The Casual Vacancy – #23

Part Six – Weaknesses of Voluntary Bodies

Still not too sure on the relevance of each of these extracts of the Local Council Administration, I guess without knowing what is coming it is hard to see why they are involved, but even understanding why the extracts were included for some of the past parts has been challenging. I think once I have read everything I will go back and try to figure out the reasoning behind each of these extracts and their inclusion.

Speaking of finishing The Casual Vacancy, this is the penultimate section of the book, and I presume that this and the next one will be completed in one post each, so on the 10th of November this will be finished, and for the next day or two will be analysis and opinion.

I

  • Well Colin Wall’s imaginings of the police coming to his door have come true, but they are looking for Fats, where has he gone? Or do they want to question him about Robbie’s death
  • Wow, they know Fats was there. Are they charging him with negligence?
  • So when the police arrived at the river, Fats ran away, is he gone forever?
  • At least Colin isn’t breaking down, he is actually prepared for such a calamity
  • Andrew won’t know where he is, they aren’t friends any more
  • Um Andrew, this is more serious than your now failed friendship
  • Good boy, tell him the secret hiding spot
  • Tessa you don’t know where you are looking so just be quiet
  • Where is Krystal?
  • Kay, you need to help the Weedon’s, who cares about not being their social worker, this is more important
  • So he was crying?
  • Has he finally seen how life really is and not this inauthentic crap?
  • At least he feels bad about it, better than him not feeling anything

II

  • Sukhvinder should you really hate the man who saved your life? Or was your intention to die?
  • See will need a tetanus shot
  • Hopefully Parminder doesn’t blame Sukhvinder and shows her love instead of ridicule
  • Maybe this will bring everyone together, tragedy has a way of doing that
  • Does Krystal know? What about Terri?
  • OH, Sukhvinder’s arms!
  • I guess that was always going to come out, but Parminder listen to Vikram and give her space
  • It was a bit rich that they wanted Parminder to help in their time of need, but her refusal has probably made them hate her even more
  • At least Parminder and Vikram are now concentrating on Sukhvinder
  • Seriously Miles get over it
  • That would be a smart thing, get rid of the site. But of course you would only do it after it ruined YOUR life
  • I wonder if Howard did see what Shirley was doing
  • So the story starts with death and ends with it too?
  • Poor Robbie!

III

  • At least Tessa and Fats have a chance to talk
  • It’s more than okay to cry Fats
  • Ashamed? You wanted Fats to die? What?
  • I understand Tessa’s reaction, they left a 4/5 year old alone, that is something you CANNOT do, especially not outside. And Fats you wanted to refuse, but you didn’t. How inauthentic is that?
  • I wonder if he did get Krystal pregnant? And it doesn’t look like they would be ready for it anyway
  • We finally get to hear Fats’ story
  • His mother was 14 years old, and she was ‘middle class’
  • They have no idea who the father was, she refused to say
  • Sadly this means he could have been the result of incest
  • Colin didn’t want him, because he didn’t think he was well enough to look after a baby, and that’s fair enough, looking after a child is a big responsibility
  • Tessa wanted him so much that she made Colin lie about his condition
  • OH MY! On the 5th night they had him, Colin went into the car and tried to kill himself with the exhaust!
  • WOW, he was so convinced that he would somehow kill Fats, that he decided to kill himself. That does put Colin in a whole new light
  • So Colin doesn’t love Fats? That’s a lie?
  • You almost should have taken him to the Fields and made him tell Terri, though Terri deserves to hear from someone better than him
  • Where is Krystal?

