Paul Watson Meets With PM
( From F4J Northeast )
July 23, 2004
Hi there all It has finally happened. After he stalled me 4 times, each time cancelling at the last minute.I got to meet him today. I think he was genuinely surprised.
It was clear he didn't really appreciate what things are like. He does now. He could be a PM who talks BS but I take him at his word. I think he will start to pay this a bit more attention.
Those who have heard me speak will be able to see and hear me in there with him. Someone said "Are you gonna give him both barrells big man?" and I said "No. I want to put him over an emotional barrell" I think he is there now.
What you want to do next is up to you!
I turned up at Myrobella House in Trimdon Grange, the Co. Durham home of Tony Blair at 1240pm. I was met at a security gate, patrolled by two armed police with what looked like machine gun things over their shoulders. He knew I was coming and he knew who I was and where I was from. “You have an appointment don’t you? Fathers 4 Justice?” I replied, “No, I am Paul Watson and I am here on behalf of my two wee girls” He said “Yes but you are F4J?” to which I told him who I was and that I was F4J NE co-ordinator.
He wrote down something (Car reg number I think) and then opened the gate. I was escorted across the yard to a security office where I was “Booked in”. They searched me and my bag, confiscated a camera which they returned as I was leaving, and then took me, escorted by 3 armed guards, into what looked like Blair’s garage.
He had a wee weights room thingy set up in there. Anyway they kind of REALLY frisked me, made me take my shoes off, top off etc and were VERY thorough. I didn’t mind though cos I was almost there!
His personal security guard told me that because of what F4J had done they had to be double careful. I explained that I was not going to do anything and that they could search wherever they liked. I got ready again and was escorted by three armed police to the back door of his house, which was guarded by another armed policeman.
I then went in. THE MAN was standing with a cup of coffee in his hand and said “Hi Paul, come in” I kind of got a bit of a shock cos he knew my name and there were loads of people looking at me, about 8 or 9 I think.
Perhaps they all turned out to see who this urban terrorist Big Paul was?? TB said “Just in here Paul” and turned and walked into a sitting room where there was a security guard, a wee woman who introduced herself and said she would be taking notes and we sat down.
The conversation lasted for 20-25 minutes and I was asked to “Finish off now” 3 times by his PA as he was running late. Big Paul replied “I will give way to the honourable lady in a moment if she will first allow me to make a little progress” (Blair said this about 50 times on Wednesday during the Iraq debate) I placed a picture of my girls on the table.
The school photo I took from home when I left their mother. They were 6 and 9. I then put down recent photos of them now 11 and 13. I told Tony who my girls were and that between those dates, they had been let down by our country to the extent that they lost their dad. I thanked him for seeing me to which he replied, “That’s alright.
I am sorry it has taken so long but I have been a bit busy” PW- I know I have seen. TB- Sorry for all the searches and stuff but they are a little bit nervous after what you guys at Fathers 4 Justice did at Westminster. PW-
I am involved in that Tony but I am here as a decent dad like you not for F4J. TB- That’s fine. So, how are you? I then proceeded to tell him about what had happened to me, how we had, as parents, put our faith in the court to help us and we had been tortured. I told him how judges treat dads in court “I don’t find your attitude very helpful Mr Watson.
How dare you tut in my court. Stop slouching” etc etc. he seemed amazed. I then told him that I could be thrown in jail for telling him about my kids being the subject of a court order.
TB- You guys accept that the interests of the children are what is important and you are demanding a 50-50 rebuttable split? What I don’t understand with all this is…. Do the courts just pick the mother?
PW- The interests of the child are generally best served by having a full and meaningful relationship with both their parents and extended families. What we accept is that it may be difficult to split time 50-50. We are not stupid. If you are flying off all over the world Tony it is obvious that you won’t see your kids as much as if you are here all the time.
What we are saying is that both parents need to be ASSUMED to be equal when we go into court. You and me are second-class parents Tony, just because we are men. The problem is Tony that you don’t understand.
You have ministers dealing with this for you and they are letting you down big guy.
He mentioned then 50-50 rebuttable contact as a starting point and when I asked him why the green paper basically said that him and me were not as important as a child's mother he looked at me with a furrowed brow.
I asked if he thought he was less of a parent than Cherie; he nodded and got the point. I asked him what he would do if he never saw Leo again. He shrugged and said, “I don’t know?”
I told him that I hoped he would never experience the feeling of his inside being ripped out that millions of people, including children, feel because of this. I asked him again, “What would you do?” and he said,” I honestly don’t know Paul. I can’t begin to imagine what it must feel like” I continued.
“It isn’t just you Tony, what about your family, mum and dad, brothers sisters aunties and uncles etc?
They will never see him again. What are you going to do? What would you do? When would you give in?”
This question left him a wee bit shocked and quiet.
“So what you are saying is that the courts just pick one parent over the other?”
I told him that it could be a year before a case gets a full hearing and then the judge says it is too traumatic to introduce the kid to this big guy with a purple shirt and a dodgy tie (HIM) cos it would be too traumatic and the kid doesn’t really know him!
I then said to Blair “By the way Tony, that shirt is a nice shade of purple. And I quite like the snazzy purple tie. I hope you didn’t think you could use some subliminal purple colouring to pacify me?”
