Brexit: a game for a rich young boy to play

And there it is. Done.  I have already used up all of my words of disbelief, despair and outrage, but nothing is to be done.

This is very much Brexit part 2.  I ended my last blog  with a line from Les Miserables.  I didn’t realise how ironic it would become as, I now see my friends lying similarly bloodied around me.

I also now realise that I should have quoted the whole verse.

It is time for us all
To decide who we are
Do we fight for the right
To a night at the opera now?
Have you asked of yourselves
What’s the price you might pay?
Is this simply a game
For a rich young boy to play?
The colours of the world
Are changing day by day

For that is what happened.  Whatever your views, we are where we are because of a rich young boy.  And not just one, lots of them. All young boys with points to prove, not about the world, but about themselves.

I’m forever telling my children it’s not about blame, but I’m going indulge myself with an Arya Stark list of which particular little boys I’m lining up against the blackboard.

  1. Nick Clegg.

Yes you. I was a staunch and proud Liberal Democrat in 2010.  They stood for something, had a voice which resonated.  I agreed with Nick. You could argue that was because they didn’t have power but that’s not the point. However Nick sold those principles down the river in a pact for personal power that would see the annihilation of a party.  Yes you have Deputy Prime Minister on your CV but at what price? By 2015 everyone either hated you or realised they may as well vote Tory anyway. Had the Liberal Democrats remained a strong progressive voice, and the only party in England united with Europe at its heart, the Remain campaign would have stood a chance.  The passion and emotion that were missing might have been there. Or maybe not, we’ll never know.

  1. Ed Milliband

And you.  You’re not a patch on your brother.  We all knew this.  You knew this – be honest.  But rather than let him get on with it you set out to prove something, not to the Labour Party but to yourself.  He would have given you a great job as you are clearly a clever clever man, but you were never lead singer material.

  1. David Cameron

You’re third on the list but that means nothing.  A desperate bid for a majority, a few UKIP defectors and some trash talk from Nigel Farage and you promise a referendum that nobody asked for.  One that you smugly assumed you’d win.  The complex & fragile social, political & economic future of our country was staked on a pub bet.  And now you’ve thrown down your pint and gone home.

  1. Jeremy Clarkson

Don’t think I’m letting you off Scot free. You may have turned up late with a feeble remain but your years of xenophobic sneering and hectoring to a baying crowd has led to this.  You could have been the better man, you could have chosen something else and they still would have loved you.

  1. Boris Johnson

Ah Boris, poor Boris.  You have got what you deserved.  Gaby Hinsliff explains far better than I what your game plan was all along and it has massively backfired.  Everyone around you will hate you for it for evermore.  All those liberal elite parties and soirees you bumbled around will dry up and, like the Red Queen and her Knave of Hearts, you’ll be forever chained to Michael Gove.  Good luck with that.

  1. Jeremy Corbyn

I can’t think of a single thing to say, as he has been so absent from recent proceedings. However strong his principles are, it does seem increasingly that he took on a job he didn’t really want, just to be awkward.

7. Nigel Farage

Feel free to fill in your own expletives

Rich little boys playing little games with people’s lives and futures.

There are many things you can say about Thatcher, but this would not have happened under her.  In fact, that massive storm on Thursday was probably not unconnected.

Remain lost fair and square – democracy at work.  If the Leavers are all happy, and get everything they were dreamed of, then well done them.

However there was nothing fair or square about it.  The ballot boxes had barely closed before Farage was complaining the Government had allowed too many people to register.  People hadn’t finished breakfast before he admitted that the NHS was never going to get that money, immigration wasn’t going to go down and those ‘bumps in the road’ were turning in to the Grand Canyon. Cameron’s done a runner and Bojo, Gove and the other one look set to take the helm.  These anti-establishment heroes who promised so much.

That is what people are angry about.  Not the lost vote, but they managed to pray on the fears, insecurities and hopes of people they have never cared about before in a quest for power.

Now we have to pick up the pieces, somehow. Many people, friends included, have called for an end to the whinging on social media.  And, after 48 hours of wailing, I agree.  Somehow, we have to find a way out of this mess, with or without the EU.

37% of the electorate voted Brexit, 63% did not.  Of that 37% many now feel sold down the river, or at least will do when the Calais camps move to Dover, the NHS breaks due to lack of staff and we finally realise all of those jobs that the immigrants stole were the ones they didn’t want.  That fridge magnet about “be nice to your children as they choose your care home” is just about to get real as the younger generations feel ever more like they’ve been sold down the river.