IV

  • Poor Krystal!
  • Who cares about Fats
  • Terri, this is not about the drugs
  • How can Krystal live now? Knowing she bascially killed her brother? I guess a cruel twist will be that she is pregnant
  • To be honest I don’t care about Gaia and Kay’s fighting
  • What will Kay do?
  • You should be ashamed Gaia
  • Seriously Gaia you are being way too selfish, you just don’t like Pagford, that’s it. Krystal and Terri have lost Robbie
  • Seriously will nobody try to comfort Terri? That’s why Kay needs to go
  • Well Gaia you aren’t wrong
  • Wait! Krystal what are you doing? Don’t start taking drugs!
  • Cheryl is there too now
  • Seriously NO KRYSTAL!
  • NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO
  • Hopefully there is not enough time
  • Seriously Krystal don’t, please
  • She’s gone
  • She has overdosed, that’s it
  • This is so full of death, will Howard die too?
  • What is Terri going to do? Will she die too?
  • KRYSTAL!
  • Did not see any of this coming!
Advertisements

The Casual Vacancy – #19

VIII

  • Oh, is this the Council meeting?
  • Excellent!
  • Who are the Brownies?
  • So all 16 councillors rarely ever attend, are their votes counted for things, do they have proxies?
  • My guess is that each and every councillor (15 excluding of course Barry) will attend
  • What is Aubrey doing here?
  • A reporter is here too
  • Howard those are BIG news!
  • This reporter is good
  • Aubrey the ‘appetite’ is your doing, you just want to push the Fields back to Yarvil for the ‘anti-government votes’, slightly confused
  • I think this will be the most heated council meeting ever
  • Go Parminder, don’t stick up for these old hags and their gossip, but unfortunately it won’t win you any friends
  • What disorganised chaos
  • Oh no! They’ve voted to push the Fields back to Yarvil
  • Is Parminder alright? Does she need to see a doctor?
  • Shut up Shirley
  • I’m sure there are other areas in which you can cut back in. Probably Councillor entitlements and the like…
  • This is not going well at all
  • Howard, that is the most naive solution of all. ‘Stop taking the drugs’. It is not at all that easy
  • OH! Parminder you are so right, obesity costs a heck of a lot of money!
  • But that probably wasn’t the best thing to do, don’t know about ‘patient confidentiality’ being breached though
  • And there is the reporter there, who must be full of glee at the prospect of a few juicy stories
  • I thought that there were supports of Barry other than Parminder. Or were they just in love with Barry, and can’t stand Parminder, so now that he is gone, they don’t care?
  • Not quite how I thought the meeting would go

IX

  • At least they aren’t reporting everything that happened
  • But gossip like this spreads like wildfire
  • At least there is talk of criminal action about the posts, to which Howard and Shirley are at fault for
  • Have you beefed up security now Howard?
  • At least Parminder has shaken Howard
  • The election is nearly upon us!
  • Of course Howard has made a formal complaint about Parminder’s outburst, which isn’t good news for her
  • Maybe the outburst wasn’t a bad thing, since everything has changed
  • Things aren’t going well for Howard and the anti-Fielders either
  • Have you really Shirley, this is a matter of defamation
  • So Shirley just got some boy in a computing course to come around?
  • He’s given them good advice, close the site, get someone who knows what to do in, and build a new one
  • But she decided that just sending an email to everyone saying, change your passwords and keep the secret, is the better option
  • Come on Shirley, you are liable for criminal charges if the posts continue, but you just want to make sure you are kept in charge of the site, and think that adding security measures will make it too difficult for you to understand
  • People might think it is Miles, since he has come out of this unscathed
  • At least Parminder delayed the vote for the clinic
  • See, people aren’t liking the Mollisons too much, but Colin is not a better alternative
  • Sam is finally admitting she might have to close her store
  • So they brush over that issue in two seconds, and Miles moves on to the paper and its stories
  • Sam you really are obsessed with Jake, and she gives in to Miles’ advances, but imagines it is Jake instead
  • You even imagine yourself younger, and with Miles watching you, very creepy

