I watched the news yesterday and listened to Daniel’s story.He was four and he was betrayed by those who were supposed to keep him safe.
I’ve cried lots because one one saved him. No one noticed a little body weighing just over a stone, a starving child rooting through bins at school and stealing food.
What I found most disturbing was not the horrific excuse of a mother and step father who abused him. It was the fact no one did anything. These people are the monsters in our dreams, the nightmares we know as children. As adults we know they are real but they are not you and me – usually.
Daniel went to school, lived in a street. He was present in our world, alone, but here in our streets. Teachers saw him, mums and dads at the school gate, neighbours, acquaintances.
Last night the family next door had a blazing row and their little girl was screaming and calling ” mamma!” I couldn’t sleep and it got louder and more aggressive. They are an Eastern European family so I did not understand what they were saying – perhaps that’s an excuse.
But shame on me for not having the courage to call the police. Shame on us all for letting Daniel down. I know it may have made no difference but just may be if a neighbour had made a call things would have been better for this tiny little boy
We shut our doors every day, lock ourselves in our little boxes and everyday a little more community is lost. We are a little further from everyone and the human condition. Veneered by a virtual world of blogs and tweets and updates.
The irony of me writing this has not escaped me but in all honesty I don’t know what else to do. Quite simply, if Arthur needed someone to make that call for him, I would give my life to make it happen and this is what I will try to remember.
I am so sorry Daniel.