Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Gold Standard?

Last year Mr Justice Coleridge caused a stir with his "river of human distress" speech about family breakdown at Resolution's annual conference. Now he is back at it again. In a speech to the Family Holiday Association he spoke of an “epidemic” of family breakdown in this country and proposed that a national commission be created to deal with it by establishing marriage as the "gold standard" for relationships.

Naturally, the speech has been picked up with glee by the Daily Mail and many of its readers, but is there really an epidemic, and if so is marriage the answer? I'm not going to spend much time on this, but I'm not sure that the rate of family breakdown in this country is that much greater than in most other western countries. As for marriage being the "gold standard", I think that many cohabiting couples would find that highly offensive. It just seems to me that he is trying to turn back the clock to a time when marriage was the norm and was for life. The problem is that you can't turn back the clock and even if you could I'm not sure I would want to - how many of those marriages that were only held together by social convention were actually miserable affairs that left all involved, including the children, scarred for life?


  1. It's rather like trying to shut the gate after the horse has bolted.

    I think I read recently Luxembourg now has the worst divorce rates in Europe. No developed country has managed to reverse the trend of family breakdown but it is very sad for children. Perhaps stemming the tide of multiple changes of family structure would be a more realistic objective.

  2. Yes, I think there must be a better approach.

  3. I agree with Fiona.

    The 1973 Act and 1999 pensions bit added to it, killed it.

    I do think we have an improvement as don't like the thought of women being inferior, which was what the old law was based on gender stereotypes.

    For partnerships, well, the BNP are the only party with family law proposals, otherwise we end up like Finland, where people don't marry. I quite like that, bypassing these dodgy old gits in their funny wigs and funny laws which make no practicable sense.

    Unless you bring fault back, and as Fiona says, the horse has bolted on that one and the Tories trying to close the stable door with pre nups and harder divorces I don't think will work.

    I may be wrong though, I would be prepared to give it a go and vote for them if they put it in their manifesto. Is BNP policy though, strange how BNP is bad and Tories are good, when they have same policies. Lack of right and wrong and probably time to roll back the divorce laws and make divorce harder. Too much nonsense about individual rights without responsabilities. To repeat though, I think Fiona may be right. Worth a shot from the torys though, anything is better than what we have at the moment.

    We need to decide if we have marriage or not, the half way house of having it mean nothing is crumbling. I think not as law won't have guts to tell people they can't have a divorce.

    That's good, the state has too much influence anyways. Marriage lite aint going to fly either as people will avoid them too. Quite happy avoiding the law in future. That's how it should be with families sorting their problems themselves. Like the war or the roses, Plantaginates v Tudors, 1066, and all that lol.

    We are not the US in the UK. We are not so puritanical. Marriage is dead, rip.

  4. War of the Roses.

    The tories have the suggestion of making divorce harder and bringing in pre nups.

    Like I say, I'd vote for that and is worth a go and may save the institution. It's dead unless the law changes.

  5. 'stemming the tide of multiple changes of family structure'

    Not sure what that means. I think it means, "oh sh1t, us feminists messed it all up and please lets have the 1950s back!"?

    Please can you "explain it to me like I am a two year old" if it means something other than that.

  6. Please can you "explain it to me like I am a two year old" if it means something other than that?

  7. BNP policies on Family Law attached.

    No one else (including the Judges) seem to have any.

    My Dad always said to me, don't criticise unless you can think of something better.

    The way things are is ok.

    I haven't read all their proposals, except residency going to the person who petitions successfully for adultary. Seems fair enough to me.

    Cant say I care really as I have no intention of marrying under anyone else's rules other than my own (writing my own vows and pre nup) maybe.

    Unless someone is offering me lots of money maybe.

  8. Interesting to see Nick Langford on there also.

  9. I agree with his conclusion. The ground of 'Unreasonable Behaviour' for a divorce has created a get out free card for marriage and a free for all as the Judge describes. The solution has to be pre nuptial agreements and no fault divorce and abolishion of the CSA taking Child maintenance back to family court where it belongs. The alternative (which he 'seems to' favour) of making divorce harder will be as popular electorily as income tax rises.

  10. Thanks for all your input, Cptn. I would respond, but I don't know where to start... ;-)


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