Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Sisters are doin' it for themselves

An hilarious little 'spat' erupted yesterday when rather a few disgruntled fathers decided to ask questions of Gingerbread on their Facebook site.

Gingerbread, which receives massive chunks of Government funding, and were addressed in 2009 by no less than David Cameron, are trying to make it clear that they are only interested in certain kinds of single parents, viz:
"Hi all, we just wanted to be clear about who we are actually here to support as a charity. We will give advice, support and campaign for anyone (of either gender) who's a single parent. When we say single parent, we mean the mum or dad who is the main carer for a child under 18 (sometimes a foster, adoptive parent or grandparent). A single parent may be single, widowed, divorced, or separated. 
For parents who aren't the child's main carer and who want to speak to people in a similar situation, you should be able to get more support by contacting Family Lives, or if you are a dad you can contact the Fatherhood Institute."
I posed the question as to how they derived this explanation of a 'single parent' - and whether on this basis they refused assistance to women who had moved another man (or another woman!) in with their children, since they are not single parents, in the same way that they were saying that men like me (even prior to marrying Step-Mum!) are not single parents.

Predictably, they responded in the only way they know how, given the gathering siege situation. They deleted my question rather than answer it, along with many other comments, locked their Facebook page to comments from people who haven't 'liked' them, and banned all of the trouble makers, me included.

I thought I would share a specific example of how these female supremacists work.

This is taken from their leaflet 'Contact between your child and their other parent' (which immediately undermines their stand referred to above - Dad must be a parent!) which you can find here.

"Can the court force me to follow a court order against my wishes?
If you consider a court order to be wrong you may be able to appeal against it. This is difficult and you should get legal advice. If you do not follow the contact order, for example by not making your child available for contact, the court has the power to enforce the order. Before enforcing an order, the court will first consider whether it is still in the best interests of the child. 
The courts have a variety of powers they can use to enforce a contact order, including ordering a Cafcass officer to monitor contact or ordering the payment of compensation for any financial loss caused by a breach of the contact order. 
In extreme cases, the court has the power to order a parent to be sent to prison as a result of not following a contact order, or move the child to live with the other parent. These powers are not used very often. 
If you have breached an order or are likely to be affected by the courts enforcement powers, it is important that you get legal advice. See the list of useful organisations on pages 8 and 9." 
So, let's be clear. Nowhere do they even suggest that breaching a court order is something that you shouldn't do. They even, helpfully, explain the odds that you will be picked up for it.

In fact, it specifically says that if you withhold contact, the court will look at things before making you do anything at all. This is an invitation to withhold contact.

Can you imagine if just the following paragraph had to be rewritten in the light of case law to say 'These powers are used regularly and with little or no warning to a parent who flouts the court's orders'?

The sisters are under siege, and they don't like it up 'em, but let's face it, the law is still on their side.

Love from Daddy

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