Monday, July 04, 2011
Quite rightly, Booker has a downer on social workers, but even he hasn't had to deal with this, a nine-month custody battle that started last August, when the aunt – who lives in Kirklees - applied to the courts to have her niece and nephew placed with her.
But Hampshire Social Services decided not to place the children with her and the reason given was that the social worker didn't think they could cope with "a different culture".
The worst of it is that they are probably right. Born and bred a Londoner, I've been up here more than 35 years and I'm not used to it yet. And it really is different. I recall in my first year up here, interviewing an old dear on her doorstep, me with me pristine London accent, and her with her broad West Yorkshire.
She suddenly stops and says, with great perspicacity, "Eeee, thee'se not from these parts, are thee?" With the game well and truly up, I admitted it. "I'm from London", I told her. She thought about that for a while – a long while. "Aye, I've 'erd of that", she says, slowly gesturing southwards towards the horizon. "Tis t'other side of 'Uddersfield, int'it?"
Social workers, politicians, and the rest ... they get nose bleeds when they get past Doncaster. It's no wonder they had the vapours at the thought of sending an 'Ampshire lad and lass oop 'ere. Wiv uz strenge ways, we reet put the mockers on ern.