Friday, 1 August 2008

You're the reason our children are ugly

As the more culturally aware of you may have spotted, the July challenge - set by the grumpy old men at the Sunday night curry club - was to use song titles for every post. Not that difficult, although I had to depart slightly from my original aim of only using songs I like or at least have on my iPod. (I'm now thinking I should have gone for 'Use it up, Wear it out' rather than 'Wombling Free', which was more than a tad obvious, but there you go.)

I'm not actually that keen on the Smiths, but you've got to admit, Morrissey gives good song title - in fact quite often, the song consists of little else ('Some Girls are Bigger than Others' being the most obvious example I can think of at the moment). I've always thought the songs seem like a bit of an afterthought: 'Shoplifters of the world unite', 'Please please please, let me get what I want', 'Never had no-one ever', 'You just haven't earned it yet baby' ... etc. I suppose 'The Queen is Dead' has lots of words, but he makes a little go a very, very long way in most of the others.

Anyway, seeing as I have by no means exhausted the back catalogue of Super Furry Animals, Arctic Monkeys, Pavement, Flaming Lips, Half-Man Half-Biscuit (genius song titles, but try matching a blog post to them), I'm going to try to keep it going through the silly season. You can have fun suggesting what I could have used instead.

And tonight I've finally got the chance to use what has to be the absolute best song title of all time. (Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty, before you start Googling). There's a story in today's Guardian that one in five fathers are wrongly identified in Child Support Agency claims. This is actually more than a little misleading, as it only applies to cases where a DNA test was ordered - so presumably excludes cases whether neither party has called the parentage into question. But still, interesting. What's the solution though? Compulsory DNA tests before all births are registered? No, I'm not suggesting that, but I can't think of anything else that would stop this happening. Apart from men being a little bit more careful, I suppose! And yes, I know that wouldn't help where a couple have been trying for kids, but the woman has been unfaithful - but I suspect most of these cases don't fall into that category. Better stop.... I'm sounding like Jeremy Kyle. But I am right, aren't I? (And I got to use that title.)


Hookers & Gin said...

Speaking as a man, the prospect of a letter from the CSA landing on the mat brings to mind a rather different song...

Reasons To Be Miserable (Part 10)

Kerry said...

Well if you can't do the time, don't do the crime!

Kerry said...

On reflection, that was a bit harsh. I have a number of ongoing cases where CSA involvement has left fathers in a very difficult situation, particularly where they have a new family to support too. And there is understandable resentment when they feel that their former partner is not doing much to support the family herself. (Although the system has been substantially overhauled during the last year or so, and will only be dealing with cases where consensual maintenance arrangements have failed). But basically the CSA is there to try to ensure that parents - of whatever gender - support their children rather than expecting the state to pick up the tab, and adding to the number of children living in poverty. It's understandable why men feel they've drawn the short straw when they've fathered a child during a casual relationship (or not a relationship at all) and are then expected to support it till adulthood. But that's the responsibility that goes with parenthood - even if you want nothing to do with the child or its mother, you're responsible for bringing it into the world. IT might be unfair (or unlucky) but that's not the kid's fault.

Jay said...

And just to add to your last comment, Kerry, (and to the woes of such men) even after death they're obliged to provide for their offspring.

Hookers & Gin said...

Oh, no worries, I just wanted to post the Half Man Half Biscuit song title rather than discuss the issue. Fact is, I can guarantee any claim from the CSA is a result of them being given my name in error.

And an error it must be. I can see why a woman might point the finger at a man with money, rather than the deadbeat, but why bother if she's going to get busted by DNA every time? Could anyone be that stupid?

No, I have to assume these women genuinely don't know, pick at random, and hope for the best.

Regarding the last part of your comment, it wouldn't be handing over maintenance for a child I never wanted that rankled so much - it's the fact I'm giving it to a woman I feel nothing for, maybe even despise.

But at least they're paying for kids that are actually theirs. As I'm sure you're aware, many man in America are paying maintenance for children they didn't father, simply because thay raised them as their own in blissful ignorance.

Such a situation would be unacceptable and, while I'm aware of at least one case in which a British man has had payments refunded, the recent decision to give parental rights to man in a similar situation - he asked for such rights - gives me cause for concern.