Sins of the Father

Sins of the  Father

It was an everyday story of city life. An everyday story of unintended consequences.

Last week a low life steals a car. The police   are on the case. Lights flash , sirens hehaw. The low life  floors it. For a moment he thinks he can out drive them. He is high  maybe only  on adrenaline, maybe more. Through the crowded streets they race. This not the movies. He is not Steve McQueen. He hits a car, he swerves, the steering wheel spins, he hits a bollard. he mounts the pavement.

Going to park that day is the child  actor Makyah McDermott his aunt and two siblings. To those  in accidents  every nano second is recorded in dramatic slow mo. The car approaching, the sirens, the car out of control,the  chasing cops, then……. bang. The boy and his aunt  are dead. The driver, Joshua  Dobby leaps out of the killer whale and runs to hide pathetically behind a front garden hedge. Every year 25 are killed in crashes involving  police chases.

Joshua is soon arrested and charged. 23 of no fixed abode a sad figure but it gets worse.

It  turns out that his father is Mark Dobby a 51 year old businessman who  lives in  £3m house and runs  successful pet food and property businesses. Classic dull businesses but now he is famous.

A few  details are reported. The dad has  been estranged from his son for 16 years and hasn’t seen him for seven. Joshua’s mother died three years ago and is not called Dobby. She may have married again, the new man may not have got with Joshua.

Dobby started his businesses twenty years ago. Was it the oft told tale of the young  successful businessman upgrading his wife. The son never forgiving his  dad but never really settling down to life without him. Despite a  degree of privilege Joshua does badly school and   never settles down. He drifts, his mother, before she died of cancer is reported to have been battling alcoholism and drug addiction. There is more than one  car crash in this story.

Whatever. As many are inspired by their dysfunctional families,  as are broken by them. Most get on with their lives. It starts with one family destroyed by “everyday” causes, it  ends with another smashed by five minutes excitement in  a South London street.

This story has echoes in my family. My legal parents divorced when I was four, I was in therapy at eight. My parents, however flawed, never gave up and boarding school saved me.

Vivien’s older brother in the late 1960s was an extremely successful businessman. He traded in his wife for a younger model . The ex took the two children and married again. Her new husband  treated the children as his own. Vivien’s brother never forgave his children for switching their allegiance and has rebuffed all their efforts to make contact. He has not talked to his children(and their children) for over thirty years.

This is a biblical story, his second marriage crashed with his  business and  twenty years ago bailiffs and creditors chased him to another country. Where he remains.

His children meanwhile moved on  and have become successful adults. Sometimes the sins of the  father drift on like a chemical cloud, sometimes they don’t.

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One Response to Sins of the Father

  1. Johan Vivian Van Dijk says:

    Timely and a good one.
    Going through conflicting emotions: eldest niece, a 6 month baby at my wedding, has IVF twins; now, three children see their mother split from their father as the marriage was on the skids before the twins were born. I’m to take all this as perfectly normal behaviour for the times; have to overlook that the twins are conflicted now, spend three nights here..three, or four, there…and so on.
    ‘These things happen…move on.’
    It’s the saying of the times only I’m having trouble ‘buying into it’.

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