Thursday, 11 February 2010

Poor little Janey

A conversation by Robin Hind

"I am worried, Marge. I don't know what it is. Worried, really worried. Perhaps more than that even. Yes, frightened -- it's frightening; I feel really frightened."

"How is that?"

"It's Elizabeth. That's why am worried and frightened and both of them together. All mixed up in me."

"How old is she now?"

"Just six, but it's the girls that she is mixing with. She gets invited out, you know. I am worried about some of these girls, or perhaps I should say I am worried about where they go. The girls in her class, and that's why it's so difficult. I just can't say "no", because I get such backtalk from her. Perhaps I'm unreasonable. I don't know any more. I suppose she could have friends with the other people that she meets. Victoria's mother was telling how she went to this party, which she thought was just an ordinary children's party, but they were lots of these older boys. They all seem to have money and smoked, and heaven knows what else. I just do not know these people. They're not my kind of people. I feel I can't make any decisions any more. I didn't grow up with people like this. I don't want to be unfair to them, but they’re so different. So different. I don't how to relate to them. This is all really my fault? Things keep changing. But I suppose the worst is that I can't talk to anybody about it -- at least anybody other than you. But one doesn't feel safe any more, talking about these things. You never know what could happen with talking. Oh my goodness, I don't know what to do."

"What don't you like?

"She is mixing with girls from families which seem to have a bad omen about them. But her friends are invited to parties, and I noticed that her friends go to parties where there are lots of older boys. There is drink.

The sleepovers are a problem too -- there are girls that I don't like with behaviours that frightened me, and which are quite contrary to the way I would like to bring up my girl. I just don't like it. But I have to invite them, I'm afraid not to. I'm afraid to not let her go to the parties that she's been invited to. She puts pressure on me."

"You have an obligation to be selective about the children that come to your daughter sleepovers, for that matter you have an obligation to highly select all your daughter's friends. It is your responsibility to protect her from people outside the domain of your approval. You have a responsibility to stamp your authority on her now, to make her understand that your family has a pattern of selection, and that her mother is acting as her protector and in her best interests. Although she is only five -- no, it's six isn't it? -- these patterns must be established now. This business begins now. It begins with the selection of her friends at this early age. You must simply determine, forthwith, which stream of friends are appropriate. If you don't do it now then in five or so years those improper associations will still be there, but amplified and by then well beyond your influence and control. Leading to who knows where."

"Look what happened to poor little Janey, poor little mite. We always think it'll be someone else, but when it's someone you know so well... O heavens!"

"It is the unimaginable. That this could have been done to her. But you can trace it back. We should have said something at the time. We always think that things will work out. Actually, I suppose this is happening to all of us. Without us really realising it."

"There are people in the community that I don't like, and I feel bad about it. You know, I feel as though I should get to like them. I should like them, shouldn't I? I'm supposed to like them, aren't I? I'm also frightened to talk about it. In fact I don't talk about it."

"What are you going to do then? Be hypocritically friendly to everyone? You can't do that nowadays, it's too complicated. In the early days you could, but then the neighbours were people like you, who understood you, and that you understood. Are you going to lie down and let them tramp all over? If you become a doormat people walk all over you."

“I suppose so. I suppose I do. What else can I do? You can’t talk to anybody about it now in England. I'm afraid. I don't even know what I'm afraid of."

"Are you supporting people in your community who you don't like, for reasons of your own convenience?"

"What you mean by that?"

"Do they have businesses?"

"Oh yes, there is the shop, and of course the bistro and the Post Office"

"If you are supporting these people economically you are indicating that their presence is needed. You are condoning them. Do not see how distastefully hypocritical you are being? Do you not see how dishonest you are being towards yourself and your community generally?"

"Well what do I do?"

"If there are people in your community that you choose not to deal with, just don't deal with them. Go somewhere else, even if it is out of the way."

"I suppose you are right. It would be awkward of course. Wouldn't people start to ask about it? Am I allowed to do it? In law that is? I don't understand all these laws. It seems people get into trouble all the time about all these things."

"You have the most powerful vote of all. It is a silent and anonymous vote. It is a vote that is supremely democratic. It is the vote of your purchasing power. You can't have it both ways, you can't say on one hand that you do not want some people in your community and yet on the other hand depend on them and bless them with your custom. You get what you buy. If you pay people that you don’t like, of course they will continue to be there.

You don’t have much time. Elizabeth will get into a pattern. She is probably in it or almost in it already. You can think of it like railway tracks. If the children get on the wrong tracks even so young, if it is the wrong track it can lead into heaven knows where as they get older. Once they get towards the teens there won't be any switch points which you will be able to control. You'll find that you're standing there, hating it all, knowing this will be catastrophic and yet not being able to do anything. We have to set up our children early. Much earlier than you think. They must be set in the right way and with the right people, and with the right values. The time is now."

"You know, you're right about voting with your purchases. Me old mum used to tell me about it. During the war they had something called "Buy British". It was written on all the things that were made in England. "Buy British". My mum said it saved Britain. She said it saved the Empire. Supporting those who are like you. Giving them the work. Buying their products, perhaps straight off of the farm. Was it during the war? Perhaps it was after the war? I don't know really. I just remember me old mum talking about it. She said it saved the peace. Whatever that meant. Sometimes I am glad she is not here. It would be awful for her to see what these politicians have done. Lining their egos, that’s them.

But what about being a Christian, I'm supposed to help people. I'm supposed to turn the other cheek, they always say. What does the Bible say?"

"I don’t suggest, not for one second, that you behave in any way that is not totally the Christian way. Consideration, charity and compassion are all so important in our society. More so, as we begin building a better society. I don’t know the Scriptures all that well. But I am sure that Christianity approves of supporting fellow Christians"


Robin Hind


Anonymous said...

wait a minute is that a typo or did she really say her daughter is six years old?what is that?she can't restrict a 6 years old girl?

if i knew that my young daughter,goes on parties with older boys ,who smoke and drink, i ould destroy the whole country.and she can't even say "no"???

MrsJ said...

Please, please, please tell me that this conversation isn't real? Are there really mothers who are that concerned but frightened to do what is right?

Is this some future nightmare scenario?

Robin Hind said...

Mrs J asked if this was a real conversation. This article was drafted from a real conversation, and the beleaguered mother is fortysomething native Briton with a single child. The conversation occurred in an upmarket suburb of London which has recently been flooded by non-Europeans.

A mother of a child at Elizabeth’s private school offered to sponsor the School Christmas Dinner this last year, to the initial gratitude of most. The Christmas meal presented was curry.

Is it surprising that, with the cultural rug having pulled out from under their feet, these people are lost?

I don't know where Mrs J lives, but this conversation is replicated in many parts of Britain, frequently. There are now many confused, perplexed people in Britain who feel they should do something but don't know what to do. They are searching for guidance. For some the nightmare is here.

Robin Hind

Sarah Maid of Albion said...

Thanks Robin

I certainly think you have addressed the conflict and confusion facing so many Britons, in an interesting and imaginative manner.