Friday 14 March 2008

The moral dilemma of mother rabbits

The mother rabbits

A number of stories of children meeting misfortunes from families that make one feel smugly decent are causing me a bit of disquiet.

Between situations of carelessness to the delusions of paradise in Goa – an English "family" that consisted of a mother, 43, her 9 children and her boyfriend had gone on a six month tour of India.

Part way through the holiday she left her 15-year old daughter in the care of a “guardian” who is a tour guide in Goa as she went on a month long trip with some of the younger kids.

This tour guide happened to be a 25-year old and it now transpires the said tour guide was the 15 year old’s boyfriend.

Now fighting a last fight

The mother is now fighting a battle to get to truth of how her daughter who was first presumed drowned was then after clamour for a second post-mortem found to have been drugged, sexually assaulted and possibly left for dead.

One man has been charged with rape, not murder and two others detained as the story unfolds into one of neglect and irresponsibility on the part of the mother whose children come from 5 different men and an underbelly of crime, murder and drugs in Goa.

In Goa, it appears the police do nothing to properly investigate crime or prefer not to be bothered with crimes against foreigners who probably should be anywhere else but Goa.

Alternative lifestyles, unspeakable dangers

For whatever trendy and fancy reasons that lead a mother to herd her kids round India for 6 months when ideally they should be homed somewhere in some stable setting attending school and away from dangers, one is saddened by the death of the child and if she had attended to motherhood with the vigour that she now exercises to find out who killed her daughter we might have a different story.

I cannot say Fiona MacKeown has been a good mother to Scarlett Keeling; it is such a sorry tale from a woman who has lived a life dotted with circumstances she eventually allowed her daughter to succumb to.

Missing and found in a drawer

Back home, in England, a 9-year old girl who had gone missing for 24 days was found in a drawer under a bed, alive and well. Her mother, aged 32, has 7 children sired by 5 different men, 4 of the children including the girl live with the mother and her partner of 22 – Extended family profile.

Apparently, the girl was distressed and wanted to run away from home, at least her grandparents believed she was unhappy at home along with a few other people.

Her mother and step-father however disagree saying that the girl was happy and had never been physically abused; the girl’s natural father who inadvertently is unemployed believes that girl had no problem with her step-father.

I was quite bemused when the police in their investigations [timeline] decided to focus on the extended family of the mother and all her liaisons because this has now resulted in rescuing the girl from premises of the uncle of her step-father.

Although the girl has been briefly reunited with her mother, the authorities have exercised some discretion in putting the girl into care rather than sending her back to the “loving” comfort of her family.

A social problem and moral dilemma

What these two events exposed could well be the everyday lives of people that many of us would never encounter. Women to give birth to litters of children but have inadequate means to give the children stable functional homes.

Men who hop from bed to bed sowing wild oats and producing children they are usually completely detached from till something serious happens, if they ever can be found.

One wonders if there is a moral debate to be had about these events and what the social consequences of these developments are.

For now, I would keep my counsel; it does not make me any less perturbed.

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