X

  • ITS ELECTION DAY
  • Colin still hasn’t returned to work, and he has lost a lot of weight
  • Parminder has basically been suspended, since the Mollison’s complained to every medical body
  • I think Colin is saying he can’t go with you
  • They haven’t beaten you yet
  • Good for them! They are relishing with each other in their misery
  • Nobody cares if you are going to go and vote Miles
  • Why is it on the weekday? The weekend is much better for elections so people can actually go and vote
  • Good on you Sam!
  • Tessa isn’t voting, neither is Simon or Ruth
  • Gavin didn’t want to vote, but Kay is going to drag him out with her to vote
  • Maybe not
  • Did Gaia really believe that whatever his name wouldn’t start seeing someone else? Marco, that’s it
  • I think the music is disrupting their evening
  • Kay, Parminder’s outburst might have done more than your stats and testimonials could ever do
  • Oh no, Kay isn’t on the Weedon’s case any more, Mattie is back
  • What if Brendan did say yes. Is that in Reading?
  • It is very offensive Gavin, if you don’t want to be here with Kay, then tell her
  • Is their relationship over? Does Gavin want to live with Mary?
  • WOAH! Gavin is in love with Mary?
  • Is that a lie? Just to push Kay away?
  • So it is true, that’s not going to happen, Mary was your best friend’s wife, you don’t just jump into his place
  • Fair? If you were fair, you would have never let Kay believe you wanted her
  • So you just end the relationship, and leave happier than ever, to go and see Mary?
  • Disgusting!
  • That ends Part Four! I guess we’ll have the results of the election soon. What if it is a tie?

 

The Casual Vacancy – #16

VIII

  • First time we have really heard from Gaia. I guess we have basically met all the major characters, unless there are some more surprises left for us
  • Isn’t the peace, quiet and the slow life just relaxing though?
  • Change is tough
  • Good to see Sukhvinder is going to get a friend
  • People can be so insensitive about other religions. It does sound a tad confusing, but really all religions are fundamentally the same
  • Sukhvinder likes Pagford for the reasons that Gaia hates it
  • Thinking ‘white’ as a minority would be a real shock to some people, but they just need to wake up
  • It is so embarassing, how cans he cope
  • Gaia can see what Kay cannot, and she even can see Andrew and his feelings towards herself
  • Strange to think that Gaia is so comfortable with boys staring at her, that she just accepts it
  • For I second I thought I had missed something and that it just said that Gaia and Andrew had had sex!
  • If he is 18, why isn’t he getting the condoms himself? Instead of Gaia stealing them from her mother (who surely must notice)?
  • Sorry Gaia, but he’ll probably cheat, no matter what he’s told you
  • They can leave the school grounds? I am so confused as to how old these kids are, can all kids at this high school leave the grounds? Or just the oldest? Must be everyone…
  • Oh dear! Krystal what are you doing? It isn’t Sukhvinder’s fault in the slightest. And really Nana Cath was getting old, so not everything is someone’s fault
  • Lucky timing
  • I guess Sukhvinder thought that Krystal wasn’t ‘one of them’ and was almost a friend. But who knows with Krystal. She is just like a lot of people that are so different with their friends compared to when their friends aren’t around
  • Truanting is not a good idea
  • Drowning? That isn’t peaceful, that would be traumatic
  • Let’s hope Tessa can help Sukhvinder
  • Telling someone is usually the best option, and it let’s you get everything off of your chest
  • Well Krystal has been talking to her family
  • OH! You just told Tessa about Fats and Krystal!!!!! That would have caused a stir! But Tessa can’t do a thing

IX

  • Can’t blame you for not wanting to go anywhere near Howard and the Mollisons
  • Oh, Kay when will you see?
  • Good on you Kay for taking the offensive against Howard and protecting the Fields and the clinic
  • Colin? Have an affair? I don’t think so
  • No, she isn’t the reporter, you don’t have to worry
  • Hopefully Kay can make a candidate out of Colin
  • What can a mother do?
  • Is that why he is Fats, cause he eats a lot but stays thin?
  • Kay is very prepared
  • Calm down Tessa!
  • Well done, didn’t let it slip twice, but Tessa knows who you are talking about anyway
  • No Tessa, Sukhvinder is NOT wrong
  • How come Barry started the rowing team? Did he used to row?
  • Barry sounds almost too good to be true, I hope there are no skeletons in his closet
  • Stats alone don’t win elections

