0:02  |  11 December 11
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Scarlett Keeling - irresponsible parenting

Scarlett Keeling’s death is surely a sign of a deeper malaise of British parenting and British womanhood.

Would any responsible mother leave her pretty 15 year old daughter in the care of a tourist guide she had only known for a fortnight, knowing that they were already having a physical relationship, and then go off with her boyfriend and her differently-fathered children to another part of India?

[Fiona McKeown seems by all accounts to be a bit of a slapper and seems to have passed on these unfortunate attributes of modern British womanhood to her hapless daughter.]

The second post mortem on Scarlett Keeling revealed she had been raped and murdered.

In a more dignified time, any mother of such breathtaking negligence would have had the decency to retire from the public eye and repent, but not Fiona MacKeown, to whom such concepts are apparently alien. She is now intent on blaming Goan police for their corruption and incompetence, prompting Goan politicians to make the inevitable point any parent worth his or her salt would make.

“How could you -

(a) knowingly allow your daughter to have underaged sex with a man you have only known for less than a fortnight?

(b) leave your 15 year old in the care of man you have only known for a fortnight, whom you already know is having illegal sex with your daughter?

(c) leave her to visit another part of India with your boyfriend and your brood of differently-fathered children?”

“If you could, then you are not a responsible parent. If you are not a responsible parent then you must also have contributed to the death of your daughter through your negligence.”

“That being so, you should just shut up and go away. Showing incompetence and corruption on the part of Goan police will not bring her back and will make you vulnerable to accusations of negligent parenting from which you will not escape unscathed. It is well-known that men in Goa and other hedonistic hotspots of the world think British female tourists are slappers and slags and up for it after a few drinks. If you are not aware of this fact, you should have been and this is yet further evidence of your ignorance and negligence.”

The truth about 'Good Life' of murdered teenager Scarlett Keeling
By TOM RAWSTORNE of the Daily Mail

Vote: Should Fiona McKeown be complaining about police incompetence and corruption when her negligent parenting was a contributory cause of her daughter’s death?

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Members Comments

Andromeda 3-Apr-2008 12:9
Estivboy’s pointing out that there are different ages of consent in different countries is interesting, but in fact irrelevant to this debate.

Is he in fact suggesting that we do away with the age of consent and allow adults to have sex with children legally at ANY age? Is that not a Charter for Paedophiles?

I am well aware of what has been said about Goan police methods in travel guides. It would not surprise me that Goan drugdealers are in cahoots with the police. A common practice is to sell drugs to Western tourists and then shopping them to the police. It would not surprise me that there are gangs of Goan men who give drugs to naïve female tourists and then gang-rape them when they become intoxicated and vulnerable.

That Fiona McKeown embarked on a trip to Goa without reading the Lonely Planet Guide and appears not to have been aware that most tourists in most countries get targeted by criminals is in my eyes unbelievably stupid, particularly when travelling with young children and a sexually active 15 year old who already indulges in adult activities such as recreational sex and drugs.

Estivboy also raises an important point about danger, both moral and physical. As far as physical dangers are concerned, it would be unfair to hold any parent responsible for all physical dangers their child might suffer. You cannot protect them forever from the most common killer of all – the road traffic accident. You teach them how to cross the road safely and hope for the best. In the same way, you teach them how to conduct themselves in society where laws and rules exist, where there are consequences to one’s actions.

Scarlett Keeling was given no guidance by her mother who was herself in need of guidance.

It does not appear to me that Fiona McKeown is the only mother in this country in need of guidance. It seems to me that most people who do in fact know better – for example “family values” campaigners such as Victoria Gillick and Lynette Burrows whom I have approached on this issue – do not have the courage of their convictions.

For all their vaunted family values which they seek to promote, they are too afraid to become involved in what is analogously the 21st century version of the Ides of March (with Female Promiscuity that makes male promiscuity possible and the breakup of families inevitable, standing in for Julius Ceasar).

I would be the first to agree with “Estivboy” that poor and different people do not automatically make bad parents. However, those who are obviously bad parents, people like Fiona McKeown, for example, should be denounced even if doing so makes us seem vindictive and vengeful.

