Wednesday, 27 July 2011


In all the coverage of the tragic events in Norway - and the subsequent attempts to link the man responsible to Christianity, to far-right politics, to freemasonry or whatever, one thing struck me.

His father, understandably trying to distance himself from the man who had just murdered scores of people, said that he had had almost nothing to do with him since he was very small.

I was reminded of Raoul Moat's tragic cry: 'I've got no dad.'

I think we are seriously in trouble when the father of a clearly very disturbed murderer thinks he is exonerated because he has not been involved in his son's up-bringing...


Simon Platt said...


Genty said...

On the R4 Today programme this morning there was a report of the rising number of children who do not know their names and cannot communicate/comprehend when they arrive in reception classes. They are likely to under-achieve, while many young offenders are known to have communication difficulties.
I am about to make a giant leap here and am likely to be shot down, but here goes. As a non-driver I am a frequent bus user. It is a rarity to see a mother converse with her child. She is too busy talking on her mobile. If the child attempts to get her attention it is ignored or gets a 'don't bother me look' and slumps back into its buggy. The saddest sight is to see a row of silent toddlers while animated Mums talk away on their mobiles.
Of course, I don't know what the situation is at home. Maybe the child gets Mum's full attention. Perhaps there is a Dad.
Whatever, there's problem. Thousands of war widows brought up their children single-handed, as did widows of men in dangerous occupations like mining. So it can't just be the lack of a father.
Something else is going on.

pattif said...

It seems to me that it is only in the strange parallel universe we seem to inhabit nowadays that the mental disturbance can be seen to be unconnected with the fatherlessness. However, Genty is right: there is something going on here that is more than the absence of a father. Psychological studies have shown that children cope better with the death of a father or, indeed, a father's enforced absence in wartime, than with a sense of being abandoned by their father.

It is not only the children of parents who have never grasped the meaning of life-long commitment who suffer the consequences; we all do.

Left-footer said...

Genty - indeed something else is going on.