X

  • Secrets don’t usually stay secret for very long
  • Sometimes though, when people actually know what is going on, they aren’t mad, they aren’t going to belittle you, they actually help you, and things aren’t so bad
  • Do Sukhvinder’s parents realise she has dyslexia? Because that can make learning so much more difficult, so it isn’t her fault she isn’t as perfect as someone without it.
  • This piece of land sounds like a lot of trouble, why don’t they just give the land to those people who are actually living there?
  • Parminder knows, and she doesn’t look happy
  • Seriously this sort of disapproval and lecturing doesn’t work! And Parminder doesn’t even understand what is going on, and doesn’t really give her a chance to explain
  • Sorry Parminder, but if Krystal Weedon was yelling at you, and threatening to bash you with a couple of her mates, I don’t think you would try and stand there and talk it out with her
  • Parminder you have just given Sukhvinder more ammunition in her self-loathing, you haven’t helped her at all
  • OH! Sukhvinder wants to get her revenge, and she might do it just like Andrew
  • Yes, Shirley had not deleted the user, so The Ghost of Barry Fairbrother, strikes again!
  • What did Parminder do? What happened on New Years Eve? Was it something with Barry? Oh god, if it was, Mary will be devastated

XI

  • Another funeral
  • Very sad that Terri doesn’t know who Robbie’s father really is
  • Terri you should go
  • Even if it means facing those you hate, but if you don’t go, then they’ll just think you haven’t changed a bit, and are disrespectful
  • Oh no, Obbo is coming over, for ‘business’, don’t go and use Terri, you’ve done so well
  • Now you’ve made Krystal miss the funeral!
  • OF course it is blood Fats fault that Krystal had a go at Sukhvinder!
  • Fats did get it wrong, well, we don’t know for sure, but I don’t think Parminder did any wrong
  • Good on you Krystal, looking out for your mum
  • See you could have both gone to the funeral and come back
  • Why don’t you help her Obbo? Or is it just because you want money?
  • So close Terri, almost got away. Why do you have to be so mean Obbo?
  • Oh no! Go away Obbo!
  • NO, NO, NO! F*** off Obbo!
  • DIE OBBO, DIE!
  • If you get her pregnant. God help you
  • Sorry Krystal, Barry’s dead, but Obbo doesn’t know
  • Poor Krystal!
  • Terri, he did
  • Krystal, go to the police!
  • Why couldn’t Barry still be around?
  • Even Terri had liked Barry!
  • You can’t have Obbo’s baby Krystal
  • Where can you go Krystal?
  • Don’t get pregnant no matter who it is Krystal! Not Fats!
  • Fats is most certainly strange
  • You don’t have to have a baby Krystal!

What a shocking end to the ‘part’, I wasn’t expecting Krystal to get raped! Who cares about the election anymore! This story is about Krystal, and what is going to happen next, the election is just the background plot.

