STOP MISREPRESENTING OUR POSITION – LETTER TO THE JUSTICE COMMITTEE
In a letter to a Fathers4Justice supporter, the Clerk of the Justice Committee uses the presence of FNF to excuse the refusal of the committee to hear testimony from Fathers4Justice. They also state that we did not respond to the call for evidence or make submissions. As we have repeatedly made clear, we will NOT make token submissions that give a committee legitimacy without meaningful representation which Fathers4Justice has historically been denied. The Committee had been made fully aware of the F4J position and to state that somehow this was not the case is a blatant misrepresentation.
Stop misrepresenting our position.
We are not in the business of making token submissions so the Justice Committee can wear the mask of legitimacy.
You were informed right from the outset that we were only prepared to make submissions on a ‘meaningful basis’ and that had to include oral testimony.
Submissions from a government sponsored organisation which is a fraction of the size and profile of Fathers4Justice does not provide representation for our 36,000 families. We understand that whilst the government uses some groups to legitimise the process (as you do below) it frankly doesn’t wash in a democracy which is supposed to represent all the people – not just those paid by government to tow the line.
As the largest equal parenting group in the world, this repeated denial of representation is an affront to democracy and robs the committee of any legitimacy.
As explained in my letter earlier this week, this isn’t the first time Sir Alan Beith’s committee has refused to allow Fathers4Justice to give proper and meaningful testimony. In 2004 Sir Bob Geldof refused to give evidence to the Parliamentary Select Committee on Family Law describing his committee a ‘sham’ as it had refused to hear from Fathers4Justice.
Equally, a 1200 page submission from Fathers4Justice to the Norgrove Enquiry in 2011 was disregarded in it’s entirety and we have been excluded from every single hearing and working party since we started campaigning in 2001. Is it any wonder people turn to direct action when they are excluded in such a blatant and prejudicial manner?
In my letter I also made it clear that we do not want to comment simply on the matter of the Bill before the committee, but to address fundamental and serious failings of the Family Justice system which are not covered by the Bill.
In refusing to hear the 36,000 families in Fathers4Justice, every MP on the committee is not only failing in their democratic duty, but they are failing in their duty of care to children and families as they have done repeatedly over the last 10 years.
Like the flat-earthers, there is only so long they can continue to deny the overwhelming evidence that this is the greatest child abuse scandal of our age and that like all child abuse, it is happening behind closed doors (of the secret family courts) thanks to the ‘good’ people who did absolutely nothing to stop it.
LETTER FROM THE JUSTICE COMMITTEE TO A FATHERS4JUSTICE SUPPORTER MISREPRESENTING OUR POSITION
From: WALKER, Nick [mailto:WALKERNP@parliament.uk]
Sent: 20 November 2012 16:39
To: Kevin Hall
Cc: BEITH, Alan; FERREIRA, Ana; KINGHORN, Helen
Subject: RE: Pre-legislative scrutiny of the Children and Families Bill 2012-13
Dear Mr Davidson-Hall
I apologize for the fact that the response to your e-mail was mistakenly drafted as if you had sent it as a representation on behalf of Fathers 4 Justice, of which we have received a number in the last few days.
Thank you for your kind offer to provide evidence to the Committee. Unfortunately there is no time in the Committee’s schedule to hold further oral evidence sessions if it is to report on the draft legislation in time. However if you wished to provide written evidence to the Committee on those matters contained in the Committee’s call for evidence you would be welcome to do so, provided that it arrived with the Committee by 27 November. If you decide to submit evidence and you would like any or all of it to be kept confidential you should indicate that. The Committee’s terms of reference, along with guidance on submitting evidence, were published on 12 September:
The Committee received submissions responding to its call for evidence from a number of fathers and, indeed, mothers. Today it took oral evidence from Families Need Fathers and Families Need Fathers Both Parents Matter Cymru, who had both responded to the Government’s consultation on shared parenting. As explained below, Fathers4Justice did not respond to the Committee’s call for evidence or the Government’s consultation. The Committee has since invited Fathers4Justice to submit written evidence, even at this late stage of the inquiry and after the deadline which others were asked to meet, and if they make a submission it will be taken into account.
I appreciate that this response may be disappointing for you but I hope you will understand the reasons behind it. Do please bear in mind that if and when the Government introduces these legislative provisions into Parliament within a Children and Families Bill there will be further opportunities to make representations.
Clerk of the Committee