Sunday, June 17, 2012
Getting "Daddy's girl" wrong
From the report below, it would seem that some people see a "Daddy's girl" as weak and dependant. I am not going to rule that out as being true in some cases but all the cases I have seen have been quite the opposite -- the inimitable Samantha Brick being the best-known case in point. The adverse cases referred to below may be ones where the girl's affection for her father was not fully returned. That would indeed be very sad and damaging. The lady in my life was a Daddy's Girl and it needs a very strong woman to put up with me -- so that speaks volumes, I think
Just a final thought -- maybe right or maybe wrong: Perhaps it needs a strong man to cope with strong woman. Samantha Brick's husband is clearly no shrinking violet
This week, like 900,000 odd people, I tuned in to watch episode one of Being Lara Bingle. I also jumped on Twitter to see what the reaction was. Because I’m a #wordnerd.
What I found interesting was the reaction that came to the surface about “The Daddy’s Girl Dynamic”.
During the show, Lara talked about losing her father, and described herself as a “Daddy’s Girl” – her father was her special person before passing.
She also talked about a lot of the “scandals” she has been involved in, and pondered whether things would have been different if her Dad had been around to guide her, during those difficult times. Or perhaps even pull her into line.
Missing your father – whether at 24 or 82 - is totally understandable. So is the idea that she would look up to him. People do that with parents. Some do it for their whole life.
Yet the girly revelation of a woman still needing her father to guide her, seemed to anger a lot of men on Twitter. Now there’s nothing wrong with a woman of 24 wishing she could speak to her Dad.
But many people believe the dynamic of a “Daddy’s Girl” to be dysfunctional. Women might not like to date a “Mummy’s Boy”, but men don’t dig a “Daddy’s Girl” much either…
Why? “Being a Daddy’s Girl, isn’t attractive, because whether their dad is here with us or has passed, it means a woman is still a bit of a ‘lost little girl’ looking to have a man guide and direct her, not able to take responsibility for her own life and actions,” said reader Damien.
“What it seemed to touch on, was the concept that women who still need a dad/father figure, to guide their life basically have issues.”
My workmate Sarah said: “I’ve seen it with my own friends. Women who idolise their father, to the point that no man lives up to him, never seem to meet someone or have very tumultuous relationships. They are always talking about their Dad or wanting too much attention, which in some ways keeps them like a child.”
So I guess Daddy’s Girl is not really so different to Mummy’s Boy. And for both sexes, a partner who needs or desires to be led or taken care of emotionally by a parent tends to turn people off.
But before we turn into the parent police, is this really so bad?
Trust me, you can't trust this lot with any more powers
Britain as the new East Germany
When the Coalition came to power two years ago there was at least hope that Labour’s ever-expanding Stasi state would be thrown into reverse.
Nick Clegg and his colleagues, in particular, prided themselves on their civil libertarian credentials. Both the Lib Dems and the Tories appeared to be united in their opposition to the unwarranted extension of surveillance into every crevice of our private lives.
Sadly, those hopes have been comprehensively dashed. The Government is so in thrall to the internet giant Google that it turns a blind eye to the outrageous wholesale harvesting of our personal details for commercial gain.
Under the new proposals, police will not be able to access users' message content, but will know who was contacted, when and by what method
Loss of freedom: Police will be entitled to know the address of every email we send or receive, every website or social networking forum we visit, and the number and identity of everyone we speak to on the telephone
Now it proposes giving the police blanket authority to spy on our phone calls, texts and emails. As usual, the justification is that only by having access to our confidential communications can the police and security services keep us safe from criminals and terrorists.
Up goes the cry of the tyrant through the ages: Those with nothing to hide have nothing to fear.
The Home Secretary Theresa May suggests scandalously that anyone concerned about granting the police new powers to trawl through our private correspondence is a ‘conspiracy theorist’ who would cheerfully condemn children to abuse at the hands of paedophiles.
