Everyone’s a Little Bit Fascist…

So, as anybody who’s seen Avenue Q will know, everyone’s a little bit racist (no, please don’t shout at me for this one. Just go to YouTube and have a listen. It actually has a point. In a strange, muppet-show kind of a way).

But apparently, everyone’s a little bit fascist, too.

Take the Shannon Matthews case. The key facts?

A young white girl goes missing
[English journalists everywhere high-five for getting a “good” story]
from somewhere up North
[English journalists tone down their response a bit, as obviously, living up North, you’re common and speak with a funny accent].

Her mother makes numerous TV appeals for the safe return of her daughter
[English TV programmers high-five for stealing the story from their old -fashioned colleagues who work with the printed word, a day behind the scoop]
but is hindered by the fact that she has a total of seven children fathered by five different men [English journalists in every media pause to decide which way to spin this story]
and that her newest husband is only 22, 10 years her junior
[English media provokes that monster, Public Opinion, which starts to decide that they’re common as muck, ought to be sterilised, look a bit inbred anyway – but that’s hardly surprising as they come from up North – and what on earth are they doing together considering the weirdness and the age difference?]
and then the fact that Shannon is found, safe and unharmed as far as anybody can see, hidden under a bed in the house belonging to her young stepfather’s uncle.
[English media bands together with Public Opinion to ask just what the fuck is going on in this bloody strange case anyway?]

The last I heard, Shannon’s mother was arrested for attempting to pervert the course of justice, having told a police liason officer that she knew where the girl was all along. Shannon herself is reported to have said that she’d rather stay with her foster parents.

And absolutely everybody that I’ve spoken to has been frighteningly militant about the case.

What can I say? Bleeding-heart liberal that I am, I don’t understand how people can so easily slip into the train of thought that leads to cruelty and intolerance.

There are some people who make decisions in life that I could never envisage making myself, that I would never want to make myself.
But surely, there are worse crimes in life than to have seven children and be a bit odd? Even to have seven children and be more than a bit odd.

It was only a generation or two ago that having seven children wouldn’t have been uncommon (all hail the Catholic Church!). The “five different men” thing – well, that’s not so common, for any age. On the other hand, at least two of the children must have shared a father, so it’s not all so scary, really. And to be honest, who’s to say now, when there are so many families that aren’t the nuclear version, what is right?

I could, in my smug, Southern, middle-class superiority say that she’s not a good mother, that she’s mad, or strange, or stupid, or promiscuous or grasping for money, or that she had so many children because of the benefits.

But that wouldn’t make me right. And it certainly doesn’t mean that I – or anyone else – can suggest that she be sterilised because of it.

Besides, what with our declining birth rate, and these same lovely, little-bit-fascist people slating any immigrant that comes their way, we need somebody to be popping out the kids.

Because otherwise, when they’re old, and draining the economy, I might turn out to be a little bit fascist too, and have them all put down.


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