Thursday, 29 May 2008

A friend in need is a friend indeed


Globalization and multiculturalism are icons of our time. I believe a lot of British people knows the Portuguese word “arguido”. From a legal point of view an “arguido” is someone who is suspect of a crime. In another of his frequent attempts of manipulating information, McCanns' spokesman Clarence Mitchell told The Mirror that "They (the McCann) are not officially suspected of any crime.” As soon as I am the happy winner of the European lottery, the Euromilhões, I will hire Mr. Clarence Mitchell. There no best clown to entertain people, in a circus.

An “arguido” is a person who is suspect of having committed a crime, is under police investigation but wasn't yet charged. So, the McCanns are officially suspected of a crime. Another Clarence Mitchell statement, another misleading information. Nothing new. Allow me to make one more contribution to the English language, explaining a popular say, used in Portugal: “Amigos de Peniche” (Friends of Peniche).

Peniche is a small fishermen village, between Lisbon and Porto. When Napoleon and his Army invaded Portugal, and both of those cities under siege, people from Peniche promised to send food, to help the starving citizens of those cities. But they never show up. In English, there is an expression - “fair-weather friend” – that has a very similar meaning of “friends of Peniche”. Those are the kind of friends that you can't count on them when you need help, unless they can see some opportunity of a reward for that help.

But we have also another popular say, in Portuguese: “Os amigos são para as ocasiões”. In English, you will say “A friend in need is a friend indeed”. I don't know how to classify the seven (or the four?) McCann friends that refused to come to Portugal for the reconstruction of the events on May 3, 2007. Are they doing everything they can to help Police to find what happen to Madeleine McCann? Or are they doing everything they can to help Gerry and Kate McCann? I sincerely don't know. But I think I have the right to raise these questions.