The Casual Vacancy – #12

VI

  • Simon hit Andrew! All because he told him that Barry wasn’t getting bribes
  • Simon did it with a log, that is child abuse!
  • He seems to believe that just because Andrew doesn’t know about Barry taking bribes, doesn’t mean it is true, it just means that he wasn’t caught
  • Simon has sent in his application forms, there is now no turning back, I wonder when the election will be
  • Sabotage is a dangerous thing to pursue, and trying to do it anonymously, good luck, I almost think payback to Simon would be making him go on the Council and seeing how boring it is, and how you don’t get any money
  • Isn’t this stalking?
  • I don’t like seeing the word façade (written correctly that is), it always makes me think there is something on the book underneath it, and I go to wipe it away
  • Why on earth are they going to the deli, who would want to have to see Howard
  • Is he going to get a job at the George Hotel (I don’t like that word, does it mean a hotel as in a place you stay at and sleep on holidays, or do they mean hotel as in a pub? Too much ambiguity)
  • Well he is too self conscious of his acne (which is the bane of a teenager’s life, and if you don’t have it/didn’t get it consider yourself very, very lucky) so doesn’t apply, instead follows Gaia into the deli
  • Oh, wait a moment, the sign is out the front of the deli, and they are looking for staff for the cafe Howard is going to open up! I did think they would need more staff, and didn’t remember Andrew needed a job (I wonder if that will please Simon if he gets one)
  • Gaia is looking for a job too
  • Do we know Eddie, and what is he suggesting for the Council?
  • Howard isn’t going to like hiring Sukhvinder, unless he wants to use it to get to Parminder
  • He does however, love Gaia, and since she is from London, he loves her even more, and imagines training her, and giving her bonuses (is this starting to sound slightly pedophilic?)
  • He totally has no interest in Andrew and Sukhvinder, and shows Gaia the cafe, while the other two clearly understand they are not wanted
  • Maureen tries to ask if Gaia has any experience, but Howard doesn’t care. Maureen asks the other two if they want jobs as well, and Sukhvinder doesn’t and Andrew doesn’t make much of a comment, but Gaia pushes him into admitting
  • Sorry, Gaia pushes Sukhvinder into taking the job, and Howard thinks it exactly how I predicted, something to use against Parminder
  • Howard does however ask Andrew if he wants to be potboy, and do the heavy lifting, and Andrew accepts (so long as he gets to see Gaia more often), and they all get a trail for two weeks! Good on them!
  • Howard is quite interested when he finds out that Andrew is Simon Price’s son, he finally knows the competition
  • I would like to see Simon’s face when he finds out Andrew has a job!
  • The teenagers get a chance to leave, and Gaia asks why they call Andrew, ‘peanut’, apparently he is allergic, and nearly died because someone hid one in a marshmellow
  • “She was horrified at the prospect of telling Parminder what she had done”, is that the getting a job bit or did she give Andrew the peanut?
  • AHAHAHA! Andrew would not want to hear what Gaia just said about his dick!
  • What are you planning Andrew to get payback to your father. Try to remember stooping to his level is not a good idea, and don’t do something illegal it isn’t worth it

