Anakana Schofield – Author of Martin John and Malarky

A splendid couple of hours in the Rare Books archive at UBC, with the help of a librarian whose father was a labour lawyer.

My father was an Industrial Relations Officer, I told him and we both smiled.

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I’m simply astonished by some of the sentences being handed out in England after last week’s unrest. 4 years for stealing an ice cream cornet (was I reading right?) A woman jailed for 5 months for handling a pair of stolen shorts, looted by her flatmate during the riot, but she was no where near the riot.  The report, as I heard it and this is no transcript, said the Judge declared she should have set a better example for her 2 children. If I understand this those children will have no parent for 5 months, exactly what kind of example does this offer them? Ultimately the value of a pair of shorts is higher than that placed on parenting, even if its dubious parenting.

Parents (read Mothers, likely single mothers) are also going to be evicted from their council flats for the misbehaviour of their looting sons or daughters. Exactly where does this leave the rest of their children? Why are they too victimized by sibling association? The fact is that some siblings in a family go off the rails. Some have mental health issues. The solution, therefore, is to screw up the entire family for the actions of one.  I live in a building with a history of single volatile teens, who cohabit the space with perfectly reasonable teens.

I’ve also lived in buildings where a mother had a particularly troubled child/teen who ended up on the street with the disease of drug problems. I can verify that she was not necessarily doing anything different from the rest of us. He did, however, have a mental health issue.

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