‘I don’t understand why some criticise these proposals,’ May writes. ‘By trying to stop the police having access to this tool, they are risking both justice and public safety.’
When May comes out with such simplistic, sentimental, intelligence-insulting drivel it almost has one hankering for the halcyon days of her hopeless Labour predecessor ‘Jackboots’ Jacqui Smith, who displayed a cavalier, almost criminal, disregard for our hard-won freedoms.
As a sop to those of us who consider any extension of the surveillance state to be a gross intrusion into our privacy, May proposes to remove the rights of Town Halls and other agencies to snoop on our emails, phone calls and internet activity.
That’s big of her. These powers should never have been granted in the first place and should have been rescinded as one of the very first acts of an incoming Coalition Government allegedly committed to upholding civil liberties. They shouldn’t be used as a bargaining chip in a cynical putsch to expand the right of the state to pry into every aspect of our existence.
If May gets her way, the police and security services will ‘only’ be entitled to know the address of every email we send or receive, every website or social networking forum we visit, and the number and identity of everyone we speak to on the telephone. We are assured they won’t know the contents of those communications.
'Whenever you give any agent of the state extra powers, they will always, always abuse it'
So that’s all right, then. Into the middle of this sensitive political debate plods the recently installed Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Bernard Hyphen-Howe.
‘Trust me,’ he writes in a newspaper article designed to terrify us into agreeing to his demands.
‘I don’t say this lightly, but in a significant number of cases, access to communications data is a matter of life or death.’
Translation: give me what I want or you’ll all be murdered in your beds. Hyphen-Howe cites the examples of Soham killer Ian Huntley and Milly Dowler’s murderer Levi Bellfield, who were both convicted using evidence obtained from texts and phone calls.
His implication is that without the police having access to their mobile phone records, they may have escaped justice. This is deliberately disingenuous, to say the least.
The reason Huntley evaded capture for so long was because of negligence on the part of Humberside Police, who failed to inform their counterparts in Cambridge of his suspected criminal activity.
Surely the fact that both were caught and convicted would seem to prove that sufficient powers exist already.
The police are at liberty at any time to apply to a magistrate for a warrant to carry out surveillance on a named suspect. In the year 2010-11, they were granted permission for 398 such operations, so they’re hardly fighting crime with one hand tied behind their backs.
I’ve always assumed the Funny People routinely bug and spy on suspected terrorists as a matter of course, with or without a warrant. That’s what they’re there for. No one is too concerned when the subjects of such surveillance are genuine bad guys.
What’s wrong with this latest attempted land-grab is that both the police and the security services would be tempted to go on speculative fishing expeditions against all and sundry.
Hyphen-Howe broadens his argument to suggest that any new power wouldn’t just be confined to terrorists, organised crime and paedophile rings. He says it would be used to ‘tackle criminals whose activities affect the wider community, such as repeat burglars and drug dealers’.
If he was serious about tackling everyday crime, including drug dealers and burglars, he’d reopen a few police stations and put some proper coppers back on the beat.
The most likely outcome of granting the police more surveillance powers is that even more officers will be withdrawn from the streets and will spend their time trawling pruriently through the internet alongside colleagues who currently spend all day gawping at grainy CCTV images.
Inevitably, much of this information will fall into the wrong hands, or be sold on by bent coppers to private investigators and blackmailers.
If you still think what the police are seeking is reasonable and proportionate, ask yourself this: would you like a copper on permanent duty in your house demanding to inspect all your letters and emails, sifting through your bank statements and medical records, vetting your friends and recording details of your phone calls? That, in effect, is what this amounts to.
The police and politicians pretend that what they are proposing is benign and in our best interests. Unfortunately, experience teaches us otherwise. The state is obsessed with acquiring and storing private information. Police already hold millions of DNA samples belonging to innocent people which should properly have been destroyed.
Whenever you give any agent of the state extra powers, they will always, always abuse it.
Trust me, says Hyphen-Howe. Why should we, Bernard?
