Ranty Friday — When the death of children becomes political

Six children died last year.  In a fire started deliberately by their father.  He didn’t mean to kill them so he was not tried for murder.  He was found guilty of manslaughter though and, thankfully, convicted this week.  Along with his wife and an accomplice.

His wife worked

His mistress worked.

But they were also entitled to benefits.

As are thousands of others.   Including many with a similar number of children.  Are they greedy?  Are they evil?  Would they consider burning down their own home?

No they would not.   And to suggest as much is despicable.

It came to light during the trial just what a vile creature this man is.   A previous relationship ended and he decided to stab his ex girlfriend 17 times.  A crime that sent to him prison.  Was that because he was on benefits?

A road rage attack for which he was on bail at the time of the fire… was that anger borne from him being on benefits?

Is it because he is on benefits that he doesn’t wash for weeks at a time?

Or maybe he has a insatiable sex drive because he is on benefits?

He showed no remorse after the blaze, barely went to the hospital (despite on of the children surviving for three days), demanded a press conference, faked tears, insisted on teddy bears left in tribute being sold….. because he was on benefits?

One of the reasons he started this blaze was to get revenge on his ex partner.   So stabbing one of them in the past was clearly not enough.  Now he decides revenge will be had by trying to frame her for burning down his house.   Fabricating lies that she had threatened to kill him in the weeks leading up to it.

The Judge in her summing up of the case said that this guy had “no moral compass”.   Is that as a result of being on benefits?


It is because this man is an abuser.   He deliberately targeted vulnerable women who he could manipulate and bully.  Who would be under the misguided impression that this is love.

That is not as a result of benefits or a welfare system.

Six children died in that fire.   Eleven remain.   What must be going through their heads now?  Thinking it could have been them.  That their dad started a fire to try and frame a woman they knew, killing six of their siblings.    Growing up now without their dad being around.  As vile a creature as we may see him, he is still their dad.  Grieving mum.   Mum in prison.  The whole thing is tragic in the extreme.

The Daily Mail used the expression “bred 17 children”.  Bred?  Is that how we refer to this?  Like Mike Philpott is some prize bull at the fair?  Can we not have some respect for those eleven survivors.   And more importantly the six who died.

This is not a chance to score points on a political agenda.   This is real life.   This is not a way to justify benefit cuts and welfare reform for thousands of needy people.

Jeremy Bamber is in prison for killing his family.   Was he on benefits?  Nope.

Stephen Seddon went to prison in Manchester last week for killing his parents for the inheritance he would get.   Should we change the inheritance tax laws?

Where is that on the political agenda?

Oh that’s right.  It isn’t.

And nor should this be

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  • I couldn’t agree more. I had to turn the radio off this week as after listening to it on the day of sentencing (whenever that was – Tuesday? Wednesday?) on the radio on my drive home from work I was in floods of tears. Its just horrible and tragic. That man is a vile piece of dirt. Not because of benefits or any other reason than that he is a vile piece of dirt! Those poor children.

  • I’m on benefits, but I don’t want to be! And it makes me really angry that people tar me with the same brush as people like this!

    There are respectable people who have no choice, but to accept help from the state because there are no jobs out there anyway! Especially if you’re not blonde and twenty-one with big boobs and no iq! That’s the only people in this area that are getting the jobs!

  • Couldn’t. Agree. More. It makes me so angry that people would assume that being on benefits can cause someone to be a murderer/abuser/vile pathetic excuse of a human being.

  • I’m afraid it has a lot to do with the nature of the people politicising the issue, like that odious Osborne. A man less well qualified for one of the great offices of State, I can barely imagine. Oh, Cameron, there’s one. I am appalled at our current political ‘elite’.