On the upside, my list is coming along nicely.  Clegg, Milliband, Cameron – all gone. Clarkson’s flapping about somewhere and Corbyn is facing a potential vote of no confidence.

It is time for the little boys to take their balls home and let someone else take over.

It is time to draw a line under the depressing referendum campaigns, hideous on both sides, and decide that we want our country back from these people, that anger and hate are not going to win.

The current political system is broken, the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrats are in tatters. The Scottish are demanding another referendum but we need them more than ever. Things are no longer divided against party lines but by geography, generation and downright niceness.

Enter stage left the women  from all sides who will make a better fist of things.  Nicola Sturgeon, Ruth Davison, Stella Creasy, Leanne Wood, Caroline Flint, Caroline Lucas, Lucy Powell. My friend Michelle Donelan, a Conservative MP who entered Parliament at the last election who, although I disagree with, respect as someone who works for her constituents and stands up for what she believes in.

The death of Jo Cox must remind us about the kind of politicians we want to represent us, and who we deserve.

And the men. There are also a lot of fine male politicians too, and some truly dreadful female ones so don’t think this is a gender thing, it’s about leadership and integrity.

So if you didn’t vote, or regret how you did vote, it’s too late now.  But can we just vow not to make that mistake again, and not make that mistake worse by rolling over and letting xenophobia and hatred take over because that’s what won it?

Join a political party and make a stand over who gets to represent you, as leader of that party as well as your MP.  In fact, join all of them, and have a say in the best person to oppose what you believe in.

You want £350million a week in the NHS, investment in the arts, education and social justice?  You want the rights and protections of the EU preserved?  You need to fight to make that happen.  Stop complaining and vow to do something about it, and recognise that apathy, disengagement and whining only let the nastier, shoutier whiners win.

Rock Bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.

  • J.K. Rowling

As a nation, it feels like we have reached rock bottom.

It might be too late for another referendum and we, as it stands, are looking at a Britain out of the EU.  But it’s not too late to mount some barricades and make a stand for exactly the kind of country we want that to be.

And let’s not let silly little boys anywhere near it.

Ched Evans: A criminal who could once kick a ball.

ched evansIt was a rainy night in Soho.   I was a 19 year old student and, separated from my friends, found myself alone in Piccadilly Circus at 2am. I had been drinking quite a bit and had not taken a coat. I had only just moved into my new student house and, although armed with my trusty 1-4 travel card, I hadn’t a clue how to get home. I started to panic and was more than a little bit tearful. A man started walking alongside and chatting to me. His name was Norman. I explained I was a bit drunk, a bit upset and didn’t know how to get home. He told me to follow him. He took me round a corner and down more than a couple of side streets to a taxi rank. A car pulled up outside. He opened the door for me and I got in. Then he turned the driver, gave him a £20 note and said “She lives in Kentish Town, can you take her home?”

In the past 20 years I’ve often thought of Norman and the night that didn’t change my life; the night where nothing happened.

The Ched Evans case made me think about it again. This week he was released after serving half of his sentence for the rape of 19 year old girl. He has issued a statement apologising to his girlfriend, not the victim you understand. All debate now turns to whether or not he should be allowed to professional football play again.

A lot of the comments and opinions spouted have made me feel more than a little nauseous, not to mention news that Evans is fast tracking his appeal.  The vehemence of those defending him is astounding.

It’s no secret that I hate football, or more specifically, hate more than a few footballers. It pains me that my youngest son loved the World Cup so much. I hate the thought that he might hold any number of overpaid, entitled, self-serving morons up in any kind of high regard.

I get that it’s not just kicking a ball around a field, football is supposed to mean something. That’s why, as an entertainment business, it is worth so much. Fans are obliged to put their hearts and souls into these players, encourage their children to don their names on their backs and care whether the ball goes in or not. Personally I recommend their criminal convictions are added as a category on the Panini sticker captions but this is unlikely.

It’s not even about the technicalities of a criminal conviction, or of the definition of rehabilitation. It’s just about common decency. And so it came to pass that, during the World Cup, our breakfast conversation was ‘What would happen if I was Luis Suarez’s Mummy?’ and then, weeks later I had to explain a) why he was still allowed to play and b) why one of my son’s friends still wore Suarez’s name on his shirt. Why I had to explain why I wouldn’t allow John Terry’s picture on a wall.

