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Home alone: the house where binge mother left children | UK news |

Oh, the drama. The Guardian is so much more subtle than the Sun or the Mail, but the journalistic craft is just the same. Look how deftly placed the word "binge" is in that headline. Look how neatly all the real issues behind this story are ignored. Everything you need to know is in the reference to drink and drugs. Nothing else to see here comrades. Move along now.

Even The Guardian nods though. Some faint trace of human spirit is to be read between the lines. How my heart warms to those poor neglected children. They have never read the Guardian so tried, misguidedly, to look after themselves. Two girls, aged four and three, with more maternal feeling for their baby brother than the woman who - true daughter of the Labour heartlands - farms them all for benefits and a free council house.

Not to worry. There's time yet. Their human instincts can be educated out of them as they were from their mother. A combination of perverse incentives and Guardian-reading teachers will sort them out.

Soon they too will be dependent; and not just on drink and drugs.