VII

  • Things do tend to come back and bite you eventually Sam, so if you just did it out of spite, something will make you regret it
  • ‘Over the Shoulder Boulder Holders’ is that literally the store’s name? Maybe that’s why it isn’t doing well, because who would want to say “Over the Shoulder Boulder Holders” after being asked “Where did you get that?”
  • There is a rush hour in these small towns? Clearly the concept of small in England is different to Australia!
  • Don’t talk to Mary, you don’t care about her, and you don’t want her to come over (and inviting her to come when Kay and Gavin will be, that will be awkward, even if Mary likes Gavin)
  • Sam is really starting to like this boy band, and she is getting addicted to it
  • And now she has been found out by her daughter, awkward
  • “Samantha was glad they did not like the same one.” Why exactly? Is it because it is awkward that you and her are attracted to the same guy? Or is it that you want him to yourself?
  • Do remember Sam you brought this on yourself
  • Miles does your house really have a name too? Casa Mollison?
  • Is this what goes on in women’s minds when they see other women?
  • Don’t lie to Mary, they didn’t just ‘pop in’
  • But Mary’s appearance, hopefully means for Gavin there won’t be too many awkward questions.
  • Woops, there goes the casserole! Not quite the meal you were hoping for, I guess
  • I’m sure Kay is just so glad to learn about Pagford and its history!
  • Good to hear there has been good progress with the Weedons
  • Really Miles? These people are so pitiful and petty, and need to find out how life really is
  • Gaia isn’t too fond on Pagford, and I can understand being uprooted just because your mum believes that a man (who doesn’t at all love her) loves her and that moving in is the best idea
  • Might want to slow down on the wine Sam, don’t know what you might do under the influence of alcohol
  • Oh dear, the Fields, Miles will love discussing it, and Sam hates it just like Mary does
  • Miles don’t defend a man, when you know it is true
  • Took you long enough to realise that Mary was married to Barry and he just died, and Howard and Barry were on different sides of the battlefield
  • Outsize bras? Bras that aren’t in sizes? Or do you mean large bras, probably the latter.
  • Sam, once again, you brought this on yourself, and Miles is just one of those people that love to tell the same story to 50 different people at 50 different occasions, even if you’ve heard it 100 times
  • Drink driving is not a laughing matter! Seriously Miles you should know better, you’ve been caught twice
  • This sort of social life is just laborious for the sake of being laborious, no need in this, you can be a community without this sort of snobbish, bigoted interactions which are just stilted and fake
  • Mary is so kind, and so much better than Sam, something that Sam doesn’t quite understand that Gavin doesn’t deserve punishment, even if he is a coward who doesn’t tell the woman he ‘loves’ how he really feels about her
  • Didn’t take Kay and Miles long to start arguing about how to help the Fields and what ‘to do with them’, and Miles is very naive, and Kay knows what it is really like, she’s been there, she knows what a difference can be made because of the Clinic, and how cutting them off and giving them to someone else to deal with, is not an acceptable way to help these people (yes Miles these are actually PEOPLE!)
  • There are infinite foster homes Miles, ad not all of them are good homes, some are just as bad, if not worse than a child’s own home, and you’ve cut them off from their parents, just image you being forced from your mum and dad who you both seem to adore even to this day and rely upon
  • Adoption from birth, maybe that is a ‘good idea’ but you can’t take babies from their mothers without knowing what is going to happen in the future, and then these kids grow up not knowing who they are and where they came from
  • Good point Kay, everyone just wants babies, and not actual children
  • Whoops Kay, you so shouldn’t have revealed who you were discussing, that is very unethical and now Sam and Miles know something they shouldn’t, and she knew it, unfortunately in Pagford, everyone does know everyone, it’s not like London
  • Shut up Miles, you know nothing about life, being raised with mummy and daddy in a privileged home, there is a real world out there, where people go through shit, and you putting them down, doesn’t help them at all
  • BURN! You go Kay! You are just awesome! Miles does not deserve a license with his history of drink driving! Ultimate take down, makes me so happy. And that is not a different thing at all Sam, drink driving kills!
  • Common sense ‘the name people usually give to their prejudices’, Kay you are a wonder woman! You know how life is, and seriously Gavin doesn’t deserve you
  • “Philosophy is the biography of the philosopher” well clearly that is true, since philosophy is really just personal beliefs, and I don’t see how that is relevant at all, sorry Lexie
  • Good job everyone, you’ve made Mary upset, she might be feeling regretful at hating Barry talk of Krystal and try to help Krystal
  • Kay is not going to become friendly again after that I hope
  • Gavin you should support your girlfriend, but at the same time he doesn’t have to
  • Kay might just be like Lisa, but she doesn’t sound too bad, she saw through Miles bullshit
  • Poor Mary!
  • Poor Kay, at least she is realising that Gavin really isn’t interested in her, a painful reality nonetheless, but she can’t go on being naive of his feelings, even though he should just tell her

What a thrilling ‘chapter’! Kay staring down Miles and not accepting his bigoted, privileged, bull that he pulls from his ass which seems to be a time machine back to the 1800’s. He is just disgusting and disgraceful, and has no empathy or concern for other people who are doing it tough. He doesn’t realise what life is really like after growing up so sheltered and being spoon-fed misguided opinion from his parents, who are equally and if not even worse than Miles. I just love Kay now, so much, not only is she making a difference in Pagford as a social worker, but she knows how things really are. SHE should run for councillor! Seriously, put in your application now, and show Howard just how life is, and take him down! Please Kay, put your name forward!

The Casual Vacancy – #6

My sixth post about The Casual Vacancy. It is now Wednesday, three days after Barry Fairbrother’s death. We are starting to see that Barry, as a Councillor, was on one side of a vast debate about the removal of a housing complex called the Fields. Howard Mollison, was on the opposing side, trying to rezone the town to remove the Fields, and give the complex to Yarvil District Council, instead of Pagford. With Barry’s death, a Casual Vacancy (hence the title) has occurred, and someone will have to fill his place. It seems like we have the likely contenders, Miles Mollison and Colin Wall, but this story is not just about the vacancy, it is about much more than that. It’s about rich versus poor, as the human reality of the Fields, is beginning to get lost in the politics, and those who need help, aren’t getting it.