I hope I am not for one suggesting that the killers of Scarlett should “get away with it” but merely making the point that if I were Fiona McKeown, I would be too ashamed to complain. It is a bit like leaving my front door open, going away for the weekend, and coming back to find myself burgled. Should I be complaining of police incompetence when I was practically the agent provocateur?
estivboy 25-Mar-2008 19:4
There is one fact in this story and that is the fact that a young girl was murdered, all others are conjecture masquerading as ‘fact’ as this has not gone to court yet.

I’d like to comment on the themes of outrage being discussed in this debate.

I stated in the other debate about Scarlett that all the sexual morals being discussed are subjective, the age of consent in other countries is lower than ours, for instance; Argentina – 15, Canada – 14, Colombia - male 14, female 12, Hungary – 14, Peru - male 14, female 12. As for the Goan politician well, Indians force their children into marriages and commit dowry murders. Their age of consent is 18 but that seems to not apply if the child is married. So who is more ‘moral’ Canada or India?

In defence of Fiona McKeown I’ve been to India a number of times, including Goa. I love India, there’s no place quite like it. Unfortunately though there is corruption in the police force, it’s going to happen when you pay somebody a few pounds a day and it is VERY common for the Goan police to try extract a bribe for say smoking a joint. Also, due to my own experiences in reporting a theft against me, if you say you are having difficulties with the Indian Police I may just give you the benefit of the doubt.

I read the piece by the Daily Mail and well, typical Daily Mail stuff. I would like to draw your attention to some points though. Everybody speaks of the family in positive terms yet the article feels it’s important to point out that they are poor and untidy. What a crime. Mostly the Mail aligns it’s ‘moral’ compass on the family for not being middle class i.e., implying that it’s ‘not normal’. What a crime again. If I want a lesson on ‘morals’ I won’t go to the Mail. In the 1980’s the Mail was pro immigration because they reflected the stated assumption that asylum seekers were ‘good’ – because they were fleeing the former soviet countries in the old Soviet Bloc. These changing views are what’s known in the media as the ‘common sense of the era’. All newspapers do it, The Guardian, Telegraph, Times, Independent etc. It allows them to reflect differing views of society back at you to sell you papers.
Scarlett’s mothers crime is that she displayed an irrational judgement in leaving her daughter. What do we know about the tour guide, what mother would willingly do this if she had doubts. To make the connection that she is solely responsible for the death is reductionism and very lazy thinking. If you let your child walk to school and they were killed by a bus is it your fault? No of course not it’s the driver or the child’s fault and that applies to Scarlett. The reason she is dead is the fault of the person who killed her.

A lot of the negative views expressed here are driven by a moral outrage, outrage at this family not conforming to our world view and for that we want revenge and retribution, so hey lets prosecute her. Is that what we want? If so we should be ashamed of ourselves. If you’ve had opportunities that others were not fortunate enough to have, you’re lucky. Poor and ‘different’ people do not automatically make bad parents.

On a final note it is Andromeda’s views that have really shocked me, where she says. “As for access to justice, I tended to be of the view that it was no great loss to society for drug-addicted prostitutes to lose their lives to the occasional murderous punter” Really! How can we possibly know what circumstances lead woman into those positions. Yet Andromeda thinks that to compound their already miserable lives a suitable punishment for them for failing to succeed in an inadequate and unequal society is death, a violent and terrifying death. I have to say that is one of the most repugnant views I have read for a long time and she should be ashamed of herself. Is her heart really that cold!
Andromeda 13-Mar-2008 7:37
I am certainly not suggesting that the killers of Scarlett Keeling should not be brought to justice!

What I was saying is that IF I WERE her mother, I would be more inclined to leave it because

(a) even if they real culprits could be found I would end up being further traumatised attending long-drawn out court hearings which would not bring her back

(b) going on about police corruption and incompetence would only get Goan backs up

(c)it is possible the Goan police were trying to protect her feelings by saying her daughter died of a "mere" drug overdose rather than through being drugged, raped and killed (which would be infinitely more upsetting to any parent, I imagine).

