Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Let's Just Ignore The Children.

Sponger! Scrounger! Freeloader! Grasper! Vile! Evil! Thoughtless! Selfish!

These are all terms used by our glorious tabloid press to describe Mick Phillpot who is a married man and father to 14 (with another on the way) children born to his wife and a number of mistresses. He had requested a four bedroomed house from his local authority, and when he was denied, he went public about the situation.

Of course, the tabloids went OTT with this, informing the world that he received £25,000 pa in benefits, along with housing support and other benefits to support his growing family. All designed to make the reader angry, hateful and resentful.

Let me say from the off, that I do not support what this man has done and the choices he has made. He seems to be very lacking in a sense of responsibility and control, but the fact remains, he is the father of 14 children, - and it is those children we should be concerned about, - not him.

But if you were one of his children, how would it make you feel to read about your father in such inflammetary terms in the national press. To know that your school friends and colleagues probably know how the rest of the world should feel about your situation. What damage is going to ensue; and if the family remain in cramped conditions, what is that going to do to the social cohesion of the family and the wider community.

The situation is not one of the children's making.

I believe that before any of these self-serving and sensationalist 'journalists' ever put pen to paper (or is that finger to keyboard), they should have looked at this story from the children's point of view. This would probably have been less sensational, but might have induced a more responsible responce with the public. One only has to read the email responses to the story in The Sun, to see the sort of reaction they had generated. As far as one can see, no one has had a thought about the children!


jane said...

When I first read this one I was appalled at the father myself. I admire you for thinking outside of the box & must say, you're absolutely right. Those kids are probably devastated & who knows what their reactions will be.

Bag said...

Not sure I agree there Mark. Your facts and conclusion are OK looking from the perspective you are taking. I see it differently.

Look at it from earlier in the game. The father made a conscious decision to live the way he does knowing that the children would offer him protection and a scrounging lifestyle. Yes, it is not the kids fault but at the same time you are saying that we cannot take any action because this would impact on the children.

I'm going to rob a bank. You can't prosecute me or my kids will get upset when I go to jail. After all it is not anything to do with them.

The fact that the media makes a fuss of it is unfortunate but lets face it thats what they do and the father was the one that put it in the public eye.

Mark said...

I sort of agree with you Bags, my point is not what was reported, but the holier than thou way it was reported. Sensationalise it and concern yourself with the consequenses of that action.

To put it bluntly, the guy is a tosser and not someone I would actively search out to share a drink with. But nowhere in any of the tabloid reporting, do you get any sense of sympathy or concern for the plight of the children who are caught up in this.

My target in all this is not that it shouldn't have been reported, - as a taxpayer, I have a genuine interest in this, but the way it was reported.

Bag said...

I agree that they are stirring it up a bit but that's what they do. The father expected them to do it to but probably felt that the paper would be on his side. That is how much he believes in his chosen path.

The media should be neutral but I've seen very few neutral articles in my life. There is always a bias and in this day and age scroungers are demonised. I doubt the writers gave the kids a thought. To be honest most people don't have your compassion and I include myself in that.

Mark said...

Thanks Bag,

Most of the time I do ignore the press, - quality or otherwise, but sometimes the sheer hypocracy just pushes a button or two.

Do you remember that guy in the seventies who used to run from one side of Dartmoor or Exmoor to the other between his wife and his mistress (or as he called her, - his common-law wife) and had quite a large number of children? At least he kept fit! I wonder how things worked out with his family and kids?