Evans doesn’t deny what happened. The only thing which is disputed is whether she was drunk enough for it to technically counts as rape. Here Evans’ defenders fall over themselves to come up with reasons why it wasn’t, attacking the victim and launching campaigns to say why actually turning up to a hotel room to watch your friend have sex with a drunk stranger and then ‘having a go’ yourself is all perfectly normal.  OK he might be in the dog house with the Misses but move along, nothing to see here..

The fact of the matter is that we, yes even Judy Finnegan, still have such an appalling attitude to sexual crime that we fall over ourselves to prove that it wasn’t the fault of the accused. The trailer for the Moral Maze today, that bastion of reasoned debate, belied just how warped our attitude is. We don’t treat it as the violent crime that it is.  We assume that the girl must have ‘asked for it’ in some way. She was drunk, she was chatty, she led him on, she was walking home alone. It is easier to explain it away than look at the real cause.

Rape is not about sex, but about power and entitlement. It is about man categorizing women as lesser beings, as disposable and there to be taken. The inference in the victim blaming that goes on is one of ‘we’ve all been there mate, could have happened to anyone’ If it had been a man who had been raped in similar circumstances no one would be arguing that he only had himself to blame.

That is the reason why Evans can never play again. This has nothing to do with rehabilitation. Football clubs have a responsibility to represent more than just passing a ball around. Just as Gary Glitter doesn’t get much airplay these days, and Rolf is unlikely to reappear on Animal Hospital this side of Christmas. I’m not even going to get into Pistorius. Any kind of professional, lawyer, doctor, teacher, CEO would not have had their seat kept warm for them whilst they served their sentence. These are not the kinds of people that we want to hold up in high regard, sentence served or not, no matter what their talents.

I spend my life trying to teach my children to do the right thing, even when no one is looking. I do not teach them that if you try hard enough you will be elevated to such a position where ‘the right thing’, let alone the law, no longer applies to you. Nor do I want them to think that it is up to others to protect themselves from their violent behaviour, rather than to just treat people well in the first place.

As always, with great power comes great responsibility, and that responsibility to be a decent human being should be a prerequisite for being allowed to be paid millions to walk out in front of a crowd.

If I’m looking for role models for my children, I think I’ll stick with Norman.

We Need To Talk About Nigella

nigellaNigella and I go back a long way.   By way of explanation, my Dad bore a striking resemblance to Nigel Lawson and my Mum decided that Nigella, back when she wasn’t that famous, was a good role model for me.  She used to ring me at University to tell me when she was doing the paper review.  Nigella’s first husband, John Diamond, had cancer at around the same time as my Dad and I would regularly read his column, desperate to hear the things my Dad had never been able to say out loud.  Her book Feast, was released just after my mother died and, I must confess, I repeatedly read her chapter on funerals and grief, before turning to my own ‘gin and carbohydrates’ therapy of choice.

And then she sorted out her eyebrows and started licking spoons and we grew apart.  However she has remained my fantasy big sister who would, one day, invite me round for a massive crumble.

Still, I’ve have always associated her with frailty and stoicism in the face of adversity.  Therefore I felt a fierce and familial sense of protectiveness when the pictures were published over the weekend.  The calculated callousness of his actions, her apparent attempts to placate him and his subsequent dismissal of what happened are shocking.  I would like to think that if I were on the next table, I would have intervened, would have asked if she was alright, maybe I wouldn’t.  The reaction to them has also been revealing.  There has been the fair share of apologists and all round cretins looking for a cheap laugh (none of whom I shall link to here).  There has been consternation that this attractive, successful, confidant woman, could be treated in such a way.  Cries of ‘leave the bastard’ fight against others who claim that it may not be that bad.  Saatchi himself says that it was ‘a playful tiff’.

There are others who feel that discussion of someone’s very private pain is inappropriate and intrusive.  Accusations fly that someone’s suffering is being used to sell newspapers and is grubby.  Like the people on nearby tables, the instinct is to look away as it is none our business.

Now I don’t actually know Nigella, or any facts about her relationship and it’s not my place to speculate. (maybe it was just friendly banter, but it didn’t look like it).  However how human beings treat other human beings is everybody’s business.   I wonder how many would have said that if it had been the waiter he had attacked.  There should be no closed doors to hide behind.  As a society, we have a responsibility to shout very loudly that such behaviour will not be stood for.

