I find the situation that F4J now find themselves in a sorry state of affairs. They are ever more becoming insular and isolated, and appear to be looking at the issues through the wrong end of the telescope. I fear for the future of F4J – either they will implode with serious fall-out or there will be yet another disbanding of the organisation.
There is no doubt that change is required in family law (and I wish those who purport to campaign for change on family law would realise that child related issues is just one area of family law that urgently requires change), but in order for effective change to occur, organisations need to engage with each other, work together, exchange ideas and new ways of thinking.
Last month I was thrown out of Fathers4Justice, or rather, I got myself thrown out, since I took a very deliberate course of action which could have only one consequence.
I joined F4J at the start of 2004. At that time the organisation was based on a series of local groups run by coordinators. Recognising that I was probably not cut out for direct action, my local coordinator got me to make up some fact sheets for members on issues such as changing a child’s name or taking a child abroad.
In due course this work came to the attention of head office and I was sent a list of ‘FAQs’ to complete, containing the questions with which desperate fathers most often approached F4J. Before long the founder of the organisation, Matt O’Connor, was ‘phoning me on a fairly regular basis to dig up this or that piece of data…
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