Being British is our problem.
Whilst Americans will complain and blog that their rights under law are being diminished day by day and point to their historical statutory Bill of Rights which gives the individual rights of freedom, at least they have one. In Britain we don’t, or do we?
Surprisingly, we do and it was actually used as a template in 1789 to draft the Constitutional Bill of Rights in the United States. The difference though, is that the United States Bill of Rights gives individuals rights of freedom whereas, the British Bill of Rights was used by Parliament for the rights of individuals against the Crown in 1689 and has dispeared in the archives of time. Some of the English Bill of Rights tenets were adopted by the United States when forming their version. As a matter of interest I have listed the rights supposedly in the English bill that were adopted by the United States.
- The right of petition.
- An independent judiciary.
- Freedom from taxation by royal (executive) prerogative, without agreement by Parliament (legislators),
- Freedom from a peace-time standing army
- Freedom [for Protestants] to bear arms for their defence, as allowed by law.
- Freedom to elect members of Parliament without interference from the Sovereign.
- Freedom of speech in Parliament,
- Freedom from cruel and unusual punishments and excessive bail.
- Freedom from fines and forfeitures without trial.
Remembering that the rights above are adaptations from English law some of these points raise many questions regarding current “lawfull” practices. One which strikes me immediately, is that of the last in my in-exclusive list. “Freedom from Fines and Foreitures” Not just in issues of parking fines and having your car towed away etc.Which effects us all at some time or another, but this means that authorities can’t charge fines or forfeitures without trial. What happened to this law? It raises many questions in my mind about current Family Law issues. I’m sure that over time, we “the British” have lost many of our rights or rights of freedom have been over-ridden by new laws that in effect cancel out original laws put in place to protect the English public from the Crown.This is just one example of when we the activists “site” a law we think protects us only to learn that, that law is cancelled out by another new law. In effect our lawfull rightsare cancelled out by a further law which has been put in place to protect the law makers or politicians from we the people. It doesn’t take too much of an imagination to realise that this is what’s happening in every corner of British law. You only have to look at the rightful law to protest. How many times have Fathers 4 Justice or other campaigning equal rights groups been dispearsed on the grounds of “unlawful assembly” a law put in place to protect the law makers and those at risk of losing their wealth from the people.
Which brings me to my point. I decided to right this particular blog after having a conversation with my partner last night whilst out for a walk after a lazy Easter Sunday. You see it’s these times in particular that are the most painful for me. When I have time to think and time to reflect on my children.
“The English are their own worst enemy” A harsh statement you may think coming from a Family Court activist and a father deeply effected by gender inequality. At this point I am going to use the recent issue where Rosy Stanesby, a young girl previously in the same position as my two young children, but now having meaningful contact with her loving dad Jolly Stanesby. Jolly as we know stopped at nothing to get his point across during his campaign and I for one applaud this man and all the others taking individual stands. But recently, as I understand from the blogs of Fathers 4 Justice, Rosy wrote to the Family Court judge Tyzack to ask for an apology after putting this young girl through family court hell by keeping her from her loving and persistantly campaigning dad. The response as you might guess was a less than negative one. Not only that, Rosy and her dad are being threatened by the police with arrest for intimidating and hassasing a Family Court judge. What on earth is happening here? What happened to accountability. Pointing back to my recent list above of the English points of lawful rights adopted by the United States to form their Constitutional Bill of Rights. Point in fact, they were the English points used to for the rights of American individuals. What happened to the English rights of “PETITION” as stated in the list above, “freedom of cruel and excessive punishments” Anyone that thinks separating children from their fathers is not a punishment or cruel to the children are themselves severely deluded and abusers.
I think the answer to this question is as follows. Those laws and personal protections don’t exsist anymore. If you can’t protest about an unfairness, if you can’t write to complain about the conduct of an authority, if you are inflicted with a fine or monitory punishment without a fair trial, then what kind of society are we now living in? If you can’t comment or blog to the world without investigation or court orders to remove such articles then freedom is just a lost historical idea once held in a previous society.
The title of my blog “Being British Is Our Problem” is so called for a very good reason and I take equal responsibility when I talk about this issue. You see, in Britain we don’t think that protest or fighting for what we believe in is a viable option anymore, except for “armchair” politics practised by most Brits these days. Getting off your backside and actually doing something that matters is rare these days because it means taking risks or putting your head on the block with the authorties. It’s easy to sit and watch the TV and complain in your armchair about what the government is doing to you or someone close to you, but actually getting up and going and knocking on the door of authority can be seen as “going too far or risky”
You know, I think I too am part of this armchair revolution. I blog, I sit and comment on other people blogs. But really what will it achieve? I’ve heard it said recently that many of the North African revolutions were started by and incited through social networking sites. I think this is true, but whilst blogging their dissatisfactions with their political leaders they were also planning revolutions on the streets and as we can see vividly on tv, they resulted in a street fight and in many cases civil war. This is far from where this fight for gender equality in the Family Courts has been going. Far from a fight it seems to me that when you ask people to join you, they are quite willing to join, but on their comfortable terms and without putting themselves out too much. Not to say that there are’nt people that have’nt got off their backsides and walked down the roads holding banners, but how many who were not directly effected by this unjust issue actually climbed or got wet. Well to date I am going to put my hand up and say I’m one too. This leads me directly to my point.
