Iwas watching the Jeremy Kyle show the other day (well, it was raining) and a shrieking exchange between two teenage girls provided a depressing insight into much of what is wrong in Britain today.
One (all scragged-back hair and earrings the size of frisbees) screamed at the other: ‘I know the names of all my kids’ fathers! I bet you don’t know the names of yours!’
The other (tattoos undulating violently on beefy arms) bellowed: ‘I know the names of all mine an’ all!’
Honour was thus satisfied. Neither had yet reached their 20th year, but both had more than one child by more than one father.
They also seemed to derive a certain pride from what they regarded as a fulfilment of parental responsibility – remembering the names of the oafs who had impregnated them.
This delicate little insight into teenage motherhood brought to mind David Cameron’s naive denunciation of ‘absent fathers’.
He wants us to treat them with the contempt we feel for drink drivers and he feels it is ‘simply unacceptable for single mothers to be left to bring up children on their own’.
Can Cameron really be so far out of touch with what is happening in some sections of society that he genuinely believes all teenage mothers are the innocent victims of men who (as my granny used to say) wouldn’t do right by them?
Does he really believe (and I’m sure another rib went while I was reading it) that ‘single mothers do a heroic job against all odds to fend for themselves’?
Does he honestly not realise that becoming pregnant is a deliberate career choice for some of these girls?
They consider it a far more agreeable option than working for a living or being lumbered with debt while pursuing a meaningless degree.
Why go to all that trouble when having a baby means you get a flat provided by tax-payers, as well as other benefits to which you intend to become thoroughly accustomed?
Wake up Mr Cameron! These kids – both mothers and sperm donors – are laughing at us.
And at you most of all.