As for access to justice, I tended to be of the view that it was no great loss to society for drug-addicted prostitutes to lose their lives to the occasional murderous punter, but it was reassuring that he was brought to justice. I would have favoured a more proportionate (ie death) penalty though.

I hope I am making myself clear that I am merely expressing what I would do and why IF I WERE Fiona McKeown, not saying that her daughter's killers should not be brought to justice!
jeffreymarshall 13-Mar-2008 2:50
I cannot see any connection between the widespread contempt in which 'slags' & 'slappers' are supposed to be held & the efficiency - or otherwise - of the Goan police. True, if mum hadn't gone off & left teenage daughter unattended, daughter would probably still be alive. However the question of whether or not one deserves effective protection from the law should not depend on whether or not one is perceived to be morally virtuous. Recently, after all, there has been much condemnation of the activities of the serial killer, Steve Wright. But why should anyone really care? His victims were only prostitutes, or 'slags' & 'slappers' of a professional kind. Wright himself perhaps saw such women as disposable for just this reason. A further analogy might be that if one dare offend against the officially-sanctioned morality of this country – that of political correctness – one can be denied goods & services, & possibly justice as well. The elderly white female patient in hospital, for example, who dislikes the cursory treatment she receives at the hands of a black nurse, may find herself described as a ‘racist’ & ends up on a trolley in the hospital corridor instead of in a bed. Or maybe if you are a persistent victim of black muggers, & you decide to complain - angrily & impulsively - to a representative of Sir Ian Blair’s Police Service about the ‘niggers’ who make your life a misery, you might find yourself receiving not quite the best service they can provide. Of course, it would always be unwise to speak in these sort of terms. Nevertheless, I would suggest that a ‘racist’ would find it as hard to obtain proper justice in our country as tattooed British working-class ‘slags’ & ‘slappers’ might in more traditionally-constituted parts of the world.
Andromeda 12-Mar-2008 17:29
I see that that a number of commentators have objected to my attitude of how negligent mothers of teenaged sluts should comport themselves abroad when their daughters get raped and murdered by predatory men.

My view is completely subjective and by this I mean that if I were Mrs McKeown I would have the sense to shut up and go away, knowing as I do the contempt with which slags and slappers are held by men the world over. The Goan police may well be corrupt and incompetent and the Goan men vicious and predatory, but they have done what they have done, and no good will come out of a mother trying to blame anyone else but herself for allowing her daughter to put herself in such danger.

What outrages me is that she does not seem to realise this and no one sees fit to tell her.

The damage to British national pride is two-fold: (1) that most teenage girls frequently have underaged sex and drink themselves silly (2) that most British parents think it is OK to let their children have underaged sex right under their noses (3) oh, and it is OK to take a school girl who must be doing her GCSEs out of school during term time for a spot of sex tourism.
Hally40 12-Mar-2008 16:41
There are an awful lot of assumptions in the argument above. Is this the British way of making judgements? I suggest not. And even if, and that's a big IF, all the ssumptions were correct, does this really absolve the Indian police from not conducting a proper enquiry over a dead body? I would suggest 'most definitely not'. You may not like the attitude of the mother, but this presupposes that your own morals are those we all have to abide by. There are plenty in this country, apart from the rest of the world, who would totally disagree with the stand you are taking.
pam3 12-Mar-2008 16:39
is anybody on earth suffering more from scarlett's death than mrs mckeown? than why kick her when she's down???
Tricks 12-Mar-2008 15:56
You make the mistake of conflating two completely separate problems. I agree entirely with your assesment of the parent and the fact that she should not have left her child alone. I would have no problem with seeing her prosecuted for that action.

But that does not change the fact that the Goan police have behaved in an inept and quite possibly corrupt manner. The fact that the parent contributed to the death does not excuse their actions nor does it prevent her complaining about their corruption.

So the only reasonable answer to your question is yes she should be complaining and making a noise. One crime does not excuse another.
Wildgoose 12-Mar-2008 15:6
Fiona McKeown's gross irresponsibility doesn't absolve the Goan Police of the same charge.

Her daughter was already failed by her parent(s), she shouldn't be failed yet again by negligent and corrupt law enforcement officials.
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