Judge wants to gag British government minister
A most interesting commentary on the mentality of the judge concerned. Is a judge with a glass jaw the right man to decide on censorship? Is he up to the job?
The judge leading the probe into media behaviour threatened to quit after he was publicly criticised by a Cabinet Minister, senior Government sources claimed last night.
Lord Justice Leveson phoned Whitehall’s most senior mandarin and demanded that Education Secretary Michael Gove – who claimed the inquiry had created a ‘chilling atmosphere’ towards freedom of speech – should be gagged. In the angry call to Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood, the judge claimed that if Ministers were not silenced, his inquiry, set up to investigate phone-hacking by Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers, would be rendered worthless.
He also summoned Mr Gove to give evidence to the inquiry to explain himself. An alarmed Sir Jeremy informed David Cameron of the judge’s ultimatum.
Government insiders say they were convinced Leveson was prepared to resign in protest unless Ministers stopped passing comment on his inquiry.
‘Our clear impression was that he was spitting tacks with Gove and was ready to resign unless the Minister was told to shut up,’ said one source.
Other insiders insisted Leveson did not threaten to walk away from the inquiry, but they confirmed the phone call to Sir Jeremy – and that Leveson said Ministers such as Mr Gove should not speak out.
‘Leveson said that if this was going to continue with Cabinet Ministers offering opinions while the inquiry was in its early days, he would have to question whether the inquiry had any value, bearing in mind it was using public money,’ said the source. ‘He did not threaten to resign.’
A spokesman for the inquiry said: ‘Lord Justice Leveson is conducting a judicial inquiry and, in that capacity, will not comment on prospective press stories outside the formal proceedings of the inquiry.’ The spokesman refused to make any further comment.
Downing Street, Mr Gove and the Cabinet Office, where Sir Jeremy is based, all refused to comment.
The extraordinary row erupted after Mr Gove gave a speech to political journalists at a House of Commons Press Gallery luncheon on February 21.
He argued that the Leveson Inquiry had created a ‘chilling atmosphere’ towards freedom of expression and any attempt to tighten regulation of newspapers could result in ‘a cure worse than the original disease’. Mr Gove was concerned about groups with vested interests ‘fettering’ the press.
He conceded that illegal activity conducted by some sections of the media had to be ‘vigorously policed’ but said Ministers should not be panicked into over-reacting to the phone-hacking scandal.
He appeared to have riled Leveson with pointed comments accusing ‘the Establishment, the great and the good and judges’ of joining forces with celebrities who wanted to muzzle a free press.
Mr Gove said: ‘When an undoubted wrong has been done there’s a desire to find a judge, a civil servant, a representative of the great and good, inevitably a figure from the Establishment, to inquire into what went wrong and to make recommendations about what might be put right. ‘It’s a natural thing for politicians to do but sometimes there are dangers associated with it.’
He added that there was a danger of regulation being imposed by ‘judges, celebrities, and the Establishment ..... all of whom have an interest in taking over from the press as arbiters of what a free press should be.’
An enraged Leveson immediately instructed his officials to compile a full report of Mr Gove’s comments. And within 24 hours, he phoned Sir Jeremy to protest.
The Cabinet Secretary informed No. 10 and Mr Gove. Cabinet sources say neither Mr Gove nor other Ministers were ordered to keep quiet about the Leveson Inquiry. However, few have spoken out since his indignant phone call.
But the bitter feud between Mr Gove and Leveson was evident when the Education Secretary, a former journalist at The Times, owned by Mr Murdoch, gave evidence at the inquiry on May 29.
A defiant Mr Gove repeated the arguments he made at the Commons Press Gallery, almost word for word, to the evident annoyance of Leveson.
The judge insisted new rules were needed to curb media excesses, while Mr Gove strongly defended Mr Murdoch and said journalists were ‘exercising a precious liberty’ when they wrote articles.
