Is it possible for Elizabeth

to have an argument with Freddie and not drag his father into it? How bloody dare she do the “what would your father say” at him? Horrible, ghastly cow.

For the record, as she very well knows, Nigel was just as stupid as Freddie, and when he was rather older, too. He was taken to court and found guilty of a crime (stealing a car and driving it away while drunk) when he was twenty-five.

And it is likely that Nigel would have felt that telling tales was not the right thing to do – not to mention that it would not get you out of trouble with the police or courts if it amounted to unsupported and unprovable statements about a third party which could never be used as the basis of a prosecution, whilst letting said police and courts know that you had lied under caution and been committing the crime to which you had pleaded guilty on a regular basis rather than as a one-off.

I do not believe that Usha would have expected her client to make his position a whole lot worse, even if Elizabeth would.


And does she ever stop to think why Freddie’s mantra is “I’m so stupid”? Couldn’t have anything to do with the management of his education and her very slanted treatment of one twin vs the other, could it?



She certainly does tend to emphasise his inabilities, and never look for anything he might be able to do. He was good at riding; she made it clear that wasn’t terribly important, especially after it was shown that Lily wasn’t anything special in that line. She has harped on and on and on about his maths GCSE, and never at any time mentioned anything he may have done successfully – presumably he did pass other GCSEs, or he would not have been accepted to do A-Levels. That sort of thing becomes self-fulfilling prophecy: real life research has been done into it, and shown that if one class of pupils of a given age in a school is told it is the A stream and another the B stream, children in the A stream do consistently better in all subjects than those in the B stream, even though the division was arbitrarily decided used dice or some such method and there is no actual difference between pupils in one or the other. And if you tell a child often enough that it is clumsy, or loses things, it starts to trip up and drop things, or starts to lose things, even if it never did before.

(There is also evidence that if you consistently tell a child it is bright and good at school work, lo, that will come to pass provided that there is any chance of it doing so; but that isn’t so clear-cut as the streaming trials were.)