Saturday, May 19, 2007


If you're easily offended - look away now. I am really fed up with hearing about Madeleine McCann. You know - the little girl who was abducted in Portugal recently. Before I get my account deleted, let me say - I am not pro-abduction. I am fed up with being told that I should help find this child.

I've now had six emails sent to me with photos of Madeleine on and details about her distinctive eye colouration so I can help look out for her. Despite the fact that she was abducted (or may have wandered off on her own and got into trouble) in the Algarve in southern Portugal, I am expected to hunt for her in North-East London...? Most parents and child-carers around here would have me arrested if I started trying to examine their children's eyes.

I am also expected to leave messages of support for her parents. I'm expected to pray for her safe return. I'm supposed to download and print out posters of her and post them up. And I'm being asked to contribute to a fund which will pay for the ongoing search and "bringing her abductors to justice" (although who exactly is going to decide who those abductors are and how to unload the power of all that money onto them remains to be seen).

And that's just me - pity John Terry, the Chelsea and England captain, who has had to make speeches on TV appealing for information, regardless of the fact that the McCann's are Everton fans (of course the media insist that Madeleine herself is both a Christian and an Everton fan without making the point that she's way too young to have those kinds of opinions, if she is found alive she may well grow up to be an atheist who doesn't like football). I'd like to know whether any crime EVER has been solved as a direct result of showing a brief video before kick-off in a football match? I strongly doubt it, and in this case clearly they should be showing it before football matches in Portugal, if anywhere.

If you have five minutes of your life to spare and want to do some real good in the world, go visit Cru-blog's favourite charity Wateraid - they have tons of volunteering positions open and need all sorts of help and of course fund-raising. And the thing about buildng clean water pipelines in the third world is: it DOES work, you WILL save lives.


Lina said...

My. God. You're "fed up with hearing about Madeleine McCann?
You're expected to leave messages of support? Well, no one is expecting you to. It might be nice, but you don't have to (I haven't, so don't think I'm judging).
You're expected to pray for her safe return? Well, again no one is expecting you to. But even if you do send out the odd positive vibe, it's hardly going to kill you (if you believe in positive vibes)
You're supposed to download posters? Well, no, again, no one is expecting you to. It's an idea to help.
You're being asked to contribute to the fund. So what? You never been asked to contribute towards anything?!
I just hope no one directly involves stumbles across this blog and sees this complete insensitivity. I'm not saying the media aren't going overboard with this. But Jesus, this post is awful to read.
Guess I should have just 'looked away now'.


It is probably too late for Madeleine McCann. Stats say that if a child is missing for as long as Madeleine has, then she must be presumed dead. I hope not, but that is reality.

It is against the law in the UK to leave a child under 12 alone in the house. The NSPCC says that small babies and toddlers should not be alone even for a few minutes.

If council house tenants had left their 3 small children alone for 30 minutes, the Police and Social services would have been alerted and the parents would be reprimanded or even charged with neglect. But we all make mistakes from time to time and the McCanns must live with theirs for the rest of their lives.

The Portuguese Police ignored Madeleine McCann for 24 hours, probably because it was a low crime zone. This lax attitude was probably recognised by a potential paedophile who targeted the area.

Now is the time for families to stop paedophiles stalking or harassing them. Now is the time for the public to question lone strangers taking photographs of other people’s children at the beach. Some of these photos finish up on perverts’ websites who claim them as their own.

I have been pestered on holiday. I had my 2 year old safely strapped in the buggy, mainly because little legs cannot walk very far. This middle-aged man persisted, kept telling me that my baby was too big to be riding around in a buggy. This happened in public places frequented by tourists and there seemed to be no figures of authority to turn to. He may have been joking, but his demeanour told me otherwise.

Concerned parent

Stan said...

Know what you mean, Cruella - have been too candy-assed to say it myself.

It's all getting like those dumb emails where if you send it to ten of your friends, then Bill Gates will going to buy everyone in Africa viagra.

Lina : Read the rest of the blog - Cru I would rate as being "hypersensitive" rather than "insensitive".

And she's far from being the only one who is nauseated by this out-of-control saccharine bandwagon. There's a flesh-and-blood girl out there and that's tragic - but this is not helping

Lina said...

Stan - I am a regular reader, I just rarely comment. I was shocked at this post, and responded accordingly. I'm not here trolling.

Cruella said...

Lina - now I'm shocked. You read my whole post and you didn't go volunteer your time helping Wateraid? I mean these guys are saving lives at a rate of several a minute. Your lack of support is literally killing people. My lack of support is 99.9999% likely to not affect Madeleine McCann at all.

The truth is no-one who is asking me to "support Madeleine's cause" is genuinely concerned about the girl. They are just trying to grab some media attention by leaping aboard the band-wagon. In some ways I'm glad you're upset, it shows how easily manipulated the public are by cases like this. Your concern for Madeleine is saving a lot less lives than my concern for the people Wateraid is helping is.

Lina said...

??? At which point did I say I didn't support that charity?? You have no idea what charities I support! Good Lord, what a thing to say.
As I said, I've not left a message of support, I've not even been on the site. I do agree that there is too much being said by the media.
Still stand by what I said though about this post being awful.
Look, I feel like I'm trolling your site now, so I'm just going to leave it here, ok? I'm not getting into some comment war that's going to piss us both off.

Cruella said...

Well I'm not quite sure what you're offended by - my whole point is that the media are going overboard, which you actually agree with - from what you've said earlier. But you think it's insensitive to mention it? I think we can and indeed should live in a society where we can and do criticise the media. Actually I think the media is exploiting this little girl because it makes a good story and sells papers.

Now I wanted to respond to what BLOGGING-CHAMP had to say. Very interesting. I tend to be of the opinion that people are over-cautious with their own children. However there is no denying that the McCann's left three tiny children unsupervised for a whole evening. That's actually pretty irresponsible in my book. And I've read that the hotel they were in had a creche they could have used.

Now I tend to think that paedophiles are fewer and farther between than people think. One of the papers recently published a list of Britain's worst paedophiles and several of them were actually only a year or two older than their victims, which I think makes them sex offenders rather than paedophiles. And of course we don't yet know what happened to Madeleine, everyone seems to be jumping to this conclusion.

The other thing that gets me is that children are actually more at risk of sexual abuse from saomeone within their own family than from a random stranger. Of course if you see someone taking dodgy photos of small kids you should say something, but by the same token I think we need to get away from the thou-shalt-not-interfere-with-families creed. I advocate an annual survey of families.

Iceman said...

I thought it was just the US media who wasted huge amounts of time on one missing girl or woman and ignored the real problems facing the world. More Americans are familiar with Laci Peterson or Natalee Holloway than with global warming or with the real situation in Iraq.

I guess the British media isn't much better.

Cruella said...

Hey! How are you?

It's just as bad here. The latest headline was "Support Grows For Maddie" - as though without the input of The Sun newspaper, everyone would have been pro-abduction!

Of course the biggest one we had here was the Diana thing. That really got out of hand.

Kev said...

It is against the law in the UK to leave a child under 12 alone in the house.

There is no English law which stipulates the age at which children can be left. It is discretionary. Age 12 is an NSPCC guideline.

Kev said...

By the way (got trigger happy with the publish button), I agree with you, Cruella.

This is not actually about the little girl in question, it is about whipping up public emotion. People in this country can't really do anything about her case, but they could usefully be supporting other projects. To say so is not insensitive. It is realistic.