A clearly irritated Lord Justice Leveson snapped: ‘Mr Gove, I do not need to be told about the importance of freedom of speech, I really don’t.’ He was ‘concerned’ by Mr Gove’s view that ‘unacceptable’ behaviour has ‘to be accepted because of the right of freedom of speech’.
But Mr Gove stuck to his guns, insisting attempts to stamp out wrongdoing could make things worse.
Typical of British social services: Never take children away from ferals -- only from decent families
It's the Marxism they learn in social work courses: The Bourgeoisie are evil and the lower classes can do no wrong
Collette Elliott treasures the simple rituals of motherhood — the Saturday mornings when her three daughters clamber onto her bed for a cuddle and a chat, and the Sunday evenings spent watching a DVD together.
She celebrates their birthdays with parties, and still kisses her youngest tenderly after a bedtime story each night.
These rituals are not unusual, yet to Collette they are at once precious and disconcerting, so alien are they to the childhood she knew. For her own mother was as distant and neglectful as Collette is devoted and doting.
Maureen Batchelor was an alleged prostitute who spent Collette’s early years flitting between men, failing to feed her daughter properly and often seeming to forget her existence.
But while Maureen’s conduct as a mother was shocking, it is not as shocking as the fact that social services knew what her vulnerable daughter was going through.
So enraged is Collette by what she believes is their negligence that she is now taking legal action against Birmingham social services for failing to take her into full-time care, in what is thought to be the first case of its kind in Britain.
They were alerted to her mother’s behaviour when Collette was just two months old, and concerned enough to put her into care on two occasions before she was four.
Reports seen by the Mail show that they believed Maureen had been cautioned for soliciting men, and was proving to be an incapable mother. But when approached by the Mail, Maureen denied ever having been a prostitute. Social services also allegedly knew about her criminal boyfriends, her brushes with the law and her occasional homelessness.
They heard from Collette’s foster mother how Collette had said her mother hit her — yet still decreed Maureen was the best person to care for her. Against all odds, 34-year-old Collette is now happily married and trying to heal the scars of her blighted early life. She and her mother, who still lives near her in Birmingham, are estranged, but her situation today couldn’t be further from her chaotic early life.
Collette was so psychologically damaged by the age of 18 that she tried to kill herself. It was to be the first of 12 suicide attempts over more than a decade of suffering from clinical depression.
It was only last year, after a session with her psychiatrist, that she decided to find out what exactly had happened to her by reading the social services files relating to her childhood.
‘I felt sick as I read them,’ she says today. ‘Suddenly everything slotted into place, and I felt utterly betrayed. I hated my mother.’ Collette’s fury at Maureen was equalled only by her anger at social services. ‘They let me down,’ she says. ‘There was page upon page of reasons why I shouldn’t be left with my mother, yet they seemingly ignored them.’
Despite managing to turn her life around so admirably, Collette remains troubled. Even now she suffers panic attacks and nightmares that she is back in her mother’s care.
She says: ‘My legal action is about social services being held accountable for the terrible mess my life became, and admitting that they should have cared for me better. It’s about making sure this never happens to anyone else, too.’
Collette also hopes to force a change in the law so the police can press charges against Maureen. ‘They’re saying it happened too long ago, but the scars inside will never fade,’ she says.
Sitting in her neat two-bedroom terrace house, Collette sheds frequent tears as she shares her disbelief at the contents of the 600-plus pages of social services reports she has by her side.
Meanwhile, upstairs, her three daughters, aged 15, 12 and four, are getting ready for bed. Pictures of the girls with Collette and her husband, Scott, 29, line the walls of their home.
‘Becoming a mother made me realise how awful my own childhood was,’ says Collette, who refuses to call Maureen her mother. ‘I am determined to keep my girls safe, happy and protected in a way I never was.’
Collette was just two months old when she first came to the attention of Birmingham social services. In November 1977, her health visitor reported her failure to thrive. Maureen was feeding her daughter a diet of pasteurised milk, potatoes and gravy, and Collette was often taken to hospital with infections.
