Monday, 16 February 2009

It’s Not Yours, It’s Mine!

The story of 15 year old mum, Chantelle, her baby, Maisie and the father, 13 year old Alfie, just gets worse and worse.

This weekend, The Sun’s sister newspaper, The News of the World, ran a piece in which it is claimed that Chantelle was sleeping with “as many as eight” boys around the time that Maisie was conceived and that two other boys have come forward demanding paternity tests to prove they are the father and not 13 year old Alfie.

A 16 year old and a 14 year old are both claiming that they are the ones who, and I'm sorry to put it this way but it links in to the rest of this piece, have broken the law by having sex with a minor and getting her pregnant. Of course, the legality of what has or hasn’t taken place here is being ignored by the whole of the media as they scramble to make the most of this story, which has, so I’m told, been heard around the world. On The Britwriters blog I’ve had comments to my previous article from Germany and India saying they had seen the story in their country. In fact, it had been front page news in India!

As far as I’m aware, the police have said that no one is going to be prosecuted for the act of sex with a minor because the person having sex with a minor is a minor himself. But I would ask what is the point of a law – in this case the age of sexual consent being 16 – if it’s just going to be ignored even in a case as high profile as this one. It’s not exactly a deterrent, is it?

In fact, I’d go so far as to say that this whole ‘media storm’ is going to encourage young people to have sex rather than deter them. It’s a sad fact of our society but there are a great many young people who aspire not to having a good job or doing to some good in the world, but to simply being famous. The likes of Paris Hilton, who is famous for being famous, Jade Goody, more on her another day, or Jordan/Katie Price, who is famous for having big boobs and showing them off in the papers, are the people that today’s kids look up to and want to be like. These are people who have no real talent other than self-publicity (or hiring a good publicist) and have made fortunes for themselves through simply being themselves. They make it seem easy and every modern kid thinks they can do it too.

Which brings us back to Alfie, Chantelle and the other two would-be-dads. Alfie and Chantelle are enjoying their five minutes and I believe that’s all they’ll get. I doubt, and this is a terrible assumption as I do not know them and am judging on appearances only, that either of them have the wherewithal to take this ‘big break’ and turn it into a media career. It may depend on which publicist they choose to employ, but let’s be honest, neither of them are exactly photogenic are they? Hell, one of the might-be dads has said he thought she was ugly (I couldn’t possibly comment). But if that’s what he thought – why the hell did he have sex with her? I digress.

You do have to admit though, either Chantelle, or more likely her parents, have made one good choice here. To name Alfie as the father. This story would not be in the spotlight, and indeed I would not be writing about it, had Alfie been a few years older. Or if one of the other two potential daddies had been named instead. A sixteen year old knocking up a fifteen year old is, sadly, not newsworthy in this day and age for the simple fact that it happens more often than any society should like, or indeed tolerate.

And speaking of the two other boys involved. You have to question their motives. When I was that age, boys would run a mile at the suggestion that they had put a bun in some girl’s oven and, if anything, would be demanding a test to prove they were NOT the father, not that they WERE the father. But then, in my day, we wouldn’t have had the fear of prosecution taken away within days of the birth and we also wouldn’t have expected to get our ugly mugs in the national papers and all over the TV news. What we would have expected would be a good kicking from the girl’s father, followed up by a kicking from our own father and a hastily arranged wedding day.

In all honestly, reading the article linked to above is actually quite disturbing. It paints a picture of life which a worrying amount of the population lead, and a life that the rest of the population would rather not know about. And yet, the very people who are failing their own children are being quoted by the paper in such a way as to appear to be blaming the society they live in rather than accepting any responsibility themselves.

Of the two new boys mentioned in the article, one is currently suspended from school (and has been for three months) because he has failed to conduct himself in the appropriate manner. He has, apparently, ‘anger-management’ issues. When I was at school this used to be called ‘a bad temper’.

And, naturally, we get the quote about there being ‘nothing for the kids to do’. Oh well, in that case it’s perfectly okay if they are staying over in random girls houses and having unprotected sex.

It does come back to Chantelle’s parents again though, doesn’t it? What on earth were they doing allowing boys their daughter had know for just a few weeks stay in her room overnight? And why were they sitting downstairs watching TV while their daughter was upstairs getting knocked up by any number of boys?

For the record, Chantelle denies having slept with so many boys. But she would, wouldn’t she? After all, this 15 year old mother wouldn’t want to earn a reputation as a slut. Heaven forbid, unless there was some more money from the papers in it.

I’m sorry to go on about this, but for me it’s one of the worst commentaries on Britain that I’ve seen since I started this blog getting on for three years ago. Some of our political representatives use terms like “Broken Society” and then get criticised for it by their opponents. Well, I’m sorry, but you can’t look at this situation and tell me all is well. Because, quite frankly, it isn’t.

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