June 21, 2011
As pairs of socks and mugs emblazoned with ‘world’s best dad’ were doled out on Sunday, it was over to the PM to deliver this year’s Father’s Day message.
And what a message it was. Doubtless leaving wife Sam and a team of hired help holding the fort (and the baby), David Cameron declared war on absent fathers, storming that they should be stigmatised by society in the same way as drink drivers.
I realise that having Nick Clegg yoked round his neck like a clingy girlfriend has put our prime minister under unimaginable stress.
But has he taken leave of his senses?
How does an absent father compare with a reckless driver who, fuelled by a tank full of booze, turns his car into a killing machine?
Perhaps our esteemed leader should pay a visit to the Partington home of Amanda and Phil Peak, whose two boys Arron, 10, and Ben, eight, were killed after drunken footballer Luke McCormick ploughed into their family car at 100mph on the M6.
And perhaps Mr Cameron could also explain why our slack-jawed judiciary ensured the Plymouth Argyle goalie wouldn’t himself be an absent father – by allowing McCormick out of prison to celebrate his own son’s second birthday.
Yes, Prime Minister. Comparing absent fathers to drink drivers is about as helpful as a parliamentary hopeful with the surname Miliband.
Absent fathers come in all shapes and sizes. Sure, there are the mindless layabouts who take off at the first whiff of Johnson’s baby lotion. But equally, there are fathers whose toxic ex-spouses won’t let them anywhere near their children.
For some women, denying a man access to his kids is the ultimate power move: particularly when it’s beefed up by the relentless bias often deployed by our family courts.
And what of the countless men in the armed forces, dispatched to Libya or Afghanistan on the Government’s tab? These are fathers who are absent by default, not design. Are their crimes equal to the booze-flushed driver who mows down anyone who crosses his path?
It would have been one thing had Cameron teamed his ill-thought-out comparison with the announcement of some concrete measures to help women whose wayward partners have cut and run. It’s quite another to spout this kind of headline-grabbing claptrap with no substance to back it up.
Cameron has persistently made it clear how highly he values traditional family life, and particularly marriage. I agree with him.
Children need both parents – even though mothers and fathers bring different elements to the nurturing table. If either parent is absent – be it errant father or good-time mother – then there is a chance that child will miss out. If Cameron is going to point the finger, shouldn’t he have put two up?
Our Prime Minister has often said his late father was such an influential role model.
I’m not sure in the light of the PM’s statement, his dad would have been that proud of his son.
Happy news masks a messy situation
The widow of Mark Saunders, the Cheshire-born barrister who was shot dead by police marksmen during a 2008 siege, has found love with High Court Judge Sir Nicholas Mostyn.
Under normal circumstances, who wouldn’t wish lawyer Elisabeth Saunders well after experiencing the traumatic death of her husband. The only jarring detail is that Sir Nick jilted his own wife of 30 years in order to be with his new love.
Even worse, Lady Mostyn has since fallen on such hard times that she has turned the former marital home into a B&B to make ends meet.
Very messy, whichever way you look at it.
Sir Nicholas once said the three ingredients for a successful marriage were ‘an active sex life, a tidy home and no arguments about money’.
Loyalty and equality were clearly missing from his list.
MP should stick to the rules or take a walkies
Tory MP Matthew Offord is invoking human rights laws after being told by Westminster officials he cannot bring his dog into his Commons office.
And with breathtaking arrogance, he adds: "Whatever people might think of the human rights rules, and I have my doubts about them, they are part of British law."
In other words, use human rights when it suits to wet nurse a spineless judiciary incapable of enforcing any kind of law and order.
I can’t stand those pious dog lovers who feel they have the right to drag their mutts wherever they go.
The no-dogs rule in Parliament is unequivocal.
If Mr Offord is successful, will all the female MPs currently shelling out a fortune on child care also be able to hock their grievances to Brussels?
If Mr Offord can’t play by the rules, then I suggest he should loosen himself from the Westminster leash.
Mind you, he could always leave his dog behind. On current form, it surely can’t do any worse a job than its master.
Cheryl Cole: A bad judge of character
If the rumours are true, Cheryl Cole is seeking solace in the arms of her ex-husband.
Never mind that the wayward Ashley Cole cheated on the singer with a series of classy birds whilst married to the nation’s sweetheart.
As her career takes a nose dive, perhaps our Chezza needs to be amongst what she knows best.
But if she’s picking this loser, at least it proves she’s also lost what it takes to be a judge on The X Factor.
Thank you Angela Epstein for this article.
Mr. Cameron's public declaration of the long unofficial war against men is making all those fathers who don't have a normal relationship with their kids wanting to vomit.
Its that war by the state against men, with it's passive aggressive politically correct legal terms that sound gender neutral but are in reality and practice anything but a war on men that applies a Male Sharia Law.
The state then becomes the killing machine, more fathers who can't see their kids kill themselves than those killed in military action and the roads combined.
The state is responsible for an increasing rate of dysfunctional families whose root cause is fatherlessness.
When there is a true Legal Presumption of Equal Parenting without it being a golden pot of money transferred to women often for no other reason than she stole his sperm with the right genetics to get pregnant with every intention of making sure the child never sees or hears from the father.
Its that sort of rape of men and the abuse of children that Cameron supports and its time to end. Remember this issue changed a government in Australia and its time for UK dads to get active and contact their MP.