Maddie Fatigue

Actually, to be more accurate, it’s more ‘McCann fatigue’. Heartless this may sound, but I am truly sick of the sight of both Kate and Gerry McCann. Today came news that no less a person than the Prime Minister is personally intervening and ordering the police to reopen the investigation into Madeleine’s disappearance.

The intervention came after Kate and Gerry McCann made an impassioned appeal for the PM to help them revive the search for their daughter.

The girl vanished in Portugal in 2007 shortly before her fourth birthday.

The Metropolitan Police are to now “bring their expertise” to the search for Madeleine after a personal request from the Prime Minister.

“There has been a huge amount of public interest in this case since it began, Madeleine McCann has been missing for a long time, there is the international dimension,” Mr Cameron’s official spokesman said.

“The Prime Minister has been clear that he wants to do everything he can to support the family.”

The part highlighted in bold is apparently what makes the case ‘exceptional’ enough to merit the country’s leader personally lending a powerful hand. One can only imagine what the family of Ben Needham, who vanished without trace in 1991 must feel, as he too has been missing for a very long time, went missing overseas, and at the time there was considerable public interest in his disappearance too. Yet they received no response whatsoever from the Prime Minister then or now, as this BBC article shows.

100000 children go missing in the UK every year. Yet only a fraction ever receive attention from the media, and certainly none have had the Prime Minister intervening to try and ensure they are safely found. Why is Madeleine McCann different? Why, instead of throwing so much effort into helping one couple, does David Cameron not try and do something which will improve the chances of children who disappear in the future of being discovered alive? This is what annoys me so much about this case. We have seen several cases where the parents of children who have gone missing or been murdered who have led campaigns to try and stop it happening to other children. Look at Sara Payne, who after her daughter Sarah was brutally murdered, went on to fight for ‘Sarah’s Law’: a law that would inform parents about any paedophiles that were living in their neighbourhood.

The McCanns have done no such thing. To the contrary, they have literally used their daughter’s disappearance to their own benefit – using money donated by generous, kind hearted people to help find their daughter to pay their mortgage instead,  cashing in further by writing a book (what can Kate McCann possibly have to tell us that she hasn’t told us several hundred times over the past four years?) I no longer have the slightest sliver of sympathy for them. I do however, feel desperately sorry for poor little Madeleine, who is probably long since dead, who had the deep misfortune of having parents so self-absorbed they were quite happy to leave her and her siblings alone in a flat in a foreign country while they went out and had a good time.

The tragedy of the Madeleine McCann case is that it reaffirms what many of us have long believed in regards to missing children: help, attention and concern will only come if the child in question is lucky enough to be cute, white and from an upper-middle class family.