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The Philpott Tragedy Has Nothing to Do With Welfare

05/04/2013 17:29 BST | Updated 05/06/2013 10:12 BST

It was said by the prosecution in the trial of Mick and Mairead Philpott that they had started the fire at 18 Victory Road in order to "frame" his mistress Lisa Willis for the fire, and in turn to regain custody of her two children. Philpott hoped that this would increase the likelihood of them obtaining a bigger house.

The majority of people though, like you do not see the wilful, complicit manslaughter of their children as a passport to gaining bigger sized housing.

For a man dubbed Shameless Mick though, it is perhaps neither surprising nor shocking that he did.

In terms of justice, he and his wife Mairead, and their co-accused Paul Moseley can only look forward to accommodation in one type of "big house" for the foreseeable future; that of a prison cell and rightly so.

They were all undoubtedly narcissistic. Their primary goal was to further their own aims, regardless of the cost to human life and relationships. Even in Philpott's final throw of the dice his shame did not abate.

So lacking was any degree of contrition, accountability or responsibility for his actions, at the height of his chutzpah, he demanded that monies raised by the local community be repaid to him, and him alone in Argos vouchers. According to Neil White, editor of the Derby Telegraph a shrine was created to commemorate the children containing teddy bears. Such was his selfishness that he wanted to auction off the bears to make money.

In an interview with Nicky Campbell and Rachel Burden on BBC Radio 5 Live, Neil White said that Philpott viewed his children purely as a financial commodity. I feel they were a device to make a quick buck. This is extremely tragic.

So we know that Philpott was a narcissist and would do anything for money. Only for his own purposes however.

In addition though, he was a misogynistic bully. He treated his wife Mairead like an object, knowing full well that she was utterly besotted with them.

The renowned blogger and broadcaster Iain Dale suggests that;

"In his wife's case she already has a life sentence. She is sentenced to a life of thinking about how different her life would have been had she stood up to Philpott. By all accounts she is still besotted with him. One day she will wake up and realise what he did, not just to her 6 children, but to her as well."

However, I do not think it is as simple as that. Philpott had held court over his wife for years, and this was no different. He preyed on an emotionally vulnerable woman, and took advantage of that love, and twisted it to suit himself, so Mairead Philpott was completely under his spell. That is not to say she didn't play her part in this sorry mess, she undoubtedly did.

I doubt she would have mustered the emotional reserve to stand up to Mick Philpott for the simple reason that for her this was "normal" behaviour in the Philpott household.

It is obvious to me that for Philpott, women were merely a device for his own sexual gratification, whenever he pleased. He forced Mairead Philpott to perform a sex act on his friend Paul Moseley. He told her later he was proud of her "because [she] didn't want to do it.

Well, excuse me. Am I missing something, or is this tantamount to rape?

I suspect with the fullness of time, clarity will return to the mind of Mairead Philpott. She will reflect on what has happened and realise she has lost something very precious, something which in fact, many individuals crave for a lifetime, but never receive; the gift of children.

But I would never want anyone to underestimate how pernicious the effects of an abusive and controlling partner can be, or indeed how nefarious and odious the partner can be themselves.

I am not seeking sympathy for Mrs Philpott, at all. It was quite obvious from the dramaturgy of the Press Conference that they were more concerned with evading as opposed to facing justice.

But as Assistant Chief Constable Steve Cotterill confirms;

"She tended to huddle towards Mick Philpott. I just got the impression of somebody that was under control and was under instruction."

Her defence barrister Shaun Smith QC concurred, saying she had effectively become a slave to her husband.

You see I remember Mick Philpott on the Jeremy Kyle show, grandstanding about what a good Dad he

was, and defending his family, suggesting that Jeremy was having a "go at his kids"

Jeremy retorted that the kids were well groomed, clean and well fed.

Given recent events, you can almost imagine Jeremy doing his trampoline star jumps whilst shouting,

"WELL IF YOU'RE SUCH A GOOD DAD WHY DID YOU KILL YOUR KIDS THEN?"

Why indeed? Life truly is nonsensical at times. And that is the true paradox of all of this. The Philpott's were good parents. 18 Victory Road did not play host to the sort of archetypal broken family Social Services have grown accustomed to seeing daily.

I believe that the Daily Mail's headline, though repugnant is a red herring. Narcissists like Mick Philpott can be rich or poor and come from any socio-economic background.

The Philpott family are not a product of welfare. This is frothy, unsubstantiated rhetoric of the very worst kind. The children were the unfortunate victims of Mick Philpott's selfish nature. They were the unfortunate victims of their mother's all consuming enslavement by their father. What they were not was a product of welfare. Their memory must be respected, not smeared by something in which they are victims, not perpetrators.

Mick and Mairead Philpott will now have plenty of time to reflect afresh on what they have done from behind prison walls. They too have suffered a loss but I reserve my sympathy for those surviving, those who have lost precious jewels that meant the world.

For Mick Philpott, as stupid as he is, must have known this would not end positively.

He must have realised, when a can of petrol was poured under the bedroom door, that it would ignite.

So is he stupid really? This callous cold hearted human being. The people who would have not expected anything to be amiss were the children. Yet they paid the heaviest price, that of death. A price put on their heads by the very people who should have loved and cared for them. Where was great Dad Mick then?

I hope his new house is suitable for him, just as I hope the houses of Mairead Philpott and Paul Moseley are suitable for them. The children deserved justice and got it. I for one am happy about that.