Wednesday

I

  • Krystal Weedon didn’t go home on Monday and Tuesday, after a bad fight with her mum, which seemed to be about those boxes we saw when Kay came to visit, which apparently were holding computers, but Krystal would prefer they didn’t hold other people’s belongings for them, especially when it might be stolen (maybe a rash, bigoted assumption), when Krystal just doesn’t want her mother to have money
  • Oh, Krystal stole Tessa’s watch, I don’t understand why though, is it not possible for her to not steal, or is there something I’m missing
  • Terri was paid for holding the computers with heroin, which is why Kay found it when she was there
  • Krystal, poor Krystal, no wonder she is angry
  • Terri doesn’t seem that bad when she is clean, but I can feel Krystal’s disappointment that things weren’t good for Kay’s visit
  • Krystal is almost the parent in the family, having to clean the place up and sort everyone out
  • Is having a social worker that cares, a bad thing?
  • How terrible that the one place Krystal has felt accepted, is crumpling away because Barry has died, hopefully she can keep with the rowing team, and keep feeling accepted by her peers. They need a new coach, and Krystal doesn’t seem confident they will get one
  • Is the stealing to remind her of the people she likes?
  • I can see that this story is becoming more about Krystal and the effect of Barry’s death on her life, than it is about an election, someone will replace him on the Council, but who will replace him for Krystal?
  • Kay is back for another visit, good to see that she is actually trying as a social worker
  • Krystal is so desperate to keep her family together, even if it is a dysfunctional one, I almost see her as a better person than Fats, who hates his parents for a completely different reason, but he couldn’t care less if the family was split apart
  • So it is the methadone that makes Terri tolerable
  • Kay has really kicked up a storm, and now she doesn’t see Terri as fit to keep Robbie, and she warns Terri that a token effort when she got him back is not good enough, so they are going to have to have another case review
  • Kay seems like she really does want to help, and she lays out the facts, and urges Terri to own up at the clinic and take responsibility to show her commitment to the program, and this advice, is foreign to Terri, she has only known to lie to people, and Kay has given her something new, and has told her that if she doesn’t change Robbie will be taken
  • I actually like Kay now, more than I did, I felt sorry for her earlier about Gavin, but now I see that it is Gavin that I should feel sorry for, because he doesn’t see that Kay is a good person, and if he doesn’t love her, he should let her go. Kay is just the change the Weedon’s need

II

  • Does volunteering make Shirley feel special?
  • She did it to meet the Queen? And also get the gossip, not really the most selfless intentions
  • I wonder if Howard knows about Shirley’s ‘unfavourable’ upbringing, or does she keep that secret from him
  • Aubrey Fawley, I forgot about him
  • Ruth and Shirley, unexpected friends
  • Shirley really does hate Sam and thinks Miles only married her because she was pregnant, and it was the ‘right and honourable’ thing to do
  • Ruth shares Shirley’s hatred of Sam, for a different reason, envy
  • Simon wants to run for Councillor! So it will be Simon v Miles v Colin!
  • Simon just wants the bribes he thinks that Barry got
  • He was born in the Fields, which means Howard won’t be happy with him, though would get get any votes?
  • ‘How you put your name forward’? What does that mean. Shirley isn’t running, does she mean support, not sure

III

  • I think that teacher thought that teaching might have been easier and less stressful
  • So Fats could be doing well but chooses not to, I don’t understand that, if you can do something, why waste it?
  • Oh, poor Sukhvinder!
  • Fats you disgraceful bigoted ARSEHOLE! Don’t you ever make fun of people. You are a cowardly pigfaced bully! How dare you post pictures and comments on Sukhvinder’s facebook page, and make rude comments straight to her face
  • Andrew, I know it is hard to do this to a friend, but you have to tell him that bullying is not okay
  • You made her cry, Fats you are a bastard (may be true too)
  • Really, a teacher should be able to comfort a pupil, and touch them, overprotective laws
  • Whole class in detention, I doubt it!
  • Wallah and peanut? Those nicknames make no sense
  • Bit unfair for them to cop the blame, when they did nothing, but Fats really does deserve punishment

