I read this news item today with an open mouth:
A mother who scolded her tantrum-throwing daughter in a shop was outraged to be visited at home by police who told her it was inappropriate to reprimand the girl in the light of Madeleine McCann's disappearance.
Ruth Ball was at home when police officers knocked at her door and and ticked her off about the way she had chastised four-year-old Leigha.
The 24-year-old was told that the method she had used to reprimand Leigha was "inappropriate" in the light of Madeleine's disappearance from her family's holiday apartment in Portugal.
Ms Ball was at a newsagent in Dunstable, Bedfordshire, when Leigha started screaming after being refused sweets.
She swept her daughter out of the shop and put her in the car to calm down, standing a couple of feet away with her three-year-old son Jack.
A few minutes later she got into the car and drove the family home, thinking no more of it.
The following day a policeman visited her at her home in Luton to tell her off.
The officer said it was inadvisable to shout at her daughter and shut her in the car after what happened to missing Madeleine.
The mother has quite rightly defended herself and said
"I am trying to raise two decent human beings, even though I have been advised by the police to let them run riot, turn into thugs and help keep the prison population going when they're older.
"Kids learn young. If they learn now that kicking, hitting and screaming gets what they want, what are they going to do when they're adults?"
I can't believe that someone reported this woman to the Police, and secondly, the Police thought it appropriate to go round to her house and tell her off for discipling her child. And I'm sorry but WHAT THE FUCK has it to do with Madeleine McCann? "Don't tell your child off in case she gets abducted? Then you'll feel really bad, y'know??" Erm sorry but what is the connection?
Ruth had not left her child alone in an unlocked hotel room while she swanned off for Tapas and vino. Ruth was simply scolding a child who was chucking a fit when she was refused sweets.
I can't believe the McCann bandwagon is still rolling on. Cinema adverts about her disappearance have been pulled after complaints they scared small kids, and complaints that people going to the flicks didn't want to have to sit thru more Madeleine footage. Gerry McCann is now trawling the corridors of power in Washington as a self-appointed ambassador for missing kids, and also to "highlight the plight of his missing daughter".
They've seen the Pope, they've hogged national TV, they've been on talk shows and news interviews, every breath of their lives is reported in an attempt to keep their daughter's abduction in the headlines. "Cuddle cat farts!" "Gerry picks his nose!" what next??
We're all Madeleine-d out for goodness sake. And now we can't tell our kids off, "because of Madeleine".
I'm sorry but my sympathies ended when I found out they'd left three very young kids alone in a hotel room. And despite their good jobs and obvious wealth, they preferred to leave them unattended rather than pay a tenner for a babysitter. "Oh but we checked on them every 30 minutes" is not a good enough excuse in my book. It only takes a few seconds for a child to fall and injure themselves, climb out a window, eat or drink something dangerous, choke on something. It matters not one iota that they checked on them regularly or not. They should NOT have been left alone in the first place.