This is where we are, then.
The Daily Star used the amazing technique of putting ‘Maddie’ in inverted commas the other day to describe a little girl who was found with a Roma family in Greece. The age of the child was wrong so it was never going to be Madeleine McCann, yet they said “Maddie”. You know “Maddie” in inverted commas, the way inverted commas mean “you can say anything you fucking want to inside, it doesn’t matter”.
There’s something especially despicable about newspapers exploiting a missing child to flog a few copies; there’s something even worse about it when they think they can justifiably say “Maddie” in inverted commas to mean “any missing child”. It’s as if “a Maddie” is now shorthand for a missing child. What a lame, miserable, dirty little shambles. What a disgusting, tawdry, sick joke. Perpetrated by amoral fucks to try and sell a few sleazy inky rags.
Oh, and by the way, the “Maddie” found in Ireland wasn’t “Maddie” (or even “a Maddie”). It turns out the blue eyed child of Roma parents was… the child of Roma parents. “SHOCK AS BLUE EYED GIRL FOUND WITH ROMA PARENTS”. Shock! How dare they have a fair child! They must have STOLEN it. Except… they didn’t steal the child. It was their child all along.
But this is where we are. It’s fair game to shop Roma families to the cops if the child they haven’t isn’t dark enough to satisfy our prejudices. Fair enough for newspapers to report wild speculation as fact. “Maddie” found in Ireland. Except it wasn’t Maddie. It wasn’t a missing child. It was a couple’s own child, taken from them because of racism. Go on, Daily Star. Fucking report on that and how you enable that kind of prejudice to thrive; I dare you.