The terribly shocking revelation that teenage mum Chantelle Steadman may have been fucking half the neighbourhood, and that pixie-faced 12-year-old Alfie Patten may not in fact have sired her first doomed, mewling offspring, inspired me with an intriguing conspiracy theory.
What if this whole story is just a great big hilarious Shannon Matthews style council estate romp, a hastily constructed lie designed to extract money from shoot-first newspaper editors?
It appears to be accepted wisdom that Patten’s shagger dad, who has personally spawned a whole tribe of little bastards, was on the phone to the redtops almost as soon as Chantelle’s waters broke.
The rest of the family are said to be bartering their own “my story” deals as I write, playing on editors’ desires to hand over big a cheque to a chav in order to exclusively condemn “Broken Britain” in a full centre-spread filled with colour photos and 200px white-on-black sans serifs.
The Tories have been getting a fair few column inches in these stories. As the Opposition, they can lay into the social policies in place when these kinds of things happen far more vociferously than the Government.
And many of the papers lap it up. What they report less is that, despite Britain still having one of the highest rates of teenage pregnancy in Europe, the most recent statistics, from 2006, show that this rate is rapidly declining.
Many of the same papers quote people condemning the poor state of sex education for our kids, ignoring other reports that Chantelle had merely forgotten to take the pill that day.
But what if Alfie’s not the dad? What if Chantelle hasn’t got a clue who knocked her up? What if some enterprising family member suggested:
“What about that little dwarf kid you’ve been hanging around with? How old his he, eight? What if we said he was the dad? We could have Max Clifford’s mobile number in our Nokias before we’ve finished mopping the kitchen floor.”
After all, The Sun first reported that Alfie hasn’t even started puberty yet, which one would assume a prerequisite for accidentally inseminating the girl next door.
I so hope this is true.
If the morally outraged tabs are getting played for mugs, even consensually, it would put a whole new slant on “Broken Britain”.
2009-02-16 :: Kevin Murphy