He laughed. I said, “Tony, the problem is that you don’t know what is happening. I understand you have got people dealing with this for you but they are letting you down big guy.
They are letting the kids down and god bless your back for exploding that condom because now EVERYONE in the country knows it is a disgrace and needs changed.
You know it doesn’t work. I know it doesn’t work.
Why do we live in a country that allows these kids to lose their dads? 300,000 since you came to power Tony.
He shook his head. I am not bad (I think) at judging people. I honestly believe that he got a wee shock.
I showed him my court order from Judge Cartiledge made in Newcastle on 10th Dec, 2002.
I was “Allowed” by my ex to go to the house for 15 minutes per month. (The judge had said 10 minutes but ex had allowed me an extra 5! Cheers!)
I told TB that I was told I was LUCKY and that I was one of the 55,000 orders that were made so there is no problem. That is what an order is like Tony, child abusing.
I pushed him again on what he would do. Where would he stop as a decent dad?
PW- Tony, imagine someone snatched Leo. Those police guys would be swarming about. Imagine that they couldn’t find him and someone said, “Just leave it Tony. He will come back when he is older” What would you do? Would you give in?
Imagine you thought he was next door in another house. Would you break that door down and risk upsetting the people inside and perhaps getting arrested.
Would you do that as a decent dad? Of course you would” and he nodded. I said “Because you would do anything for your kids, even if it meant you sometimes overstepping the mark and he said, “Yes, I would” I told him he was no different to me and I was no different to him.
I asked if he would meet F4J and he said he would have to read the blue print (Cheers Gary- It arrived this morning!) before he would say but he said “Paul, you can keep in touch.
I have no problem with that” IS BIG PAUL THE F4J VOICE IN THE PM’S EAR? AM I THE DIRECT ROUTE THROUGH TO THE MAN?
I will keep the dialogue open. There was loads more said, loads of excellent wee laughy bits like were I called him the “Second most important man in the world after wee George” and told him that if he was to give Euan
(By the way, TB told me he is now 20!!) any advice then it should be “If you have a few beers at Trimdon Station club and meet a nice wee lassie from the north east, then STICK IT IN HER EAR. Cos I don’t want a grandkid I will never be allowed to see”
I also told him that if Cherie came in and saw a big handsome chap like me that he could come home tonight and find the locks changed.
If he knocked he would get a squad car there within a minute telling him to go away and contact a solicitor. If he called her again the next day he would be arrested for harrassment.
He would never see his kids again, his folks would never see their grandkids, and he would be stripped financially and would end up on the brink of suicide.
I then asked him if he wanted me to ask for a cup of tea. He got the point. I gave him a card congratulating him on his 10th anniversary as leader.
He said THANKS. I said, “I wasn’t going to give you a card. I think you are a decent kinda guy but it is a sad day Tony, when a big rough tough normal guy who was brought up in the slums of Glasgow can give a card to the most powerful man in my country yet couldn’t even give a card to his own kids”
In the card was a note…. Dear Tony, Hopefully I have given you an insight into the misery my ex wife, my kids, our families and I endured when we placed our trust in the family courts.
You know they don’t work. I know they don’t work. The public know they don’t work. Please try to sort this out. Lets put us all on a level playing field. Equality is a good place to start. If you tolerate this then YOUR children could be next.
Paul I then showed him the father’s day card I got from Ashley, now 13. She made it and she had a picture of herself pasted on it.
Inside it said (Sorry if this is a day late. Blame it on the postal service) Tony smiled. Big Paul's wit is coming through in ma wee girl! I told Tony that it was 4 years too late and that I blamed the law in this country for forcing her to wait 4 years to send me that card.
Again, I think he got it. I left and he promised he would get back to me, and would read the blueprint.
PW- Please do Tony. Don’t let your kids go through what I have. We shook hands and I left. I am glad I did it. Not just for me, but also for everyone who has ever WISHED they could tell him what is really going on. I did it for you.
He can have NO EXCUSE that he didn’t really know. Onward the Brave. Howay the Dads. Big Paul F4J North East Dad of Ashley and Chloe NOTES*
1- Tony Blair agrees that he would do anything for his son, even if it meant upsetting people and risking arrest.
2- Tony Blair has the Blueprint in his hand. He has opened it. He has promised me that he will read it and get back to me.
3- Tony Blair admitted that he didn’t understand why the courts just give mothers all the rights.
4- Tony Blair knows about F4J, who we are and what we want BUT he doesn’t fully understand what is really going on in the courts. He at least now has a clue.
5- Tony Blair has promised me that we can stay in touch. We have the PM’s ear.
6- Tony Blair accepts that we are not all “Nutcase dads” who want to cause bother. He accepts that we do not want to flour bomb him, climb bridges and generally cause problems.
7- Tony Blair “Cannot begin to imagine what it feels like” to have your kids removed from your life by the family courts.
8- Tony Blair agrees to consider meeting F4J for formal talks.
9- Tony Blair was shocked to find out that he could never see Leo again if Cherie fell out with him.
Please feel free to distribute. Thanks to everyone for their messages of support and for their encouragement.
Hopefully he will realise and act.
If not…then I KNOW WHERE HE LIVES!!!