I guess it was only a matter of time before we became national news here on the South Coast. The reason for our infamy concerns the case of a 13 year old boy who has become a father. This story was plastered all over a national tabloid paper and provoked the predictable outcries from all around, who jump on the bandwagon to get their voices heard. Well, as it happens the said happy family live only a stones throw from here. As I was leaving work on Friday I noticed an outside broadcast vehicle heading off and I wondered what had been going on. Meantime Ian was watching the news before leaving home and phoned.
"Lovely, put the tele on. I'm sure I'm looking at the street round the corner from you"
Sure enough I switched on see some local faces that I definitely recognised talking about how sad it was and what they would do if their children did something like that.
The following day a few people were gathered near the house concerned but other than that all carried on as normal. I talked with the neighbours.
I asked if it was really true that this 13 year old was the father. True he seemed more than happy to own up but monogamy is not something that is rife among sexually active teenagers. Well, it turns out that there are several other in the mix and a paternity test is following to determine the true state of affairs (so to speak). (The most worrying thing about this story is the bit that says that the family spokesman is Max Clifford.)
Did the family get paid by the tabloid paper for the story? The general opinion seemed to be yes and various amounts were suggested. (Given the involvement of the above publicist I would have thought it unlikely it was done for free).
It was also rumoured that for one of those involved it was not the first time that they had sought publicity, appearing on a well known TV show to discuss their sexual appetite. I hasten to add that I don't know exactly who this is or whether it is true!
Finally there was some indignation that many of the people interviewed who were concerned actually did not lead blameless lives themselves!
In the end, as I often do round here, I felt for all three children at the centre of this.