McCanns deserve sympathy, but not more funding

Pictured: Madeleine McCann first went missing in a resort in Algarve. (Source: wiseguy71 via flickr.)

By George Cook

From the outset, I believe it is important to say the following. I feel great sympathy with the family of Madeline McCann and wish not to cause them any further pain but there are a number of things that need to be addressed.

The case of Madeline McCann is one that has captured the imagination of the British public for many years and many questions are yet to be answered around a number of issues. And whilst the disappearance of Madeline McCann is a terrible and heart breaking situation for any family or loved one to find themselves in, the continuation to fund the search for her seems ill conceived when a number of things are considered.

Firstly, and this is going to sound rather harsh, the brunt of the blame lies with the parents as they were the ones who left a young girl on her own in a foreign country while they ate dinner and drank wine. If a disappearance happened in this country, surely the first question one would ask would be if the child was on their own at the time of the event. So why is this case any different? It is without doubt that the kidnappers of Madeline are also clearly to blame but it is easy to convincingly argue that if the parents were with her that evening then her abduction would have been far less likely.

Secondly, in my opinion, the occupation and class of the parents plays an important role. Without sounding too much like Katie Hopkins (and not many want that, I certainly don’t), if Madeline was from a more working class background then the coverage of the disappearance in the press would be entirely different. Headlines in The Sun or the Daily Mail would roughly translate into ‘chavs leave child alone to be abducted’, but obviously using much more tenuous language. Yet, for some strange reason, because they are middle or even upper class and from a skilled occupation, Kate and Gerry McCann have received minimal criticism for their part in the events of that night. Surely the advent of our democracy and the role of free press, was to ensure equal scrutiny and treatment of all regardless of class, background or occupation?

The decision to continue to fund the search by the UK Government is, put frankly, not a valuable use of taxpayers money. With people on the streets and a crisis in the NHS, there are evidently more worthwhile uses for that money. I would have far less of an issue to continue to fund the search if this awful event happened and the parents were not to blame, but the fact is that they were and that is wrong.

I understand that Madeline’s parents for never wanting to give up. However, the UK Government should not fund the search when it is, ultimately, taxpayers money, especially given the fact Kate McCann wrote a book which sold millions of copies. The reality of this terrible situation is that those involved need to take responsibility.

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