I’m really quite glad that JK Rowling has included bullying and cyber bullying in this ‘section’ and that it may be developed later in the story, because it is an issue that needs addressing, and I want to make a few, fully fledged comments here too. I don’t think people need to be told what cyber bullying is, and everyone knows bullying, we’ve all see it, and heck, we’ve all experienced it at least at some point in our lives, I have, and I’m sure you have too. One thing that annoys me is the lack of understanding that some of the older members of the community have for cyber bullying and even bullying in general (and I stress that this is some not all people). Some people seem to remember bullying as a way to ‘toughen kids up’ to ‘teach them lessons about life’ and that ‘it never did me any harm’. That may be true, that to you, bullying never did you any harm. You were in fights, and that was it. I can’t talk about what it was like in the ‘old days’ when the internet wasn’t around, I’ve grown up with it, so I have no idea what school was like back then, and I believe that you were more likely to get bullied by teachers with canes and other implements than you might have been from other students. Times have changed, the internet has been a major part of that. Name calling and teasing has always been a part of growing up, there have always been bullies, and there have always been kids that get picked on, usually because they don’t fit in, or a different. But now, kids can’t escape it, and Sukhvinder is a prime example of it, when Fats sends rude pictures to her, just because she isn’t like the other girls. Some of the older generations may just say, well you can just turn it off, you don’t need facebook or phones or whatever. And that may be true, we could just turn it off. But though facebook or mobile phones may be a source of bullying, it is also the way everyone communicates these days, its the way to keep up with what’s going on with your friends, and to let them know what your doing too. So kids don’t want to turn it off.

For some reason, all the media coverage, seminars in schools, lectures, and numerous examples of when bullying (both online and in person) have gone too far, and have had serious repercussions for the bully, and for those bullied, including suicide, nothing has worked. Maybe it is ingrained in teenagers and children, to bully, to pick on those who are seen to be weaker, who are different, and the computer provides an ‘anonymous’ way to attack them, without having to see them, without having to see the impact of what you are saying, without having to face them. But I don’t see why bullying has to remain a thing that happens. All kids get bullied to some degree, but there are those that are always picked on. Now the best advice is usually to ignore them, they are a bunch of idiots anyway, so who cares what they think. But when you are constantly worn down but such derogatory and degrading comments, ignoring it is not an option. And talking about it with someone isn’t easy, and sometimes it seems to make things worse, but the bullies need to find out that it is not okay, and they need to be punished. I don’t know what would stop a bully, I don’t understand how their minds work. I have to admit that I’ve said hurtful things to people, we all have, but I feel remorse about saying them, some bullies, don’t seem to ever show responsibility for their actions.

Bullying is such an important issue, and I’m glad JK has included it, but I hope to see something come from Fats bullying, I hope to see him learn his lesson, I hope to see Sukhvinder find out that she isn’t hated, she isn’t ugly and that she is who she is, and everyone else can get stuffed. But I will have to wait and see. I just hope that everyone in the real world, realises that bullying is the worst thing you can do to someone. You don’t know what saying that one mean comment about someone might do to them, you might think it is just innocent, and a bit of fun, but to them, it could make their lives hell, and may end up causing them to commit suicide. So think before you say things, and seriously, if you hear someone saying something or know someone is bullying someone else, you are a brave person to stand up and tell them that that is not okay. More people need to do it, the worst thing you can do is standby and let it happen, and I know it is hard, but it’s the best thing you can do to show that person that you don’t think it is right for them to bully. I just hope that one day, we won’t have to worry about our kids getting bullied, and they can live in a world, where differences are accepted, are respected, and almost celebrated. Being different, is awesome! You don’t need to be like everyone else, we are all special, and if other’s can’t see how special you are, then that is their issue.