I’ve written about this subject before but what this story proves is that the issue of domestic abuse is not a simple one.  It is not confined to drunken men beating their wives on council estates, nor is it the domain of mousey women at home who can’t stand up for themselves.  The recent cases of Rihanna or Justin Lee Collins should have proved this already.

I have several friends who have suffered from domestic abuse at some point in their lives.  What links them all is that they are all successful, outgoing, confident women.  Or at least they looked like it at the time.  All of them thought that they were strong enough to handle it, did not want to admit defeat. Very few of them ever made public the exact reasons they left or aggression they suffered.  Their ex-partners continue, untainted and untroubled, possibly treating all the women that followed exactly the same way.

Why people choose the relationships they do is a complicated business and nobody goes looking for one.  The fact that it is someone you love who inflicts such pain or control doesn’t make it less painful, it makes it worse.  It is difficult, when you’re in a relationship, to see the line between protective and controlling, between ‘passionate’ and violent.  Where does ‘powerful’ turn into bullying.  Romantic literature is full of dark, brooding men who are terribly complicated and flawed and we turn them into heroes, desperately searching for the one strong capable woman who will rescue them.  In real life, knights don’t have shining armour and very few get to ride off into the sunset.

The reason men and women find themselves in abusive or destructive relationships, or remain in them, is not something I can answer.  However the statistics are horrifying.

Just last week, Parliament voted against a clause in the Children and Families Bill to introduce discussion of healthy relationships into the national curriculum. These are the same MPs who have cut funding for refuges and removed Legal Aid from people leaving abusive relationships.

Whether MPs felt that it wasn’t a real issue or that it was appropriate for schools to discuss is anybody’s guess.

For the rest of us, it is important to call it when we see it and to not look the other way.  To say, very loudly and often, that it is not OK to treat another fellow member of the public like that, especially when you are married to them.   That putting your hands to someone’s throat is not getting your point across, neither is putting your hand over their mouth playful, it’s being a violent and intimidating bully (Daily Mail link which now makes for disturbing reading for all sorts of reasons).  The fact that your partner doesn’t immediately leave you is not proof that it was OK.

It is not simply a question of teaching victims to stand up for themselves, just as teaching women how to avoid being raped reinforces myths and prejudices and puts the responsibility in the wrong place.  All too often the emphasis is on the victim, not the perpetrator.  It is not a feminist issue, it is a societal one.  Just as with racism or child abuse, standards of behaviour in society need to be crystal clear.  Boys and men must be shown, by everybody, that, no matter how rich, powerful and successful they are, violence and intimidation will not be tolerated, laughed away or swept under the carpet.  It’s not big or clever and they must be held to account.

So, even if she would rather we didn’t, we need everybody to talk about Nigella.

*** If you are worried about a friend, or indeed your own relationship, this information could be useful ***

Girls, you only have yourselves to blame. For everything.

Must try harder. It’s no secret that there aren’t enough women in the boardroom, or politics, or on TV. The reason is, we just not putting the effort in. We lack drive, confidence and ambition. What would Margaret Thatcher say? The Government are planning to send information packs to parents of teenage girls to set them straight, and fill their pretty little heads with aspirations so that some day, many years from now, they might do something worthwhile.

And yet, just a few days later, women doctors are being blamed for the crisis of the health service. Not funding cuts, not an aging population, not the ‘worried well’ but women who will insist on having children, even when they’re a doctor.

“When they go into practice and then in the normal course of events will marry and have children, they often want to go part-time and it is obviously a tremendous burden training what effectively might be two GPs working part-time where they are ladies. I think that is something that is going to put a huge burden on the health service,”

This wasn’t said by some aging Tory grandee in the House of Lords. This was said by Anne McIntosh, a female M.P. and former lawyer.

And there it is. In a nutshell.

Boys, as you were. Girls, shame on you for not having the required ambition when leaving school but wobetide you ambitious types if you want to keep your job AND see your children.

Closest you should get.
Closest you should get.

Women now, it’s true, have infinite choices and opportunities. They can work full time with no children, with children, part time or not at all. Whatever the choice, many women will ricochet between guilt, frustration and confusion as to what that choice should be, and what the rest of the world thinks of it.

