Little Madeleine McCannI am absolutely sure that all of you know about the Madeleine McCann story, a story that touched everyones hearts and in particular the hearts of parents. The thought of having a child taken from you, is what nightmares are made from, however, in the case of little Madeleine McCann, for her parents, Kate and Gerry, the not knowing has got to be the worst. So I think what I am about to write is going to be incredibly controversial and not attract a lot of support, but I also think, secretly some people will agree with my train of thought.
However, before I start my article in full, I just want to make one thing very clear. I think what happened to Kate and Gerry McCann was the most despicable thing that could happen to a parent, nor do I think they deserved for it to happen, contrary to a lot of opinions regarding the fact Madeleine was left alone, Kate and Gerry McCann don't need any of us to remind them of this. I would also say that as a parent myself, if the same happened to my wife and I, I would never ever stop looking for my child, just as Kate and Gerry McCann have not stopped.
Having said all that, here is my dilemma. When Madeleine went missing and all the speculation that the parents where responsible for the abduction died down, money started to plough into a fund, set up to employ the best detectives the family could find, which included ex Special Forces personnel, ex Scotland Yard Detectives etc. But that was not an endless supply of money and it is important to note that the fund is not registered as a charity as they are only looking for Madeleine and not other children. This also means that when money is donated, the fund have to pay tax on the money.
This week, detectives from Scotland Yard went back over to Portugal in an attempt to interview three men, who where in the area Madeleine McCann was abducted from on the very same night, phone records showed that all three men were in contact with one another and they had been picked up on burglary charges. The Scotland Yard detectives hopped to make an arrest and gain information about the night little Madeleine McCann went missing, but to no avail.
250,000 People Reported Missing Every Year In The UKOver 250,000 people are reported missing in the UK every year, a large percentage of which are children. A very similar case to Madeleine McCann was that of little Ben Needham, who aged 21 months, was on holiday with his family in Greece, he too was abducted and this was in 1991. But there are many more cases of this nature, however we are not aware of a fraction of them, so why is little Madeleine McCann's case more important than any of the thousands of other children abducted.
Of course to Kate and Gerry, Madeleine is number one priority and I wouldn't expect it to be any other way, but why after almost 7 years are the press and police still dedicating so much air time and resources to the case. We don't see or read about police from Scotland Yard investigating Ben Needham's case and it is not because his mother can't be bothered looking for him or has given up looking for him, because I am sure that is not the case. And why was so much money donated to Kate and Gerry McCann over the years and not the other parents of abducted children.
Again, regards to funding, lots of children that have been abducted have websites or Social Networking sites setup in their name, hopeful of resolution, but none have attracted the financial backing or publicity of Little Madeleine McCann.
The Controversial PartSo here is the controversial part of the article. The questions I have highlighted in this article, are questions that I have asked friends and family when we have been sat taking and none of them have the answers. I am sure as you read this article you will come to your own conclusions as to why Madeleine McCann's case has been granted so much support from the press and police, but here is mine.
I believe, that Kate and Gerry McCann have received so much help from people and bodies in very high places due to their social standing. Gerry McCann was a Brain Surgeon of incredibly high standing and in very high regard within the profession, equally, Kate was a GP. Certainly in the UK this makes them part of the upper class in society. Ben Needham on the other hand, his family had no such standing.
ConclusionOf course money talks, but I am not suggesting that in this scenario, I think it has more to do with social status than money. Don't get me wrong, if this was my child, I would use anything at all I had that would help me find them and I am not saying for a single second that I think Kate or Gerry McCann are in the wrong here. My concern is more aimed at the media and police, neither bodies normally spend more than a month on a case or story after is has run it's course. After public interest dies, so to does the story or police presence.
For the parents and families of all the other children that have been abducted or gone missing not deserve exactly the same media coverage that the McCann's have experienced. After all, the longer the case is plastered all over the press and media, the higher the chance of a child being found, the more awareness there is for every case the better. I guess all I am trying to say is that I absolutely agree with all the media exposure the McCann's have received thus far, but so should all the other parents receive the same, no one child is more important than the next in these circumstance, at least not from a media perspective.
I wish with all my heart that I had the expertise to find Madeleine McCann and bring her back home, as I wish I could do for every family suffering from the same devastating loss. I look at Kate and Gerry McCann, and they look empty, I think it is only for their other children and the hope of finding Madeleine, that they can carry on. My own 9 year old daughter prays for Madeleine every single night without fail, every time she sees her picture in the press she gets excited thinking that she has been found and is back home with her Mummy and Daddy. I also have a son aged 11, the same age Madeleine will be this year, I say will because I too pray that she is alive and well and will one day be reunited with her parents. I just wish it was a slightly more level playing field.