this from Chris Dillow on Karen Matthews:
We see what we want to see. So, David Cameron sees Ms Matthews as evidence of a “broken society”, Bea Campbell as evidence of “impoverished” state childcare services, Norman Bettison as an exception to a community with “moral spirit” , James Bartholomew as a creation of a demoralizing welfare state, and Mr Eugenides as evidence that the commentariat are full of bull.
I'd add that Karen Matthews is a criminal who committed the crime she committed because she was greedy and wanted money and didn't give a shit about her kids. At the time, when I didn't think she had anything to do with it, I said it was a bit grim to slag her off for being a council estate mum with a few kids by different dads, and I still do.
That she's now a convicted crim doesn't mean that makes it retrospectively OK to have slagged her off for being a bit council. Because that was never the point. Those snorting celebration at her conviction, claiming it somehow proves their pathetic anti-poor class prejudice to have been correct all along, are the lowest form of shit. They were wrong then and they're wrong now. Because it wasn't being a single mum that made her commit the crime; it wasn't having kids by different dads that did it either, nor was it living on a fucking council estate. Can't we imagine that some people do stuff for a variety of complex personal reasons without having to jump on it as evidence of Broken Britain?
As Justin pointed out yesterday, while that pasty Etonian fuckwit Cameron was sneering away about how it showed that benefits were bad and people who lived on estates were dirty, poor and tended to smell (I'm paraphrasing a bit, but you get the general idea), the local copper, who actually might have stepped foot on the estate concerned every now and then and met some of the human beings that live there, took a somewhat different view of the community:
The community had “moral strength and community spirit - within hours of young Shannon going missing, they were out on the streets, knocking on doors, out with the cops searching, printing off leaflets, having T-shirts printed,” he told Panorama.
"Yeah, because the fuckers didn't have jobs and were out trying to skim the £50k off the Sun as well," I hear a few of you mutter, I'm sure. Or maybe they simply gave a shit about their neighbours and wanted to do something about it? Would middle-class families in a cosy suburb have done the same? I'm sure they would. But then no-one accuses them all of being addicts, do they.
Then again, no decent human being decides to label the child at the centre of this case as 'evil' and a 'liar' through the inept use of a cliche. But the tabloids do.
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