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Saturday, December 06, 2008 

Weekend links.

As might be expected, the overwhelming topic in the weekend's comment pages is Shannon Matthews. As also might be expected, the Matthews case is obviously further proof of why the welfare state desperately needs reform; it doesn't matter, for instance, that her latest partner had been working, or that taking extreme cases make for extremely bad policy changes, however much the writers bleat that they accept it isn't the norm: the norm will be affected as a result. Similarly potentially hypocritical is the apparent fact that Matthews had no morals because she had so many children from so many different partners; her crime is not that she had sex with different men, but that she got pregnant by them. After all, six or seven sexual partners by the age of 33 is by modern standards most likely below average; I knew girls at 18 that were already approaching or had reached that total, to say nothing of the young lotharios of the opposite sex. The same papers which would be horrified if Matthews had aborted them are the ones disgusted by their very existence, or rather by the fact they are the ones having to pay for them.

But enough of my own incoherent sort-of riposte. Lorraine Kelly and Amanda Platell make the case set-out above, and Platell predictably attacks the Guardian for the crime of headlining its profile of Matthews as only a "domestic drifter". More accurately presumably would have been "chav scum with a face like a bag of nails that couldn't keep her filthy legs shut". Libby Purves and Polly T provide something approaching a defence, while Deborah Orr, as a commenter points out, reaches into her "Sociology for Beginners" handbook for ways to pretentiously label Matthews.

Away from all that, Matthew Parris wonders if the very speed at which we know can learn things potentially threatens our liberty, Unity takes a closer look at the benefits lie-detector story, 5cc examines the Christmas is being banned stories from this year so far, Back Towards the Locus sees that the Indian police are considering using a "truth serum" on the only surviving terrorist from the Mumbai attacks, while Paulie compares Johanne Kaschke with Maria Gatland.

Worst tabloid article of the weekend can only go to the Scum's leader column, which has immediately leapt at blaming the social workers in another case of a baby being killed by a parent. The same paper deceived by Karen Matthews demands that all those "who have failed children must go". We'll be waiting a long time before the journalists on that paper admit to getting anything wrong ever.

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The Mirror had a photo of Matthews laughing yesterday (in paper edition)which it claimed showed there was something amiss and that they mentioned it to police in a knowing way. Just like the way reporters knew Murat was a bit dodgy.
Amazing how history can be re-written after such a short period so that the press are always winners.

The attacks on her lifestyle began even before she was charged. The attacks were also on the community that rallied around so well.

And yet the "roll call", for want of a better word, of people who murdered their kids/families while not on benefits (including wealthy bankers, married couples, businessmen, the lot) is a disturbing one.


Don't wait for the Sun or the News of The World to start a "crusade" there...!

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