If you search really hard and turn to about page 43 of the Daily Mail today you’ll see, somewhere in between an ad for pensioners’ nylon slacks and a Catherine Cookson DVD voucher, that a little girl has been missing for nine days.
But where are the giant colour photos of her looking angelic in a school uniform splashed over the front pages I hear you cry? Where are the offers of planes, trains, automobiles and helicopters from fairy godfather businessmen? Where are the audiences with the pope and words of public comfort from famouses such as Lorraine ‘ach, it’s terrible, the poor wee thing’ Kelly?
Actually they’re not coming at all. Why? Because little nine-year-old Shannon Matthews doesn’t have a photogenic GP for a mother who wears Whistles tops and has butter coloured £150 highlights. She didn’t run away from an exclusive holiday resort filled with merlot drinking parents who’ll all give eloquent quotes to journalists. She doesn’t look like a delicate little angel. Instead she wears her hair in a Dagenham pineapple, comes from a dodgy council estate in Dewsbury and her rough looking mum pretty much defines the word chav. So her cares what happens to her?
Children, a word of warning here which could save your life. When going missing, for God’s sake, be sensible and make damn sure you and your parents look like you’ve walked straight out of a Boden catalogue shoot.