ARound about the time I was still doing juvenile court crime – like delinquency, a practice one hopes to grow out of – the fashion was to blame all society’s ills on single mothers. As far as the tabloids and government policy ( often indistinguishable, then as now) was concerned, their general fecklessness , indolence and irresponsibility was to blame for everything. Specifically, their pig headed refusal to have truck with the absent heroes who had fathered their children was the root cause of ‘Britain’s Breakdown’. It was always a surprise to go to court and meet the reality – worried, hard working, committed women trying to keep their families together against the odds. Not all of course – the odorously pissed mama, a stranger to education, employment or indeed soap, who swigged cans of loopy juice while letting rip to her strongly held views about immigration and shouting obscenities at her 11-year-old wasn’t a particularly great advert for motherhood, or indeed our species. Her mantra was that Britain was no longer a place for the decent white working class, like her. After an afternoon of this I did mutter ‘Well, one out of three ain’t bad’ but by then she was too drunk to hear it. But I remember her as a glorious exception to the norm – the majority were wilfully misrepresented.

ARound about the time I was still doing juvenile court crime – like delinquency, a practice one hopes to grow out of – the fashion was to blame all society’s ills on single mothers. As far as the tabloids and government policy ( often indistinguishable, then as now) was concerned, their general fecklessness , indolence and irresponsibility was to blame for everything. Specifically, their pig headed refusal to have truck with the absent heroes who had fathered their children was the root cause of ‘Britain’s Breakdown’. It was always a surprise to go to court and meet the reality – worried, hard working, committed women trying to keep their families together against the odds. Not all of course – the odorously pissed mama, a stranger to edu...

Jean Yves

IICJ

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