Social workers described the council maisonette where Collette lived with Maureen and her boyfriend as ‘bare, cold and dirty’. At five months old, Collette weighed only 10lb. Social workers began visiting regularly: in reports they described Maureen as irresponsible and manipulative. By the time Collette was a toddler, Maureen had had known liaisons with five men.
When social workers visited, she refused to let them in, and a neighbour allegedly saw Collette wandering the streets, crying for her mother — although the police concluded she was ‘playing out of doors’ and there was no real cause for concern. ‘Maureen apparently shut me out because she was in the house with a man,’ says Collette.
In January 1979, when Collette was 18 months old, social services made her the subject of a three-year supervision order, and she was placed in a children’s home in Birmingham.
She says: ‘One social worker found prospective adoptive parents for me and argued it was detrimental for me to go back to my mother, but her bosses disagreed.’
Collette was returned to her mother on a trial arrangement in April 1980. Six months later, she fell out of her mother’s bedroom window and fractured her skull.
By then Maureen’s latest boyfriend was living with them. Two of his children from a previous relationship were in care, and he had served jail sentences for theft.
After that relationship, Maureen married Harry Price, in 1981. But that same year a neighbour reported her for soliciting, claiming men were turning up at her home at all hours of the day and night.
Collette, who was four, recalls Maureen bringing men back to their home and having sex in front of her: ‘I sat in a chair while Maureen had sex on the sofa.’
When Collette asked who her father was, Maureen was dismissive.
‘She said I was conceived during an affair, but I think my father was a client. She said he was half-Asian, and always called me a “Paki”.’ Maureen’s parents — Collette’s grandparents — refused to intervene in the chaos, and Maureen’s six siblings severed contact with her.
In March 1982, Maureen was arrested for fighting with a neighbour and charged with causing criminal damage. She was fined, and the police discovered she had previously been cautioned for soliciting. Collette was then placed with a foster mother. Maureen was allowed to visit regularly, although the reports say she rarely did.
Social workers acknowledged that Maureen’s lifestyle was having a damaging effect on her daughter but claimed they did not have the concrete evidence needed to make permanent changes.
Incredibly, their solution was a six-month rehabilitation programme in which Maureen would visit Collette several times a week at a neutral location until she felt able to look after her again.
In reality, these visits rarely happened, leaving Collette to savour her first taste of happy stability in the care of foster parents that summer.
‘My foster parents had a big garden where we picked daisies. My foster mother took me to Sunday School and gave me mints in the car on the way, which seemed like such a treat,’ she recalls.
‘I didn’t want to go back to Maureen. She’d go for weeks without seeing me, saying she’d been ill or couldn’t afford the fare to visit.’
It seems incredible, then, that by the end of 1982 Collette had been placed back with her mother. By then, Maureen had left Harry and married her current husband, Peter Batchelor, with whom she had a son in 1983 and a daughter in 1985. Collette felt even more neglected. ‘She’d tell me I didn’t belong, and that she wished I’d never been born,’ says Collette.
Her social services records contain no notes for the next two years, so it is impossible to know exactly what happened. But Collette’s memory of that time is, she says, vivid. She claims that Maureen hit her regularly with her fists, a slipper or broom handle.
‘I was told to go to my room by 6pm every night, and I wasn’t allowed books or a bedroom light on. I was so hungry I ate tissue paper. ‘I used to wet myself because the bathroom was downstairs and I was too scared of running into Maureen.’
‘Maureen lavished attention on my brother and sister. She bought them toys and gave them sweets, but I was made to eat my dinner outside, even in winter.’
Collette says that in 1985, when she was eight, she showed her teachers her bruises. They contacted social services, who requested a meeting with Collette, Maureen and Peter.
‘I told them Maureen was beating me but she denied it. They sent me home, and that night I was beaten more than ever. Maureen took me out of that school the following week.’
In 1987, Collette’s records report bruises to her knee. Although child abuse procedures were seemingly put in operation, Collette doesn’t remember social workers visiting her after that, and assumed they’d given up on her.