It is the eternal conundrum that society needs a constant supply of healthy, educated children to grow up and pay their taxes but that, inevitably, someone needs to look after them until they get there. If you can work and take care of children, but not at the same time. Added to that the general day to day tasks which explode exponentially with children, and the “have it all” generation of women is slowly realising that they actually meant “do it all” and we’re knackered. And it’s still all our fault.

I have always been firmly of the belief that flexible working is the saving grace of modern parents. The Government would love to rely on nurseries and extend the school day and cut holidays in a bid to be ‘family friendly’, but actually, most children and parents quite like each other. A simple solution to spiralling childcare costs would be to find ways to rely on paid childcare less.

However, feminism will always have a job to do until these are no longer considered women’s issues to solve. When men, when considering parenthood, make those same choices and have those same opportunities.

I remember a conversation with some friends last year. My friend is one these evil G.P. women who only wants to kill you for part of her week, whereas her husband works long hours, often away from home. Wouldn’t it be lovely, I said, if you could both work 4 days a week instead. Same family hours worked, more even split. My male friend said “I would love to work 4 days a week but, in my situation, I couldn’t because I’d still be expected to do 5 days work in 4, and it would be career suicide.” Welcome, dear boy, welcome.

But he’s right. There is an unnecessary stigma attached to part time working and the reason is that it’s really only the women that do it. They tend to be low paid and low status, or career limiting. However, slowly, that is changing. Recruitment agencies such as Timewise Jobs are doing a lot to convince companies that high level positions can be done in less time and more efficiently. The more it is considered the norm for men to apply for these roles the less stigmatised it will become. The more men phone in to say they can’t come in because their child is sick, the less demonised all working women will become as a result.

As a society, we risk throw years of training and experience down the drain because 25 hours a week isn’t good enough, whilst forcing others to work over 50. And however much Ms McIntosh might resent maintaining the training of 2 doctors instead of one, it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than starting from scratch even though they have nearly 40 years of working life left. Never mind that I might want my doctor to have some kind of empathy with me and my children.

My own career frustrations have always boiled down to the fact that I would love to be Director General of the BBC, if only it were offered as a from home, 9 til 2, term time only contract, and I’m not naïve enough to think that the country can run on us all doing 3 days weeks. However, an expectation by employers that men and women will take an equal share in family life is not a pipedream.

One of the reasons many parents (especially mothers) set up their own businesses, is that they can fix their own hours and are not subject to the 9 to 6, Monday to Friday constraints of the office. However, it is not an option open to everyone. The rest rely on employers to recognise that quality work can still be done in less time, more efficiently or not necessarily within eyesight. This is to be encouraged.

I am lucky that my husband regularly works from home, and we both often work in the evenings, after the children have gone to bed. Hopefully our sons will grow up with the assumption that it’s not just Mummy who gets their breakfast and helps with the homework (although I doubt my husband has ever woken up in a cold sweat about World Book Day).

There will always be people who say it could never happen, that businesses would never survive, but their predecessors said that about reducing the 6 day week, introducing the minimum wage and going out of their way to make sure people didn’t lose limbs at work. Government incentives to encourage homeworking, tax breaks for flexible contracts and a real investment in fibre optic broadband would cut commuting time, reduce travel costs, childcare costs and benefit far more people than the billions spent on HS2.

The alternative is that we inspire girls to achieve their wildest dreams, until they give birth when they must make a stark choice that their partners are not expected to make.

It is not the girls that need the leaflets, it’s the boys.

Philpott – Why we’re still looking in the wrong place

Mick Philpott is a nasty little man.  An idiot, but a nasty idiot nonetheless.  One who will be spending the next 15 years, at least, in prison.  I have watched enough crime documentaries in my time to realise that this is no criminal mastermind.  And yet the story has received more coverage than any crime of recent times.

In essence, The Philpott media story is of a man, subsidised by the state, who controlled the people in his life for his own ends, with horrific consequences for his own family.  That isn’t particularly unusual.

Six children have tragically lost their lives, but that is not what is making the news.

news

What is making the news is how Mick Philpott spent his life, and how he came by the money that he lived on.  The conversation has now shifted to how the popular press are covering how he spent his life and how he came by the money that he lived on.

Once again, just like in the Savile case, politicians and influencers are using the suffering of children as ammunition in their own self-interested battles.  Now George Osbourne wants a go.

