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‘Scapegoating’ of fathers is unfair

IN his article on the London riots Fergus Finlay (Opinion, August 16) makes accusations against other ‘opinion formers’, John Waters and Kevin Myers, that could more accurately be directed against Mr Finlay himself.

In addressing the issue of fatherless families he advocates ”... a national determination to chase and incentivise the missing fathers, who haven’t been driven away but ..... have chosen to abandon their responsibilities”.

In doing so Mr Finlay is ‘scapegoating’ and ‘targetting’ one group of hate-figures — the very thing he accuses Mr Waters and Mr Myers of doing.

Not only is he scapegoating “the missing fathers” but his statement that they “haven’t been driven away but ..... have chosen to abandon their responsibilities” is quite simply untrue.

Court lists throughout the country are filled with thousands of cases concerning custody and access to children. Virtually every single case involves a father fighting against the odds to maintain a meaningful relationship with his children and a mother doing all she can to destroy or diminish his fatherhood.

Mr Finlay tells us that he meets a great many women raising children alone, but that is not the way they want it. If so, perhaps he would ask these mothers why an application for sole custody, i.e. the marginalisation of the father, is their immediate reaction to marriage/relationship breakdown.

He would have great difficulty in finding even one mother who has gone to court seeking an order directing a father to become more involved in his childrens’ lives.

To blame fathers, who have been removed or marginalised in their childrens’ lives, for delinquent youths and absolve mothers, who have absolute power and control of parenting, is illogical, irrational and, as a flawed analysis, will perpetuate this dreadful phenomenon.

His misandrist rant may ingratiate Mr Finlay with feminists but he would do more for the welfare of children if, instead of perpetuating the ‘feckless father/martyr mother’ stereotype, he advocated a new legal and societal regime in which fathers and mothers enjoyed equality and parity of esteem.

This would, of course, be resisted by the malignant family law industry which survives and thrives by inciting and exploiting hatred between parents.
Matt Harper


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