Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Seeing red makes good copy

The journo rang as I was in the cinema foyer waiting with my son for Ponyu to start.

"How are you?" she asks.

"Mentally, emotionally, physically exhausted if I'm honest," I say.

"We rang the council and they said they offered you a flat three years ago."

At the mention of the council, I saw red. I tell her yes, they did, I turned it down on account of the bike and I haven't viewed anything for three years while other people have. As I'm complaining, my brain is mentally tracking who's at fault, jumps over the council managers and says "It's the Leaders, all of them," and on I go, unstoppable, saying I'd like to meet them and finishing off with "Every Child Matters? Only their own!"

She's busy when I call her after the film but she calls me back. It's to tell her I was 26th on the list to view that flat, that 25 families had turned it down. I wasn't first. Now I was around 200th with no explanation as to why I've slipped down the list.

I tell her that maybe I'm being paranoid but the council will read the piece and just laugh and do nothing. Everyone, including the leaders will wait to see what my next move is until we do move into a hostel and it will all be my fault. Rah rah rah. And this is a massive risk I am taking, I say, another risk I'm taking with my son. I could have always said I wouldn't do it and I don't know why I am and why am I and maybe I'm just following my instincts.

Oh fuck. Tired see, I'm like a toddler when I'm tired. She got great copy though. Beats any copy she actually got on the day. I'm not sure a journalist will ever get such great copy from me ever again. It'll be interesting to see how she puts it together.
She said she wouldn't use my son's name and I took great comfort in that. "I don't want him to be a poster boy. He could be any child."

Suddenly my son says to me, very close to the ear piece:

"Why do we deserve this mummy?"

"Why do we deserve this?...I don't know."

Will she use that? I do not know. A perfect end to her political piece. Tell you what though, I wouldn't be surprised if the story makes their front page. If it makes their front page, then that's a bit mad too.

Years ago I said to friends that I should send a picture of my son to the Mirror, he'd make the front page, but I knew I wouldn't do it as I didn't want him to be the poster boy for all the troubles in the country.

It is political my story. It always has been. It's finally come out because a politician and a mother had a chance meeting in a news room.

The mother perhaps coulda shoulda stayed quiet.

I do not want to be a poster girl. For a start, I know nothing about politics...

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