Friday, 5 April 2013

Mick Philpott - a local view

Local headline on the Mick Philpott case from the Derby Telegraph.

Alongside the camera crews and photographers from the national media, there were dozens of other people thronged outside the gates, desperate to catch their glimpse of the freshly-minted prisoners on their final trips to jail.

The first van nosed out of the park and a mass jeer arose. Cameras snapped and clicked and among a general yell, phrases leapt high into the freezing air: "Rot in hell!", "Scum!" and "hope you die!"

So locally it seems to have been a popular enough verdict.

As for the wider implications, well we all know that politically George Osborne is in trouble with the establishment for using  the case to make a comment about the influence of benefits on behaviour.

Mr Osborne said there was a "question for government and society" about the influence of benefits on behaviour.

But Labour condemned the comments as "a cynical act of a desperate chancellor".

So it is no surprise when Danny Alexander supports the status quo -

But Mr Alexander, his number two at the Treasury, said the case should be treated as "an individual tragedy".

Surely more than an individual tragedy? As Chief Secretary to the Treasury he ought to be able to count. Okay, cheap point and obviously the grotesque Philpott is in no sense typical of our benefits culture, but the case certainly highlights a problem or two. How could it not? For me there are two key points.

Firstly I find this degree of grasping, callous stupidity unsettling and although what happened was down to the man himself, the train of events was undoubtedly facilitated by the benefits system. Those children were born largely because of the benefits system, whatever wider implication we choose to draw from the case as a whole.

Secondly, although this tragedy has nothing to do with the Stafford Hospital scandal, we know heads will not roll and in all probability nothing much will change. They never do, even when lives are lost as the result or partial result of official systems, rules and processes. 

Which this one is.


Barnacle Bill said...

Mr Haart when we had the moral high ground over our MPs expenses we were too lenient with our supposed "Honourable Members".
Whilst you are right on your two points, I'll add another one - The "Honourable Members" are going to use the Philpott case as a very big stick to get their own back on us and then some more!

Sackerson said...

Had his 1978 attempted murder been carried out 20 years earlier, (a) his then girlfriend would almost certainly have died and (b) he would have been hanged.

A K Haart said...

Bill - yes we were far too lenient. None of the troughers should have been elected in 2010.

Sackers - and no dead children. Strange thought.

Angus Dei said...

Yet another attempt to sideline those who not workers, Osborne is trying to deflect attention away from his failing non-plan "A" and on to those who cannot defend themselves.

The Philpott case is hopefully a one off, a greedy, lazy, self obsessed murderous pratt who is thankfully a very small minority in the "shirkers" category.

I notice that no one blamed the employed when Harold Shipman murdered 250+ patients, but then he was well paid and middle class...

Maybe it is time to put this in perspective.

A K Haart said...

Angus - I think it's mainly about whittling away the Labour lead in the polls.

As we know, benefit scams shouldn't happen, but bungs to bankers are a bigger scandal.