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I don’t know if it is just me but on the issue of Maddie McCann I am disturbed by the mass hysteria and complete blanket coverage. Obviously as a parent I can quite see that the parents of the little girl will do everything and exploit any conceivable situation in order to find and expedite the safe return of their child. It is not their position of which I am critical or at least questioning, it is that of our society at large.

There seems something wrong, something very false about all the posters and memorial services, as if it’s a collective confessional and everyone must make themselves a part of the charade or risk being branded part of the problem. I can’t help but think that this is something akin to an attempt to wash off the guilt of a system that demonises older children and exploits and sexualises younger ones. After all in the midst of the memorial services, internet chain mails, local paper connection stories there is no debate taking place, no questioning, a singular lack of introspection. It is as if this is all lip service, the Catholic confession that gives absolution in return for hollow promises without any genuine need to change.

Under normal circumstances I believe there would have been a moderate amount of news discussion about a child going missing, some recriminations at the parents of the child being allegedly in a restaurant down the road when it happened and after a few days there would have been the presumption that she was dead. Naturally one would not expect parents to have to believe this until it was confirmed unequivocally, I cannot imagine any parent is likely to give up hope until the absolute last and that is why so many hang on to the last shreds of hope when there appears really to be nothing left, kids who haven’t been seen in 20 years that sort of thing. There are many in this situation who whilst they would not wish to find out their child may be dead would welcome some news one way or another in order to achieve some kind of closure, how can you mourn one of the most important people in your life when you don’t know if they may one day be coming home?

This case differs in many ways. Firstly the depth and breadth of coverage has been something to behold it has at times been utterly pervasive, bordering on the hysterical. At a time when soldiers are being killed in both Afghanistan and Iraq where flood waters are causing billions of £s worth of damage to some major cities across the UK the lead story has often remained that the girl is still missing and Mr X is being questioned or that there has been a sighting in Country Y. A £1.5 million reward has been offered, small wonder then that there have been alleged sightings across Europe. On the internet there are official websites, unofficial websites, blog commentaries and daily columns of nothing in particular on the sites of every tabloid and TV channel.

The parents have had audiences with major politicians and religious leaders including the Pope. What anyone expected the Pope to be able to do about this Lord alone knows (I use that phrase advisedly!) but it did keep the headlines and column inches ticking. I can’t help but think that the only ones who really gain from this is the media itself. Such news is soft work, it thrives on speculation and the hope of the desperate and stories and facts require little if any substantiation.

Wristbands have been made and sold (I confess I genuinely don’t know what the money has gone towards). They have even had the entire English Premier League football players coming out with T-shirts on at the start of the first game of the season.

I can never remember this sort of concerted publicity campaign for anything and certainly it eclipses every other comparable scenario. I can’t help but wonder what other parents of lost or deceased children must be feeling, combined with the obvious hope of a happy end to the story I’m sure must be an element of frustration and anger that such attention was not afforded their family in its hour of need.

Recently I have seen posters of bunny girls and high street honeys put up at the same time as sex attacks were taking place, where people are being shot more regularly because violence is becoming an accepted part of life and its glorification by some and acquiesence by others allows this all to continue.

I would not be so bold as to suggest that the current state of this country’s oppressed majority is entirely a product of a concerted effort of the status quo but they have the option to do nothing about it knowing that the internal turmoil, fear and violence is enough to keep the downtrodden where they are. Our detached, individualist, exploitative world devoid of cohesion, unity, responsibility comes at a price, and as more and more people are forced to pay it there has to come a time when it is just too expensive. As long as there is no realisation of this fact that situation will only perpetuate and we will keep having to look for and ultimately bury our children and the only real hope in life is that they continue to be someone else’s.

Song Of The Day ~ Smashing Pumpkins – Tonight, Tonight

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