Apart from the fact that he is, thus far, outstandingly more successful with girls than I was, there are things about Jared’s upbringing that surprise me.
When I was about Jared’s age, I started to go off the rails. My mother and father, for all the difference in their ages (38 years) presented a very solid ideological face. I rebelled against this. In hindsight, it is not that I was against what they were saying, but I was asking them to justify it. All they ever did was to tell me to fuck off. “It has always been that way, and that is the only way of doing things, and we can’t think of a better way, and you can’t think of a better way, and even if you can think of a better way, we will gainsay it.” That amounted to, “Fuck off.”
For liberal, middle-class, affluent atheists, that struck me as a narrow view of the world. I started to go to the ends of the earth to find ways of rebelling, and I ended up – where? In the 19th century, with Peter Kropotkin, Mikhail Bakunin, and bloody, bleeding Leo Tolstoy. That is my background.
I am proud to be part of a modern family. I live with my fiancée, Valerie, who has moved up from South East London to enjoy the cultural delights of Wakefield. I had earlier moved to Wakefield from Leeds to be with Jane and Jared. Jane and I split up some time ago, but I am still Jared’s dad. I take him to the orthodontist, and I write embarrassing articles about how he is getting on. I will take him to Elland Road again.
I wondered what might happen if Jared went off the rails, like I did.
But never mind all that. It isn’t relevant. What follows is a summary of a text conversation between me and my son, in the heat of election week.
“Please can you persuade your mother to vote on Thursday?”
“I already tried she said no i said vote labour but she still said no :/”
“She said because she doesn’t care i don’t really agree with any of them but i believe labour will benefit the country the most”
[Then I gave him a summary of the Labour manifesto.]
“I will try i don’t know why she doesn’t want to anyway”
“She’s socially excluded. Say that to her 250 times a day. Tell her I told you to say it.”
“I will she’ll know if ukip are elected she’ll never hear the end of it.its ridiculous really.”
I rest my case.