15 May 2007


Poor little Madeleine McCann should have been with her family celebrating her fourth birthday on Saturday. If you don't know - this little British girl was abducted from a holiday complex in southern Portugal some ten days ago while her parents apparently ate tapas in a restaurant about fifty yards away.
It may be politically incorrect to say it but I have been appalled by some of the hype that has surrounded the child's disappearance with "The Sun" newspaper pumping up the hysteria. At Saturday's Glasgow Celtic home match, hundreds of "Find Maddy" posters were distributed and the players all wore yellow wristbands. Why? Glasgow is a long way from The Algarve. And then David Beckham made a TV appeal and bigwigs like Richard Branson and J.K.Rowling set up a £2.5 million reward fund. It wasn't like this when little working class Ben Needham from Sheffield disappeared from the island of Kos fifteen years ago. It took a good while for the media to show much interest at all outside of his home city.

Ben is still missing. However, I hope with all my heart that wee Madeleine is found safe and well - though as the days drag on that hope is in danger of shrinking. There are too many bad, mad, greedy people in this world. Right thinking people across the globe will want Maddy back home with her family but hey, at the risk of sounding unfeeling, let's not go crazy about it! See below:-
The shrine to Madeleine in Rothley, Leicestershire.


  1. yes, l agree that tabloid hype is not at all helpful. Mass hysteria, trial by media. OK it is a sad case. having traveled with mark warner & sunsail & used their excellent childcare facities why didn't the parents use the in house clubs/creches/baby sitting? Ben Needhams mother was on R4 the other morning discussing how she coped, as you say a working class family. How things have chaged over the intervening 16 years. The trouble is more & more parents will become paranoid about letting children out anywhere unaccompaied these very children will have little or no skills in how to survice on their own as adults. lets hope an out come to the current case will be soon forth coming.

  2. Very very brave post. Totally spot on too.... it's bloody hysteria I tells ya.

    Sure, everyone would like a good outcome to the story, but I don't really have much sympathy with anyone who leaves two babies and a three year old asleep in the house while they go out and enjoy tapas.

    Well we were checking on them every half hour!!

    Tell that to the fire!!

    Tell that to the faulty carbon monoxide spewing boiler!!

    Tell it to the sun and they'll launch a campaign to apotheosize your plight.

    Is this one of those times that politicians love because they can say lots of things that don't even get a look in? You bet it is!!


  3. It's terrifying to think of our children being abducted, yet it happens all the time. I shudder each time I drop my girls at the mall (even though I almost always remain at the mall, but become incognito - and even though my girls are teenagers and always hang out in groups) and our town (okay, the city closest to us) still has a semi-hometown feel to it and people still know each other and everyone has met the mayor and police cheif and fire cheif at least once....but it's when we let our guard down that things like this happen. Like this little girl's plight. As idiotic as it was to leave the children unaccompanied, it sounds as if her parents truly had a false sense of security because of their surroundings. But I stray - it burns my bottom to see how even the media pick and choose who may be more important - because of status. Shame on them! Honestly, though, shame on this poor child's parents.

  4. Of course here in Belgium we had that awful Dutroux case a few years ago and the trial. There are some very sick people about and we should worry about our children's safety but we have to let go and trust that whatever we have told them they will put into practice when the chips are down.
    It's a terrible thing to happen.

  5. YP, I have been thinking a lot about this and Ben Needham.

    I think (from a journalist's persepective) things changed radically when Sarah Payne was abducted and her parents were constantly, constantly on the TV appealing.

    We are all now part of the 'Jerry Springer' generation.

  6. MUDDYBOOTS, ARCTIC FOX, FRIDAY'S WEB. EURODOG & MUTTERNGS & MEANDERINGS. Thanks for your wise reflections on this issue. I thought I'd be pilloried for daring to voice the unthinkable but I find that I am not alone in finding the hype rather distasteful. Where is Madeleine tonight? Let's hope she is safe and warm.

  7. Anonymous6:52 am

    No you are certainly right, If this had been different people the Sun would have been declaring them unfit parents. If in the UK a family were leaving such small children alone while they were in the pub next door and popping home every half hour the Social Services would be on their case.

    I feel very sorry for the family I feel even sorrier about Maddy, but what are we all on.

    It is awful, but this child is not the only one, and we don't make the same fuss about them all.

  8. Why is there a shrine to Madeleine? Isn't a shrine supposed to be for when someone is dead? It makes my stomach lurch in so many ways.

    I'm one of those overprotective parents who trust other responsible adults to take care of my child when I'm not around, but who can't leave her child in the car even to run in and pay for gasoline/petrol. The way I look at it, she'll have plenty of time to stretch her wings and learn to be responsible on her own. Four years old is not that time.

  9. Anonymous6:31 pm

    I've been following this story very closely. It's an appalling thing to happen.

    We can only hope and pray that she's found safe and returned to her family.

    I haven't seen the hype in the newspapers, though Mom said that it was getting ridiculous.


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