Sunday, August 07, 2011

How did Matt O'Connor get on with his hunger strike?

I posted back on the 7th July that Matt O'Connor (above) was going on hunger strike. Not having heard any more about the stunt, I was wondering how he got on.

A quick trip to the Fathers 4 Justice website tells me what I didn't realise previously (obviously but not surprisingly I was not paying sufficient attention), i.e. that it was only a seven-day hunger strike. I'm not saying I'm disappointed, but personally I can't see the point of a time-limited hunger strike. Who is going to care if you lose a few pounds? By the amount of media coverage the stunt seemed to get (and I check family law-related news every day), not many people.

Undeterred, F4J are planning a similar stunt outside Buck House on the 24th and 25th September. I wonder if her Maj will notice...


  1. There is an Indian priest who gets by by photosynthesis, prayer and an air-tight sphincter. The arab uprising started with a man setting fire to himself. I would suggest it but I don't want anybody's death on my consience - unlike the government and csa.

  2. I hate Lawyers. I blame them mostly.

  3. Mr John Bolch - if you were a father who had been denied contact with his children, often for a period of years with very little chance of regaining contact, you may not be so easily bored by other people's heartbreak.

    Yawn - how rude!

  4. Seriously, I am not doing down the 'heartbreak' of being denied contact (although I think that many who are so denied should look to themselves for the reason), but I am very bored with hearing the same tedious mantra over and over again.

  5. Unless there is a very good reason, it should be the easiest thing in the world for a father to have meaningful contact with his children.

    So why isn't it?

  6. If you're beaten well that fine!

    But stop sniping at those who won't be beaten and are still willing to have a go.

  7. has the wind changed with the result that your emoticon is now frozen into a rictus?

  8. The hunger strike wasn't time limited at the start. Matt O'Connor said at the outset that he would remain on hunger strike until David Cameron withdrew his Father's Day comments. It was obvious to anyone that O'Connor was going to embarrass himself hugely on this and he did. He lasted for 7 days, generating a tiny amount of publicity.

    The F4J website uses a linguistic sleight of hand to try to cover up for his ignominious performance.

    A sceptic might ask whether his sudden desire to go on hunger strike had anything to do with his newly opened ice-cream business in London...

  9. Ah, thanks for that - so I didn't misunderstand his original intentions.

    A very silly stunt to take on unless you are absolutely serious, and certain it will attract sufficient publicity (hence my flippancy).

    Not, perhaps, Mr O'Connor's finest hour!

  10. Ok, few things people. I was there the entire time with Matt and will try to explain a few misconceptions.

    The idea was to 'kick off' a new campaign that will increase in intensity over a period of time. Achieved, tick.

    David cameron did write backtracking on his comments. You seem not to be aware of this. Achieved, tick.

    The F4J campaign has always been about putting the issue into the public domain. Firstly with hih profile stunts which ended after assusrances that if it stopped, and round table discussions started, then it would all be fixed. The superhere stuff therefore ended in 2008, and talks with every major political party commenced. This culminated in 2010 with written assurances from both the Tory's and LibDems that immediately upon seizing power they'd put an end to the obvious misery and abuse of family law. Post election, both of the coalition parties failed to deliver on their 'written' assurances. Seems there's too much power and pressure behind the scenes from various lobby groups to allow serious change. Hence, back to the campaign approach and headline exposure.

    The fact that you did not see this on major media outlets is an interesting point. I can assure you that major papers and Tv interviewed several times daily but only certain smaller outlets took the content to air. We were warned by the majors that despite the interviews they may be 'asked' not to carry the story. So, as to why you didn't see anything, perhaps you should ask who's pulling the media's strings John? Distrubing don't you think, given we live in a free democracy?

    The next phase is to ramp up civil protest in a lawful sophisticated manner, in a stepped process that allows for the powers to be to be adequately warned this is not going away and to give time to beaurocracy to get to grips with change having to take place. What seemed like a flop to you is in fact a well thought through strategy.

    The week long fast achieved a letter backtracking, but it didn't go far enough. Weasel words seeking to take the sting away. It didn't, not enough. So the campaign continues. Expect to see more and building over time, as it is intended to be.

    This is not going away.

  11. Thanks for that. I look forward to the next phase of the campaign!


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