Deborah Ross: Our Woman in Crouch End

The boys are up the chimney and the girls are on the game - hooray for traditional values

Share

As "family values" are back in the news, I feel I must speak out, as a family without values is a terrible thing, not that we would know. As it is, our family has so many values that sometimes I have to put my food down and sternly say: "No more values in this house. I'm sorry, but enough is enough. I don't want to come home and find the house full of values, hanging around, smoking pot, leaving dirty dishes everywhere, and have you seen how much they eat? I did a big shop yesterday and now it's all gone. Don't they have their own homes to go to?"

Obviously not. In fact, I can now see that the reason some families don't have values is that they are all round at our place. Please collect, asap. I know, I know. Values are not just words, they're what we live by, but you try putting up with the shoes they leave all over the hall. Some of them don't even say "please" or "thank you". I blame the parents.

Naturally, I am always glad when the church and politicians and governments climb aboard the "family values" bandwagon because, of course, it's very important that they meddle in our own private business and impose their own moral outlook and prevent gays from getting married which may, bizarrely, suggest to some that what they mean by "family values" are their values.

Further, some even say that when a politician speaks about "family values" if you look at his lips really, really carefully what he is actually saying is: "After a great deal of careful thought, and so I can devote more time to politics and my own career, I have decided to spend considerably less time with my family, if I spend any time with them at all, as I now have my own little flat in Westminster, praise be."

But that is just absurd. Everyone knows that, when it comes to it, happiness is all about having a loving, warm, close-knit family, and that still holds even if they're on the other side of the country and the manner in which small children flick Coco Pops makes you want to punch them on the nose and then get the next train back to London.

It is definitely time for a return to the "traditional family", although I must confess that it does worry me a bit that, as "traditional" is never defined, it might be traditional to Mongolia in which case I should have put on a funny hat and knocked down our house so we could put up a yurt years ago. Perhaps, by "traditional", what is meant is father, mother and children all living together, a relatively modern social unit but one that has proved so successful that only 40 per cent (if you go by the divorce rate) fail.

Holy smoke, Mum!

Alternatively, perhaps "traditional" means the family typical of the Victorian era. That would make sense, as that's when the family had its heyday, and when all mothers stayed at home, as they absolutely should, except in those really extremely rare instances when they were working-class, and had to be economically active, or middle or upper-class, in which case the servants did everything.

Indeed, a recent study by the Families, Children and Childcare project showed that children do much better when looked after by their mothers, although I don't think they factored in mothers who have just given up smoking, as I have. "Mummy, will you play Batman with me?" No. Piss off. "Mummy, what's for supper?" Don't know. Don't care. Piss off.

A hard-knock life

Only joking. I try to run my own family along Victorian lines, and I think you'd be hard-pressed to find fault with us or complain about any lapses in traditional values. We cover the piano-legs, do not believe in lesbians, have all manner of hang-ups about sex, and so what if my husband beats me? After all, he has the statutory right to do so, so long as the stick isn't thicker than his thumb, and my husband would never, ever use a stick thicker than his thumb. He's a good man. He only, for example, visits under-age prostitutes three times a week, which means he is probably at home more than a husband who plays golf.

Our boys, of course, go up chimneys while our girls are themselves under-age prostitutes, and why shouldn't they be? If it was OK for the Victorians then we're not going to argue with it. They're doing very well although it hasn't all been plain sailing. Sometimes, I admit, they will complain. "Mother," one will say, "I'm only 12 and I don't want to have sex with some old gen'leman. Can't I just watch The Simpsons and circle Claire's Accessories like all the other girls my age?" That's kids for you. Ungrateful to the last. Some things never change!

Of course, as a parent, it's essential that you learn to say "no" to your children if they are to be brought up properly. So it's: "No, you cannot watch The Simpsons and circle Claire's Accessories like other girls your age. Off you go now. You'll enjoy it when you get there. And you know how much the old gen'leman looks forward to your visits." Plus, as all Victorians knew, sex with a child cures STDs and - a good tip here - if you have a young daughter that has yet to be de-flowered you can bump up the price.

Lastly, we have spent many pleasant evenings together, as a traditional family with traditional family values, helping the unwed parlourmaid strangle her bastard babies at birth. It sure beats Ludo. In fact, if there is no infanticide on the go, I now find that the evenings can seem awfully long. Give it a try. Alternatively you could, I suppose, just accept the modern world for what it is. Up to you.

d.ross@independent.co.uk

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: Real Staffing Group is seeking Traine...

Year 6 Teacher (interventions)

£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We have an exciting opportunity...

PMLD Teacher

Competitive: Randstad Education Manchester: SEN Teacher urgently required for ...

Real Estate Solicitor 2+PQE - City

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - HIGH VALUE REAL ESTATE / RESID...

Day In a Page

Read Next
A couple calculates their costs with the help of some paperwork  

It’s the dream of escape that makes couples keep their finances secret from each other

John Walsh
Theresa May  

It's not hard to imagine Prime Minister Theresa May standing on the steps of Downing Street

Jane Merrick
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?