As the report was announced yesterday and the coverage has been extensive, the betrayal by Norgrove of fathers, grandparents and children can be fully seen. Though some commentators are in shock this site did discuss that it was on the cards, however, it is worse because at least in the interim report there was to be some recognition of shared parenting - now there is none.
Why did Norgove make matters worse? He comes up with feeble excuses about definitions and irrelevances from Australia which made no sense.
Things Norgrove was clear on were:
- He does not believe that fathers and grandparents have any role or are relevant to the successful upbringing of children.
- He believes there is no anti-father bias in the courts
- He believes the people represented by by FnF, F4J and others groups are so small they are not wort worrying about (listen to his interview on Radio 4's Today Programme 2hr 32 min in - you need to click on the right hand side). He actually effectively says this.
- He believes there should be no link between child maintenance and access (what can a man do against a recalcitrant law breaking mother?), though he believes in tougher enforcement.
This is all wrong and it is clear he that while he says everything is in the interests of the child, he doesn't think it is in the interests of child to have contact with their father. It is almost the same issue about the IVF treatment in the news update on Wednesday where the law says it does not matter that a child born through IVF does not have a father around.
The only two straws of hope is that the coalition government said it believed in shared parenting, though, this seemed more around from pregnancy rather than the concept we are talking about. It did also say it wanted better access arrangements for separated couples and grandparents.
The last piece is that Iain Duncan Smith has waded in and will do all he can to persuade the government to reject Norgrove's view that shared parenting does not not matter. Let us hope this is a battle he wins.
Posted by Skimmington
Please add more links if there are other worthwhile articles