This is a fact based novella partly set out in diary form, partly a memoir. I’m finding it incredibly difficult to give a star rating because it’s not like the usual fiction stories I read and it’s not written as a memoir or biography either.
David Jordan has given a written statement of what happened to his family when he tried to get improved housing conditions for his partner and their baby daughter. This one action triggered a nightmare of fighting to keep their first daughter, then subsequent son and daughter, for the next eleven and a half years.
Jordan gives a run down of all the happenings – letters, phone calls, visits, meetings and Court Orders – and to be perfectly honest, I read with shocked amazement the contradictory remarks, lack of help or respect, incompetence and ineptitude of social services towards this family. Far from being a body of professional people working to help families stay together and be safe, they seemed to go out of their way to obstruct these parents being with their children and gave little or no reason of what they were doing wrong, why they were ‘bad parents’. I am quite aware that I have only read one side of the story and that it’s not possible for me to get confirmation of the validity of this story. Notwithstanding that, if only half of this is true, it makes for a very concerning read. Not only has a great injustice been done to this family, possibly with long lasting mental effects, but an astronomical amount of public money has been wasted on what seems nothing more than a witch-hunt.
I was curious about the end of the title of the book – The Mega Pig File. This relates to the name given to Mr Jordan’s file at the social services offices. I couldn’t believe a public office would dare to do that!
The actual writing could do with some editing with regard to the structure of the book, but for a lay-man to put his family’s experience down on paper, David Jordan has done incredibly well with this book. It is very easy to read, compelling in places, and flows reasonably well, if a little stilted at times and awkward in asking and answering his own questions. Well worth a read, if only to assure yourself not to start off any unnecessary contact with family and social services – it could back-fire badly.