not coming!


"The Langoliers," was a short story by Stephen King in which the eponymous "Langoliers," gobbled up the past. They were like huge, bouncing balloons that opened up and made holes in the landscape that had been the past.

I sometimes wonder if you think those Langoliers exist, Kate McCann, because you seem to forget that the past not only exists in people's memories, but it also nowadays exists on this wonderful internet. It was rather different in the days before such technology not only made instant communication from far-flung parts of the world possible, but kept a record of it too. YouTube, Kate, YouTube. Newspaper archives. Portuguese people to translate police files and upload them. These all hold records of what you have said in the past, in the four years since your daughter disappeared. And the Langoliers have not gobbled it all up.

Oh how dreadful when people throw one's words back in one's face! And oh how utterly awful when those words cannot be taken back or denied.

You want a "for instance"? Well, for instance, how about the following from an extract in The Sun from your about to be published book? It's that much-reported incident where Madeleine apparently asked you why you hadn't come when she was crying.

At breakfast time on the Thursday, Madeleine had a question for us. "Why didn't you come when Sean and I cried last night?"
Now, because of this wonderful internet, I can call up all sorts of things, which have not been gobbled up by those very unhelpful Langoliers (where are they when you need them?)

Well, would you have a look at this? From the police files. Here is what Kate and Gerry McCann said on May 4th, 2007, the day after Madeleine disappeared.

Witness statement of Gerald Patrick McCann, on the 4th of May 2007, at 11.15 a.m.

On the morning of May 3rd, MADELEINE asked her father, GERALD, why he had not come into her bedroom when the twins were crying. The deponent had heard nothing and therefore had not gone into the room, yet he thought his daughter’s comment was strange, even because it was the first time that she made it.

Witness statement of Kate Marie Healy, on the 4th of May 2007, at 2.20 p.m.

She reports only one episode where, on the morning of Thursday the 3rd, Madeleine asked the witness why she had not come to look in the bedroom when the twins were crying. The witness states that she had heard nothing and had therefore not gone into the bedroom, nevertheless she found her daughter’s comment strange because it was the first time she had made it.

(Note: No time specified!)

And here is what Gerry said on May 10th 2007. The details had changed!

Witness statement of Gerald Patrick McCann, on the 10th of May 2007, at 3.20 p.m.

On the day that MADELEINE disappeared, Thursday, 3 May 2007, they all woke up at the same time, between 07H30 and 08H00. When they were having breakfast, MADELEINE addressed her mother and asked her "why didn't you come last night when SEAN and I were crying?" That he thought this comment very strange given that MADELEINE had never spoken like this and, the night before, they had maintained the same system of checking on the children, not having detected anything abnormal. When he questioned her about the comment, she left without any explanation.

(Note: There is now a specified time, but the bedroom isn't mentioned!)

Again from today's copy of The Sun:

"We were puzzled. Did she mean when they were having their bath? we asked her. Or just after they'd gone to bed?
...Gerry and I were disconcerted. Could Madeleine and Sean have woken up while we were at dinner?"

Now, on May 4th 2007, both Gerry and Kate reported that Madeleine had asked why they hadn't come to her bedroom. Now, in this book, Kate is telling us that they asked Madeleine if the crying had been when she and Sean were having a bath. Not what was said on May 4th 2007!

I'll return to addressing you directly again, Mrs Kate. The Langoliers are not coming. All your statements are recorded and archived on this amazing World Wide Web and can be called up in an instant. I really think you should have done a bit more research for this book, particularly with regard to your own well-documented utterances. This is the kind of thing a friend should have told you and I believe your friend Fiona Payne helped jog your memory about events. Pity her memory is as bad as yours or maybe she would have pointed out the glaring errors of recall.

Some people are actually calling these errors lies, Mrs Kate, but I think you got a bit mixed up. I reckon you thought this book was going into the 'Fiction,' section and you totally forgot that the Langoliers were not coming.

In the words of a lovely older lady I know, who comes from 'oop north, "It's all me eye and Peggy Martin."

That book of yours, Mrs Kate, from what I read the other day to the lovely lady who is almost blind, "It's all me eye and Peggy Martin."

And for those who are not from 'oop north and don't know anyone from way up there, a quick translation.

It's pure fantasy!