That magic hour in the early morning when I hover between sleep and wakefulness, mentally girding my loins to face a new day seems destined to be the time when snippets of news wander into my mind which all have the same effect. Not exactly a 'lightbulb' moment, more a 'question mark' moment as in, "Did I really hear that?" Today brought another such moment, courtesy again of Radio 4. (Is there any other radio station?)
In Washington, Tyne and Wear, there is a young man, twenty one years of age, who is soon to become a father
... of seven.
A first reaction might be to feel extremely sorry for the mother of these children but of course, there isn't just one mother, there are seven and he 'is reported to be living apart from the mother-to-be.' We can assume that he didn't live with the others either.
Not only that, but he doesn't work so doesn't support any of his children financially. We, the taxpayers will be picking up that bill. A figure was mentioned on the radio but I was still at the "21??? SEVEN CHILDREN???" stage so missed it.
BBC News website informs us that the number of teenage pregnancies in the north east is 52 per thousand, as opposed to the national figure of 42 and also mentions that
'Condom manufacturers report low sales in the region.'