With a curious synchronicity, a visitor arrived on my blog last night looking for "disciplinary wife book" and found my post ranting on the subject.
I say "synchronicity", of course because yesterday a man and his wife in Derby were found guilty of the manslaughter of their children - a hideous but, fortunately for the papers, salacious case involving them setting fire to their own house as a means of getting some leverage in a custody dispute but being unable to rescue the children.
And I used "man and wife" rather than married couple because I really did want to indicate the man's apparently leading role in this. We're talking a man who served time for serious violence against a former partner, who seemed to specialise in relationships with younger women without the sort of family or friendship support that would have led them to realise his abusive nature.
One paper that I'm not going to link to goes so far as to suggest that the British benefits system is to blame for this. That sort of logic could also conclude that it was the Class system that meant Lord Lucan thought he could get away with killing his servants. No, it was a monumental abuse of power, combined with unutterable stupidity, that was to blame for this. Somebody had managed to persuade himself that he was the only one that mattered. Two others - one whom he abused to the point of compliance - abetted him in his delusion. And now six lovely children are dead.
No real point to these comments, really. The irony is that the paper that talks about the system being to blame, misses the chance to talk about responsibility, about knowing right from wrong. You could argue that, by association, it's actually putting the guilt on the innocent dead - "scroungers" that their class apparently are. If it's the benefits system that caused this tragedy, then clearly the system needs changing - ignoring the fact that the guilt lies somewhere else. Six kids are dead, a number more are without their father - albeit not a father you'd wish on anyone. And instead of that grief and sorrow, our nation focuses in on the sexual activities, and the endless debate about benefits.