Monday, 21 May 2007

Should We Have Done Something?

There must be many passengers who travelled on the Manchester to Plymouth Virgin Voyager train today who feel as upset as I am right now. Especially the ones who sat in Carriage C. It was the swearing first wasn't it? A heavy male North West English brogue. But it wasn't the brogue was it. When did you first notice the baby crying and it being told to 'Shut the fuck up'. Then an older child started to cry. It wasn't just crying. The young child was gasping for breath between long drawn out sobs. The tiny baby sounded as if it was being hurt. It was scared.

The male moron, who seemed the be the father, was drunk. I heard the tins popping. I heard speech begin to slur. I heard his language get worse as he threatened to stick things up these babies arses to shut them up. One of the two females was the mother of these two unfortunate children, the other woman was her sister. They both giggled inanely at the drunken father's 'jokes'. I imagined if they didn't laugh at his jokes he would hit them. Maybe not. They sounded as bad as him. The baby began crying again and I heard one of the women say ' It's because you pinched him'.

I was sitting three aisles in front of them. I couldn't see them - but I could hear it all. I needed to see what they were like. I went to the toilet and had to pass them. Moronic male was slumped, slurring and still drinking in his seat. The sisters were immature girls. They were surroundeed by empty lager tins, plastic carrier bags, a mess of food, used nappies - pure chaos. He was a very big bloke, shaven headed and pissed. The faces of the individual travellers sitting near them said it all. Everyone looked in shock. Four young women travelling together left their seats near this family and moved into four empty seats in front of me.

I heard one of them say 'He's shaking the baby now'.

I got off the train at Taunton. This family were going on holiday to Devon.

I made no eye contact with the rest of the passengers. We were all so very British. Keeping quiet, not drawing attention to ourselves, not making the first move to do something, like interfere, when all the while two very young babies were at risk from a family who were drunk on a train in the middle of the day.

What could we have done?


Rob Spence said...

What could you have done? Nothing really.. Inform the guard, who might have informed the police. But whatever, it would probably have caused more unpleasantness than was already the case. If you had a handy phial of something to sterilise the guy that you could have slipped in his can, that would be good...

Buggles Balham High Road said...

Yes, that would be the answer but like Ethnic Cleansing? Sterilising unsuitable people in case they keep breeding? I can't imagine going there.

I know that if any of us had said something like, 'Should you be talking this way in front of such little babes?' or 'Your children seem upset,' he would turned his drunken anger against us. So we all sat quietly allowing him to rant, swear, and offensively bully his children.

The four young women who moved seats to get away from this scene were this families age group and we made eye contact (I'm a Nan) said nothing but the messages were of hopelessness.

Rob Spence said...

I didn't mean it seriously...But it is difficult isn't it? What life chances will those children have? What's the betting they'll end up on the wrong side of the law?

tea and cake said...

It is a very difficult situation. The four young women moved but the children could not.
If someone had contacted the police on their mobile, they may have got on at the next stop, and checked to see if the children were ok - called a 'live and well' check.
Best not to challenge, as it can make it worse for the kids; and possibly dangerous on somewhere like a train.
It is very scary, and I'm sorry if I sound at all judgemental - I just get sooo angry at these stupid, stupid people who don't look after their children. kaz xx