Mean-Spirited Britain: Part Two

wrongUpdate: I considered taking this post down after the Philpotts were actually convicted, but ultimately decided not to because I think the point still stands.

You know, I wasn’t going to continue with this theme. Mainly because it’s pretty negative and also because it’s pretty depressing. But two high-profile cases in the news recently have really wound me up.

On Friday, some as-yet-unknown piece of shit set fire to the home of a family in Derby. Five of the children in the house died in the fire. Today, the family made the awful, heart-wrenching decision to switch off the life support of the sixth child injured in the fire, a 13 year old boy. Just to reiterate, six of their children have died. This is tragic and appalling almost beyond comprehension. But it so happens that the father of these six dead children, Mick Philpott, hit headlines in 2007 after asking for a bigger house to share with his wife, girlfriend and their eight children. He’s believed to have fathered 17 children in total. Whatever your opinion of people on benefits, just remember that six of these eight children are now dead. Now take a look at some of the comments on this news story.

It’s not the kids’ fault, but y’know, he deserved it because he was on benefits and had children.

Rightous [sic], apart from apparently being nearly illiterate, has also suffered the loss of a child. Yet, he/she sincerely believes that Mr Philpott will simply top up his dead children with a few new ones in order to get more ‘benifits’.

Gregory can at least spell the word ‘benefits’ but again there’s this preoccupation with Mr Philpott’s (lack of) occupation. Because the totally unrelated fact that he was on benefits means six of his children deserved to die.

There are many, many more comments like these on this news story alone. I haven’t looked at any other media outlets but it’s probably safe to assume that the same calibre of chicken-footed, mouth-breathing imbeciles is commenting on those too, with their txt spk, disregard for punctuation and humanity and total lack of compassion or empathy for a family who, despite being on benefits, has lost six children.

The second story is the horrific case of Tina Nash, who was asleep in bed when her boyfriend Shane Jenkin strangled her into unconsciousness before gouging out her eyes and blinding her. Again, let’s just take a moment here — a young woman with two children is attacked and maimed by the man she was in a relationship with. He’d previously been violent towards her but she thought he could change and tried to help him. Being blinded and imprisoned for 12 hours without being allowed to call an ambulance was her reward. So what do our commentards have to say on the matter?

Ah, a healthy dose of victim-blaming. Mark K has sympathy for Tina (that’s big of him), but ultimately, it’s HER FAULT.

Whereas Michael T adopts the sage after-the-horse-has-bolted approach. If only all these women would just leave their violent partners at the very first sign of trouble! Because it’s so easy, isn’t it. I’m sure terrified women across the globe who are being brutalised by their partners on a daily basis wish they had Michael’s gumption. They’re all just sitting there, enveloped in a mantle of their own inaction, stoically tolerating being beaten, abused and in fear of their lives because they can’t be bothered to leave and just waiting for someone to say, ‘I know! Why don’t you just tell him it’s over and walk out?’Someone even said to me the other day about this very case, that Tina Nash knew Jenkin was violent yet allowed him into hers and her children’s’ lives. As though what happened to her was some kind of retribution for putting herself and her children at risk. It’s just astonishing. Again, this is a woman who will never see her children again because of the actions of someone else and people are blaming her for what he did.

Maybe I’m just naive. I just cannot fathom what goes through people’s minds when they they express sympathy for someone who has had something terrible happen to them, but then try to justify it by saying, ‘Well, if he hadn’t claimed benefits…’ or ‘Well, if she’d just reported him to the police…’ as though in their tiny minds this somehow makes sense. I actually wish news websites wouldn’t allow commenting on stories because then the tiny-minded cat’s-arse-mouth people could fold their arms in judgmental fashion and only burden their fellow imbeciles with their idiotic musings rather than inflicting it on the rest of us.

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