Alfie Patten has packed into his short life so far the entire plot of a TV mini-series. He has achieved national notoriety, assumed parental responsibility for a baby and discovered that his girlfriend was, in common parlance, cheating on him, all by the age of 13.
And now this child, who became, fleetingly, the face of ‘broken Britain’, will doubtless be plastered yet again all over the tabloids (I’m too squeamish to look), courtesy of Max Clifford or some similar low-life.
For a few short days, the media frenzy will begin again, with journalists queuing up, cheque books in hand, to get the inside story on the ‘extremely distressed’ adolescent, although I suppose we should be relieved that the DNA results were not, as was at one time suggested, unveiled on national television in a scene that would surely breach some statute on child cruelty.
And the saddest thing of all is that this child’s welfare is in the hands of people who not only condoned under-age sex, but allow, or even welcome, the tabloids into their home. It is surely only a matter of time before someone manages to sell the film rights to ‘The Alfie Patten Story’ or turn it into a 'cutting edge' series for CBBC and the whole sorry business becomes front-page news again.
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