Outlaws at War With Our Own Country

So, after eight years we have finally arrived back. Back at square one that is.

We have exhausted every single avenue of dialogue available to us. Pursued jaw jaw, even when we were treated as pariahs, excommunicated by our political aristocracy. We were promised justice, we were promised reform, we were promised urgency.

What did we get? At the Ministry of Justice these days you aren’t even offered the tea and jammy dodgers much beloved by Families Need Neutering. We were welcomed by troubled Justice Minister Jonathan Djanogly and his entourage of lackeys, spivs, floozies and blood sucking civil servants (Patrick Reeve and Stewart More). I actually liked Djanogly because I could see he knew what we knew, but that somehow, somebody, somewhere, had surgically removed his testicles. The first lady-boy Minister made much of mocking some of the poor imitations of our campaign. I can tell you, he wasn’t laughing by the time we had finished with him.

We placed on the table what is in my mind the single most comprehensive demolition of family law ever produced. 1,000 pages, two huge ring-binders, a CD and  topline summary.

Things we told them, are worse than ever. It is a crisis and needs to be treated as such.

We went through the motions in much the same way I do most mornings sitting on the crapper. Today was a different day, but it was the same shit. We decapitated the ‘child’s best interests argument’. There was NO argument from them, no defence of it. By implication they know its a lie, but they will leave it to the Family Justice Review to decide ‘what’s best’.

I used a two litre tub of ice cream to point out that I knew more about what happened two a plastic tub full of fat and sugar than they know about what happens to the lives of children affected by the family courts.

We raised Cafcass, an organisation they had promised to abolish, but now will leave to the Family Justice Review to settle it’s fate. Not good enough I said. It has been repeatedly condemned for failing children by Ofsted, it has been an unmitigated disaster. Anthony Douglas CBE who was awarded this distinction after presiding over the equivalent of a Gulf of Mexico oil spill for kids, shouldn’t be allowed to look after a goldfish let alone the fate of tens of thousands of children. In any other job he would have been sacked and probably prosecuted for failing in his fiduciary duties. He should be in jail alongside Sharon Shoesmitth waiting trial, not traumatising children and families with his perverted brand of incompetence.

Secondly on the point of open justice, they again failed to offer any defence. Not even a whimper. The last piece of legislation Labour had tried to introduce before the election has not been enacted and is, you guessed it, is subject to the outcome of the Family Justice Review.

I did point out that there was not one shred of empirical evidence to suggest open courts damage children, that Iran and North Korea look progressive compared to our secret family courts and that our judiciary rule the Devil’s Labyrinth as unelected, unaccountable and unsackable emperors of the gladitorial bear pit that is the family courts.

And of course, if courts were worried about children being teased, what about his children given the press coverage he received last week? Or our MP who had a little local difficulty recently? Or even me who has been run through the mincer by the tabloids? We all have kids – if we apply the warped logic of family law there would be no stories about anyone in the press for fear of upsetting that persons children. Go figure!

It is a sham, absolute fucking bollocks, the mother of all smokescreens – let’s scare these parents half to death using their children as weapons, threaten they will lose them if they speak out whilst admitting that not ONE single newspaper which has broken section 97 has ever been prosecuted. FACT.

I raised the issue of a letter I once received by Sally Clark (who incidentally is still at the MoJ) who threatened me after I appeared in the Evening Standard with my boys in an interview about my case. My response, a letter back asking her to rearrange this popular anglo-saxon phrase: ‘Off and Fuck.’

To conclude, the outcome of this sometimes fraught discussion was this: We are going to break our election promises. We are going to wait to see what the Family Justice Review (started under Labour) says. We are going to surrender any responsibility for this. We are going to pass the buck. We have tried to force them to be quick, but this is a very ‘complex area of law’.

Uh? Complex? Like haven’t you fucking heard about the problems since 2002? Have you been living under a rock? Have the Conservatives been hijacked by Eunuchs led by William Hague? A government that is acting like Freddy Kreuger at an all you can eat Mongolian barbecue slashing and burning its way through its term tells us that it is now going to follow the lead set by a bunch of lawyers and apologists who should themselves be on fucking trial for crimes against children. Are you kidding me?

As I said, ‘Why do you need a fucking review to tell you your house is burning down?’

Instead of the promised report this Autumn, an interim report will be published in the Spring, with the finished report published NEXT Autumn 2011. I calculate that is at least another 100,000 children who will have lost contact with a parent in that time.

We ended with this. Given they know family law is failing, given they can’t even defend it, they are guilty of the most heinous of crimes – failing in their duty of care to our children.

The mark of this country is how we treat our children. There is NO single more pressing issue. As we say in our anthem, ‘if we can’t save the children, how can we save the world?’

Enough. We act with the fierce urgency of now. We will create the tension and confrontation with the state necessary to force this issue.

We have played the game. The gloves are off. The new campaign begins right here, right now.

This is going to be a battle between the power of the human spirit versus the power of the state.

We have been made outlaws in our own country. We must take our country back.

Matt O’Connor

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