I am 60 years old. The older I get, the more disturbed I am at pictures of children in distress. Ipossible to see footage from war-torn Palestine and famine-blighted Ethiopia witbeing seeing my grandchildren.
And I am sure that the photograph of the sixPhilpott children has haunted many people this week. No child deserves to die. And certainly six children do not deserve to die at the hands of their own parents…in an arson attack.
The narrative of this week has been revealing. On Monday, Iain Duncan Smith was being attacked over Welfare “Reform”. The ongoing debate has been interesting. In times of Austeritthe society has become more fractured. Any consensus that Welfare is a right and that claimants should be treated humanely while accepting that on the fringes, the system is abused.
Rather like accepting that guilty people go free is the price we pay for a humane legal system….we accept that scroungers abusing the system is the price we pay for a humane welfare system. Austerity has opened up the notion of the DESERVING poor and the UNDESERVING poor..and the decision rests with Conservative Party and their friends in the Media and the City of London.
There IS an agenda here. If you are a Tory, you will err on the side of the “Taxpayer” . If you are a Socialist, you will err on the side of the “Claimant”.
Yet on Tuesday the narrative changed….with the conviction of Mick and Mairead Philpott. He was…lets be frank….a scumbag. On Tuesday night, it emerged that Philpott was a reality TV “star”. He had appeared with his wife and mistress on Jeremy Kyles Show For Scumbags. And he had hosted Saint Ann Widdicombe in his home.
Less well known was that he had served a prison sentence for stabbing his (then) girlfriend and her mother.
But unspoken on TV at least on Tuesday night was the connexion or coincidence that a war on “scroungers” is taking place…and Philpott is the very worst kind of scrounger.
Sadly on Wednesday the Daily Mail ran the headline “Product of Welfare Britain” and George Osborne…veteran of the Bullingdon Club….weighs in today.
Let me be frank here. My father had a chronic heart condition that meant he rarely worked after I was about ten years old. No doubt many looked own on him and us…but like most recipient of Welfare we were decent people.
Now of course I am familiar with Scumbags….and I could have spotted that Mick Philpott was a scumbag. It’s not rocket science. And I could have spotted that Mairead Philpotts extended family were a little inadequate but striving for a respectability that eluded them.
Now ANY authentic working class would have spotted that difference.
And the TV companies don’t get that. Jeremy Kyle doesn’t get it. Ann Widdicombe doesn’t get it. The Daily Mail doesn’t get it. George Osborne doesn’t get it.