Tuesday 9 April 2013

Fame or Infamy

    I'm just an ordinary person who has lived mainly in two places. By coincidence both have been in the news for completely different reasons; both will be immortalised for ever.
I live in Derby, a midlands city that houses Crown Derby pottery, Rolls Royce aero engines and Derby County Football Club. Very much a railway place originally, an industrial city that limps on in hard times. Home of Joseph Wright the painter and few others. A place that from now on will be infamous as the home of the notorious Mick Philpott.
    Mick was well known in Derby. He fathered seventeen children by five different women. He lived with a wife, mistress and eleven children in a council house not far from my house in Derby. He appeared on the Jeremy Kyle Show and in a documentary with Ann Widdicombe. He had plenty of time to do so as he had not worked for many years. He amused himself by playing snooker in an extension to his house, amusing others on a pub kareaoke machine and 'dogging' with his wife and best friend Paul Mosley in and around Derby parks. On occasion he appeared in the media demanding a larger house from the local council and stated in no uncertain terms that 'Britain was going to the dogs.'
    Mick Philpott would still, I imagine, be living the proverbial 'life of Riley' were it not for a tragic, stupid, horrific mistake he made in May 2012. He and his friend Paul Mosley hatched a plan to set fire to his house. He, Philpott was to rush into the house and rescue the six children. He would appear a hero, the council would supply him with a bigger house and his mistress Lisa, who had left the house recently with her five children would be blamed.
    The deed was done, the fire got out of control and the six children in the house perished.                
    In March 2013  the despicable trio were sentenced for manslaughter. (Mairead his wife may not have taken part but was complicent.) Mick Philpott was sentenced to life in prison, Mairead and           Mosley seventeen years.         .
    There is so much more one could say.  Suffice to say Derby will be forever immortalised for the existence of a dangerous, feckless, bullying braggart whose whole existence it would be hard to justify. We in Derby have had months of publicity we could do without. I would be amazed if, irrespective of where you live  in the world, you haven't heard of Mick Philpott. He is, I assure you, not typical of the place.
    I lived in Grantham, Lincolnshire for four years. Nothing much happens in Grantham. They had a railway accident in 1906. They still talk about it! Mind you, both my children were born there; there wasn't too much to do of an evening! Isaac Newton was born just outside. A very clever man indeed but I'll take you a bet. I reckon Mrs Thatcher's fame will eventually outshine that of dear old Isaac.
    There's a statue dedicated to him in the town. There's no statue of Margaret Thatcher in Grantham, yet, but I've no doubt it will come. They don't rush things in Lincolnshire! I used to reckon the Lincolnshire motto was 'Never do today what you can leave 'til tomorrow.'
     Lady Margaret Thatcher died this week, aged eighty seven. Her father, Alfred Roberts kept a grocery store in the town and was also Mayor.     .
    His daughter Margaret took an interest in politics, became an MP and eventually the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Love her or hate her, there has been an outpouring of comment that will no doubt continue for many moons to come.  The Philpotts of this world become infamous; the Thatchers, I will be kind and say, probably famous. The only certainty in life is that we all eventually die and eventually leave some sort of legacy.What memories are you going to leave behind and what is your town or village famous for?


CWMartin said...

My condolences to you and your nation on Mrs. Thatcher's passing. She was one of the last good ones.

The other story I saw on BBC news, but hadn't noticed it was in your neck of the woods. I hope those kids haunt him every day in prison.

Valerie said...

I am appalled by the despicable behaviour of those 'youngsters' who 'celebrate' Baroness Thatcher's death. She was after all a wife, mother and grandmother and whatever grievances she caused should be forgotten or kept quiet at this sad time. I despair at the way this nation is going.

As for Mick Philpott, I can only add him to the list of undesirables that now seems so prevalent.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Interesting. as well as a north south divide in this country there is becoming an old young divide. Mind you, she did some terribly blinkered things. Perhaps now is not the time to debate it.

Grumpy Old Ken said...

Same comment re CW applies but I don't disagree with you in a way. Mind you, if you visited North Derbyshire, much of it derelict and forlorn, you might not feel so pro Thatcher I fear. Did you ever read my 'piece' to your WI?

A Heron's View said...

I am not young being 70 years of age however, on Monday night I opened a bottle of Brandy and toasted those who were damaged by Thatcher policies and survived to tell the tale - as I have done.

She, Thatcher was in my opinion a vile & cruel woman.

Ginny said...

One thing people can't take from Margaret Thatcher is that she was one tough lady and had quite the political career. I respect that.

Charlotte Mooney said...

My mother said I should say only good things about the dead. Margaret Thatcher? She's dead: good!

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Troy said...

So many interesting facts now emerging that debunk the myths - more pits closed in the '60s and '70s than under Mrs.T. Benefits rose in real terms between 1979 and 1990. Manufacturing output in UK rose between 1979 and 1990. Most of industrial closures arose from pound rising due to North Sea Oil (petro-currency) and imprts becoming cheaper. Mrs.T, Reagan and John Paul 11 regarded in Eastern Europe as the 'Holy Trinity' that together beat communism and freed hundreds of millions from tyranny. If only modern leaders lead rather than rely on focus groups

Star said...

Enjoyed your post, as usual, and as I am bursting at the seams with joy for something I've just managed to do, I'm thrilled at your kind question: I hope to bring the beauty, art, architecture and culture of Milan, Italy, to the (greater?) attention of English speakers, who tend to see it (incorrectly) as a gray town only for business. 't'ain't so!
Right now, I'm so jazzed I can hardly stay in my own skin! I've just successfully put online my first (free) Glossi digital magazine about Milan. Main topic of the first issue? Chiaravalle, a beautiful Gothic monastery just outside Milan. Here's the link (and thanks so much for this opportunity!): http://glossi.com/espressofrommilan/15967-espresso-from-milan-n-0012013?q=Milan