In May 1992, when she was 14, Collette took matters into her own hands. She went to see a social worker, reporting that she had been bitten and hit by her mother, and wanted to go back into care. Rather than investigate, however, it seems the social worker told Collette she could see no evidence of injuries, and advised her to speak to a teacher.
‘I felt I’d reached the end of the road,’ she says. ‘I was covered in bite marks and bruises, and the people who were meant to be helping me didn’t care. ‘I thought about calling the police, but if social workers didn’t believe me, why would they? I ran away a few times but I had nowhere to go, so I always went home.’
Collette left school at 16, moved in with a boyfriend in Birmingham and began studying nursing at college.
Maureen seemed less interested in her daughter by then — a fact which outsiders might assume would have come as a relief. Instead, missing the unhealthy control her mother had always exerted over her, Collette felt lost and confused.
She dropped out of college, got a job as a care worker, and at 18 was so depressed and confused that she swallowed a bottle of pills that Peter took for a heart condition. Maureen didn’t visit her daughter in hospital, where she had her stomach pumped and was placed under the care of her local mental health authority.
Collette was prescribed antidepressants and fortnightly therapy sessions. Two days later, she left hospital and went back to live with her mother and Peter. She returned to her job as a care worker and, a year later, in December 1995, met the man who was to become the father of her two eldest children at a social club.
She moved into his home in Birmingham, but the relationship was troubled from the start. Collette says her partner was domineering and controlling, but by then she felt anything was better than living with her mother. Their first daughter was born in March 1997, and their second daughter three years later.
Motherhood proved both therapeutic and traumatic for Collette, who would lock herself in the bathroom with the children for hours on end, irrationally fearing they would be taken away by her mother.
Her relationship with the girls’ father ended eight years after it began, in 2003, amid claims he’d been unfaithful to her. Four years later, when she was 29, a full-time mother and living with her children in her own home in Birmingham, Collette met Scott Elliott, then aged 24 and a window cleaner. They married soon afterwards.
‘He was kinder than any man I’d met before,’ Collette says. ‘My daughters loved him, he understood me, and he was stable and level-headed.’ Their daughter was born in November 2007.
Yet for all this new-found domestic stability — she and Scott have been married for five years and live happily with Collette’s daughters — she remained in the grip of an unshakeable depression for three further years. Between the ages of 18 and 32, Collette overdosed 12 times on antidepressants and painkillers. ‘It wasn’t a cry for help — I wanted to die,’ she says.
For reasons she cannot explain, but which probably have everything to do with the ties that bind children and abusive parents, Collette was sporadically in touch with Maureen until 2010, when her psychiatrist suggested she should sever contact so she could finally move on with her life.
‘So I called Maureen and told her I wouldn’t be in touch again. I told my daughters and they understood — they knew she hadn’t been a good mother,’ she says.
Collette then decided to investigate her past, in the hope that understanding it would help her move on. But nothing could have prepared her for the shock she felt last May on reading the extent of her mother’s neglect in the social services records.
A friend suggested she confront social workers about their role in her upbringing, and Collette is now suing them.
She also wants a change in the law so her mother can be charged with abuse. ‘I don’t want her to go to prison,’ she says. ‘I just want some acknowledgement that she did wrong.’
Last night, Maureen denied ever abusing or neglecting her daughter, and said she had never worked as a prostitute. She added: ‘Collette is round the twist. She’s doing this for a compensation payout.’
A spokesman for Birmingham City Council said it was unable to comment on individual cases. Collette still lives in the same neighbourhood as Maureen, now 58, and Peter, 70, a retired mechanic.
She last met her mother at a family funeral in April, but says it was not the ordeal she’d anticipated. ‘We didn’t speak. I looked at her and felt nothing,’ she says. ‘I realised she could no longer hurt me. In some ways, what she did made me stronger.’
With that, Collette wipes the tears from her eyes and goes upstairs to kiss her daughters goodnight.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.