Dave Chick should be treated as a hero. Not many men would risk their lives to protest against the evil otherwise known as the Family Courts. Demonstrate your support by signing this petition.
One man dressed in a Spiderman outfit has single-handedly been bringing
chaos to central London. Since last Friday, David Chick has been perched on
top of a 150 ft crane in order to publicise his protest about the way the
courts treat separated fathers.
Police have erected roadblocks around the crane to prevent Mr Chick from
falling onto passers-by. The result is miles of tailbacks and misery for
thousands of commuters trapped helplessly in the gridlock.
Mr Chick is merely the latest estranged father to stage a public protest.
Militancy amongst fathers’ groups is increasing. They have picketed judges’
houses, forced the temporary closure of one court, placed hoax bombs in
others and intimidated mothers arriving for hearings.
This kind of irresponsibility, harassment and threatening behaviour is
totally unacceptable, and should be punished. Nevertheless, the desperation
driving these men to such acts is real.
The flashpoint behind Mr Chick’s protest is how judges handle the difficult
issue of contact with children after divorce. When the courts award care of
the children to the mother, they usually make an order that she should allow
the children to have contact with their father.
But when the father tries to make such contact, he often finds the mother
bars his way. She fobs off the court with a series of flaky excuses. Worse
still, she may make spurious allegations of abuse.
Even if the facts behind such claims are actually examined, the proceedings
are weighted towards the mother. And many blameless fathers end up losing
contact with their children.
The courts don’t want to jail the mothers because their children live with
them. On this basis, no mother should ever be sent to prison for any crime.
And anyway, why do they all have to be jailed? Many children could be sent
to live with their fathers instead.
The courts think a child should be with its mother. But a mother who
spitefully denies her child access to its father shows she is not fit to be
in charge of that child.
The judges want to avoid enraging the mother still further, which they think
would be bad for the child. But being deprived of its father is bad for the
child. With the courts paralysed by their belief that mothers have to be
handled with kid gloves, women have been able to string them along and get
away with actions wholly against their children’s interests.
The singer Bob Geldof has drawn attention to this injustice. Drawing on his
own custody battle with his late ex-wife Paula Yates, he has rightly
observed that family law is creating 'vast wells of misery, massive
discontent, an unstable society of feral children and feckless adolescents
who have no understanding of authority, no knowledge of a man's love and how
different but equal it is to a woman's.'
No doubt such outbursts are why some senior judges recently acknowledged
that with so many contact orders being flouted by mothers, the law is being
brought into disrepute. As a result, in a recent case where a mother refused
contact, judges did for once transfer care of the child to the father.
But this problem is far broader and deeper than flouted contact orders. The
whole justice system is institutionally biased against men and marriage. It
is driven by an extreme feminist agenda, which stretches from the humblest
family lawyer through the politically correct Law Commission to reach all
the way up to government and the senior reaches of the judiciary.
How else can one explain the extraordinary proposal by the Law Commission --
which is expected to be backed by the government -- that women who commit
premeditated murder of their menfolk may be charged merely with manslaughter
if they have been abused?
At present, manslaughter only applies if the killing occurs in the heat of
the moment. But the new argument is that if there was a history of abuse,
such provocation excuses the deed even if it was carefully planned.
This is rigging the law to allow women literally to get away with murder.
(The same provision would apply to abused men; but since such men are seldom
believed, and most men who kill do so in the heat of the moment, it is
mainly women to whom this would apply).
Of course, abused women need protection. But premeditation means women have
a choice not to kill. The proposal gives the signal that premeditated
killing in a domestic setting is justifiable. It effectively says that the
crime is the fault not of the killer but of her victim. By removing personal
responsibility for murder, it represents a wholesale attack against the
fundamental principle of law itself.
But then, through a combination of moral cowardice and extreme feminism,
family lawyers have been writing personal responsibility out of the script
for decades. First, they removed the idea that behaviour mattered, so that
eventually divorce law became so meaningless that fault was removed from it
And now, they actually reward bad behaviour. Despite the fact that women
have been becoming increasingly unfaithful and predatory, they are now
mainly awarded the lion’s share of divorce settlements.
Underlying it all is the judges’ assumption that women are generally more
sinned against than sinning and that marriage is out of date -- a fact they
have done their best to bring about. The leading exponent of that view – and
the most influential voice in family law over at least the past two decades
-- is Lady Justice Hale, a hard-line feminist, an opponent of marriage
(despite being twice married herself) and a champion of easier divorce and
equal rights for cohabitants.
Now she is to become the first female member of the Law Lords. She is
without doubt exceedingly able. But her elevation epitomises the moral
vacuum within our judiciary and wider establishment, which instead of
holding the line for justice and social order are in thrall to the politics
of the self, which makes victims of the vulnerable and leaves a trail of
social and emotional devastation in its wake.
So men increasingly find they lose their homes and their children, even if
their behaviour has been blameless. Their reckless public protests are
inexcusable. But so, too, are the manifold injustices which are increasingly
driving them over the edge.