However those six children remain dead and the discussion is in the wrong place.

Cases like this happen all of the time, and they will continue to happen.  Look at how the Daily Mail reported the case of Christopher Foster.  He was a millionaire who set fire to his house, killing his wife Jill and daughter Kirstie, because he was in danger of losing his fortune.

Here was a ‘striver’.  A man who had worked his way up from nothing to achieve vast riches, a product of the capitalist, entrepreneurial system.  And therefore the story is pitched a little differently. We are supposed to feel pity for this man, or at least a deal of understanding.

 “The position of his body suggests to Enid and others his motive was one of love  –  trying to protect Jill from the humiliation of his financial troubles.”

And he actually meant to do it.

“But Foster’s impending financial ruin makes his actions consistent with a man who would sooner murder his own loved ones than endure the shame of penury.”

Not poverty you notice, but the loss of the ridiculously, disproportionately extravagant riches he had been enjoying until that point.

The unifying theme in these two cases, like so many others like them, is one of control.  A man’s need to control the the world around him, and particularly the women in his life.

I have no idea what went on inside Philpott’s idiotic little head but I doubt the loss of the £1,000 in benefits that he was losing was the real issue.  It was the loss of control over a woman who had the audacity to leave him.  It was the need to punish her, a need so strong that he didn’t give his children a second thought.  He didn’t want them to die – he just thought that he had control over everything, even fire.

The chances are there will always be people like Christopher Foster and Mick Philpott, just like there will always be men like Savile.  It isn’t the welfare system that creates them, or Jeremy Kyle.  The world is full of nasty little people.

But actually Philpott would be not be a story without the women in his life, to skivvy for him, to give birth and look after his children.  He’d be a loud old man in a pub corner.  It was the women who received the majority of the benefits, even though both did also go out to work.  Their wages and benefits that they and their children were entitled to, were paid directly to him.

It’s difficult to feel sympathy for Mairead Philpott.  Any woman who can put her own children in such mortal danger is difficult to comprehend.  Why she would go through with it, why she would cover it up?

It is difficult to understand why a woman would ‘be prepared to go to any lengths, however humiliating, to keep him happy’.  This included allowing another woman to share her husband and have his children.  It’s very easy for me, as a privileged woman, to say how could you!

However, that is the trouble with controlling and abusive relationships.  All of his relationships were abusive, and the judge’s sentencing remarks make for chilling reading.  This is a man who had already been in prison for viciously stabbing a partner who left him and who abused every woman he was with.  People find it all too easy to sit in judgement, to ask why people didn’t leave, or speak up or complain.  The argument goes round in circles.  People ask why vulnerable people (usually women) don’t speak up, don’t say no, don’t get out.  Then, if they do, no one cares, no one believes them, or they have nowhere to go.

It is no surprise that all the women involved were in their teens when they got involved with Philpott; vulnerable and with few options in life.  It’s not an excuse.  It’s not to say that, today, standing in the dock, she deserves sympathy.  However in countless places around the country, there are teenage girls entering into similar relationships and few of them will end well.

To nick Tom Stoppard, ‘There must have been a moment, when we could have said no, but we missed it”.   And we will keep missing it.

If you look around you, there are still high street shops selling T-shirts making light of domestic violence.  Look at the Rochdale case, and the ‘lifestyle choices’ young girls were accused of.

One of the largest group suffering in abusive relationships are teenagers and single young people in need of a home receive no help, often with only the Mick Philpotts of this world to turn to.

He does need you love, but you don't need him.
He does need you love, but you don’t need him.

Young girls listen to Rhianna standing by her man and think that it’s OK. Controlling and abusive men are romanticised into misunderstood heroes.

We still have an education system where your success owes a lot to the sharpness of your parents’ elbows, leaving those with a rough start even worse off.  Sure Start centres have been closed down and women’s refuges are full and under funded, leaving abused women and children in dire situations with fewer and fewer choices.

I don’t have the answers, but I know they won’t be found by using the tragic death of six children as an excuse to make people poorer, with fewer choices and opportunities.

In the same week that the Government has cut benefit payments, is discussing cutting the minimum wage, has withdrawn legal aid for those seeking divorce or leaving abusive relationships, it’s probably time we put a stop to powerful men, determined to get their own way, doing irreparable damage to the very people they claim, on television at least, to care for.

Like I said, there’s a lot of them about.