THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
Classical liberalism - Part 3. Public Choice
Classical liberalism - Part 4. The Austrian School

Unhappy Father's Day

Louis de Bernières: it'll be an unhappy Father's Day for some - Telegraph.

There was a moving article by auther Louis de Bernieres in The Telegraph for Fathers' Day yesterday. He condemns as "the biggest social scandal of our time" the way the family courts treat fathers and "the cruelty to which they and their children are routinely subjected." If it were not for the fact that a friend of mine is going through a divorce at present, I would have dismissed it as hyperbole. Sadly, it is soberly factual.

There seems to be a mad "women's studies" presumption in our modern system of family justice that women are all victims and all men aggressors. That mothers are saints and fathers sinners. That's not so surprising once you realise that social workers matter far more in the process now than judges. If you are unfortunate enough to go through a divorce, you will be lucky to see the same judge twice. As they dip in and out to suit court schedules they have to rely heavily on the social worker's reports rather than their own wisdom and judgement of the case and the parties. The results are really quite horrifying.

de Bernieres puts his finger on the root of this injustice when he writes;

Mr Cameron, I condemn feckless fathers as strongly as you do, but you appear unaware that by far the majority of relationships involving children are dissolved by mothers. A statistic I have read recently stated that it is 83 per cent. I look forward to your article next Mother’s Day.

And why would that be? Perhaps because women are so advantaged by the system that they do not face the consequences of their actions? They don't have to consider, as men do, that if they break up the marriage, they will almost certainly lose their children. They don't have to consider the financial consequences either, as those are mostly visited on the father. Nor do they suffer any opprobrium for depriving their children of the now much undervalued benefit of a father.

Justice can only be done at the individual level, case by sad case. The full spectrum of good and evil can be found in both sexes as it can in all classes, races and social groups. Whenever "social justice" - i.e. justice at the collective level based on assumptions as to the relative merits of groups - is attempted, it results in far worse ills than those it seeks to cure.

Have a thought for the lost fathers of Britain at their work today, saddened by bitter thoughts of how their Father's Day should have been.