It’s my guess that most of us fathers have heard the comforting sentence “don’t worry, what goes around, comes around” or “don’t worry, you will get your children back, it’s only a matter of time before they are old enough” I would bet that most of you have had this said to you at some time during your pain. It’s been said to me I can tell you, first on a daily basis, then now at least weekly by genuine careing people. Don’t get me wrong, this is what has kept me going, It’s kept me alive because I have stood on the edge of complete dispair like many fathers in my position. But what wider effect has it had?
It’s become my view that it’s actually had a negative effect on the longer term, broader issue of actually getting the Family laws changed in this country. Why would I say such a thing?
Because I have come to realise that as long as I am sitting, waiting, blogging for the day my “personal” trauma and the trauma of “my two young children” to come to an end, the bigger more important issue is not being dealt with. That issue of changes in the Family laws and practices. Comparing this to North African politics. If this had been the attitude of those peoples, then they would still be living under dictatorships and watching innocent people suffering. Instead they used social media to gather support and then they took to the streets and faught sometimes hand to hand against the army and authorties that denied them their rights. There was armchair politics through social media yes, but then there was action on the streets and the result as we are told by our very own government and press, that those countries are better for it now.
I hope as a reader you see my very clear point here. There will be change but not from your armchair in your cozy living rooms, not from a blogging and social networking perspective by itself. It’s going to require a much more acive approach to regaining our rights as previously set out in those very early simple Bill of Rights we had but are now lost. I heard it said a few weeks ago that through the American current right to bare arms fight, and what ever your view on this issue is, it is in there Bill of Rights and the public are fighting back and I think it will remail part of their constitution if the people get their way. The comment I heard was from an American being interviewed on CNN if I remember. He said that they Brits don’t realise what they don’t have and that the Brits are controlled in a way that Americans will never accept. Gun control apart, I agreed with him. We don’t realise just how controlling successive governments have made our society. They protected us from ourselves and in the process reduced our rights to protest even to the point of poor Rosy Stanesby being threatened with prosecution by the police for harrasing a Family Court judge. Where are we, if we can’t express our dis-satifaction in what was once a democracy ? When we can’t protest outside the Palace without being told we are breaking public order laws and that the assembly is unlawfull by a female police officer. Remember back to the 80s when the miners took to the streets because of cuts in workforces and pit closures. Thatcher was determined to crush the unions. Not to say both sides had an arguement but after that, protest became a dirty word made popular through British political press. The same is happening today. How many times do you hear the poor and unemployed referred to as lazy or scroungers. Just take a step back and remember where you heard that first. It was the government. They are actually brainwashing the public to think that unemployed don’t want to work which in effect turns the public very conveniently against those that need our help in a fair society. When I lost my job in 2007 I spent two years looking for and having over 700 applications and only two interviews in those two years. So I know the majority of unemployed aren’t lazy, just in an impossible situation. So I will tell you where we are. We are lost. Until the British public get off their backsides and actually go against what they tell you what you can and can’t do, then nothing will change. Whilst I am sitting waiting for my children to come home, when the Family law lets them, then I have a long wait and the man walking out of the Family Court this morning in tears wondering when he will ever see his kids again, then he and those future Fathers 4 Justice supporters and suicide victims are lost with no hope but to wait patiently like a “good little Englishman” oppressed by the state and it’s lapdog press.
In British law we have anti-terrorism laws that help to protect us from extremists and quite rightly too. But did you know that those same laws can and would be used against me and you if we were incite street violence. So, I leave it with you, are we free or are we not. Or are we destined all to be “armchair revolutionists”
I know one thing, I have two grown up sons from my first marriage who I love dearly and four lovely grandchildren. I would not like to see my children or my childrens children go through what I went through and am still going through. The emotional pain of seeing them leave me on a Sunday night. Watching them sleep whilst having contact at weekends with me and wondering if I will see them next weekend. Bearing the pain of knowing that you caused their heartache. Going to court dozens of times, sitting in solicitors offices and watching my assets disappearing in front of my eyes. Then ending up in hospital with bad health.
I dont want this for my children, it was bad enough having to go through it myself. Living and waiting for the same to happen to someone I love is unthinkable. So I must do something about this. You must do something about this, because it is coming to your house sooner or later. It may not happen to your relationship but it will happen to your children’s and that’s a fact. There’s a ( 60%) chance that it will happen to you or someone you love. If you have two children, it will happen to one of them sooner or later.
As always this blog dedicated to my two children Scott and Layla for whom I will never give up my fight. What ever it takes.
Note to other bloggers. Please feel free to reblog my items.