So David Cameron took the opportunity of Fathers’ Day to write in The Sunday Telegraph that “runaway fathers” should be stigmatised, that Britain should be “genuinely hostile” to them.
Oh dear. Where to begin?
First of all, while I calm down, maybe we should heed the words of some people with brains.
How about Erin Pizzey, the founder of the first women’s refuge in the UK: “There are a lot of reasons why [fathers are] not with their children… There is a vast mass of women who are equally as feckless as the men and we never talk about them.”
Now how about Ken Sanderson, CEO of Families Need Fathers: “Mr. Cameron appears to have overlooked the complexity of separated families. Very few fathers choose deliberately to walk away from their children, and it is damaging in the extreme to suggest that this is the common experience. Rather than simply wringing his hands about the ‘bogeyman’ of the absent father, Mr. Cameron would be well advised to examine how his government can ensure that the importance of fatherhood is better reflected in law, rather than simply in rhetoric.”
So that’s the first thing. Put simply, it’s exceptionally rare to find situations where things are as simple as David Cameron seems to make out, and the fact that he would get involved in something like this on Fathers’ Day is cynical and alarming.
But the other thing, which I’m not sure I’ve heard anyone mention yet and I think is even more ridiculous – ‘GENUINELY HOSTILE’?!
Really? No, REALLY?
Genuinely hostile? I mean, my God, what the hell? I don’t think Britain should be a place that’s genuinely hostile to anyone. I don’t care if they’re a murderer or a terrorist or god knows what else. It is society’s job, and in my opinion the penal system’s job, to teach people the error of their ways, not to damn them until they feel so much shame that they somehow come to the conclusion that they should behave how you think they should behave. I mean, I’ve heard of the stick instead of the carrot but he’s the F-ing PM. He can’t say this crap and be allowed to get away with it.
The man, or probably more accurately whichever adviser told him to do it, is insane if he thinks this was the right thing to do.
But let’s curb this genuine hostility to Dave, ‘cause we’re not like that. Come round to our place, Mr Cameron, and we’ll be happy to teach you where you’re going wrong.
www.fnf.org.uk – Families Need fathers website